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Domestic Help Update

With my article about our domestic helper and then in the article “At yours Service” I mentioned about our helper and about the three girls Elena’s sister-in-law brought to Davao for friends of hers needing help at home.

Our helper is working out better than I expected. She works hard, is friendly and sociable and even will joke with me.  While at home on her day off, she still does household chores. Since she does not have friends, our nieces will allow her to join them if they go out on a Sunday and will take her to church with them.

Of the three helpers for my Elena’s friends, one did not work out and returned to her Province this week. This girl was only 16 and did not have the attitude to work away from home. From what I heard, the first few days had to be directed constantly and would walk around like in a daze looking at everything. We also found out after, she only attended elementary school and only spoke Bisaya and not much Tagalog. Unfortunately the lady that hired her is not from Davao and is from Luzon. This lady speaks Tagalog. Since the helper did not finish school, her knowledge of Tagalog was very little. Also this girl’s hygiene was bad and had to be told to do her own laundry.

After she was gone, we heard this girl came from a bad family and had run away from home in the past. She also was now homesick and missed her free life with her friends, family and even a boyfriend. As in any employment situation, you never know if someone hired will work out, it does become more difficult if the person is not local and you do not have the luxury of interviewing the person before they make the trip. Then if they do not work out, besides the cost of the travel here, you have to cover the costs of their return trip.

The friend of ours that hired her was very gracious and understanding. Even though she was unhappy with the girl, she never complained to us about the waste or time and the cost of the girl. This proves again of the kindness of Filipinos. In the US, we would complain and argue about how we would have wasted our money in a situation like this.

12 Responses to “Domestic Help Update”

  1. Gene says:


    With our income level it would not be practical or hardly possible for us to have a maid. Plus my wife feels that doing our cleaning is our responsibility. With the exception of my sister in law coming over once per week to do our laundry, all housekeeping chores are done by us.
    But hiring a maid, to me the biggest concern would be family safety. Second would be preservation of our belongings. From news stories I hear and read about, both locally and nation wide the risk would far outweigh the benefit.
    Although the girl hired might be basically honest and a good person, she might not be also. And don’t forget a girl coming from a poor family could be under the influence of family and friends that could easily persuade her to take your belongings or at worst let someone into your house to do the same or worse.
    I think most often times maids work out for people and need to be replaced only if they prove to be lazy. But I just think it’s just too risky especially with children living in the house. And besides, washing the dishes keeps my fingernails clean and walking to the sink from my computer can be counted as excersise—right?

    • Bruce says:

      Elena and our nieces originally took care of the house. Now with 2 in review school for their boards and the third in 3rd year, they are gone most of the days. With a 3 bedroom house, it is too much for Elena and they will not let me do any chores. They leave the repair stuff and my computer work for me.
      The reason Elena wanted a girl from the provinces was that they did not have local family or friends to cause a possible problem. If we ever suspect any stealing, the girl would be on the next bus home. Plus our sister-in-law who got her for us, knows her family. The shame to them in the community if our girl did anything bad would be an embarrassment. So, it is best to use a province and know by our family as reference.

  2. Marvin says:

    Yes Gene walking to the sink from the computer is exercise, I do it almost three time a day.

  3. Lonnie Carreau says:


    I have been back a few weeks from my visit to see my wife’s family. When I first got to the house, there were so many people. it was a bit overwhelming. I just started shaking hands and introducing myself. I finally got to a young woman who looked out of place there, but I did not know why. I shook her hand and introduced myself. She very meekly told me her name. I sensed a bit of awkwardness all around the room. Sure enough, that was one of the nannies for one of my wife’s cousin’s children. During the whole gathering, she mostly tended to the children and washed dishes. She seemed to be almost a part of the famile, but not quite.


    • Bruce says:

      With the shyness here, you being the “rich” relative from the US, and all the commotion of your arrival, I can understand. Even our girl gets shy when someone visits here who she has not met before. Eventually she opens up a bit.

  4. Lonnie Carreau says:


    I was not there long enough for that. I focused on the folks my wife had talked about before we left. I knew this trip was all about her and our 2 year old son. My new extended family bent over backwards to make sure I was comfortable, but I did what I could to get the focus back where it should be.


  5. Anthony says:

    With 4 kids that are well behaved we cant keep a ya ya for any length of time it seems. I pay 600 pesos a week,room and board, and a day off on sundays. They stay for 6 months the seem to miss the province or get a boyfriend or find the dreaded fast life of davao if you know what i mean. We need 2 ya yas ASAP. if you know of any looking for work let me know. Thanks my SoCal brother. P.S. I am getting fat eating those in and out burgers, occasionally i take a bite just for you!!!!

    • Bruce says:

      As I know the starting rate for a house helper or a yaya is 1500 pesos per month plus room and board. If you want, we will see if and how fast we can get you your replacements.
      Do not worry about being fat from the burgers, once your here the quantity of the food you consume will reduce and so will your waistline. I wish there was a way for you to bring me a double double.

  6. agnes b. magdaraog says:

    Hi there!,

    Good day!,I am responding to your post for the position as a Household Service Worker respectively. I have had worked previously in a young expat couple in Cebu City. Needed requirements will be forwarded upon request. I am a college graduate and single.

    Thanking and looking forward.

    Yours Sincerely,


    • Bruce says:

      My article was about the girl we hired. We are happy with her and not hiring. For your protection, I saved your cell number and removed if from publication. If anyone contacts me offering a position or wanting your resume I will pass that info to you.

      I am guessing your living in Cebu. I am in Davao.

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