Stay-in maids getting impregnated by the construction worker next door. Maids who leave for a day off and then don’t come back. (“Mam hindi na qu bblik.”) Of course there are also the more legitimate reasons—going home to the province to take care of family. Moving abroad. Getting married. There are many stories like these.
My parents had a kasambahay before that stayed for about half a year before moving on to work for a fast food joint nearby. In retrospect, it seemed like she used my mom as a stepping stone to “better and brighter things.” I’ve always looked back at this example and wondered if I would have done the same thing had I been a young, aspiring girl from the province who had her trip to Manila paid for by her new employer. A few months of staying in their home would provide an ample foothold to getting to know the city and then finally making that big jump to become part of the Manila workforce. I can’t deny it—there’s a lot of frustration there, especially from my mom at that time but if we look at life from her perspective, it was actually rather cunning. And maybe even laudable.
In the startup world we are taught to pivot. “Adapt or die” they usually say. “We can’t be like the dinosaurs that did not evolve.” Or more commonly: “we need to pivot to video” or “we need to pivot to a new vertical.” Many of us who grew up with loyal kasambahay—those that gave your family their absolute loyalty—long for these days.