What makes a kasambahay?

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.


This Father’s Day, give dad the three things he really wants

by Jayvee Fernandez

In the grand scheme of things, it usually seems like Father’s Day is relegated as a second-class holiday compared to Mother’s Day. Maybe it’s because fathers are more subtle, more silent than expressive and default to the “if you’re happy then I’m happy” state of being.

It is Father’s Day. And as the shops pull out their specials for new shoes, watches, and wallets for dads not much has been said for what a father really wants on his commercially-imposed holiday. “I don’t need anything” is a typical response from most dads. But they’re usually referring to material things.

Here are three things that dads want that money can not buy on their special day.


They want a day where they do not need to make choices

Luxury is relative, and in an age where we have too many choices, the best gift one can give is not having to make decisions. Decisions are made seven days a week, 365 days a year. At work. At home. “What do you think?” can always be a loaded question. When dads are forced to make decisions every hour of the day, the best Father’s Day gift you can give him is to not have him make decisions. At least for the next 24 hours.

They (secretly) want kind words of acknowledgment

Fathers are men of few words. Case in point: I’ve learned how to modulate my grunting to express different things.

Allyza Quirante