“Our” Baby turned 1!

"Our" little baby turned 1!  Nope I didn’t give birth. Although my tummy looks like I just did. 1 year ago, our helper gave birth in our house! in the bathroom! We decided to let mother and daughter stay in the house for a little while, and that while turned to a year. My helper asked me to be the one to pick the name and I named her Gianna, meaning God is good. And God, is indeed good!

I wasn’t able to put up a post last year of our wonderful experience so I thought it is fitting to put it up on her birth month…  [Read more...]

Kasambahay Pay Slip Form

KasambahayOk, so my notebook where I ask my helpers to sign when they receive their salary is already full. With the kasambahays and a driver sharing in one notebook, you can imagine how used and abused the notebook is. I thought it is time to put more order in organizing my kasambahays pay slips so I came up with a form which I am sharing with you. [Read more...]

Stress Busting Tip for Pinoy Moms #1: Open a Cash Card for your Driver and Kasambahay

Cash-Card-in-the-PhilippinesTo say that traffic in Manila is horrendous is an understatement. And one of my stresses is when I remember I need to buy something, an ingredient or an office supply, but the driver is out on an errand already. What pababalikin ko pa ba? Or when I send money and then something came up like the quotation didn’t include tax etc. Grrr!   With the traffic, it’s not practical to have the driver drive back to the house to come back for the money! Waste of time and waste of gas!

So I had my driver open a Cash Card for himself. Since I have an online BDO account and they have a good number of ATM machines, he opened a BDO Cash Card. Cash Cards are basically [Read more...]

Petty Theft Proof your Home from the Household Help

Theft when it happens inside our very own homes can be very unnerving.  Your sanctuary is violated and trust with the "kasambahays" (helpers) we treat as family is broken.

The past 13 years has been petty theft free in our house.  My husband and I used to employ strong safeguards to avoid petty theft but we may have slipped and relaxed over the years (See my blog on Petty Robbery at our Home). Petty theft unless it is committed by a pro is sometimes our own doing.   As my mom constantly reminds me,  "It is your responsibility as employers to not tempt the helpers to do something evil.  It's like leaving a plate full of steaming hot, delicious adobo in front of someone who is hungry and telling them not to take a single bite out of it,  mean yon di ba?"

So here is a list of the things to do to avoid petty theft inside our own homes:

Don't let the helpers see you counting money. I have been negligent in this.  Sometimes,  I absent mindedly bring out  cash in my wallet and count it in front of them.

Don't talk about money in front of the helpers ex. savings, big purchases, business profits etc. [Read more...]

Petty Robbery at Our Home

For the first time in 13 years of managing our household, my husband and I experienced petty theft in our own home.  We don't suspect outside burglary instead it was done by one of our very own:(  We lost some cash and my husband's watch.

The first time I discovered the loss, parang mix of emotions.  May lungkot (sadness),  that was hard-earned money and my husband intended to give the watch to my son.  May galit (anger), how can that person do this to us! Feeling ko naman super bait kami.  May takot (fear), scary, we are actually living with a "magnanakaw!" (robber)!  May worry,  ano pa kaya nakuha nya?  Maybe she has been stealing from us for months or years?  May suspicion, who among them could have done it.  Surely, not Ate A, maybe Ate B or can it also be Ate C?  Add to that the feeling of uneasiness of losing our sense of security in our very own household.  It was a horrible, horrible unnerving experience.

We were on a transition that time so I had 4 helpers in the house.  My husband and I were thinking it could be the helper who stayed and decided to leave after just barely a week because of some emergency that didn't sound like an emergency.  I swear kapag nakita mo ang face,  hindi makabasag plato!  She was highly referred by the longtime helper of a neighbor so there is still possibility it may not be her.  My dear yaya of 3 years is leaving the week I discovered the loss.  It could be her, but why would she do it now when she is about to leave that wouldn't be too smart, right?  It could be my 2 year helper who has decided to go on part time with us?  And it can't be our trusted cook because her territory is the ground floor and not the rooms.  Hayayay!

We didn't do a thorough check of everyone's stuff anymore because everyone of them (except our trusted cook) has gone out to get something in the convenience store near our house.  My brother said we should hire a police do the investigation but we don't want that mess.  So we just swore we would be more careful with our belongings from now on.

Tomorrow,  I will share with you the list of things we vowed to do, or begin doing again, to avoid petty theft in our household.

Depressed and Sad,

TheGoMom signature



PhilHealth for Kasambahay

Screen shot 2013-07-22 at 6.12.16 PMThe Kasambahay Law makes PhilHealth contributions mandatory for our household helpers.  PhilHealth offers health cash benefits that can be used by our helpers in the event they get hospitalized.  It is their health insurance, something they would very well need especially in their senior years.

For helpers with salaries below P5,000,  employers will shoulder the whole cost of the contribution.  For helpers with salaries above P5,000,  employees and employers will have a share on the contribution based on the PhilHealth Monthly Contribution Chart.

Disclaimer: This is a direct copy from the PhilHealth leaflets issued by PhilHealth personnel when they conducted a seminar and one-stop registration for our village last July 12, 2013. The only thing changed was the order of presentation. Words in italics are my personal notes.  Click on links for downloadable forms.

A.   Registration

1.   Fill up Philhealth Members Registration Form(PMRF) for helper.  Requirements are indicated in the downloadable form link.

2.   Fill up Employers Data Record (ER1) and PhilHealth Report of Employee-Members Forms (ER2).

*Use blank ball pen in filling up form.

B.   Monthly Contribution Table - Philhealth Contribution Schedule

C.   Payment Centers

PhilHealth contributions are accepted at SM Retail Service Counters, M. Lhuillier and PhilPost.  Fill up Philhealth Premium Payment Slip and submit to payment center.

Employer must submit a Employer's Remittance Report (RF-1) on or before the 15th day after the applicable month.  Example remittance report for month of January should be submitted not later than February 15.  The report can be submitted to PhilHealth offices or online at the PhilHealth website.

D.   PhilHealth Summary of Benefits

PhilHealth provides numerous benefit coverage.  It includes CASE RATES where common medical cases have pre-determined cash benefits already ex.  for Pneumonia (Moderate Risk) benefit deductible from hospital bill is at P15,000. For full list of Case Rates click this

For medical cases not included in the list of Case Rates,  PhilHealth offers an allowance to cover portion of the hospital fees, medicines, professional fees of doctors, etc.  For the chart of maximum allowances click this.

E.   Requirements to Avail Philhealth Benefit and Procedures in Availment

The following must first be met to avail of your PhilHealth benefits:

  • Payment of at least three (3) monthly premiums within six (6) months prior to the month of confinement.
  • Confinement in an accredited hospital for at least 24 hours (except when availing of outpatient care and special packages) due to illness or injury requiring hospitalization.
  • Attending physicians must also be PhilHealth-accredited.
  • The 45 days allowance for hospital room and board is not consumed yet.

Availment Procedures:

Outright/automatic deduction of benefits

1. Submit the following to the billing section prior to hospital discharge:

  • Duly accomplished PhilHealth Claim Form 1
  • Clear copy of Member Data Record (MDR)For qualified dependent not listed in the MDR, submit clear copy of applicable proof of dependency.

2. Agree with your attending physicians on how much is left to be paid for their services over the professional fee (PF) benefit.

3. Upon submission of all applicable documents, the billing section will compute and deduct your benefits from your total hospital bill.

Direct Filing/reimbursement

Submit the following to PhilHealth or through the hospital in addition to the documents mentioned earlier within 60 calendar days from the date of discharge:

  • PhilHealth Claim Form 2 (to be filled up by the hospital and attending physicians)
  • Official receipts of payments made to the hospital and to the doctor's waiver
  • Operative record, if surgical procedures was performed

PhilHealth Contact Details:

Call Center: 441-7442


Home Living made Fast and Easy!

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Pag-ibig for Kasambahay

Pag-ibig fund The Kasambahay Law makes Pag-Ibig contributions mandatory for our household helpers. I think Pag-IBIG offers redundant benefits to that of SSS and Phil-Health but since it is mandatory we, employers, still have the responsibility to file it. 

For helpers with salaries below P5,000,  employers will shoulder the whole cost of the contribution.  For helpers with salaries above P5,000,  employees and employers will have a share on the contribution based on the Pag-IBIG Monthly Contribution Chart.

Disclaimer: This is a direct copy from the Pag-IBIG leaflets issued by Pag-IBIG personnel when they conducted a seminar and one-stop registration for our village last July 12, 2013. The only thing changed was the order of presentation. Words in italics are my personal notes.

A.   Registration

1.   Fill up Member's Data Form (MDF) for helper.  Click Member's Data Form (MDF) here.  Requirement:  photocopy of at least 1 valid ID (Baranggay ID, Posta ID, SSS ID etc.)

2.   Fill up Employers Data Form (EDF) and Membership Contribution Remittance Form (MCRF) for employers.  Click above for downloadable form.

*Use blank ball pen in filling up form.

B.   Monthly Contribution Table

Salary Employee Employer Total
P 2,500 N.A. P 100 P 100
P 3,000 N.A. P 120 P 120
P 3,500 N.A. P 140 P 140
P 4,000 N.A. P 160 P 160
P 4,500 N.A. P 180 P 180
P 5,000 and up P 100 P 100 P 200

C.   Payment Centers

At the moment,  Pag-IBIG contributions can only be paid thru Pag-IBIG offices.  (Hu-whyyy?  I can't believe Pag-Ibig doesn't have bank affiliates!  This is super, duper hassle!!!)

The Pag-IBIG site said you can also pay thru Globe G-Cash.

D.   Pag-IBIG Fund Summary of Benefits

A.   Savings Program  - Member's total savings which earns tax free dividends may be withdrawn upon occurrence of the following grounds:

  • 15 years of continuous membership
  • 20 years or equivalent to 240 monthly contributions
  • 60 years old - optional
  • 65 years old - mandatory
  • Permanent Disability / Insanity
  • Separation from service by reason of health
  • Permanent Departure from country
  • Death

B.   Short Term Loan / Calamity Loan Program - Financial assistance extended to Pag-IBIG members.

  • An active member may apply for a loan after having made at least 24 monthly contributions.
  • Amount of loan is 60% to 80% of the member's total savings.
  • Interest rate of the loan is 10.75% per year.
  • The loan is payable in 2 years and can be renewed after payment of 6 monthly amortizations.

C.   Housing Loan Program

  1. An active member may apply for a loan after having made at least 24 monthly contributions. Must not be more than 70 years old at loan maturity and must be insurable.
  2. Must have the legal capacity to acquire and encumber real property.
  3. Must have no Pag-IBIG housing loan that was foreclosed or subjected to dacion enpago
  4. Must have passed satisfactory background/credit and employment
  5. Must have no outstanding housing loan either as principal or co-borrower.
  6. Has no outstanding Pag-IBIG housing loan in arrears at time of loan application.
  7. Interest rate of the loan is from 6% to 11.5% per year
  8. Loan is payable up to the maximum term of 30 years
  9. The loan is covered by Mortgage Redemption and Fire and Allied Perils insurance.

The loan can be used to finance any of the following:

  • Purchase of lot
  • purchase of lot and/or construction of house
  • purchase of residential unit (brand new or old)
  • construction of house or home improvement of existing house
  • refinancing of an existing mortgage loan acceptable to Pag-IBIG
  •  A member may borrow up to as much as P 3,000,000

Pag-IBIG Contact Details:

Tel Numbers: 995-0292 / 421-9447


Fuss-free Home Living!

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SSS for the Kasambahay

Philippine SSS

SSS for the Kasambahay

The Kasambahay Law makes SSS contributions mandatory for our household helpers.  True there are costs that come with it not to mention the hassle, but I am happy that our trusty helpers who makes life much easier for us,  will get the benefits any employee, white collar or blue collar, justly deserves.

Here is a summary of the procedures for registering for our helpers, filing and submitting contributions and a summary of the benefits our helpers can get from SSS.  I suggest you sit down with them to discuss their benefits.

SSS contributions are mandatory for household helpers under Batas Kasambahay.  Under SSS law,  drivers are also mandated to contribute to the SSS.

For helpers with salaries below P5,000,  employers will shoulder the whole cost of the contribution.  For helpers with salaries above P5,000,  employees and employers will have a share on the contribution based on the SSS Contribution Chart.

Scroll down or click on the links for an easier scroll down.

1.   Employer Registration SSS Form R-1 (To register yourself as a household employer)

2.   Employee Registration SSS Form E-1 (personal record) (To register your helper as a member of SSS)

3.   Employment Report SSS Form R1-A (To report your household helper as your employee)

4.   Schedule of Contributions (This chart will show you how much you and your employee must contribute monthly.)

5.   Submission and Filing of Contributions

6.   SSS Payment Centers

7.   Filing of Quarterly Summary of Contributions

8.   Resignation of Helper

9.   Summary of SSS Benefits of SSS

Employer Registration SSS Form R-1

Employer must fill up an employer registration SSS Form R1.  This form will give employer an Employer SSS ID that is different from his/her current personal SSS number.  Click this to download form.  There are no additional requirements except the completed R-1 form.  Click here to download SSS Employer Registration Form R-1.

Employee Registration SSS Form E-1

Employee will apply for an SSS membership by filling up SSS Form E-1 (Personal Record).  Click here to download SSS Personal Record Form E-1.

Form must be submitted together with any of the original or certified true copy of the following primary documents:

1.   birth certificate

2.   baptismal certificate

3.   driver's license

4.   passport

In the absence of the primary documents,  employee can submit any 2 of the following, provided at least one ID has her most recent photo and indicates her date of birth:

1.   Birth / Baptismal Certificate of her/his kids

2.   ATM card (if available)

3.   ATM card and certification that the account number is owned by cardholder (in case ATM only bears a number)

4.   Bank Account Passbook

5.   ID from any Local Government Unit (ex. Baranggay, City)

6.   Marriage Contract

7.   NBI Clearance

8.   Police Clearance

9.   Postal ID Card

10.   School ID

11.  Senior Citizen Card

12.   Tax Identification Number (TIN) Card

13.   Voter's Identification Card / Affidavit

14.   Company ID

The original or certified true copies of the mentioned documents must be shown for SSS to validate correct name and birthdates.

If the required documents are not available at the time of registration, SSS number shall still be issued.  However, the SS Form E-1 shall be stamped to indicate the non-submission of Primary or Secondary Documents, which means that:

  • Membership status of helper is temporary.
  • The SS number can only be used for contribution payment and employee reporting (by employer).
  • Submission of Primary or Secondary documents is required for Conversion of Membership Status to Permanent.
  • Availment of SSS benefits and loans is only allowed for Permanent Membership status.

Employment Report SSS Form R-1A

To report your helper as your employee,  fill out SS Employment Report Form R1-A, together with the Specimen Signature Card SS Form L-501.   Click here to download form - SSS Employment Report Form R-1A and SSS Specimen Signature Card From L501.

Schedule of Contributions

SSS Schedule of Contributions Check range of compensation of your helper and go to column with Total Contribution Heading.  ER is the employer contribution and EE is the employee contribution.

For helpers with salaries below P5,000,  employers will shoulder the whole cost of the contribution.  For helpers with salaries above P5,000,  employees and employers will have a share on the contribution based on the SSS Contribution Chart.

Example:  If the salary of your helper is P4,000 your total monthly contribution for her is P426.  If the salary of your helper is P5,500 your contribution is P398.70 and her contribution is P183.30 totaling to P 582/month.

Submission and Filing of Contributions

Employers must remit monthly contributions to SSS or any accredited bank using SSS Employers Contribution Payment Return Form R-5 (Employers Contributions Payment Form).

Deadlines are as follows:

If the 10th Digit Household  Employer's SSS ends in Deadline in Submission (after the applicable month)
1 or 2 10th day of the month
3 or 4 15th day of the month
5 or 6 20th day of the month
7 or 8 25th day of the month
9 or 0 Last day of the month






Example, if the employers SSS number is 03-1234567-8, the deadline for the month of June is on or before July 25.  If the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday,  deadline will be moved to the next business day.  Failure to pay on or before due date will incur penalty charges.

SSS Payment Centers:

1.  SSS Tellering Counters

2.  SSS Accredited Banks

3.   Post Office

4.   Bayad Centers

5.   SM Business Centers

Automatic Debit Arrangements with accredited banks can also be made.  Employers would just need to do a one-time enrollment in the accredited bank and all monthly contributions and loan repayments of the helpers will be automatically deducted from employers bank account.  Here is the list of banks:

1.   Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)

2.   Banco de Oro (BDO)

3.   Metrobank

4.   Philippine National Bank (PNB)

5.   First Consolidated Bank

6.   Green Bank

7.   Philippine Savings Bank

8.   United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)

9.   Asia Trust Development Bank (ATDB)

10.   Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP)

Filing of Quarterly Summary of Contributions

Employers must also submit a Quarterly Summary of her contributions by filling up SSS Contribution Collection List Form R-3 and attaching the validated copies of SS Form R-5 to the nearest SSS office.  Click this for SSS Contribution Collection List Form R-3

Household employers who are paying through the Automatic Debit Arrangement (ADA) System, do not need to submit a quarterly collection list.  The report will be automatically filed by the collecting bank.

Resignation of Helper

In the event that the helper resigns from her job,  employer must file resignation by indicating in SS Form R-3 that the helper has resigned.   Helper may continue paying her SSS contributions as a voluntary member or continue payment through her new employer using the same SS number.

SSS Benefits to the Helper

Click on this for a PDF file of the Summary of SSS benefits. I suggest you print this file and hold a short meeting to briefly discuss the benefits with your helpers.  It will be a waste if they don't understand and utilize their benefit.

Hope the above summary helps!:-)

Home Living Fast and Easy!

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Disclaimer: This is a direct copy from the SSS leaflets issued by SSS personnel when they conducted a seminar and one-stop registration for our village last July 12, 2013. The only thing changed was the order of presentation. Words in italics are my personal notes.

Kasambahay Law Employers Guide: In a Nutshell ( Part 1)

Kasambahay LawThe law that has taken all household employers aback, has been signed into law by Pres. Aquino last January 18, 2013, and is enforceable last June 4, 2013. Thankfully our village conducted a short seminar plus a one-stop registration shop for SSS, Phil-health and Pag-ibig. Just to give you an idea of cost involved, I would be paying an extra P 781/ month per helper on contributions:(

Here is a gist of the seminar, forms to be filled up and procedure for payment and filing. Just click on the links.

Disclaimer: This is a direct copy from Q & A on Batas Kasambahay (Republic Act No. 10361) issued by the Department of Labor and Employment. The only thing changed was the order of presentation. Words in italics are my personal notes. For the complete rules and regulations please secure a copy of RA 10361.

Mandatory Benefits of a Helper:

a. Monthly Minimum Wage

b. Daily Rest of Period of a total of 8 hours

c. Weekly rest period of 24 hours (uninterrupted) Ergo, weekly day-off!

d. Service Incentive Leave of 5 days a year.

e. 13th month payI-budget na ito!  

f. SSS benefit (click here for kasambahay law rule / click here for details - benefits, registration, contribution chart etc.)

g. PhilHealth benefit (click here for kasambahay law rule / click here for details - benefits, registration, contribution chart etc.)

h. Pag-ibig benefit (click here for kasambahay law rule / click here for details - benefits, registration, contribution chart etc.)


A. Monthly Minimum Wage

NCR - P2,500

Cities and 1st class municipalities outside of NCR - P2,000

Other municipalities - P 1,500

B. Daily Rest of Period of a total of 8 hours

The 8 hour rest period must be observed and employers cannot require the helper to work beyond 16 hours ay any given workday in return for an equivalent hourly rate.

C. Weekly rest period of 24 hours (uninterrupted)

Employers and helper may agree to shorten the 24-hour rest day period of helpers, provided the employer pays for the hours worked during the shortened rest day.

The weekly rest period/day of the helper will be set based on the agreement of employer and helper. The employer shall respect the preferred weekly rest day of the helper on religious grounds.

D. Service Incentive Leave of (SIL) 5 days a year.

This benefit can be availed of only after one year of service. If the helper fails to avail of the SIL, it shall be forfeited and cannot be converted to cash.

The following arrangements may also be agreed upon by employer and helper:

• Offsetting a day of absence with a particular rest day;

• Waiving a particular rest day in return for an equivalent daily rate of pay;

• Accumulating rest day not exceeding 5 days;

• Adding the accumulated rest days (max of 5 days) to the 5-day SIL;

• Waiving a particular SIL in return for an equivalent daily rate of pay.

E. 13th Month Pay

Helper will be entitled to 13th month pay only after 1 month of service. In computing the 13th month pay, the total basic wage received in a given calendar year shall be divided by 12. The amount derived shall be paid not later than December 24.

F-G. SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig (SPG) General Rule

Helpers must be covered by SPG after 1 month of service. Membership and contributions in all 3 is mandatory and non-negotiable.

If the wage of the helper is less than P 5,000, employer assumes full payment.

If the wage of the helper is more than P 5,000, the helper will pay her share in the premium contributions as stipulated in the chart.

Helpers and employers cannot just direct premiums to helper in addition to his/her salary. Under the SPG laws, the employer has the obligation to register the helper, deduct and remit premiums and contributions. The employer shall incur certain liabilities, including criminal prosecution, if he fails or refuses to comply with her/her obligations.

Striking a deal with helpers to just direct the premiums directly to their wage is a very tempting arrangement to spare us of the hassle of remitting contributions. However, remember that on good times, our helpers may agree to this but if the tide turns this can be used against us. So it is better to just do it right at the start and enroll them.

For other rules and regulations relating to the Kasambahay Law like contract of employment forms, deposit slips, penalties and charges for non-compliance of the Law etc. please click my blog on Kasambahay Law Employers Guide: In a Nutshell ( Part 2).

I think the law is good since it protects our valued helpers who makes life so much easier for us. However, equal protection must be accorded employers against abusive helpers. And please, that retroactive law requiring all employers to pay past contributions - puh-lease it is WRONG!   You can't punish someone for a law that has just been implemented.

Hope you can share me your thoughts on the recently implemented Kasambahay Law. I would love to hear from you:-)

With you in this Happy Chaos called Parenting!

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How to Have your Helper Prepare Diet Food for You

healthy foodYesterday was my first day to have diet food delivered to my house.  Yep,  I am a little bit desperate to jump start my weight loss after an almost gym-less summer, laden with lots and lots of food.

On day 2,  I would say the food is pretty good.  Lunch and dinner basically consists of a portioned viand that is not deep fried and a cupful serving of red rice.  Breakfast is a serving of wheat bread with ham (hopefully low fat).

Offhand,  I think the plan is great especially for people who don't have the time to plan their meals or prepare it.

I think with a little determination on my part to plan for each healthy meal and have our handy helper prepare the meal, I could actually do it sans the expense of diet food delivery.

Planning should detail the food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and the snacks in between.  Hopefully,  with the portioned food always available and wonderfully prepared for us, we can minimize the sneak attacks on the tub of ice cream in the freezer.

Here are 5 ways our wonderful helpers can help usher us into our pre-pregnancy bodies!

1.   Explain the plan to them.  Tell them you are on a diet for the nth time and tell them you need their help in preparing the food.   Discuss the menu for the week or the next day.  I think the menu need not be gourmet level which is not really realistic.  I plan to just work around the meals my whole family loves and tweak it a bit at times.  Instead of fried chicken,  how about Chicken Turbo?  I would still eat the yummy adobo in its full "mantika" (oil) glory but in smaller portions.

2.   Have the helper buy all the items needed to execute the plan.  How can you make a wheat bread sandwich if all that is in the ref is the yummy, fluffy white bread.

3.   Have the helper cook the food.  Tell them to go easy on the salt and oil.

4.   Have helper plate the food.  I think plating enhances the taste of the food and actually leaves us more satisfied and full.  Think French - small servings in exquisite presentation.  Show them how much portion of brown/red rice you want on the plate and how many pieces of adobo you want on the plate.  No more second servings!  Call on all the divine powers to power you through this!:-)

5.   Have helper prepare even the snacks and lay it on the table.  I tell them to put the boiled egg on the dining table.  It is very dangerous for me to get to the kitchen in these vulnerable times when my tummy is growling and all I can think of is F-O-O-D!   The kitchen is just filled with goodies that doesn't agree with my diet.

In the end of course it is discipline and will that will make the diet a success.  But a little help from our supportive helpers can make the diet more bearable and doable.  Good luck!

With you in this Happy Chaos called Parenting!

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13th Month Pay of Household Helpers: Is it Required by Law?

Giving Away Philippine MoneyThe budget during the holidays balloons to gigantic proportions with all the gifts and food, not to mention the 13th month pay of helpers.

When I asked around, I am surprised that there are still a handful of households who don't give 13th month pay to their helpers.  Confusion further lies when I talk to some people who give 13th month pay to helpers treating it as a gift more than a right of the helper.   I must admit, I am one of the latter until recently called attention to by 2 readers of TheGoMom.  So, is 13th month pay a gift or required by law? [Read more...]

Celebrating our Helper’s Birthday

Yesterday was the birthday of our Yaya of 2 years.  As customary during birthdays of our helpers and even the driver,  the cook prepares "pansit" (dry noodle) and fried chicken.  It is a simple meal to celebrate her birthday and to tell her she is appreciated by our family.  It also tells our children that helpers are to be treated with respect and appreciation.  My daughter even gamely set the table for our nanny. Yaya, however, politely refused to dine with us in our dining table but was touched by my daughter's gesture. [Read more...]

Helpers as Family

Our driver of 7 years bade us adieu.  He is going back to his hometown to care for his baby as a single parent.  It is funny how teary eyed I get every time a helper who has stayed long leaves.  It is like a relative you are close to tells you he is moving out of town.

He has driven for us day in and day out.  Making sure the kids' bags are all packed,  the car clean.  He made sure the kids are safe in crossing the street.  An all too willing playmate of my son. He is a driver, trusted runner, gardener, boy - rolled into one.   A helper in every sense of the word.

I think helpers are heaven sent.  Ok, if you get the right one.  A needle in a haystack, beyond doubt.  They take a heavy chunk of the workload that should befall us if they are not around.  As my husband says,  they help us become more productive in other things.  If fact, they are a major consideration of people migrating.

Come to think of it our driver has seen my kids grow up.  My daughter was 1 when he started with us, now she's 8.  He saw them through pedia visits to play dates.  My kids unashamedly hugged their Kuya Bong one last time as he turns a new chapter in his life.  Thank you Kuya Bong!

Lifetime Problem vs Eternal Damnation


My dependable helper of 3 years came up to me crying.  She just found out that she is pregnant.  Well, it should be ok except that she already has 4 kids whom she can barely feed as a widow.  The life story of Philippine poverty.

She goes on to tell me that she has decided she won't keep it and is asking me for help.  Huuwhhaat???  I think she doesn't comprehend what she is asking from me?  She has taken various medicines already to abort the baby and fears that it will come out abnormal.  She justified her act by enumerating the reasons why she is not ready to have the baby.  Reasons she knows even before she had the slip.  I sure wish I really gave her the actual condom instead of just telling her to use one.

She is faced with a problem with no clear solution.  Like a damned if you do and damned if you don't type of "hebigats" problem.  She keeps the baby, it may come out abnormal plus she cannot give it a good life.  She aborts the baby and she may be in for eternal damnation.

I didn't want to meddle too much.  So I told her I won't resort to that since I am a Catholic and it already has life.  I will give her money and let her decide which way to go.  All done.  But something did not sit right with me.  I felt life Pontius Pilate knowing what is right and taking the easy way out by letting the people decide to crucify.  I felt like turning around to the crowd waving my hands declaring myself sinless like Pontius Pilate.  I wonder if Pontius Pilate wept bitterly after handing over Jesus?

So, I consult a priest to hear what I already know.  As a Christian it is my duty to uphold life.  I told her life is a gift from God.  It is His to give and His to take.  For all you know,  this child can be the next Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs is adopted), ok a little bit far fetched but that is what new beginnings promise.  A promise of hope,  that things may just get better.

My rah-rah speech didn't work though.  She got her entire salary and bought tens of medicines from Quiapo.  2 weeks after she bleeds a little but ultra sound shows the baby is doing very well.  Now God's voice is heard loud and clear.  She is keeping the baby and we are keeping her until her 6th month.  All is well for now,  when the child is born and she has to feed it already is another story.   And I hope it will be a good one.

Budget Meals for our Household Help

photo by dbgg1979

Yahoo! I finally got myself a nanny after 1 month!  And I got 2 in a day!  What can I say,  when it rains, it pours.  I think nowadays a reserve helper is necessary considering how fickle minded they are.

Now I have 3 helpers and 1 driver.  For lunch,  it’s only me left at home with all 4 of them so I have to come up with budget meals that can feed all 5 of us.  For dinner, they eat what our whole family eats.

For starters,   [Read more...]