Tag Archives: housemaids


imageMANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – History has taught us about the racial prejudices of decades past. Are we better off now than those days when drinking faucets were segregated between whites and colored people, or when Filipinos were barred from entering establishments in America?

The big news this Easter weekend in the Philippines was the discovery of the yaya meal, served exclusively to nannies at the members-only luxurious resort at Balesin island, just miles from Manila.

But discrimination based on class or economic status is more pervasive than what was revealed in Balesin.

For our Easter Sunday edition, we feature a photo essay about social discrimination happening everywhere — in resorts, corporate offices, private condominiums, and yes, even in the U.S. Congress.

We let the photos speak for themselves. (Where available, we included links to corresponding narratives. Simply click on the image/photo.)

Yaya meal
Use service elevators
Use service elevators
Executives only
Welcome, Senators and Representatives; all others, please take the stairs
Welcome, Senators and Representatives; all others, please take the stairs


FullSizeRender (12)Makati, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – In the Philippines, as in many countries, there are three classes of people — rich, middle class, and poor.  The gap between and among these three classes has all but widened over many decades.

But finally, Filipino housemaids and drivers have earned their own class distinction.  While they are free to interact with the rich, they are not allowed in the same elevators with their employers or bosses. They either have to use service elevators, if available, or use the stairwell.

This new social class has emerged as the Philippines continues to experience an infrastructure boom, especially in condominium buildings.

Many condominiums in Makati and other Philippine metropolitan areas have implemented a policy barring housemaids, drivers and contractors from using elevators reserved for condo owners and tenants.

FullSizeRender (13)The new class system surfaced after a memorandum from a condo property manager was posted on Facebook. The memo, addressed to unit owners and tenants, stated:

“We would like once again to request all Unit Owners and Tenants to remind their household employees, i.e., drivers, housemaids, outside contractors, to strictly use the Service Elevator only.”

“The administration office has had a number of enquiries from owners in the building on why helpers are using the Passenger Elevators when only Unit Owners/Tenants and their guests are allowed to the Passenger Elevators.”

Apparently, this is a common practice in many condos in Metro Manila.

Overjoyed with their newly-attained class status, housemaids and drivers have expressed relief that finally, they are being afforded the special recognition they have long clamored for.