Teroy the driver, aka The Silent Impregnator, tried to be a construction worker but his body couldn’t take it. He now toils on a jeepney, chasing “boundaries.” Marina and Monching hocked their house and lost it. I now refuse to be sucked in to their sad stories.
But! One of their brothers, Daffy, who took over their father as a farm keeper, came to me after New Year and said he also wanted to build a house because they found an empty lot. I gave him a sum that I knew was not enough but I thought that if they give their “equity” into it and not squander the money on gin bulag, they’d be good. I also told Daffy to report for work as one of the gardeners at home. That was the last I saw of his ghost. Enough of the Artemios!
Based on the comments regarding my past “Marites” columns, Filipinos who hire kasambahay share either the same puzzlement over or judgment of how they think or behave. They are unable or refuse to see ahead. They always want to seize the day! Even if you treat them as part of family, their loyalties are shaky. Come crunch time, you will still wonder where they will stand. Their women are gullible for love. There is a huge number of “unwanted” pregnancies.
They change spouses so easily that religious leaders and law makers should revisit the policies, laws, or the concepts even, on marriages and disentanglements. Must the realities “on the ground” dictate these so-called canons or has there been a failure of espousing the Word on the sanctity of coupling?
We must be reminded that the kasambahay, kasama, katulong, DH or whatever you might want to label the workers who help us run homes are part and parcel of a class that continue to struggle with their lot and are imprisoned by it. Alam yan ng mga trapo. Alam din yan ng mga ibang religious leaders. They exploit and reinforce these people’s fear and ignorance to perpetuate themselves in power and in wealth. That is why their votes f*ck up the ideals of democracy.
Whether we admit it or not, the Philippines is still retains its ancient class stratification. There is the maharlika - made up of rich and the politicians - and the alipins, the slaves. I bear no shame that I belong to the class of neither here nor there, but are just disruptors. The ones who snowballed the revolution against Spain, the dictatorship, and attempted to rise with those in the laylayan. Was it with naivete?
Not everything is hopeless, though. There are those who do rise. Last year, our utility boy Jason left us after more than 6 years of service. Months before he said that he was leaving at the end of December. That was so proper and gracious of him. His performance never faltered on those last months. He made sure that the tools – from the garden shears to the power spray to the floor polisher -were in order.
He was so masinop, with his salaries, bonuses, and profit shares intact. He was able to redeem his father’s farm from lenders and bought himself a motorbike, with which he will build a tricycle to start a livelihood. He finally found a girl he will marry. We guess he will be true to her ‘til death to them part.