Monday, April 6, 2015

Balesin Yaya Meals: It's How You Think Of It

I just came from Balesin a few days ago and with my family with my 9-month old baby and his yaya. Without her, me and wife couldn't have enjoyed our quick vacation. We appreciate our yaya's help and never did I degrade or look at her as a lower class citizen. In fact, we provide everything she might need for the trip, up to the slippers she will wear. Also, as a privilege of "working" for us, she gets to go free of charge with pay.

As soon as we got home that day from Balesin, I saw an article in ABSCBN by Coconuts Manila. We never experienced that and in fact, the yaya personally appreciates having yaya meals. Why? Because it has rice. Not all restaurants in Balesin has yaya meals though. When we went to Toscana the other night, there were none. I had to travel to Phuket clubhouse to get her meal. The new Korean restaurant (opened April 2,2015) called Han Gang also doesn't have but you can order from the other restaurant in the main Balesin clubhouse. Yaya wouldn't appreciate eating some uncooked fish from a Japanese restaurant. In fact, I've read a blog about a certain yaya (also in Balesin), throwing up because she was served salmon and the employer ate the same thing and said it was great.

Is the issue here about the name "yaya meal"? To tell you the truth, there is nowhere in the menu can you see yaya's meal written. It was just understood as that and both sides, the customer and the wait staff understood what it was. If you read the article again, you'll realize that the main issue was her mother not being allowed to order a yaya meal and not the yaya can't order any other meals except the yaya meal. The yaya can buffet or order other expensive meals but the employer can't. The fact remains that Balesin earns a lot from their restaurants so they cannot call it "regular meal" lest all customers order that meal. Each full meal averages 700 - 1500 per person. For example, a small thin-crust margherita pizza costs P450. The price is not bad but that won't make you full. For the pasta, a bolognese spaghetti will cost you P500 pesos. To give you an idea of the dessert price, a 4-pc churros with chocolate and cinnamon dip will cost you around P300.

My take on this entire brouhaha. If it was called a businessman's meal, CEO's meal, teacher's meal, whatever profession meal, it wouldn't have the same effect. It's all in the point of view of the person if he/she thinks a yaya is a degrading profession.

Mind you, the so-called yaya meals aren't the cheapest also. A 3-pc breaded chicken with rice from Costa Del Sol costs P350 pesos. Each village has different meals that is also "in-theme" with the village restaurant you are in.

It's how some people think of it that is causing the issue. I'm sure Balesin is thanking a lot of people for all that free publicity because it really is a non-issue if you have a wide enough and open mind.

Do check out my previous Balesin articles while I write about my recent trip a few days back.

Here's what to expect:
Tips when going to Balesin
Things to do in Balesin
New Stuff in Balesin

Previous articles/ photo blogs:
Balesin 2015 special
Mykonos Village
Phuket Village
St. Tropez Village
Costa Del Sol Village
Balesin Village: Clubhouse
Bali Village
Balesin Spa & Sports Center
Introduction to Balesin

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gemwork said...

If i read the Consunji story right, the issue may have started when the mother ordered for the food that the nanny was having and was told that she couldn't have it because it was a "yaya's meal". Mrs. Consunji resented the label as discriminatory. What wasn't written or omitted was how the mother had her meal eventually.

Roger Feir said...

@Chef Tonio concoct ka na ng Yaya Meal. No marketing needed. Viral na eh

animetric said...


donjzzz said...

dont buy second hand. brand new are cheaper in the long run.

ron said...

Chef is obviously missing the whole point. This issue has a stench of discrimination all over it and justifying it only made it more miserable.