What’s the fuss over the ‘yaya’ meal? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

ANOTHER week begins. Many people consider Sunday the first day of the week, and I rather like that. Officially, however, it is Monday that starts the business week around the world. And we therefore have so many blue Monday jokes and stories; even songs. Remember “Rainy Days and Mondays (always get me down)?”


But yes, Sunday is good for me. Somehow it helps that I come into the week, fresh from church, rested and thoroughly blessed. It puts an extra spring in my step. God knows I need that.


How hot is it?


Although I didn’t look forward to howling winds from Typhoon “Chedeng” last week, it seemed like almost a boost to think it would rain, at least enough to quench the arid earth and cool it some, but it didn’t. In Alabang we had a light drizzle one evening. That was all.


Of course we thank God that Chedeng fizzled before it could cause much harm, and we did have a splendid Easter weekend. There was even a little cloud cover, making it bearable to be outdoors. But the sun is back with a vengeance. It is summer, after all.


What’s in the news?


This past week, I read with some amusement about the “yaya meals” in Balesin. It has been discussed no end on all forms of media so I won’t bother to go into detail. But really, what’s the fuss all about?


Discriminatory? That’s a little too much. I have never been to Balesin. Someone suggested calling it a “budget meal.” But in such an expensive and exclusive resort, wouldn’t the term “budget” be a little out of place?


I would be thrilled to see a yaya meal or a cheaper meal by any other name on the menu, anywhere.


Our graduating class of “19-forgotten” gets together every quarter. It is a tradition we have faithfully kept, and seeing old classmates is always reason to rejoice. More so is remembering who they are. I have suggested we start wearing nametags, but many of us are in denial. And so we sometimes stare blankly into each other’s faces with big question marks in our eyes. But that’s okay, too.


I digress.


Many members of ’49 now have caregivers or companions.   They watch that we don’t take a tumble and make sure we remember our medications. And yes, they do the chores of yaya, too.


We usually go to Saisaki-Kamayan for their delicious buffet and are given special rates in addition to our senior discounts. But they have no yaya meals. So whoever brings a helper needs to pay for two lunches. Considering our fixed (or no) incomes, it can be quite a splurge.


Maybe Kamayan and other establishments will want to add this feature to their menu. They can call it whatever they wish. For our group, why not call it a bonus or a blessing meal. Or since the yayas are normally young women who accompany very senior citizens, could they maybe call it a “junior meal”?


Perhaps the members-only posh Balesin just didn’t pick the right term. I believe that their heart was in the right place when they did this one. But it has backfired big time.


Maybe there is a better way to promote this economy meal. Never mind that it was because of an idea advanced by the members themselves that the option was offered at all. Perhaps the “y” word was the mistake.


But to cry “discrimination” is a little extreme. It brings to mind the words of American writer Anthony J. D’Angelo, “If you believe that discrimination exists, it will.”


But once again the group known as the “netizens” has found something to rant about, a new bone to chew. For this reason I don’t think this situation will die a natural death any time soon. More’s the pity. There are so many more important things to consider.


Will they blame the government for this, too? Just asking.


Did you notice?


In spite of the solemnity of Holy Week there was no relief from haters and bashers online. It is unnerving to witness the indiscriminate and systematic way they rip their victims apart and cut them to ribbons. How did tearing deep gashes into the fabric of someone’s good name become high entertainment? These people claim to cry for justice, for the truth. Give me a break!


I wonder. Did these men and women, who must make a good living doing what they do, stop in their hate campaign long enough to notice the horror of the Kenya massacre?


I haven’t seen calls for prayers for the victims’ families, on- or offline. I haven’t read expressions of shock at the gory scenes on the news. Even our sensation-seeking news programs seem to have shrugged it off.


Have we become so callous, that we see the images of horror yet we continue to scroll and remain unmoved? Would we rather snicker and sneer than pause and pray or even shed a tear? It makes me shudder to think that we have grown so unfeeling. And it frightens me to ask why.


You want to cry discrimination? For goodness’ sake, don’t waste your breath on a slip in the menu. It is just a wrong choice of words, easily corrected. A little edit—that’s all.


But pray tell, how do we change the state of our hearts?



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