Yaya please

For centuries, developing countries have had their economic and political centers spilling from the melting pot capital cities. The jobs, the infrastructure, the educational institutions—people from other provinces did everything in their power to either make their way there, or get their children in the door.

This meant labor was cheap, especially child care and household help. With the promise of gainful employment for even those undereducated, well-to-do families in the capital rarely wanted for probinsyanas to cook their meals and clean their homes, or probinsyanos to drive their cars and tend their gardens. Even middle-class homes could usually afford one or two yayas to help around the house.

And they say it takes a village to raise a child.

Yaya Nonette came. As the youngest, most precocious of four—who refused to sit still for a single mouthful at mealtime—I needed a little extra attention. By the time I was going to school and being regularly complimented for my manners, Yaya had proven to be and a gifted . My home was always unconventional. And though I no longer required to be chased with a spoon full of rice and , Yaya stayed on, learning to cook from my father.

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