8 Things The Pinoy Nanny
Brings Into Every Household
Whether as an OFW or otherwise, the Pinay nanny is definitely one of the unsung heroines of our nation. From being surrogate parents to functionally the gatekeeper of generations upon generations of kids all over the world, it is a noble and admirable job—as well as a serious responsibility.
That said, whether in Manila, Cebu, Davao, Hong Kong, Dubai or anywhere else, a household with a Pinay nanny is inevitably influenced by her, for all the good and awkward things that entails. Antony Bourdain himself lately shared the deep and remarkable ways that their Pinay nanny has impacted their lives. It’s a story that is mirrored practically around the world. Here are just some of the things that a Pinay nanny brings to a household.
At the core of it, the Filipino is a musical person. Being in a home away from home just amplifies that about us, and it becomes especially noticeable when she sings to herself while doing her chores with a smile on her face. The Pinay nanny brings with her the songs and lullabies of the country, as well as those specific to the province she’s from.
For better or for worse, a generation of kids has an unnatural fear of eating fruit seeds and getting cut. If that didn’t come from our parents, guess where those superstitions came from.
6. Sacrifice, Frugality and Generosity all rolled into one
No one works as a nanny for career fulfillment. Although the Pinay will pour her heart and soul into it, sometimes even begrudging herself some days of rest just to earn a little bit more. It’s the earning that matters. She puts her body and happiness on the line to earn and ultimately to provide for her family back home. She sacrifices her present needs and desires for someone else’s future, her children’s. As Antony Bourdain noted with real bewilderment, the Pinay nanny will skimp and save her money and hoard every useful and reusable bit–not for herself–but to send it all home!
5. Christmas spirit
For most kids, Christmas is just about Santa. For most Pinay nannies, it’s a time to be with their families, and you always hear about how happy they were to be with family once they come back. It’s heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time.
Christmas being the holiday Filipinos treasure the most, the Pinay nanny infects her employer/household with an anticipation of season–which begins way ahead in September.
If she’s from a certain province, her province’s cuisine goes with her, more often than not. Imagine how your fried chicken recipe would radically change whenever it goes through the watchful eye of the nanny. Adobo probably owes its international appreciation less to Pinoy chefs than to nannies.
3. Their fandoms
In other countries, the fact that the Filipino is all smiles in the face of poverty and adversity is downright maddening. Most of them cannot fathom where such natural cheerfulness comes from in the midst of a nanny’s daily manual grind. Little do they know that their Pinay nanny is sustained nay, fortified, by the sheer vicarious delight of following her idols. She lives her fantasies in them and is inspired by their success. She shares this enthusiastic adulation freely and fiercely when she gets comfy with her employer-family. Before they know it, Pinay nannied households–even in Singapore–are tainted by the wonders of Piolo Pascual and AlDub.
2. Their values
These are non-negotiables, too. It doesn’t matter if you’re a progressive household where kids are raised in a non-religious manner. When the nanny says grace, they say grace. Spirituality is just the most obvious. It’s safe to say that most western kids raised by Pinay nannies are a little less sassy to the parents than their culture permits, mainly because they’ve been “tainted” with Filipino traditional deference to elders.
1. Their roots
Wherever she is in the Philippines, she is a lady from her province.
Wherever she is in the world, she is a Filipina.
These are non-negotiables. She may admire the opulence of another country but never loses her longing for her native land. She will quickly pick up the language but never lose her accent. She will adapt to and master the culture and nuances of other people but her heart adamantly clings to her traditions and beliefs as a Filiipina. She will sing praises for the land of her employment and love it for the opportunity it affords her. But she lives and breathes for that happy day to be home.
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