I must admit that the first time I read about the “yaya’s meal” at Balesin, through an article about Maggie Wilson’s fb post (and then through other articles), I felt sad. And the oft-reposted quote on fb, among many other issues and sentiments, came to mind, “You are not nice if you are not nice to the waiter.” It touched a raw nerve in me, knowing how depressing and hurtful it could be to be on the receiving end of condescencion and of outright discrimination – not just by the originators/promulgators but by those who are tasked to enforce/implement acts/policies that mirror these.
To Balesin’s credit, it tried to explain the circumstances that surrounded Maggie’s unpleasant discovery of the yaya’s meal, even as Balesin seemed to have offered as a sacrificial lamb, one of its employees who presumably was a newbie and ergo, did not handle the situation with as much aplomb as Balesin would want it, or was not trained or immersed enough in the ways of the wealthy at Balesin.
But in my humble opinion, no explanation will suffice to cover the fact that with the yaya’s meal, there is the manifest discrimination in the middle of it all – and if Balesin claims it has been there at the behest of the members, then it is complicit in such discrimination.
Based on the articles I read, this discriminatory malpractice is not the monopoly of Balesin it seems; other so-called rich enclaves such as the Manila Polo Club and the Icon Residences were name-dropped to have similar discriminatory policies. And for sure, there are other places that have similar policies in place that we have yet to read about. If you go by the insinuations in other articles, the presence or implementation of discriminatory policies against “the help” is an “open secret”.
There are the justifications for certain. But however logical or practical they maybe, I still can’t shake off my sad sentiment regarding this reality – that a classless society is as much a myth as a paperless one, no matter how modern and supposedly advanced we become.