Sunday, December 4, 2011


Parts lifted from an old facebook album

This is me and my Yaya Kit when I was four years old. 

        I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to someone who has a very special place in my heart. This is the woman that changed my diaper when I was a baby. She took me to school when I was a child and waited for me until the bell rang. She would cook me my favorite meal upon request. Plain and simply, she took care of me. I wouldn't be the man I am today without her unconditional love and selfless nurturing. Who is she, you ask?

          She's my Yaya.

30 years later, not much has changed. 

          First of all, I want to make it clear that my Mother and Father did a wonderful job of raising as well. However, as it is common in Filipino families, my Yaya (sorta like a "Nanny" for you Fran Drescher fans, or "Governess" for you "Sound of Music" ones), played an integral part in my growing years. 

Me and my yaya..  Yes this is in the 70's

          My sister would tell me stories about how my Yaya Kit would take me to class when we were living in Hawaii (I was in the first grade), and the moment she would leave me, i would be kicking and screaming because I didn't want to leave her. I remember It wasn't so much that I was afraid to be alone, it was more i didn't want HER to be alone at home. I remember every time I got out of class i would race out and jump into her arms before we went home. forget my friends.. i wanted to see my yaya.

This was the moment I proposed to Rina. 
I had to drag her out of the kitchen to join us outside because
 I had no intention of proposing without her there
(Third from the right)

       Practically every major event in my life growing up, she witnessed. My baptism, First Holy Communion, Cub Scouts induction.. Grade School and High School Graduation.. She was there. Hell, she took care of my eldest sister Raqs, then Rose, then me, then my brother Ryan, then Cara, my sisters daughter. Before that, she would chaperone my mom on dates with my dad. That's three generations of service right there. That kind of loyalty is very hard to find nowadays.

My dad's Birthday at Yakimix 2011.. 

I remember when I was in High School, I was walking around the mall in Cebu with my arm around my Yaya. A few older kids from my school saw me with her. Naturally, the next day, they started teasing me about still having a Yaya. But for some reason, it didn't bother me. I just told them, "Guys, she was never too ashamed to wipe my butt when I was a kid. I'm never going to be ashamed of her now that I'm older."

At Crystal Jade for Ryan's "Graduation" 2011

      I'm already going on to my mid-30's but now whenever someone calls me a "Yaya's" boy, all i can say is "And Proud of it".

My Wedding 2008

         When my brother and I were children, we would fight for our Yaya's attention. The three of us would sleep in one big bed together, and if in the middle of the night, one of us would wake up and see our Yaya facing the other, you can expect a fight between my brother and I, first thing in the morning. Over the years though, things have clearly changed. I'm the favorite of my Yaya and Ryan is the favorite of my mom. Case in point: 

       A couple of weeks back, when Rina and I were staying in my folks place because Rain was just born, I asked Yaya to mend a pair of my favorite house shorts for me. The hole in it was so huge, you could actually see both of my butt cheeks whenever I wear it (I have the pictures to prove it, but you don't want to see it, trust me). A day later, she gave it back to me with a huge patch on the butt. When I showed it to my brother, I was expecting a laugh from him. Instead, I got an incredulous look. I asked him what was the matter, and he explodes and says, "SHE USED MY GOOD SHORTS TO PATCH UP YOUR RATTY OLD ONES!!!!"

 The "Yaya of Honor" hehe

      She probably will never see this (I sincerely doubt she has a facebook account), but nevertheless i wanted to be able to show you all how much I appreciate everything she has done for me. 

December 2011.. The baby is now a Daddy to a beautiful Baby girl.. 
but deep down he's still a Yaya's Boy. 

          Now, I'm a grown man, soon it's going to be my turn to take care of her. Whenever she needs medicines for whatever ailments she has, I tell her to let me know. Considering everything she has gone through, everything she has given up for me and my family, a few tablets of Alaxan or the like a week is a small price to pay, but Yaya Kit being Yaya Kit, she lets pride get in the way, and tells me not to worry about her.

      Something that I'm really happy about, however, is that she got to meet my daughter Rain. Whenever Rain does something cute like burp or fart, Yaya Kit is quick to whip up an anecdote from my past. I don't mind, because Rina gets a kick out of it, and you can tell Yaya loves telling the stories. 

     I'm thankful to have had a wonderful mother and father who provided for me when I was growing up. I'm lucky to have had an amazing set of siblings that formed a sturdy support system through the years.

    And with all that, as a Child, God blessed me with an amazing, caring, and dedicated Yaya, that is still with me to this very day.

Happy Birthday Yaya! I love you!


  1. That's so sweet! I understand the way you feel about your yaya! Can relate! :) Happy birthday to your Yaya Kit!

  2. kakatouch naman! happy birthday to your yaya kit, too! :)

  3. Thanks Guys.. I got senti nga writing this last night hehe..

  4. This is just so sweet.. Nakakaiyak. Happy birthday to your Yaya Kit! :)

  5. Hi Richie! Love this post, very heartwarming! I hear you, we have our own Yaya Kit =) She's been with the family for 50 years now. We are indeed fortunate and grateful to have somebody like them to be part of our family. Glad both our "Yaya Kits" got the chance to see and be with our princesses =)

    1. Thank you Ana :)

      Very true.. It meant the world to me that my yaya can hold my daughter in her arms too, the way she held me :)

      Much love to your yaya and pretty Zola :)

  6. Namiss ko tuloy yaya ko when iread your article. Im already 36 yo, with 3 kids of my own.

    1. There should be an official "Yaya's Day", dontya think?

  7. So sweet! You're one-of-a-kind Richie! Very few people I know would honor their yaya the way you do.

    1. Thanks Inaki.. Yayas are the unsung heroes in our lives :)

  8. so lucky to have a good and loyal yaya ah! Nowaways, its difficult to have a good employ like those

  9. i can super relate to your article, Richie! Our yaya has been with us for 32 years, and her loyalty, compassion and love for our family has gone even beyond what she has given her own family (she's unmarried because of us haha!). We can never, ever find yayas like ours in this day and time, so I am also taking care of her needs as she has always taken care of mine. happy birthday to your Yaya, and i will pray for her good health!

    1. Same Millicent! We were both blessed :) Thank you so much!

  10. awwwww so sweet. one of my favorite posts. :)

    1. Thank you Dyna! One of mine too.. and to think, there's no food in it! hehe

  11. Love this!! :) this got me teary eyed!



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