Saturday, June 21, 2008

I love you, Yaya!

“I love you, Yaya!”
Sun.Star Davao, June 21, 2008

Over 11 years ago, mompreneur, multi-awarded actress and Huwarang Inang awardee Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan made the crucial decision to become a hands-on mom to her firstborn baby, Ella.

“During our walks in the village and playtimes at the park, I noticed that several yayas (nannies) had many practices in childrearing that I didn’t agree with. I struggled to keep quiet with the latter but at the same time, I tried to share bits and pieces of advice to those who seemed eager to learn”, recounts Maricel who has three other wonderful children, Donny, Hannah and Benjamin.

The celebrity mom continues that she knew that the “yayas were genuinely concerned with their wards but just didn’t really have much guidance on how to care for them with a bigger perspective in mind”.

“I love you, Yaya!”

With the expert help of The Center for Early Childhood Care and Development, Maricel began developing and eventually, conducting the highly successful and in-demand “I Love You, Yaya!” seminar program.

The one-day training workshop for child caregivers and first time mothers aims to “empower and equip caregivers with basic knowledge and skills to create a healthy and holistic environment where the child can maximize his potentials in different aspects of life”.

For the last nine years, the said program evolved to include the expertise of Maricel’s sisters-in-law Dr. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao, Felichi Pangilinan-Buizon and various professionals from diverse fields on child care. The enlightening seminar has been conducted to yayas of celebrity kids, high profile families as well as in countless schools and corporations.

“We feel that the seminars have made some contribution in appropriately rearing our future generations by training the yayas who care for them. But that is only the beginning. Many families have yet to be reached and many lives still wait to be transformed”, shares Maricel who is a supportive wife to BusinessWorks, Inc. president and chief trainer Anthony Pangilinan.

Thus, Maricel, Dr. Donna and Felichi came up with the “I Love You, Yaya” Handbook (P499). 

The must-have yaya training manual for both caregivers and employers is a two-part Tagalog-English reference book containing “informative articles on hiring, training, and nurturing caregivers, as well as practical guides on first aid for children, common illnesses, developmental milestones, and even fighting stress”.

In addition, the yayas can listen to the trainers themselves as the book comes with two audio CDs discussing the lectures in the handbook.

Vital employer and yaya topics

With permission from the publisher, The Parenting Company, I am sharing to you an excerpt from the article entitled “Delegate” by Dr. Donna Pangilinan-Simpao, one of the many educational topics from the “I Love You, Yaya” Handbook:

In delegating tasks to yayas, parents need to do the following:

DECIDE-Decide on what tasks can be delegated. This enables you to focus on more important tasks and maximizes you and your yaya’s energy.

EMPOWER-Before delegation, you need to empower with close training and supervision. They need to do it right according to your standards.

LEAD-It’s hard to delegate tasks that we are unfamiliar with. We need to lead by example.

ENTRUST-At some point, you need to learn to entrust. You are the judge of the readiness of the helper to be left on her own.

GUARD AGAINST OVER DELEGATION-There are tasks which are best done by a mother or father such as bonding with kids through bedtime storytelling, saying prayers together, disciplining a child and school programs and activities.

ANTICIPATE MISTAKES AND ERRORS-Nobody is perfect. If the error does not put the child or family in danger, make way for second chances.

TRAIN CONTINUALLY-There will always be areas to improve in homemaking and childrearing. Continue imparting knowledge and skills to your helpers.

EMPATHIZE- Make it a habit to occasionally put yourself in your helper’s shoes. Ask yourself: “Were my instructions clear? Did I show them how to do it? Did I use hurtful words in correcting the errors in the tasks I assigned them to do? Did I expect too much?”.

“The tips I have given form the word DELEGATE. I have found it such a powerful tool in making life a little less complicated and more relaxing”, enthuses Dr. Donna.

Other essentials topics in the handbook include “A Guide to Partnering With Our Yayas”, “Yaya: Your Organization Buddy”, “Helping our Helpers Help Themselves”, “Love Your Kasambahay”, “Alternatives to TV Viewing”, “Good Yaya Manners”, “Health, Hygiene, and Orderliness for Child Caregivers”, “Basic Nutrition”, and many more.

The “I Love You, Yaya” Handbook is available at The Master's Library located at the Victory Center, 4th floor, Robinson's Galleria. For more information, e-mail

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