Saturday, October 4, 2008

Korina meets Yaya Nanay

Korina meets “Yaya Nanay”
Sun.Star Davao, Oct. 4, 2008

At 10:00 in the evening last September 29, 2008, Salvacion Porcel a.k.a. Nanay got the biggest surprise of her life.

A writer for ABS-CBN’s top rating TV show “Rated K” called up Nanay on the phone and informed her that she will be interviewed by multi-awarded broadcast journalist and TV host Korina Sanchez the following afternoon.

“Rated K is an informative magazine show which features human interest stories and no-holds barred interviews with interesting personalities. Ms. Korina showcases her specialty in news gathering and presentation as she goes to all places wherever there is a story that needs to be told and sits down with various people from all walks of life to hear their stories and views about anything under the sun.” (Source:

Too stunned, Nanay agreed to do the interview but when she woke up the next day, the 64-year old nanny panicked and ended up crying, expressing in the vernacular, “Oh no! What will I tell Ms. Korina?!”.

Nanny search

I first met Nanay when I was looking for Davao’s version of Yaya Luring, Sharon Cuneta’s much-celebrated Mega Yaya. The type who has the distinction of becoming so attached to her ward that she is considered a family member and tends to grow old with them.

That time, Maricel Soriano’s dramatic movie, “Inang Yaya”, was about to be shown and the 1st National Yaya’s Day was declared last November 29, 2006.

In my article entitled “Yaya Nanay” last December 2, 2006, I shared, “For working mothers like me, having an efficient, hardworking and compassionate yaya is on top of my wish list. She is a busy mother’s strongest ally in the Filipino home. A trusted and loving yaya acts as a surrogate mother, dependable help, and central figure of domestic harmony”.

“In my more than 6 years of married life, I had my unforgettable encounters with both admirable and dreadful yayas. Sometimes, due to reasons beyond our control, they leave our employ and our endless search for that elusive ideal yaya begins anew”, I added.

A few names were recommended to me but it was the story of Nanay which struck me the most. Nanay has been taking care of my good friend Jennifer Dakudao Dumlao’s cousins for almost 30 years.

In fact, the selfless yaya’s tale was so touching that a lot of readers voted for “Yaya Nanay” as one of their most favorite articles during my column’s first year anniversary last November 2007.

“Yaya Nanay” revisited
Here are excerpts from my “Yaya Nanay” article:

“Nanay started working for Bobby and his late wife Lea Dakudao (nee Puentevella) in 1978. Originally from Silay City, Negros Occidental, Nanay was 34 years old when she was hired to look after the Dakudaos’ then one-year old son, Roro.

At the time Roro was 4 years old, Ryan was born. Five years later, Camille came into the picture. Nanay devotedly cared for all three of them.

When Mrs. Dakudao passed away in 1988, Camille was just over a year old and could barely walk and talk. Nanay recalls that it broke her heart every time Camille would cry and shout while looking for her mother. The devoted yaya acted as Camille’s surrogate mom while the child was growing up.

Mr. Dakudao re-married in 1994 and had a son named Billy with wife Katrina Estepa. Again, it was Nanay who dotingly took care of the new baby.

“An effective yaya loves her ward as her own children, palangga dapat. I buy things and food for my “alaga” even with my own money”, Nanay imparts. Sadly, she observes that the new generation of yayas do not have that same bond with their “alagas”.

“Minsan ang ibang yaya, walang pasensiya sa bata, madaling magalit at mabilis umalis sa trabaho”, Nanay notices.

Asked if she has plans of going back to her hometown during her sunset years, Nanay, who remains to be single, answered “Mababait sila sa akin dito. Kung umuwi ako sa Silay, ma-mingaw ako sa Davao at mga alaga ko.” Because her parents are already deceased, Nanay feels that she has no more reason to permanently live in Silay.

Truly, for this remarkable yaya, home is where the heart is.”

Korina meets “Yaya Nanay”
Just like me, it turns out that the creative team of “Rated K” has been looking for someone like Nanay for quite a while. So, when they chanced upon “Yaya Nanay” in my blog ( where I post my Sun.Star Davao articles, they got in touch with Nanay and I.

During the shooting at the Dakudao residence, the TV crew arrived ahead of Ms. Korina to set up the lights and camera.

As expected, Nanay felt extremely anxious and when the family reminded her to converse in Tagalog and refrain from speaking in Ilonggo, her nervousness tripled!

When Ms. Korina entered the house, everyone was star struck. She was even prettier, slimmer and younger-looking in person.

As Ms. Korina fired away her questions, a very self-conscious Nanay initially replied with a flat “yes” or “no”. She was then encouraged to expound her answers and as the minutes passed by, Nanay became more comfortable during the interview. She laughed and cried as she shared her inspiring story to Ms. Korina.

After the interview, we had a quick photo session with Ms. Korina who had to rush to the airport that evening to catch her flight. She had to be in Manila to do another interview before proceeding to the ABS-CBN studio for her late night “Bandila” news show where she is one of the anchors. Superwoman, indeed!

I congratulated Nanay for a job well done and teased her, “Naku, ‘Nay, sikat ka na talaga, hindi lang pang local newspaper, pang national TV na!”.

ABS-CBN’s “Rated K” is shown every Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

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