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Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me

rj ledesmaI am trying to recall the lies that my yaya (caregiver/babysitter) often told me while at the book launch of RJ Ledesma’s Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me. The book Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me is not actually a listing of lies told by RJ’s yaya but rather, RJ Ledesma’s Imaginary Guide to Whine and Women. I can’t help but reminisce over these lies as told by my yaya:

1. if you don’t behave, the mumu (ghost) will get you.
2. there, there, the ghost is there…behave now.
3. Don’t sleep with your hair wet, you will get blind.
4. That old woman across the street is buang (crazy), and she will kidnap you if you cry.
5. Close your eyes now…Sleep… or else the ghost will appear. sige…sige

And so on and so forth as the yaya taunts me to scaredom. The theme often centered around a ghostly apparition or crazy person. It was the yaya’s way of trying to discipline me. Maybe I was a naughty kid. I don’t know. Or she didn’t know any better.

When I showed the book to the girls, I asked them if their yaya ever told them lies. In deep thought, Lauren shook her head, “I don’t recall any lies”. Ah, so I taught their yayas well. I faintly remember giving instructions to their yaya never to relate false stories or lies. Or watching TV soap operas in front of the girls.

Try to use logic and reason, I’d lecture the yayas. If a kid got cranky, bored or tired, I used alternative play activities. The yayas didn’t have to resort to scary tactics to discipline my adorable kids. Besides, as a stay-at-home mom, my kids never had to rely on the yaya to nurture their emotional well-being. That made the task easier for the yaya and the helpers in my household.

As a mom, I trained the yaya, my unique philosophy of discipline and other child-rearing ideas. My yayas were fresh high school graduates, eager to be taught and learned quickly. I set the example of discipline and supervised closely so that whenever I had my breaks or went out of the house, they will know how to treat my kids in a loving manner.

Any lies your yaya should have told you?


book launchWhile at the book launch, I could not help feeling sad that Filipino authors often do not get a huge crowd on the day of their book launch. Mayor Binay, Senator Loren Legarda, Margie Moran, Millet Mananquil, Johnny Litton, Mo Twister and a whole lot of “Who’s Who” in Philippine society were probably there. Parental connections and a PR agency can go a long way in a successful launch of a book.

How many talented authors can avail of this opportunity to be published and better yet, have 1,000 books sold in less than two years?

Butch Dalisay mentioned the dismal sales of our Filipino literary books.

As a recent study by Prof. Patricia May Jurilla notes, ““the readership of Filipino literary books is not at all very wide. It is usually limited to a small circle that includes authors themselves indeed but also academics, critics, teachers, and students.” Editions are very small, at a standard 1,000 copies for a print run—in a country of 90 million people, most of whom are at least nominally literate, many in English and/or Filipino. Sales are slow, taking at least two years for 1,000 copies to sell out.

I hope Fortune Favors the Bald (FFtB), an alternative author’s company, with RJ Ledesma at the helm really gives writers a chance to showcase their craft. ““Our vision is to define FFtB as a new multimedia company that will bring in a lot of fresh new talent,” explains RJ Ledesma.

But look again…

FFtB is especially proud to announce that a particularly stellar ensemble of creative ingénues including renowned writer and fashionista Celine Lopez; comedian and TV host Tim Tayag; as well as fashion icon and eventologist Tim Yap are among the next big things for FFtB.

Tim Tayag, Tim Yap and Celine Lopez are very well-know personalities. I hope RJ Ledesma opens doors to fresh, talented and relatively unknown writers and not just celebrities.

Now if there should have been ONE lie my yaya should have told me, it is this : Read well, be a great writer and your books will be published and sold out in one day!

20 thoughts on “Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me”

  1. Hi Noemi! Thanks so much for plugging the book and the book launch:) And thanks for your additional yaya stories as well.

    Yes, we started of FFtB with Tim Yap, Celine Lopez and Tim Tayag because they were writers whom I could immediately touch base with. But I am also looking forward for non-traditional authors – bloggers, scriptwriters, comic book writers – to submit their work to us as well.

    And hopefully, through FFtB, we can give authors the type of recognition that they deserve.


  2. Will this be out in Cebu anytime soon?
    I remember what lies my maid told me so I can eat by myself without her Putting the spoon in my mouth lol She told me that If I never learn to eat by myself I will lose my hands hehe

  3. There’s this vacant lot near our house in Davao and the rich family owns it “park” their helicopter there. I was not really into afternoon naps and one day my Yaya told me “Sige ka! If you don’t sleep, the helicopter will take you!” I’ve been afraid of those things since! I always hide when I hear it coming from a distance…even when I was already in Grade 6! Can you believe that?

    LOL! I’m buying that book

  4. no. 3 and no. 5 — hahaha, yet i dont believe them now. my kids who dont have a yaya dont believe in ghosts, are not afraid of the dark and they are ok being left alone in a room to play; oops, here’s one pala from my yaya: if you dont behave, the bumbay will get you 😀

  5. it’s a good thing we weren’t raised that way because my parents were also strict with our yayas then to never scare us with lies like those. it really does a lot to a kid’s growing up experiences and how he relates to a lot of stuff 🙂 i’m making sure to do the same thing with my kid.

  6. this is cool.

    after tripping over, my tita checked if i acquired any flesh wounds. when she saw one, she said, “hala, may lalabas na paring pugot ang ulo sa sugat mo” (oh no, a beheaded preist will come out of your wound). because of that, i have always been careful not to cut myself when playing. It kinda worked. 🙂

  7. What about kukunin ka ng bumbay pag hindi ka behave?

    O, matulog ka na kundi papangit ka.

    Hahaha. This is fun.

    But here’s another take on yaya lies:

    My daughter’s yaya called my bratty bonch “bait” when she’s in grade school (much like calling the house mouse bait). Bait, halika na bait, ligo ka na bait, bihis ka na bait. It was a lie of course. But now that the bonch has grownn up, she has made true the lie. Almost bait na sya. (though not quite — haha)

  8. The most underhanded deviant of them all.
    Millet Martinez Mananquil.
    She trains and conditions her charges to be corrupt.
    She encourages them to be corrupt.
    She shows them how through her own dodgy acts of corruption.
    She allows ghost writers at the STAR.
    She allows them to be corrupt.
    She benefits a GREAT deal from their ‘cash for comment’ corruption.
    She teaches them how.
    She shows them the ropes.
    She is the proud grand Tita of EX DEALS.
    She gives them her special permission to be corrupt.
    Jail her!

    3. This woman’s electricity is also PR paid. Big time. This makes me most angry. When the vast majority of the Philippines is totally desperate for more money in ORDER TO PAY THEIR POWER BILLS… THIS person DEMANDS that her utilities are picked up by certain PR companies. And NOT just her bills, those of her family members as well. PROOF you ask for.
    SHE can prove she pays her own power bills. And she will have to.


    This practice is also VERY illegal in Australia and most other countries.
    PLEASE make this illegal in the Philippines.
    Because its only your average Filipinos who suffer under this type of cross pollination of promotion and journalism. They’re being fed lies and bullshit by a chronic double dipper.

    That’s you Queen Mum.

    You’re a scumbagette Millet, and you know it!

    4. SHE charges and gets to KEEP a HUGE portion of the fifty thousand pesos per half page of PR. WTF?

    5. This woman DEMANDS HUGE product swag bags twice monthly which she plans in advance. I’m told she FAXES her request lists to various merchants in Manila and they fill the bags with whatever she wants. She then RE-GIFTS the loot which ultimately makes her look good. She is a thief who should be placed in a MENS correctional facility.
    Gang Bang in cell block H!

    Now that would be a story worth buying that paper for.
    And then…. just!

    She is also notorious and famous for sending her little pack of minions (or her daughter who is also a super whore at the STAR) around Manila in her corruptly obtained BMW, to collect tons of free swag. This includes clothing, shoes, cosmetics, jewelery… FURNITURE and many other very expensive things. She gets all of this in exchange for positive coverage (or coverage PERIOD) in her rag of a paper.

    Who is this complete and utter disgrace to journalism?

    Who you ask?

    Well is MILLET MARTINEZ MANANQUIL of course.

    The Queen Mum of corruption at the STAR.
    That’s who.

  9. @brian- I am allowing this comment for now. I don’t know Millet. I just saw her when RJ Ledesma launched his book. I never got to talk to her. So these allegations are just that unless you have proof.

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