What is a Yaya Meal in Balesin? Well, it all started with a Facebook post from a former beauty queen, now fashion designer and model Maggie Wilson-Consunji when she claimed the exclusive high-end island resort Balesin denied her mother to order the same menu as her son’s nanny because it was a “Yaya’s meal”.

The British-Filipino described the “Yaya’s meal” as offensive and shocking, saying “Yayas, drivers, nanny’s, the help, they are all people too and they should also have a choice on what they want to eat! I was so shocked that the management actually allowed such a rule! I am disappointed in Balesin!”

Yaya Meal

Maggie Wilson-Consunji enraged over Balesin’s ‘yaya meal’.

Maggie Wilson-Consunji, who represented the Philippines in the 2007 Miss World beauty contest, initially reported the incident by the Coconuts Manila website on Black Saturday and picked up by major news organizations, and gave her full account of the incident on her Facebook account.

“My mom, Connor and his nanny, Nanay Belen, went to have a breakfast this morning. Our nanny ordered a meal and my mom wanted the same thing. The waiter said, ‘Oh, hindi pwede, kase that’s a yaya’s meal’! So when I checked the management, they said that they won’t stop the yayas from ordering what they want. Which is true because we were here for three days and not once was our nanny told she couldn’t order what she wanted. But they do however have a yaya’s meal; the waiter that served them was clearly not informed correctly“.

But still the fact that there are people who don’t want their yayas to eat whatever they want to is beyond me. Hence the resort having to offer a ‘yaya’s meal.’ I find that offensive“, said Wilson.

Actually, there are two types of Yaya’s meal in Balesin Island. Members can order the “Yaya meal” which is chicken or pork adobo with rice served in the main restaurants in the resort, or members can opt for a package that comes when availing a Yaya’s room. A member pays an extra P200 a day for the Yaya’s three meals in the employee’s cafeteria.

Despite of the incident, the wife of real estate mogul, Victor B. Consunji said that her family has been a member of Balesin for over a year now and this is the first time that it happened. She also said that the management of Balesin has already apologized for the way the waiters had addressed the meals.

I hold this true because again, we’ve been on the island multiple times and this is the first time this has happened“, she said. “Balesin is trying their best to appease and make all of its members happy and I understand that there are people who would rather have their help eat the ‘yaya’s or staff’s meal’ for whatever reason, but I still find that sad and offensive“, Wilson said.

The exclusive Balesin Island Club, the flagship project of Alphaland Corporation, is a 500-hectare tropical island paradise with 7.3 kilometers of pristine white-sand beaches. It was the venue for the lavish wedding reception of Senator Chiz Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista last Feb. 15.

Meanwhile, a member of Balesin Resort explained that the so-called “Yaya’s meal” was not meant to discriminate, but it is an accommodation to members, who request for a set of meal for nannies who don’t have time to join the buffet.

Is Yaya’s Meal a big deal? Well, I agree that Yaya’s meal is inappropriate and discriminating. Maybe because it sounds discriminatory, however, if Balesin called it something else than “Yaya’s Meal” to me it will help resolve this kind of misunderstanding.

It’s true that without our housemaids we’d be desperately helpless. So, I guess we should all consider them as people who help us out to make our life more convenient for us rather than slaves. Share your thoughts below.

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  1. Ofelia G. Reyes says:

    Do you know that Balesin Island is one of the Barangays of the Municipality of Polillo in Quezon Province? I noted that in the press releases I read there have been no mention about Balesin being located in the Municipality of Polillo. Balesin has a set of Barangay Officials elected by, and accountable to the residents and to the Municipality of Polillo, Quezon. The owner of the Island pays property tax in Polillo.

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