AFTER gaining such mileage for being the resort du jour for fancy weddings and exclusive pictorials (READ: the Senator Chiz Escudero-Heart Evangelista nuptials) – the kind that makes you wonder if it’s even in the Philippines at all – Balesin Island Resort has gotten the kind of press any business for the wealthy and elite would love.
Or hate. As the resort’s press release has inadvertently asked: What is this hullaballoo?
One can believe that it’s been going on for a while, Balesin offering its members meal options for the yayas they bring along on their vacations at the exclusive resort. And certainly it is believable that the members themselves asked that these options be made available, because while we’d like to think that our yayas will like the fancy food that we like, it’s also possible that they’d rather have simpler Pinoy fare like adobo and bangus.
Of course, the truth is, some of us would also rather have simpler Pinoy fare.
And this is how the yaya meal actually came to be revealed: someone not-a-yaya, wanted the same meal that was served the yaya. She was told that it was not for her, that she couldn’t order it even.
That was the mistake that opened a can of worms. It could be that the waiter did not know how to deal with such a question, rare as it is that anyone would want the adobo meal over whatever’s on the menu. Or maybe even rarer, having a yaya eating her meals accompanied by her alaga and her alaga’s grandmother.
Whatever the reason for this grand reveal, it took one Maggie Wilson-Consunji, beauty queen and model, to take offense and get Balesin the mileage it does not quite want or need. Of course she got it wrong the first time: her yaya could order anything on the menu, but no one else could order the yaya meal. Too, she says, the mere existence of the yaya meal was offensive.
Because apparently when we sell exclusivity we don’t think elitism; and when we speak of the wealthy and the rich, we’d rather not imagine those who serve them.