Fire Prevention Month PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 March 2018 13:38


BY Betty A. Elago

If you remember, I mentioned in one of my column about kasambahays  (house helpers) that we hire in our homes! I can relate to you about my experiences with my past helpers, and I think you will have similar experiences as I had with my helpers!

I’ll start with one who almost burned down our dirty kitchen, and if I left her alone. It would have burned down including the house! One day, while I was inside our bedroom with my husband, I heard frantic shouts, so I run out to see what was causing it. It shocked me to see a fire about a meter high burning the wood stove where my late mom in-law used to have her helper cook our food. However, this helper of mine wanted hot water, and so she started the fire. However, while she did other household chores, she had forgotten to watch her hot water, thus, the fire started! She panicked and started shouting. That’s where I came in, shocked as I was, I didn’t forget to use my head, and I told her to get the water hose right away and while she got the hose, I saw a big basin full of water, got it and poured it on the big fire. This made the fire smaller, and when she came back with the water hose, I instructed her to continue pouring water until the fire subsided! Oh my, after the incident, I was wondering how I carried the big basin full of water as it was heavy!

As everyone, knew, last first week of April, I had my heart bypass operation at the Philippines Heart Center. After a month, I came back. You know what I found out? A portion of my waste can in my kitchen was burned. It had no cover anymore, I suspect, somebody accidentally threw a live match after starting a fire in my stove, and threw the live match in the waste can just beside the stove that triggered a fire in the waste can since it was made of plastic. A blessing, I guess the person used her head and was able to put out the fire.

Black out is back again! ‘Am glad I don’t have stupid helpers nowadays, as I only hire a house cleaner to clean the house once in a while and a permanent gardener that I pay P4,650pesos / month, as he also helps me inside the house once in a while, and do errands for me! Now, back to my helpers again. During the past years, blackouts was so rampant. I had around tree helpers those days. Customarily, every time we have blackouts, we used candles to light our homes. When my mother in law had this house built, our windows were made out of wood jalousies. One evening, I went to the kitchen and you know what I found? I saw a lighted candle right in the middle of the wood jalousies. Again, it took me by surprise, so I scolded our helpers! When we scold them, they conclude that we are bad employers! With this incident, We changed the wooden jalousies into glass jalousies, and placed iron grills. This is not only to protect us from burglars, but also from our helpers, who I found out, were breaking the wooden jalousies to escape during night time, when we were asleep!

I hear people say that I am a bad employer, am I really bad, when my house helpers steal from us, do all sorts of bad things while they work with us, break my expensive jars, steal the antique brasses, who keep using their cell phones, chatting with their families and friends! ‘Am I really a bad amo!