Filipino maids banned from using elevators in Manila’s luxury condos!

The management of an Icon Residences luxury condominium building in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig has been called out for what Filipino netizens allege are “discriminatory” building access policies. A certain Poch Ceballos posted a photo on Facebook of a letter issued by the building management with the following caption:

When Filipino maids in HK get banned from using the “regular” elevators (you know, the ones that “regular” people use), the country throws a hissy fit. Guess what? It’s happening in our own backyard! Dear ?#?iconresidences?, f-ck you. Katherine Garrido, you’re an ignoramus. Please resign. You have no place being a building administrator.

The letter, signed by property manager Katherine Garrido reads:

To our valued Unit Owners / Tenants,

We would like once again to request all Unit Owners and Tenants to remind their household employees, i.e. drivers, housemaids, outside contractors, to strictly use the Service Elevator only.

The Administration Office has had a number of enquiries from owners in the building on why helpers are using Passenger Elevators when only Unit Owners / Tenants and their guests are allowed to the Passenger Elevators.

Please instruct your helpers to use the Service Elevator only.

Your cooperation is appreciated.


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Since then, a lively debate on the merits of this policy has erupted with some commentors noting that such policies are commonplace in buildings all over the Philippines. Indeed, in most Filipino households, domestic employees hold a very low place — and are constantly reminded of that place as a matter of family tradition. Filipino maids are often relegated to sleeping on floors and in cramped windowless mosquito-infested “maids’ quarters” which are often just converted pantries and storage rooms.

The Philippines’ Republic Act 10361 or the Batas Kasambahay (Domestic Workers’ Act) has been in effect since March of 2013. The law seeks to raise living standards for the millions of domestic workers toiling in Philippine households by, among others, implementing higher minimum wages, formalising the sector by requiring employment contracts, and mandating social safety net coverage through the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG).

But the sub-human treatment of maids and other household help in the Philippines has continued despite scores of outrage fads erupting in recent years mainly focused, interestingly enough, on the treatment of Filipino domestic workers overseas, particularly in Hong Kong and Singapore where thousands of them — many of whom are university-educated — are employed.

Pandering to Singapore OFWs: President Aquino visits Jollibee Singapore at the Lucky Plaza Mall (November 19, 2014)

Pandering to Singapore OFWs: President Aquino visits Jollibee Singapore at the Lucky Plaza Mall (November 19, 2014)

Back in June this year, an Al Jazeera report described how, in a Singapore mall, domestic workers from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Myanmar were on display on store windows, sometimes advertised as being on “super promo” or “special discount” rates. The report sparked a furor over what was regarded as a degrading commoditisation of migrant workers in Singapore. No less than the Philippines’ Vice President Jejomar ‘Jojo’ Binay reportedly expressed “deep concern” over the report calling on the Philippine embassy there to “make proper representations with the Singapore authorities” to investigate this “indignity” these workers are seemingly suffering.

Stepping back to take a broader perspective, it can be noted that the perceived stereotyping of Filipinos as domestic workers by the global community has been a source of outrage for many Filipinos. At almost the same time the furor over maids-on-display in Singapore came to light, another “racism” row erupted in Hong Kong over the depiction of Filipinos as maids in school textbooks.

Indeed, when seeing the elevator access issue from the point-of-view of the Philippines’ luxury condo administrators and their well-heeled owners and tenants, some insight may be drawn from this collective national insecurity. The Philippines, despite its aspirations to becoming a modern democratic egalitarian nation, remains a severely socially-stratified society with hard cultural lines dividing the landed classes consisting of fair-skinned Filipinos descended from the country’s former Spanish and American colonial masters, the mercantile classes dominated by the Filipino-Chinese and Korean community, and the vast “99 percent” working masa classes consisting mainly of the dark-skinned indigenous island population often referred to as the Indios. The legacy of colonial rule in the Philippines remains so potent that the marketing of skin whitening products and surgical procedures that obliterate indio facial features are hugely profitable billion-peso industries in the Philippines. And most revealing of all, the archetypical Filipino showbiz celebrity is overwhelmingly fair-skinned and “blessed” with caucasian or North Asian physical features.

Suffice to say, this recent “racism” incident involving the banning of maids’ access to condo elevators is but the tip of the iceberg of a profound cultural malaise that continues to grip Philippine society much to the consternation of “progressive” new-age “activists” and politicians who espouse modern notions of equality and freedom. Unless Filipinos learn to evaluate these realities about their cultural character with eyes wide open, the Philippines’ “social volcano” will continue to rumble, and may one day erupt violently.

[Photo of President Aquino with Filipinos in Singapore courtesy President Noynoy Facebook Page.]

97 Replies to “Filipino maids banned from using elevators in Manila’s luxury condos!”

    1. f**k u!!! mr. paul farol…it is still discriminatory to ban them to use the facilities in a building they are working in… you have a mentality of a red neck …people like you should be thrown down the elevator shaft at the highest floor level…how can you reason like our spanish occupiers…even the americans did not treat us like subhuman slaves… you are not even a mestizo…you are in the same category as binay…if you wore a plain t-shirt and shorts…you would look like a hardinero or cook… take care less you get banned from all the building elevators in our country…we are the same as every pilipino…even if you are a rich bastard …how can you feel above us and relegate the maids to the subhuman category…thank god you are educated and your parents made a lot of money ( legally?)…so stop being a douche bag and if you feel ok with the arrangement made by the bigger douche bag katherine garrido then just keep it to your self…or you might just end up where people like you end up!!!……………..

      1. Hey, their house (in this case, their condo unit), their rules. It is what it is. That’s the reality of it.

        Fact is, Filipinos have not been able to look beyond their social stratification for the longest time. For all that talk about equality here, what Filipinos really want (though they’ll never admit it outright) is an Animal Farm.

      2. Fuck you ka din. Wala kang magagawa kung house rules nila yun. Masyado kang sensitive sa pagiging Pinoy mo. Nakuha mo pang magsalita na dapat itapon si Paul sa elevator. Kung pupunta ka sa mga 5 star hotels sa America, meron din silang policy na hindi pwedeng gumamit ang employees nila ng elevator, Amerikano man o hindi. Ikaw ang douche bag dahil puro ka kagaguhan.

        1. Mr.Archie,

          ako po ay nagtrabaho dito sa Manhattan Hotel Cal.for 14 years, nais ko lamang po sabihin sa iyo na iba po ang rules sa hotel compara sa mga condo, flats, luxury appartille and others. pero ang 5-star hotel po ay hindi bawal ang mga maids gumamit oo tama po kayo na bawal gumamit ang mga staff ng hotel kasi po hotel they catered services and all staff of the hotel we provide a good services for all clients of the hotet, pero hindi po kami nanghamak ng degnidad kanina man kahit anong lahiat kahit homeless po…ang staff service elevator ay sadyang ginawa yun para sa lahat ng trabahador even our GM doon po siya gumamit sa staff elevator po…ang departamento ko po ay sa 16 floor sa fitness center kami po lahat ay gumamit sa staff elevator even the CEO po. yun lamang po nais ko lamang po ibahagi sa inyo na hindi po tama manghusga at husgahan lalo na mga katulong po sila po ay malaking naiambag sa lipunan natin sa bansang pinas, milyon milyon buwan buwan dollar pinadala ng mga OFW na mga kasambay tandaan po natin yun sana po bigyan po natin ng halaga at respiti lahat ng mga kasambahay…maraming salamat ant mabuhay ang mga kasambahay God bless po!

        2. Didn’t notice this one.

          Siguro naman we can acknowledge Thoi’s input? At least may karanasan siya sa hotel, yeah?

      3. T2ed – Correction sir. The Americans were much worse than our Spanish masters. The Yanquis very nearly wiped us off the map in such a short time. Adolf Hitler learned from the best.

        1. Please, revise history some more so you can satisfy your Anti-American agenda since hating on Spain isn’t so relevant anymore.

    2. There’s probably at work here the issue of noise and loud yakkety talking of the sort that earned the ire of the Sinaporeans and saw the emergence of a proposal to ban Pinoys from public buses there in that other outrage fad a few months back..

      1. I’ve been to Singapore. And a Singaporean friend made me watch an elevator cam showing Filipino helpers trying to leave boogers or play with the buttons when there’s nobody around. Some idiots even have the guts to spit on the floor then wipe it with their shoes. That’s why people around the world still think that we live in caves because of the discipline we show. Ang katwiran ng iba, since ganun umasta ang mga mainland chinese kaya dapat ganundin sila.

        We can’t blame Singaporeans if they ban our countrymen. They’re just trying to keep the discipline in their country and for me, that is sincere patriotism on their part.

        1. I think the problem in Singapore is the Filipinos who are there. I’m an OFW here in Qatar I have personally seen Filipinos behaving, even those in low end jobs. Although there are those who we still consider as bad apples. And the actions of our kababayans that you saw in the video is really unacceptable in any community.

    3. It is still discriminatory. It is like in the old days in America when blacks have their own section in the bus and have to give up their seat for a white if the bus is full. What this country needs is an Indio Bob Dylan or Stevie Wonder. Too bad the Indios are content watching noon time shows, even participating in its parlor games and make a fool of themselves.

      1. @ Dweezil, LOL, so you think that Dylan and the Blind guy had something to do with the anti-descrimination laws in the USA huh?You really should get a clue, forget the ‘real’ part as you clearly are clueless.

        maybe start with googling ‘Rosa Parks’ for starters.

  1. Excellent post and analysis, benign0.

    More disgusting than the douchebag Katherine Garrido, however, are the property owners who complain because they have to share an elevator with a whole class of people they obviously consider subhuman.

    Of all the things that are fucked up in the Philippines, the way Filipinos exploit those less fortunate says the most about this society. I’d love to buy an entire building, rent out each unit and then force the tenants to ride the service elevators while only domestic helpers and pets are allowed in the main elevators. Now THAT would be justice.

    It’s also funny about the skin whitening crap that people — especially women — buy. Perhaps they don’t realize that … la mona, aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda. A monkey in a silk dress is still a monkey. And, no, I am not saying Filipinas are monkeys.

  2. You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a schoolboy. With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.

  3. If you want to see discrimination look at the job ads for a sales associate:
    “Help Wanted: fit, female 20-29 with a helpful, pleasant personality.
    Candidates must fill the height and weight restrictions and maintain an attractive appearance. Born again, Christian, English speaking college graduates will only be considered for employment.

    1. Where to start with how that wouldn’t be acceptable in a civilised country? Though unusually they didn’t specify ‘single,’ that’s normally one of their favourites.

      What do they think happens to the human body when it hits 30 that makes people incapable of working?

  4. Benign0,

    “… with eyes wide open, the Philippines’ “social volcano” will continue to rumble, and may one day erupt violently.”

    I actually dont see that eruption going to happen one day soon. Maids are too dependent on that income. So, I guess, they follow the “rule” blindly

    1. Well, Filipinos can be described as a sort of passive-aggressive sort of ethnic group. On the surface, it seems calm, but it doesn’t necessarily give you a good picture of what’s going on underneath…

      There are plenty of areas where the “social volcano” could possibly crack; the eruption may not necessarily be caused by the discrimination against maids and/or domestic help in general.

  5. For whatever it is worth this is an internal issue of the building’s Condominium Corporation and that Property Manager is just executing the will of the Board Members which is comprised of the Unit Owners. Their house, their rules.

    I would like to believe that this is not a blatant discriminatory action, and that there is an underlying reason as to why this move was done. I have seen the condominium and I would not classify as it as ultra high-end thus you would have a mix of people from middle class to the elite. These people would have househelp and drivers but not all of them will be properly oriented as to how to carry themselves in such environment. They might be yapping all day with their fellow housemaids, or they might not be appropriately dressed.

    As for the contractors/workers, they’d be working all day and they would probably stink. Plus they have to carry construction materials, it is obvious that they should use the service elevator.

    The point is there must be a reason. In Ayala Land condos like One Serendra, they have really cultured househelp or if not, they are sent into seminars sponsored by the condo corp.

    In the end. Their house, their rules. You wouldn’t want the whole Philippines telling you how to live in your own house right?

    1. Indeed. Some insight on what possibly motivated owners/tenants to pressure the Building Admin to implement such a policy could be gleaned from the past GRP article Do Filipinos speak too loudly and in an annoying manner in public spaces?

      The exploration of that question jumps off from the outrage surrounding the rant of a Singaporean who got fed up with the noise that allegedly generally originates from Filipino passengers of public buses in Singapore and their overall offensive behaviour…

      To my horror, 90% of the passengers in bus 106 were Pinoy maids. I do welcome them to take our public transport as it helps to contribute to our GDP and SMRT’s revenue. Unfortunately, this Pinoy maids were talking so loud in the bus.

      They joked and burst out laughing loudly. Its nothing wrong to joke and chit chat in the bus as Sunday is only their off day, however, they should be a little bit more considerate by caring for other passengers too. What I could heard in the bus was Phillipino language and I felt like I am taking a bus in Manila. Their voice were just as loud as thunderstorm (I believe many Singaporeans experience this before. Once a group of Phillipinos boarded a bus or train, your resting time on your journey back home is gone).

      I observed throughout my bus journey to Orchard. The maids will push to board the bus, and the Singaporeans will always have to take another bus as either bus is full or if Singaporean manage to board the bus, they will have to stand near the bus door.

      Quite understandable, actually. You wouldn’t wanna be caught in an elevator with people who behave in such a way.

      1. Benign0,, an elevator ride is all of three minutes. Five minutes absolute tops. If they don’t like seeing or listening to maids, simple solution — don’t hire any. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

        Regarding the Singaporean bitch about busses, you want peace and quiet go to the library. There is no law against talking on a bus.

        1. And hopefully, everybody else in the condominium not hire any.

          And ultimately, just ride the library to get home.


        2. There it is again. They have their laws over there at singapore, as we do have ours here. That being said, its just plain bad manners to speak LOUDLY in public.

        3. All the guy benign0 quoted was for the gaggle to tone it down a bit so he could have some thoughtspace for himself, so he could hear himself (and especially whoever’s riding along with him) over the din. That’s not too unreasonable a request, I think.

        4. Wow, here’s a really novel idea …

          How about posting a “Please be quiet” notice if you need all your three-minute elevator rides in your building to be silent?

          You Einsteins know that “quiet” is not the real issue, right?

        5. You Einsteins do know that the real issue isn’t “silence” in a three-minute elevator ride, right?

          If it were, a simple “STFU in Elevator” sign would suffice.

      2. In other countries, there seems to be a phenomenon going on when you put Filipinos together; Rules go out of the window and they all feel that they own the place; rowdy owners for that matter.

        But individually, they’re all law abiding citizens.

      3. LOL. Share ko itong storya… storyang elevator. May mga longki na nakasabay isang homeowner na kulay kalabaw. LOL napagkamalan nilang longki din ang homeowner kaya nagalit ito. tinarayan ng mga longki kasi hindi sila cumbinsido na homeowner ito… so siguro dito nag-ugat ang house rules na ito lol.

      4. From the point of view of an expat: Groups of filipinos are extremely loud. It probably comes from being raised with ten people living in one room with the television and music blaring at the same time. To me, they seem like ill disciplined children. What is worse, is when one of their own children is having a meltdown in a restaurant, on a FX ride, or in a doctor’s office waiting room (an area you cannot escape from.) The parent makes no attempt to quiet the child and let’s them carry on; much to the dismay of the other people in the immediate area.

        1. As some of the comments above show, many people in the Philippines are simply incapable of understanding that peace and quiet are valued in other countries.

          My sister-in-law raises her kids to be polite and respectful when it comes to picking up trash and things, but has a complete blind (deaf) spot when they get over-excited and start yelling and screaming. It really surprised me that she just lets them carry on. Of course, you know the answer I get: “They’re just happy.”

        2. The fact that filipinos are loud is just a fact of life. If you cannot get used to it; leave the country. A more interesting question is “why?” It seems to relate to the “me first, attitude.”
          Rather than giving each person a chance to contribute to the conversation, many filipinos seem to prefer to talk over each other; which quickly becomes shouting. But, why is there a me-first attitude? Perhaps the endemic poverty creates a national climate of scarcity that manifests itself as a desperate, greedy, grasping, and intolerant state of mind in the population at large. The lack of infrastructure relative to the mushrooming population seems to be making the rudeness worse. What do you think?

        3. Also fact: groups of people from all walks of life from anywhere in this world, if 1) they hail from the same place, 2) they’re not awkward introverts, 3) they have common interests, and 4) know each other, can and will make noise. You don’t need to posit luxuries and a lack of delicadeza to have a wracking rabble — plain human dynamics will do that for you.

        4. @Pallacertus: In the West, many children are instructed to have an “inside voice” and and “outside voice.” Outside voice is for rambunctious, energetic play with other children and inside voice is polite, respectful and in the presence of adults.
          This seems to be a distinction lost on most lower class parents.

        5. I would say it’s mainly the culture. The Philippines grabbed the worst traits from its Spanish and American colonial masters. Spanish lifestyle endorses festivals and leisure alongside their deep piety which is easily evident to its former colonies in South America. (Seriously, Latinos and Filipinos act very much alike.)And we all know about the stereotypes of the ugly American by now to see similarities to how rowdy and temperamental Pinoys can get.

          It’s a shame the people hardly ever got most of the mannerisms and politeness exhibited by the Japanese during their time of occupation there. To be fair, their rule was far too short and far too oppressive for the natives to have time to learn from much from them.

    2. Their house, their rules. Precisely my sentiments. To the condominium administrators, it is an internal issue, and they have absolutely no obligation to explain themselves to the public.

      One underlying issue here seems to be that anytime something like this pops up, the assumption is that it is automatically born out of discrimination, or something like that.

      Man, do Filipinos like playing victim or what? Or maybe they just like being dramatic or playing the victim card every chance they get?

      1. Amir, you are a fucking retard.

        If this happened in a developed country instead of our beloved Coconut Republic, the management association and condo owners would be virtually castrated and crucified.

        1. I am curious as to what country is it that you are pertaining to and have there been any similar case. Please enlighten me.

        2. Regarding USA, there was a recent case similar. The city told the developer to either change it or suffer a $22 million dollar tax increase. It was in EVERY newspaper with the property developer being swiftly condemned.

      2. Go check out the comments at Rappler and that’s what you’ll get.

        “We should respect our househelp and nannies”
        “This is rude, discrimination!”

        And so on. It all comes from an emotional place.

        1. It is a visceral issue, an emotional issue. It may stem from disgust at maid manners or maid topics or just plain maids. If this wasn’t an emotional issue, you really think management would insist that maids ride separate elevators?

      3. Although I don’t think this issue is as big a deal as it seems, I disagree on your “Their house, their rules” argument. We must prevent abuse as much as we can. What if it’s a notch up, say servants should only take the stairs? Their house, their rules?

  6. in this case, the property manager is just responding to the request of some unit owners and tenants who feel squeamish at the sight and smell of lower class people who ride the lifts with them but the management can’t really do anything if some open minded units owners will allow or even encourage their staff to continue using those ‘tenant only lifts’ and that will surely make the ‘well heeled’ even more be dismayed.

    1. RAC, as much as I tend to dislike Chinese, too, the fact is that this isn’t strictly a Chinese thing. Not including Hong Kong or Taiwan, people on the Mainland often have maids who, as a whole, are treated decently.

    1. You Sir, deserve more likes…
      Here, take my upvote.
      (ooops! wrong site)

      These negative reactions from the Netizens, any of them come from the “kasambahays” working in them Condo units?
      Well if they ain’t complaining, why should I.
      If the Unit owners want to feel privileged in using the elevators and they believe that the “kasambahays” aren’t worthy to join them in that 5 minute rise, I say let them.
      -Like what Paul Farol said;
      “It’s not as if the maids are being asked to take the stairs or climb down the side of the building.”
      Lets’ not get too emotional about this.

  7. i don’t see any discrimination here. i’m not the type who discriminates anyone but… rules are rules. there is a service elevator, it’s not like they’re asking them to take the stairs. if the “regular elevators” is being used by service personnel which is obviously intended for tenants and people question that??? then they might as well agree to maids using bathrooms and bedrooms of their masters whenever they wish too? let’s not be too sensitive about this.

  8. This isnt very unusual. I know of a lot of upper end develpments in western countries that do the same thing. Its the priveledge of wealth. Not anymore than having “executive toilets”, “executive lounges” etc. even in Airports, you pay for business class tickets and you get your own lounge apart from the masses in cattle class. I think how you personally treat household help is more important than what elevator they take.

    1. Name one, Lui. Precisely which Western country? Name one.

      And it is not even remotely similar to airport lounges.

      Service elevators are shit-stained, dirty and disgusting. That’s where the garbage is taken down as well as other maintenance junk.

      1. It certainly was not the tenants who “shit-stained” the service elevator. What on earth are you talking about?

        You get all riled up about some nonsense like this, but meanwhile you are one of the people who are too lazy to bag their own groceries at the check-out counter at the supermarket.

        Because you are entitled that someone bags it for you.

        Aaah, just shut up already!

        1. So the maids take a dump while riding the elevator?

          JC said it himself — they’re also where refuse and maintenance equipment are transported between floors.

  9. This is just another useless idiotic outrage.

    It’s like a directive that says, “hey can you please tell the people who cant afford a car to take the bus and not try to ride in my car which I paid for”. Oh my! The discrimination!

    So? So what? People who find this offensive are people who feel guilty.

  10. India has its Caste System. The “Untouchable” Caste do all the menial job. The U.S. has its slavery issue, and its Jim Crow Laws. Whereby you are discriminated on the basis of the color of your skin. In the old U.S. slavery days.
    Slaves were sold or auctioned; standing on an Auction Block. Where slave buyers, can examine the potential of a slave. They arew doing the same now, to Filipino OFW slaves.

    In the Philippines; people who do menial jobs, or lowly jobs, are discriminated, according to the work they do. They are not required to ride on elevators, for fear of contaminating their masters.

    We look down upon menial labor…this is the problem. The former Spanish Colonialists were all : “Senioritos” and “Senioritas”…all they do is to be served by “Indios”, like the rest of us…the mindset is still there, well and alive…

  11. Ive been on both sides of the fence. I put myself through college (in the US) by washing dishes, bussing tables and doing janitorial work. And yes, i have had to take service elevators. No big deal, they were jobs. I worked hard and am damn proud to say i scrubbed clogged ip toilets for a living. The pay was good. Now that i am on the other end of the scale, i know that its all about pay, working conditions and benefits. Im equally as comfortable in a jeepney as i am in the back seat of my S class. Its all about attitude. A business associate and friend in Manhattan has help that take separate elevators. But then, the butler makes over 100k USD a year,(his boss is an owner of a very large business) the guy could care less how he gets up to the apartment. Ive seen the same in LA, Washington DC, Madrid, Barcelona and Turin. No major issues, they just want to make a good living. Been there, done that, the problem seems to stem more out of the attitude of the employer than how they get to work.

    1. Sometimes another look from a different vantage point is needed. Not that I have an opinion on this yet, but it pays to read and hear and all that.

    2. Lui, why do you lie?

      You have NOT seen this in L.A. or D.C. or Manhattan in any residential building. Lying does not help your cause.

      I also think your $100k butler story is bullshit. With FICA, UIT, medical and other taxes, that $100k butler costs the employer around $140k. Perhaps you conveniently forgot to mention the butler is female and gives happy endings?

      1. You assume too much. If i move my family to the US (yes i am a dual national, of pure castillian decent) its not because i need a job but because ive got 40 acres in the northern California western sierras and a small commercial building i rent to to a local newspaper. And yes, their janitors use a service entrance. I didnt work because my family was poor, it was because Marcos stopped the overseas remittance of dollars after the assasination of Ninoy Aquino. Maybe you dont have access to the’ same people i do. The butlers boss, (and im NOT about to give you his name, but he owned a company called Dana Perfumes among others, and had homes in Madrid and Barcelona) said a 100k a year, am i going to argue with the guy who pays? The conversation came up when we were discussing the relative prices of help . In LA and DC all the help went through service entrances., whether it is a service elevator or a back door, a service entrance is a service entrance. MY help go through a service entrance ( all five of them, and my two drivers and a gardener) The issue seems to bother you more than it bothers the people involved. It ISNT all that bad for as long as the pay is good.Coming from a privileged background, cleaning up American shit in toilets didnt bother me, for as long as i eventually had the last laugh, on the way to my bank. . It was just a job. Whether we like it or not, money buys priveledge, all over the world. its the reality of the golden rule.

      2. Why do you assume that she is lying? Have you ever worked at any service industry? Have you ever worked at a restaurant, hotel, or in a condominium unit? There are service entrances and elevators in the United States. They are there because they are more efficient to use. Since nobody uses them except for hired help, the hired help are able to go through their work without getting interrupted. Having separate elevator is a practice done for EFFICIENCY.

        The 100k butler story? I know someone who earn 150k usd. Anybody who is rich enough to afford a butler is certainly well heeled enough to afford a measly additional 40k USD. Butlers aren’t just simple maids. More often than not high-priced butlers serve as managers of the household. They are equivalent to managers of 5 star restaurants and hotels.

        Don’t assume that you know everything about the world. There are places where things are done differently.

        The main point anyway is that the story about the rules in this condominium is not worth the big fuss. The hired help are not being made to walk up a flight of stairs. They have their own elevator. They aren’t being physically abused.

        You really want to help the hired help? Help them get decent wages and job security. Campaign to stop the exploitation of minor children who are recruited to work as maids for below the minimum wage without any benefits simply because they are minors instead of going to school.

        Or perhaps you can also campaign for the plight of condo owners who are “discrimated” as well. After all they are also barred from using the service elevators.

    3. Precisely! If people could only think that the policy is nothing personal. It’s not like the maids are staying in the condo for a personal reason. They are working there.

      I would rather worry about how the maid is actually being treated by their employer (benefits, living conditions, if employers are nice to them, etc) than to raise hoopla over her not having “elevator privilege”.

  12. Gosh, after all these years, still talking about slavery????? Fuck you all idiots, housemaids and nannies are part of the world. You can even see them taking selfies in the elevators of the world tallest tower (Burj Khalifa) in Dubai. If you are all professionals and human being, who cares being with these people. Kasi naman me mga amo dyan na mukhang katulong pag itinabi sa maids, aminin, yun lang yun. Naalala ko tuloy yung tsimis na ipinasara ni Binay ang isang resto kasi napagkamalan siya ng waiter na driver na naghihintay sa amo LOL

  13. One Friday, i craved so much of Pinoy food. Being here in Dubai you don’t get a lot of good Filipino food outlets (a Jollibee would have sufficed). So i googled my way to this Filipino restaurant called “La Mesa” located in a 5 star hotel. I got there and was excited to be ushered in right away even if from outside and through the glass windows, I can see it’s full. Just stepping inside, immiediately I was transported to another world – a jungle. It’s not about the rowdy actions but THE NOISE, i can’t believe a place can be that deafening. I am not comparing us to animals but it was unbelievable how we cam get used to such noise and continue contributing to it. I had to leave as I was getting a headache. I hate discrimation too – i get a lot of that but see manners involve not to say being prim and proper but at least not loud in public places. So i get that Singapore bitch. My first time in Orchard Road was 15 years ago, I was in awe of its luxury ambiance. My 2nd time I was there last year, it became a market. Sad to say, most are Filipinos sitting on the road or curb having a picnic. Even inside the mall, there were groups of people sitting on the floor and singaporeans had to go back as there’s no place to walk. We have to start realizing that this is uncceptable. Not our house so not our rules.

    1. You know, Lenny, I used to think like you. I can understand your point of view. Unfortunately you fail to consider how it’s seen from the other side.

      As far as OFW, Hong Kong is similar to Singapore with the exception that OFW are better off in Hong Kong. Yes, on the weekend — especially Sundays — there are vast numbers of Filipinos camped outside enjoying chats, picnics, dancing, singing and even yelling with their friends. Some may even seem uncouth.

      And local Chinese bitch about it. Funny thing is that local Chinese do the same shit when they go to Chinatown in San Francisco, Chinatown in New York City or Roland Heights in Los Angeles. Do locals in the USA bitch about it? Sure. But WTF, it is CHINA town. We also have Little Italy, the Polish Sector, the German area or the French Quarter. So tell me, where the fuck is Little Philippines in Singapore? Or in Hong Kong? Where is the area that the thousands and thousands of OFW can go to and be with other Filipinos?

      There are a lot of douchebags posting here that think OFW lead a pretty charmed existence. To be sure they earn more than Lui flipping burgers at McDonald’s, but they also work three times as hard and are treated by their employers like shit. They have virtually zero personal life and, unless they are tomboys, very little romance. Although Hong Kong is slightly better, in Singapore the pay is comparatively shit and they work at least twelve hour days with two days off per month. Bush bunnies in Africa have an easier life.

      So, Einstein, on their day off just WTF are they supposed to go? Where can they go and what can they do to be with the thousands and thousands of other like-minded souls who share their culture, language, food and shitty plight on a budget they can afford earning even less than the local minimum wage?

      Can’t talk to their friends on the bus lest some Chinese slag bitch. Not enough park benches in the park and Chinese bitch sooner or later about sitting on the grass. Aren’t welcomed in the few restaurants they can actually afford because in their joy and excitement to be with their friends other douchebags complain because there is no silence.

      Lenny, you and others like you need to go get FITA. With freethinkers like you, no wonder the Philippines is FUBAR.

      1. It wasnt McDonalds, it was a place called Griswolds. Its one thing to insult people who steal our tax money, ( do you pay local taxes? Im in the highest bracket in both personal and Corporate thus my anger at its misuse,) you have issues and a condition that obviously requires professional assistance. The way you insult people who have done nothing to you indicates a total lack of breeding and a very apparent situation which means you probably have no prospects of real upward mobility. Based on the way you write and what you write, understanding you and what motivates you is very simple, you are s piece of cake to manipulate. You want to get serious? Lets get serious. You have no clue as to what i have done for this country, and its a whole of a lot more than just sitting behind a keyboard taking my frustrations and insecurities out on the wotld. You said throw rocks? Monkeys use rocks. Lets shoot RPGs. Im calling you out. BenignO has my full name and private email address. we all meet at the MYC ( thats the Manila Yacht Club to you) you seem to believe you have all the answers, GOOD, give me a proper presentation and I’ll fund it. Lets put my money behind it. You have a choice, we meet at the Commodores lounge or on my 42 foot Grand Banks Europa (named Eskrima) Though i am extremely serious, I dont expect you to ever show. People like you never do. I fully expect you to react in a certain way to this, you are very predictable, even an beginner in high level negs can see how easy it is to push your buttons. I have you totally scoped. If you dont answer in the affirmative regarding the meeting, then you are just proving to everyone on this site that you are just another loser who thinks thinks he has all the answers but is getting nowhere in life. I will also totally ignore you and your proletarian stupidity, regarding you as unpleasant but TOTALLY INSIGNIFICANT MEMORY. Thrash away, and know that Im not reading it, im just laughing at you, as you are a pathetic joke. If i were a typical rico nuevo ( ala Anne Curtis, but she doesnt qualify as “rich” in my book) i would say how much are you worth, I can buy and sell you all day long. But I’m not. (Have you heard of old Manilas top 500? Probably not) You arent worth it.

  14. Perhaps the reason why they are loud or hyper-spirited during these breaks is for the first time after a week(s) of non-stop hard work and strict “silence please” library rule in the place they serve, they again could talk freely and feel that they are part of the world.

  15. Sorry , I AM CALLING HORSE-SHIT !!! ON ANYONE WHO SAYS ‘THEIR HOUSE so THEIR RULES’, no NO NO FICKIN WAY ! If what is needed is a service levator to bring supplies up and down flights of stair that is a different story, but to segregate the workers from the rest of the people is ‘RACISM’ or even worse ‘CLASS WARFARE’.

    When will the people of the FAILED STATE THAT IS THE PHILIPPINES WAKE UP? IDK,but it is not going to be soon enough.

  16. I don’t understand what the fuss is all about? Condo owners can make the rules as agreed upon by the association. If the maids or whoever doesn’t like the policy, they can quit. Find another job. It’s a private building where access is limited to those concerning mostly the people who live there. As long as the building meets all local codes and safety requirements they can run the building however they want. Besides, I’m sure these helpers, are informed of the house rules when they were hired. I bet most of them don’t eat at the same table as their employers.

    I highly doubt any kind of government agency would want to get involved in this matter. Would you want them telling you how to run your house?

      1. In this case, I do. Discrimination, based on things that people CAN control is a reality that exist in today’s world and those who say it doesn’t is living in a dream world. They’re not being asked to use the stairs, just a different elevator. Its the same difference on why some people take the jeepney while others take a taxi.

        ‘No shoes, No Shirt, No service” – Ever hear of that phrase? Try going to a fancy anyplace and if you’re not dressed properly or act in a certain way, they wont let you in or kick you out. Even if you can afford it.

        This is not a state sponsored discrimination like what happened in the USA. This is a private enterprise imposing their own rules. You don’t have to live or work in that building if you don’t like it.

        1. True enough that the tenants and owners can instigate any policy towards the help that they wish, regardless of how demeaning and inconsiderate and classist it may be.

          The US had laws of miscegenation (no marriage between white and people of color) through till the 60s. There were…are…a lot of laws designed to disenfranchise lower income folks to keep them in their ‘place’.

          I respect their right to put up such egregious policies, though I will hold them in great disdain and a modicum of respect. I have in-laws who have lived in Bonifacio City. I wonder how they feel about it?

    1. the maids can buy units in the building until they become the majority in the unit owner’s association, then they can vote on policies banning non-maids from riding the elevators

      1. This is disingenuous to the extreme, suggesting that one of the workers in the lowest strata of the economic pyramid of the Philippines could afford a home in that area. My in-laws lived in an Icon building for awhile and I’ve seen them– very nice. Completely out of their reach.

        Now I’m curious to ride the service elevators if I visit my in-laws again, just for solidarity’s sake. Anyway, just a silly ol’ white guy opinion. It’s not like America is a perfect society.

    2. so, you guys agree that it is ok to discriminate against a person based on his/her occupation or “status”? You guys are pathetic.(I am sure you guys would complain if you get discriminated upon. Discrimination is ok if it is not against you?!)

  17. I’m ashamed of how Pinoys react to this issue. The self righteousness is so thick and the judgmental attitude towards the Property Manager represents how shallow their “Christian” values are. Crass words and threats…really? You worship Christ and God with that mouth?

    Anyway, when Rappler had this article, I made a comment about why it made sense to me and made my explanation, and one lady “schooled” me about if I know that maids eat separately with their employers, etc”. As if I don’t know and that I was dumb. I was about to tell her that I know worse things a maid’s employer can to do their help, but I stopped myself. But it was horrible to be judged just because you are offering a different opinion that isn’t wrong.

    I am not sure why the immediate reaction to the policy as racist or elitist. Reading comments from people who actually work in condos and my own brief OJT in a hotel tells me that this is nothing personal and is actually done for efficiency purposes. I would take their word for it as Google couldn’t give me answers.

    The only foul I see is the reasoning behind the memo. There are right reasons and there are bad reasons. As with a lot of laws and rules in our country, this elevator policy is half-baked, and the reasoning for the implementation is shallow. If they create such rule, they make sure that the elevators are clean, the CCTV is working, that tenants can’t use it as well because the “househelp aren’t comfortable” too, and MOST OF ALL, if the service elevator is broken, the help won’t be forced to use the stairs.

  18. i’m in favor to property manager… thumbs up! have you read the memo guys? why contractors and employees can follow the rules? what’s the difference of maid and drivers to contractors and employees?

    1. Actually, cyrel, their memo also says that they received “enquiries” from tenants about this. There was no other reason but that, or if there are any exceptions. Furthermore, when she was asked about the policy, she made a comment about not being able to please everyone and that it’s not a policy extended to the world. Rappler also made some research and had a follow up article suggesting that condos are implementing such policies because of “complaints” from tenants who feel “uncomfortable” about having the share elevators with household employees. I would appreciate it if policy was further elaborated on….but it looks like management is just implementing because somebody made a fuss, and that’s when it’s wrong. Rules are to benefit EVERYBODY, not to satisfy someone’s need to feel superior than others.

      And, since I go to this building a lot to visit, I’d have to say that I actually prefer using the service elevator. It’s not that bad, compared to the condo where I used to stay–the service elevator stinks and always breaks down…to think it’s supposed to be “better” than Icon.

  19. Philippine is a 3rd world country and you act up like higher than high?.This is discrimination. Shame on you!!! .This is absurd news

  20. Has anyone been to the ICON before and seen the setup? There are several practical reasons for having this rule:

    (I started reading through a few comments, but did not finish.)

    * efficiency for tenants: each tower has 2 elevators + service elevator for 34 floors ( you can do the math). It’s trying to make it more efficient for the tenants, so you aren’t waiting for 5+ minutes for an elevator
    * security: it allows security to keep tabs on who is coming and going in the elevators and make sure people aren’t slipping through

    If you a copy of the house rules, the rule states any household help may ride the passenger elevator if accompanied by the tenant or tenant children.

    Stop over-reacting and realize it’s a security issue. Household help has a lot of latitude of the possessions of the unit and the building is doing it’s best to protect the tenant.

  21. It is discriminatory. It’s no different than requiring maids to wear uniforms and having them eat different (and much cheaper) food. Growing up, our maids ate the same food we did and they wore no uniforms, but I had friends who treated their maids the exact opposite – especially “rich” Filipino-Chinese. What are uniforms for? To show to the public that they really are maids?

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