She is now almost a rarity in the country. An on call 60-year-old lady who washes and iron our clothes to perfection. Aling Amanda or “Manang” has been with us for more than ten years. Recommended by a friend while we were in the middle of a household crisis, she came as a conquering Amazon ready to tackle our mountain of dirty clothes.
I pride myself as a stay at home mom but I am nothing without her. Dust I can eradicate, Josh I can discipline, frozen chicken I can turn into adobo. BUT my SAHM superpowers usually disappear at the laundry. My husband is impressed with her. She can keep his white barong white and iron it to an executive crisp.
I consider her my multi-tasking, secret weapon for she can be called to do other household chores. Want someone to cook an additional dish for the family Christmas lunch? She can whip up a mean caldereta complete with olives. Are the weeds in your garden growing fast by the second? She can shear them to death. Who can bathe the five pesky dogs in the yard? She can do it quickly with some words of endearment to the canine bunch.
She has re-entered our lives for my maids have bid adieu. “Manang!” I gleefully called out to her as she arrived weeks ago. I was almost tempted to jump up and down. She looks the same– dark-skinned and still on the hefty side. Oh yes, she still likes her cigarettes which prompted my son to admonish her .” That is bad for your lungs,Manang!”
My son is getting to know her again after a year’s absence. I told my son I have to leave him with her to do an urgent errand. ” No Mommy!” declared the five-year old tyrant. ” But she can cook much better than Mommy,” I countered. He went straight to Manang for the inquisition. ” Is it true Manang? You can cook? How about my favorite chicken nuggets?”
Amused, Manang answered, “Yes, of course.” She has won him over.