AMO - Inday , bumili ka nga ng mga isda...Ay onga pala, inglesera ka na nga pala ngayon....would you please buy many fishes for this week's meals INDAY - Judging by your statement , I believe you meant a variety of fish. The term "fishes" although rarely used, connotes a plethora of different kinds of the said grilled aquatic creatures. But more pressing questions before I go to the wet market would be: what type of fish? Fillet or not? Frozen or fresh? ( pauses ) Ahh...Given the meager budget afforded by this household's quasi-peasant class taste, I assume I shall source the staple "ga-lewng-gong" , am I correct? AMO - Buset! ******************************** Anymore Inday jokes? Inday jokes in English, smarter than Eraptions By Jerome Aning Inquirer Last updated 06:40am (Mla time) 10/10/2007 MANILA, Philippines -- Inday, the housemaid or kasambahay, is riding the airwaves. Whether in e-mail, blog posts, Internet chats or text messages, shes smart, spouts flowery English (even a little Spanish) -- and is keeping Filipinos here and abroad in stitches. Indays adventures in and out of household service are threatening to be as widespread as the Erap and Gloria jokes. She has morphed from the old promdi (from the province) ignorant of city life and entangled in a dalliance with the man of the house. The jokes started spreading last month (although some chatters put it at circa 2005). A web search showed one early post made at www.podcentral.ph late in August. It was titled The Chronicles of Wonder Yaya -- either a reference to the governments SuperMaid skills training program for domestic helpers, or an imitation of the superhero themes of prime-time telenovelas. In one joke, the employer asks Inday why her son has a bump on his head. Inday replies: Compromising safety with useless aesthetics, the not-so-well-engineered architectural design of our kitchen lavatory affected the boys cranium with a slight boil at the left temple near the auditory organ. Asked in another instance why the food she has cooked is salty, Inday says: The consistency was fine. But you see, it seems that the increased amount of sodium chloride (NaCl) affected the taste drastically, and those actions are irreversible. I do apologize. Not funny Both the Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU), a militant labor alliance, and the Visayas Forum Foundation (VFF), which is fighting the worldwide traffic in women, said there was nothing wrong with being amused by the jokes. But the message behind the jokes is not funny and should make people pause and think, they said. These jokes are reflective of the long-standing low regard for our domestic workers, said VFF deputy executive director Rolando Pacis. While humor is appreciated once in a while, we must realize that it can also be an insidious medium for normalizing certain negative stereotypes. Pacis, however, said the VFF was angry because some mobile companies had been sending the jokes to their subscribers. Is it really unusual and amusing when domestic workers are [portrayed as] smart in the jokes? Is there a presupposition that they are ignorant? Are maids that inconsequential and incapable of any intelligent discussion? he said. Nenita Ka Nitz Gonzaga, KMU vice president for womens affairs, said she thought the jokes were funny because Inday has the most complex replies and even scientific explanations to simple questions, indicating that she is an erudite person. So whats wrong? The Inday jokes have elicited negative remarks in Internet discussion groups. In the gay forum guys4men.com, one poster said he also found nothing funny in the jokes. Are we amazed that theres a maid who speaks English? he said. Filipinos excel in jobs such as call center agents, domestic helpers, caregivers, nurses, etc. Whats wrong if we all try our mighty best to do that English thing? Overqualified for job But how did Inday acquire her smarts and her English-speaking skills? According to Gonzaga, Inday must have been a teacher. Most of the chatters and blog posters agreed that Inday read the dictionary and probably her wards schoolbooks in her spare time. In one joke, the poor employer tries to emulate Indays example by also reading the dictionary to improve his diction and grammar. He is left cussing when Inday replies in Spanish. Gonzaga said that while Indays intelligence was exaggerated, it was not impossible to encounter intelligent maids because many of them, especially those working abroad, were degree holders or college undergraduates. Inday is overqualified for her job. In fact, intelligent Filipino maids working abroad often incite anger in their married female employers who are envious of them, Gonzaga said. Pacis pointed out that in the first place, no kasambahay should suffer such indignity if society sent every one of them to school. It is precisely the lack of education that pushes many young girls to come to the city from the province, hoping for a chance to work and study at the same time. Yet many employers continue to deny them this right to education, he said. Gonzaga said employers should not think that their maids were content to be maids forever. They are doing this for their families. Many maids also want to study, learn new talents, and take up training to improve their skills, she said. Gonzaga said what she also found funny was the way the employer -- presumed to be rich and educated -- would get unsettled by Indays replies. We think its funny because we believe a maid like Inday is impossible. But then, is there such a real person as Indays employer, who can tolerate her ways? In bourgeois households, any maid who is -- or tries to be -- more intelligent than the employer is sure to get fired, Gonzaga said.