• A day in the life of a caddy


    Merlina Atendido is one of the most hardworking caddies I have known at Capitol Hills Golf & Country Club. She has a very pleasant and bubbly character, and very self-reliant in the work that she does. She can communicate comfortably with her clients or “mga amo,” with ease and confidence. Because of her big smiles, she gets plenty of clients.

    How she started
    “I started working at age 17 in a factory with a minimum wage,” Atendido narrated. She also landed a job at a department store as a saleslady for six months but her contract was never renewed. One day in 2003, her auntie from the Quezon City Hall informed her that they were hiring new lady caddies, at the newly renovated, smaller golf course at Capitol Hills Golf. Fortunately, she was able to make it through the qualifying stages as a full-fledged caddy. They were officially trained for three days, and their own players taught most of their knowledge and experience.

    Caddy Merlina Atendido (far right) looks on as a golfer putts his ball. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

    Her continuing challenges
    Atendido assumed that “the hardest clients are those who are very strict and demanding when it comes to golf rules and etiquette”. She admits that after 14 years of being a caddy, she is knowledgeable only with the basic rules and etiquette. But she strives to learn more.

    She added that there are certain players who are blameful and put her in a hot spot. All she can do is to carry on the best she can in doing her tasks and to follow what these certain players demand, with poise, confidence and pleasantness.

    She observed that junior golf tournaments are very strict in implementing the rules. It is fortunate though that most tournaments held by the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines have their officially assigned rules men, a phone call away. The presence of these rules men makes the caddy’s job easier. She pointed out that during these junior tournaments, she has more to gain learning newer rules and at the least clarify some of the rules.

    “This is the most enjoyable job that I ever had and will have. I will work for as long as I can, being a caddy. Since this is a contractual job, I push myself to work everyday in order for me to save more. If I do not work everyday, my income will not be enough to be comfortable as we are now,” she said with a sigh.

    Dreams and aspirations
    “Saving money is one of my priorities”, Atendido added. The reason she wants to save more money is to put up her own business, so that she can provide more for her family. Atendido does not really intend to work her whole life as a caddy. She said that getting old with this job is no good as the physical demands are high. With this in mind, she gets motivated to work even more.

    Atendido is an ideal example of a working mother to follow. It is in having good thoughts, good feelings and good intentions, that all positive circumstances come into her life. She has been good, kind and loving to her family and every one around her. Keep up with the great job Merlina!


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