The Truth About How We See 'Lola'
In the month of June, Pulitzer-prize winning writer Alex Tizon wrote the heart-wrenching story about the life of servitude and abuse Eudocia Pulido—called Lola in the article—faced appropriately titled "My Family's Slave."
It has gained plenty of mixed reviews since its release; there are people calling Tizon a hero for writing the piece whilst there are others calling him a villain, who abused and took advantage of Lola's situation just as much as the rest of his family did. At this point, the only aspect of the story that everyone agrees on is that Lola was a slave. She worked day and night with no pay, was trapped in a place that she was unhappy with, and was abused both physically and verbally, and there is no denying that she did not live the best life.
Since the release of this article, it has caught the eye of many Westerners. Many of them have criticized Tizon for not doing more for Lola.
They are mad at him for not calling her by her first name (which is something we Filipinos never do with our elders, as that is seen as disrespectful.) Many Westerners have also compared it constantly to the slavery of black people (which is obviously extremely different from the situation that Lola was in.) Filipinos have grown increasingly annoyed with the reactions the Westerners have given, and with the way that they have once again made the story all about them. They have described the entire situation as Americans taking a story and "westsplaining" it to appease to their views.
They don't take into consideration the way we Filipinos think, nor do they think of the values we share in our community. Lola was not only bound to the Tizon family because of the fact that she was not an American citizen, she was also bound to them because of her love for them, and because of shame.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
With the only other adult in the household being Alex's mother, she knew that woman wouldn't be able to juggle working all the time with taking care of her kids and maintaining the house. At least with Lola, she didn't have to worry about the additional expense of giving her a salary. She can easily just tell Lola that she has given her food, clothes, shelter, and a life away from the province. What more could she want, right?
So as I write this, I ask myself: Are we any better than them, than the Tizon family, or the people defending the Tizon family's actions?
Filipinos are so heavy on the idea of "utang na loob" and of paying back what you owe. Every child is taught to grow up not owing anyone anything. Lola was a young girl who came from the province and was convinced that staying in the province would leave her stuck in a life of sickness and poverty, and that moving to the city to take care of someone else's family would be better than that.
A lot of us have normalized this idea of taking advantage of people in poverty to serve those that are not as unfortunate as them. We hire people that have no other place to go to cook and clean and do our laundry and take care of our children when we simply don't have the time to do so ourselves, and what do we do in return? We pay them less than they deserve and give them the smallest room in the house to sleep in. We feed them after we have eaten. We keep them around to do whatever we need them to do, whenever we need it. It definitely isn't as heavy as what the Tizon family did to Lola, and this obviously doesn't describe how every Filipino family treats their house help, but it's scary how that applies to a lot of us.
I am in no way condoning the way the Tizon family treated Lola. She was a young girl with nowhere to go and, in her mind, her best option to live a happy life was to leave everything and everyone she knew behind.
The Philippines is a third-world country and plenty of the population is affected by poverty, that's really just the sad reality of our situation. The Tizon family is also a victim of poverty in the sense that, even though they were able to graduate, the education they received wasn't enough for a good life abroad. They were struggling, too. Regardless of this, they greatly took advantage of Lola and of her situation. They made her feel less than what she truly was, and that is no way for anyone to live their life.
Let Lola's story be a lesson for all of us to treat everyone as our equal. Let her story guide us in giving our house help the proper love and care that they deserve. Let them be given the food, shelter, and payment that they deserve. Let them live life without regretting it.
Have thoughts on the story? Let's discuss in the comments below.
What're you up to today? Submit your OOTD, fanfic, essay, school project, org event, a pic of your latest hobby, or anything you want to be posted on the Candy Bulletin page!
Hi! It's been so long since I planned to post my story in another platform aside from wattpad and now here I am, hoping that my story can be featured here.
My story is entitle "Who Are You," it's a tagalog-english teen fiction story so I hope, those filipinos who visit here can read my story!
WHO ARE YOU: PRELUDE
Sinungaling na ba ako kung sasabihin ko sa inyo ang pangalan ko? Hindi ako sure kung anong sasabihin kong pangalan ko pero may nagsasabi sa aking wag nalang magpakilala sa inyo.
May gusto lang naman akong itanong... Paano kung may makilala ka sa kasalukuyan na nagpapaalala sayo sa nakaraan? Anong gagawin mo kung ang nakilala mo sa kasalukuyan ay may tinatago pa lang sikreto na kahit siya mismo ay walang alam pero may kinalaman sa iyong nakaraan? Anong gagawin mo kung ang dalawang ito ay may koneksyon? Anong pipiliin mo? Ang nakilala mo sa nakaraan? O ang nagpakilala bilang ibang tao sa kasalukuyan? Past? Or Present?
There was this guy I dated for a while but things didn't turn out well. I was so into him that one night I can't stop thinking about him, I've decided to send his MOM a message on facebook confessing how much I like her son. I wish it ended there but no. I had to make it so emotional, lengthy and detailed like the drama queen I am. Luckily, it went to message request so I'm hoping she hasn't really read it yet. Up until this day it makes me cringe whenever I think about it but hey, whenever it pops in my mind I make myself laugh too so thank you self for being unbelievably shameless and brave when it comes to love. I may age faster because I have made a lot of cringe-worthy moments that I constantly make faces out of embarrassment just reflecting on my antics but I know I've made more hilarious memories than what ifs and somehow that makes the disappointments feel more like assurances that I have gave it my all and I have lived as honest (maybe a little to honest) as I could. #ItsOnlyNatural #CanBnatural
I've been investing in arts, photography, and writing. I've also got back to reading the other day and I finished reading this amazing book entitled 300 Things I Hope by Iain S. Thomas. It is all about the things the author hopes his readers to do in all aspects of life. So, I decided to make a version of it with all of the things I'm hoping for.
I hope I get to see my friends be successful in life. I hope to make a big mural someday. I hope to be a well-known artist like the artists I look up to. I hope to marry the person I am in love with today. I hope to be a little kinder to myself. I hope to see happiness even in the smallest things. I hope to travel the world. I hope to be a good mother and a wife to my future family. I hope to have my artworks displayed in a gallery or an exhibit. I hope to learn more about creative writing. I hope I won't learn how to get tired and give up my passion. I hope I won't get too hard on myself whenever I don't get the results I've been wanting to see in my works. I hope to love myself more even on the days I hate it the most. I hope to lead and empower women; to be their voice and for them to believe in themselves that they can be the woman they look up to. And when I've reached my limit of these things, I hope I won't get tired of reminding myself that my emotions don't make me weak, hence, makes me stronger. These are some of the things I always hope for. What about you? What are you hoping for?
I started fixing myself this quarantine. I mean, I started trying makeup products. As a teen, I'm on my phone almost every hour of the day, scroll on my social media accounts, especially Instagram, and also Pinterest where you get to see nice and pleasing photography by bunch of amazing and beautiful people from different parts of the world. So I started taking my own as well. I did not know that taking your own photo and try to get an Instagramable one is sooooooooo hard, it's exhausting. I do not have alot of space in my room, and I would definitely not do it outside our house because of Corona Virus, and I don't want to be seen by our neighbors HAHA so I have no choice but to make tiis inside my room.
Out of atleast 25 shots, only 2 are a nice picture. While I'm all sweaty and tired, I am proud of what I could do beyond my comfort zone. And this definitely built my self confidence, (and I secret love the compliments I received from both people I know and don't know) It's not my first time visiting in here, Candy! But I'm new to writing my thoughts and experiences, so bare with me HAHA.
Until next time!