Have you ever had a maid in your house? Yes? What do you call them, then? Do you mistreated them?
Mixed emotions as people read the Story of Alex Tizon entitled “My Family’s Slave”.
Alex Tizon was died last March. He was a journalist and the author of Big Little Man: In search of my Asian Self.
In his article in THE ATLANTIC, he summarized the story of their Family’s Slave named Eudocia Tomas Pulido, a 4’11 woman who is already working for them since she was 18 years old, his Grandfather gave Lola to his mother as a gift. They never paid the old woman and they scolded her constantly but despite the mistreatment she got from his family, she never left.
Throughout the story, Tizon expressed disgust over his family’s treatment to the old woman as well as his inability to do anything to help her. Eventually, Tizon’s Mother has died and decided to bring the old woman with him, who then strived to treat her better, give her allowance and even let the old woman to go home on her 83rd birthday to Tarlac.
The story struck a chord to many Filipinos, many of whom defended Tizon and insisted that they should understand their culture and history for them to appreciate the Story and writers perspective.
While many Filipino maids are seen as second mothers and are attended to when they get old, slavery and its modern equivalent—underpaid domestic helpers—are deeply rooted in Philippine society. Today, employing household help is still the norm for many Filipino families. Many have “stay-in” maids like Pulido who cook, do laundry, and look after children in exchange for a small monthly salary. The minimum wage for domestic helpers in the Manila metro area is around $50 per month, much lower than the minimum wage for other jobs at about $260. Because most are not hired through established agencies, many families also pay less than the amount prescribed by the government. Quartz Media