56 Years a Slave

Caroline Hau

The posthumous publication of Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino-American journalist Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave” has provoked much discussion and some controversy. Many readers were moved by the plight of Lola Eudocia Tomas Pulido, who was eighteen years old in 1943 when the author’s grandfather “gave” her to the author’s mother as a “gift” and who worked for the author’s family for fifty-six years.

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  1. when i was growing up, in my teens, my mother always had a problem keeping maids. i remember (with shame) that i was twice instrumental in an “alsa balutan” (ang taray ko daw). when i was married and had my own family, i finally got a handle on it. one kasambahay stayed 10 years, the next one, 25 years.