And when Pulido died, Tizon, in his own words, brought her ashes back home in a "cheap plastic box" that was "about the size of a toaster." He claims to have teared up a bit while watching Pulido's relatives cry. But it was pilit (forced), for one cannot expect him to join in the mass howling for a "distant" (sic) relative. Besides, why should one cry over a dead slave?
As it turned out, Tizon was not keen on spending time at his "Lola's" place. Here is Pulido's niece Rosita Labador explaining to Rappler's Lian Buan – 46 seconds into the tape – why she missed the burial:
Noong nalaman ko, hindi naman ako nakasunod kaagad. Eh napunta pala sila kina auntie [at] Oyang, eh diretso na pala silang inilagay sa Bliss (the memorial park), sa sementeryo. Ang pagka-alam ko kasi magdamag pa silang anuhin sa bahay. Hindi naman pala – diretso na, kasi siguro apurado 'yung nagdala, pauwi na... si Alex.
(When I learned [that my aunt's ashes were being brought home] I was not able to follow them right away. They went to my auntie and Oyang and then went straight to Bliss, the cemetery. What I was told was that we would have an overnight wake at my aunt's place. Apparently that was not the case – they went straight [to the cemetery] because the one who brought her ashes was probably in a hurry... Alex.)
So much for the undying love.
What I find doubly duplicitous in Tizon's beautiful prose is that he did not only commandeer Pulido's muted voice, he also most likely was selective in his parsing of her supposed replies to make him look good! In the end, it was still his story, with Pulido the silent prop. Tizon, even in death, has maintained control of the narrative and his adoring-yet-guilt-ridden admirers are falling head over heels for it, with oodles and oodles of tears (a lot of the crocodile variety). In the end, it is still his story.
We have to hand it to Tizon – his plan of getting away with the crime and still keeping the public on his side is an excellent strategy that would make Niccolo Machiavelli proud.
"Eh, di ibalik ang suwerte!" (Dely Atay-Atayan)
But if we all agree that it was a crime, then, as the saying goes, crime must pay. But how? One cannot jail dead criminals save in Dante's Hell, but how about monetary reparations – the "back pay" owed Pulido for the 56 years of service? Hard to compute, one said; and besides, can pain be ever measured in monetary terms?
One of the lovely things about millennials is that when given a puzzle, they immediately buckle down to work on it. To the question of how much, a friend referred me to the tweet of the fellow with the alias The Kryptonian Blerd who describes himself as "a future RN who's trying to make the world a better place one melanin-infused tweet at a time." Fascinated with the question of how much Ms Pulido is owed in terms of back pay ("and cost before inflation"), he came out with the figure $3,444,721.92. I hope KB would not mind if I repost it here.
Alas, it is a felony that the family has successfully dodged because the perpetrators and the accomplice are dead; the other Tizons were too young to be charged as co-conspirators; and, the most painful deterrent of all, the Pulidos are too poor, unfamiliar with American law, and unlikely to get a visa from the US consulate to pursue their case.
Hence all we have left is the moral outrage, which is much devalued these days, given how much internet hopping can bring us to the next moral outrage in a week or so.
Well, yes and no. This was what I wrote on my Facebook page: "OK...so now that many of those who recognize that they may have done something similar, albeit in various degrees of brutality, to what the slaveholding Tizon family did to Eudocia Pulido, then the logical next step is to confess these transgressions and bring them to the open. You want cathartic closure, then please, off with the hand wringing and cultural explanations and fess up the sordid acts you did to your maids. I will be happy to be your historian and make sure the UP Library Archives has a list of what you've done."
Kunsensiyahan na lang (Let's just guilt trip)...
But if this never worked with our politicians, why expect the rich and the middle classes to admit that there is some of that slaveholders' blood that Alex Tizon has brought out in the open? (READ: We are all Tizons)
It's back to the trenches. – Rappler.com
Patricio N. Abinales is an overseas Filipino worker, but, unlike Eudocia Pulido, his place of work is not a slave plantation, and he receives his wages regularly and on time.