She lived with us for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized who she was.
She was 18 years old when my grandfather gave her to my mother as a gift, and when my family moved to the United States, we brought her with us. No other word but slave encompassed the life she lived. Her days began before everyone else woke and ended after we went to bed. She prepared three meals a day, cleaned the house, waited on my parents, and took care of my four siblings and me. My parents never paid her, and they scolded her constantly. She wasn’t kept in leg irons, but she might as well have been.
.. Lola’s story began, up north in the central plains: Tarlac province. Rice country. The home of a cigar-chomping army lieutenant named Tomas Asuncion, my grandfather. The family stories paint Lieutenant Tom as a formidable man given to eccentricity and dark moods, who had lots of land but little money and kept mistresses in separate houses on his property.
.. She was raised by a series of utusans, or “people who take commands.”
.. Before the Spanish came, islanders enslaved other islanders, usually war captives, criminals, or debtors. Slaves came in different varieties, from warriors who could earn their freedom through valor to household servants who were regarded as property and could be bought and sold or traded. High-status slaves could own low-status slaves, and the low could own the lowliest.
.. Lola agreed, not grasping that the deal was for life.
.. Then, in a quivering voice, she told her father that Lola would take her punishment. Lola looked at Mom pleadingly, then without a word walked to the dining table and held on to the edge. Tom raised the belt and delivered 12 lashes
.. My mother, in recounting this story late in her life, delighted in the outrageousness of it, her tone seeming to say, Can you believe I did that?
.. the proper way to be a provincial matrona: You must embrace your role as the giver of commands. You must keep those beneath you in their place at all times, for their own good and the good of the household. They might cry and complain, but their souls will thank you. They will love you for helping them be what God intended.
.. While she looked after us, my parents went to school and earned advanced degrees, joining the ranks of so many others with fancy diplomas but no jobs.
.. Figuring they would both have to work, my parents needed Lola to care for the kids and the house. My mother informed Lola, and to her great irritation, Lola didn’t immediately acquiesce. Years later Lola told me she was terrified. “It was too far,”
.. what convinced Lola was my father’s promise that things would be different in America. He told her that as soon as he and Mom got on their feet, they’d give her an “allowance.” Lola could send money to her parents, to all her relations in the village. Her parents lived in a hut with a dirt floor. Lola could build them a concrete house, could change their lives forever. Imagine.
.. But they’d be affectionate to us kids one moment and vile to Lola the next. I was 11 or 12 when I began to see Lola’s situation clearly.
.. In Mom’s eyes was a shadow of something I hadn’t seen before. Jealousy?
“Are you defending your Lola?,” Dad said. “Is that what you’re doing?”
“Ling said she wasn’t hungry,” I said again, almost in a whisper.
.. Having a slave gave me grave doubts about what kind of people we were, what kind of place we came from. Whether we deserved to be accepted. I was ashamed of it all, including my complicity. Didn’t I eat the food she cooked, and wear the clothes she washed and ironed and hung in the closet? But losing her would have been devastating... After each of her parents died, Lola was sullen and silent for months. She barely responded when my parents badgered her. But the badgering never let up. Lola kept her head down and did her work...For days in a row Lola would be the only adult in the house. She got to know the details of our lives in a way that my parents never had the mental space for. We brought friends home, and she’d listen to us..at night she’d crumble in self-pity and despair. Her main source of comfort during this time: Lola. As Mom snapped at her over small things, Lola attended to her even more—cooking Mom’s favorite meals, cleaning her bedroom with extra care...couple of years after my parents split, my mother remarried and demanded Lola’s fealty to her new husband, a Croatian immigrant named Ivan.. She’d heard that relatives back home who hadn’t received the promised support were wondering what had happened to her. She was ashamed to return... “This is your house now,” I said. “You’re not here to serve us. You can relax, okay?”“Okay,” she said. And went back to cleaning.
She didn’t know any other way to be
.. Dad used to say she was simple. I wondered what she could have been if, instead of working the rice fields at age 8, she had learned to read and write.
.. living with Mom’s husbands made her think being alone wasn’t so bad.
.. he’d had none of the self-serving ambition that drives most of us, and her willingness to give up everything for the people around her won her our love and utter loyalty. She’s become a hallowed figure in my extended family.
Canada Wants Silicon Valley’s Tech Employees
But Canadian tech remains far less visible than Silicon Valley, in part because most of Canada’s big tech companies are less focused on consumer-facing products, such as apps, which can generate buzz and name recognition. Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce success story, remains an outlier. Past giants of Canadian tech are companies like Nortel and Research in Motion, one of which has gone bankrupt while the other is still bogged down trying to stage a Blackberry comeback. Treurnicht concedes that the nature of the tech business in Canada—from tech infrastructure, to fintech or digital solutions for the energy sectors—make it less visible abroad.
.. What seems more pragmatic and realistic, at least at the moment, is bringing Canadians working in Silicon Valley back home.
Kushner Family Apologizes for Mentioning Jared’s Name at EB-5 Visa Investor Meeting in China
Nicole Kushner Meyer is apologizing for mentioning her brother, Jared Kushner, a senior White House adviser and son-in-law to President Donald Trump, during an investment conference in China over the weekend.
“In 2008, my brother Jared Kushner joined the family company as CEO, and recently moved to Washington to join the administration,” Meyer said at the conference aimed at encouraging Chinese developers to invest in a New Jersey real estate project, according to CNN.
.. The program has come under intense scrutiny by both Republicans and Democrats.California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein opposes the EB-5 visa program, arguing that it allows monied foreign nationals to use their wealth to buy visas and U.S. citizenship.
The program — which was extended and sneakily slipped into the latest spending bill — is rife with abuse, leading to fraud convictions
.. GreenTech Automotive, the electric car manufacturer co-founded by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe — funded in-part by EB-5 visas granted to Chinese investors, and pushed through the politically-driven approval process by Tony Rodham, Hillary Clinton’s brother — failed to make its first payment on a $3 million loan from the state of Mississippi. The company shuttered its Mississippi factory earlier this year.
Kushner Cos. Pushes Investor Visas to Wealthy Chinese in Skyscraper Pitch
Trump adviser’s sister leading campaign for investors in $1 billion U.S. project, offering chance of green card
New York property developer Kushner Cos. launched a weekend marketing campaign for a New Jersey development, targeting major Chinese cities for wealthy individuals to invest a combined $150 million for the chance to secure U.S. immigration rights.The developer, owned by the family of Trump administration senior adviser Jared Kushner, is trying to draw investment into twin 66-floor commercial-and-residential towers called One Journal Square that would cost almost $1 billion to build, according to marketing materials. Up to 300 individuals who put $500,000 each into the project could be eligible for green cards under a U.S. investment-for-immigration program called EB-5, the materials said.
The China marketing push, being led by Mr. Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, began in Beijing on Saturday and shifted to Shanghai on Sunday.