detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Saturday, July 27, 2002


: . White Love:

'You ruined my life. You might as well end it,' she quoted him as saying.


I was putting my files in order today when I unexpectedly found this news clipping. I've been looking for it for many years. The story it tells has somehow imprinted itself deep into my memory as a tragic consequence of colonial fears and colonial desires. Bulawin's 'crime' came to mind when I saw an exhibit of lynching photographs two years ago in New York. All those black men, hung, torched, cut into pieces, and parcelled out as mementoes simply for winking at a white woman or for doing nothing at all: their color alone signified violent impulses and fierce cravings for the pure white body. And all those white spectators, caught on film grinning from ear to ear as if they were savoring the scent of justly-punished and perfectly singed flesh. Reading about Jociel Bulawin again, I feel strangely heartbroken and at a loss for words. From Philippine News; Year 35 No. 32 (April 3-9, 1996); A1, col. 3:
    Worker's fantasy ends in death
    by Jennifer B. Ong

    CONCORDE, Calif. -- Jociel Bulawin, 35, sent shock waves throughout this city when he took his former boss hostage at gunpoint for five hours at the trophy store where he used to work and then forced her to shoot him. Many wondered "why"...

    A gun-toting Bulawin barged into the Contra Costa Trophy and Embroidery shop on Salvio Street on March 25 at about 3:30 p.m. and headed straight for Mary McIntyre, assistant manager of the store. He had planned to shoot her and then turn the gun on himself, Concorde police said in published reports, but McIntyre's 'calm demeanor' somehow influenced Bulawin instead to have McIntyre shoot him. So she did.

    [Detective Cleve] Palmer, lead investigator in the case, told Philippine News that Bulawin, who was carrying two semiautomatic pistols, gave McIntyre one of the guns and forced her to pull the trigger. McIntyre bore bruises on her hand, Palmer said, as she tried to keep Bulawin from firing the gun in her hand.

    After five hours, however, McIntyre felt she had no choice and went ahead and complied with Bulawin's request to shoot him. As soon as she fired the shot, McIntyre ran out of the store and police immediately pulled her to safety...

    Police have not confirmed if Bulawin had a history of mental illness. But handwritten notes and a letter typed on his computer revealed a very troubled Bulawin.

    Palmer said Bulawin lived in his own 'fantasy world' which involved 'marrying a white, educated woman.' The letter which Palmer had named himself names McIntyre as the object of his affections. McIntyre became the focus of Bulawin's delusions, but when she showed no interest 'there was no reason for living,' the detective said...

    Jociel Bulawin was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the United States in 1974.

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