What Is the Story That Tells Why It Is Women Who Always Wash Dishes?

The story of Hugo and Imelda, a couple living in Santa Rosa, tells the tale of why it is women who wash dishes. This story is often used in cultural studies, as it tells how this tradition came to be in the Philippines.

In this short story, the wife Imelda forces her husband Hugo to wash his own dishes, threatening him with a broom if he refuses. Hugo finally gets tired of washing dishes after working in the fields, and refuses. In the argument that ensues, the couple make a wager that whoever spoke first had to do the dishes forever. The silence went on so long that the neighbors thought the couple died, and came to bury them. Imelda, terrified at the thought of being placed in a coffin, spoke first, shouting “Don’t touch us!” Hugo shouted for joy, for his woman would have to do dishes forever.