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UniversityARASOF Nasugbu Campus
Nasugbu, Batangas
College of Industrial Technology
Prepared by:
 Monica Balboa
Prepared for:
 Mr. Gregorio ApacibleProfessor 
Nick Joaquin (b. 1917)
 Philippine novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist writing in English, the National Artist for Literature. Joaquin is widely considered the best postwar author in his country. He has written largely
about the Spanish colonial period and the diverse heritage of the Filipino people. Often he deals withthe coexistence of 'primitive' and 'civilized' dimensions inside the human psyche. In his short story 'TheSummer Solstice,' set in the 1850s, Joaquin portrayed the collision between instincts and refined
culture. Doña Lupeng first rejects ancient beliefs, but under the spell of the moon, she becomes possessed by the spirit of the Tadtarin cult - she does not want to be loved and respected anymore butadored as the embodiment of the matriarchal powers."He lifted his dripping face and touched his bruised lips to her toes; lifted his hands and grasped the
white foot and kissed it savagely - kissed the step, the sole, the frail ankle - while she bit her lips andclutched in pain at the windowsill, her body distended and wracked by horrible shivers, her head flung back and her loose hair streaming out of the window - streaming fluid and black in the white night
where the huge moon glowed like a sun and the dry air flamed into lightning and the pure heat burnedwith the immense intense fever of noon." (from 'The Summer Solstice' in Tropical Gothic, 1972) Nick Joaquin was born in Paco on Calle Herran, as the the son of Leocadio Y. Joaquin, a lawyer and acolonel of the Philippine Revolution, and Salome Marquez, a schoolteacher. After three years of 
secondary education at the Mapa High School, Joaquin dropped out of school to work on Manila’swaterfront and in odd jobs. On his spare time he read widely at the National Library and on his father'slibrary. English had became the official medium of instruction in 1898 after the Spanish-American war.
Especially through the work of short story writers English became the most developed literary genreand virtually all Spanish literature ceased.Starting as a proofreader at the Philippines Free Press, Joaquin rose to contributing editor and essayistunder the pen name 'Quijano de Manila' (Manila Old Timer). After World War II Joaquin worked as a
 journalist, gaining fame as a reporter for the Free Press. In 1970 he left the Philippines Free Press and
went on to edit Asia-Philippine Leader. During the reign of Ferdinand Marcos, who had won presidency in 1965, corruption started to fuel opposition to his administration. When martial law wasdeclared in 1972 Joaquin was subsequently suspended. He then became the editor of the Philippine
Graphic magazine and publisher of the Women’s Weekly.Joaquin started to write short stories, poems, and essays in 1934. One year later his first work appearedin the Tribune in 1935. In 1947 his essay on the defeat of a Dutch fleet by the Spaniards off thePhilippines in 1646 earned him a scholarship to study in Hong Kong at the Albert College, founded by
the Dominicans. Joaquin's studies for priesthood explains part the Christian setting of his stories andconstant attention to the practices and superstitions of his characters. However, he left the seminary in1950, finding it impossible for him to adjust to rigid rules. Prose and Poems (1952) was followed by
the Barangay Theatre Guild's production of his play, A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. The title refersto James Joyce's famous book, not without ironic tone. A Portrait is considered the most importantFilipino play in English. In it Joaquin focused on a family conflict, in which old cultural models are
reconciled with modern values. The descendants of the declining Don Lorenzo refuse to sell themasterpiece which he has painted for them. With Stevan Javellana, N.V.M. Gonzalez, Celso Al.Carunungan, and Kerima Polotan Tuvera he influenced the development of the Philippine novel and
short story. He writing also build a bridge from modern literature to the religious themes of Spanishheritage and primitive beliefs. When the young Guido in 'The Summer Solstice' had returned fromEurope to his home, he tells Doña Lupeng: "Ah, I also learned to open my eyes over there - to see the
holiness and the mystery of what is vulgar."The prize-novel The Woman Who Had Two Navels (1961) examined the pressures of the past upon the present. Monson, the ex-revolutionary, hides in Hong Kong, afraid to face the trials of postwaindependence. Again Joaquin dealt with the tensions between illusion and reality. The novel won the
first Harry Stonehill Award, an yearly grant. The Aquinos of Tarlac (1983) was a biography of theassassinated presidential candidate Benigno Aquino. He led the opposition to President FerdinandMarcos and was shot dead in the airport when he returned from exile. Three years after his death his
widow Corazon Aquino became President of the Philippines. Cave and Shadows (1983) occurs in the period of martial law under Marcos.For his work Joaquin received several awards. His essay 'La Naval de Manila' (1943) won in a contestsponsored by the Dominicans; 'Guardia de Honor' was declared the best story of the year in 1949, he
received in 1963 the Araw ng Maynila Award, and in 1966 he was conferred the Ramon MagsaysayAward for Literature, Broadcast and Journalism. In 1976 Joaquin was declared a National Artist. He isthe most anthologized of all Philippine authors.For further reading: The Trouble with Nick & Other Profiles by Marra PL. Lanot (2000); Encyclopedia
of World Literature in the 20th Century, ed. by Steven R. Serafin (1999, vol. 2); Subversions Of Desire: Prolegomena To Nick Joaquin by Epifanio San Juan, Jr. (1988); Filipino Writers in English byFlorentino B. Valeros and Estrellita V. Gruenberg (1987); New Writing from the Philippines by L.
Casper (1966); Brown Heritage, ed. by A. Manuud (1967); 'Hauted Intensity' by Miguel A. Bernard inBamboo and the Greenwood Tree (1961); 'The Stories of Nick Joaquin' by Harry B. Furay in PhilippineStudies, i (1953) - For further information: The Storyteller's New Medium - Rizal in Saga by Nick Joaquin - A Summary of Nick Joaquin's The Four Little Monkeys Who Went To Eden -

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