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Characters: Constantina "Tinang" Tirol Señora (the former employer of Tinang ) Tito (son of Señora) Señorito (Father of Tito and the boss of Amado) Amado Galuran (Tinang's boyfriend) A Bagobo (Tinang‟s husband) Bagobito (Tinang‟s baby boy)
The story happens in a Barrio.
Tinang discovers after reading the love letter from her first love, Amado, that she is still loved by him. However, by then, she is already married to a Bagobo and has a son with him.
One day, Constantina Tirol, also called as Tinang, visits her former master, Señora, whom she was working for before she got married. While carrying her baby boy, she walks through the entrance of the house of her former Señora and meet his former young master,Tito, and the Señora. Upon getting inside the house, Señora asks her some questions how her married life is together with his Bagobo husband and also how is it to be a mother of a baby boy. Their conversation continues and they reach to the point of talking about the tractor drivers of Señora, especially the one who was good, Amado. After that, Tinang finally tells her former Señora about her intention of being there. The baptism of her baby is about to come and she wants Señora to be a Madrina or a Ninang to her child. The relationship between Tinang and her former Señora with her family remains good. And so, Señora hastily agreed to be so and yet wants to provide baptismal clothes for the baby and the fee for the Priest. Before she left from Señora‟s house, she was told by her that there is a letter for her in the drugstore, which also serves as the post office of the barrio. By that moment, she thought that someone might be dead or maybe that letter comes from her sister. So she hurriedly takes her way home and passes by that drugstore to get the letter. As she continues walking in a muddy road to her way home, she tries to look for a place where she could lay down her baby, hoping that she could read the letter before she arrives home. Finally, she finds a good place where she can stop for a while. There is a Kamansi tree and under of it are scattered cornhusks. So, she prepares a heap of it using her foot and laid her baby upon it. Then, she starts reading the letter. After doing so, she finds out that the letter is a love letter, her first love letter, which comes from Amado, her boyfriend, saying that he does not
want to break up with her when he left from the field of Señora without telling the reason why he did so. Time cannot be back anymore. It is already too late that she discovers that Amado still loves her. However, she was not informed that his mother‟s worst illness made him gone for some time. Instead, Tinang marry a Bagobo man, whom owns 2 hectares of land. After all, what she does is only to remember her past with Amado until the time comes when she has to leave upon noticing that a snake is sneaking towards her baby boy. In the end, she leaves the place without noticing that her first love letter fell down among the cornhusks.
REACTION Aida Rivera Ford, according to my research, has lived with her husband in their large farm in Davao, the place where I live as well. In connection to this, the short story of „Love in the Cornhusks‟ is somehow related with her life like its barrio-setting and the characteristics of the Characters as well. Perhaps, the main character is a woman based on the fact that the writer of this short story is a woman too. The story is very simple, easy to understand and yet realistic. It begins in a situation where the main character, Tinang, starts her day as she visits her Señora with a good vibe that shifted to a different one lately. With a little similarity with the „Telenovelas‟ shown in television, this story shows that a lowly one, a nanny and a barrio girl, can be its main character, whom is experiencing twists in her life. However, compared to Telenovelas, she did not experience some kinds of abuses nor having an enemy in her life because the story is stressing not on these matters but on how decisions a person does could affect his or her entire life. The author made the life of Tinang centered between two men. The Bagobo, her husband, and Amado do not speak in the story but they are characterized differently with each other. It appears that her husband, the Bagobo, is a simple man, whom is satisfied of being a farmer with the 2 hectares of land for his family. On one hand, Amado, the one she loved before her husband, is portrayed as a tractor driver, whom wears formal clothes every Saturday and a yet man who gives importance to his future as he wants to study mechanical engineering someday. I see in the story that in life, choices are given to us and yet what we have to do is to discern and stand in the decision we may select. Hence, marrying is not a joke and to marry the Bagobo is not just a
coincidence in Tinang‟s life but it is her decision when she did so, even if she did not know yet the reason why Amado had suddenly gone. The last part of the story has some symbolic figures. Tinang still loves Amado even after she got married to her husband. Reading the letter is a moment when Tinang‟s feeling for Amado has reawakened. To cry is the first thing she does, then, she tries to recollect her first experiences with him. A snake comes in the scene sneaking towards her baby. As I analyze it, I see that snake is the representation of such discovery and poses threat towards her relationship with her family. Why the snake is going to her baby? It is because that snake, if Tinang lets herself be taken by her emotion, can destroy her relationship with her Bagobo husband. Indeed, the snake is about to attack her son for he is the symbol and the fruit of the love that she and her husband shared together. In the end of the story, the author‟s symbolisms are saying that Tinang chooses to accept the consequences in the decision she made in her life. First, she stands up from her sitting position – telling that life must go on; then she embraced the baby – telling that she has to embrace her own consequences and situatedness and especially the people whom God has given to her; next, she prayed and beg the almighty not to punish her after thinking other things outside from her married life – saying that she realizes that her thoughts are wrong; afterwards, she checks the skin of the baby searching for some marks – showing the possible scars in her married life after reincarnating the feelings she once had with Amado; and the last one, the letter fell unnoticed among the cornhusk – saying that she leaves that momentum without knowing that her very strong feeling and longing to Amado, if is not totally gone yet, is at least eased and is left among the cornhusks, which is meant to be consider as only a past of her life.
REFLECTION “Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice.” This is a famous saying I have been hearing since my early teenage years. After reading the story, I am affirmed that a relationship tantamount to what Tinang and Amado had is not always certain. Life is full of twisting events and human beings have to understand that decisions done in every moment must be discerned well and its consequences should be accepted. If I were Tinang, I would surely find myself too thinking about the other possibilities that could happen in my life if I did not marry the Bagobo. However, though it is a little bit painful, I know that I cannot rewind anymore the time and what I have to is to accept that life is like that. We tend to experience the excruciating consequences of our hasty or even faulty decisions in order for us to become a better and mature person someday in making decisions once again in our life. Hence, love in the cornhusk, as it is portraying that life has to be dealt with acceptance, I learn that at the end of the day, I must reserve a part of myself a chance of being able to move on and cope with the excruciating moments I may face in the future. Who has the greater love than the other? For me, it does not make any sense to talk about this question. I believe that both Tinang and Amado equally love each other. However, life has a lot of uncertainties and we cannot be sure what are we someday and who are those people we will be living with in the future. Yet, for the two of them, it just simply means that they are not destined with each other not because destiny itself decided if, but rather because they themselves are the ones decided for their own destinies.
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