The Day the Dancers Came


1996 • Son of Tomas (Nuqui) Santos and Vicenta • Filipino-American fictionist. poet and nonfiction writer. 1911 – January 7. He lived in the United States for many years where he is widely credited as a pioneering Asian-American writer. .Author’s Biography: • March 22.

• Obtained his BA from the University of the Philippines in 1932 and as a scholar under the Philippine Pensionado program in 1941 he pursued an MA in English at the University of Illinois.Author’s Biography: • Was born and raised at Tondo. Manila but his family roots was originally from Lubao. . Columbia University and Harvard University. Pampanga.

Author’s Biography: • He accepted a Rockefeller fellowship in 1958 at the Writers Workshop in the University of Iowa. he became a Visiting Writer and Artist at the De La Salle University in Manila. where he later became a Fulbright exchange professor. • After he retired. .

The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor (1983) and What the Hell for You Left Your Heart in San Francisco (1987). Scent of Apples (1979).Author’s Biography: • Other notable works include: You Lovely People (1955). .

. Santos’s tale was also adapted and made into a twenty-seven minute film with the same title as the short story. Dacanay.Author’s Biography: • Santos’ The Day the Dancers Came short story was adapted and made into a play entitled First Snow of November by Filipino fictionist and playwright Alfonso I. The stage version won first prize in the One-Act Play in English category during the 2005 Palanca Awards.

or of people from what is important or meaningful to them. or of a person from their own sense of self . division or distancing of people from each other.THEMES ALIENATION estrangement.

THEMES MIGRATION is physical movement by humans from one area to another. sometimes over long distances or in large groups .

THEMES HOMESICKNESS the distress caused by separation from the home environment .

SETTING A Snowy November in Chicago .

corporal in the U.S. had been bedridden for two years due to an intriguing disease . a retired Pullman porter. Filipino U. discharged in 1945  Tony-Antonio Bataller – Fil’s friend and roommate.S. Citizen. Army.CHARACTERS  Filemon “Fil” Acayan – 5o years old.

S.SUMMARY The story is about a Filipino U. Fil got so excited because he knew Filipino dancers from the Philippines were coming over to America to perform. planning to be the young dancers’ tour guide in America. Fil lived with Tony. on the other hand. he lived in America. a fellow Filipino who also became a U. Tony. doesn't care much about these dancers. citizen after the war. He was a corporal during the war and since he got an American citizenship. He got so excited that he even practiced the way he would talk in front of them and the dialect he would use. . He had tidied his house and planned to cook adobo and other Filipino dishes that he was certain they are craving for. Only Fil feels excited about their arrival. He even cleaned his car.S. Tony doesn’t even want to participate with Fil’s plans. citizen named Fil. One day.

They were a group of young dancers. they had decided to avoid him. How he wished Tony was with him. He knew Tony could speak English more fluently than him and also Tony is better with dealing with other people than him. .SUMMARY Fil drove to the hotel where the dancers were supposed to stay. he saw them. He felt the desire to approach them. he sadly went away. But he was so shy that he does not know how start. While at the lobby of the hotel. ignore his presence.” Realizing that they were not really interested of his humble offer. invite them to his house and they would have a wonderful conversation. “They were always moving away. As if by common consent. he approached a small group but they all neglected his offer saying that they had no time and would move away from him. Finally.

Meanwhile. Meanwhile. He recorded everything in his tape recorder – this is where he kept all the significant sounds that he hears and whenever he was free. he watched the dancers perform in the theatre. He was in such pain that he was moaning. He turned on the tape recorder and listened to the music and the pattering of feet during the dances. he would listen to the sounds recorded and it always felt like being in the place again.SUMMARY Later that evening. When he came home from the theatre. in panic. Fil accidentally erased the recordings on the tape and “there was nothing now but the dull creaking of the tape on the spool and meaningless sounds…” . Tony was already asleep. Tony woke up and ordered him to turn off the recorder.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS Why does Fil cling to old memories of home through an evening with the dancers who came to Chicago? .

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS  Even though Fil was living in the U. . he never forgot his Filipino identity and he couldn’t avoid to think about the Philippines and his fellowmen.S. It is a common desire of longing for one's hometown among Filipino immigrants no matter how desperate it may seem (like Fil's desperation to be friends with the Pinoy dancers who would perform) and it also reflects the typical Filipino immigrant's value for his homeland. for a long time.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS Why does Fil consider time and memory as villains? .

present time would always be superior. .COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS  When Fil was handling his “magical sound mirror”. It symbolizes his waking up to reality even though he plays the recorded sounds to reminisce moments. flew by quickly and he didn’t notice how the feelings of his memories towards his homeland had changed. for Fil. Time. he accidentally pushed the erase button and he screamed.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS How does the erased recording of the dancers’ performance present a metaphor for Fil’s feeling of exile and homesickness? .

for a long time and when the Filipino dancers came.COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS  Fil was staying in the U.S. he somehow felt that he had fellowmen with him that reminded him of home which had been long gone from his memories. it had only dawned to Fil that he was still an “exile” and he felt stronger feelings of homesickness. The erased recording symbolizes that after the show. .

” . He hadn’t realized till then the long night was over. how would you describe Fil’s understanding of the migrant’s sense of loneliness. specifically as Santos’ ends his story: “Biting his lips. Fil turned towards the window.COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS After the encounter with the dancers from the Philippines and the erased recording. startled by the first light of dawn.

His supposed alleviation from homesickness became a much more hurting loneliness when his invitation was ignored by the young Filipino people. Fil’s expectations of what would happen on the day that the dancers came became disappointments. it can be inferred from the last sentence that Fil is not ready to let go of the memories he holds. In the end. However. Fil’s being startled in the first light of dawn can be viewed as a reminder of his lonely state. .COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS  His understanding of loneliness can be described as being stuck in time.

COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS How does Bienvenido Santos picture the feeling of alienation by the first generation of immigrants to America? How does it parallel or present a different picture when compared to the experience of contemporary Filipino migrants in America and anywhere in the world today? .

and cultural tolerance that make working abroad easier today. . migrants like Fil have found themselves wandering between two homes-one unwelcoming and persistently unfamiliar. homesickness is lessened because migrants today already see that they are not alone in their situation. since there are a lot of Filipino migrants in every part of the world. unlike the first wave of Filipino migrant workers in the United States in the 20th century. The feeling of alienation can be triggered by these two places they consider as their homes.COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS  Aging and alone after a lifetime squandered trying to make it in a foreign country. transportation and communication technology. Nowadays. and the other forever barred to them by time. deprived of the social networks.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful