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BUGAY, CADORNA, LEGASPI, LINAWAN, & OCHOA PHILIPPHINE LITERATURE MR. ALGENE MALTE DE GUZMAN, M.A.E.L.T
This is a compilation of works of the national artist Nick Joaquin, this compilation is for the compliance of our project in Philippine literature, nonetheless interested folks aside from our professor are welcome to read and indulge in this collection of poems and short stories.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The House at Zapote Street……………………………………. 4 Six PM………………………………………………………….19 Anatomy of the Anti-Hero……………………………………...20 From Bye Bye Blackbird……………………………………….47 Song between Wars…………………………………………….49 Landscape Without Figures…………………………………….51 May Day Eve…………………………………………………...53 Innocence of Solomon………………………………………….63 Legend of The Dying Wanton (excerpt)………………………..65 Summer Solstice……………………………………………….66
Leopardo Quitangon became a regular visitor at the house on Zapote Street: he was helping her prepare for the board exams. mild-mannered. over-zealous in looking after her. 4 . He liked her quiet ways and began to date her steadily. After Lydia finished her internship. she seemed to have no gay early memories to share with her lover. to tell her father. after six years abroad. And whenever it looked as if she might have to stay out late. Rizal. Mesa. Then. a medical intern. There was a foster son. Leonardo and his brothers noticed that she almost never spoke of her home life or her childhood. he met Lydia Cabading. therefore. at the University of Santo Tomas. was still fancy-free at 35 when he returned to Manila. This high-handedness seemed natural enough. Lydia was then only 23 and looked like a sweet unspoiled girl. a soft-spoken. where he went to reach. wherever she was. They went to the movies and to baketball games and he took her a number of times to his house in Sta. to meet his family. Her family seemed to like him. but there was a slight air of mystery about her. cool-tempered Caviteno. Leonardo Quitangon. The Quitangons understood that she was an only child and that her parents were. and had been known to threaten to arrest young men who stared at her on the streets or pressed too close against her on jeepneys. The mother Anunciacion. And off she would go. Lydia's father was a member of the Manila Police Depatment. where she lived with her parents in a new house on Zapote Street. for Pablo Cabading. she would say: "I'll have to tell my father first". Her father usually took her to school and fetched her after classes.THE HOUSE AT ZAPOTE STREET Dr. though it meant going all the way to Makati. as sweethearts usually crave to do. struck him as a mousy woman unable to speak save at her husband's bidding.
Cabading told him: ill be frank with you. Lydia took the board exams and passed them. He was a natty dresser. This. The inevitable piazza curves around two sides of the house. an Ilocano. in various pastel shades." Then he added laying a hand on the young doctor's shoulder:" But I like you. but the house provides for an eventual garage and driveway. The house is painted. I didn't like them and I told them so and made them get out. looked younger than his inarticulate wife." The rest of the household were two very young maids who spoke almost no Tagalog. chained to the front door in the day time. The lovers asked her father's permission to wed. As for Pablo Cabading. at 50.a little boy the Cabadings had adopted. he was a fine strapping man. and two very fierce dogs. unchained in the front yard at night. so that a person standing in the sala can see the doors of the bedrooms and bathroom just above his head. decorated his house with pictures of himself and. You are a good man. and the furniture. When Leonardo started frequenting the house on Zapote Street. Cabading laid down two conditions: that the wedding would 5 . liked youthful colors and styles. and smoldering with vitality. a different color to every three or four planks. who was actually two years younger than he. to which it is bound by the slope of the roof and which it overlooks from a balcony. The Cabadings did not keep a car. None of Lydia's boy friends ever lasted ten minutes in this house. which has a strip of lawn and a low wall all around it. who gave the impression of being taller than he was and looked every inch an agent of the law: full of brawn and guts and force. the shell lamps and the fancy bric-a-brac that clutters the narrow house indicate that the Cabadings had not only risen high enough to justify their split-level pretensions but were expecting to go higher. The house of Zapote Street is in the current architectural cliché: the hoity-toity Philippine split-level suburban style—a half-story perched above the living area. as is also the current fashion.
000. His brothers say that he made more friends in the neighborhood within the couple of months he stayed there than the Cabadings had made in a year. with Mrs. Leonarado spent some frantic weeks scraping up cash and managed to gather P3. "I built this house for Lydia. Delfin Montano. The young doctor said that he could afford the big wedding but the big dowry. Cabading agreed to reduce his price to that amount. then laid down a final condition: after the wedding. The daughter. Then the newlyweds went to live on Zapote Street -." said Cabading." There was nothing. The cozy family group that charmed him in courtship days turned out to be rather too cozy. Leonardo could do but consent. mother. Cabading shrugged his shoulders. Lydia and Leonardo must make their home at the house on Zapote Street. self-enclosed and selfsufficient — in a house that had no neighbors and no need for any.and Leonardo almost immediately realized why Lydia had been so reticent and mysterious about her home life. wife of the Cavite governor. Leonardo found himself within a family turned in on itself. her only child.ba a lavish one and that was to pay a downy of P5. Cabading liked to brag that was a "killer": in 1946 he had shot dead two American soldiers he caught robbing a neighbor's house in Quezon City. no dowry. the maids and even the dogs trembled when the lifted his voice. The entire household revolved in submission around Pablo Cabading. The status gods of Suburdia were properly propitiated. her mother couldn't bear to be separated from Lydia.00.000. Besides.00. The reception was at the Selecta. the foster-son. at the Cathedral of Manila. and Senator Ferdinand Marcos as sponsors. "and I want her to live here even when she's married. Lydia and Leonardo were on September 10 last year. Pablo Cabading did not 6 . no marriage.
finally. too. around the master of the house? 7 . be raged and glowered. the talk had stop. the listeners had to rise and retire . he would do all the talking himself. so long as they sat there in the sala before his eyes. One night. like the rest of the household." After a dead look at her husband. he must not tarry with Lydia in the bedroom chatting: both of them must come down at once to the sala and talk with their father. and what was not his to stray into. being drawn to revolve. as they rose to retire: "Lydia. you sleep with your mother tonight. his compact family group sat around him at night. his house. Leonardo went to bed alone. said Cabading. And within that house he wanted to be the center of everything. silent. He wanted to sit in front with them. Had his spirit been so quickly broken? Was he. The incident would be repeated: there would always be other reasons. What horrified Leonardo was not merely what being done to him but his increasing acquiesces. But. No matter. Cabading insisted on being taken along. He couldn't bear to see Lydia and Leonardo rise and go up together to their room. They didn't have to talk at all. silently and obediently. Cabading's toothaches. Leonardo explained that he was not much of a talking: "That's why I fell in love with Lydia. If they seated him on the back scat while they sat together in front. because she's the quiet type too". while Cabading talked and talked. She has a toothache. Lydia obeyed. even of his daughter's honeymoon. So.and it was this moment that Cabading seemed unable to bear. When Leonardo came home from work. Whenever Leonardo and Lydia went to the movies or for a ride.like what his to stray out of. besides Mrs. unable to bear it any longer he shouted.
my eldest brother fearfully clanging and clanging the gate. Mesa. "I've got my rosary. "Everybody in that house must be in by a certain hour. but Leonardo felt in his pocket and said. he suddenly showed up at his parents’ house in Sta.Once. What had happened? His car had broken down and he had had it repaired and now he could not go home. Gene offered to accompany him home and explain to Cabading what had happened. When he returned to the house on Zapote the next day. Otherwise. where Leonardo spent the night. Says Gene: "That memory makes my blood boil -. He looked terrified. knocking at thai gate. Said Cabading bluntly: "If she goes with you. to let Leonardo. The two rode to Zapote and found the house dark and locked up. begging to be let in." Cried his brother Gene: "You can't fight a gun with a rosary!". I'll shoot her head before your eyes. his father-in-law greeted him with a sarcastic question: "Where were you? At a basketball game?" Leonardo became anxious to take his wife away from that house. Cabading announced that only he and his wife would accompany Lydia to the ceremony. and nobody to let him in. the gates are locked. Mesa and his brothers were shocked at the great in him within so short a time. 1 wouldn't have waited a second. the doors are locked. He talked it over with her. But why not? "You don't know my father-in-law." His brothers urged him to buy a gun. to share that 8 . but he waited five. fifteen minutes. who had not borne the expenses of Lydia's education. late at night. ten. he said." he groaned. I couldn't have it!" In the end the two brothers rode back to Sta. When Lydia took her oath as a physician. then they went to tell her father. Nobody can get in anymore!” A younger brother. the windows are locked. I would not be fair.
(Lydia would later tell them that they had not been admitted because her father had not yet decided what she was to say to them. alone. Leonardo said that. After about two months at the house on Zapote Street. The offer was rejected. As they stood wondering what to do. Finally. Her parents would not let Lydia go and she herself was too afraid to leave. On Christmas Eve. He sent her a check by registered mail.moment of glory too. and stood knocking at the gate for so long the neighbors gathered at windows to watch him. present his gift to Lydia and talk with her for a moment. The house on Zapote became even more closed to the outside world. The lights were on in Cabading house. So the elder Quitangon and two of his younger sons went to Zapote one evening." she cried and fled into the house. Leonardo moved out. The very next day. "Just mail it. if he would like them at least to use his car. When her husband heard that she had started working at a hospital he went there to see her but instead met her father coming to fetch her. she was always accompanied by her father. he was allowed to enter. Leonardo knew that she was with child and he was determined to bear all her prenatal expenses. Cabading preferred to hire a taxi. efforts to contact her proved futile. During the succeeding weeks. He went to Zapote one day when her father was out and persuaded her to come out to the yard but could not make her make the money he offered across the locked gate. it was promptly mailed back to him. Lydia was no longer working at the hospital. Then all the lights were turned off. She said that her father seemed agreeable to a meeting with Leonardo's father. Leonardo returned to the house on Zapote with a gift for his wife. mother or foster-brother.) 9 . a servant girl came and told them that the master was out. or by all three. but nobody responded to their knocking. to discuss the young couple's problem. If Lydia emerged from it at all.
" he growled." At that. you better ask the PC to guard this house!" Then he and his wife drove off in the taxi. Cabading got out and began screaming at the gate: "Where's my daughter? Where's my daughter?" Gene and Nonilo Quitangin went out to the gate and invited her to come in. picked up two. At about ten in the morning. "I give you till midnight tonight to produce my daughter. Mesa. Vexed. Cabading. inside the house? Look. who was inside the waiting taxi. He stopped at a gasoline station to call up his brothers in Sta. She said she could no longer bear to be parted from him and bade him pick her up at a certain church.. just a moment before the mobile police patrol the neighbors had called arrived. then sped with Lydia to Maragondon." Cabading lowered his gun. Cabading ran to the taxi. she's with her husband. (Nonilo had run into the house to get a gun. Gene. sought to pacify the older man: "Why can't we talk this over quietly. like decent people. Leonardo rushed to the church.) "Produce my daughter at once or I'll shoot you all down!" shouted Cabading. we're creating a scandal in the neighborhood. and trained it on Gene Quitangon. "No! No! All I want is my daughter!" she screamed. a taxi stopped before the Quitangon house in Sta. the gun's muzzle practically in his face." he told his brothers. The police advised Gene to file a 10 . Mesa and Mrs. dropped the boy off at a street near Zapote. what have we do with where your daughter is? Anyway. snatched a submachinegun from a box. "Get Mother out of the house. Cavite where the Quitangons have a house. Nonilo Quitangon cried: "Abah. to tell them what he had done and to warn them that Cabading would surely show up there. where she was with her foster brother. "If you don't. then got out and demanded that the Quitangons produce Lydia.The last act of this curious drama began Sunday last week when Leonardo was astounded to receive an early-morning phone call from his wife.
Leonardo said that his father-in-law was an artista. after supper. Lydia and Leonardo appeared at a window and frantically asked what had happened. never been happy!" And the brothers at last had glimpses of the girlhood she had been so reticent about. and their faces lit up." she moaned. "Nothing. It was about eight in the evening when Gene arrived in Maragondon. "and a lucky one". "I've known him longer. "He seems to be a reasonable man after all. Gene decided to go to the house on Zapote Street. and I've never.complaint with the fiscal's office. "We're having our honeymoon at last. "I can't go back. As his car drove into the yard of this family's old house. he was admitted at once by a smiling and very genial Cabading. how smiles and found words and caresses could abruptly turn into beatings when his mood darkened. "Remember how he used to fan me when I supped there while I was courting Lydia?" 11 . did seem to have lifted from her face." said Gene. he told them what had happened in Sta. And the old air of dread. "You are a brave man. especially toward her." he told Gene. Mesa. Instead. And he ordered a coke brought for the visitor. of mystery." said Gene. To his surprise." Lydia told Gene as he entered the house. Lydia by midnight: it was up to the couple to decide whether they would come back. Gene said that he was going to Cavite but could not promise to "produce". hoping that "diplomacy" would work. you don't know him!" cried Lydia. But it was there again when. "He'll kill me! He'll kill me!" "He has cooled down now." "Oh. She told them of Cabading's baffling changes of temper.
But what. Nonilo Quitanongon. Mesa. Gene waited at the supper table and when a long time had passed and they had not come back he went to the room. Cabading appeared 12 . Said Lydia: "We have prayed together and we have decided to die together. the Quitangons noticed that Mrs. but the advice given seemed drastic to them: summon Cabading and have it out with him in front of his superior officer.(At about that time. in Sta. the couple came out of the room. Finding the door ajar. they went to the Manila police headquarters to ask for advice. "No. are you planning to do? You can't stay forever here in Maragondon. What would you live on?" The two said they would talk it over for a while in their room. They found him in good humor.” We'll go back with you." said Gene. he looked in.) "I can't force you to go back." They we’re back in Manila early the next morning. "Was I in the house that night our balae came?" her husband asked her. full of smiles and hearty greetings. saying the rosary. she got up and left the room. Confused anew. Lydia and Leonardo went straight to the house in Sta. (On their various visits to the house on Zapote Street." Cabading had his wife called. Lydia and Leonardo were on their knees on the floor. Leonardo's father then offered to go to Zapote with Gene and Nonilo. where all their relatives and friends warned them not to go back to the house on Zapote Street. saw Cabading drive past three times in a taxi." she replied. to try to reason with Cabading. Gene returned to the supper table. on guard at the gate of his family's house. in the morning. Mesa. as they had decided to do. actually. "I did come once. She came into the room and sat down. "but no one would open the gate. After another long wait. "You'll have to decide that yourselves. you were out." drily remarked the elder Quitangon. Having spoken her piece. He reproached his balae for not visiting him before.
so that the newlyweds could be reconciled with Lydia's parents. "Why.only when summoned and vanished as soon as she had done whatever was expected of her). lay on the parlor sofa. the Quitangons urged Cabading to go with them in Sta. Mesa. "She has been lying there all day. When they arrived in Sta. Gene Quitangon felt so felt elated he proposed a celebration: "I'll throw a blow-out! Everybody is invited! This is on me!" So they all went to Max's in Quezon City and had a very merry fried-chicken party." Gene noted that the towel was neatly spread out and didn't look crumpled at all. After lunch. Would Lydia please drop in again at the house on Zapote? Gene and Nonilo Quitangon said they might as well accompany Lydia there and start moving out her things. Cabading called up the Sta. a large towel spread out beneath her. Mesa. Then Cabading called up again. Would Lydia please visit her? Leonardo and Lydia went to Zapote. did you have to run away?" To Leonardo. Early the next morning. "This should be on me!" But Gene would not let him pay the bill. he said: "And you . Lydia and Leonardo were sitting on a sofa in the sala. Cabading readily agreed. Lydia's mother refused to eat and kept asking for her daughter. Leonardo left for his classes. Lydia. "If you wanted to move out." said Cabading. When they arrived at the Zapote house. this is a family reunion!" laughed Cabading. and that Mrs. Mesa house to pay that his wife had fallen ill. Mrs. her eyes closed. "tossing restlessly. Cabading was 13 .are angry with me?" house by themselves. found nothing the matter with her mother. "Why have you done this?" her father chided her gently. asking for you. Cabading. Cabading then announced that he no longer objected to Lydia's moving out of the house to live with her husband in an apartment of their own. and returned to Sta. the Quitangon brothers were amused by what they saw. Mesa. Overjoyed.
" said Cabading. turn this house over to them. He smiled at the childishness of the stratagem. Gene surmised that it had fallen in a struggle between mother and daughter. I and my wife will move out of here. where he works. While the Quitangons and Cabading were conversing. that Lydia was back in the house on Zapote. Gene could not go along. "I built this house for Lydia. "Excuse me. Cabading told the Quitangons that he wanted Lydia and Leonardo to stay there. She glanced at the crucifix and said it was one of the first things she wanted taken to her new home." Gene told him not you go alone. rising." Gene wearily explained that Lydia and Leonardo preferred the apartment they had already leased. After a long while. He went into Lydia's room and closed the door behind him. As he went upstairs. 14 . "Why did you leave her there?" cried Leonardo. he had to catch a bus for Subic. Mesa. at the house in Zapote. "and this house is hers. he said to the Quitangons. Lydia and her father came out of the room together and came down to the sala together. Gene and Nonilo had the painful task of telling Leonardo." persisted Cabading." said Gene. "But I thought we were going to start moving your things out this afternoon. She wont straight to her room. over his shoulder. "He'll beat her up! I'm going to get her. There was no expression on her face when she told the Quitangon boys to go home. were they heard her pulling out drawers. Mesa house first and pick up Nonilo. the supposedly sick mother slipped out of the sofa and went upstairs to Lydia's room. "Just tell Narding to fetch me. Back in Sta. "I thought all that was settled last night. If she and her husband want to be alone.. I'm not going to 'coach' Lydia"." she said.obviously just pretending to be asleep. but Lydia was past being amused. to pass by the Sta. when he phoned. “Don't misunderstand me." Gene groaned. Suddenly the men heard the clatter of a drawer falling upstairs. Lydia was clasping a large crucifix.
When Leonardo arrived. A while later. Gene told him: "Don't force Lydia to go with you. Then. be persuaded to stay there too. The house stood perfectly still. He knew he couldn't rest easy until he had seen Lydia and Leonardo settled in their new home. followed by sobbing." "I'll be right over. Then he drove like mad to Zapote. for any reason. not a light on inside. they heard a woman scream. "There seems to be trouble up there. in anguish." Leonardo went up. He left too worried. Cabading go up to Lydia's room with a glass of milk. If she doesn't want to. He watched it from a distance but could see no movement. Gene sent a younger brother to inform the family lawyer and to alert the Makati police. and he went upstairs. Gene realized that he was not sure he was going to Subic. Nonilo saw Mrs. Do not. the phone rang." When his brother had left for Zapote. "Something terrible has happened in Lydia's room! I heard four shots. He had telephoned from a gasoline station. A few moments later. It was almost dark when he got there. at about a quarter to seven. leaving the door open." he cried. Cabading gave Nonilo a cup of coffee and chatted amiably with him. leave at once. He related what had happened. Nonilo saw him enter Lydia's room." said Cabading. the door was closed. "Who are up there?" "Lydia and Narding and the Cabadings. He said that when he and Leonardo arrived at the Zapote house. Cabading motioned Leonardo upstairs: "Lydia is in her room. It was Nonilo. The minutes quickly ticked past as he debated with himself whether he should stay or catch that bus. Then a taxi drove up and out jumped Nonilo. Then Nonilo heard three 15 .
for all these new suburbs in Makati used to be grassland. It was an ice-cold night. Lady Physician. Cabading. Before them loomed the dark house. but the two brothers shivered not from the wind blowing down the lonely murky street but from pure horror of the house that had so fatally thrust itself into their lives. or pastoral solitudes where few cared to go. forming the house's chief facade. As the Quitangon brothers shivered in the darkness. with his gun. a police van arrived and unloaded quite a large contingent of policemen. Nonilo pointed to the closed front gate. now so sinister and evil in their eyes. but when he heard a fourth shot he dashed out of the house. (Apparently. one feels human sorrow to be a grass intrusion on the labors of nature. pushing noisy little streets into the heart of the solitude. Even barely two years ago.) Above the sign was the garland of colored lights that have been put up for Christmas and had not yet been removed. he was sure he had left it open when he ran out. the talahib still rose man-high on the plot of ground on Zapote Street where now stands the relic of an ambiguous love. 16 .to use her maiden name. The Quitangons warned them that Cabading had a submachinegun. when the cries it heard were only the crying of birds nesting in the reeds. The brothers suspected that Cabading was lurking somewhere in the darkness. until the big city spilled hither. He stood petrified. marshland. bore a curious sign: Dra. ran to a gasoline station and called up Gene. riceland. In very new suburbs. and collecting here from all over the country the uprooted souls that now moan or giggle where once the carabao wallowed and the frogs croaked day and night. Lydia C. replacing the uprooted reeds with split-levels.or was made. The upper story that jutted forward.shots. The policemen crawled toward the front gate and almost jumped when a young girl came running across the yard. the dark of the moon. But the wind remembered when the sighs it heard here were only the sighing of the ripe grain. Lydia continued.
She was one of the maids. The policeman tried to get a statement from her but all she could say was: "My hand. Sprawled face up on his daughter's bed. she. I cursed him as he lay there dead. for I had wanted to find him alive!" From the position of the bodies and from Mrs. together. Leonardo was holding a clothes hanger. opened the front door and entered. in the heart. Gene said he would try the front one. As they entered. As they crept up the stairs they heard a moaning in Lydia's room. She had been shot in the chest and stomach but was still alive. A policeman volunteered to enter the house through the back door. lay Mrs. "Oh. I cursed him!" cries Eugenio Quitangon with passion. The policeman pushed the door hard and what was blocking it gave. The entire room was spattered with blood. They had died instantly. Cabading's statements later at the hospital." wailed a woman's voice. just as the policeman came in from the kitchen. They tried the door but it was blocked from inside. Lydia was still clutching an armful of clothes. he and Gene shuddered at what they saw. She and her companion and the foster son had fled from the house when they heard the shooting and had been hiding in the yard.it hurts!" She was lying across the legs of her daughter. I cursed that dead man there on that bed. it appears that Cabading shot Lydia while she was shielding her 17 . He had been shot in the breast. blocking the door. "Oh. "Push it. God forgive me! Yes. who lay on top of her husband's body. his mouth agape and his eyes bulging open as though still staring in horror and the bright blood splashed on his face lay Pablo Cabading. He groped for the switch and turned light.shaking with terror and shrieking gibberish. He slipped a hand inside. Cabading. On the floor. It was they who had closed the front gate. push it. my hand. He peered in at a window and could detect no one in the sala.
which must have been mortal enough.a . The violent spasm of agony must have sent the gun . to watch the police and the reporters going through the pretty little house that Pablo Cabading built for his Lydia.45 caliber pistol.flying from his hand. Tuesday last week. Cabading's feet. to fire at himself a second time. It was found at the foot of the bed. The drama of the jealous father had ended at about half-past six in the evening. and it's an indication of the man's uncommon strength and power that. through the right side of the head. Cabading when she tried to shield Lydia. and Mrs. hurrying commuters slowed down and a whispering crowd gathered before 1074 Zapote Street. 18 . after the first shot. he seems to have been able. The next day. Then he turned the gun on himself. near Mrs. as his hands dropped to his breast.husband.
where am I bound? My garden.M. grammarian in the morning. Trouvere at night.SIX P. my four walls and you project strange shores upon my yearning: Atlantis? the Caribbeans? Or Cathay? Conductor. ruefully architecting syllables-but in the afternoon my ivory tower falls. do I get off at Sinai? Apocalypse awaits me: urgent my sorrow towards the undiscovered world that I from warm responding flesh for a while shall borrow: conquistador tonight. 19 . But I-. clockouncher tomorrow. I take a place in the bus among people returning to love (domesticated) and the smell of onions burning and women reaping the washlines as the Angelus tolls.
Oliver Cromwell Two views of Rizal that scan the man behind the monument are clearly headed for controversy. though rather prolix and turgid in the writing. A startling anatomy of the hero is offered in "The First Filipino" by León Maria Guerrero and in "Rizal from Within" by Ante Radaic." It's [end of page 53] barely 70 pages long and is still in manuscript. not from Retana to Blumentritt. was unanimously awarded the first prize in the biography contest during the Rizalcentennial. The Radaic study is basically an extended essay. is a biography in the modern manner. the author subtitled it "An Introduction to a Study of Rizal's Inferiority Complex. The Guerrero book." but can be expected to find its way to the top of the Rizal shelf and into every debate over the hero's personality. 20 .ANATOMY OF THE ANTI-HERO Paint my picture truly like me. and has clinical fascination. but remark all these roughnesses. crafted. in Spanish. has so far been received by what one editor calls "a conspiracy of silence. nothing extenuate Nor set down aught in Malice. For epigraph. is a psychoanalysis of Rizal. pimples. and the delineation is by narrative. and not flatter me at all. concludes with a letter of Kafka to his father. its special quality evident in its sources. in English.progressive and dramatic like a novel. It's a massive tome (over 500 pages). awaiting translator and publisher. and a tentative one. -. where the details are massed not for their scholarly but their emotional value. just before his tragic death. which range. with emphasis on his formative years. as one would expect in a Rizal study. finished his study in late 1963. Radaic. has 24 pages of bibliographical references. and everything as you see me. It begins with an exposition of Adler's theories. but from Rilke and Dostoevsky to Proust and Joyce! The Guerrero opus is magnum. a Yugoslavian exile. warts. and just as readable. Guerrero uses the words of Cromwell quoted above and two lines from Othello: Speak of me as I am. It was published by the National Heroes Commission. The Radaic piece. though the style is hardly Guerrero at his felicitous best.
" Guerrero sees Rizal as the first man to use the term Filipino in its present sense. might seem to condemn it. the most importantfacts: "While gazing at pictures of that giant of small and delicate body." Radaic suspects that Rizal suffered from complexes of inferiority (he terms them "complejos de Rizal") and 21 . made in Spain" -. and Rizal especially. sailing off to Europe in September. says Radaic. and the weight of expert opinion is in favor of authenticity.which is why.hardly an attitude we would honor him for. how can he be a martyr?" Guerrero accepts the retraction as genuine: "That is a matter for handwriting experts. on the one hand.which "was.of Rizal's class: the propertied bourgeoisie and the ilustrado though they. even in the impulsive confessions of his youth." For Radaic." Rizal's trial. presents us with a dilemma. including. Guerrero paints a cruel picture of Rizal sitting comfortably in a ship's cabin. It is nonsense to say that the retraction does not prove Rizal's conversion." a sphinx who. Rizal passionately defended himself from the charge that he was involved in or even sympathized with the Revolution -. "Was he innocent or guilty?" asks Guerrero. perhaps. a few years ago. We may also accept that he was not too fervent a Mason. the admitted failure of the intellectual assault on Rizal's position. while Bonifacio and his Katipuneros were being driven back to the hills of Balara and the Propagandists crowded Fort Santiago: "Rizal was vexed because he had heard that he was being blamed for the disturbances in Manila. "If innocent. already knew what not to tell -. says Guerrero. In fact Rizal himself stated that he had ceased being a Mason in 1891. Rizal is "a mystery still to be revealed. and he stresses the role in the Revolution -.that behind the well-buttoned frock coat was hidden a deep and delicate human problem. many Filipinos must have felt as I did when I first came to know about him. and. 1896. Why should it be so strange then for Rizal to 'abhor' Masonry as a society when he had in fact already left it four years before? One whosesympathies are not engaged on either side must face the authenticity of the instrument of retraction. the language of the document isunmistakable. in a sense. not everything has yet been said about Rizal. in Europe -. It is a truism that the recantation of his religious errors did not involve the repudiation of his political aims. on the other. then why is he a hero? If guilty.Radaic's epigraph is from Alfred Adler: "To be human is to feel inferior and to aspire to situations of superiority. and can only wonder what it was that happened to the decided rationalist who had promised to kneel and pray for the grace of faith.
at the university. and came to the Philippines to marry. which groaned under a tyranny. that they are reading themselves into him. Guerrero. at times. in their personal circumstances. when he rejected the Spanish friar's concept of the Philippine state as "a double allegiance to Spain and Church. did a thesis on him ("Rizal: RománticoRealista"). dwells on Rizal's obsession with physical deficiency. one cannot but remember that Radaic. not to degrade it but to understand it better. and is at the same time a nationalist whose moth wings got rather burned in that Asia-for-the-Asians flame. Hehas lived long abroad. was bred by the Ateneo and a home steeped in the old Filipino-Spanish traditions. but both Léon Maria Guerrero and Ante Radaic. Radaic. It's curious. was obsessed with physical deformity. Rizal also was. too. the stateless individual. He became an ardent student of Rizal. says Radaic. Rizal is "the very embodiment of the intelligentsia and the petite bourgeoisie": 22 . to be reading themselves into Rizal.that these arose from a belief that he was physically defective. which. and became that archetype of modern man: the displaced person. and is thus perfectly at home in the mind of Rizal. being crippled: he had lost a foot in an escape from a concentration camp.[end of page 54] trados. Guerrero's Rizal For Guerrero. fled from his homeland. to a certain extent. from the Filipino girl who became his wife. and to become a countryman of his hero. on the other hand. approximate certain aspects of Rizal. When Radaic. to do for Rizal what Socrates did for philosophy. bringing it down from heaven to earth.He had just finished "Rizal Por Adentro" that night in January when he climbed to the roof of the main building of Santo Tomás and jumped off. for instance. a descendant of ilus. has a cosmopolitan outlook." In Madrid. Radaic heard of Rizal and immediately felt arapport with the Philippine hero. to read their respective studies of him is to see the hero through the prism of Guerrero's cosmopolitan intellect and the dark glass of Ante Radaic's tragic sense of life. at certain points. It's necessary. Because Guerrero and Radaic seem. so that one feels.
go to the university. he says that he could expose whatever happens in the islands. like any proper Victorian." What he wanted to be -. anti-clerical -."One gathers from Rizal's own account of his boyhood that he was brought up in circumstances that even in the Philippines of our day would be considered privileged. Leo XIII's Rerum Nova." And Guerrero's laughing comment is: "Congressman Rizal. As the Philippine representative in Madrid. the first to build a stone house and buy another. a nanny or personal servant. finish his courses abroad.[end of page 55] rum. and it does much to explain the puzzling absence of any real social consciousness in Rizal's apostolate so many years after Marx's Manifesto or. once in the Cortes. Rizal's father became one of the town's wealthiest men. Reported Governor Carnicero from Dapitan in 1892: "One of Rizal's ambitions is to become Deputy for the Philippines. 23 . for that matter. and "revolution from above" to "revolution from below. in less affluent circumstances. might have made him another Bonifacio. could have been expected to look after him. limited to the educated and the propertied. Rizal would still have made his mark: "His character. José himself had an aya. Rizal would have worked for the expulsion of the friars. says Guerrero." But." Guerrero surmises that. and a congressman dedicated to making exposures. he would study in private schools. even if born a peasant and in penury. keep a carriage.what he might have been if the policy of the ilustrados had prevailed – was representative for the Philippines in the Spanish parliament. Later. and send his children to school in Manila. In other words. His father engaged a private tutor for him. the sale of their estates to the new middle class. one of their plans to spring him from jail in 1896 was to get him elected to the Cortes. the governor-general would then have been forced to release him so he could go to Spain and attend parliament. however. for. reared in bourgeois ease. and this would have resulted in an alternation in power between conservatives and liberals. at that!" This ambition of Rizal must have been well-known among theilustrados. Rizal became a bourgeois idealist.political rather than social or economic. with a different experience of the world. anti-racist. It was the classic method for producing a middle-class intellectual. the establishment of a certain measure of self-government in the islands and more native participation in it. in a different environment. Rizal's nationalism was essentially rationalist. although he had five elder sisters who. that is to say. own a library. this political activitybeing. and preferring reform to revolution. putting his faith in reason and the liberal dogmas of the inevitability of progress.
he is the 'subversive' separatist. has been advocated almost openly. But Rizal the man of property quickly added: "In the present circumstances. In 1887 he was saying that "peaceful struggle will always turn out to be a futile dream because Spain will never learn the lesson of her former colonies in South America. we do not desire a separation from Spain. and it may not have been due only to Rizal's desperate need to cut down his novel to match Ventura's money. and more security for ourselves and our fortunes." asks Guerrero. he turned 26. Father Florentino is made to deny in the final apostrophe of the novel that freedom must be won at the point of the sword: "What is the use of independence if the slaves of today will be the tyrants of tomorrow?" "What. all that we ask is more attention. Yet there was a Bonifacio latent in Rizal. Rizal in the Filiis no longer the loyal reformer." The Hamlet split in Rizal between the will to act and the tendency to scruple preceded the flagrant schizophrenia of El Fili. independence.the two political parties would have represented only one social class.' No solution except independence! But how is it to be achieved? At this point Rizal hesitates and draws back. the bourgeoisie. The thought of revolution in real life may have called up too many 'bloody apparitions. making so little effort of concealment that he arrogantly announces his purpose in the very title of his novel.[end of page 56]busterismo.'" So. then his dream has come to pass. But if the government drives us to it. a higher quality of government officials. for the two political parties that alternate in power today are limited to the educated and the propertied and actually represent only the middle class. if there 24 ." Four months later. bettereducation. If this is really what Rizal envisioned. one or two representatives in parliament. "are we to conclude from this? In Rizal's mind the Filipinos of his generation were not yet ready for revolution because they were not yet ready for independence." That was the Bonifacio in Rizal speaking. and they were not ready for independence because they were still unworthy of it. The last chapters of the Fili are heavily corrected.' or in plainer words. which means 'subversion. who calls him "the reluctant revolutionary. and both sides of him wrote: "I have no desire to take part in conspiracies which seem to me premature and risky in the extreme. according to Guerrero." El Filibusterismo in 1891 shows the hero divided. 'Separatism. Observes Guerrero: "'Assimilation' has been rejected as a vain hope.
fearing he would "land in Bilibid or the Marianas. The following year. who had called Cuba "an empty shell. laying himself open to the charge that. when the Revolution broke out in the Philippines." The question is: Who saw Rizal plain? Guerrero wickedly relates that when firebrand López-Jaena thought of migrating to Cuba. by offering to serve the Spanish government in Cuba." He called the idea of revolution "highly absurd. "It is too late." Comments Guerrero: "We think of Rizal as a mild and gentle reformer who shrank from the thought of separation from Spain. in the life-long duel 25 ." The condemnatory manifesto was gratuitous. as a wild firebrand. it noted that Rizal condemned Bonifacio's Revolution but not Bonifacio's aim of independence for the Philippines. he had been offering to make it even before he was arrested. Says Guerrero: "There can be no argument that he was against Bonifacio's Revolution. Not only had he offered his 'unconditional' services to help suppress it but he had indicted a manifestocondemning the Revolution. enlist for Cuban service. the Filipinos have already lost the hopes they placed in Spain!" another side was murmuring that the happiness of the Philippines must be obtained by "noble and just means" and that "if to make my country happy I had to act vilely. most of all a violent revolution. it was not made to influence the court." But after only four days in Manila he left in a hurry. it would seem that he appeared to hiscontemporaries. "believed in the gradual and natural evolution of the Filipino Nation in the course of years and foresaw the international developments that would make eventual independence an inevitable conclusion on which metropolis and colony would peaceably agree." And Rizal himself." says Guerrero. But the court was alert. then I too shall advocate violent means." would. he was not only trying to flee from the struggle in his own country but was making clear on which side of the struggle he stood. I would refuse to do so." In short. ready to die if need be. especially after the publication of the openly subversive Fili. bravely declaring himself "resigned to everything. as demagogic as López-Jaena. Rizal opined that López-Jaena should return to the Philippines and "let himself be killed in support of his ideas.remains no other hope than to seek our ruin in war. while one side of him was crying." That sounds like a final statement: it was not. "Rizal. ready to fight if necessary. 1888." Home went López-Jaena.
" What Guerrero misses here is that the Filipino forces sent to subdue Malong the Pangasinense or Almazán the Ilocano or De la Cruz the Tagalog were fighting (whatever the Spaniards may have intended) to keep the Filipino one. When Rizal arose." says Guerrero. prevented the return of separate kingdoms for Pangasinenses. the Philippines had been Spanish and Christian long enough to feel itself ready to be something else. converts. he called it absurd and retreated to Reason. mercenaries sent against the Filipino rebel may have kept the archipelago Spanish and Christian. or as short-lived as Novales's. No one proclaimed himself a Filipino. but when faced by the fact of it. natives . against the missionary friars or for them.allies.Ilocanos and Tagalogs. "Throughout the centuries. proclaimed emperor at two o'clock in the morning. the womb abandoned. merce. The paradox is cruel. which lasted 85 years. Inevitable Progress. and all the other Victorian catchwords. and Novales and Malong and Almazán and De la Cruz. in protest against a wine tax or against forced labor. and shot at five in the evening. Reform. as the First Filipino.[end of page 57] naries -.fought against natives and kept the archipelago Spanishand Christian. in the name of the old gods or in the name of the new Spanish Constitution. king of Tagalogs. who 'was outlawed at midnight. He had flirted. But each failure was more stone added to the construction of the nation.Evolution.between Rizal thesubversive and Rizal the progressive. as the American northerner sent to subdue the American Southerner in the Civil War proclaimed the oneness of the American. The Filipino allies. with revolution. and Apolinario de la Cruz. They were proclaiming themselves Filipino. had most created the idea of that nation. but Rizal could proclaim himself a Filipino only because Dagohoy failed." But it was he who. Malong proclaimed himself king of the Ilokanos. in his fiction. The preliminary mold was necessary (as our present difficulties with the "cultural minorities" indicate) but now the matrix could be broken. Their success could have meant the end of the idea of the Filipino. The malicious could say that his was the retreat of a man with property to lose. converts. Whether the revolt was long-lived like Dagohoy's. and not merely Pangasinense or Ilocano or Tagalog. the latter won in the end. but they also kept it from falling apart again into the numberless tribes it used to be. Guerrero says that Rizal was "a nationalist who did not recognize his Nation when it suddenly rosebefore him. a bloody apparition in arms. "one tribe after another took up arms. 26 .
"He would arouse a consciousness of national unity." Radaic's Rizal A Victorian hero is one's ultimate picture of Guerrero's "First Filipino. nervous."It was Rizal.ridden with complexes.anxious." Ante Radaic's "Rizal from Within" is. what might have been a Tagalog uprising to be crushed as before with levies from Pampanga or the Ilokos or the Bisayas. And his head grew disproportionately. what might have been only one morepeasant revolution. as described by his sisters Narcisa and Maria to Asunción López Bantug: "Jose was a very tiny child. possibly because of my smallness … I did not daredescend into the river because it was 27 . the printing press. his head being too heavy for his frail body. insecure." says Guerrero. was transformed into the revolution of a new nation. and sometimes through them. modern man . Instead. the peasants and the artisans that they wereall equally 'Filipinos. "who taught his countryman (sic) that they could be something else. In his "Memorias de un estudiante". on the other hand. He would work through his writings.' and in so doing would justify the opportunities of his privileged birth. the Kabite Revolution of 1896 might not have had greater significance than that of 1872. and afflicted with feelings of inferiority and impotence. from Vigan to Dapitan. Whether the hero was really smaller than normal. When he began to walk by himself he often fell. ill at ease in his world. It was Rizal who would persuade theprincipales. he needed an aya to look after him. the significant thing is that he thought he was. of a common grievance and common fate. Filipinos who were members of a Filipino Nation. references to his size recur obsessively: "The son of the teacher was a few years older than I and exceeded me in stature… After (beating him in a fight) I gained fame among my classmates. during the impressionable years ofyouth. Without this new middle class of which he was the exemplar. written before he was 20. now national by grace of school. He was the first who sought to 'unite the whole archipelago' and envisioned a 'compact and homogeneous society' of all the old tribal communities from Batanes to the Sulu Sea. overleaping the old barriers of sea and mountain and native dialect." Radaic believes that Rizal was aggrieved by his puny physique. and with them. basedon common interests and 'mutual protection' rather than on the Spanish friar's theory of double allegiance to Spain and Church. Because of this. and [end of page 58] newly discovered interests in common. The key image is of the child Rizal.
His little body did not permit him to compete with boys his age but stronger than he.for which he was too weak and small: "He grew up pathetically conscious of his short stature and fragile body. His teacher in Biñan is "a tall man". Rizal's first inamorata.[end of page 59] most always arise not from aconfrontation of the I with the non-I but from our confrontation with the interior image we carry of ourselves. although it didn't grow any bigger. the visible image that confronts him. he had so strong a will and such anxiety to improve himself that." His sisters recalled that he insisted on joining games -. and most poignantly of all. at last. perhaps because of my feeble frame and scant height … Though I was 13 going on 14." Other people are seen in relation to his height. A strong man full of vitality.' His Uncle Manuel. rather. It's as if every man carried within himself an ideal or invisible image of the body. not against anything outside the sphere of the I. the young man presumed to besuitor of Segunda Katigbak. 28 . his professor in Manila is "a man of lofty stature"." Comments Radaic: "Truly. the tiny lad went on craving to become big and strong. he sought to part the boy from his books and to satisfy his craving to develop his body." There's evidence that Rizal had reason to be self-conscious about his physique. he made great effort to stretch himself out in his games. is "un hombre alto. of his body. with the invisible image he hopes to see mysteriously reflected there." And Father Pastells of the Ateneo wrote that Rizal failed to be elected president of the college sodality because of his "small stature. and though this was atfirst hard for the frail boy. the will won over the flesh. jump. Feelings of inferiority al. Nevertheless. the ideal of ourselves we propose to realize. and he was continually begging his father to help him grow. He made the boy skip. and his physique more lively. and looking in the mirror. the mystery of the body is great. more vigorous. He became lighter and quicker of movement. but against our own selves.like the popular game of "giants" -. so he withdrew into himself. compares what hesees there. run.too deep for one my size… At first (the father at the Ateneo) did not want to admit me. He persisted in playing the game of 'giants. seeing the boy's avidity for advice on body building and pitying his eager envy of tougher boys. took him under his care. Bantug's account) he was timid and small for his age. We measure ourselves. I was still very small. more robust. His brother Paciano decided against enrolling José as a border at the Ateneo because (this is from Mrs. or.
had created this little body as hovel for the spiritual beauty of a child whose ailing soul felt itself to be an exile from a world infinitely purer. Because of an excess of spirit. the bosom of the mother would become the sweet warmth of the Mother Country. in fact. in turn. though no really extraordinary events marked his boyhood. But. and should be recorded for posterity. apparently on his diminutiveness. Nature. and this. people will keep pictures and statues of me!" Radaic also notes that Rizal's writing an autobiography in his teens. who was haunted by a sense of inadequacy. side by side with this image of greatness. had in his mind a clear and vexing image of his puny stature. make mock of me. The adolescent already felt that even the most humdrum happenings of his youth would have future historical value. influenced his complex psychological structure. while the young Rizal was modeling a figure of Napoleon (another dwarf boy who went forth to make himself a big man) his sisters teased him. One day. an image not yet repressed into the subconscious. and one can theorize that he would later turn thesechildhood refuges into intellectual ones: the safe home in Calamba would become the untroubled paradise of the pre-hispanic archipelago. The nostalgia of Rizal. and it's not difficult to understand the marks and imprints hislittle body stamped on his spiritual character. When I die. as whimsical as fortune and as rarely just. mother and Mother Country are indistinguishable figures. That he already carried. issignificant."Rizal. In the Canto de Maria Clara. The discrepancy produced both aninferiority complex (Rizal withdrawing into himself and his books because he could not compete with tougher boys) and the determination to excel (Rizal fighting the bigger boy and taking up body building and fencing). is demonstrated by a childhood incident. an image of himself as a great man. Rizal saw his body as inadequate. was a fear of the world: 29 . as a child." Radaic's point is that Rizal's career was an effort to reduce the discrepancy between the interior image he carried of himself and the image he saw in the mirror. Cried thechild to his sisters: "You can laugh at me. says Radaic. the bosom of his mother. as adolescent. In the horrid outside world of Biñan and Manila he ached aloud for the refuge of the home in Calamba. was the actual image of the boy who felt himself to be stunted. but wait till I grow bigger.
' In the moments when the young Rizal had to show a certain responsibility. the world waited for me."Well may Rizal have exclaimed with Sartre: 'I am condemned to be free. I prayed with fervor in the chapel and commended my life to the Virgin. are no more than facets of his Hamlet disposition. I could not sleep until one o'clock. [end of page 60] an obligatory independence. from Kierkegaard to Kafka to Sartre. The moon that shone mournfully seemed to be telling me that. as Guerrero says. a faint-heart and a dubitator." Radaic quotes the passage in the Memorias where Rizal describes his last night at the Ateneo: "At the thought that I would have to leave that refuge of peace. His withdrawal. another life awaited me. He was." Alongside this and similar passages expressing terror. hesitancy. not as an act of subversion. I fell into profound melancholy. a terror we would call cosmic. would seem to be placing Rizal in that company --the modern man aghast at the world he has made. as I was told. and a nostalgia that "makes me see the past as fair. I think. inthose moments when he had perforce to face the world. When I went to the dormitory and realized this would be the last night I would pass in my peaceful alcove because. Morning came and I dressed. the present as sad. proved a hundred times. at daybreak. the world inspired him with veritable terror. I had a cruel foreboding. knowingly or unknowingly. his timidity. that she might protect me while I trod this world that inspired me with such terror… At the critical moments of my life I have always acted against my will. the bold dreamer. but as an acting out of Hamlet'sdelay. obeying other ends and powerful doubts. created 30 . His condemnation of the Revolution as "absurd" has an uncanny echo in the "theater of the absurd" with which modern existentialists condemn what they deem the crazyviolence of contemporary life." Radaic places Miguel de Unamuno's judgment of Rizal: "Rizal. his timorousness." One remembers that the English meaning of filibuster is to delay. Radaic. whose study of Rizal is spiked with quotations from the existentialists. Rizal. But Radaic's (and Unamuno's) judgment of Rizal as fearful of the world of reality fits in with Guerrero's theory that Rizal was devoid of any real social consciousness and feared to face. To have been a practical revolutionary he would have needed the simple mentality of an Andrés Bonifacio. the fact of revolution. and El Filibusterismo may more aptly be read. strikes me as weak of will and irresolute for action and life. in the end.
says Radaic. his weak nature and small physique. Would Rizal.when he speaks of his smallness. is that the young lover knew how to behave with the strictest decorum and delicacy toward a girl already engaged. in the certainty that they would be read by posterity. exacerbated by psychological influences. confidently believing in the inevitable benefits of science and education and progress. hecould appraise. have recognized the Germany of Belsen and Dachau. hyperbolically. The analogous question would be: Would we have been able to predict the later multitudinous Rizal who wrote the Memorias? Radaic thinks that the writing of the memoirs. the Japan of the Death March? Yet these bloody apparitions were shaped by the very virtues he admired. Rizal is attracted to the girl. "From time to time she looked at me and I blushed. His mind was enormously impressionable and given to selfanalysis and introversion. when he first meets Segunda Katigbak. terrifying bloody apparitions. of the tallness of others. when the talk at the gathering turns to "novels and other literary things. presumes that "the tall man" with her is her novio. active factors in the formation of his very complex character. Radaic smells a rat. So. He notes that it's Rizal who. His physical inferiority complex. both direct and indirect -. or would not." as Radaic calls it. With such a mind. commerce. He plays chess with the man he keeps calling her novio and loses." He vindicates himself. was "already the beginning of deformation": "Whether instinctive or conscious. who so admired the Germans and the Japanese for their dedication to science. of his insecurity and tragic doubts of the future. of his boldness and his desire to rise above himself. and [end of page 61] other protestations that seem distinct from fear. modern man. it was an effort to mask important and intimate facts. education and progress. as Guerrero says. after losing at the chessboard. by displaying his intellect. and he takes for test case Rizal's first amorous affair:"el fenómeno Katigbak. recognize them when they rose beforehim. but did not. is at a loss to explain how such beneficial things could have produced the dreadful world in which he nervously awaits an insane doom. whom he described as "smallish" (bajita)." 31 . of his yearnings and nostalgia for the past.a Nation and a Revolution. The usual interpretation of this affair. can be detected in numberless manners of expression." But what are the "intimate facts" that the young Rizal would "mask"? Radaic opines that one of the most important of them is sexual inadequacy.
But I told myself: Perhaps she really loves me? Perhaps her feelings for her fiancé are but the affections ofchildhood when her heart had not yet opened her breast to true love?" One perhaps followed another. He felt no relief over this. the poor girl gave up. she waited." Finally. and he persists in taking it for granted that she is soon to be married. on horseback. giving one proof after another of her feelings for him. Just what he expected the poor girl to do to prove her love is so vague it's indecent. after seeking ever fresher proofs of affection. The more sure he was that Katigbak loved him." Rizal saw the girl's love for him as "a yoke" -. doubts and questions. She smiled at him and waved a handkerchief as she rode out of his life forever. until one suspects he was manufacturing excuses -. She returned to her home town." There's no question that. But it was finally impossible forRizal to go on with his deceptions and doubts. la Katigbak would have eagerly forsworn previous vows and given herself to him. He feels flattered. whether she was really engaged to be married or not. In his manner of love. which strikes us as that of a faint-heart trying to hide an incapacity to face the fleshly demands that love brings. "I forbade.In later meetings." Rizal." he says. "But I'm not getting married!" she tells him pointblank. which he considered a height unattainable by his poor energies. But he persisted in his Hamlet hesitations. Segunda makes it indubitably clear that she's interested in Rizal. the more nervous he became. was to him an intolerable tyranny troubling his nights and his sleep. in Calamba. leaving 32 . for the intensity of love. "my heart to love. his heart refused to surrender! Observes Radaic: "Despite the certainty that he was loved. because I knew she was engaged. each man reveals himself. he professes to be unworthy of any woman's love. though she herself puts his suppositions in doubt. in other love affairs it's usually the other side that's supposed to furnish the "greater proofs. that Katigbak loved him truly. and he had to admit. he went on maintaining a Hamlet disposition. watched her ride past in a carriage. although she had conquered his heart. more than in his manner of speech. and in tears.protesting that."un yugo que ya va imponiendo sobre mi. but he told himself he would make no declaration until he had seen "greater proofs" of her affection. to marry her "tall man.
" Immediately after. 33 ." And noting that Rizal does not come out too well from his love affairs. the nakedness of the failure of his first attempt to love. the feelings ofinferiority would oppress him less. "The popular myth. Guerrero reflects that "not even the appealing theory that he was 'married to his country' can wholly satisfy. This confession. no woman was worthy of thehero. Much has been made of the number of women in his life. then cried that she had betrayed him by preferring anEnglishman. may be no more than a desire to clothe. Young men unsure of themselves find sexual timidity the most difficult to overcome. but the very number is suspicious. His later affairs of the heart followed the same pattern of vacillation and invented impediment. he visited on two successive nights a girl in Calamba who was white of skin and seductive of eye. and one of the common results of this is the 'attitude of vacillation' so ablydescribed by Adler." says Guerrero. but feared she might think he was after her money. for future readers of hisMemorias. In the struggle he had received grievous wounds that were slow to scar. he had a higher fate. he says. With the years. the psychic build of his character would by then carry an indelible stamp. hinting at emotional deficiency and the inability to sustain a relationship. but he would not be able to keep from reviewing them continually. And though he might at last succeed in repressing all such memories from his consciousness. "a horrible void. despite his efforts to overcome his complexes and free himself from the anxieties caused by his small stature – experiences as painful for him as they were beneficial to his country -. but discontinued the visits at the order of his father. He made Leonor Rivera wait eleven years. "is that Rizal could never love wo.[end of page 62] man. especially in the activities called sexual.was to go on being a great neurotic. There's no complex of inferiority that does not imply a feeling of sexual deficiency. He considered Nellie Bousted "worthy" enough to be loved by him. he had given his whole heart to his country.he says. with all the consequences that a pathogenic memory produces." Radaic traces the generally unsatisfactory air of these love affairs to Rizal's feeling of insecurity: "In few fields of human conduct do complexes of inferiority play so great a role as in the field of love. "Rizal. says Radaic. afflicted by the memory of hissufferings. In any case.
Rizal might well have been willing to trade rank and fortune for a normal man's ability to accept the world and adjust himself to it. If there had been no need to do so. to our good fortune. a timorousness turnedinside out. art. are but compulsions tocompensate for his inferior build." Radaic comes to the meat of his argument. is no longer just an affair but is a mature relationship. Given a choice. His fights express his complexes. Rizal soared because his every response overshot the challenge. with boys bigger than he. He proved he was very much taller. His last emotional involvement. Even in that most intimate incapacity that Radaic speaks of. which is that the wounds that crippled Rizal in spirit were responsible for his greatness.Guerrero's view is that Rizal was brought up in privileged circumstances. might have accepted the world as he found it and adjusted himself to it. it was but natural for him to rise. The young Rizal'sdedication to athletics was an attempt to make himself normal. are an aspect of his timorousness. against whom he thrust his little body as though to assure himself and show others he was not so weak. as if he would thus attain the physical height nature had denied him. The mature Rizal's determination to excel in as many fields of endeavor as possible -science. He rose because of his efforts to overcome his disadvantages. enjoying "the opportunities of his privileged birth. Radaic sees it different: Rizal was underprivileged. he would show the world he was as capable. Says Radaic: "The fights Rizal mentions in his Memorias. literature -. medicine. and his rise wasunnatural and agonized. as in his later love affairs. with Josephine Bracken. as the next man.infused by a sense of physical inferiority. 34 . until he need no longer decry himself as small. whether in science or letters orscholarship. as tall.was a compensation for his feeble physique. He did not quite succeed. Rizal's career illustrates the challenge-and-response theory of progress. Rizal managed to achieve a measure of success. which was to impel him to evasive actions. was born heavily handicapped." With the words "as they were beneficial to his country. And the nation would have lost a hero. amarriage. if he had been of normal height and with normal capacities.[end of page 63] tages. he might have led a normal life. given his advan. With each achievement. by rising above himself. he added one more cubit to his stature." He rose because.
The struggle between his complexes and his ever more ambitious I lifted this extraordinary man to the supreme heights ofperfection and human endeavor. Rizal may have been. defy canonization." [end of page 64] WHY WAS THE RIZAL HERO A CREOLE? The Rizal novels. for instance. and all the folk notions of Maria Clara as an ideal or as a symbol of the Mother Country. but a Spanish "Filipino. Thus would we purify Rizal. Today's iconoclasts have got around the dilemma by simply rejecting Maria Clara. she is no heroine to us. Rizal made a career of ascension. must be discarded. The figure of Maria Clara. Like the Hebrew scriptures. which reveals a Rizal enraptured by his heroine."Tormented by eternal feelings of inferiority. besides being refuted by the text of the novels. The Bible of the race won't toe today's line on the race. we are not. taken in by her." with the quotes expressing our misgivings? For Juan Crisostomo Ibarra belonged to that class which alone bore the name Filipino in those days but from which we would withhold the name Filipino today. with your heart play gross hands that know not of its delicate fibers. not an Indio Filipino.a theory that wreaks havoc on the meaning of satire. from which its priestly editors vainly tried to purge a mass of polytheistic myth. Said Rizal of his heroine: "Poor girl. Whether she was a heroine to him or not. so morbid of matter but so comic in manner. the Rizal novels contain elements our stricter sensibilities would purge away. who work wonders and win princesses. Why did Rizal choose for heroine amestiza of shameful conception? The reply of the 1930s was that Maria Clara was no heroine to Rizalbut an object of satire . Why should the hero of the Great Filipino Novel be." But having disposed of his outrageous heroine. impossible because he offends our racial pride. continues to scandalize us. though most of the Philippine Creoles (and the Rizal hero is an example) had more native than Spanish blood. A Creole class in the pure sense of the term never existed in the Philippines. His career is that of the lesser sons in the fairy tales. at least during the writing. A Rizal well formed of body might never have found in himself the forceneeded to raise himself so high for the sake of his country. we are still confronted by his equally impossible hero. The Spanish didn't come here in such numbers as to establish a large enough 35 .
high-nosed and red-cheeked Ibarra the smaller. to which he was looking forward as a prophet. that they are about revolution. the Téuses have endured about a century and a half but have sunk into obscurity. the Philippine Creoles had no such scruples about blood purity and were distinguished as a class apart. even when he seems to be writing about something else. Up to around midway of the 19th century." not so much by theamount of Spanish blood in their veins as by their culture. this Creole tribe was already headed by an Indio. The exceptions are rare. as "Filipinos. What were their most numerous progeny -. but we assume that Rizal meant the Revolution of 1896. dating back some two centuries. So. smoother features of Rizal? A great writer is always writing abut his times. Don Pedro Roxas. the Elizaldes (of very mixed blood) go back only a century. while a manlike Ibarra. to translate. He was an Ibarra far more than he was a Magsalin – andthere's significance in his Indio surname. position and wealth. or some four generations. at the most. for Ibarra was indeed a translation into Asia of Europe. "Tis said that the sons of the tribe are sent to Europe as soon as they reach puberty and are not allowed to come home until they havemarried "correctly" abroad. Meliáns and Roxases.inevitably vanished into the native mass within a generation. The question is: Why did Rizal make this "translated Filipino" his hero? Was Rizal trying to identify with the Creole? Are the illustrators right who give the tall. We know the novels are subversive. would still be a Creole because a landowner and gentleman. and seemed on its way to becoming as "native" as the Legardas and Aranetas. possibly the other way around. or. which means to pour. though it includes the Sorianos. a friar's bastard by a peasant girl might look completely Spanish but would have no status as a Creole. By the time of theRevolution. The Rochas (Malacañang used to be their manor) [end of page 65] are probably the most durable. But even the Spaniards who didestablish families could keep them Creole for. and Rizal's novels are historical parables.community that could intermarry withinitself and keep the blood pure. and we are 36 . This process was arrested and reversed by the great tribe that may be called the Ayala in general. but succeeding generations restored the tribe to Creole status with heavy infusions of European blood. The commoner process was followed by such families as the Legardas and the Aranetas. hairy. three generations. however. Zobels. though we have never quite related them to their particular period. already two mixed marriages away from a Spanish grandfather. which now seem purely native principalia but beganas Creole.the friars' bastards -. to transfer.
talent and prestige toconduct a revolt with success. then by the memory of Burgos the Creole. a revolution inspired at first by the person. that impelled a change in name. as with Juárez in Mexico. that must have shaped those novels. he was looking back to 1872 and all its subsequent repercussions. were apparently headed for an open clash with thePeninsulars. Iturbide) -. Don José Burgos and Don Jacinto Zamora. For two centuries the country was under constant siege. their achievement." Throughout the years he was growing up. chose to disown it and to enlist on the side of Spain. (The revolutions of the Indios would come later. Their great labor. in the 1850s. it may be said. Rizal was aware that a revolution was going on in his country. was keeping the Philippines intactthrough two centuries when. So. a revolution he was more sympathetic to? The novels were. He was not looking forward to 1896.and from the Philippines to Europe. with Father Peláez.the Philippine Creoles were Filipino in the sense that their lives were entirely devoted to the service of the country: to expanding orconsolidating the national frontiers and to protecting them.that is. He was chronicling the Creole revolution in the Philippines. when the Revolution came. and writing to animate it. as a Creole campaign against the Peninsulars. were rising. it looked as if what had happened in America would happen in thePhilippines: the Creoles were restive. Don Mariano Gómez. written about a decade before 1896. the translation from Mercado to Rizal . for the Propaganda may be said to have begun. when Rizal wrote his novels. But was Rizal prophesying? Might he not have been talking about another revolution altogether. San Martin. The 37 . and in which the people most involved belonged to the Creole class. the British. money. after all. he was writing about an actual movement. The clue is in the dedication to El Filibusterismo: "To the memory of the priests.through the 17th and 18th centuries -. were the events with which he grew up.) During Rizal's youth. and we know that the events [end of page 66] that most influenced Rizal.therefore dumbfounded that Rizal. 1872. the Japanese. Rizal alsoknew that Spain was overthrown in America by the various uprisings of the Creoles there (Bolivar. We secretly suspect a failure of nerve in the man who had so vigorouslyprophesied that Revolution. there was not a single day that the islands were not under threat of invasion: by the Chinese. The Creole For 200 years -. by the class that had the education. the Dutch. executed on the gibbet of Bagumbayan on February 28.
Another point: the Tagalogs and Pampangos who fought with the Creoles to defend the islands during those centuries of siege. the Philippines fell. to abaca culture in Bicolandia. did the Creole turn to agriculture. He worked the iron mines of Antipolo when the Philippines still had a cannon foundry industry and. dedicating himself to sugar culture in Negros and Pampanga. the Creole might be rewarded with an encomienda. in its almost 400 years in the islands. and the Philippine Creole depended more for subsistence on the Galleon trade and on mining. to stress a point now invisible to us. with the British invasion. The head tribute was at first eight reales (or a peso). For his pains. for if the prime duty of a mother country to a colony is to protect it from invasion. The conquering Americans of the 1900s would sneer at Spanish empire in the Philippines as inept. the encomendero pledged himself. therewould be. to prevent him from turning into a little local tyrant. As a gentleman. while the Americans looked the other way. but he quickly recovered balance.Dutch Wars. with the relaxation of the restrictions on land-owning. to the defense of the folk under his care (which meant being ready at any moment to be called to military service anywhere in the country) and also to their religious instruction. our first civil service. against all the evidence of history. then reduced to four. he could enter only the Army. and fell unprotected. especially when we remember that within fifty years after the American occupation. the gold mines of Paracale. no Philippines at all: we would be a province today of Indonesia and nobody would be arguing about what a Filipino is. very briefly. During those 200 years the Creole faltered only once. like a feudal lord. Only late in Spanish times. later. to cattle culture in the various rancherias in the North. but he was forbidden to stay within his encomienda or even to sleep two consecutive nights there. then we'll have to admit that Spain. for instance – a crucial period in our history -. the Church and the Government. was later increased to ten reales. The Creoles formed our first secular clergy. acquitted itself with honor. A single slip in the vigilance and our history would have been different. manual labor was forbidden him.but is it mercenary to fight for one's country? The labor of defense was so exhausting it partly explains why [end of page 67] there are no really old Creole families in the Philippines. which did not mean possessing the land entrusted to his care but merely gave him the right to collect the tribute there for the space of two generations: his own lifetime and that of his heir. to aninvader. toward Europe. 38 . we now sneer at as mercenaries"-. In return.lasted fifty years. The encomienda system lasted but briefly.
Madrid came closer to Manila. stirred into insurgence by the example of a Mexican Creole of the Manila garrison. not a Spaniard. If we further consider that many of those who came here were Basques and Cataláns ." These peninsularparasites. broke with Spain forever when he came to the Philippines. but only the final century. The voyage from Europe to the Philippines was so long and so expensive and the mortality among passengers so high that only the hardiest of Spaniards reached the islands. having successfully revolted. seceded from Spain. and the neglect fostered the autonomous spirit. the 19th. WhenMexico. the Philippine Creole was rising. and once here they had to cast in their lot with the country forever. The campaign to hispanize the islands was intensifying when the Revolution broke out: the government was opening normal schools for the training ofnative teachers to spread Spanish throughout the population. The war between Creole andPeninsular had begun. The previous centuries of Spain in the Philippines had been years of Christianization. Meanwhile. The immigrating Spaniard. With the revolt of Spanish America and the opening of the Suez Canal.that is. and how effective it was is displayed by the fact that within less than a century the hispanization campaign had produced Rizal and the ilustrados.lived in isolation from Spain. He controlled the government. This was during the first three quarters or so of the 19th century. Madrid was represented only by thegovernor-general. who was so detested as a "foreigner" he had to make an accounting of his stewardship before he could return to Madrid. since a return trip was next to impossible. therefore. The Creole was a "Filipino". when a practically autonomous commonwealth found itself becoming a Spanish colony in the strict sense of the world (sic). unification and development. considered themselves several cuts above the "Filipino" -.All this time the Creole-and the Philippine colony in general -. The Novales revolt in the 1820's planted the idea of separatism."lo más perdido de la peninsula.and began to crowd him out of Army. and the quicker cheaper voyage now brought to the Philippines. the treaty between the two countries permitted the two imperial provinces that were formerly ruled through Mexico. folk with a tradition of rebelliousness against the Madrid government-the temper of the Philippine Creole becomes evident. Rizal made his Ibarra the descendant of a Basque. men so steeped in Spanish and European culture they seemed to have athousand years of that culture behind them. Church and Government.that is. to choose between 39 .. the Creole -. as Rizal's Teniente Guevara observed. however. was a period of hispanization.
but he left a disciple who would carry on his work: José Burgos.shows that there was a segment of Creole opinion in the Philippines that favoredjoining the Mexicans in their independence. for the Philippines was one of thesetwo imperial provinces dependent on Mexico. a Creole [end of page 68] (Iturbide) had been proclaimed "emperor. His counterpart in the secular sphere is Antonio Regidor (implicated in the same Motin de Cavite that cost Burgos's life). autonomy could be gained eventually. canon of the Manila Cathedral. With Burgos. He and his mentor Peláez -. Burgos is the Creole of the 1870s. for one of its aims.were what might be called "eventualists": they believed that. resurgent if not yet insurgent: a Liberal in the manner of Governor-General De La Torre. who started the propaganda for the Filipinization of the clergy.chose to keep the islands under Spain. Guatemala opted to join Mexico. two decades after the Novales revolt. had risen to the dignity of bishop and that another Filipino. that a Filipino could be more cultured than a Peninsular. had become a governmentminister in Madrid. an affair that involved a Creole family so prominent (itwas related to the Azcárragas) all records of what appears to have been a coup attempt have been suppressed -. The Philippines thus got the chance to break away from Spain in 1821. Ezpeleta. with sufficient propaganda.like Rizal himself -. in his own person. Peláez perished inthe Cathedral during the great earthquake of 1863. the Creole revolution becomes manifest in Father Peláez. in Mexico.joining Mexico or remaining with Spain. for a family close to the rulers of thestate it's trying to undermine suggests the figure of Simoun. the revolt of the Mexican Creole captain Novales . and already conscious of himself as a Filipino distinct from the Spaniard. we are already in Rizal country. the sinister eminence behind the governor-general.or itsSpanish governor-general anyway -." after a revolution that had. It was in this spirit that the Philippine Creoles would vaunt that a Filipino. equality between Spaniards and Creoles. 40 . reforms could be won eventually. Azcárraga. who replied to the Peninsular's disdain of the "Filipino" by showing.who was proclaimed "emperor of the Philippines" one day and executed on the cathedral square of Manila the next day -. The current of mutinous opinion swelled and. A decade later. in the 1850s. However. the other being Guatemala. and the hated Peninsulars could be ejected without firing a shot. but the Philippine government -. which then comprised most of Central America.though the Rizal student should perk his ears here. Local Creoles had heard that. erupted mysteriously in the Conspiracy of the Palmeros.
and craves not only the fall of Spanish rule but the failure of the hispanization movement. the eventualists. his rotting corpse is found hanging on a balite tree in the woods.cavernous voice. The great-grandfather still bears the original Basque name. we are still in the epoch of Peláez and Burgos. jewels and some coin. white-locked and long-bearded. and buys up the woods with textiles. fought for the implantation of English inthe Philippines. and "laughter without sound. follows the fate of Burgos even to the point of being. a man who came to loathe both the Malay and the Spaniard in himself so intensely he became the first of the sajonistas and. whom we hardly remember. Then he vanishes as suddenly as he has come. and Ibarra. Terrified. we are already in the period of del Pilar and Pardo de Tavera. In the Noli Me Tangere. But the extremest development of the Creole as filibusterowas Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. The Rizal novels probe these two phases of the Creole revolution. The Creoles that come after – mostly educated on the Continent and affiliated with the Masonic Order --are already frankly filibusteros -. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera. the last of whom is the tragic Elias. is fascinated by a piece of deep woods in which are thermal waters. in a virulent desire to uproot all traces of Spanish culture from the islands. Don Pedro is a fearful figure. and the sinister Simoun. Later. But in El Filibusterismo. del Pilar.[end of page 69] niard to Creole to Filipino. is no longer apropagandist but a corrupter. like Burgos. 41 ." and has apparently been in the country a long time.The fate of Burgos (the garrote) and of Regidor (exile) put an end to the idea of eventualism. implicated in an uprising he knows nothing about. who believes that education and propaganda will eventually create a climate of reform. as a member of the Philippine Commission of the 1900s. Eibarramendia. when his warehouse burns down he accuses his bookkeeperof having started the fire and thus ruins not only the hapless bookkeeper but all his descendants. with his deep-sunken eyes. Don Pedro Eibarramendia is a Manila businessman. subversives – and their greatest spokesman is Marcelo H. He suddenly appears in San Diego. Ibarra The family of Rizal's hero traces the evolution from Spa. For good or evil. was one of the deciders of ourfate. the Creole who undoubtedly possessed the most brilliant mastery of Spanish aFilipino ever wielded but whose talent got deadened by journalistic deadlines. for he speaks Tagalog well.that is. which his descendants abbreviate to Ibarra.
his son Saturnino appears in San Diego. When his son returns from Europe the old man has died in jail. The change shows in the third-generation Ibarra. has a proper Victorian's faith in education. he had been influenced by the Liberalism of the 1860s. contemporaneous with the early 1800s. The woods where he hanged himself become haunted.to the development of a farm at the edge of the jungle. Juan Crisostomo. Don Rafael outrages the Peninsulars because. of warriors born too late for knight-errantry and forced into grubbier tasks. from arms to plow. though of Spanish blood. he hadmerely possessed. from battlefield to farm and shop. Don Rafael is thrown into jail. who is already graduating from Creole to Filipino. violent. where he rots. he is knocked down by Don Rafael. propaganda and the excellences of Europe. being a civilized 42 . A few months later. Don Pedro and Don Saturnino have the gloom of the frustrated. science. breaks his head on a stone and dies. settles in the village (where still roam deer and boar) and starts an indigo farm. But when he began to work the land himself. He has inherited a quarrel with the Peninsulares that he does not care to pursue. and he transforms San Diego from "a miserable heap of huts" into a thriving town that attracts new settlers and theChinese. he sends his only son to study in Switzerland. claims the property. formerly. the hero's father." What gets him intotrouble is almost too blunt a projection of the clash between the Creole and Peninsular.those who sold him the woods throw his jewels into the river and his textiles into the fire. this time of the soil. after two centuries of constant warfare. In these two initial generations of Ibarras. When he punishes a child who is mocking him. The fourth generation Ibarra. the other turns into a frontiersman. he became possessed by what. and the natives laugh at him. vigor and zeal -. Don Saturnino is as gloomy as hisfather: taciturn. but very active and industrious. He is loved by his tenants. Rizal is fair: he sees the latter-day Creole as engaged in anotherconquista. One goes into business and ends up a suicide.the land was his but he was not the land's. he wears the nativecamisa. cruelty. we see the Creole turning. He subscribes to Madrid newspapers and keeps a picture of an "executed priest. Don Rafael. The Peninsularin this case exemplifies the worst of the Spaniards that poured into the Philippines with the opening of the Suez Canal: he is illiterate but has been made a tax collector. at times cruel. bringing the qualities of a soldier -. As long as the Creole was merely defending the land as empire.violence.
to arouse a popular uprising. not Elias. "to make the youth resist these insane cravings for hispanization. I have spurred ambition. and acts of cruelty. they may seize any solution.man.-Peninsular theme by making Ibarra's rival forMaria Clara a Peninsular: the newcomer Linares. fleeing from it. Rizal was making an ironic comment on the alliance between the Creole and Indio. or autonomy. Instead of 43 . which provides the Noli Me Tangerewith its sardonic humor. who it turns out is a victim of the Ibarras. inherited a quarrel with the Indios. Ibarra the Creole finds the Peninsular society of Manila ranged against him and decrying him precisely because of his Spanish blood." he says. and in the union with Spain lies the welfare of the country. so that the people may become inured to the idea of death. Simoun Revenge was sweet. but unknowingly." he tells Basilio. or representation in the Cortes. I have paralyzed commerce so that the country. by making the vulture itself insult the very carcass that feeds it!"Simoun is beyond any wish for reform. I have fomented crime. impoverished and reduced to misery. "No Indio would understand revolution!" In the accursed woods where his Spanish ancestor hanged himself. He is forced to become one. "It always has to be the Creoles!" say the Peninsulars upon hearing Ibarra's supposed uprising. and not content with all this. it's necessary that the friars stay. a man who believes salvation can come only from total corruption. At times he even sounds [end of page 70] like a reactionary: "To keep the Philippines. for the Montecristo of Dumas. I have hurt the nation in its rawest nerve. "I need your help. the embittered Ibarra ceases to be a naïve Edmond Dantes and becomes a malevolent Montecristo. "I have inflamed greed. may have nothing more to fear. a victim of the Creole. whobecomes the revolutionary. though all he wanted to do was elevate the masses by educating them. And when tragedy befalls him. I have maintainedterror so that. however. The Simoun of Rizal is unhappy even in revenge." Rizal repeats the Creole-vs. for equality of rights. for Ibarra's life is thrice saved by Elias. "Injustices and abuses have multiplied. for assimilation. and it's Ibarra. He has also. to ruin the treasury. He is one of the darkest creations of literature. yet he makes Elias die to save Ibarra the Creole.
A few decades before.Father Florentino hurls into the ocean. even when finally converted to the revolution. of spiritual self-renewal. What had sounded like a savage sneering at reform becomes a celebration of reforms. The Noli Me Tangere had mocked the naiveté of the reformist. therefore. shrinks from Simoun's command to exterminate not only the counter-revolution but all who refuse to rise up in arms: "All! All! Indios. Dying. so that not by right. El Filibusterismo should. What had happened? The Creole revolution had flopped.. to give life!" Unlike Montecristo. nor language. he flees to the house beside the Pacific where lives Father Florentino. Sinibaldo de Mas had predicted the impasse: 44 . In Rizal. as an alien. mestizos. Salvation cannot come from corruption. nor be regarded by the people as a native. but always as an invader. to produce. have unequivocally justified revolution -. without spirit. though Rizal. Rizal seems to annul what he has been saying sopassionately. may the Spaniard feel at home here. the last words are: Suffer and toil. during the novel. when the moment of choice came.. Spaniards. there to wait until a time "when men need you for a holy and high purpose. Simoun fails. But Basilio. with the government or with us." This final chapter is beautiful [end of page 71] but unsatisfactory. aspire to be a nation. Chinese.the most poignant line in the novel.aspiring to be a province.garbage produces only toadstools. a misery. the futility of collaboration. Would you call that to destroy? I would call it to create. And the jewels with which Simoun had thought to fuel the holocaust. What? You tremble? Youfear to sow death? What is to be destroyed? An evil. to nourish." And he offers Basilio "your death or your future. the last words had been: Wait and hope. with your oppressors or with your country". In Dumas. All whom you find without courage. and through Father Florentino. nor custom. It is necessary to renew the race! Coward fathers can only beget slave children. warning the boy that whoever "declares himself neutral exposeshimself to the fury of both sides" -.but it takes back in the final chapter what it pushed forward in the preceding ones. through Simoun. did not exactly declare himself neutral.
"Among the whites born in the colony, there arise local interests opposed to those of the mother country and which end by arousing the desire for independence. A Filipino Spaniard may be called aSpaniard but he has never been to Spain and has neither friends nor relatives there. He has spent his infancy in the Philippines; there he has enjoyed the games of childhood and known his first loves;there he has domiciled his soul. The Philippines is his native land. But the Filipinos (that is, the Creoles) are continually snubbed. Their resentment when a boat from Cádiz arrives in Manila withalcaldes mayores or military and finance officers is so obvious one must close one's eyes and even at times one's ears to avoid noticing it. "However, much as the Spanish officials may suppose the Filipino Spaniards to be disloyal and desperate, it was not possible for me to believe that it would ever occur to them to rise up and arm the natives (because the Creoles are) much less loved than the Europeans by the Indios, without the support of the friars, without capital, and too weak a minority to subdue the more than 200,000 rich, active and intelligent Chinese mestizos and the three and a half million natives. In case of a break, the Spanish population rooted in the country stands to lose most; the Europeans can return to Spain, but the Filipino Spaniards will be uprooted, lose all and have to search for another homeland. Yet can these individuals in question be deemed stupid and blind if they favor separation from Spain when we repeatedly read in the history of popular uprisings that the most eminent men believe they can guide a revolution according to their plans, never suspecting for a moment that they will fall victims of the revolting masses that they incite to revolt?" That indeed was what more or less happened. As the insurgent Creoles were joined by the rising native ilustrados, initiative passed from one to the other; and the Creole got cold feet with the thought of what might happen to him if the Indio should rise up in arms. For the Creole might think [end of page 73] his insurgence the revolt ofFilipinos against the Peninsulars; but to the Indio, it was merely a quarrel between one set of Spaniards and another set of Spaniards. And while the two sets quarreled, the Indio snatched back his land. So, in Europe, while king and bishop squabbled, the bourgeois slipped through and seized power. But the abortive Creole revolution did create a climate of subversion; to that extent, Simoun had succeeded. There's a clear line of development from 1872 to 1896, as we acknowledge byaccepting Burgos as a national hero. But what happened in America did not happen here. An actual Creole revolt did not break
out; the Indio beat the Creole to the draw; and when the hour of reckoning came the Creole sided with the hatedPeninsulars -- though he later somewhat redeemed himself by joining the second phase of theRevolution, the war against the Americans. When that, too, collapsed, the Creole returned to the side of the imperialist: the Partido Federalista was the Creole party. The failure of that party removed the Creole from the mainstream of the national life --though, ironically, the very failure led to the realization of the old Creole dream: it was a Quezon that took possession of Malacañang. The modern descendants of the Creoles have had no one fate. The very rich ones, who were, in the 1870s, becoming more and more Filipino have, today, become more and more Spanish. The poorer ones have had, as Sinibaldo de Mas predicted, to search for a new homeland, Australia being the current goal of their exodus. Others, as a modern Creole observes, emigrate to San Lorenzo Village: "Go to the Rizal Theater any night and you'd think you were in a foreign country." But there's another segment that seems to be reviving what might be called the Spirit of '72 and which may be studied in an Emmanuel Peláez or Manuel Manahan, tentative Hamletish figures that baffle us with their scruples, their militancies, their enigmatic "honor." Are they Ibarra or Simoun? Are they resuming an unfinished revolution of their own, the revolt of the Creole? The jewels of Simoun wait in the sea.
From Bye Bye Blackbird
A death in the family. Relatives you haven’t seen since the last death in the family reappear like furniture from your past reassembled for a movie about it; reassembling now only as props: footlight (as it were) and backdrops, to celebrate not a death but the family here having one of its final stops, here it continues where it stops.
No one is here as a person, only as the correct representative of his branch of the line. Only the man that’s dead is here as himself, is discussed as such. “Rather lonely, his last days.” “Well, he was on the shelf all of these years.” “He was renting that crummy apartment?” “No, just a part of it, the upstairs.” “Collapsed, alone with his cats—whom someone should be representing. They were so dear to him.” “From the start
” The crowd wake was a lively tone. unconscious. 48 .” “Died like his father.” “Four o’clock dawn.of the stroke. cerebral hemorrhage.
let us mine the honey that’s ored in udders that are this lad. But we are old–we are only a point. because they are molten money and their bones are cash. a pause in the earth’s decay–we are lonely but no day dies in the eyes we dare not close lest we flock with flies.Song Between wars Wombed in the wounds of war grow golden boys and girls whose green hearts are peacocks perched upon apes and pigs that feed on pearls or sour grapes. that lass. Bankrupt by war. Imperial their coin still is when other currencies are 49 .
its winding ways unwind and the riddle unravel till they come to the end of the thread: the labyrinth behind and the Beast ahead. 50 . when peace is for every man and woman a labyrinth. the beautiful– our sons and daughters: the tax we pay to the Bull.imperilled. War is the Minotaur and we are the waters bearing for him to devour the young. The maze we made they shall travel. and war the bull that’s human.
The quodams angels of the air turned earthworms anguishing to locate some hollow at the globe's core where the flag poles do not penetrate. man may outmimic mouse and mole and find his live limbs eagerly intruding on Persephone. 51 . The trend being steadily underground (bomb-shelter. straw man. moocher-all transferred underground to file the Age of Airline and Airwaves among the neolithic caves. catacomb. will bless the Devil for a berth within the bowels of the earth. foxhole and fathomings ever more profound).LANDSCAPE WITHOUT FIGURES How looms the landscape of the future where even man will be vile: big shot and small fry.
A stone heart's in the stricken flesh that craves a miner's axes-. staring. and fear prepares more and more fiery explosions to illuminate mankind's eventual hegira. like the starfish.The Future's rapping at the door and rattling the venetian blind while flat upon the bathroom floor the Grass of Fashion fumes to find she can no longer. debate. with his customary stealth. make this room the memory's viaticum. your sad eyes. 52 . As diplomats debate.unless Christ. comes cleaving through the heart's material the twin caves of his birth and burial. survive upon the glittering surface.
the ball had been in their honor. the young men gathering around to wish them a good night and lamenting their ascent with mock signs and moaning. their proud flashing eyes. for hats and canes. save where an evil young moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled. and they were a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage rattled away upon the cobbles while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush. and their elegant mustaches so black and vivid in the moonlight that the girls were quite ravished with love. merriment. caramba. till old Anastasia plucked 53 . not on this moist tropic eve! not on this mystic May eve! --with the night still young and so seductive that it was madness not to go out. and gather fireflies! cried a third—whereupon there arose a great clamor for coats and capes. whistling and whining. crowded giggling at the windows. but were soon sighing amorously over those young men bawling below. while the girls who were staying were promptly herded upstairs to the bedrooms. and began crying to one another how carefree were men but how awful to be a girl and what a horrid. for they were young bucks newly arrived from Europe. arrogance and audacity. and swim in the Pasid! cried another. smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable childhood fragrances or ripe guavas to the young men trooping so uproariously down the street that the girls who were desiring upstairs in the bedrooms catered screaming to the windows. over those wicked young men and their handsome apparel. not to go forth---and serenade the neighbors! cried one.May Day Eve The old people had ordered that the dancing should stop at ten o’clock but it was almost midnight before the carriages came filing up the departing guests. horrid world it was. and they had waltzed and polka-ed and bragged and swaggered and flirted all night and where in no mood to sleep yet--no. their tile roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wile sky murky with clouds. proclaiming themselves disconsolate but straightway going off to finish the punch and the brandy though they were quite drunk already and simply bursting with wild spirits.
she is a maga. said the old Anastasia. old gypsy? Come. and those who cared might peer into a mirror and would there behold the face of whoever it was they were fated to marry. Anastasia. She is a maga. and night of lovers." "Huh? Impossible! She has conquered seven husbands! Are you a virgin." "I am not afraid. "Enough. And it was May again. 54 ." cried the young cousin Agueda. tell me. Anastasia! We want to sleep!" "Go scare the boys instead. I will go. she said--for it was a night of divination. and the mighty roll of his great voice booming through the night. Anastasia?" "No. but I am seven times a martyr because of you girls!" "Let her prophesy. It was the first day of May and witches were abroad in the night. let her prophesy! Whom will I marry. said the old Anastasia as she hobble about picking up the piled crinolines and folding up shawls and raking slippers in corner while the girls climbing into four great poster-beds that overwhelmed the room began shrieking with terror. She was born of Christmas Eve!" "St. scrambling over each other and imploring the old woman not to frighten them. jumping up in bed.them off by the ear or the pigtail and chases them off to bed---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobble and the clang-clang of his lantern against his knee. virgin and martyr. enough. "Guardia serno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o. you old witch!" "She is not a witch." "You may learn in a mirror if you are not afraid.
" "Oh girls---give me that candle. I go. "But where could I go." "Because you may see--the Devil!" The girls screamed and clutched one another. It has that big mirror and no one is there now. Tell me what I have to do. you wicked girl! Oh. you mad girl!" "If you do not come to bed. "and go into a room that is dark and that has a mirror in it and you must be alone in the room." she instructed. "But what nonsense!" cried Agueda. just above your left shoulder will appear the face of the man you will marry. show to me him whose woman I will be. shivering. Come. lie down! And you Anastasia. old woman."Girls. "You must take a candle. I know! Down to the sala. I will call my mother. "Ah. was already tiptoeing across the hall." "Tell her! Tell her!" chimed the other girls. the lighted candle sputtering in one hand while 55 ." "And if you do I will tell her who came to visit you at the convent last March. I go. If all goes right. "This is the year 1847." A silence. no! It is a mortal sin! You will see the devil!" "I do not care! I am not afraid! I will go!" "Oh. mirror." But Agueda had already slipped outside. girls---we are making too much noise! My mother will hear and will come and pinch us all. then the Lord have mercy on you!" "Why. Then: "And hat if all does not go right?" asked Agueda. old woman---give me that candle. I command you to shut your mouth and go away!""Your mother told me to stay here all night. The old woman dropped the clothes she had gathered and approached and fixed her eyes on the girl. my grand lady!" "And I will not lie down!" cried the rebellious Agueda." "No. Agueda. "Stay. leaping to the floor. her feet bare and her dark hair falling down her shoulders and streaming in the wind as she fled down the stairs. Go up to the mirror and close your eyes and shy: Mirror. hugh? Yes. Agueda. Agueda. There are no devil anymore!" Nevertheless she had turned pale.
oh. and so sadly altered. The child blanched. framed in graying hair. laughter. and the jolly jerky music of the fiddlers. a weird cavern for the windows had been closed and the furniture stacked up against the walls. so sadly different from that other face like a white mask. When she had finished such a terror took hold of her that she felt unable to move. blown forward by the white cloud of her gown. and instantly opened her eyes.with the other she pulled up her white gown from her ankles. But when she stood before the mirror she lifted the candle level with her chin and the dead mask bloomed into her living face. vengeful face. She closed her eyes and whispered the incantation. bitter. a big antique mirror with a gold frame carved into leaves and flowers and mysterious curlicues. it was a dark den. not completely. a bright mask with two holes gaping in it. It was the same room and the same mirror out the face she now saw in it was an old face---a hard. But she heard a step behind her. enchanted. "I saw the devil. Mama? Oh. She crossed herself and stepped inside. and a smothered giggle. what was it?" But Dona Agueda had forgotten the little girl on her lap: she was staring pass the curly head nestling at her breast and seeing herself in the big mirror hanging in the room. She paused breathless in the doorway to the sala and her heart failed her. She tried to imagine the room filled again with lights." she said bitterly. She saw herself approaching fearfully in it: a small while ghost that the darkness bodied forth--but not willingly. "But what was it Mama? Oh please go on! What did you see?" Dona Agueda looked down at her daughter but her face did not soften though her eyes filled with tears... unable to open her eyes and thought she would stand there forever.. 56 . "And what did you see. The mirror hung on the wall before her. for her eyes and hair were so dark that the face approaching in the mirror seemed only a mask that floated forward. whirling couples. that fresh young face like a pure mask than she had brought before this mirror one wild May Day midnight years and years ago. But.
" she muttered fiercely.. for he was barring the way. Mama? Oh. yes. I opened my eyes and there in the mirror." said Dona Agueda. darling. he spoke to me. "No. while these of the devil were very black and elegant--oh. she wept. Those of your Papa are dirty and graying and smell horribly of tobacco.or you may see something frightful some day. of admiring yourself in every mirror you pass. "Let me pass!" she cried again. Oh.. And bowing her graying head. "But I want to dance the polka with you. So they stood before the mirror. But this of the devil was a scar of sin."The devil." "Well. "You are Agueda. You must stop this naughty habit." "Like those of Papa?" "Oh.. Mama--what did he look like?" "Well.. the candle shining between them and flinging their shadows to the wall.. "Not until we have danced. fair one. fair one. "But I remember you!" he cried." "Yes." "Go to the devil!" "What a temper has my serrana!" "I am not your serrana!" "Whose." "Let me pass. smiling at me over my left shoulder. was the face of the devil. he has curly hair and a scar on his cheek---" "Like the scar of Papa?" "Well. Mama?" "Yes… Yes. how elegant!" "And did he speak to you. no. my love." "Oh. in a voice of fury. smiling at her in the mirror and stepping back to give her a low mocking bow. and I danced a waltz with you but you would not give me the polka. She had whirled around and glared at him and he had burst into laughter." he said. Or so he says. "Charms like yours have no need for a candle. their panting breath the only sound in the dark room. And that is why good little girls do not look into mirrors except when their mothers tell them." "Go on about the devil. whom I left a mere infant and came home to find a tremendous beauty. His eyes sparkled and the scar on his face gleamed scarlet.. while that of your Papa is a scar of honor." he smiled." "But the devil. he had mustaches. but he grasped her by the wrist. my poor little Mama! And were you very frightened?" "You can imagine. let me see. And young Badoy Montiya (who had crept home very drunk to pass out quietly in bed) suddenly found himself cold sober and very much awake and ready for anything." he had said. then? Someone I know? Someone I have 57 .
you fastidious men!" "Come. little one. how you weary me. We have no grace like the Parisiennes. He saw the mobile insolence of her neck. slap. and we have no salt. slap her silly face! But at the same time he was thinking that they were all going to Antipolo in the morning and was already planning how he would maneuver himself into the same boat with her. Agueda. and young Badoy was conscience-stricken. she had fled. "Oh. little one!" Oh." she moaned. he thought greedily. "Oh. Cruel thoughts raced through his head: he would go and tell his mother and make her turn the savage girl out of the house--or he would go himself to the girl’s room and drag her out of bed and slap. no salt. no salt! Aie. licking his bleeding knuckles. Say you forgive me first. She shuddered in her white gown. that little harlot! She should suffer for this.bit so sharply in the knuckles that he cried with pain and lashed cut with his other hand-lashed out and hit the air." He groped and found her hand and touched it to his lips. please forgive me! Please do not cry! But what a brute I am! I was drunk. sir!" "You were admiring the moon perhaps?" "Oh!" she gasped. he would have his revenge. But---Judas! He remembered her bare shoulders: gold in her candlelight and delicately furred. Son of a Turk. you treat all my friends like your mortal enemies. you pompous young men! You go to Europe and you come back elegant lords and we poor girls are too tame to please you. and he heard the rustling of her skirts up the stairs as he furiously sucked his bleeding fingers. come---how do you know about us?" "I was not admiring myself." But instead she pulled his hand to her mouth and bit it . but she was quite 58 . and tugged feebly. how you bore me. I was drunk and knew not what I said. do not cry. jerking her wrist away and flashing her teeth in his face." "And why not?" she demanded. and her taut breasts steady in the fluid gown. The candle had gone out and they stood in darkness. how I detest you. The candle dropped from her hand and she covered her face and sobbed piteously.offended grievously? Because you treat me. we have no fire like the Sevillians. Say you forgive me. for she was gone. Oh. and burst into tears. he would make her pay. "No. "Let me go.
the storms break over the rot-tipe orchards and the heart grows old. being merely concerned in feeling his way across the street with his cane. the walls darken and fall into ruin and decay. he was over sixty. he stopped. till the mind becomes too crowded. Such a happiness welled up within him that the tears spurted from his eyes.. the heart is distracted. and he was young---young! ---and deliriously in love. he was a very stopped and shivered old man with white hair and mustaches coming home from a secret meeting of conspirators.and there came a time when Don Badoy Montiya walked home through a May Day midnight without remembering. chancing to glance into the sala. the days. to hear her harsh voice. and kissed his wounded fingers. the months. he shuddered. he would still have his revenge. standing by the window in the dark room. and May time passes. It was May. the memory perished.enchanting! How could she think she had no fire or grace? And no salt? An arroba she had of it! ". He ran to the window and flung open the casements and the beauty of the night struck him back like a blow. alas. he thought viciously.. wholly unconscious of the May night. his mind still resounding with the speeches and his patriot heart still exultant as he picked his way up the steps to the front door and inside into the slumbering darkness of the house. while the hours. the tears in his eyes and the wind in his hair and his bleeding knuckles pressed to his mouth. and the years pile up and pile up. without even caring to remember. the heart forgets. But he did not forgive her--no! He would still make her pay. his blood ran cold-- 59 . No lack of salt in the chrism At the moment of thy baptism!" He sang aloud in the dark room and suddenly realized that he had fallen madly in love with her.. He ached intensely to see her again---at once! ---to touch her hands and her hair. But.. But what a night it had been! "I will never forge this night! he thought aloud in an awed voice. till on his way down the hall. his eyes having grown quite dim and his legs uncertain--for he was old. cobwebs multiply. it was summer. summer lends. too confused: dust gathers in it.
He took the boy by the hair. came tiding back. lately came from Europe. So you want your wife already. she will torture you. and let us talk this over. Grandpa. but looking around and seeing the old man. the boys did warn me I might see a witch instead.and the lad standing before the mirror (for it was a lad in a night go jumped with fright and almost dropped his candle. you are the great Señor only and how delighted I am to make your acquaintance. laughed out with relief and came running.. pulled him along into the room. she will eat 60 . a face that he suddenly felt he had been there before though it was a full minutes before the lost memory came flowing. he called out.. how you frightened me." "Yes. They told me I would see my wife. you young bandit! And what is all this. Don Badoy cackled ruefully. hey? But so you know that these are wicked games and that wicked boys who play them are in danger of seeing horrors?" "Well. "So it was you. "Now. and drew the boy between his knees. he was a gay young buck again. And she will be witch you. I am only . he s stepped in the doorway. hey? You want to see her in advance. he had been dancing all night. Grandpa. sat down on a chair.." "Wife? What wife?" "Mine. mirror show to me her whose lover I will be. I was only. Don Badoy had turned very pale. put your cane down the floor." "Exactly! A witch so horrible you may die of fright.for he had seen a face in the mirror there---a ghostly candlelight face with the eyes closed and the lips moving. son. so overflooding the actual moment and so swiftly washing away the piled hours and days and months and years that he was left suddenly young again. he saw a face in the dark.. The boys at school said I would see her if I looked in a mirror tonight and said: Mirror. Señor Only! But if I break this cane on your head you maga wish you were someone else. Sir!" "It was just foolishness. he was very drunk... hey? What are you doing down here at this hour?" "Nothing. "Oh Grandpa.
Oh." "The witch?" "Exactly!" "And then she bewitch you. my young Voltaire! And what if I tell you that I myself have seen a witch. "Oh.. my poor little Grandpa! Why have you never told me! And she very horrible? "Horrible? God. Grandpa. There are no witches anymore. Grandpa!" "She bewitched me and she tortured me. come now Grandpa.but.. she was enchanting! But I should have known---I should have known even then---the dark and fatal creature she was!" A silence. But when I poked my head in what should I see in the mirror but. "When. I was a vain fellow and though I was feeling very sick that night and merely wanted to lie down somewhere and die I could not pass that doorway of course without stopping to see in the mirror what I looked like when dying. 61 . Then: "What a horrid mirror this is. When I was a bit older than you." said the old man. Grandpa?" "Not so long ago. "You? Where? "Right in this room land right in that mirror.." whispered the boy." "Oh-ho. and his playful voice had turned savage. My God.. This is 1890.she was the most beautiful creature I have ever seen! Her eyes were somewhat like yours but her hair was like black waters and her golden shoulders were bare." said the old man bitterly. l She ate my heart and drank my blood. no--.your heart and drink your blood!" "Oh.
She had been a mere heap of white hair and bones in the end: a whimpering withered consumptive. save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled. And Mama once told me that Grandma once told her that Grandma once saw the devil in this mirror. from the terrible silver nets of the moon. you saw this witch in it. their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky murky with clouds. smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable the window.nothing save a name on a stone.. stood up and looked out----looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered and a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles. nothing--. the tears streaming down his cheeks and the wind in his hair and one hand pressed to his mouth---while from up the street came the clackety-clack of the watchman’s boots on the cobbles. remembering how she had bitten his hand and fled and how he had sung aloud in the dark room and surprised his heart in the instant of falling in love: such a grief tore up his throat and eyes that he felt ashamed before the boy. Was it of the scare that Grandma died?" Don Badoy started. that she had perished---the poor Agueda. long. pushed the boy away. save a stone in a graveyard---nothing! was left of the young girl who had flamed so vividly in a mirror one wild May Day midnight. Now. the bowed old man sobbing so bitterly at the window. her eye like live coals. her broken body set free at last from the brutal pranks of the earth---from the trap of a May night. from the snare of summer. the two of them. her tired body at rest."What makes you slay that. and the clang-clang of 62 . And remembering how she had sobbed so piteously. that they were at peace at last. hey?" "Well. For a moment he had forgotten that she was dead. while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush. lashing out with her cruel tongue. her face like ashes. long ago.. whistling and whining.
drunk with the wisdom of your flesh. Sheba. Yea. But wisdom never was content and flesh when ripened falls at last: what will I have when the seasons mint your golden breasts into golden dust? Let me arise and follow the river back to its source. I laugh where once I bent the knees. the peacocks chant dark blasphemies. bathe me again in the early vision 63 . open your eyes! the apes defile the ivory temple. I take your mouth for mine to crumple. I would bathe my bones among the chaste rivulets that quiver out of the clean primeval stones. Yea. and the mighty roll of his voice booming through the night: "Guardia sereno-o-o! A las doce han dado-o-o!" The Innocence of Solomon Sheba. but I take your body for mine to trample.his lantern against his knee.
the peacocks rend the sacred veil and on the manna feast their fill— but chaliced drowsily in your ample arms.my soul tongued forth before your mouth made of a kiss a fierce contrition. salting the waters of my youth! Sheba. 64 . with its brief bliss that dies. my own deep sepulchre I seal. close my eyes! The apes have ravished the inner temple. Sheba.
Alone. his every action being so public a scandal even decent people knew who he was and shunned him like a leper. sailed forth with kettle and skillet. This Doña Ana and her son. she knew another side of this man’s character. in all the city. in whose retinue – on de Silva’s appointment as governo-general – they had come to the Philippines. perhaps. Riding around the city in her carriage. one of the many spirited women who. Señor Vera had tried to dissuade his mother from coming along – she was over fifty and rather fragile of health – but Doña Ana had mockingly feared he would degenerate into a savage in three days if she were not there to keep house for him. devoutly resolved that even in the heathen of the wilderness the rites of the alter of the hearth should be performed with as much elegance as the court itself. reeling and howling if drunk – but his swart bearded face of a Lucifer never struck her with terror.An Excerpt From THE LEGEND OF THE DYING WANTON There lived in Manila in the year 1613 a certain Doña Ana de Vera. At the court and Villa they had enjoyed the patronage of Don Juan de Silva. across two oceans and half the world she had come. 65 . one of the principal ladies of the country at that time and a woman of great piety. who was an official of the government. Now there was stationed at Manila at that time a wild young soldier named Currito Lopez who was as evil as Doña Ana was good. So. hard on the heels of te conquistadores. Doña Ana often saw him in the streets. This Currito was a lost soul. with fan and mantilla. were from Madrid. swaggering insolently if sober.
hush I implore you! Now look: your father has a headache.” Though it was only seven by the clock the house was already a furnace. Doña Lupeng awoke feeling faint with the heat. grasping her skirts. “And why is it you who are preparing breakfast? Where is Amada?” But without waiting for an answer she went to the backdoor and opened it. were at breakfast. intense fever of noon. hurried across the yard. So be quiet this instant—or no one goes to Grandfather. In the dining room the three boys already attired in their holiday suits. and the screaming in her ears became wild screaming in the stables across the yard. “How long you have slept. the windows dilating with the harsh light and the air already burning with the immense. John’s Day with the children’s grandfather. talking all at once. huh? Are we going now?” “Hush. “Oh my God!” she groaned and. Mama!” “We thought you were never getting up!” “Do we leave at once. a sound of screaming in her ears. whose feast day it was. She found the children’s nurse working in the kitchen. 66 . and came crowding around her. and so have I.SUMMER SOLSTICE THE MORETAS WERE spending St.
67 . the driver. “Not the closed coach. señora. “But the dust. señora: I have not touched her. was hitching the pair of piebald ponies to the coach. the big half-naked woman sprawled across the bamboo bed stopped screaming.In the stables Entoy. Entoy! The open carriage!” shouted Doña Lupeng as she came up. And what ails your wife. eh? Have you been beating her again?” “Oh no. apparently deaf to the screams. She is up there. señora—“ “I know.” When Doña Lupeng entered the room. But how do I know? You can go and see for yourself.” “Then why is she screaming? Is she ill?” “I do not think so. but better to be dirty than to be boiled alive. Doña Lupeng was shocked.
get up at once. Last night. She averted her eyes from the laughing woman on the bed. she blushed again. and seeing that Entoy had followed and was leaning in the doorway. looking around helplessly. Then her face relax her mouth sagged open humorously and. The room reeked hotly of intimate odors. in whose nakedness she seemed so to participate that she was ashamed to look directly at the man in the doorway.“What is this Amada? Why are you still in bed at this hour? And in such a posture! Come. as if in an effort to understand.” 68 . rolling over on her back and spreading out her big soft arms and legs. You should be ashamed!” But the woman on the bed merely stared. señora. Her sweat-beaded brows contracted. “Tell me. she began noiselessly quaking with laughter—the mute mirth jerking in her throat. Saliva dribbled from the corners of her mouth.” “But I forbade her to go! And I forbade you to let her go!” “I could do nothing. the moist pile of her flesh quivering like brown jelly. Doña Lupeng blushed. watching stolidly. Entoy: has she had been to the Tadtarin?” “Yes.
you beat her at the least pretext!” “But now I dare not touch her. She is the Tadtarin. she is the wife of the crocodile. and why not?” “It is the day of St. señora.” “But. She must do as she pleases.” “At such times she is not my wife: she is the wife of the river. she is the wife of the moon. and the animals would die. the rivers would give no fish.” “Oh. John: the spirit is in her. The spirit is in her.” 69 . Entoy.” “Naku. man—“ “It is true. the trees would bear no fruit.“Why. Otherwise. I did no know your wife was so powerful. the grain would not grow.
“BUT HOW CAN they still believe such things?” demanded Doña Lupeng of her husband as they drove in the open carriage through the pastoral countryside that was the arrabal of Paco in the 1850’s.
Don Paeng darted a sidelong glance at his wife, by which he intimated that the subject was not a proper one for the children, who were sitting opposite, facing their parents.
Don Paeng, drowsily stroking his moustaches, his eyes closed against the hot light, merely shrugged.
“And you should have seen that Entoy,” continued his wife. “You know how the brute treats her: she cannot say a word but he thrashes her. But this morning he stood as meek as a lamb while she screamed and screamed. He seemed actually in awe of her, do you know—actually afraid of her!”
“Oh, look, boys—here comes the St. John!” cried Doña Lupeng, and she sprang up in the swaying carriage, propping one hand on her husband’s shoulder wile the other she held up her silk parasol.
And “Here come the men with their St. John!” cried voices up and down the countryside. People in wet clothes dripping with well-water, ditch-water and river-water came running across the hot woods and fields and meadows, brandishing cans of water, wetting each other uproariously, and shouting San Juan! San Juan! as they ran to meet the procession.
Up the road, stirring a cloud of dust, and gaily bedrenched by the crowds gathered along the wayside, a concourse of young men clad only in soggy trousers were carrying aloft an image of the Precursor. Their teeth flashed white in their laughing faces and their hot bodies glowed crimson as they pranced past, shrouded in fiery dust, singing and shouting and waving their arms: the St. John riding swiftly above the sea of dark heads and glittering in the noon sun—a fine, blonde, heroic St. John: very male, very arrogant: the Lord of Summerindeed; the Lord of Light and Heat—erect and godly virile above the prone and female earth—while the worshippers danced and the dust thickened and the animals reared and roared and the merciless fires came raining down form the skies— the relentlessly upon field and river and town and winding road, and upon the joyous throng of young men against whose uproar a couple of seminarians in muddy cassocks vainly intoned the hymn of the noon god:
That we, thy servants, in chorus May praise thee, our tongues restore us…
But Doña Lupeng, standing in the stopped carriage, looking very young and elegant in her white frock, under the twirling parasol, stared down on the passing male horde with increasing annoyance. The insolent man-smell of their bodies rose all about her—wave upon wave of it—enveloping her, assaulting her senses, till she felt faint with it and pressed a handkerchief to her nose. And as she glanced at her husband and saw with what a smug smile he was watching the revelers, her annoyance deepened. When he bade her sit down because all eyes were turned on her, she pretended not to hear; stood up even straighter, as if to defy those rude creatures flaunting their manhood in the sun.
And she wondered peevishly what the braggarts were being so cocky about? For this arrogance, this pride, this bluff male health of theirs was (she told herself) founded on the impregnable virtue of generations of good women. The boobies were so sure of themselves because they had always been sure of their wives. “All the sisters being virtuous, all the brothers are brave,” thought Doña Lupeng, with a bitterness that rather surprised her. Women had built it up: this poise of the male. Ah, and women could destroy it, too! She recalled, vindictively, this morning’s scene at the stables: Amada naked and screaming in bed whiled from the doorway her lord and master looked on in meek silence. And was it not the mystery of a woman in her flowers that had restored the tongue of that old Hebrew prophet?
“Look, Lupeng, they have all passed now,” Don Paeng was saying, “Do you mean to stand all the way?”
She looked around in surprise and hastily sat down. The children tittered, and the carriage started.
“Has the heat gone to your head, woman?” asked Don Paeng, smiling. The children burst frankly into laughter.
Their mother colored and hung her head. She was beginning to feel ashamed of the thoughts that had filled her mind. They seemed improper—almost obscene—
” “He waved and waved. “And did you see our young cousin Guido?” he asked.” “I did not see him. properly attired and brushed and scented. “Oh.” “Well. He will feel hurt. Doña Lupeng was so 73 . I did not see him. Paeng. was he in that crowd?” “A European education does not seem to have spoiled his taste for country pleasures. that is always a woman’s privilege.” “The poor boy. But truly.” BUT WHEN THAT afternoon. the young Guido presented himself.and the discovery of such depths of wickedness in herself appalled her. She moved closer to her husband to share the parasol with him. at the grandfather’s.
do you know.” 74 . I and some boys. John’s crowd. It made my flesh crawl. The young Guido knew nothing of Darwin and evolution. All those women in such a mystic frenzy! And she who was the Tadtarin last night—she was a figure right out of a flamenco!” “I fear to disenchant you. he knew everything about Napoleon and the Revolution. Guido—but that woman happens to be our cook. he laughed in her face.” “She is beautiful.charming and gracious with him that he was enchanted and gazed after her all afternoon with enamored eyes. “It was weird. to see the procession of the Tadtarin.” “And was that romantic too?” asked Doña Lupeng. “But I adore these old fiestas of ours! They are so romantic! Last night. When Doña Lupeng expressed surprise at his presence that morning in the St. but the Age of Byron. This was the time when our young men were all going to Europe and bringing back with them. we walked all the way through the woods. not the Age of Victoria.
mocking her with his eyes. The children were chasing dragonflies. among the ripe mangoes. From the house came the sudden roaring laughter of the men playing cards. I also learned to open my eyes over there—to see the holiness and the mystery of what is vulgar. “Ah. his face moist with sweat. Those rituals come to us from the earliest dawn of the world.” calmly insisted the young man. And it frightens me. gazing up at her. The sun stood still in the west. feeling very annoyed with this young man whose eyes adored her one moment and mocked her the next. and the young man sprawled flat on his belly. They were out in the buzzing orchard. I can only feel it. for instance?” “I do not know. “Beautiful! Romantic! Adorable! Are those the only words you learned in Europe?” cried Doña Lupeng. Doña Lupeng seated on the grass.“Our Amada beautiful? But she is old and fat!” “She is beautiful—as that old tree you are leaning on is beautiful. her legs tucked beneath her.” 75 . The long day refused to end. And the dominant figure is not the male but the female.” “And what is so holy and mysterious about—about the Tadtarin.
” “What has your St. John.” “But surely there have always been kings?” “Oh. And I pulled it on. over my arm. I made such love to a toothless old hag there that she pulled off her stocking for me.“But they are in honor of St. and the moon before the sun. Why. How your husband would have despised me!” “But what on earth does it mean?” “I think it is to remind us men that once upon a time you women were supreme and we men were the slaves. Guido?” “How sharp you are! Oh. The queen came before the king. John to do with them? Those women worship a more ancient lord. do you know that no man may join those rites unless he first puts on some article of women’s apparel and—“ “And what did you put on. no. like a glove. and the priestess before the priest.” 76 .
like the tides of the sea.” “Why?” “Because the tides of women.” “Oh. Because the first blood -But what is the matter.“The moon?” “—who is the Lord of the women. you are mad! mad!” “Why are you so afraid. Lupe? Oh. they pray to them—as men did in the dawn of the world.” 77 . I only wish you to remember that I am a married woman. are tides of the moon. Lupe?” “I afraid? And of whom? My dear boy. you still have your mother’s milk in your mouth. have I offended you?” “Is this how they talk to decent women in Europe?” “They do not talk to women.
then turned and fled toward the house. She stared down in sudden horror. A beautiful woman. And why not? Did you turn into some dreadful monster when you married? Did you stop being a woman? Did you stop being beautiful? Then why should my eyes not tell you what you are—just because you are married?” “Ah. They were alone in the carriage: the children were staying overnight at their grandfather’s.” As she lifted her skirts to walk away. It was heat without gradations: that knew no twilights and no dawns. that would be there already. ON THE WAY home that evening Don Paeng noticed that his wife was in a mood. propping up his elbows. this is too much now!” cried Doña Lupeng. I implore you! Have pity on me!” “No more of your comedy. the young man. dragged himself forward on the ground and solemnly kissed the tips of her shoes. Guido! And besides—where have those children gone to! I must go after them. “Do not go.“I remember that you are a woman. 78 . that was still there. The heat had not subsided. still staring. after the sun had set. yes. before the sun had risen. transfixed—and he felt her violent shudder. and she rose to her feet. She backed away slowly.
huddled herself in the other corner. her eyes on his face. “Yes! All afternoon. to follow her like a dog. and smiled at her. Paeng? embarrassed—as a man?” “A good husband has constant confidence in the good sense of his wife. “And was that all you felt.” she told him disdainfully.” She glanced at him coldly. But she drew away. “He kissed my feet.” he pronounced grandly. He frowned and made a gesture of distaste.“Has young Guido been annoying you?” asked Don Paeng. “Do you see? They have the instincts.” “These young men today—what a disgrace they are! I felt embarrassed as a man to see him following you about with those eyes of a whipped dog. the style of the canalla! To kiss a woman’s feet. to adore her like a slave –” “Is it so shameful for a man to adore women?” 79 .
” But when they reached home she did not lie down but wandered listlessly through the empty house. The cads and lunatics—they ‘adore’ the women.” “But maybe we do not want to be loved and respected—but to be adored.” “There is no one. stooping. But she stood still. “How can you bear those hot clothes. When Don Paeng.“A gentleman loves and respects Woman. She turned around to face him. came down from the bedroom. 80 . He approached and stood behind her.” “A pack of loafers we are feeding!” She had risen and gone to the window. kissed the nape of her neck. having bathed and changed. and he released her sulkily. still in her white frock and shoes. he found her in the dark parlour seated at the harp and plucking out a tune. not responding. grasped her elbows and. Lupeng? And why the darkness? Order someone to bring light in here. they have all gone to see the Tadtarin.
Paeng.“Listen. Lupe. Paeng.” “I told you: No! go and take those clothes off. And tonight is the last night. And I thought you had a headache?” He was still sulking. But.” “I warn you. You cannot forbid me. I mean. “Very well. Entoy can take us. too. She was still standing by the window and her chin was up. There is nothing wrong with it. bit off an end of the cigar. and glared about for a light. woman. The Tadtarin. For a favor.” “You must be crazy! Only low people go there. whatever has got into you!” he strode off to the table. if you do want to come. I have not seen it since I was a little girl. do not provoke me!” “I will go with Amada. I am not a child. “But I want to go! My head aches worse in the house. I want to see it. do not come—but I am going.” 81 . opened the box of cigars. Paeng. banged the lid shut. took one.
a mature woman. her eyes shining in the dark and her chin thrust up. the heat ahs touched you in the head. More people were crowded on the balconies and windows of the houses. the black night smoldered. everyone dances. “Yes. He sighed. Lupeng. a very old woman who dies and comes to life again. let us go. In these processions. The plaza itself and the sidewalks were filled with chattering. a young girl heads the procession. profusely sweating people. “Here they come now!” cried the people on the balconies. that his heart was touched. Come. quite a stream of carriages was flowing leisurely. Around the tiny plaza in front of the barrio chapel. strolling. smiled ruefully. on the second. The moon had not yet risen.But standing very straight in her white frock. And since you are so set on it—very well. 82 . The Moretas were constantly being hailed from the other vehicles. in the windless sky the lightning’s abruptly branching fire seemed the nerves of the tortured air made visible. so fragile. On the first night. and on the third. have the coach ordered!” THE CULT OF the Tadtarin is celebrated on three days: the feast of St. and shrugged his shoulders. as in those of Pakil and Obando. she looked so young. John and the two preceding days.
And “Here come the women with their St. surging forth on the street. primitive. The carriages halted and their occupants descended. and the sweat gleaning on her face. The crowd parted. Don Paeng flushed hotly: he felt that all those women had personally insulted him. He grasped her arm—but just then a flash of lightning blazed and the screaming women fell silent: the Tadtarin was about to die. John indeed in the hands of the Herodias. walked with calm dignity in the midst of the female tumult. a wand in one hand. was outraged. He turned to his wife. a doomed captive these witches were subjecting first to their derision. Don Paeng was horrified. A pallet was brought and set on the ground and she was laid in it and her face 83 . a small old woman with white hair. a group of girls bore aloft a little black image of the Baptist—a crude. their eyes wild. to be struggling to escape—a St. The old woman closed her eyes and bowed her head and sank slowly to her knees. watching with his wife on the sidewalk. a bunch of seedling in the other. taut and breathless. writhing women. Behind her. John!” cried the people on the sidewalks. screaming. black shawls flying around their shoulders. But the Tadtarin. and their long hair streaming and covered with leaves and flowers. The plaza rang with the shouts of people and the neighing of horses— and with another keener sound: a sound as of sea-waves steadily rolling nearer. grotesque image. its big-eyed head too big for its puny naked torso. The image seemed to be crying for help. a gross and brutal caricature of his sex. and up the street came the prancing. bobbing and swaying above the hysterical female horde and looking at once so comical and so pathetic that Don Paeng. her head thrust forward and her eyes bulging. the teeth bared in the slack mouth. to take her away—but she was watching greedily.
Then. darted off. and her mouth with laughter. who opened her eyes and sat up. the black-shawled women stopped wailing and a girl approached and unshrouded the Tadtarin. and ran into the crowd of dancing women. were soon laughing and dancing. silver light defined the rooftops. Overhead the sky was brightening. “Come. too. unhumanly—a hushed. planting her arms akimbo.covered with a shroud. They covered their heads with their black shawls and began wailing softly. The women drew away. 84 . animal keening. Her eyes brimmed with moonlight. she began to trip a nimble measure. but she nodded meekly and allowed herself to be led away.” said Don Paeng to his wife. She flung her hands to her hair and whirled and her hair came undone. leaving her in a cleared space. But suddenly she pulled free from his grasp. When the moon rose and flooded with hot brilliance the moveless crowded square. Her hands still clutched the wand and the seedlings. tears trembled on her lashes. She rose to her feet and extended the wand and the seedlings and the women joined in a mighty shout. and even those on the balconies. her face lifted to the moonlight. She tossed her head back and her arched throat bloomed whitely. Girls broke away from their parents and wives from their husbands to join in the orgy. They pulled off and waved their shawls and whirled and began dancing again—laughing and dancing with such joyous exciting abandon that the people in the square and on the sidewalk. She was shaking with fascination. an indistinctive folk-movement. let us go now.
my shawl!” “Stop pushing. struggled with sudden panic to fight his way out. you harlots!” cried Don Paeng. dancing and he pursuing—till. He followed her.Don Paeng ran after her. “Hoy you are crushing my feet!” “And let go of my shawl. turbulent darkness of the chapel. it is a man!” “How dare he come in here?” “Break his head!” 85 . packed. and Don Paeng. Angry voices rose all about him in the stifling darkness. which was moving again. shameless one. they were both swallowed up into the hot. she eluded him. laughing— and through the thick of the female horde they lost and found and lost each other again—she. Inside poured the entire procession. finding himself trapped tight among milling female bodies. but she laughed and shook her head and darted deeper into the dense maze of procession. towards the chapel. or I kick you!” “Let me pass. shouting. shouting her name. let me pass. “Abah. carried along by the tide.
He picked himself up at once and walked away with a dignity that forbade the crowd gathered outside to laugh or to pity. Entoy came running to meet him. sir. We are going home. and half-shoved. while unseen hands struck and struck his face. as—kicked and buffeted.“Throw the animal out!” ”Throw him out! Throw him out!” shrieked the voices. his eyes blind and his torn mouth salty with blood—he was pushed down. and ravaged his hair and clothes. with all his strength—but they closed in as savagely: solid walls of flesh that crushed upon him and pinned his arms helpless. these are only scratches. Don Paeng?” “Nothing. down to his knees. and Don Paeng found himself surrounded by a swarm of gleaming eyes. Where is the coach?” “Just over there. and clawed at his flesh.” 86 . Go and get the señora. “But what has happened to you. Terror possessed him and he struck out savagely with both fists. half-dragged to the doorway and rolled out to the street. But you are wounded in the face!” “No.
” “But why?” “Because you have behaved tonight like a lewd woman. “What are you going to do. man! What have you done with yourself?” And when he did not answer: “Why. AND WHEN THEY are home and stood facing each other in the bedroom.” 87 . “What a sight you are. have they pulled out his tongue too?” she wondered aloud. she was still as light-hearted. she smiled coolly. Rafael?” “I am going to give you a whipping.When she entered the coach and saw his bruised face and torn clothing.
But now you are as distant and strange to me as a female Turk in Africa. then I was always a lewd woman and a whipping will not change me—though you whipped me till I died. Lupe?” “Because it is true. you want me to pay for your bruises. “How can you say that.“How I behaved tonight is what I am. You have been whipped by the women and now you think to avenge yourself by whipping me.” “Yet you would dare whip me –” 88 . If you call that lewd.” His shoulders sagged and his face dulled.” “No.” “I want this madness to die in you. how do I know what to think of you? I was sure I knew you as I knew myself. “If you can think that of me –” “You could think me a lewd woman!” “Oh.” He flushed darkly.
I cannot whip you!” he confessed miserably. it was a monstrous agony to remain standing.” “And because if you ceased to respect me you would cease to respect yourself?” “Ah. either you must say it—or you must whip me. “No.“Because I love you. Her eyes were upon him and the shameful fear that had unmanned him in the dark chapel possessed him again. you want to say it!” But he struggled against her power. forcing him to speak. 89 .” she taunted. His legs had turned to water. I did not say that!” “Then why not say it? It is true. “Because. And you want to say it. “Why should I want to?” he demanded peevishly. because I respect you. But she was waiting for him to speak.
your slave. and she cried: “Then come.” He was exhausted at last. Lupe. And he. breathing hard and streaming with sweat.“Then say it! Say it!” she cried. “Until you have said to me. there can be no peace between us. That the air you breathe and the ground you tread is so holy to me. and kiss my feet!” 90 ..” But it was still not enough. That I worship you. “Why suffer and suffer? And in the end you would only submit. “I adore you. “Is it not enough that you have me helpless? Is it not enough that I feel what you want me feel?” But she shook her head furiously. crawl on the floor. That I am your dog. She strained forward avidly. in his dead voice: “That I adore you. Her fists were still clenched. That I adore you. pounding her clenched fists together. “What? What did you say?” she screamed.” he said tonelessly.. he sank heavily to his knees.” But he still struggled stubbornly. his fine body curiously diminished now in its ravaged apparel.
He lay exhausted at her feet. her eyes watching him avidly. the rapid flashes of lightning. he sprawled down flat and. like a great agonized lizard. her nostrils dilating. lifted his hands and grasped the white foot and kiss it savagely . She raised her skirts and contemptuously thrust out a naked foot. panting. He lifted his dripping face and touched his bruised lips to her toes.Without moment’s hesitation.streaming fluid and black in the white night where 91 . gaspingly clawed his way across the floor. and leaned against the sill.while she bit her lips and clutched in pain at the whole windowsill her body and her loose hair streaming out the window . working his arms and legs. the frail ankle . the woman steadily backing away as he approached. the sole. his face flat on the floor.kissed the step. till behind her loomed the open window. the huge glittering moon. she stopped.
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