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How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife

How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife

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Published by: iloveheavenlyangels on Jun 24, 2011
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Manuel Estabillo Arguilla (1911 - 1944

"How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife," is a short story written by the highly acclaimed Filipino writer Manuel E. Arguilla. This award-winning story is a longstanding favorite in Philippine literature. To examine this piece, the author's background must first be considered.

Manuel E. Arguilla
Manuel E. Arguilla was born on June 17, 1911 in Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union to parents Crisanto Arguilla, a farmer, and Margarita Estabillo, a potter.Their mediocre living was not a hindrance for Manuel to attain his dreams especially in literature. He finished his elementary school in his hometown and his high school in San Fernando where he became the editor-in-chief of his school's newsletter, the La Union Tab. He was also an athlete where he became champion in swimming events he joined.He entered the University of the Philippines where he joined the UP Writers Club and later became the president and the editor of the UP Literary Apprentce. He finished Education in 1933. He married Lydia Villanueva, a fellow artist and writer and lived in Ermita, Manila.Upon graduation, he practive his profession in University of Manila. He later joined the Bureau of Public welfare where he was the editor of Welfare Advocate, the bureau's publication.As a writer, his
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His shown love to the country as a teacher. Some of his works as a writer are the following: How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife y y y y y y y Midsummer Morning in Nagrebcan Ato Heat A Son Is Born The Strongest Man How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife The Long Vacation 2|P a ge . and a freedom fighter was a virtue of patriot who offered his talents and life for the country.famous works were compiled in a book entitled How my Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife (And Other Stories) published by Philippine Book Guild in 1940. an Ilocano pride. This collection of stories won first prize in short story category during the first Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940. Manuel Arguilla. When the Japanese invaded the country in 1941. He was captured by the Japanese in 1944 and was imprisoned in Fort Santiago together with his family. These stories were written when he was 22-29 years old. a writer. His family was later freed but Manuel was sentenced to death. He was executed on October 1944 at age of 33. Arguilla join the freedom forces of the country and led a division of the Marking's Guerillas.

Alisangco Though Young He Is Married The Maid. the Man. and the Wife Elias Imperfect Farewell Felisa The Long Vacation Caps and Lower Case y y y y y Caps and Lower Case The Socialists Epilogue to Revolt Apes and Men Rice 3|P a ge .y y y y y y y Mr.

How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife (American Colonial Literature) By Manuel E. and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. Then he was standing beside us. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek. where he stood in front of his 4|P a ge ." she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. "You are Baldo." She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long. SHe was tall. Arguilla She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick. She looked up to my brother with a smile. but they were not painted. and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. delicate grace. But she came and touched Labang's forehead with her long fingers. I watched Ca Celin. She was lovely. My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. Her nails were long. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum." She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily. and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. and she turned to him eagerly. "And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. I laid a hand on Labang's massive neck and said to her: "You may scratch his forehead now. curving horns.

Noel?" Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly. don't you. The sun was in our eyes. He did not say Mayang. Maria. She moved close to him and slipped her arm through his." Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself.horse. I knew then that he had always called her Maria and that to us all she would be Maria. for it was dipping into the bright sea. and in my mind I said 'Maria' and it was a beautiful name. he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel. and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her. "You love Nagrebcan. He did not say Maring. We stood alone on the roadside. thinking Father might not like it." my brother Leon said. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backward and it sounded much better that way. Noel. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at 5|P a ge . At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew. "Yes. gesturing widely toward the west. "Maria---" my brother Leon said. "There is Nagrebcan. And after a while she said quietly. The sky was wide and deep and very blue above us: but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds.

He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. Baldo. And far away in the middle of the field a cow lowed softly in answer. "Hitch him to the cart. laughing." my brother Leon said. "I have never heard the like of it. her eyes were so full of laughter. glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire. I climbed into the cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted. "If you continue to talk about him like that." My brother Leon laughed and she laughed and they looked at each other and it seemed to me there was a world of laughter between them and in them. and I saw that he had put his arm around her shoulders.the sinking sun." "There is not another like it. and she laughed with him a big uncertainly. and there was the small dimple high up on her right cheek. because her teeth were very white. for he was always like that. but I kept a firm hold on his rope. which I had wshed and brushed that morning with coconut husk. so that my brother Leon 6|P a ge . "Why does he make that sound?" she asked. He was restless and would not stand still. Labang's white coat. either I shall fall in love with him or become greatly jealous. In all the world there is no other bull like him. "I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang." She was smiling at him." my brother Leon said. and I stopped in the act of tying the sinta across Labang's neck to the opposite end of the yoke.

sit down on the hay and hold on to anything. and away we went---back to where I had unhitched and waited for them. then I made him turn around.had to say "Labang" several times. her skirts spread over them so that only the toes and heels of her shoes were visible. "What is it you have forgotten now. Baldo. I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang. High up overhead the sky burned with many slow fires. placed a foot on the hub of the wheel. my brother Leon handed to me the rope. then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along. "Give me the rope. and in one breath she had swung up into the cart. She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart. I saw the wind on her hair. Baldo?" my brother Leon said. my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart. Oh. 7|P a ge . "Maria. placing the smaller on top. the fragrance of her. My brother Leon laughed as he drew himself up to the top of the side of the cart and made the slack of the rope hiss above the back of labang. legs bent togther to one side. When he was quiet again. The sun had sunk and down from the wooded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing into the fields. When Labang slowed down. She looked down once at her high-heeled shoes. The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears. But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away. Her eyes were on my brother Leon's back." my brother Leon said." Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instand labang leaped forward.

and even the white of Labang's coat was merely a dim. "Have you ever seen so many stars before?" I looked back and they were sitting side by side. grayish blur. my brother Leon laid a hand on my shoulder and said sternly: "Who told you to drive through the fields tonight?" His hand was heavy on my shoulder. The thick. "Baldo. you fool. Crickets chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily. answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. Why do you follow the Waig instead of the camino real?" His fingers bit into my shoulder." Without waiting for me to answer. he turned to her and said. but a man's height above the tops of the steep banks of the Wait. but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig. unpleasant smell of 8|P a ge . Then my brother Leon laughed. and laughing still.When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season. Seemingly. leaning against the trunks. now?" He laughed and added. "Father. hands clasped across knees. Manong. why do you think Father should do that. "Maria. hung the stars." Swiftly. he said: "And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of with Castano and the calesa. his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang. he told me to follow the Waig tonight. and he sat back.

Ahead. "Good boy. free of dust and smoke." my brother Leon said. "I have been looking at it." "The air here is clean. Baldo. "Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan?" "Yes. sharp scent of arrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart. half to herself. the elongated shadow of Labang bobbled up and down and swayed drunkenly from side to 9|P a ge . and my heart sant." she murmured. Very low in the west. climbed down. "Making fun of me. was the star." she said. I stopped Labang. yonder is our star!" Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice." she said.dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean. Noel. Maria?" She laughed then and they laughed together and she took my brother Leon's hand and put it against her face. Clumps of andadasi and arrais flashed into view and quickly disappeared as we passed by." "So it is." my brother Leon said as I climbed back into the cart. Now the shadows took fright and did not crowd so near. Noel. drawing a long breath. "Look. the biggest and brightest in the sky. and lighted the lantern that hung from the cart between the wheels. "It is so many times bigger and brighter than it was at Ermita beach. almost touching the ragged edge of the bank. "Look at it. Noel.

"But it is so very wide here. "we have been neglecting him. I answered. He must have taught her the song because she joined him. "Have we far to go yet." I did not say anything more because I did not know what to make of the tone of her voice as she said her last words. And each time the wheels encountered a big rock. Noel?" she asked." she said. After the fields is home---Manong. I waited for my brother Leon to say something. for the lantern rocked jerkily with the cart. she would join him again. her voice would catch in her throat. Baldo. "Ask Baldo. picking my words slowly: "Soon we will get out of the Wait and pass into the fields." "So near already. The light of the stars broke 10 | P a g e . Suddenly he broke out into song and the song was 'Sky Sown with Stars'---the same that he and Father sang when we cut hay in the fields at night before he went away to study. and through the spokes of the wheels the light of the lantern mocked the shadows. The jolting became more frequent and painful as we crossed the low dikes. Then we were climbing out into the fields. until. and her voice flowed into his like a gentle stream meeting a stronger one." my brother Leon said. Without looking back." "I am asking you. All the laughter seemed to have gone out of her. Labang quickened his steps.side. but he was not saying anything. but my brother Leon would sing on. laughing softly." she said.

We met the twins. And they 11 | P a g e ." We came to the house of Lacay Julian and I spoke to Labang loudly. "You miss the houses. and the people and the noise.and scattered the darkness so that one could see far on every side. gentlest man I know." With difficulty I turned Labang to the left." she said. We drove through the fields because---but I'll be asking Father as soon as we get home. Except when his leg that was wounded in the Revolution is troubling him. "Yes. "---you see. "From the way you talk. "Yes. He may not like me. so I surmised she must be eating with the rest of her family. and I said "Hoy!" calling them by name. though indistinctly. Maria. he might be an ogre." "I am afraid. I am glad they are not here. In a little while we drope up the grassy side onto the camino real. Urong and Celin. but Moning did not come to the window. "the camino real curves around the foot of the Katayaghan hills and passes by our house." my brother Leon was explaining. but I knew he was more thirsty than tired. He was breathing hard. and the cars. Father is the mildest-tempered. but in a different way. And I thought of the food being made ready at home and my mouth watered. for he wanted to go straight on. Maria?" my brother Leon said. for all the world." "Does that worry you still." "Noel. don't you?" My brother Leon stopped singing.

"Did you meet anybody on the way?" he asked. there were Mother and my sister Aurelia and Maria and it seemed to me they were crying." Mother said." I did not hear anything more because I had to go back to the cart to unhitch Labang. and Mother stood in the doorway. And my brother Leon shouted to them and then told me to make Labang run. There was no light in Father's room." I said. As I passed through the kitchen." 12 | P a g e . their answers were lost in the noise of the wheels. I met my brother Leon going to bring up the trunks. Father. all of them. her face becoming serious. "His leg is bothering him again. He sat in the big armchair by the western window. "No. He was smoking.. There was light downstairs in the kitchen. "Nobody passes through the Waig at night. where is he?" "He is in his room upstairs. and a star shone directly through it. The first words that fell from his lips after he had kissed Mother's hand were: "Father. and I could see her smiling shyly. My brother Leon was helping Maria over the wheel.shouted back and asked if my brother Leon and his wife were with me. He turned Labang into the open gate and we dashed into our yard. but my brother Leon reined in Labang in time. But I hardly tied him under the barn when I heard Father calling me. He laid it carefully on the windowsill before speaking. but he removed the roll of tobacco from his mouth when he saw me.. I stopped labang on the road before our house and would have gotten down but my brother Leon took the rope and told me to stay in the cart. I thought we would crash into the camachile tree. There was no movement.

. Father. And again I saw her eyes on the long curving horns and the arm of my brother Leon around her shoulders. Father.. Father." "On the way---" "She looked at the stars.He reached for his roll of tobacco and hithced himself up in the chair." He was silent again. She sang with him. "She is very beautiful. but the room seemed to resound with it. He had laid the roll of tobacco on the windowsill once more. I watched the smoke waver faintly upward from the lighted end and vanish slowly into the night outside. and I thought that Father's voice must have been like it when Father was young. "No. 13 | P a g e . I told him that Labang was resting yet under the barn. I could hear the low voices of Mother and my sister Aurelia downstairs." "What did he sing?" "---Sky Sown with Stars. And Manong Leon sang. There was also the voice of my brother Leon. "Have you watered Labang?" Father spoke to me. The door opened and my brother Leon and Maria came in." "Was she afraid of Labang?" My father had not raised his voice. she was not afraid.

" my father said. She was tall. 14 | P a g e . she was tall and very still."It is time you watered him. I looked at Maria and she was lovely. Then I went out. and in the darkened hall the fragrance of her was like a morning when papayas are in bloom. Beside my brother Leon. my son.

their father was silent. that he and his father would sing as they cut down the field·s hays. Baldo heard his name being called by their father. instead of Camino Real. they began singing ¶Sky Sown with Stars·. an observer by nature. with Labang. As the couple gaze to the stars. Leon and Maria came to their father·s room and he again noticed how lovely and tall Maria is. Leon and Maria made fun of small things that left them laughing and happy on the trip. Their father asked a handful of questions that would put a meaning on why their father commanded them to take the rockier road of Waig rather than the still one of Camino Real. After their conversation. she couldn·t help but compare with the ones in the metropolis. a more stable path towards Leon·s home. witnessed how Leon and Maria loved each other too well. During their bumpy trip. Leon·s brother. as commanded by his father. Baldo. fetched Leon and Maria at the edge of Nagrebcan. 15 | P a g e . At the time they arrived at their home. a panorama of countless stars. even on a pebbly and bumpy ride. Maria was awed by this scene and could not help but compare it from the stars of Ermita beach.the dry rocky bed of Waig. Labang is the carabao who pulled away his strength towards Leon·s home that night. Baldo took a shortcut . The huge field revealed so much of Nagrebcan·s jewels. and how he compared the fragrance of Maria and the fragrance of morning when papayas are in bloom like the first time she met her. The crickets· chirping and the dust and smoke free air.Summary: Baldo. preferring a ride with Labang rather than a calesa. a song that would remind Leon of the night before he went to the urban. As Baldo leave the room.

I definitely understand how Manuel Arguilla wrote this beautiful piece. The ending lead us to different assumptions on what Leon·s father tell them. I can be sure that Manuel Arguilla is a writer who uses his own experiences and environment as his ultimate weapon to influence and to persuade the readers. With that. huge fields. which is the reverse of Leon. 16 | P a g e . Manuel Arguilla brought me to his hometown thru his piece. its beautiful stars. whether Maria succeeded their father·s trial or not. also a writer. The ending also didn·t offer a conclusive ending. they lived in Ermita. ´How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wifeµ. Manila. The short story ´How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wifeµ gave us an incomplete answer to this problem. from the traditional or usual Maring or Mayang to Maria.Reaction: The author pointed the problem on how Filipinos would accept and or treat a new family member. from the traditional Leon to modern Noel. what happened next. did the father liked Maria. The use of Ermita beach·s stars as comparison with Nagrebcan·s is most probably because when Manuel Arguilla married his wife Lydia Villanueva. Arguilla family farms for a living. fresh and conducive environment. This would explain how vividly described a nightfall in Nagrebcan. etc. It presented the usual situation when a wife is to be introduced to the latter·s family. The author·s biography more or less depicted a life in a barrio called Nagrebcan in La Union. The author presented also distinction on name evolutions. The story ended up on the confrontation of Leon·s father and the couple which made ´How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wifeµ an incomplete answer to the author·s laid down problem.

it·s very hard to criticize this brilliant romantic short story. One could not really grasp what the father·s reaction after Baldo narrated the happenings during their bumpy trip because his father is really silent and emotionless and his last words in the story were ´Its time you watered him (Labang). not to mention the father being silent.The ending does not sound like a typical ending. I appreciate very much the whole packaging of the story but honestly. 17 | P a g e . setting aside the saying that ´the end is just the beginningµ. not just the quality of testing his in-law. to make the reader assume or take its part in making their own ending in the story.µ It is hard to derive conclusive ideas upon that based from the problem that the author laid. my son. Maybe it·s the style of the writer. he could not even crack a smile or raise an eyebrow to add more quality to the character of the father. because it leads to more questions and assumptions rather than conclusions and answers.

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