Philippine literature is the literature associated with the Philippines and includes the legends of prehistory, and the colonial legacy of the Philippines, written in both Indigenous, and Hispanic languages. Most of the notable literature of the Philippines was written during the Spanish period and the first half of the 20th century in Spanish language. Philippine literature is written in Spanish, English, Tagalog, and other native Philippine languages. The variety and abundance of Philippine literature evolved even before the colonial periods. Folk tales, epics, poems and marathon chants existed in most ethnolinguistic groups that were passed on from generations to generations through word of mouth. Tales associated with the Spanish conquest also took part in the country’s rich cultural heritage. Some of these pre-colonial literary pieces showcased in traditional narratives, speeches and songs are Tigmo in Cebuano, bugtong in Tagalog, patototdon is Bicol and paktakon in Ilongo. Philippine epics and folk tales are varied and filled with magical characters. They are either narratives of mostly mythical objects, persons or certain places, or epics telling supernatural events and bravery of heroes, customs and ideologies of a community.



Long ago, our elders say, the sky was so close to the earth that one could touch it. But there were only two people who could avail of that fact. They were the first man and woman. It has been said that the first woman was so vain. She wore so much jewelry and despised work. Whenever the first man would ask her to do something, she would pout. She pouted when he asked her to clean the house. She pouted whenever he asked her to cook. She pouted whenever he asked her to grind the rice grains everyday for their food. "But if you don’t grind the rice, we don’t get to eat," the first man reasoned, and even the vain first woman could not dispute that. But it was so much work grinding the rice with a little pestles and mortars. So she poured all their rice for the day into a very large mortar and took up a very large pestle to grind it with. The pestle was so tall that when it hit the mortar, it touched the sky. The first woman was oblivious to this. She only knew she had to grind all the rice before her husband came home for supper. She still wore all her jewelry. She noticed that her jewelry kept falling off or hampered her in any other way whenever she worked. So she hung her larger pieces of jewelry upon the sky, which were her silver comb, her gold ring, and her long pearl necklace. And then she went to work with the huge pestle, unknowing that as one end of the pestle pounded onto the rice grains, the other end was pounding onto the sky. The first woman only knew that having the sky so low only made her task more difficult. So she pounded harder and harder on the rice. Higher and higher the sky went, until with one enormous stroke, the first woman sent the sky flying up, never to come so close to the earth again. She sensed a draft behind her neck and looked up. She was astonished to see that the sky had risen so high – and taken her most precious things with it! She could see her silver comb shining where the moon is now, and the beads of her lovely necklace twinkling all around it. Her golden ring was nowhere in sight. The first woman grumbled, "I would have worn those things again if I’d known they would go to waste."

At Balatoc, which is part of the municipality of Lubuagan, and the province of KalingaApayao, is one of the oldest barrios. This barrio is situated at the foot of a high mountain where


she started out. It will be just up to me. tomorrow I'll start out to go and work. He went and wandered around the farms to look for some good work that he would do. Don't worry if I'll not be here or if no one will come to me. Ipogao longed for her husband. He was pointing the flame at the bridge that he was making. As he was resting he saw some cooked rice and a person's footprint on the ground. "Ipogao who went to that place where I am working and dropped some cooked rice and whose footprint is it that is at my resting-place?" 4 . a man whom none of the inhabitants knew. After many days had passed by. When she was almost at Pasil. the Isnegs from Apayao. God returned to their house to tell Ipogao what he wanted to do. The people who dwell there are the Tinguians from Abra. God thought of a good thing that he would do." After their conversation was finished. she silently drew near. and I'll come here if I get hungry. Ipogao. Some people in this barrio made caves at the foot of a huge stone as their houses in times past and even now. and was frightened to see a flame of fire coming out of the navel of God. As she was going away from the scene. He instructed their. she saw God working. He arrived at their house and saw his wife was worrying. "Ipogao. God was tired so he went to rest at his resting place. "I would like to marry you if you truly like me. a small piece of cooked rice fell and she made footprints at God's resting place. Ipogao led God to her house which was very small. and some people from Dananao which is part of the district of Tinglayan." When he had finished giving his instructions he started out to go to his work. When he looked down on Pasil. So then. from a distant place. I want no one to see me working until I am finished with the work that I'm doing. she put it in a basket. she cooked rice to take to her husband. So then. I am God (Kabunyan). Ipogao was frightened and so went silently away. He plainly saw me working." Ipogao answered. "You. So then. Her name was Ipogao." After he'd finished what he was saying to himself. The house of Ipogao to which they went was very far from where the real barrio was situated. appeared. I don't need anything to eat. He conversed with her. he decided to make a bridge across to the other side for the people to pass when they go to the opposite side to work for their supplies. Carrying it on her head.there is located a huge rock. When it was evening. When her rice was cooked. He went to Ipogao and said. In this barrio there was a beautiful woman. I come to see you because I want to marry you. "There was a person who came here to my resting-place. One day. When she had drawn near and spied what was making the noise. she heard what sounded like a machine. After many days had passed. he went to their house to go and ask his wife who'd seen him. He said. She carefully watched.

Why ever did you come when he had instructed you?" When Ipogao answered. I was coming to bring your food. they reprimanded Ipogao. you didn't listen to what I told you. Ipogao led the people to what he had worked. When God had already gone away. While the people were carefully gazing at the bridge. she said. I thought I would make a bridge for the benefit of the people here. he returned to their house and instructed Ipogao.Ipogao told the truth. "It's just that in my mind I thought he was a person like us. One-fourth was left connected to the big stone. Ipogao. I was only worrying because you had not been here for many many days. Being therefore interrupted. When he arrived. I will leave you and these people here. so that thing I was working on will not be finished. There is a part of the bridge left there even now. he cut it into four pieces. telling Ipogao." So the next day God was no longer there. "I'm the one who went." God answered. The part left measured about 4-1/2 meters." God then returned to the bridge." After the people had seen that bridge they believed that God was that one who had come. "You should not have come and interrupted him until it was finished. The people were surprised when they saw the part of the bridge that was left suspended and connected to the rock. 5 . for I thought that I would come to marry you so that I would do something for your benefit. The other cut parts fell into the river. "I am repenting. "You were there and saw me working and interrupted me. When God had finished destroying the bridge.

he pressed it against his body with his arm. Suddenly he heard the almugan's call."The three left. That. successfully crossed the river. He kept his hands raised until he reached the other side of the river. I'll cross last. they had to cross a wide and deep river. It was the good omen and they should continue whatever they are doing." agreed the Muslim. when it was his turn to cross. "we better cross one at a time. In order to keep his book from getting wet. Muslim. summoned the representatives of the three races. Then he started to cross. he held it up with his hands. The American went first. So the three agreed. will follow. the Muslim put his book on his head to prevent it from getting wet. but when he almost had it in his grasp. Placing his book under his armpit. they should stop it because it could only end in disaster. He tried to retrieve it but the current was very strong so he thought it's best to cross to the other side."The current is swift."I will not imitate them. Thinking only of saving his life he struck out with his arms. and disappeared from sight.the American. and I will also be able to cross."Yes.""Yes. he felt as if he would be swept away by the current. they say. you go first. according to the old Blaans. Thw Blaan became confused and panicked. he thought. he ran after floating book. forgetting all about the book under his armpit. the Blaan started walking away. Melu the chief god. Meanwhile. Happily the Blaan ran to get it."Alright. too. If the call came from the right. Muslim nowadays are strict in following the doctrines of their Koran.One day. On their way home. He gave each one a book of knowledge and instructed them: "Go back to your people and teach them the contents of the book I gave you today. Weak with disappointment and his realization that he had nothing to teach his people.""Alright. When he reached the middle of the river. the current swept him away. The book fell into the water and was carried away by the current.Why the Blaans are Ignorant In the olden days." chorused the three men. When he was safely on the shore.Meanwhile." he whispered boastfully. this is what people believe as the reason why the Blaans are ignorant. He. Until now. you may go. you American." the American observed. Because the Muslim put his book on his head with great energy. was he could interpret for his people. the book got caught in some rocks in a shallow part of the river. It was ow the Blaan's turn to cross the river. When he was midway. why Americans always struggle for liberty until today. the almugan bird snatched it. you. Muslim and the Blaan were the only people in this world. swiftly flew away. This is the reason. But if the call came from the left. 6 . because he was smaller than his two companions." said the Blaan. By that time the current of the water had grown stronger.

7 .

since it is the law of the land even though Saribu opted for Maisug. The next morning. Apo erupted and buried MAranaw and his people with lava which is now the present day Cotabato Valley. Two of her avid suitors were warriors Maranaw and Maisug. an evil man as he is. He 8 . The duel lasted for hours when Maranaw. MT. handsome man called Magat. He could run as fast as a deer and strong as he was. He was young and strong. and fast as a hunter and sure in his spear shot. a mountain grew fromt he spo. Saribu buries her dead father at the same spot here he was killed.THE LEGEND OF MOUNT APO Apong has a beautiful daughter named Saribu who was admired throughout the land. which later was shortened to Apo. They called it Apong in honor of the dead man. he chanted a curse to Maranaw. The Legend of the Magat River A long time ago. Maranaw didn’t heed and struck APong in the heart. Apong demanded to stop the fighting and went in between the warring warriors. When he was about to thrust hid spear to Maisug’s heart. there lived in Bayombong a tall. Maranaw demanded that a duel take place between him and Maisug. he could down a bull with ease. Saribu however gave her heart to Maissug. One day. Before ding. threw sandd in the eyes of Maisug.

He raised his weapon to kill the crocodile when suddenly he saw his wife on 9 . after making Magat promise in the name of the great Kabunian not to see her at noon. saw him poise a spear. She struggled a little but did not scream. The snake was struck right through the eyes and brain. Magat was in the water and carried the beautiful Maiden ashore. Except for a few who envied him his prowess. turning around. as she modestly tried to cover her body with her long dark hair. She was the most beautiful woman Magat had ever seen and he fell in love with her at first sight. Magat loved outdoor life. Gratitude and admiration were all over her pretty face. One noon. Magat's attention was attracted by a silent movement on a spreading branch. She was bathing and was nude from the waist up. Magat saw a great python. he broke his promise and broke into his wife's seclusion. Magat pointed to the writhing python. She mistook his attitude for hostility and ducked under water. who put a protecting arm around her lovely shoulders. Finally he came upon the largest stream he had ever seen. Soon night came. The next moment. The noise he made drew the attention of the maiden. From where he was hiding. consented. Believing that his wife had met a horrible death. who. He stopped and crawled noisily to the bank of the river near the fall. A great crocodile was lying on his wife's bed. it grew out of bounds. he lay beside the fire and fell asleep. he pursued his solitary way. fired by adventure he wandered farther than usual. primitive way.was strong-willed and obstinate but he was also kind and gentle. Everything went well and happily for a while. Magat asked the woman to be his wife. coiled around the branch. he kindled a fire in his crude. He jumped backward. the woman. In his wife's bed of soft leaves and grasses he beheld a sight that chilled his heart. she screamed instinctively and drew close to Magat. They wandered about in the forest. he rushed to the kitchen. But the passing days. One day. everybody in the village loved and respected him. Early the next morning. Upon seeing it. Being far from home. the spear flew from Magat's hand. fetched an ugly weapon and returned to his wife's room. which was ready to attack the beautiful woman. Under the spell of nature. Just as the python sprang. and roamed in the forest surrounding the struggling settlement. his curiosity mounted more and more and at last. Magat picked up his broken spear and went back to the young woman. He brought her home and made a cozy room for her. Upon parting the tall grasses he beheld a lovely sight just across the stream-beneath the shade of the outspreading branches of the big balete tree was a very beautiful maiden.

scales appeared. "you broke your promise. That was his punishment for having broken his promise made in the name of Kabunian." his wife sobbed. as she turned into a crocodile before his very eyes.the bed instead of the crocodile. Slowly life ebbed from her. worn out by grief for his lack of fidelity to his word and over the death of his lovely wife. His wife was dying. I must die. Magat buried the dead crocodile in his front yard. Sadly. he drowned himself and his miseries in the samestream grew into the mighty troublesome Magat river 10 . I can no longer be happy nor live any longer. On her beautiful skin.

The men were jealous of him. All the people shouted with joy when they saw that Utali was dead. they would come down and steal the food crops and pigs and chickens of the people in the community. there lived a certain datu on top of a hill outside kidapawan. At night. and control those who defied his laws. Utali was wounded and then died. Tawan. At the end. The women admired and adored him greatly. aside from his good looks. people were dancing and singing while the gong and the guitars were playing constantly for everybody to listen and enjoy. all the people were seen celebrating a big feast. he and his men fled to the farthest mountain and became bandits. And so. Tawan being very obedient and strong sent a messenger to Utali to inform hhim about the decision of the elders regarding his misbehaviour.TAWAN AND UTALI Once upon a time. Utali was the leader of the men who would not abide by the laws of the community. Tawan immediately went to see the elders to ask for advice. He told Utali that they would fight alone to end such trouble. “I agree!” Utali declared when he was informed by the messenger. Then. Because of this. Everywhere. at early dawn the following morning. who.Tawan and Utali me in the barrio square. The people were so scared and troubled that they went to see Tawan for help and solution. Both were fully equipped with lances. There was so much food and plenty of wine. The elders suggested that he and Utali must fight alone in the open to spare man from further bloodshed. So he asked Tawan to take over. This was to thank Tawan for his courage and bravery to fight and defeat Utali. thus revolted against him The datu was already so old that he could no longer fully rule his people. had great physical strength and wisdom. 1 . The people outside the community were all invited to the feast. The two fought for seven hours. The following day. With him was his only son. At last there could be peace now in the barrio.

2 .

May nakita silang punong saging." sabi ng pagong at hinila ang may ugat na parte ng puno. nagkadahon ang halaman ng pagong. "Akin ito. tayong dalawa ang makakakain ng saging. akin ito. "Gusto mo bang tulungan kitang pitasin ang mga prutas?" tanong ng tsonggo. Binisita ng tsonggo ang pagong upang kamustahin ang halaman nito. Samantala." "O. nagpasyal ang magkaibigang pagong at tsonggo." sabi ng tsonggo. "Kamusta ang halaman mo?" tanong ng tsonggo. "Hinog na ang saging mo. Wala siyang inihagis sa pagong. Isang araw. sige. "Sige. "Bakit hindi natin hatiin ang puno? Kunin mo ang parteng gusto mo at kukunin ko ang bahaging gusto ko. Tinanong ng tsonggo ang pagong. "Tumutubo ng mahusay." Pumayag ang pagong. Lumaki nang lumaki ang punong saging ng pagong. ihagis mo sa akin ang ibang bunga. bakit di mo pa pitasin?" "Hindi ko maabot." Dinala ng tsonggo ang parteng may dahon at kinuha naman ng pagong ang may ugat na bahagi. Binabantayan din ng tsonggo ang puno ng pagong. Gusto ng pagong na pitasin ang saging pero hindi niya ito maabot. Tapos. akyatin mo ang puno. namulaklak ang punong saging at nagkabunga. "Malago na ang dahon ngayon. sinabi ng pagong." "Namatay ang halaman ko. lumalaki ang prutas. "Ewan ko kung bakit. 3 . Araw-araw." malungkot na sabi ng tsonggo." sabi ng tsonggo at hinila ang parte ng puno na may dahon. Hanggang isang araw. Pareho nilang itinanim ang kanilang parte at kapwa sila nasisiyahang isipin na magkakaroon sila ng maraming saging na kakainin." sagot ng pagong. Dinilig nila ang halaman nila araw-araw." Inakyat ng tsonggo ang puno at kinain niya ang lahat ng saging." Napangiti ang pagong. "Kukunin ko ang parteng may dahon at kunin mo naman ang bahaging may ugat." sabi ng pagong. Kapag humihingi ang pagong.ANG PAGONG AT ANG MATSING Isang araw. tinatawanan lang ng tsonggo. "Sa gayon. Pero natuyo ang halaman ng tsonggo. "Hindi. Habang naghihilahan sila. Hindi niya masabi sa tsonggo na karamihan ng halaman ay di tumutubo kung walang ugat. nahinog ang mga saging.

Malulunod ako! Mamamatay ako!" Nang narinig ito ng tsonggo. "Itatapon kita sa apoy. hindi kita itatapon sa apoy. "A gusto ko iyan. "Aray!" sigaw uli ng tsonggo. "Pipitpitin kita. Sumilip siya sa ilalim ng bao at nakita niya ang pagong. ha. bumaba siya sa puno at natusok siya ng mga tinik na inilagay ng pagong." maagap sa sagot ng pagong." "Kung gayon. Napaupo siya sa baong pinagtataguan ng pagong." "Kung gayon." Ayaw ng pagong na itapon siya sa apoy. Pamaya-maya lumitaw siya sa tubig na nagtatawa. "Napakatanga ko! Pero hindi bale. Gaganda ako. "Magbabayad siya.Nagalit ang pagong at pinaligiran ng tinik ang puno. ha. nakain ko naman ang saging. dinampot niya ang pagong at itinapon sa ilog. Napaupo ang tsonggo at sabi niya sa sarili. Bahay ko ang ilog!" At lumangoy siyang palayo. pero sinabi niya. Tapos nagtago siya sa ilalim ng bao ng niyog." sabi ng tsonggo. sabi niya. Nang nakain nang lahat ng tsonggo ang saging. hindi na kita pipitpitin." sabi ng pagong sa sarili." inis na sabi ng tsonggo. "Aray!" sigaw ng tsonggo. "Pagkatapos mo dadami ako. "Ha. ha! Dito ako nakatira. Sabi niya. itatapon kita sa ilog." Marami akong magiging kalaro. Hinila niya ang buntot ng tsonggo sa butas ng bao. Mamumula ako. Sumisid ang pagong sa ilog." Nag-iiyak ang pagong. Habang tangan niya nang mahigpit ang pagong. ha. "Alam ko na. "Huwag! Huwag mo akong itapon sa ilog." 4 . Hinuli niya ito." "Magaling.

in the town of Calamba. He was the seventh child in a family of 5 . Laguna. was born on June 19. the national hero of the Philippines and pride of the Malayan race. 1861.JOSE RIZAL JOSE RIZAL.

America and Asia. journalist. and painting. Greek. At the age 8. 1877 and passed the Surveyor’s examination on May 21. while learning to read and write. the greatest apostle of Filipino nationalism. in 1890 he reprinted in Paris. while in Europe. His father. Italian. Thus. Catalan. Russian. In March 1887. propagandist. Latin. Spanish. Cruz. His sincerity and friendliness won for him the trust and confidence 6 . 1882. fishing and business. economist. surveying. While a political exile in Dapitan. he was not granted license to practice the profession until December 30. NOLI ME TANGERE. Teodora Alonzo y Quintos. naturalist. He astounded his family and relatives by his pencil drawings and sketches and by his moldings of clay. inventor. he enrolled in medicine at the University of Santo Tomas but had to stop in his studies when he felt that the Filipino students were being discriminated upon by their Dominican tutors. opthalmic surgeon. educator. On June 21. businessman. He finished the latter course on March 21. he entered into correspondence with renowned men of letters and sciences abroad. English. 1881. and other native dialects. he enrolled in Philosophy and Letters at the University of Santo Tomas. vocational courses including agriculture." the theme of which revolves on the love of one’s language. at the age of 24. This led himself. 1884." was born in Meisic. 17. In the same year. musician. published. sculptor. while at the same time took courses leading to the degree of surveyor and expert assessor at the Ateneo. historian. Because of his fearless exposures of the injustices committed by the civil and clerical officials. he was imprisoned in Fort Santiago from July 6. at 5. he was an architect. he mastered 22 languages. he engaged in agriculture. French.1885. nationalist. on September 18. he was conferred the degree of Licentiate in Medicine and on June 19. but because of his age. Portuguese. he learned the alphabet from his mother. as well as the art of self defense. In 1877.11 children (2 boys and 9 girls). psychologist. Francisco Mercado Rizal." Having traveled extensively in Europe. Malayan. scientific farmer. his second novel and a sequel to the NOLI and more revolutionary and tragic than the latter. at the age of 23. EL FILIBUSTERISMO. his daring book. Sanskrit. Laguna. Both his parents were educated and belonged to distinguished families. he already showed inclinations to be an artist. sociologist. he and those who had contacts with him. he sailed for Spain where he continued his studies at the Universidad Central de Madrid. Tagalog. mythologist. "Sa Aking Mga Kabata. 1878. novelist. he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree with an average of "excellent" from the Ateneo Municipal de Manila. Hebrew." came from Biñan. linguist. Japanese. A versatile genius. In the hope of securing political and social reforms for his country and at the same time educate his countrymen. several works with highly nationalistic and revolutionary tendencies. a satirical novel exposing the arrogance and despotism of the Spanish clergy. at the age of 16. while his mother. These include Arabic. an industrious farmer whom Rizal called "a model of fathers. a highly cultured and accomplished woman whom Rizal called "loving and prudent mother. cartoonist. 1892 to July 15. Morga’s SUCCESSOS DE LAS ISLAS FILIPINAS with his annotations to prove that the Filipinos had a civilization worthy to be proud of even long before the Spaniards set foot on Philippine soil. he maintained and operated a hospital. The sciences. 1891. and theologian. ethnologist. As a consequence. and with the help of his pupils. he conducted classestaught his pupils the English and Spanish languages. his relatives and countrymen into trouble with the Spanish officials of the country. Rizal provoked the animosity of those in power. In 1878.both considered remarkable engineering feats. he wrote a Tagalog poem. Rizal. was printed in Ghent. he finished his course in Philosophy and Letters with a grade of "excellent. Chinese. On May 3. Sta. 1892 on a charge that anti-friar pamphlets were found in the luggage of his sister Lucia who arrive with him from Hong Kong. Manila. artists. German. was published in Berlin. poet. the arts. the authorities were not only finding faults but even fabricating charges to pin him down. he constructed water dam and a relief map of Mindanao . he did some researches and collected specimens. sculpturing. At the age of 3. scientist. were shadowed. He was an expert swordsman and a good shot.

After a mock trial. he was again committed to Fort Santiago. from November 3.of even those assigned to guard him. 1896. 1896. his intelligence and humility gained for him the respect and admiration of prominent men of other nations. his enemies lost no time in pressing him down. he wrote an untitled poem. sedition and of forming illegal association. was shot at Bagumbayan Field. now known as "Ultimo Adios" which is considered a masterpiece and a living document expressing not only the hero’s great love of country but also that of all Filipinos. In his prison cell. Thus. In the cold morning of December 30. he was convicted of rebellion. Rizal. a man whose 35 years of life had been packed with varied activities which proved that the Filipino has capacity to equal if not excel even those who treat him as a slave. his good manners and warm personality were found irresistible by women of all races with whom he had personal contacts. while his undaunted courage and determination to uplift the welfare of his people were feared by his enemies. They were able to enlist witnesses that linked him with the revolt and these were never allowed to be confronted by him. 1986. When the Philippine Revolution started on August 26. 7 . to the date of his execution.

“WORLD “ 8 . nagbigay sa atin. kabagay Ng alin mang likha noong kalayaan. Na kaya nawala'y dinatnan ng sigwa Ang lunday sa lawa noong dakong una. Sapagka't ang Poong maalam tumingin Ang siyang naggawad. sa nayo't mga kaharian. Ang hindi magmahal sa kanyang salita Mahigit sa hayop at malansang isda. At ang isang tao'y katulad. Sanlang kalayaan nasa ring masapit Katulad ng ibong nasa himpapawid. Kastila at salitang anghel. Ang wikang Tagalog tulad din sa Latin Sa Ingles.Sa Aking Mga Kababata Kapagka ang baya'y sadyang umiibig Sa kanyang salitang kaloob ng langit. Kaya ang marapat pagyamaning kusa Na tulad sa inang tunay na nagpala. Ang salita nati'y huwad din sa iba Na may alfabeto at sariling letra. Pagka't ang salita'y isang kahatulan Sa bayan.

clean meadow. sound of perfection But truly pernicious are your invitations. that I should look up to? When nothing but evil is what I get from you. I dreamt I was walking Only to discover.You are worth our anger and much more our hatred Of treachery and savagery. you’ve chosen to wear On a clear. Why . you World are made Your fragrance you exude in proud pretense But only to conceal your devious offense You deserve to be left and entirely forsaken That soul’s cruel and merciless opponent If I take your guidance. with you all-abiding To the depths of hell he sadly goes plunging How cleverly you bind our poor human vision So to the pit of sin we fall. a temper you are Man you inerbriate. I will then be going Deaf ears you deserve for your deceitful others You. why. that every blinding glitter To wrap all your evils.O my God. carelessly unheeding To an endless sorrow. around me thorns were picking Since the time that man on this earth was born Him you had been punching to a sad sojourn And when on occasions. that following you get me? Who are you really. lured by temptation Such is why in the courts of the Heavenly judge Countless souls are condemned. "Berso Na Ana-anap" (Verse of Frustrated Love) Tata a lappao yo pangirang-ngirang cu So bahu a sinag. valley of treachery. Satan’s wily neighbour The counsels that you give. by the way. with intoxicating liquor But beneath all those delightful caresses Settles the flow of tears that never cease That a world. should i agree What are your inspirations. banna-banny na dihat 9 . An adviser from the depth.

I compare thee to a flower. Camarines Sur 10 . Dried seed. Dried hope. it climbed. neduna a anap Daddaramat anna fuab Yo mamanoc era naccayaccac Na cancion mapparaparappag Y canta-cantanda a iyayag yo anggam cu Yo anggam cu a madammat a suerte Cuppat a bucal Cuppat a inanaman Cuppat a bucal yo innac a imula Yo mangiada si allac nga ira yo pattolayan Nattufu. That perchance your charm may let grow. It grew. A ray of light that gives inspiration More so if you give me your attention. it bloomed But never did it bear fruit. nallappao Udde menangque nabbunga.naddam. LUIS G. napangga. Love comes in many forms from the young' Which I am expecting every morning and afternoon In my native town. 1906 Place of Birth : Baao.Metalugaring nu mepadandan sicuan Yo neduma a aggam. Dried seed that I may plant. DATO Date of Birth : July 4. The four seeds I have sown Which are my only hope. Songs that convey what I feel A love that caused such a burden and pain. it branched.

1939 – 1940) Staff Member.P. College of Liberal Arts (1924 – 1928) U.) Journalism : First Editor. 1926 Baao Elementary School. Naga Times Member. Bicol Examiner. Bicol Mail Awards : First Prize. High School. University of Nueva Caceres. (30 units) University of Nueva Caceres. Board of Editors. U. 1926 B. College of Law (1928 – 1933) Southern Luzon College (1947 – 1949) University of Nueva Caceres (1949 – 1951) St. (1919 – 1920) Camarines Sur High School.. 1951 – 1959 Faculty Member.S. Southern Luzon College. University of Nueva Caceres. Tingog nin Banwaan. Provincial Governor’s Office. Anthony College Positions Held : Classroom Teacher. 1949 Bachelor of Laws.P. 1953 – 1954 Faculty Member. 1947 – 1951. Bikol Meet Composition Contest (1922) First Prize. (1917 – 1918) San Vicente de Paul Seminary (1918 – 1919) Naga Elementary School.P. Hidalgo Pablo Dato (2nd Nuptials) Schools Attended : Naga Central School. 1955 – 1967 Faculty Member. Flores Soledad H. Juan dela Cruz.P. (1914 . Iriga Elementary School. Bicol Star (1933 – 1934) Editor. High Oratorical Contest (1924) 11 . 1937 – 1939 Municipal Mayor. 1967 Club Memberships : Sanghiran nin Bikol (1929 – 1931) Akademiang Bikol (1956) Knights of Rizal (1958 .) Naga City Press and Radio Club (1965 .E.) Los Viejos Alegres (1967 . 1941 – 1947 PRO. Bicolandia. 1951 Master of Arts. Anthony College (1971 – 1972) Degrees : Associate in Arts.Parents :Eugenio Dato y Esplana Barbara Guevarra y Imperial Paternal Grandparents : Damaso Dato Nicolasa Esplana Maternal Grandparents : Ludivico Guevara Higina Imperial Brothers and Sisters : Rodolfo Dato Francisca D. (1920 – 1923) U. (1923 – 1924) U. Camarines Sur.1917) Tabuco Primary School.. St. Naga College. Baao.P. U. Anthony College. St.

French. (1926) Named “Outstanding Catholic Poet” by United Poets Laureate International (1965) Books Published : Manila. Mexican and Nicaraguan poets Other religious poems The Spouse 12 . U. U.P. Bicol Epic Sonnets to the Brown Goddess Translations of the major poems of Rizal Translations of other Filipino poets in Spanish Sonnets of the Liberation Coronation and Proclamation poems Love Lyrics Alma Mater poems Christmas poems Translations of Spanish. Liberal Arts Oratorical Contest (1926) First Prize. Literary Contest.First Prize. A Collection of Verse (1926) My Book of Verses (1926) The Instant Lyre (Manuscript) Vocabulario Bikol-Ingles-Kastila (1963) Kantahon na Bikol (1969) Morfologia kan Tataramon na Bikol (serialized in Naga Times) Patotodon sa Bikol (Bikol Mail) Sarabihon sa Bikol Important Poems : Life of Christ Handiong.P.

Bautista (born 1941) is a multi-awarded Filipino poet. Fragrant with scent that wakens love from sleeping. 1954) and Mapa High School (Valedictorian. Her hair dishevelled in the night of passion. Time and Space. Baguio City (magna cum laude. The Sphinx beside the river smiles with seeking The secret answer since the world was born. Her warm limbs humid with the sacred strife. critic and writer of nonfiction. She finds no worlds beyond her love’s embrace. Louis University. and Doctor of Arts in Language and Literature from De La Salle University-Manila (1990). She looks far down to where her husband plows. fictionist. 1963). He received his basic education from Legarda Elementary School (1st Honorable Mention. and moist eyes young with weeping.Rose in her hand. He received his degrees in AB Literature from the University of Santo Tomas (magna cum laude. O somber mystery of eyes unspeaking. Cirilo F. Bautista Cirilo F. 1968). What may she know but man and woman fashion Out of the clay of wrath and sorrow—Life? She holds no joys beyond the day’s tomorrow. 13 . Who is her Mind. O dark enigma of Life’s love forlorn. He received a fellowship to attend the International Writing Program at theUniversity of Iowa (1968–1969) and was awarded an honorary degree—the only Filipino to have been so honored there. 1959). She looks upon the Form behind the furrow. her Motion. MA Literature from St. She stands upon the threshold of her house.

These include: excerpts from Sunlight on Broken Stones. USA. Bautista works include Boneyard Breaking. and magazines in the Philippines and in anthologies published in the United States. Bautista is also a columnist and literary editor of the Philippine Panorama. Cambridge in 1987. papers. edited by John Cowen (New York: Simon & Schuster. the Pablo Roman Prize for the Novel. China. Spring 2000. 14 . 1997. Summer Suns. Japan. University of Hawaii. De La Salle University-Manila. The Cave and Other Poems. Quezon City and Iligan City. His novel Galaw ng Asoge was published by the University of Santo Tomas Press in 2004. His poems have appeared in major literary journals. Hernandez. Telex Moon. The Center for Creative Writing and Studies of the University of Santo Tomas. He is also a co-founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC) and a member of the Manila Critics Circle. the Sunday Supplement of the Manila Bulletin. Believe and Betray: New and Collected Poems. 1996). Bienvenido Santos Creative Writing Center of De La Salle University-Manila and Senior Associate. appeared in 2006. and Bullets and Roses: The Poetry of Amado V. creative and research activities as a Professor Emeritus of Literature at the College of Liberal Arts. Louis University (1963–1968) and the University of Santo Tomas (1969–1970) before moving to De La Salle University-Manila in 1970.Germany and Malaysia. the Netherlands. published in Manoa. The Archipelago. Kirot ng Kataga. The last part of his epic trilogy The Trilogy of Saint Lazarus. He became an Honorary Fellow in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa in 1969. and was the first recipient of a British Council fellowship as a creative writer at Trinity College. Bautista has also received Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards (for poetry. won the Centennial Prize for the epic in 1998. Philippine Center of International PEN and the Philippine Writers Academy. Romania. His latest book. published in World Literature Today. published in English Teacher’s Portfolio of Multicultural Activities. published by De La Salle University Press. She of the Quick Hands: My Daughter and The Seagull (poems). Hong Kong. Bautista was hailed in 1993 as Makata ng Taon by the Komisyon ng mga Wika ng Pilipinas for winning the poetry contest sponsored by the government. and the highest accolades from the City of Manila. fiction and essay in English and Filipino) as well as Philippines Free Press Awards for Fiction. Charts.Bautista taught creative writing and literature at St. He was an exchange professor in Waseda University and Ohio University. Sugat ng Salita. He is also a member of the Board of Advisers and Associate. Manila Critics' Circle National Book Awards. Aside from his teaching. entitled Sunlight on Broken Stones. What Rizal Told Me (poem). Gawad Balagtas from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat ng Pilipinas.


GUILLERMO GRAO CASTILLO 16 .So they took away her cow. her trinkets. her daughter.She was an old woman and a widow. and left her alive. When the drunken military policemen came in the middle of the night. killed her two sons. she beg them not to take what she did not own.

Picture Show 17 .

By God's divine will. I waken sitting in the dark with my attention set upon a Screen before me while God behind me in His closet with His intricate machines projects a Moving Picture Show a masterpiece which we call – LIFE MAXIMO RAMOS 18 .

19 .Youth These have known the tingling freshness Of the coming forth from God.

Jr. Daniw. He is the author of two books of poetry in Filipino. His essays in Filipino won the Gawad Alab ng Haraya given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts in 2002. The feel of the loved one's cheek. Jr HERMINIO BELTRAN JR.nal Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).The sweetness of mother's breast The ringing sinewiness of growth. He finished his Journalism degree in University of the Philippines. he supervises the nationwide implementation of the BatangSining Creative Expression Workshop... y SOTELO has served as Chairman of the Committee on Literary Arts of the Natio. the song Of April suns and showers. which was cited by the Philippine Board on Books for Young People as one of the outstanding projects for children’s education in 2006. Beltran. He is the author of two books: Lemlunay: Mga Tula sa Tatlong Wika and Bayambang (Tula. Poems). As head of the Literary Arts Division of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Beltran. And these will know The quiet dimming down of age And the silent wonder of going back to God. began writing verses at age 9 and translating Iloko stories to English at 13. Among his many prizes are Palanca and Talaang Ginto. Herminio S. He also has units in Philippine Literature and Communication Management. 20 . Iloko and English: Bayambang (1991) and Lemlunay (2003). Herminio S.

Death We are Leaves of Life's tree -And death is the wind that shakes 21 .

Florentino was instead tutored by her mother. 1849-October 4.The branches gently 'till its leaves All fall. Ilocos Sur. she was not allowed to receive a university education because of her gender.[1] Due to the feminist nature of her writings. and so was forced to live alone in exile and separately from her family. LEONA FLORENTINO Leona Florentino (April 19. She is considered as the "mother of Philippine women's literature" and the "bridge from oral to literary tradition". Despite her potential.[1] Born to a wealthy and prominent family in Vigan.[1] 22 . An educated Ilocano priest taught her advanced Spanish and encouraged her to develop her voice in poetry. 1884) was a Filipino poet in the Spanish and Ilocano languages. and then a series of private teachers. Florentino began to write her first verses in Ilocano at a young age. Florentino was shunned by her husband and son.

gained attention with their exhibition in various international forums in Spain. a homage that occurred only after her untimely death. Ako’y nagmamahal Sa isang sintas hiyas Ngunit hindi ko matiyak Kung ako’y karapatdapat. including Isabelo de los Reyes.[1] Works Her lyrical poetry in Spanish. Paris and St. Ang aba kong kapalaran Tila walang kapantay Ang sinasabi ko’y isang katiyakan Dahil ako ngayo’y nagdurusa. especially in Ilocano. Libong ulit sanang higit na mainam 23 . Missouri. Her literary contributions .Florentino married a politician named Elias de los Reyes at the age of 14. activist and senator. She died at the age of 35.[1] Naunsyaming pag-asa Pupos ng ligaya’t katiwasayan Silang may minamahal. and they had five children. Isinusunpa ko ang oras Ng aking kapanganakan. Louis.particularly 22 preserved poems . Dahil mayroon silang karamay Sa lahat ng hinaing sa buhay. who would later become a Filipino writer.were recognized when she was included in the Encyclopedia Internationale des Oeuvres des Femmes (International Encyclopedia of Women’s Works) in 1889. She is believed to be the first Filipino to receive this international recognition.

he has garnered other prestigious 24 . Filipino and Hiligaynon. "Medea of Siquijor" (One-Act Play. 1975). Of these thirteen. Filipino. Aside from his Palanca awards. "Mutya ng Saging" (Dulaang May Isang Yugto.[1] He is a multi-lingual writer having produced works in English. and these include "The Day of the Locusts" (Short Story. Ngunit sapat na ang ligayang madarama Kung malaman mo ang aking pagsinta: Nangangako ako at sumusumpa Ikaw lamang ang mamahalin hanggang kamatayan. Susubukan ko sanang magtapat Ngunit ako’y nauumid. He later received his MA in English from Xavier University in 1970 and went on to receive his PhD in English and Literature with a specialization in creative writing from Silliman University in 1981 where he later on served as professor and chairperson of the English Department. 1999). His thirteen Palanca awards include works in English. Dahil maliwanag namang Mabibigo lamang ako. He earned his BA English degree at the Ateneo de Davao University where he graduated cum laude in 1959. "The Man Who Hated Birds" (Short Story for Children.Kung namatay ako nang ako’y isinilang. 2001. five are first-prize winners. He became a Palanca Hall of Famer on September 1. and "Maragtas: How Kapinangan Tricked Sumakwel Twice" (Full-Length Play. Deriada was born in Iloilo but spent most of his life in Davao. Hiligaynon. 1993). 1987). LEONCIO DERIADA Leoncio P. 2001). Kinaray-a and Cebuano. He went to school at the Davao City High School and graduated in 1955.

Graphic. Focus. Visayas. Thoughts were strange with the strangeness of new towns Thoughts were as vast as the unvialed God.awards such as the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas. he was one of Metrobank's Outstanding Teachers. Gawad CCP. I pondered anew and unslept. 25 . Institute of Creative Writing. Asiaweek. Deriada heads the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino at the U.Iloilo.P.[2][3] He is currently a professor at the University of the Philippines in the Visayas .[1] I Vialed the Universe I vialed the universe And laughed at the concentrated Gods. Dr.P. I could not bottle or battle Him. But the Genie escaped with His halo of riddles. Yuhum (Iloilo). and Blue Knight Award from Ateneo de Davao for Outstanding Achievement in Literature. In 2002. He is also an associate of the U.

There: I saw Him mark in the matutinal mist. She is a resident fellow of the University of the Philippines Institute of Creative Writing. essayist. 1967  “Flowers of the Sun” (1970)  “Deja Vu In America or One of the Songs” . Lanot produced essays that traversed reportage and the personal. 1980 26 . the Martial Law period. She is married to fellow writer and teacher Jose F.B. and teleplays-. Works and Awards Literary Works and Awards  “Sheaves of Things Burning” . Her feminist inclinations are evident not only in her writing but also in her affiliations.Palanca Awards 1st Prize for Essay. Talaang Ginto. movies. profiles. Lacaba. in English in 1965. In 1998. where she also teaches at the College of Arts and Letters.have won her acclaim from the Palanca Awards. and cofounded the Women Writers in Media Now (WOMEN). she has also served as member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). and journalist. profiles. I surrendered.Palanca Awards 2nd Prize for Poetry. studied at the University of the Philippines. Diliman and finished her A. and her life stories. Her works--poems. She wrote about feminism. MARRA LANOT Marra PL. Lanot is a Filipina poet. she became the literary editor of the magazine Mirror Weekly. Career In the early years of her career. She worked at the Women's Desk of the Concerned Artists of the Philippines. Education Marra Lanot. Aside from writing and teaching. and Catholic Mass Media Awards. essays. a few years before the declaration of Martial Law.

Mga Tula sa Ingles at Pilipino (1988. UP Press)  “Witch's Dance at Iba Pang Tula sa Filipino at Español” (2000. New Publishers. co-writer)  “Misis” (teleplay)  “Warriors for Peace” (documentary. QC)  “Dream Sketches”.  “Katawan Ko’y Akin: From Priestess to President and Warriors for Peace. co-writer) Awards  Catholic Mass Media Award (CMMA)  Palanca Awards for Essay and Poetry  Talaang Ginto  Gawad Collantes TRIBESWOMAN 27 . co-writer)  “Sunod sa Agos” (teleplay. etc. Essay Collection (1991)  “The Trouble with Nick and Other Profiles” (1999. “Passion and Compassion.” (documentary. book cover Teleplays. co-writer)  “Antigo” (teleplay. Anvil Publishing)s Day Witch's Dance. UP Press)  “Deja Vu and Other Essays” (1999.

He studied at the University of the Philippines and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy in 1931 and a Master of Arts degree. he taught literature and journalism at the University of Manila. Lopez was the president of the University of the Philippines from 1969 to 1975.SALVADOR LOPEZ Salvador P. Lopez (May 27. born in Currimao. diplomat. is an Ilokano writer. the discussion centered on proletarian literature. The essay provoked debates. i. engaged or committed literature versus the art for art’s sake literary orientation. 1911–October 18. in 1933. In 1940.. 28 . Ilocos Norte. launching mass protests against the Marcosregime.e. from the so-called "First Quarter Storm" in 1970 to the "Diliman commune" in 1971. and statesman. educator. It was during his presidency that U. journalist. Lopez' essay "Literature and Society" won in the Commonwealth Literary Awards. This essay posited that art must have substance and that poet Jose Garcia Villa's adherence to "art for art's sake" is decadent. also in philosophy. 1993). From 1933 to 1936. students were politically radicalized.P.


Dean Bocobo took up law at Indiana University and returned to the Philippines after completing his studies. he was drafted into the newly founded College of Law where he taught Civil Law He is the principal author of the Civil Code of the Philippines. He studied in the private and public schools of his town during the Spanish regime. Jorge Bocobo was born in Gerona. Tarlac in 1896. Later. He was appointed as President of the University of the Philippines in 1935 and later resigned to become Secretary of Public Instruction under President Quezon A prolific writer.Jorge Bocobo Dr. The following speech was delivered to the students of the University of the Philippines in September of 1921. 30 . He began working as a law clerk in the executive bureau of the government. President Bocobo wrote books of general interest as well as articles on civil law. he was among the first group of government pensionados sent to the United States on a scholarship. and he resumed his education during the early part of the America occupation. In 1903.

the grim. the most important question in the student's mind whenever he is faced with any problem calling for his own reasoning By the takers. And when they attempt to form their own judgment they became pedantic. college education . hence.COLLEGE "UNEDUCATION” I wish to speak on "College Uneducation". many students feel a sort of frenzy for facts till these become as huge as the mountains and the mind is crushed under them. lead. there is the all but delirious worship of the printed all other human devices for human betterment may build or destroy. most of our students have measured up to their high responsibilities. their capacity for clear powerful thinking is paralyzed How pathetic to hear them and discuss! Because they lack the native vitality of unhampered reason. We believe in higher education we should not be in the University. But in other features alas. It is then that many of our students surrender their individuality to the textbooks and loss their birthright . Those students think of nothing but how to accumulate data. These students are being uneducated in college I shall briefly discuss three ways in which many of our students are getting a college uneducation. for which they pay tuition fees and make unnumbered sacrifices. 31 . "What does the book say'1" is by all odds. It is a paradox but nonetheless the truth. vital ones! The thoughts and actions of many of them tend to stunt the mind dry up the heart. Book Worship In the first place. and squelch the soul. his college education is a solemn sham. Unless a student develop the habit of independent and sound reasoning. Is it possible that our college education may " uneducated rather than educate? I answer "yes". or mislead. In some aspects of higher education. My ten years of humble service in the University of the Philippines has afforded me an opportunity to watch the current of ideals and practices of our student body.which is to think for themselves. unmerciful truth. At the same time. their disclosure smacks of cant and sophistry rather than of healthy reasoning and straight thinking.

their soft fires do not soothe our troubled hearts and we do not experience that awesome. is such a life worth coming to college for? Yet. We rise early and go out into the morning. everything around us is tedious and common place. and their transcendent thought is to us like a vision that vanishes. fascination of the immense ties of God Universe. my friends. They have set their hearts upon becoming highly trained lawyer. Vet how can we expect all this result from a state of affairs which reduces a law student to a code a prospective doctor to a prescriptions and a would-be an engineer to a mathematical formulas? How many students in our in our professional colleges ate doing any systematic reading in literature. Tell me. We look at a masterpiece of the chisel with its eternal gracefulness of lines and properties. 32 . May we not. how solid his common sense! Professional Philistinism The second manner of college education that I want to speak of is this. We are all of one mind. We ate bathed in the silver sheen of the moon and yet feel not the beatitude of the moment we gaze upon a vista of high mountains. I shall not stop to inquire into the question of how much blame should be laid at the door of the faculties of the University for this pernicious drift toward undue and excessive specialization That such a tendency exist in undeniable. I believe that college education is nothing unless it widens a man's vision. their vibrant cadence does not thrill us. but we never pursue to count the cost. We read some undying verses. we behold the myriad starts but they are just so many bright speaks. soul-stirring. and unless we develop in us a proper appreciation of what is beautiful and sublime. the over specialization which many students with zeal and devotion is bound to result in such unfeeling. yet to us is no more than mere human likeness. teachers. indeed serious whether this fetish of specialization does not smother the inspiring sense of beauty and ennobling love of finer things that our students have it in them to unfold into full blown-magnificence. engineers. but our spirit is unresponsive to the hopeful quietude and the dew-chastened sweetness of dawn. How penetrating his perception how unnerving his judgment. still. says Keats. broadens his sympathies and leads him to higher thinking and deep feeling. The Jading Dullness of Modern Life "A thing of beauty is a joy forever".Compare these college students with Juan de la Cruz in the barrios. doctors. and agriculturist. justify weight of unassimilated book knowledge. But we know that beauty is a matter of taste. but their silent strength has no appeal for us. dry as dust-existence. At night. His mind is free from the overwhelming. most students make professional efficiency the be all and end all of college education.

his stoicism is beyond encomium. In adversity. Misguided Zeal Lastly. the chaff from the grain of life The time to do this task is not after but before college graduation. Our philosophy of life is in danger of becoming narrow and mean because we are habituated to think almost wholly in terms of material well being. the sum and substance of higher education is the individual formulation of what life is for. Unassuming. Our older countrymen any with reason that the new education does not lawfully cultivate the heart as the old education did. "Uneducated" Juan dela Cruz as Teacher Here. because of the worship of the printed page and the feverish accumulation of undigested data. His love of home. and some of these are (1) lack of independent judgment as well as love of pedantry. this selfsame rage for highly specialized training with a view to distinguished professional success. Juan de la Cruz cherishes no "vaulting ambition which overleap itself His simple arid hardly virtues put to shame the studied and complex rules of conduct of highly educated man and women. so quite faithful is the firm foundation of out social structure And his patriotism has been tested and found true. many of our students should sit at the feet of meagerly educated Juan de la Cruz and learn wisdom. Can our students learn from Juan de la Cruz or does their college education unfit them to become his pupils? In conclusion. with special training in some advanced line of human learning in order that such a life formula may be executed with the utmost effectiveness. and the laboratory experiment and when we continuously devour lectures and notes. the outside reading.I may say in passing that the education of the older generations is in this respect for superior to ours. again. for when all is said and done. But how can we lay down the terms of our philosophy of life if even-one of our thoughts is absorbed by the daily assignment. (2) the deadening of the delicate sense of the beautiful and the sublime on account of over 33 . be clouds our vision of the broader perspective of life. for he has unrelated the mysteries of life. I shall say I have observed among many of our students certain alarming signs of college uneducation. Ah! He is often called ignorant. but he is the wisest of the wise. Of course we must be practical? We cannot adequately answer this tremendous question unless we thoughtfully develop a proper sense of values and thus learn to separate the dross from the gold. He is the happiness of the man who known the why's of human existence.

specialization and (3) neglect of the formulation of a sound philosophy of life as a result of excessive emphasis on professional training. 34 .

In subsequent years. Pangasinan. José started writing in grade school. José's writings espouse social justice and change to better the lives of average Filipino families. which is how José managed to read the novels of José Rizal. he edited various literary and journalistic publications. 35 . Reading about Basilio and Crispin in Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere made the young José cry. had once tearfully showed him the land their family had once tilled but was taken away by rich mestizo landlords who knew how to work the system against illiterates like his grandfather. but dropped out and plunged into writing and journalism in Manila. José received numerous awards for his work.Faulkner and Steinbeck. an international organization for writers. including uprooted molave posts of their old houses and their alsong. The Pretenders is his most popular novel. started a publishing house. while making sure her family did not go hungry despite of poverty and landlessness.[ Throughout his career. the setting of many of his stories. where he first began to write. his forefathers traveled from Ilocos towardsCagayan Valley through the Santa Fe Trail. Willa Cather’s My Antonia. because injustice was not an alien thing to him.[1][2][3][4] One of the greatest influences to José was his industrious mother who went out of her way to get him the books he loved to read. a stone mortar for pounding rice. When José was five years old.FRANCISCO SIONIL JOSE José was born in Rosales. Like many migrant families. in particular. at the time he started reading. one of José’s teachers opened the school library to her students. Fleeing poverty. employs and interrogates themes and characters from Rizal's work. which is the story of one man's alienation from his poor background and the decadence of his wife's wealthy family. The five volume Rosales Saga. In the fifth grade. He spent his childhood in Barrio Cabugawan. Rosales. He is one of the most critically acclaimed Filipino authors internationally. they brought their lifetime possessions with them. Jose Rizal's life and writings profoundly influenced José's work. and founded the Philippine branch of PEN. José was of Ilocano descent whose family had migrated to Pangasinan before his birth. José attended the University of Santo Tomas after World War II. his grandfather who was a soldier during the Philippine revolution.

although much underrated in his own country because of his authentic Filipino English and his anti-elite views. I did not expect her to be angry with me when I bought her a dress for it wasn’t really expensive. avoiding the servant’s eyes. one of the new servants stood erect. I couldn’t tell him what I wanted. I approach Father. “Well. Her name was Teresita. He was at his working table. I couldn’t be sure now. huge and granite-like. won’t that do?” Father asked. “You can tell Bo King to take off what you and your friends can eat from his rent this month. He unbuttoned his shirt to his paunch.” I lingered uneasily.” It was until after sometime that I understootd what she meant and when she did.” I said. or just plain sympathy. Father. “Sure. She was a proud. the young folks who always greeted me politely. I had looked ahead to the grand adventure with eagerness but when it finally came. after counting all of them and the stray pieces. my leaving Rosales filled me with a nameless dread and a great. went their way. swinging a palm leaf fan over Father’s head. She was sixteen. Maybe it was friendship. When he finally noticed me. lovely like the banaba when it’s bloom. It was March and the high school graduation was but a matter of days away. Besides. I stood beside Father.” he said. swelling unhappiness that clogged my chest. close-mouthed.” Father nodded. doffed their straw hats then. Father. I’d go to Manila and to college. better perhaps than any of the people who lived in Carmay. GRADUATION I always knew that someday after I finished high school. stubborn girl with many fixed ideas and she even admonished me: “Just because you gave will be accepted. “Well. what is it?” “I’m going to take my classmates this afternoon to the restaurant. writing on a ledger while behind him. He laid it on the table. as the daughter of one of Father’s tenants. I couldn’t be sure anymore. I always had silver coins in my pockets but that March afternoon. maybe I really fell in love when I was sixteen. too.” I said. He groped for his keys in his drawer the he opened the iron money box beside him and drew out a ten-peso bill. “ I have to buy something. she knew me very well. I honored her all the more. watched his hand scrawl the figures on the ledger. “ I also need a little money. Father turned to the sheaf of papers before him. too that I had tucked away in my dresser I knew I needed more. his wide brow and his shirt damp with sweat. 36 .

With the package. I asked Chan Hai. white cloth with glossy printed flowers. When she saw what it was. Piles of burnt rubbish rose in little mounds in the yard and a disrupted line of ornamental San Francisco fringed the graveled path led to the house. he dismissed me. muffled cry. how much he’d ask for the material I had picker for a gown. She shooked her head. Teresita was sampling the brothe of what she was cooking in the kitchen . ” I said firmly. My face burned like kindling wood. thatched and disheveled. she looked genuinely surprised. She must have noticed w\then what I was holding behind me. travelling merchants had unhitched their bullcarts after a whole day of travelling from town to tonw and were cooking their supper on broad. the burning in my face ease at last. I hurried to Camay. she gave a tiny.“I’m going to buy…” I tried to explain but with a wave of his hand. I went to the huge bales of cloth that slumped in one corner of the store. “What are you doing here at this hour?” she confronted me. which was true. At Chan Hai’s \store there was a boy with a stick of candy in his mouth. The house was on a sandy lot which belonged to Father. “I hope you like it. “Is there anything wrong in giving one a gift?” 37 . she opened the package.” I said. Madre de cacao trees abounded in the vicinity but offered scanty shade. Its roof as it was with the other farmer’s homes. a couple of men drinking beer and smacking their lips portentously. The women who had been sweeping their yards paused. There was a dampness in her brow and a redness in her eyes. “It doesn’t seem right for me to accept it. was getting the chickens to their coops. It was washed away. who was perched on a stool smoking his long pipe. I could tell her at once or show her what I had brought. I hurried to the main road which was quite deserted now except in the vicinity of the round cement embankment in front of the municipal building where loafers were taking in the stale afternoon sun. “Ten pesos” he said. its walls were of battered buri leaves.” she said softly. “But it’s really late and you have walk quite a long way back. our eldest maid. She laid down the ladle on the table and looked puzzled. Chan Hai peered at me in surprise. In the glow of the crackling stove fire. In the thickening dusk the leaves of the acacias folded and the solemn. I laid m package on the wooden table cluttered with tin plates and vegetables. It was getting late.” “But you need it and I’m giving it to you. mellow chimes of the Angelus echoed to the flat. the water carriers and servant girls babbled while they waited for their turn at the pump. He went back to his figures. wrapped it back then gave it to me. and a woman haggling over a can of sardines. blackened stones that littered the place.” Here eyes still one me. “I can’t. naked stretches of the town. The Chinese storekeepers who occupied Father’s buildings had lighted their lamps. “It’s for you“ I said. it was apart front the cluster of huts peculiar to the village.” she said. Sepa. children reluctantly hurried to their homes for now the town was draped with a dreamy stillness. Teresita and her father lived by the creek in Carmay. “I wanted to see you. From the ancient artesian well at the rim of the town plaza. I picked out the silk. Nearby.

” I told her. I was silently one with her. Miss Santillan.” Her remark stunned me and I couldn’t speak at once. Maam” she said.” I said. I recall her edged resonant voice cleaving the hushed evening. “Im not afraid. I can take Carmay in a run. Teresita asked permission from Miss Santillan to leave. except those who serve in your house. “I live very far. “You are strong. “I know. clamminess gripped me. smothered me with a feeling I never felt before. giggling. After Miss Santillan had wrapped some cakes for her.” she reminded me later. I was washing in the river and you outraced the others. “I’ll walk with you” I said. “ I go to Carmay often. I stood up.” I said meekly. She protested at first but Miss Santillan said it was best I went along with her. She drew a shabby shawl over her thin wasted shoulders. “My father. She spoke of faith and love and as she did. “That is not true. “You’ll be very tired” “I’ve walked longer distances. “You never notice the children of your tenants.” I think it all started that evening when we were in the third year and Teresita recited a poem. who was in charge of the refreshments. pulsating and young.And that was when she said. The evening was clean and cool like a newly washed sheet. It was during the graduation exercise and she was the only Junior in the program.” she said. “I’m very sure of that. I saw the moon dangling over the sprawling school buildings like a huge sieving basket and the world was us. “He doesn’t want me to stay out very late because of my cough. I’ve been there. I can’t remember distinctly what the piece was about except that it was something that tugged my heart..” I tried to impress her. Teresita helped serve the refreshments as usual. It engulfed us and we didn’t speak for some time. I sat on one of the school benches after I got tired of watching the dancers file in and out.” 38 .” “Going home alone?” Miss Santillan asked. I have work to go early tomorrow. “Of course.” she said bitingly. “ she said. Once. we descended the stone steps. asked me to wait for her so she would have company when she’d go home. Besides. From the window.” “I didn’t see you. strode past the table laden with a an assortment of trays and glasses. We didn’t go home immediately after the program for a dance in honor of the graduates followed. “There are thing you just can’t give away such as you are doing now. When most of them had eaten.

“I said. The land became soggy and the winds lashed at Rosales severely. Most of the houses we passed had a long brown out their kerosene lamps. bowling over score of flimsy huts that stood on lean bamboo stilts. “ she said. with us. he was snoring heavily. the fields became green and the banabas in the yard blossomed.” “When I die. So the eventful year passed. I suppose. the rains fell.” “I don't believe you. In fact. She nudged at me: “I will not attend the graduation exercises. hot afternoon we rehearsed our part for the graduation program. Our house didnt budged in the mightiest typhoon. “There is a giang ‘capri’ near the bridge which comes out when the moon is full. nothing changed.” “You are foolish. I can say I had a fever or my cough got worse . The drab. “I can't have my picture.”. she closed the door behind her. ”I’d like to see it. too. “That was not what I meant.She must have realize that she had hurt me jfor when she spoke again.filled our spacious store house with their crops. “I'll appear before you. Teresita and I rested on the steps of the crude school stage.” I said.” Again silence. a dog stirred in its bed of dust and growled at us. When we went up the house. We would march to the platform to take our high school diplomas. 39 .” “Why?” “ No one would miss me in the march if I don't come. It glimmered on parched fields and on the buri palms that stood like hooded sentinels. “You wont be afraid going home alone?” she made alight after a while. she bade me good night and thanked me. Then slowly.” she repeated with finality.which is the truth anyway.” “You'll be a good ghost and I wont be afraid. Once in a while. The moon drifted jout of the clouds and lighted up the dusty mud. On we trudged.” “I can't come. dry season with it's choking dust settled oppressively and when march came.” I said. about the friends that we ought to have but didn't. When the sham was over. she sounde genuinely sorry. Throughout a whole. it was time for Teresita and I to graduate. I’ve never seen a ghost. the tenants – among whom was Teresita's father. her father was already asleep. We talked more about ourselves. The harvest with it's usual bustle passed. she laughed. “And I didn’t say that to spite you. At the door. I can feign illness. We walked on to where the row of homes receded and finally reached her house near the river that murmured as it cut a course over reeds and shallows. I just can't.

“Good evening. Father. College doesn't start till then. He returned my greeting. April.” He retained his sour mien. In the city.” he hammered this notion into me. “When do you want to leave for the city?” For some time I couldn't speak. all swallowed up by the dust that fluffed high when a passenger lumbered along. When I said.” I did not speak.” I said as he. father ordered Teresita's father.” Father said. went on with his reading. I understood. she said. You will leave here many faces. Before the twilight thickened. had something important to tell me. the heat waves rose up like little angry snakes. asked me to come up the house. The dogs that lolled in the shade of the acacia tree struck out their tongues and panted. 40 . vacant parcels. Father's arid voice: “You will grow older.” he decided abruptly. “The time will come when you will return to me-a man. father. The smudges of grass in the plaza where a stubbly brown.” “I know. “It all depends upon you. “June is still weeks away. And that same week. There. Teresita's father had to settle in the hills of Balungaow where there were small.” “You'll leave tomorrow then. where the urchins where clad most of the time in unkempt rags and when a stranger would stumble in their midst.” In the street. a shadow of a scowl crept into his leathery face. the summer vacation had just started and the college opening was two months away. having spoken. they'd gape at him with awe.” I objected. the sky was cloudless and azure. Beyond the squat cluster of homes came the barking of dogs lying in the dust. and that afternoon I asked money from father to buy a graduation for Teresita. “But. Father. the sun sunk behind the coconut grooves of Tomana and disappeared below the jagged horizon. and a hot glaring sun filtered rudely through the dusty glass shatters and formed a dazzling puddle on the floor where father lounged. “You will grow older and realize how important is this thing that I'm doing. I left the house and journeyed into a world where the houses are decrepit. You don't know much of each other. you'll meet new friends. The dark came quickly . “But I want you to get well acquainted with your cousins there. who farmed a lot in the delta in Carmay.” “Yes. You will outgrow boyish whims. I went up the ladder and squeaked and when Teresita's father recognize me in the light of the flickering kerosene lamp hanging from a rafter. he might literally scratch the Earth to eke out a living. Father. to vacate the place as father had sold it. The question he asked stunned me. Sepa. then he walked out and left us alone. From the kitchen window. He was at the balcony reading and fanning himself languidly. arable patches in the otherwise rocky mountainside. the maid.She didn't have to say anything more.

holding the window sill.” “Yes.” I didn't know what else to say. there are. half free.” “Please do. “Please be a doctor.. “Please don't write. half born.” I said. “But I will.” “I'm very sorry. and in my heart.” With conviction: “You can do so much when you are one and you are so good.” I said. “She followed me to the door.“I'm leaving. “I'll go to the city tomorrow..” I checked myself quickly. “You're father sold this place. The smile on her face grew wan but.” “I have to.” “I'll send you..” she pressed on. “But maybe. “What course are you going to take?” she asked after a while. She called my name as I stepped down the first rung and I turned momentarily to catch one last glimpse of her young fragile face and on it. wiping the soap suds on her hands with a piece of rag. anyway she went down the flight and walked with me as far as the gate. “Don't write to me when you are there. you know. it will not be necessary. “Won't you go to school anymore?” I asked.” she said.” she insisted. I'll follow the advice you gave me. “I will!” “I'd be much happier and so would father if you didn't. the smile. Stamps costs. “And besides I wouldn't be able to answer to answer your letters.” she murmured. Many things.” I said. She was silent again and didn't prod her for an answer. “We'd soon leave.” I began. “I'm not yet very sure.” she reiterated.. you know. Thank you very much for coming to see me. She had just finished the dishes.” “There's nothing to be sorry about.” She said nothing. Father is sending me there. She walked to the half-open window that bared the benighted banks of the river and the black fields. 41 . The floor creaked under my weight. Teresita wiped the soap suds from her hands. too.” “But I will. “It's useless.” she said.” I said. “Besides. I cried. she just looked at me.” “I will do no study.

He enrolled at the University of New Mexico. but then switched to Pre-Law course. However. After the publication of Footnote to Youth in 1933. a mimeograph literary magazine. Villa won Best Story of the Year from Philippine Free Press magazine for Mir-I-Nisa. I will forget everything: the orchids I gave her that now adorned her window and which. wherein he was one of the founders of Clay. how I would leave Teresita and thus make father happy. a series of erotic poems. green. Ohio by Sherwood Anderson. a group of writers who believe that art should be "for art's sake" hence the term. too. he realized that his true passion was in the arts. JOSE GARCIA VILLA Villa was born on August 5. which he used to migrate for the United States. he introduced a new rhyming scheme called "reversed consonance" wherein. 1908. and the bright purple of their blooms. though it was very dark. the founding President of the First Philippine Republic) and Guia Garcia (a wealthy landowner). are reversed for the corresponding rhyme. how we hummed to the music of the towns brass band and walked one sultry night from the high school to Carmay.Villa had gradually caught the attention of the country's literary circles. I would forget. how. the books I lent her which she rapaciously read. which the administrators in UP found too bold and was even fined Philippine peso for obscenity by the Manila Court of First Instance. Villa enrolled on a Pre-Medical course in the University of the Philippines. reign."Jose Garcia Villa .He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. And in the other houses. He once pronounced that "art is never a means. and published only a handful of works until 1942. Villa switched from writing prose to poetry. or the last principal consonant of a word. Am Here in 1942. the neat eager laughter that welled from the depths of her. knowing how it was going to be with us.Finest Filipino Poet in English.The children who played raucously nearby stopped and ogled at us. a rhyme for near would be run. In 1929 he published Man Songs." 42 . Villa was considered the leader of Filipino "artsakists". I knew the farmers and their wives watched me leave. He also received P1. Villa first tried painting. I am sure. in Manila's Singalong district. would someday wither. His parents were Simeon Villa (a personal physician of Emilio Aguinaldo.He graduated from the University of the Philippines Integrated School and the University of the Philippines High School in 1925. I couldn't see the banabas along the path. During the release of Have Come. In the darkness. Thus. but then turned into creative writing after reading Winesburg. The night was vast and deep and the stars were hidden by clouds. according to Villa: "The last sounded consonants of the last syllable. In that same year.Villa's tart poetic style was considered too aggressive at that time. one of the few Asians to do so at that time.000. it is an end in itself. and pursued postgraduate work at Columbia University. or rain.000 prize money.

and led it to its shed and fed it. Dodong got tickled and jerked his foot. He was hesitant about saying it. 43 ." Villa worked as an associate editor for New Directions Publishing in New York City between 1949 to 1951. His father was a silent hardworking farmer. as well as conducting poetry workshops in his apartment. Dodong’s grandmother. The ground was broken up into many fresh wounds and fragrant with a sweetish earthy smell. Dodong did not bother to look where into the air.In 1949. but thought of his age. Villa presented a poetic style he called "comma poems". although he was by nature low in stature. seventeen. Villa was also a cultural attaché to the Philippine Mission to the United Nations from 1952 to 1963. I will tell him. then down on his upper lip was dark-these meant he was no longer a boy. A short colorless worm marched blindly to Dodong’s foot and crawled clammilu over it. first lecturing in The New School|The New School for Social Research from 1964 to 1973. and then became director of poetry workshop at City College of New York from 1952 to 1960. Footnote to Youth The sun was salmon and hazy in the west. Thinking himself man – grown. Dodong gave it a slight push and the animal walked alongside him to its shed. Dodong did. He then left the literary scene and concentrated on teaching. In the preface of Volume Two. He placed bundles of grass before it and the carabao began to eat. I will tell it to him. Dodong looked at it without interest. Dodong unhitched the carabao leisurely and fave it a healthy tap on the hip. and the line movement to become more measures. Dodong finally decided to tell it. Dodong started homeward thinking how he would break his news to his father. wherein commas are placed after every word. He wished as he looked at her that he had a sister who could help his mother in the housework. Many slender soft worm emerged from the further rows and then burrowed again deeper into the soil. Dodong felt insolent and big at the thought of it. He was seventeen. which he had learned to do from his mother. and an adviser on cultural affairs to the President of the Philippines beginning 1968. He was growing into a man – he was a man. Dodong thought to himself he would tell his father about Teang when he got home. he had pimples on his face. The beast turned its head to look at him with dumb faithful eyes. He wanted to marry. and he said to himself he was not young anymore. flinging the worm into the air. but a thought came to him that his father might refuse to consider it. who chewed areca nut. he wanted his father to know what he had to say was of serious importance as it would mark a climacteric in his life. he wrote: "The commas are an integral and essential part of the medium: regulating the poem's verbal density and time movement: enabling each word to attain a fuller tonal value. after he had unhitched the carabao from the plow. Dodong felt he could do anything.

Dodong knew. then marched obliquely to a creek. Dodong had told him often and again to let the town dentist pull it out. but did not partake of the fruit. He turned back the way he had come. Dirty. on the grass. but it begrimed you. they felt more fluid than solid. again. Dodong’s mother removed the dishes when they were through. But he was tired and now. he would not be any bolder than his father. The silenece became intense and cruel. He did not tell that to Dodong. He pitied her. Then he went into the water. feld lazy. smudged you terribly. and rice.” Dodong repeated. She made him want to touch her. doing all the housework alone.. his girl. “I will marry Teang. “I will marry Teang. his father was. sucking a diseased tooth. His father looked at him silently and stopped sucking the broken tooth. but he dismissed it cursorily. I am going to marry Teang. A small angled stone bled his foot. This fieldwork was healthy invigorating. It was paining him. Afterward. dipped it in his glass of water and ate it. he thought wild young dreams of himself and Teang. They had fried freshwater fish. and went with slow careful steps and Dodong wanted to help her carry the dishes out. but he was afraid.” Dodong said. It was dusk when he reached home. He got another piece and wanted some more. He lifted his leg and looked at the hurt toe and then went on walking. The bananas were overripe and when one held the. and over which he head said it without any effort at all and without selfconsciousness. Dodong stripped himself and laid his clothes. Dodong felt relived and looked at his father expectantly. A decresent moon outside shed its feebled light into the window. The bath made him feel cool. Dodong tensed with desire and looked at the muscle of his arms. The petroleum lamp on the ceiling was already lighted and the low unvarnished square table was set for supper. but Dodong guessed it. he would be afraid to go to the dentist. In the cool sundown. Must you marry. and Dodong was uncomfortable and then became very angry because his father kept looking at him without uttering anything. Dodong himself thought that if he had a decayed tooth. Dodong?” Dodong resented his father’s question.” 44 . but he thought of leaving the remainder for his parent. She made him dream even during the day. He wished as he looked at her that he had a sister who could help his mother in the housework. Dodong broke off a piece of caked sugar. She had a small brown face and small black eyes and straight glossy hair. his father himself had married early. what we had to say. a gray under shirt and red kundiman shorts. then he marched homeward again.How desirable she was to him. graying the still black temples of his father. Dodong said while his mother was out that he was going to marry Teang. His father remained in the room. prodded by the thought of his virility. to hold her. His father look old now.He was not long in bathing.He walked faster. wet his body over and rubbed at it vigorously. There it was out. He and his parents sat down on the floor around the table to eat.

His mother had told him not to leave the house. his father himself had married early. “You tell her. but he had left. when they gave birth. Dodong. He lost his resentment for his father. did not cry. Sweet young dreams… *** Dodong stood in the sweltering noon heat. sweating profusely so that his camisetawas damp. Tatay. Dodong looked at his father sourly. she face screams that chilled his blood. you tell your Inay. Some women. Dodong.” “I… I want to marry… Teang’s a good girl… “Tell your mother. and the little sound it made broke dully the night stillness. “Must you marry. Dodong did not read it. to compress his thoughts with severe tyranny.” his father said. He cracked his knuckles one by one. He was also afraid of Teang who was giving birth in the house.” “All right. if that is your wish… of course…” There was a strange helpless light in his father’s eyes.” “You will let me marry Teang?” “Son.” “That’s very young to get married at. this indifference. Dodong. Dodong?” Dodong resented his father’s question. He was still like a tree and his thoughts were confused.His father kept gazing at him in flexible silence and Dodong fidgeted on his seat. for a while. but later. He wanted to get out of it without clear reason at all. Dodong was immensely glad he has asserted himself. he got confused.He was afraid. It had seemingly caged him. he even felt sorry for him about the pain I his tooth. I want your permission… I… want… it…” There was an impatient clamor in his voice. 45 . “You are very young. Then he confined his mind dreaming of Teang and himself.” “I’m seventeen. an exacting protest at his coldness.” “You tell her. I asked her last night to marry me and she said… “Yes.” “Dodong.” “All right.Dodong made a quick impassioned essay in his mind about selfishness. He did not want her to scream like that. He began to wonder madly if the process of childbirth was really painful. Too absorbed was he in himself. he felt afraid of the house.

Within. “She’s sleeping. He was very young… He felt queer. He walked ahead of them so that they should not see his face. Dodong did not want to come up. He wanted to turn back. he saw his father beside his mother. He sat down on a saw-horse with his feet close together.” His father said. he was ashamed to his mother of his youthful paternity.” How kind their voices were. “Come up. he avoided his parent’s eyes. 46 . asleep on the paper with her soft black hair around her face.” He turned to look again and this time. Dodong felt tired of standing.. He wanted somebody to punish him. Dodong saw Teang. “Dodong… Dodong. troubled.In a few moments he would be a father. with strangeness. supposed he had ten children… The journey of thought came to a halt when he heard his mother’s voice from the house. He dropped his eyes and pretended to dust off his kundimanshorts. His eyes smarted and his chest wanted to burst. “Dodong. he realized now contradicting himself of nine months ago. And his mother: “Dodong. Dodong.” he whispered the word with awe. “Father. He felt like crying. Dodong felt more embarrassed and did not move. He felt guilty and untru. He was young. “Teanf?” Dodong said. He did not want her to look that pale. But you go in…” His father led him into the small sawali room.” his mother said. father. “Son. Some how.” I’ll… come up. he felt terribly embarrassed as he looked at her. It made him feel guilty. Somehow. You come up. “It is a boy. uncomfortable. Then he thought. “Dodong. “Dodong. his wife. as if he had taken something not properly his. He’d rather stayed in the sun.” his mother called again. He looked at his calloused toes. He beckoned Dodong to come up.” Suddenly. He wanted to hide or even run away from them. you come up. It made him feel guilty. making him strong. His parent’s eyes seemed to pierce through him so he felt limp. He ascended the bamboo steps slowly. They flowed into him. he was ashamed to his mother of his youthful paternity. It is over. Dodong traced the tremulous steps on the dry parched yard. His heart pounded mercilessly in him.” his father said. as if he has taken something not properly his. to go back to the yard.

There was interminable work that kept her tied up. It is late. she wondered. Why it must be so. “I’m going to marry Tona.Young Dodong who was only seventeen. Blas was restless on his mat and could not sleep. There had neen another suitor. Teang did not complain. Not even Dodong whom she loved. he did not want to be demonstrative. he came home one night. Dodong did not want any more children. *** Blas was not Dodong’s only child. Dreamfully sweet. He wanted to ask questions and somebody to answer him. She was shapeless and thin even if she was young. She accepted me tonight. You give him to me.” Dodong said. humiliated by himself. and before his parent. you think its over.Dodong wanted to touch her. But she loved Dodong… in the moonlight. When Blas was eighteen. He had wanted to know little wisdom but was denied it. “Itay.Dodong heard Blas’ steps for he could not sleep well at night. Dodong stirred and asked him what it was.” 47 . Yet. Why it must be so? Why one was forsaken after love? “Itay. Dodong returned to the house. a new child came along. He could not control the swelling of happiness in him. she wished she had not married. He watched Blass undress in the dark and lie down softly. Cooking. to push away that stray wisp of hair that touched her lips. laundering. Why one was forsaken… after love. It seemed that the coming of children could not helped. Many more children came. She did not tell Dodong this. The house. Dodong called his name and asked why he did not sleep. Lucio had married another. would she have born him children? Maybe not.” Dodong said. Lucio. but the bearing of children tolled on her. She cried sometimes. You better go to sleep. Lucio older than Dodong by nine years and that wasw why she had chosen Dodong. It must be so to make youth. But they came.” Blas called softly. either. Dodong got angry with himself sometimes. Maybe the question was not to be answered. One of them was why life did not fulfill all of the youth’ dreams. For six successive years. That was a better lot. The children. Dodong could not find the answer. The thin voice touched his heart. But again that feeling of embarrassment came over him. not wishing him to dislike her. “You give him to me. tired and querulous.. wishing she had no married. Youth must be dreamfully sweet. He wanted to be wise about many thins. Life did not fulfill all of youth’s dreams. very flustered and happy. The hilot was wrapping the child Dodong heard him cry.

Dodong lay silent. I loved Tona and… I want her.” Dodong rose from his mat and told Blas to follow him. They descended to the yard where everything was still and quiet. The moonlight was cold and white. “You want to marry Tona, Dodong said, although he did not want Blas to marry yet. Blas was very young. The life that would follow marriage would be hard… “Yes.” “Must you marry?” Blas’ voice was steeled with resentment. “I will mary Tona.” “You have objection, Itay?” Blas asked acridly. “Son… non…” But for Dodong, he do anything. Youth must triumph… now. Afterward… It will be life. As long ago, Youth and Love did triumph for Dodong… and then life. Dodong looked wistfully at his young son in the moonlight. He felt extremely sad and sorry for him.


Paz Latorena was born in Boac, Marinduque in 1907. At a young age she was brought to Manila where she completed her basic schooling, first at St. Scholastica and later at South High School. In 1925 she enrolled at the University of the Philippines for a degree in education. Working by day as an elementary school teacher, she attended evening classes. One of these was a short story writing class conducted by Mrs. Paz Marquez Benitez. It was not long before Mrs. Benitez invited Latorena to write a column in the Philippines Herald, of which she was then literary editor. In 1927 Latorena joined some campus writers to form the U.P. Writers Club and contributed a short story, “A Christmas Tale” to the maiden issue of “The Literary Apprentice. That same year, her short story “The Small Key” won third place in Jose Garcia Villa’s Roll of Honor for the year’s best short stories. Some of her other stories received similar prizes over the next several years.

In her senior year, Latorena transferred to the University of Sto. Tomas, from which institution she graduated in 1930 and where she subsequently enrolled for graduate studies. Her dissertation entitled “Philippine Literature in English: Old Voices and New” received a grade of sobre saliente, qualifying her for a doctoral degree in 1934. By this time, Latorena had already joined the faculty, earning a reputation as a dynamic teacher. Among her many students were then-aspiring writers Juan Gatbonton, F. Sionil Jose, Nita Umali, Genoveva Edroza Matute and


Zeneida Amador. Increasingly involved in academic work, Latorena wrote fewer stories and at longer intervals, publishing her last known story, “Miguel Comes Home”, in 1945. In 1953 while proctoring a final examination, Latorena suffered a cerebral hemorrhage which proved fatal.

It is about a woman named Soledad who is married to a man named Pedro Buhay. They live on a farm. One morning Soledad finds herself knowing that the farm will produce plenty but that she still had some inner feeling of discontent. She planned to mend some of her husband's shirts, which were in a locked trunk. Pedro took out from his pocket a string which held two keys, one large and shiny and one small and rusty. He gave Soledad the large key to his trunk and put the small key back in his jacket pocket. Since it was hot that morning, he removed his coat before leaving to work in the field. When he was gone, Soledad began to fold the jacket and the small key fell to the floor. It is obvious that Pedro values the small key while Soledad fears it. Soledad knows that the small key is a key to a different trunk. She tries to busy herself so that she will not think about what the smaller trunk contains, but she cannot stop thinking about it and reveals that the small trunk contains clothing that belonged to Pedro's first wife. She wonders why it is that he keeps her old clothing and why he seems to have a special feeling about them. She obviously fears that Pedro still loves his first wife even though she has been dead for many years by now. She reveals that she hates the things in the small trunk and worries that they will destroy the relationship between her and her husband. Despite her attempts to not think about the contents of the small trunk, Soledad opens it. At this point, Pedro returns home to find Soledad in bed supposedly with a fever. It turns out she does not. The next morning Pedro discovers a pile


In 1980. major in English. the UP ICW named her National Fellow for Fiction. she was the recipient of Outstanding Sillimanian Award for her contributions to literary arts and culture. cum laude. In 1991. In 1993. it will always remain a matter of some resentment toward her for doing it. In 1954. she graduated with an AB degree. She became the editor of the first two issues of Sands and Coral. Sulu. she obtained an MA in English Language and Literature at the University of Michigan and won the prestigious Jules and Avery Hopwood for fiction. she was a Gawad CCP awardee for the essay in English. In 1982.of ashes and half burnt clothing in the backyard. she founded the first school of Fine Arts in Mindanao –the Learning Center of the Arts. In 1949. In 1993. He realizes what Soledad has done and rushes to look in the trunk to confirm it. the city of Davao recognized her contributions to culture and the arts through Datu Bago Award. Government Parangal for Writers of the postwar years. She became the director of two NCCA 51 . AIDA RIVERA FORD Aida Rivera-Ford was born in Jolo. the literary magazine of Silliman University. Pedro is angry and bitter that this has happened and he expects that Soleda will explain things later. In 1984. now known as the Ford Academy of the Arts. She taught at the University of Mindanao and Ateneo de Davao University where she was the Humanities Division Chairperson for 11 years. He thinks to himself that he will forgive her because he loves her but that even if she did it out of love for him. she was an awardee in the Phil. Soledad has indeed. burned his first wife's clothing.

Tito. The baby was afraid and cried. the Señora’s white and lavender butterfly orchids fluttered delicately in the sunshine. Suddenly. from the gumamela row. “Ma. They stuck their heads through the hogfence.” The Señora called from inside. As of 1997. It came to her. warding the dogs off. Ay. Is it a boy?” 52 . About her.” “Oh.” He smiled his girl’s smile as he stood by. it’s Tinang. The dogs that came to bark at the gate were strange dogs. lolling their tongues and straining. Bantay!” she exclaimed as the little dog laid its paws upon her shirt to sniff the baby on her arm. it’s Tinang. Tito. “Is no one covering the waling-waling now?” Tinang asked. big-mouthed animals with a sense of superiority. “Tinang. you are so tall now. “It will die. let me see your baby. The big animals barked with displeasure. the maid will come to cover the orchids later. she paused to wipe her shoes carefully. head down and body quivering. Ma. She noticed though that the purple waling-waling that had once been her task to shade from the hot sun with banana leaves and to water with mixture of charcoal and eggs and water was not in bloom. On landing. Tinang passed quickly up the veranda stairs lined with ferns and many-colored bougainville. a little black mongrel emerged and slithered through the fence with ease. “Aba. Ma.” He came running down to open the gate.Mindanao-wide Creative Writing Workshops and two UP National Writers Workshops. “Bantay. she was the president of the Mindanao Foundation for Culture and the Arts. had seen her and was calling to his mother. Love in the Cornhusks Tinang stopped before the Señora’s gate and adjusted the baby’s cap. the young master.

. She sat selfconsciously on the black narra sofa. . “Hala! You will have a dozen before long. But now . Tinang sat in the kitchen with an odd feeling. Better that I were working here again. clad only in his foul undergarments. She set down a can of evaporated milk for the baby and served her coffee and cake. Even Tinang looks like a Bagobo now.” Tinang laughed and felt warmness for her former mistress and the boy Tito. and the faint scent of agua de colonia blended with kitchen spice. Tinang. she watched the girl who was now in possession of the kitchen work around with a handkerchief clutched I one hand. is it not a good thing to be married?” the Señora asked. “How is Señor?” “Ay. Tinang noted. and she sighed thinking of the long walk home through the mud.” The Señora got up. “It is hard.” For the next hour. “Didn’t I tell you what it would be like. “the father is a Bagobo. . huh? . “Come. pitying Tinang because her dress gave way at the placket and pressed at her swollen breasts.” “I don’t know. come to the kitchen. The Señora readily assented and said she would provide the baptismal clothes and the fee for the priest. he is always losing his temper over the tractor drivers. Tinang asked. Finally. It was. haltingly.” “There!” the Señora said. The sight of the Señora’s flaccidly plump figure. It is not the way it was when Amado was here. . The tractors were always kept in working condition. “And the ears are huge!” “What do you expect. that you would be a slave to your husband and that you would work a baby eternally strapped to you. as a matter of fact. I will give you some dresses and an old blanket that you can cut into things for the baby. your Bagobito is hungry. It was time to go.” Tinang said. his body stinking of tuba and sweat. . swathed in a loose waist-less housedress that came down to her ankles. “Ano. squatting on the floor. The baby began to cry. He said he would be gone for only two days . the baby’s legs straddled to her waist. I wonder why he left all of a sudden. . the girl looked at her briefly but did not smile. The Señora drank coffee with her and lectured about keeping the baby’s stomach bound and training it to stay by itself so she could work. seemed to her the essence of the comfortable world. Are you not pregnant again?” Tinang squirmed at the Señora’s directness but admitted she was.” They went into a cluttered room which looked like a huge closet and as the Señora sorted out some clothes. for the first time a visitor. Ma. and Inggo. “Oy. . Her eyes clouded.” replied his mother. Tinang. You remember what a good driver he was. a dress she had given Tinang a long time ago. She had lipstick on too. very hard.” Tito shouted from downstairs.“Yes. Tinang brought up. Tinang shushed him with irritation. Señora. waiting for her. 53 . her husband. with phrases like “if it will not offend you” and “if you are not too busy” the purpose of her visit–which was to ask Señora to be a madrina in baptism.

. the bundle. The dogs came forward and Tito had to restrain them. Tirol. Tinang. With a sigh. she drew the letter from the envelope. crushed that he should think her illiterate. “Tirol. do you want medicine for your baby or for yourself?” “No. and the letter were all smeared with mud. she pulled off one shoe after the other with the hand still clutching to the letter. She stared at the letter which was written in English. the man turned to her: “Mrs. When she had tied the shoes together with the laces and had slung them on an arm. There must be a place to put the baby down.” He finally pulled out a letter and handed it to her. maybe something has happened to my sister.” “And what is your name. Finally. I came for my letter. desperate now about the letter. she thought. Tirol. In horror. . With the baby on one arm and the bundle of clothes on the other and the letter clutched in her hand she found herself walking toward home. the baby. Tinang. “Bring me some young corn next time.” A letter! Tinang’s heart beat violently. oh.“When are you coming again. She was deep in the road before she became conscious of her shoes. “Constantina Tirol.” She hurried from the drugstore. She shoved together a pile of husks with her foot and laid the baby down upon it. You have a letter there and I was going to open it to see if there was bad news but I thought you would be coming. . “Don’t forget the bundle of clothes and . She stared at the unfamiliar scrawl. black clay. she hurried down. . My dearest Tinay. she saw that they were coated with thick. Tinang?” the Señore asked as Tinang got the baby ready. you better stop by the drugstore. she thought. Mrs. She crossed herself and after thanking the Señora profusely. She walked on until she spotted a corner of a field where cornhusks were scattered under a kamansi tree. I know somebody is dead. “Do you want me to read it for you?” “No.. Santa Maria. The rains had made a deep slough of the clay road and Tinang followed the prints left by the men and the carabaos that had gone before her to keep from sinking mud up to her knees. It was not from her sister and she could think of no one else who could write to her. she thought. They asked me once whether you were still with us. 54 . Tinang waited a while at the drugstore which was also the post office of the barrio. . no.” The man pulled a box and slowly went through the pile of envelopes most of which were scribbled in pencil.?” He drawled. I was told I have a letter. Gingerly.” he called after her. Somebody is dead.

the schoolteacher. Tinay. Especially when I was suffering with the heat of the tractor under the heat of the sun. who could look at her and make her lower her eyes. She thought herself above them for she was always neat and clean in her hometown. . . Jacinto. Cotabato It was Tinang’s first love letter. Bondio. I hope you did not love anybody except myself. Amado. I could not return because I found that my mother was very ill. Amado. . I imagine your personal appearance coming forward. Still I remember our bygone days. Amado P. was not as dark as those of the girls who worked in the fields weeding around the clumps of abaca. . . My mother died last month. Address your letter: Mr. I was always in despair until I imagine your personal appearance coming forward bearing the sweetest smile that enabled me to view the distant horizon. . too. “It is not easy to be far from our lover. Her lower lip jutted out disdainfully when the farm hands spoke to her with many flattering words. She read the letter again. It was only Amado. do you still love me? I hope your kind and generous heart will never fade. somehow I’ll be there to fulfill our promise. Someday or somehow I’ll be there again to fulfill our promise. She laughed when a Bagobo with two hectares of land asked her to marry him. before she went away to work. Many weeks and months have elapsed. . how is life getting along? Are you still in good condition? As for myself.” Tinang was intoxicated. Tinay. she thought. .Hello. his hair was slicked down and he would be dressed as well as Mr. He never meant to desert me. But you’re far from my side.S. Someday. He was very dark and wore filthy and torn clothes on the farm but on Saturdays when he came up to the house for his week’s salary. Please respond to my missive at once so that I know whether you still love me or not. A flush spread over her face and crept into her body. It is not easy to be far from our lover. Yours forever. Her skin. . so I close with best wishes to you. she had gone to school and had reached sixth grade. And she cried. Sefarin. the same as usual. That is why I was not able to take you as a partner of life. my friends Gonding. etc. My lover is true to me. Once he told her he would study in the city night-schools and take up mechanical engineering 55 . I think I am going beyond the limit of your leisure hours. She pressed herself against the kamansi tree. Amado Galauran Binalunan. the tractor driver. remembering the young girl she was less than two years ago when she would take food to Señor in the field and the laborers would eye her furtively.

Creative Writing Center. Tinang started violently and remembered her child. degree from the University of the Philippines. when an in-flight fire forced the aircraft to land in Riyadh. 56 . Esmeralda "Mimi" Rivera. 1983) was a well-known Filipina author who wrote almost exclusively in English. Estrella Alfon lived her life of being a prolific writer who hailed from Cebu. searching the baby’s skin for marks. she could manage only an A. she did not come from the intelligentsia. .” pulling her to the screen of trees beyond. A. she resigned from her pre-medical education. Her youngest daughter.someday. Estrella "Twinkie" Alfon. and was part of the Flight 163 crew on August 19. A delayed evacuation resulted in the death of everyone aboard the flight. P. a great excitement came over her. he seized her wrist and said: “Come. the letter fell unnoticed. With a shriek she grabbed it wildly and hugged it close. She resisted but his arms were strong. A little green snake slithered languidly into the tall grass a few yards from the kamansi tree. [1] She attended college. She died in the year 1983 at the age of 66. ESTRELLA ALFON Estrella D. He stood unmoving beside the tractor with tools and parts scattered on the ground around him. and Rita "Daday" Alfon (deceased). The shadows moved fitfully in the bamboo groves she passed and the cool November air edged into her nostrils sharply. P. was a stewardess for Saudi Arabian Airlines. . Brian Alfon. Alfon has several children: Alan Rivera. Alfon (1917 – December 28. and studied medicine. The baby awoke from its sleep and cries lustily. she prayed. When she held out the bolts. and left with an Associate of Arts degree. He embraced her roughly and awkwardly. When she was mistakenly diagnosed with tuberculosis and sent to a sanitarium. Because of unwavering and poor health. As a Filipino writer. Do not punish me. Unlike other writers of her time. Estrella Alfon was born in Cebu City in 1917. and she trembled and gasped and clung to him. . Among the cornhusks. She has 10 grandchildren. 1980. She then became a member of the U. Her parents were shopkeepers in Cebu. writers club and earned and was given the privileged post of National Fellowship in Fiction post at the U. It lay motionless on the mat of husk. He had not said much more to her but one afternoon when she was bidden to take some bolts and tools to him in the field. His eyes were a black glow as he watched her draw near. Ave Maria Santisima.

she held the National Fellowship in Fiction post at the U. and journalist. Arambulo[3] ” In the 1950s. The impression is that although she shares the sentiments of her neighbors. Alfon is still easily identifiable in her first-person reminiscences of the past: evacuation during the Japanese occupation.[4] She would also serve on the Philippine Board of Tourism in the 1970s. she had several stories cited in Jose Garcia Villa’s annual honor rolls. she wrote almost exclusively in English. she is still a distinct personality who detaches her self from the scene in order to understand it better. “Grey Confetti”. she was eventually appointed as a professor of Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines.” She is not just a writer.R. She published her first story. an avant garde group of writers in the 1930s led by Francisco Arcellana and H. 1983.Thelma E. In spite of being a proud Cebuana. "Fairy Tale for the City". In other stories. In some stories. she shares their feelings and responses towards the incidents in the story. playwright.Alfon died on December 28. “ Alfon was one writer who unashamedly drew from her own real-life experiences. But she sometimes slips back to being a first-person narrator. Ocampo. These events hurt her deeply.P.[2] She was the only female member of the Veronicans. Writers Club. In the Espeleta stories. the first-person narrator is “Estrella” or “Esther. she was also regarded as their muse. The Veronicans are recognized as the first group of Filipino writers to write almost exclusively in English and were formed prior to the World War II.P. following a heart attack suffered on-stage during Awards night of the Manila Film Festival. Creative Writing Center in 1979. but one who consciously refers to her act of writing the stories. estrangement from a husband. Manila. Alfon uses the editorial “we” to indicate that as a member of that community. This device of separating herself as narrator from the other characters is contained within the larger strategy of ?distantiation? that of the writer from her strongly autobiographical material. She was a regular contributor to Manila-based national magazines. She is also reportedly the most prolific Filipina writer prior to World War II. She was a member of the U. life after the war.A. many did not. 57 . . in the Graphic in 1935. She was even brought to court on these charges. Professional She was a nude storywriter. degree. was condemned by the Catholic League of the Philippines as being "obscene"]. While many of her fellow writers did stand by her.[1] In spite of having only an A. her short story.

and their legs were the long gangly legs of fine spirited colts. He would stand for a while just beyond the pool of light. He would smell very faintly of sweat and pomade. and a boy of eight. And the man said. Mother nodded her head and said. his feet in the circle of illumination. or shake it to say one was wrong. in answer to his praise. Two children. so kind. They’re so lazy with them. the man would knock gently on the door. They could remember perhaps two weeks when he remarked to their mother that he had never seen two children looking so smart. and it would fall down with a soft plop. for the man was always so gentle.his manner slow. the rest of him in shadow. Pencils big but light in circumference not smaller than a man’s thumb.Magnificence There was nothing to fear. And the thing rested there. for they waited for him every evening as they sat at their lessons like this. and come in. if you want to bother yourself. They 58 . Sometimes for paper butterflies that are held on sticks. I have nothing to do in the evenings. and watch him come fully into the light. it was for pencils. one a girl of seven. she said to the man. The praise had made their mother look over them as they stood around listening to the goings-on at the meeting of the neighborhood association. and write correct phrases in language for the little girl. and then to partly gloss over the maternal gloating she exhibited. School children always have rages going at one time or another. then he’d nod hishead to say one was right. The little girl and her brother would look up at him where they sat at the big table. and the man came in the evenings therefore. In those days. Their mother saw them with eyes that held pride. At this particular time. Sometimes it is for little lead toys found in the folded waffles that Japanese confection-makers had such light hands with. the rage was for pencils. of which their mother was president. It was not always that he came. their eyes bright inthe bright light. He’d throw his visored cap on the table. But their homework. They were both very tall for their age. The Japanese bazaars promoted a rage for those. butthe children didn’t mind although they did notice. and whirr in the wind. let me help them. At night when the little girl and her brother were bathed in the light of the big shaded bulb that hung over the big study table in the downstairs hall. but his voice soft. and he helped solve fractions for the boy.

It’s a pity.were unwieldy in a child’s hands. who was eating his evening meal between paragraphs of the book on masonry rites that he was reading. I think he doesn’t have many friends. and they both made to kiss him but Vicente slapped the boy smartly on his lean hips. they make friends with people like us. And this observation their mother said to their father. I don’t think so. The man’s arms tightened suddenly about the little girl until the little girl squirmed out of his arms. for that was his name. 59 . but I have watched him with the children. to dangle from one’s book-basket. and thenran back and kissed him anyway. One evening he did bring them. but unattainable to a child budgeted at a baon of a centavo a day. Boys do not kiss boys. for now that they had. the little girl and the little boy. The evenings of waiting had made them look forward to this final giving. All the little girls and boys had been envying them. two of the same circumference as the little boy’s but colored red and yellow. Thank you. he’s a rather queer young man. I’ll ask Vicente for some more. The little boy had tow pencils. It is a pity. The next evening. In rages. The father grunted. And the little girl muttered under her breath. and he seems to dote on them. he came around again. and one pencil was not at all what one had ambitions for. ho would get the biggest pencil he could find. And the little girl had three pencils. of different colors. The father grunted again. They were all of five centavos each. put her arms about his neck as he crouched to receive her embrace. What are you shouting about? And they told her. But the man said. and when they got the pencils they whooped with joy. And the little girl smiled. disturbed but innocent. Are you not going to kiss me for those pencils? They both came forward. Their mother replied. Until their mother called from down the stairs. Add to the man’s gentleness and his kindness in knowing a child’s desires. No. they were asking their mother to buy more. the boy two. Thank you. and laughed a little breathlessly. The little girl went up to the man shyly. and kissed him on the cheeks. and three at least in the jumbo size that the little girl’s third pencil was. and did not pay any further attention. Vicente. And their mother had finally to tell them to stop talking about the pencils. You’d think they wouldn’t be able to afford it. one kept a collection. you can only write with one at a time. where Japanese bazaars clustered there were all colors of these pencils selling for very low. and had been sharpened. Their mother said. and they feel it is nice to give us gifts. or the children toys and things. And the mother said. and the girl three. to arouse the envy of the other children who probably possessed less. and said. and said. People like those. shouting gladly. And the little boy laughed and scampered away. their mother called. And for the little girl who he said was very bright and deserved more. and said. what will you do with so many pencils. his promise that he would give each of them not one pencil but two. Thank him. and shouted with glee. and was softening his way through to him by going at the children like that. one blue. looking at the man with a smiling little question of puzzlement. He’s only a bus conductor. Vicente had brought the pencils he had promised them. Four or five pencils. but in all schools then. And the third pencil. Oh stop it. was white. pencils. All through that day. to tie with strings near the eraser end. one green. don’t ask him for too many things. so they could each have five. they had been very proud in school showing off their brand new pencils. too. the man probably needed a new job. said their mother. a jumbo size pencil really. The little boy smiled and said. and the little girl jumped up and down.

She had been in the shadow. The mother said to the boy. and saw the beloved face transfigured by some sort of glow. for they don’t have as many or as pretty. The little girl went to her. The little girl kept squirming. in her eyes dark pools of wonder and fear and question. The little girl looked at her mother. still gently. and held her to sit down on his lap and he said. holding in her hand a glass of sarsaparilla. but very heavily. and said nothing. Oh. But now she advanced into glare of the light that held like a tableau the figures of Vicente holding the little girl’s papers to him. she was always told never to act like a baby. said the little girl. and then went up to stairs to their mother. But Vicente had jumped up too soon as the little girl had jumped from his lap. telling him of the envy of their schoolmates. Of course I will buy you more pencils. feeling that queer frightened feeling. holding her under the armpits. she said. Don’t hold me on your lap. Vicente. her mother and father always treated her like a big girl. buy us more pencils. as many as you want. Do not move. then I will tell my friends. The mother kept coming into the light. And turning to the little girl. all of a sudden she was immensely frightened. What are your lessons for tomorrow? And the little girl turned to the paper on the table where she had been writing with the jumbo pencil. and he indicated to her that she must turn around. By and by. She looked around at Vicente. and they will envy me. and when Vicente made as if to move away into the shadow. attend to the homework she was writing. Vicente took the girl up lightly in his arms. interrupting her careful writing to twist around. And the little boy ran away to comply.Vicente was earlier than usual that evening. Vicente held the little girl by the arm. The mother looked at him. Come here. Then go ahead and write. saying behind him. The children immediately put their lessons down. stopped in her tracks. She put the glass of soft drink down on the table. His face was all in sweat. But buy us some more pencils. in a very short while her mother came down the stairs. He snatched at the papers that lay on the table and held them to his stomach. and the 60 . and his eyes looked very strange. but held her on his lap just the same. and said gently. she said. turning away from the mother’s coming. and advanced into the light. and I will watch you. and she told him that that was her lesson but it was easy. for somehow she felt uncomfortable to be held thus. And the little girl giggled and said. where in the light one could watch the little bubbles go up and down in the dark liquid. But the little girl felt very queer. The man shook his head. huh. not knowing what to do. you will get very tired. Oscar. finish your lessons. and would he buy them more please? Vicente said to the little boy. She stood looking at him. she didn’t know why. and she jumped up away from Vicente’s lap. and the little girl looking up at him frightenedly. Her voice had been like a bell of safety to the little girl. I am very heavy. very low. Go and ask if you can let me have a glass of water.

Always also. Her mother presided over the bath the little girl took. Son. Up the stairs went the man. retreating. Once in the shadow. She stood there saying nothing as the man fumbled with his hands andwith his fingers. asking no questions. and without any opposition took away the papers that Vicente was holding to himself. the man backwards. and with those hard forceful slaps she escorted him right to the other door. Go upstairs.Obediently the little girl turned around. 61 . come up and go to your room. She felt the little girl’s dress and took it off with haste that was almost frantic. and marched him with a glance out of the circle of light that held the little boy. and she waited until he had finished. She turned off the blazing light over the study table. the mother turned on Vicente. and the mother followed behind. Her retreated down one tread of the stairs with the force of the blow. his face continually open to the force of the woman’s slapping. held her hand out to the child. Alternately she lifted her right hand and made him retreat before her until they reached the bottom landing. And so down the stairs they went. The mother thus shut his mouth. The mother’s voice was of such a heavy quality and of such awful timbre that the girl could only nod her head. the woman herself stricken almost dumb. She was going to open her mouth but she glanced at the boy and closed it. she bade Vicente go up the stairs. As soon as the cool air of the free night touched him. tomorrow will do. There was a pause. for she said nothing either. The mother went to the cowering man. The little boy did as he was told. kneading at her flesh. the mother said. scrubbed her. the woman called down to her son. and went slowly up the stairs and out into the dark night. made her lie down and tucked the covers gently about her as the girl dropped off into quick slumber. Hush. And taking the little girl by the hand. and her mother passed her hands over the little girl’s back. Turn around. into the shadows that ate him up. heavy. she bundled into a tight wrenched bunch. The clothes that she had taken off the little girl. Finally. which she threw into the kitchen range. When they had reached the upper landing. the mother said. said the mother to the watching newly bathed. the woman. Take a bath quickly. with the terrible indelibility that one associated with terror. the woman raised her hand and slapped him full hard in the face. but her eyes eloquent with that angered fire. for she was a tall woman and she said. she raced up the stairs. The man said nothing. offered no defense. She knelt. for indeed he was feeling sleepy already. When her mother reached her. until out of his mouth issued something like a whimper. and without looking atZ Vicente again. But when the girl turned to comply. tearing at the buttons and imparting a terror to the little girl that almost made her sob.mother knelt down. she said. The woman looked after him. Take also the pencils. she extended her hand. newly changed child. Before the silence and the grimness of her attack he cowered. He made no resistance. and with a look and an inclination of the head. she led her to her little girl’s bed. he recovered enough to turn away and run. and soaped her. and closed the door. As soon as the boy was gone. With her other hand she slapped him on the other side of the face again. No. Take them and throw them into the fire. and then wiped her gently all over and changed her into new clothes that smelt of the clean fresh smell of clothes that had hung in the light of the sun. but the mother followed him. the girl was to remember the touch of that hand on her shoulder.

Theresa’s College-Manila.GILDA CORDERO FERNANDO Gilda Cordero-Fernando is a multiawarded writer. Cordero-Fernando has two landmark collection of short stories: The Butcher. 62 . The Baker and The Candlestick Maker (1962) and A Wilderness of Sweets (1973).A. Gilda Cordero-Fernando was born on June 4. publisher and cultural icon from the Philippines.A. she founded GCF Books which published a dozen titles that deal with various aspects of Philippine culture and society. In 1994. and an M. was published in 1992. Philippine Food and Life. has a B. Afterwards. Cordero-Fernando worked on Filipino Heritage. She was born in Manila. from theAteneo de Manila University. Another book. 1932. from St. a 10-volume study on Philippine history and culture published by Lahing Pilipino in 1978. Together with Alfredo Roces. She received several Carlos Palanca and Philippines Free Press awards for her stories. she received a Cultural Center of the Philippines (Gawad CCP) for her lifetime achievements in literature and publishing. These books have been compiled and reissued later as Story Collection (1994).

and the nymphs had stayed. and barring typhoons. the district supervisors and the division supervisors for "purposes of inspection and evaluation") had been delivered in the morning by a sleepy janitor to the principal. Potted blooms were still coming in through the gate by wheelbarrow and bicycle.a bed of giant squashes. floods. The bare grounds were. The sink. the schoolhouse was accessible by a 63 . within the remarkable space of two hours. too. Long-handled brooms ravished the homes of peaceful spiders from cross beams and transoms. she produced a hugely successful extravaganza entitled Luna: An Aswang Romance. a block of ice with patches of sawdust rested in the hollow of the small unpainted icebox.. the Vienna chairs and the stag-horn hat rack. had been repaired and the spent bulbs replaced. too. became the hub of a general cleaning. There was a brief discussion on whether the French soap poster behind the kitchen door was to go or stay: it depicted a trio of languorous nymphs in various stages of dishabille reclining upon a scroll bearing the legend Parfumerie et Savonerie but the wood working instructor remembered that it had been put there to cover a rotting jagged hole . after the first period. or that they had merely been borrowed from the neighboring houses for the visitation? Every school in the province had its special point of pride .. Consequently. would be upon Pugad Lawin by afternoon. an enclosure or white king pigeons. art curator and producer. what supervisor could tell that such gorgeous specimens were potted. Open wood boxes of Coronaslar gas were scattered within convenient reach of the carved sofa. and the floors became mirrors after assiduous bouts with husk and candlewax. The base of the flagpole.Cordero-Fernando has also worn numerous other hats as a visual artist. The Home Economics building. the attached circular revealed a hurried glance. Buried deep in the secret earth. Pugad Lawin High School had made capital of its topography: rooted on the firm ledge of a hill. playwright. fashion designer. volcanic eruptions and other acts of God. a washroom constructed by the PTA. transformed into a riotous bougainvillea garden. THE VISITATION OF THE GODS The letter announcing the visitation (a yearly descent upon the school by the superintendent. In February 2000. now at Pagkabuhay. the capiz of the windows were scrubbed to an eggshell whiteness.. had been cemented and the old gate given a whitewash. would be in Mapili by lunchtime. where the fourteen visiting school officials were to be housed. Yearly.. all the morning classes were dismissed. The party was.

Olbes. Hence it was endowed with the grandest of the sleeping mats. Baz (National Language). Mr. It consisted in the construction (hurriedly) of graphs. but interwoven with a detailed map of the archipelago. "Structuring the Rooms" was the responsibility of the third group. the Integration Method. The only bed properly belonging to the Home Economics Building was a four-poster with a canopy and the superintendent was to be given the honor of slumbering upon it. who in turn had denuded their neighbors' homes of cots.which statement obtained for her the ire of the only two teachers left talking to her. composed of Mrs. and sleeping mats. the harassed Home Economics instructor. and other visual aids. macaroni soup. true to its appellation. precipitate trips from bookstand to broom closet in a last desperate attempt to keep out of sight the dirty spelling booklets of a preceding generation. charts.with cartolina illustrations of Parsing. She had long been at odds with the principal. or rather. The teachers of Group Two had been assigned to procure the beddings and the dishes to be used for the supper. That the dirty assignment had not fallen on the hefty Mr. they had. The rowdiest freshman boys composed the fourth and discriminated group. had promised to remember the teachers' cooperation in that regard in the efficiency reports. after all. chicken salad. The first group. embutido." as assignment which. That Miss Noel spent her vacations taking a summer course for teachers in Manila made matters even worse . its west windows looked out on the misty grandeur of a mountain chain shaped like a sleeping woman. gave Mr. for the past two days been "Landscaping the Premises.thanks to the Group Two leader. Far be it to be said that Pugad Lawin was lacking in generosity. two sizes large. Nestling against the headboard was a quartet of the principal's wife's heart-shaped pillows .ever since the plump Mrs. the total cost of which had already been deducted from the teachers' pay envelopes. both of whom were now hanging curtains.the key later conveniently "lost" among the folds of Mrs.and Mr. de Dios (Physics) or the crafty Mr. and so this year there was the bougainvillea. charm or good tango dancers! Visitation was. And Miss Noel's latest wrinkle. unfinished projects and assorted rags . pillows. on the other hand. miraculously abloom . consisted in the removal of all unsightly objects from the landscape. morcon.two hard ones and two soft ones . Olbes a pain where he sat. thought utterly unbecoming and disgusting the manner in which the principal's wife praised a teacher's new purse of shawl.series of stone steps carved on the hard face of the rocks. Divinagracia. Miss Noel. were banished to the kitchen to prepare the menu: it consisted of a 14-lbs. There was a scurrying to complete unfinished lesson plans and correct neglected theme books. Now they were.Group Two being uncertain of the sleeping preferences of division heads. where can I get one 64 ." Miss Noel had joked once at a faculty meeting. Buenaflor (Industrial Arts) who. "We are such a fashionable group. Olbes believed that the English teacher attended these courses for the sole purpose of showing them up. sat hunched over a rainfall graph. did not surprise Miss Noel. the principal. Marvelous. Olbes' (the principal's wife) balloon skirt. leche flan and ice cream. forsaken. baked lapu-lapu. "If only our reading could also be in fashion!" -. In true bureaucratic fashion they had relegated the assignment to their students. The distaff side of Group Two were either practicing tango steps or clustered around a vacationing teacher who had taken advantage of her paid maternity leave to make a mysterious trip to Hongkong and had now returned with a provocative array of goods for sale. All year round the classroom walls had been unperturbably blank. and some of the less attractive lady teachers. suckling pig. Under the stewardship of Miss Noel (English). like the grounds.for Mr. the principal's wife . The teaching staff and the student body had been divided into four working groups. Olbes had come to school in a fashionable sack dress and caught on Miss Noel's mouth a half-effaced smile. A mitosis Cell Division and the Evolution of the Filipina Dress . ("It's so pretty. but the supervisors were expecting something tangible. 99% impression .

accidentally meeting in the lavatory.exactly like it?" . first sighted the approaching party. Mr. The welcoming committee was waiting on the stone steps when the visitors alighted. He was about the finest man Miss Noel had ever known. "Compañero!" boomed the superintendent with outstretched arms. Miss Noel searched in the crowd for the old Language Arts supervisor. (The Home Economics staff's dilemma: sans ice box. bundles of perishable and unperishable going-away gifts. Miss Noel. But today. Grimy socks. The principal still in undershirt and drawers. shaving his jowls by the window. stuff a chicken or clean the silverware. del Rosario (Military Tactics) had eloped at dawn. tripped upon an unexpected pot of borrowed bougainvillea. He was dedicated to the service of education. Olbes wriggled determinedly into her corset. white or blue dresses in obedience to the principal's circular.the Woodworking instructor who was detailed to do all the painting and repair work on the principal's house. Peeping from an upstairs window. At 1:30. and Mr. Mrs. Olbes had appealed to Miss Noel for help with her placket zipper. Form 137's and a half bottle of beer found their way into Mr. moreover. There were overnight bags and reed baskets to unload. There was a great to-do in the weapons carrier. The principal.and friendship was restored on the amicable note of a stuck zipper. How often had the temporary teachers had to court the favor of their supervisors with lavish gifts 65 . with supreme effort. that Miss Santos (PE) and Mr. came panting down the road but was outdistanced by the vehicles. The academic supervisor's pabaon of live crabs from Mapili had gotten entangled with the kalamay in the Home Economics supervisor's basket.a heavy-handed and graceless hint) or the way she had of announcing. He was brown as a sampaloc seed. Mr. resisted from making an untoward observation . well in advance. posted at the town gate since morning. hurrying down the steps to present the sampaguita garlands. "invited" to the principal's house to make a special salad. the Poultry instructor whose stock of leghorns was depleted after every party of the Olbeses. how to preserve all the food till the next morning). They embraced darkly. Alava emerged into the sunlight. birthdays and baptisms in her family (in other words. the superintendent's car and the weapons carrier containing the supervisors drove through the town arch of Pugad Lawin. Alava minus a cuff link. the male instructors were attired in barong. Alava gazed with satisfaction upon the patriotic faculty and belched his approval in cigar smoke upon the landscape. But this certainly was much less than expected of the vocational staff . A sophomore breezed down the corridor holding aloft a newly-pressed barong on a wire hanger. the women in red. A runner. strode towards Mr. It being Flag Day. Instantly. The district supervisor had mislaid his left shoe among the squawking chickens and someone had stepped on the puto seco. a distressed Mrs.and Miss Noel had come to take it in stride as one of the hazards of the profession. had grown old in it. after which she brought out a bottle of lotion and proceeded to douse the English teacher gratefully with it. the room was in a hustle. Ampil had come: in him there was no sickening bureaucracy. Four pairs of hands fought for the singular honor of wrenching open the car door. The Social Studies teacher. none of the self-importance and pettiness that often characterized the small public official . Later it was brought out that the National Language Supervisor had gotten a severe stomach cramp and had to be left at the Health Center. "Compañero!" echoed Mr. "Prepare!"). Vainly. A safari of Pugad Lawin instructors lent their shoulders gallantly to the occasion. Olbes. The lady teachers were. Olbes' desk drawer. rivaling a total eclipse. All the years she had been in Pugad Lawin. Behind the closed door. the kitchen group noted that there were only twelve arrivals. and the Automotive instructor who was forever being detailed behind the wheel of the principal's jeep . for lack of household help. Fresh from the trash pits.

anyway. He's dead. Ampil was there waiting at the door of the classroom even before you opened it with your key?" 66 . Ampil. I presume?" said the stranger. You'd think. It turned out the fellow was as poor as a church mouse. Sawit. Well. But Miss Noel herself had never experienced this rigmarole -." Mr." "How terrible. don't you?" Miss Noel nodded. or my wife will skin me alive. "Miss Noel. "Didn't you all quake for your life when Mr. He'd go by horseback." "Oh. indeed.Sawit is the name." "You see. Sawit made a face. "Terrible!" Miss Noel laughed. It was ironic that even in education. why this old fool had been thirty-three years in the service. "I thought all teachers hated strict supervisors.but he hadn't reached 65 and wasn't going to get a cent he wasn't working for. hoping that they would be given a favorable recommendation! A permanent position for the highest bidder." "Yes. portfolios and what-not. that muddy hellhole. You'd think at least he'd get a decent burial .she had passed her exams and had been recommended to the first vacancy by Mr. that's it. And do see that someone takes care of my orchids.he'd be ahead of us in the school we were visiting if he felt we were dallying on the road.they had to pass the hat around to buy him a coffin. Sir?" "Then you haven't heard? The old fool broke a collar bone. the chin had receded like a gray hermit crab upon the coming of a great wave. de hilo. hunter and laden Indian guide. The English teacher nodded.of sweets. "I am the new English supervisor ." "Funny thing is . Never a day absent. Never told a lie. Ampil without having uttered a word of flattery or given a single gift. Sawit elucidated." The new English supervisor gathered his portfolios and Miss Noel picked up the heavy load of orchids. he insisted on doing all the duties expected of him . Never a day late. "I'd like to freshen up. "Shall I show you to your quarters? You must be tired. puzzled. that's a thorn off your side." The tall man shook her hand warmly. or carabao sled to the distant ones where the road was inaccessible by bus .and at his age! Then. "Did you have a good trip." Miss Noel wrinkled her brow. he slipped on the banca . "I trust nothing's the matter with Mr. "On the way to the godforsaken island. a triad of pens leaking in his pocket.and well. Silently. Through the crowd came a tall unfamiliar figure in a loose coat." said Mr. Sir?" Mr. on our visitation to barrio Tungkod . they walked down the corridor of the Home Economics know that place. Under the brave nose. you found the highest and the meanest forms of men.

"Feared him, yes," said Miss Noel. "But also respected and admired him for what he stood for." Mr. Sawit shook his head smiling. "So that's how the wind blows," he said, scratching a speck of dust off his earlobe. Miss Noel deposited the supervisor's orchids in the corridor. They had reached the reconverted classroom that Mr. Sawit was to occupy with two others. "You must be kind to us poor supervisors," said Mr. Sawit as Miss Noel took a cake of soap and a towel from the press. "The things we go through!" Meticulously, Mr. Sawit peeled back his shirt sleeves to expose his pale hairless wrists. "At Pagkabuhay, Miss What's-her-name, the grammar teacher, held a demonstration class under the mango trees. Quite impressive, and modern; but the class had been so well rehearsed that they were reciting like machine guns. I think it's some kind of a code they have, like if the student knows the answer he is to raise his left hand, and if he doesn't he is to raise his right, something to that effect." Mr. Sawit reached for the towel hanging on Miss Noel's arm. "What I mean to say is, hell, what's the use of going through all that palabas? As I always say," Mr. Sawit raised his arm and pumped it vigorously in the air, "let's get to the heart of what matters." Miss Noel looked up with interest. "You mean get into the root of the problem?" "Hell no!" the English supervisor said, "I mean the dance! I always believe there's no school problem that a good round of tango will not solve!" Mr. Sawit groped blindly for the towel to wipe his dripping face and came up to find Miss Noel smiling. "Come, girl," he said lamely. "I was really only joking." As soon as the bell rang, Miss Noel entered I-B followed by Mr. Sawit. The students were nervous. You could see their hands twitching under the desks. Once in a while they glanced apprehensively behind to where Mr. Sawit sat on a cane chair, straight as a bamboo. But as the class began, the nervousness vanished and the boys launched into the recitation with aplomb. Confidently, Miss Noel sailed through a sea of prepositions, using the Oral Approach Method: "I live in a barrio." "I live in a town." "I live in Pugad Lawin." "I live on a street." "I live on Calle Real…" Mr. Sawit scribbled busily on his pad. Triumphantly, Miss Noel ended the period with a trip to the back of the building where the students had constructed a home-made printing press and were putting out their first school paper. The inspection of the rest of the building took exactly half an hour. It was characterized by a steering away from the less presentable parts of the school (except for the Industrial Arts supervisor who, unwatched, had come upon and stood gaping at the French soap poster). The twenty-three strains of bougainvillea received such a chorus of praise and requests for cutting that the poor teachers were nonplussed on how to meet them without endangering life and limb from their rightful owners. The Academic supervisor commented upon the surprisingly


fresh appearance of the Amitosis chart and this was of course followed by a ripple of nervous laughter. Mr. Sawit inquired softly of Miss Noel what the town's cottage industry was, upon instructions of his uncle, the supervisor. "Buntal hats," said Miss Noel. The tour ended upon the sound of the dinner bell and at 7 o'clock the guests sat down to supper. The table, lorded over by a stuffed Bontoc eagle, was indeed an impressive sight. The flowered soup plates borrowed from Mrs. Valenton vied with Mrs. De los Santos' bone china. Mrs. Alejandro's willoware server rivalled but could not quite outshine the soup tureens of Mrs. Cruz. Pink paper napkins blossomed grandly in a water glass. The superintendent took the place of honor at the head of the table with Mr. Olbes at his right. And the feast began. Everyone partook heavily of the elaborate dishes; there were second helpings and many requests for toothpicks. On either side of Mr. Alava, during the course of the meal, stood Miss Rosales and Mrs. Olbes, the former fanning him, the latter boning the lapu-lapu on his plate. The rest of the Pugad Lawin teachers, previously fed on hopia and coke, acted as waiteresses. Never was a beer glass empty, never a napkin out of reach, and the supervisors, with murmured apologies, belched approvingly. Towards the end of the meal, Mr. Alava inquired casually of the principal where he could purchase some bunt al hats. Elated, the latter replied that it was the cottage industry right here in Pugad Lawin. They were, however, the principal said, not for sale to colleagues. The Superintendent shook his head and said he insisted on paying, and brought out his wallet, upon which the principal was so offended he would not continue eating. At last the superintendent said, all right,compañero, give me one or two hats, but the principal shook his head and ordered his alarmed teachers to round up fifty; and the ice cream was served. Close upon the wings of the dinner tripped the Social Hour. The hosts and the guests repaired to the sal a where a rondalla of high school boys were playing an animated rendition of "Merry Widow" behind the hat rack. There was a concerted reaching for open cigar boxes and presently the room was clouded with acrid black smoke. Mr. Olbes took Miss Noel firmly by the elbow and steered her towards Mr. Alava who, deep in a cigar, sat wide-legged on the carved sofa. "Mr. Superintendent," said the principal. "This is Miss Noel, our English teacher. She would be greatly honored if you open the dance with her." "Compañero," twinkled the superintendent. "I did not know Pugad Lawin grew such exquisite flowers." Miss Noel smiled thinly. Mr. Alava's terpsichorean knowledge had never advanced beyond a bumbling waltz. They rocked, gyrated, stumbled, recovered, rolled back into the center, amid a wave of teasing and applause. To each of the supervisors, in turn, the principal presented a pretty instructor, while the rest, unattractive or painfully shy, and therefore unfit offering to the gods, were left to fend for themselves. The first number was followed by others in three-quarter time and Miss Noel danced most of them with Mr. Sawit. At ten o'clock, the district supervisor suggested that they all drive to the next town where the fiesta was being celebrated with a big dance in the plaza. All the prettier lady teachers were drafted and the automotive instructor was ordered behind the wheel of the weapons carrier. Miss Noel remained behind together with Mrs. Divinagracia and the Home Economics staff, pleading a headache. Graciously, Mr. Sawit also remained behind.


As Miss Noel repaired to the kitchen, Mr. Sawit followed her. "The principal tells me you are quite headstrong, Miss Noel," he said. "But then I don't put much stock by what principals say." Miss Noel emptied the ashtrays in the trash can. "If he meant why I refused to dance with Mr. Lucban…" "No, just things in general," said Mr. Sawit. "The visitation, for instance. What do you think of it?" Miss Noel looked into Mr. Sawit's eyes steadily. "Do you want my frank opinion, Sir?" "Yes, of course." "Well, I think it's all a farce." "That's what I've heard - what makes you think that?" "Isn't it obvious? You announce a whole month ahead that you're visiting. We clean the schoolhouse, tuck the trash in the drawers, bring out our best manners. As you said before, we rehearse our classes. Then we roll out the red carpet - and you believe you observe us in our everyday surrounding, in our everyday comportment?" "Oh, we know that." "That's what I mean - we know that you know. And you know that we know that you know." Mr. Sawit gave out an embarrassed laugh. "Come now, isn't that putting it a trifle strongly?" ""No," replied Miss Noel. "In fact, I overheard one of your own companions say just a while ago that if your lechon were crisper than that of the preceding school, if our pabaon were more lavish, we would get a higher efficiency rating." "Of course he was merely joking. I see what Mr. Olbes meant about your being stubborn." "And what about one supervisor, an acquaintance of yours, I know, who used to come just before the town fiesta and assign us the following items: 6 chickens, 150 eggs, 2 goats, 12leche flans. I know the list by heart - I was assigned the checker." "There are a few miserable exceptions…" "What about the sweepstakes agent supervisor who makes a ticket of the teacher's clearance for the withdrawal of his pay? How do you explain him?" Mr. Sawit shook his head as if to clear it. "Sir, during the five years that I've taught, I've done my best to live up to my ideals. Yet I please nobody. It's the same old narrow conformism and favor-currying. What matters is not how well one teaches but how well one has learned the art of pleasing the powers-that-be and it's the same all the way up." Mr. Sawit threw his cigar out of the window in an arc. "So you want to change the


But you're young enough and you'll learn. I will recommend you for a post in Manila where your talents will not be wasted. Sawit. "All the fools I started out with are still headteachers in godforsaken barrios. In my younger days I wouldn't hesitate to recommend you for expulsion for your rash opinions. This bald spot on my head caused mostly by new teachers like you who want to set the world on fire. Sawit laughed harshly. when I find that you learned to curb your tongue. Sawit! How did one explain him away? What syllogisms could one invent to rub him out of the public school system? Below the window. Could anyone in the big. Alava. I shall give you a good rating after this visitation because you remind me of my younger sister. she had slaved . the hard way. But spunk is only hard-headedness when not directed towards the proper channels." Miss Noel bit her lip in stunned silence. fatherly kiss. to party. We need someone educated because we plan to export. Give up your teaching. I am related to Mr.'s the only place for a woman to go. singed here and there . you know. and in a couple of months you might be the head. Miss Noel." "There will be a reclassification next month. Miss Noel. Is this what she had been wasting her years on? She had worked. Olbes is out to get you . to write.a boor like Mr. maybe some other year?") the chances by-passed ("Why. Seventeen years. Sawit's hot trembling hand (the same mighty hand that fathered the 8-A's that made or broke English teachers) found its way swiftly around her waist." "How are you so sure?" asked Miss Noel narrowly." continued Mr. "They all do. I was given a head so I could think! Pride goeth… Miss Noel bowed her head in silence. I haven't got the time. lighted offices of the city possibly find use for a stubborn. "education is not so much a matter of brains as getting along with one's fellowmen. "You see. you know that. BSE major? As Miss Noel impaled the coffee cups upon the spokes of the drainboard. Oh. she 70 .with a sting of tears she remembered all the parties missed ("Can't wake up early tomorrow. Clem"). But I've grown old and mellow . "Mr.he she's become a spinster!") . Let sleeping dogs lie. on grounds of insubordination. There are thousands of teachers." Mr. alliances forgone ("Really. to be able to lie in a hammock on the top of the hill and not have to worry about the next lesson plan! To have time to meet people. Typing! Filing! Shorthand! She had spat the words contemptuously back at him." the voice continued. But I'm willing to stick my neck out for you if you stop being such an idealistic fool and henceforth express no more personal opinions.but you'll learn. she heard her aunt say again for the hundredth time. if for no other reason. They're mostly disillusioned but they go on teaching . Miss Noel heard a giggle as one of the Pugad Lawin teachers was pursued by a mischievous supervisor in the playground.then to come face to face with what one has worked for . and hot on her forehead Miss Noel endured the supreme insult of a wet. too. She remembered Clem coming into the house (after the first troubled months of teaching) and persuading her to come to Manila because his boss was in need of a secretary. I've been in the service a long time. Then after a year. my dear. and how can one be idealistic in a mudhole? Goodnight.I recognize spunk and am willing to give it credit. else how could I have risen to my present position?" Mr.

the boy Leon stepped into the night. the supervisors packed their belongings and were soon ready. Buenaflor fetched a camera and they all posed on the sunny steps for a souvenir photo: the superintendent with Mr.) What was Juanita composing tonight? (An ode on starlight on the trunk of a banana tree?) Leon walked swiftly under the window: in Miss Noel's eyes he had already won a case. DELFIN FRENOSA 71 . Olbes on either side of him and the minor gods in descending order on the Home Economics stairs. "Pandemonium over. After breakfast the next morning.heard the door open and the student named Leon come in for the case of beer empties.but she ran to take her place with pride and humility on the lowest rung of the school's hierarchy. Pugad Lawin's first. Miss Noel smile dimly. Ma'am?" he asked. He wanted to become a lawyer. What kind of a piker was she to betray a dream like that? What would happen to him if she wasn't there to teach him his p's and f's? Deep in the night and the silence outside flickered an occasional gaslight in a hut on the mountain shaped like a sleeping woman. but he mustn't blow up any more pigshed. Miss Noel was late . the burden of bottles light on his back. and Mrs. Dear perceptive Leon. Mr. Why do I have to be such a darn missionary? Unafraid. Was Porfirio deep in a Physics book? (Oh.

Every now and then the woman would turn to the boy anxiously. Most of them walked slowly. The boy. 72 . tired after the day's work but glad of the cool wind and the coming night. with dark and sensitive features. sickly looking. They talked and laughed as they went by.Dark A woman and her son sat by the window looking upon the darkening road. trying tor read the expression of his eyes. Men and women passed by on the road in front of the house. He knew of her love for him and sensed her hurt like a sharp stabbing pain. would avert his face and shield it with his hand. some coming from the fields carrying bundles or farm implements. and a sense of her helplessness gave her keen anguish. She felt a great wordless pity for him. seeming to note her gaze.

and his father. He was crying too. She wanted to shout to the people on the road that her boy could see again." he said. She was almost choking with joy and she pressed the boy's frail form to her. that word that he had felt almost wrung out of him. The boys had suddenly stopped playing and were huddled together in a group." She bade him look out of the window.Farther down the road children were at play. Occasionally they had to stop their game to let some carabao cart or automobile pass. "Look at those boys on the road. Leon?" asked the mother. The monkey is jumping up and down. Tears stream down her face and wetted the boy's head. Leon? Tell me why you are crying so hard." He was again aware of his mother looking at him. as if to banish a renewed but unspoken fear. Her husband had not come yet." suddenly said the mother. "The boy is carrying a monkey. The monkey was a tame one and was crying out sharply and chattering. They would laugh and cry together in their gladness. softly. gently holding his chin up with a finger. "They must have come from an excursion. were now passing by the house. She had become sad and a little embittered. Snatches of incoherent talk came from her lips." he said softly. They had brought the boy to him. Some of them asked how he was. full of people?" the woman asked her son. She crushed the boy's head against her bosom." It won't be long now before you are playing with them again. The people on the road shouted and laughed back at them." she said. The boy knew that her lips were soundlessly forming the word she wanted him to say. Where was he now? When would he come come so that she could tell him? He would be very glad. "What is the matter. "Yes. The boy with the monkey. After the visit to the healer." Sometimes a man or a woman stopped a while in front of the house to exchange greetings with the woman at the window. silently." she said anxiously. "Can you see him? Can you see him a little?" The mother's voice was eager and urgent. But he could not tell her and went on sobbing. "Dis you see that car that just went by. he and his mother would sit at the window. He could not hide his face from her any more as she looked first at him ad then at the boys in the road. "Look at that boy with the monkey . peering curiously at something the boys had picked up. and again he turned his face away." "Yes. they were all talking and laughing. shouting and kicking an empty tin can about. How sharply he now regretted that "YES" that he had almost unconsciously given her. He has monkey on hi shoulder. a farmer. "Yes. "Leon. a stranger had come to their town who people said was a healer. There was desperateness in it. The mother notice the boy was weeping. Some passerby stopped. At night when she and her husband thought the boy asleep. But a few weeks before." He said. trying to find his eyes. they had taken some hope again. and then convulsively. 73 . The boy listened to his mother and to the voices of her friends. "Can you see him. Almost every afternoon when the sun was setting. they would talk about him and the sight that had become affected and then he had finally entirely lost." "Yes. laughing a little as if amused at the sight. The mother was suddenly deliriously happy. and he replied in a courteous voice that he was all right.

son!" he cried. But the people were going on their way again and the boys were left to themselves." said the mother. His bond with his birthplace. The boy listened anxiously for his footsteps and agitatedly turned to face the door. He is known for his widely anthologized short story "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife. The woman turned to the window. La Union where he was born. MANUEL ARGUILLA Manuel Estabillo Arguilla (1911 – 1944) was an Ilokano writer in English. "It was a swallow. extending his two arms and widely smiling."what happened." "A bird. The mother was still excited. Most of Arguilla's stories depict scenes in Barrio Nagrebcan. cried "Hello. and martyr." The boy heard him at the gate. Bauang. mother?" said the boy." the mother said." said the boy. patriot. and seeing her husband still in the yard. Again their voices were raised. His stories "Midsummer" and "Heat" was published in the United States by the Prairie Schooner." the main story in the collection "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife and Other Short Stories"which won first prize in the Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940. "Hello. "It was flying and hit the telephone wires. but he slowed his steps and for sometime tarried in the yard." They sat silent now waiting for the father to come home. remained 74 . Father!" But the smile froze on his lips. "I don't know. Finally she said: "There is your father coming down the road. There was complete silence in the house. forged by his dealings with the peasant folk of Ilocos. "A swallow. It fell to the ground and the boys found it. burst into a sob. still impatiently awaiting her husband to tell him the reason for her happiness. The stood up watching him. Then the boy.

Father devised an ingenious way to find out.Her nails were long. In October 1944. He married Lydia Villanueva. a birthmark or an overgrown mole." [1] He became a creative writing teacher at the University of Manila and later worked at the Bureau of Public Welfare as managing editor of the bureau's publication Welfare Advocate until 1943. another talented writer in English. he was captured.She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. Father would not accept her for a daughter-in-law unless he taught her worthy to live in Nagrebcan.She looked up to my brother with a smile. recalls often seeing him in the National Library. another seminal Filipino writer in English. Here. F. and her forehead was on a level with his mouth “You are Baldo.but they were not painted. bringing home his young bride who had been born and had grown up in the big city.P.of whom I have heard so much. He was writing then those famous short stories and essays which I admired. He was later appointed to the Board of Censors. Manila.And a small dimple appeared momentarily high up on her cheek.strong even after he moved to Manila where he studied at the University of the Philippines where he finished BS Education in 1933 and where he became a member and later the president of the U.delicate grace. and they lived in Ermita. She stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick. Sionil José. and waited for the result. tortured and executed by the Japanese army at Fort Santiago. Writer's Club and editor of the university's Literary Apprentice.She was lovely. How my Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife My brother Leon was returning to Nagrebcan from far away Manila. He secretly organized a guerrilla intelligence unit against the Japanese.” She said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder. "you couldn't miss him". "because he had this black patch on his cheek. “And this is Labang.She was tall.” She held the wrist of one hand with the 75 . which was then in the basement of what is now the National Museum. Jose describes Arguilla.

Baldo. for it was dipping into the bright sea. and it sounded much better that way. and in one breath she had swung into the cart. Oh. placing the smaller one on top.She looked down once on her high heeled shoes. I watched Ca Celin.” 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. Maria” my brother said gesturing widely toward the west.I climbed into the cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted for he was always like that. and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her. And by and by. The sun was in our eyes. her eyes were so full of laughter. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud.” my brother Leon said.and she turned to him eagerly. so that ny brother Leon had to say “Labang” again.” “There is not another like it. then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon.He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. In all the world there is no other bull like him. My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. Labang’s white coat. And after a while she said quietly: You love Nagrebcan.” and it was a beautiful name. The sky was wide deep and very blue above us. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at the sinking sun. “There is Nagrebcan. my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart. but I kept firm hold on his rope.But she came and touched Labang’s forehead with her long fingers.” She was smiling at him. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backwards.He was restless and would not stand still.” my brother Leon said. She moved close to him. thinking Father might not like it. and in my mind I said. At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew. and the sound of his inside was like a drum. And far way in the middle of the fields a cow lowed soflty in answer. and there was a small dimple high up on her right cheek. “I have never heard the like of it.”Maria—“ my brother Leon said. because her teeth was very white.the fragrance of 76 . and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes were half closed. don’t you. and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. and I stopped in the act of tying the vinca across Labang’s neck to the opposite end of the yoke.”She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long curving horns.He did not say Mayang.He did not say Maring.”Yes. placed a foot on the hub of the wheel. which I had washed and brushed that morning with coconut husk.”Why does he make that sound?” she asked. “I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang. I laid a hand on Labang’s massive neck and said to her: “You may scratch his forehead now. We stood alone on the roadside..I knew then that he had always called her Maria. but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds. “If you continue to talk about him like that. Noel? Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly.Noel” Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself. “Maria. Then he was standing beside us. glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire. either I shall fall in love with him or become very jealous. “Hitch him to the cart. laughing and she laughed with him a bit uncertainly. he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel. she was scratching his forehead very daintly. and I saw he had put his arms around her shoulders.other and looked at Labang.where he stood in front of his horse.

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. he said: “And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of the Castano and the calesa. “Maria.” Swiftly his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang.” Without waiting forn me to answer. you fool. leaning against the trunks.her! But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away. then I made him turn around. “What is it you have forgotten now. “Look. Very low in the west. The sun had sunk and down from the wooeded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing into the fields. which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season.” she said.drawing a long breath. hung the stars. now?” He laughed and added. set on the hay and hold on to anything. hands clasped across the knees. Maria?”She laughed then. and he sat back. “It is so many times bigger than it was at Ermita beach.he told me to follow the Waig tonight. I saw the wind on her hair. “Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan?”. Baldo?” my brother Leon said. I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang. The thick. he turned to her and said.” So it is Noel. Seemingly but a man’s height above the tops of the steep banks of the Waig. The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears.I stopped Labang. Noel. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along. climbed down. Baldo. her skirt spread over them so that only the toes and the heels of her shoes were visible. “Give us the rope. “Have you ever seen so many stars before?” I looked back and they were sitting side by side. answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. almost touching the ragged edge of the bank. half to herself. and away we went back to where I had inhitched and waited for them. “ Maria . “Yes. the biggest and brightest in the sky. was the star. unpleasant smell of dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean. “Look at it she murmured. why do you think Father should do scent of arrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart. Why do you follow the Waig instead of the camino real?” His fingers bit into my shoulder. Then my brother Leon laughed.”Father. and laughing still. Noel. but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig.”The air here is clean and free of dust smoke. legs bent together to one side. Manong. yonder is our star!” Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice. my brother Leon handed me the rope.” Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instant Labang leaped forward. Her eyes were on my brother Leon’s back.” she said.” my brother Leon said. 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. “Baldo. and lighted the lantern 77 . She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart. and they laughed together and she took my brother Leon’s hand and put it against her face. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily. “Making fun of me.When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig.When Labang slowed down. and even the white of Labang’s coat was chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks. “I have been looking at it.” my brother Leon said.

I stopped Labang on the road before our house and would have gotten down. and Mother stood in the doorway.that hung from the cart. for he wanted to go straight on. and the cars. but I knew he was more thirsty than tired. Ahead. Without looking back. “Yes. though indistinctly.” my brother Leon said. I am glad they are not here. “Yes. He must have taught her the song because she joined him. All the laughter seemed to have gone out of her. “the camino real curves around the foot of the Katayaghan hills and passes by our house. he might be an ogre. “Have we far to go yet. In a little while . The light of the stars broke and scattered the darkness so that one could see far on every side. Maria. 78 . “Ask Baldo. I waited for my brother Leon to say something. gentlest man I know. until. and my heart sang. And I thought of the food being made ready at home and my mouth watered. “From the way you talk.” my brother Leon was explaining.” she said. The jolting became more frequent and painful as we crossed the low dikes. and through the spokes of the wheels the light of the lantern mocked the shadows. for the lantern rocked jerkily with the cart.” calling them by name. and the people and the noise. but Moning did not come to the window. He turned Labang into the open gate and we dashed into our yard. the elongated shadow of Labang bobbled up and down and swayed drunkenly from side to side. We drove through the fields. but in a different way. because. And each time the wheel encountered a big rock. I turned Labang to the left. a voice would catch in her throat. There was light downstairs in the kitchen. but my brother Leon reined in Labang in time. don’t you?” My brother Leon stopped singing. but my brother Leon would sing on. Now the shadows took fright and did not crowd so near. “You miss the houses. Then we were climbing out into the fields. but my brother Leon took the rope and told me to stay in the cart. He may not like me. Clumps of andadasi and arrais flashed into view and quickly disappeared as we passed by. and I could see her smiling shyly. I answered. picking my words slowly: “Soon we will get out of the Waig and pass into the fields. Noel?” she asked. Urong and Celin.”we have been neglecting him. Father is the mildest tempered.” “I am asking you.” “Does that worry you still. “-you see. Except when his leg that was wounded in the revolution is troubling him. their answers were lost in the noise of the wheels.” “I am afraid. Labang quickened his steps. laughing softly.but I’ll be asking father as soon as we get home” “Noel. for all the world. Maria?” my brother said. Baldo. so I surmised she must be eating with the rest of her family.” I did not say anything more. He was breathing hard.” With difficulty. “But it is so very wide here.” We came to the house of Lacay Julian and I spoke to Labang loudly. Suddenly he broke out into song and the song was “Sky Sown with Stars” –the same that he and father sang when he cut hay in the fields of nights before he went away to study. After the fields is home – Manang. I thought we would crash into the bole of the camachile tree. My brother Leon was helping Maria over the wheel. We met the twins. And they shouted back and asked if my brother Leon and his wife were with me. and I said “ Hoy. she would join him again.” she said.”she said. we drove up the grassy side onto the camino real. because I did not know what to make of the tone of her voice as she said her last words.” “So near already. and her voice flowed into him like a gentle stream meeting a stronger one. but he was not saying anything. And my brother Leon shouted to them and then told me to make Labang run.

There was also the voice of my brother Leon. I watched the smoke waver faintly upward from the lighted end and vanish slowly into the night outside.” “Was she afraid of Labang?” My father had not raised his voice. her face becoming serious. The years of bloody conflict. but the room seemed to resound with it. during which an estimated two hundred thousand to one million civilians died of disease and starvation. though fighting continued until 1913.” “What did he sing?” “Sky Sown with Stars. CARLOS BULOSAN Carlos Bulosan was born in Pangasinan. there were Mother and my sister Aurelia and Maria. “Nobody passes through the Waig at night. I told him that Labang ws resting yet under the barn.” He reached for his roll of tobacco and hitched himself up in the chair. and in the darkened hall the fragrance of her was like a morning when papayas are in bloom. all of them. on November 2. but he removed the roll of tobacco from his mouth when he saw me. He sat in the big armchair by the eastern window.” I did not hear anything more because I had to go back to the cart to unhitch Labang. and I thought that Father’s voice must have been like it when he was young. and a star shone directly though it. And again I saw her eyes on the long curving horns and the arm off my brother Leon around her shoulders. 1911. and they expected to be granted independence after Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States in the treaty that ended the Spanish-American War of 1898. a province on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.” “On the way-““She looked at the stars. Father. She was tall. He laid it carefully on the windowsill before speaking. “No. There was no light in Father’s room. As I passed through the kitchen. Instead.” I said. Father. and it seemed to me they were crying. left the country impoverished. The door opened and my brother Leon and Maria came in. the Filipinos had begun a successful revolt against Spanish rule.” She sang with him. my son. “His leg is bothering him again. “Did you meet anybody on the way?” “No.” Mother said. Father And Manong Leon sang. Beside my brother Leon. near the end of a tumultuous period in his country’s history. the United States annexed the islands. Bulosan 79 .” My father said. But I had hardly tied him under the barn when I heard Father calling me. Then I went out. and American troops brutally suppressed the Philippines Insurrection of 1899-1902. “Have you watered Labang?” Father spoke to me. He was smoking. Father. I looked at Maria and she was lovely. He was silent again. she was not afraid. “It is time you watered him. Although little is known about his childhood. she was tall and very still. He had laid the roll of tobacco on the windowsill once more. I met my brother Leon going to bring up the trunks. There was no movement. I could hear the low voices of Mother and my sister Aurelia downstairs. In 1896.The first words that fell from his lips after he had kissed Mother’s hand were: “Father – where is he?” “He is in his room upstairs. “She is very beautiful.

recalled: I lived in Mangusmana with my father until I was seven years old. and he studied the works of Karl Marx and American writers from Walt Whitman to Theodore Dreiser. and Allied Workers of America. including the Philippine Commonwealth Times. and their younger contemporaries William Faulkner. Bulosan believed that he would find greater freedom and economic opportunity in the United States. including two older brothers who had gone to California. Friends provided him with dozens of periodicals and books. a bimonthly magazine for workers. his heritage. he helped organize the United Cannery. My father could not read or write. my friend. In 1936. He consequently booked passage in steerage aboard a steamer bound for Seattle. which published several groups of his poems between 1936 and 1942. and exploitation the Pinoy suffered as farm or cannery workers. Ernest Hemingway. Bulosan followed the crops from Washington through Oregon to California. Bulosan edited the New Tide. Like thousands of other Filipinos. In fact. and began to write articles for various newspapers. Bulosan also wrote constantly. but it was sufficient because we were peasants. Bulosan attended American-style schools. and John Steinbeck. We lived in a small grass hut. Bulosan arrived on July 22. “He is the loneliest thing on earth…He is enchained damnably to his race. he was diagnosed with tuberculosis and spent two years in the convalescent ward of the Los Angeles County Hospital. it could not truly be his country. 1930. Bulosan was quickly disillusioned by the violence. Washington. 80 . virtually the only jobs available to them. and his verse regularly appeared in little magazines such as the Lyric and Poetry. Sherwood Anderson. which was the sole support of our big family. at the beginning of the Great Depression. but he left high school after three semesters in order to work to help support the family.” as they called themselves – he endured terrible poverty and hardship in his new country. After he reached Los Angeles. Agricultural. but he knew how to work his one hectare of land.” As a migrant farmworker. He is betrayed. “Do you know what a Filipino feels in America?” he wrote a friend during the 1930s. Packing. prejudice. Along with other expatriate Filipino Americans – or “Pinoy. since as immigrants from an American colony Filipinos could not become citizens of the United States.

an often grim depiction of the collective experience of Filipino Americans and an eloquent plea for the end of racism and intolerance in the United States. he was also under constant surveillance by the FBI. Bulosan in an autobiographical sketch written in 1955 observed that he had been impelled to write by his “grand dream of equality among men and freedom for all. The following year. The war was a complicated issue for the Pinoy. Looking back over his life and literary career. Despite his rising stature as a writer in the 1940s. Bulosan fought the war with his pen.” as well as his desire “to translate the desires and aspirations of the whole Filipino people in the Philippines and abroad in terms relevant to contemporary history. and President Franklin Roosevelt signed a special proclamation that led to the formation of the First and Second Filipino Regiments in the United States. leaving behind the manuscript of a posthumously published novel about the twentieth-century history of the Philippines. Bulosan struggled against illness and the antiCommunist hysteria generated by the cold war. Bulosan came under suspicion for his leftist views and labor activities. became an international bestseller. and The Voice of Bataan (1943).” Bulosan died in Seattle of tuberculosis on September 11.After the entry of the United States into World War II. the New Yorker. Bulosan’s collection of short stories based on Filipino folktales. Bulosan became the major literary voice of Filipino Americans. He published a collection of his poetry. and Town and Country. nursed by his companion. During the final decade of his life. he spent the last years of his life in poverty and poor health. Filipino Americans were classified as aliens and denied admission to the military services. who were intensely aware of the injustices in the United States but who were eager to participate in the effort to drive the Japanese from the conquered Philippines. which effectively blacklisted Bulosan. He then wrote his most famous book. 1956. Beginning in 1950. Bulosan also began to publish stories in mainstream magazines such asHarper’s Bazaar. At first. He became even more widely known when his article “Freedom from Want” accompanied one of Norman Rockwell’s famous “Four Freedoms” paintings. the autobiographical America Is in the Heart (1946). 81 . Letter from America (1942). which were published in successive issues of the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. Bulosan and others worked to change the law. The Cry and the Dedication (1995). Unable to find work. the labor activist Josephine Patrick. and he was investigated by the House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee. a poetic tribute to the American and Filipino soldiers who had died defending Bataan Island in the Philippines. Too frail to serve in the military. The Laughter of My Father.

our whole family stood outside the windows of the rich man’s house and listened to the musical sizzling of thick strips of bacon or ham. the day one of my brothers came home and brought a small bundle under his arm. The chickens were young and tender and the fat that dripped into the burning coals gave off an enchanting odor. pretending that he brought something to eat. While we boys and girls played and sand in the sun. We were all healthy because we went out in the sun every day and bathed in the cool water of the river that flowed from the mountains into the sea. for instance. Other neighbors who passed by our house often stopped in our yard and joined us in our laughter. his children stayed inside and kept the windows closed. choking with laughter. roaring with laughter. Some days the rich man appeared at a window and glowered down at us. I lived with my mother and brothers and sisters in a small town on the island of Luzon. We had a next-door neighbor. Sometimes we wrestled with one another in the house before we went out to play. Sometimes. Father’s farm had been destroyed in 1918 by one of our sudden Philippine floods. or ate. this rich man’s servants were always frying and cooking something good. whose sons and daughters seldom came out of the house. My sister criedand groaned. Another time one of my sisters suddenly started screaming in the middle of the night. watching mother undo the complicated strings. “I’m pregnant!” she cried. though he preffered living in the country. “Don’t be a fool!” Father shouted. His house was so tall that his children could look in the windows of our house and watch us as we played. Mother reached her first and tried to calm her.My Father Goes to Court When I was four. I can remember one afternoon when our neighbor’s servants roasted three chickens. 82 . so for several years afterward we all lived in the town. There was plenty to make us laugh. Mother chased my brother and beat him with her little fists. We were always in the best of spirits and our laughter was contagious. and then he would rush into the kitchen. We hung about and took all the wonderful smell of the food into our beings. There was. in the morning. Laughter was our only wealth. He would go in to the living room and stand in front of the tall mirror. Suddenly a black cat leaped out of the bundle and ran wildly around the house. He looked at us one by one. my sister stared at us with shame in her eyes. Now. We all stood around. Father was a laughing man. stretching his mouth into grotesque shapes with his fingers and making faces at himself. We watched the servants turn the beautiful birds and inhaled the heavenly spirit that drifted out to us. as though he were condemning us. maybe a leg of lamb or something as extravagant as that to make our mouths water. He rushed to mother and through the bundle into her lap. or slept. When father lifted the lamp. “What is it?” Father asked. when there was any food in the house to eat. and the aroma of the food was wafted down to us from the windows of the big house. while the rest of us bent double. a very rich man.

“There’s no man. father dropped the lamp. We knew that they were not sick from lack of nourishing food because they were still always frying something delicious to eat. He told Father the man claimed that for years we had been 83 . and my sister’s blanket caught fire. Then the children started to cough one after the other. “How do you know you are pregnant?” he asked. the windows of our neighbor’s house were closed. His wife began coughing too. “Who’s the man?” she asked.“You’re only a child. The rich man started to cough at night. We hung outside their windows and listened to them. He banged down the window and ran through the house. but theirs were pale and sad. He looked at my sisters. the oil spilled on the floor. we rolled up the mats on the floor and began dancing about and laughing with all our might. Mother got up again and lighted the oil lamp. The children did not come outdoors anymore. the aroma of the food came to us in the wind and drifted gratuitously into our house. One day the rich man appeared at a window and stood there a long time. I tell you!” she cried. Father was frightened. He put his hand on her belly and rubbed it gently. which is the sturdiest tree in the Philippines. “I’m pregnant. As time went on. We could still hear the servants cooking in the kitchen. We wondered what had happened to them. and no matter how tight the windows were shut. Suddenly my sister opened her blouse and a bullfrog jumped out. while we grew even more robust and full of fire. the rich man’s children became thin and anemic. We put our hands on her belly. then at my brothers. Our faces were bright and rosy. Mother was shocked. One morning a policeman from the presidencia came to our house with a sealed paper. From that day on. ‘What is it then?” Father asked.” Mother said.” my sister said. When the fire was extinguished and Mother was revived. who had grown fat with laughing. “Feel it!” she cried. Father took me with him when he went to the town clerk and asked him what it was all about. One of my brothers laughed so hard he rolled on the floor. genuine laughter. At night their coughing sounded like barking of a herd of seals. There was something moving inside. Father knelt by my sister. but Father kept on laughing so loud we could not sleep any more. shutting all the windows. whose arms and legs were like the molave. It was like that for years. The rich man had filled a complaint against us. We made so much noise that all our neighbors except the rich family came into the yard and joined us in loud. Mother fainted. then he coughed day and night. we turned to bed and tried to sleep.

Spectators came in and almost filled the chairs. When the day came for us to appear in court. The children walked silently to a bench and sat down without looking up. as though he were defending himself before an imaginary jury.” He said. They were so amazed to see the children so thin and pale. Father could not say anything at first. With him was his young lawyer. scratching his head thoughtfully. The spectators covered their mouths with their hands. He just stood by his chair and looked at them. “I would like to see the children of the complainant.stealing the spirit of his wealth and food. “Yes.” said the judge. After the courtroom preliminaries. Father kept jumping up his chair and stabbing the air with his arms. Father sat on a chair in the center of the courtroom. “I don’t need a lawyer judge. We stood up in a hurry and sat down again. “I should like to cross-examine the complainant. Mother occupied a chair by the door.” “Proceed. “Do you or do you not agree that while the complainant’s servants cooked and fried fat legs of lambs and young chicken breasts. you and your family hung outside your windows and inhaled the heavenly spirit of the food?” “I agree.” “Do you claim that we stole the spirit of your wealth and became a laughing family while yours became morose and sad?” Father asked.” Father said. They stared at the floor and moved their hands uneasily.” “Bring the children of the complainant. Then he said. Finally he said. The rich man arrived. Judge. “Do you or do you not agree that you have been stealing the spirit of the complainant’s wealth and food?” “I do not!” Father said. We were the first to arrive. “How do you account for that?” Father got up and paced around. Father brushed his old army uniform and borrowed a pair of shoes from one of my brothers. The rich man’s lawyer jumped and pointed his finger at Father. “Proceed. his face was scarred with deep lines. He had grown old and feeble. “Do you have a lawyer?” he asked. The judge entered the room and sat on a high chair. the judge took at father.” They came shyly.” 84 . We children sat on a long bench by the wall.

Father came back and stood before the complainant. who added a fistful of silver coins. “May I walk to the room across the hall and stay there for a minutes. He strode into the other room with the hat in his hands. He went to Mother. The rich man opened his mouth to speak and fell to the floor without a sound. The doors of both rooms were wide open. “Why not?” Did you hear that children?” Father said. “Yes.” “Then you are paid. 85 . And the laughter of the judge was the loudest of all.” The judge said. Father strutted around the courtroom. “Did you hear it?” he asked. Judge?” Father asked.” “Thank you. judge?” Father asked.“Then we are going to pay you right now.” he whispered. “The spirit of the money when I shook this hat?” he asked.” he said.” Father said. holding their bellies and bending over the chairs. The sweet tinkle of coins carried beautifully into the room. “Are you ready?” Father called. It was almost full of coins.” Father said. The judge even came down to his high chair to shake hands with him. “Proceed. The spectators turned their faces toward the sound with wonder. He walked over to where we children were sitting on the bench and took my straw hat off my lap and began filling it up with centavo pieces that he took out his pockets. My brothers threw in their small change. My sister started it. “Case dismissed. “I had an uncle who died laughing. The rest of us followed them and soon the spectators were laughing with us.” “You like to hear my family laugh. “As you wish.” Father said. The judge pounded his gravel. “Hear what?” the man asked. “By the way. The lawyer rushed to his aid.


I’m beginning to feel like a society matron. a cabinet radio stands against a back wall. Open door-way in center. Naku. always visitors. Curtained window is at left. background. 87 . Nothing but visitors all day long. Left side of stage is occupied by a rattan set –sofa and two chairs flanking a table. Front door is at right. On the right side of the stage.NEW YORKER IN TONDO SCENE: The parlor of the Mendoza house in Tondo. leads into the rest of the house. MRS. M: (As she walks toward the door) –Visitors.

you know how it is with us engineers. do I look like an American? TONY : (Too worried to pay much attention) --. MRS. mother and I are coming back here to Tondo. Tony steps in. come in. M : ( Laughing) --. Right now. M : (Standing beside his chair. Aling Atang. And she says that I must learn how to look and act like an Americana because I have a daughter who has been to America. MRS. no. She dragged me off to a beauty shop. She’d still sleeping! TONY : (Glancing at his watch) ---Still sleeping! MRS. MRS. too! But what can I do. no … you look just wonderful. For a moment I thought you were your own daughter. and whenever I go to market.That is what she misses most of all.Of course. M : She says that in New York people do not wake up before twelve o’clock noon.) MRS. He starts slightly on seeing Mrs. Kikay. M : Tony! I thought you were in the provinces. and is the suave type. Tony. We must go where our jobs call us. and she says that she never. Aling Atang. People must think I have become a … loose woman! And at my age. dressed to kill. never felt homesick at all! TONY : (Beginning to look nervous again) --. she was over there in America for a whole year. the life of that girl since she came 88 . MRS. But as soon as I have finished with that bridge in 2 | P a g e Bulacan. She wants to come back here at once. But come in. M : Yes. Tony. sit down. Aling Atang. Uy. Aling Atang? MRS. TONY : (Glancing at his watch once more) --. she has been very. How is your mother? TONY : (As he sits down.Oh. TONY : I didn’t know she had come back from New York until I read about it in the newspapers. TONY : (Laughing) --. M : (who’s rather engrossed in her own troubles too) --. my nails are manicured. I thought you were Kikay. Aling Atang. you must bring her back as soon as possible. (She moves toward the furniture and Tony follows. foolish boy. my kumare. MRS. M : (Snorting) --. But I wonder if that’s true after all. my eyebrows are shaved. putting on an apron) – How long have you been away? TONY : Only three months MR. however. Tony. M : Now I understand how she feels! Your mother could never.It’s only ten o’clock now.That girl arrived only last Monday and look at what has happened to me! When she first saw me. Do I look so horrible? TONY : Oh. MRS. Once a Tondo girl.(She opens door.Who? TONY : Kikay? Is she at home? MRS. (She pauses. he is feeling a trifle nervous.You look just wonderful. M : Only three months! Three months is too long for a Tondo native to be away from Tondo. never become a provinciana. And … and where is she now? MRS.When … when did she. Dios mio. You know how impossible it is to argue with Kikay. M : Besides. you are as palikero as ever. very busy. Tony is 26. Aling Atang? MRS. how bored she must be out there! TONY : Well. always a Tondo girl. she was furious. Look at my Kikay. MRS. Mendoza. struck by a thought). Who did you think it was …Carmen Rosales? TONY : You …you don’t look like Aling Atang.) Here.Oh. she said that I need a complete overhauling. M : (shyly touching her boyish bob) – I had my hair cut. and look. carrying a bouquet. TONY : (Startling) –But is that you. I must use lipstick and rouge! All my kumares are laughing at me. arrive. poor mother is terribly homesick for Tondo.Of course she is at home. still holding the bouquet) --. Ay. look what she had done to me! My hair is cut. M : (Plaintively) --. M : Last Monday. It’s I. We miss her whenever we play panguingue. I always say. M : (Playfully slapping his cheek) --.

(Somebody knocks at the front door. Totoy is the same age as Tony and is more clearly a Tondo sheik. And she’ll want to thank you in person for these flowers. Mrs. so Italian. M : (Turning to go) --. Mrs. Both boys extend their arms out wide on beholding each other. M : (Turning around again) ---. they’re nothing at all.) MRS. M : (As she exists) --. every body calls her Fran-CES-ca. Tony. And all she wants everybody here to pronounce it in the same way. That girl has been spinning around like a top!3 | P a g e TONY : (Rising disconsolately) --.home! Welcome parties here and welcome parties there and visitors all day long. M : She says that in New York. M : (Taking the flowers) --. Tony…. She turns around again. huh? TOTOY : Hoy. Mendoza.Well. Tony.Oh.Oh. MRS. TONY : (To himself as he sits down) --. wait just a minute and I will call Kikay. So … and especially in front of Kikay…. M : Kikay doesn’t like it. TONY : Yes. The one word that could possibly describe his attire is “spooting”. How beautiful they are. She says I must tell people to call me Mrs. (Tony opens door and Totoy steps in. Mendoza. I’ll answer it. MRS.Yes. MRS.That is how all those Americans in New York pronounce her name. M : Not Francisca … Fran…CES…ca.and what shall I call her? MRS. sitting down again) --. please don’t bother.yes. She’ll be simply delighted to see her old childhood friend. Aling Atang. Why. Aling Atang? MRS. they march across the room) --Make way for the Tondo boys … Bang! Bang! TONY : (Pushing Totoy away and producing a package of cigarettes) Good to see you.You wait right there. She says it’s a more civilized form of address. you! TOTOY : Mayroon ba tayo diyan? TONY : You ask me that … and you look like a walking goldmine! How many depots have you been looting. mean yes. Aling … I mean yes. M : (Turning to go again) – Now wait right here while I call Fran-CES-ca.But surely. How expensive they must be! TONY : (Sitting down again) --.) TOTO : You old son of your father! TONY : You big carabao. TONY : (Limply. M : You must not call Kikay. I can come back some other time. you and she grew up together! Sit right down again. hoy. TONY : Oh. Do you know that many people in New York thought she was an Italian…an Italian from California? So be sure and remember. TONY : But why Francesca?4 | P a g e MRS. and Tony … TONY : (Jumping up again) --. Aling Atang. Tony.Oh. more slowly there … It’s you the police are out looking for. do not call her Kikay. Mendoza. M : You must call her Francesca. MRS. M : (Moving away) --.Just tell them to wait. “Kikay.” TONY : Why not? MRS. Oh. TONY : Impossible! I’m a reformed character! TOTOY : (Arms around each other’s shoulders. Mrs.” TONY : (Blankly) --.) Aie. Mendoza. Aling … I. already at center doorway) --. M : (Pausing.Well. MRS. She says it sounds so “chi-chi”. Mendoza. Mrs. Dios mio! TONY : (Jumping up once again) – Never mind. I will go and wake her up. You must call me Mrs. TONY : Francisca? MRS. Tony … TONY : Yes. Mendoza. and will you please give her these flowers? MRS. 89 . she hates that name … call her Fran-CES-ca. M : You mustn’t call me “Aling Atang. you’re not going yet. will you just tell her I called … to welcome her home.Hah! MRS. (He goes to open the door. Tony.) TOTOY : Tony! TONY : Totoy! (They pound each other’s bellies.

if you don’t stop gaping at me. Mendoza. Nena…let’s steal their mangoes! MRS. studying. Good morning. NENA : To wake her up! Is she still dreaming?6 | P a g e MRS. M : (Having set the vase on the table) –Well. She’s changing. M : Yes. Totoy goes to open it.People are saying that she has gone crazy.Puto kayo diyan … bili na kayo ng puto. Nena? I said good morning. Mendoza is carrying a vase in which she has arranged Tony’s flowers. Enter Nena. my own! NENA : (Brushing him aside as she walks into the room) – and Tony too! What’s all this? A Canto boy Reunion? TOTOY : (Following behind her) – We have come to greet the lady from New York. MRS. MRS. Mrs. especially. She thanks you very much. you just try! I still run as fast as ever. TOTOY : (As they light cigarette) --.old pal … here.So have I. but I wear suspenders now. TONY : (Laughing) – Remember when we pushed her into the canal? TOTOY : She chased us all around the streets. Why are you staring at me like that? NENA : Is … is that you Aling Atang? TOTOY : Good God. it’s still out there in our backyard. M : Oh. when I was a little girl. TOTOY : (Sitting down too) --. (She points at Totoy) – This one. Hair culture and beauty science. Good morning.Tony. Is she at home? TONY : Aling Atang is trying to wake her up. M : (Appearing in the center doorway) – No. I’ve been hearing the most frightful things about that girl. You were all very naughty children. I’ll pinch you! NENA : (Laughing) – How you used to pinch and pinch me. Mrs. TOTOY : Kikay. an American? Don’t make me laugh! Why. (Totoy and Nena are staring speechless. Totoy. Mendoza. have a smoke. She was delighted with these flowers. Aling Atang now prefers to be called Mrs. how that girl could fight! TOTOY : (Fondly) --. Our dear old Kikay is now an American. 90 .5 | P a g e TONY : (Sinking into a chair) --.) MRS. Totoy? Well. Aling Atang.Nena. she has only gone New York. She got a diploma. TOTOY : (Jumping up) – Come on.Dear old Kikay! (Knocking at the door. MRS. M : You were a very naughty girl. She self-consciously walks into the room and sets the vase on the table amidst the silence broken only by Totoy’s helpless wolf whistle. ) NENA : Why. TONY : Naku.M : Ah-ah. TOTOY : (Taking a cigarette) – I thought you were in Bulacan. I just came to say hello to Kikay. TONY : I am. I knew that girl when she was still selling rice cakes! (Stands up and imitates a girl puto vendor) --. partner. you rascal! Come with me to the kitchen. it’s Totoy! TOTOY : (Opening his arms) --. imagine that! Our dear old Kikay! TONY : Pardon me. Nena. but she’s not Kikay anymore … she is Fran-CES-ca. TONY : No. TOTOY : Fran-CES-ca? TONY : Miss Tondo has become Miss New York. NENA : So have I. TOTOY : Do you still have the mango tree? MRS. TOTOY : What was she doing in New York? TONY : Oh. always sneaking into our backyard to steal mangoes from our mango tree. Nena is a very well possessed young lady of 24. she’s awake already. See if I don’t catch you again and pull your pants off! TOTOY : (Gripping his pants) – ah. It is Aling Atang! (He collapses into a chair) TONY : Totoy. TOTOY : Uy. always fighting with Kikay. M : Oh. Tony … you know it is not I but Kikay who prefers it. Tony. Nena.

Nena. Tony! TONY : (Irritated. I was preparing some for Kikay. She takes nothing else in the morning. NENA : Aling Atang. Then you and I will announce our engagement.) TOTOY : (Sailing in) – Puto kayo diyan. you better hurry. Tony? TONY : You shouldn’t have come today. Left alone. why not? TONY : I haven’t talked to Kikay yet.) NENA : Well. NENA : Well. I’m tired of being secretly engaged to you! What fun is it being engaged if you can’t tell everybody! TONY : Just give me a chance to talk to Kikay and explain everything to her. TONY : (Miserably) – Yes … NENA : And then asked me to keep our engagement a secret! TONY : Because right afterwards. NENA : You haven’t talked to Kikay yet. MRS. idiot! I want you to help me carry something. I found out that Kikay was coming back. TONY : I lost my nerve. NENA : I’ll take care of Totoy.! I thought you were going to come here and tell her everything last night. TONY : The trouble is. Tony seated. But when she had been there a couple of months. Nena stands behind the sofa.7 | P a g e (Exits Mrs. It was only a secret engagement anyway. And we’re not hungry.8 | P a g e NENA : (Sarcastically) – And you proposed to me. I’m getting impatient. Nena. NENA : Just leave it to me. M : It’s only orange juice. NENA : Oh. NENA : Well. Come along. NENA : (Bitterly) –Yes…and you were engaged to Kikay. Tony. too! TONY : But that was a year ago! NENA : (Flaring up) – Oh. Mendoza and Totoy. You don’t expect me to jilt Kikay in front of everybody. don’t prepare anything for us. I’m engaged to you. Nena. only you! NENA : (Whirling around to face him) – How could you have the nerve to propose to me when you were still engaged to Kikay? TONY : I wish I had never told you. She says that in New York nobody eats breakfast. So I considered myself a free man again. TONY : That’s good. do you? NENA : You want me and Totoy to clear out? TONY : No…just give me a chance to be alone with Kikay for a moment. you know I love you. (Totoy appears in the doorway with tray on his head. she stopped answering my letters. bili na kayo ng puto…! 91 . furious) TONY : (Jumping up and following her) – Nena.TOTOY : Why? To pull my pants off? MRS. We’re not visitors. and Totoy is here.. I didn’t come last night. This is what I get for being honest! NENA : Honest! You call yourself honest? Getting me to fall in love with you when you still belonged to Kikay? TONY : I … I thought I didn’t belong to Kikay anymore. Whoever heard of a man breaking off his engagement with a girl! It’s not usual! And … my God …it’s not easy! NENA : (Belligerently) – Are you in love with Kikay or with me? TONY : Of course I’m in love with you. Nena and Tony are silent for a moment. NENA : Oh. Totoy. you wolf! (She flounces away. I proposed to her just before she left for America and she said we must keep our engagement a secret until she came back. M : No. Nena. glasses and a pitcher are on a tray. how can I talk with Kikay now? NENA : Why not? TONY : Well you are here. Tony! Use your head. imitating her tone) – Oh. Tony.

That means thank you… in French. (She moves away) KIKAY : (Gesturing make up) – and remember. never. (She waves her cigarette) Oh. if you people will excuse me…Tony. as though I had lived there all my life. carrying a plate of sandwiches. mumsy. M : No. I feel as if I were still there. MRS. remember me to your mother. mumsy. occupying the two chairs) NENA : Tell us about New York. MRS. (Her three visitors sit down. don’t forget my celery. (She moves away from the doorway and Kikay appears.(Mrs. mumsy? MRS. Kikay is garbed in a trailing gown trimmed with fur at the neck and hemline. my little pal of the valley…how are you? (She gives her hand to Tony) and Totoy…my. Here sit down. I must be going to the market. M : What’s the matter now? KIKAY : How many times must I tell you. Kikay’s manner and appearance are …to use a Hollywood expression …”chi-chi mad. Kikay. no? But never mind. M : Listen everybody…here comes Kikay…but she prefers to be called Fran-CES-ca. mumsy! MRS. my dear…but how cute you’ve become! (She kisses Nena)And Tony.”) KIKAY : (Having paused a long moment in the doorway. also sipping juice and munching sandwiches. never serve fruit juice in water glasses! MRS. does anybody have a light? (Totoy jumps up and gives her a light. how ravishing you look.) MRS. don’t break your heart about it. darling people! (She glides into the 9 | P a g e room. I’m like a rabbit…munch. M : Well. munch all day. KIKAY : (Approaching and kissing her mother) – Oh. TOTOY : (As he sits down) – Merci! (Kikay poses herself on the arm of the sofa where Nena is sitting and sipping orange juice. M : (As she exits) – I give up! KIKAY : (Still laughing) – Poor mumsy. Mendoza appears in the doorway. mumsy…what am I going to do with you? MRS. hello. mumsy. she’s quite a problem. 7 hours and 21 minutes! TOTOY : (Aside to the others) – and she’s still there … in her dreams! KIKAY : (With emotion choking her voice) – Yes. (to her visitors) – I can’t live without celery. But I look around me (She bitterly looks around her at the three gaping visitors) and I realize that no. KIKAY : (Fervently) – Ah. In the other hand. here! 92 . Everybody else is too astonished to move) Nena. M : (Already in the center doorway) – Do I have to paint this old face of mine.) KIKAY : Merci. Fran-CES-ca? KIKAY : (Breaking into laughter and turning towards the others) – But how dreadfully she puts it! Oh. 4 days. mumsy…a little bloom on the lips. hello… you darling. New York. as though I had never left it. M : Oh. The two boys. a little bloom on the cheeks. TOTOY : Huh?10 | P a g e KIKAY : I said merci. mumsy dearest. my poor li’l mumsy…she is so clumsy. dearest. New York! TONY : How long did you stay there? KIKAY : (In a trance) – 10 months. She sees the tray with the glasses and pitcher on the table and throws her hands up in amused horror. I’m not in New York… I’m here. no I’m not there. hands uplifted in surprise and delight) – Oh. From one hand she dangles a large silk handkerchief which she keeps waving about as she walks and talks. you look like a Tondo superproduction in Technicolor! But sit down everybody…do sit down and let me look at you.) Oh. MRS. do I have to? KIKAY : Again. M : I couldn’t find those tall glasses you brought home. KIKAY : Oh. she carries a very long cigarette holder with an unlighted cigarette affixed. (She walks all around the apprehensive Totoy) goodness.

you people can’t understand at all! TONY : Of course not.) KIKAY : But wait a minute. Her visitors glanced uneasily at each other. (Imitating Kikay’s tone and manner) You know. it is a symbol… KIKAY : (Interrupting) – don’t be silly. but I do. Oh.KIKAY : (She rises abruptly and goes to window where she stands looking out) I’m home. that tree is “our” tree.) NENA : (To others) – I don’t think we ought to be here at all. I understand perfectly! I feel that way too about “our” tree. we have a funny custom…an old. Ah. Every spring we go down to say hello to it and to watch its first green leaves coming out. TONY : (Glancing at the entranced Kikay) – Is that the girl we used to go swimming with in the mud paddies? TOTOY : (Crossing his arms over his chest) – Ah. her arms cross over her breast. boys. I feel myself to be an exile…yes. that tree is our symbol for New York…undying immortal. a spiritual exile. Kikay. over here in Tondo. NENA : (With a languishing gesture) – And leave her alone with her memories. Home! But which is home for me? This cannot be home because my heart aches with home sickness. enraptured) – Listen…oh listen! Now. we New Yorkers. In a way. old and very dear custom. we have a funny custom in New York…an old. Oh. old and very dear custom. TONY : Yes. New York! My own dear New York! (She is silent a moment. The mango tree out there in your back yard. we make a sort of pilgrimage to an old tree growing down by the Battery. It doesn’t awaken any memories for me at all! NENA : (Rising) – Well it does…for me. simply hysterical with laughter. believe me…not to have lived in New York is not to have 93 . you can’t. KIKAY : (In amused despair) – Oh. Kikay. you kept shouting. it’s an old tree. My spirit aches for its true home across the sea. We’ve never been to New York. In a way. And for us here in Tondo. And such happy.12 | P a g e KIKAY : (Earnestly) –. we were rolling on the ground. (With a little fond laugh) Oh. they tell me. When spring comes around each year. We make a sort of pilgrimage to a silly old mango tree growing in a backyard. And we New Yorkers. it’s springtime…it’s spring in New York! The daisies are just appearing in Central Park and out in Staten Island the grass is green again. No. wait a minute…what is this tree you’re talking about? NENA : Our mango tree. looking across the horizon. TONY : Look who’s talking. KIKAY : (Blankly) – About what tree? NENA : Our mango tree. forever growing and forever green! (She laughs and 11 | P a g e makes an apologetic gesture) But please. Have you forgotten about it? Why you and I used to go climbing up there every day and gorging ourselves on green mangoes. in New York. Kikay. New York! My own dear New York! KIKAY : (Whirling around. NENA : Oh. we shouldn’t disturb her. you can’t understand this emotion I feel for our dear old tree over there in New York. Nena. How our stomachs ached afterwards! And then these bad boys would come and start shaking the branches until we fell down! TOTOY : Aling Atang once caught me climbing that tree and she grabbed my pants and off they came! NENA : And Kikay and me.”Give me back my pants! Give me back my pants!” (They were all shaking with laughter except Kikay who is staring blankly at this. please forgive me! Here I am going sentimental and just mooning away over things you have no idea about. we call it “Our Tree”. Kikay? Don’t you feel the same emotion for that tree as you do for the one in New York? KIKAY : (Tartly) – Of course not! They…they’re completely different! I don’t feel any emotion for this silly old mango tree. It’s been growing there ever since New York was New York. And Totoy. can’t understand ever. KIKAY : (Flatly) – Oh that tree… TONY : What’s the matter.That’s it exactly! Until you’ve been to New York. happy memories! I really must run out to the backyard and say hello to it.

will you come with me? TOTOY : (Fervently. you know…and there I would be on top of this bus looking down at them and feeling very amused at the way they gaped at the sky-scrapers and the way they gaped at the shop windows. child. smile. Oh. and all those people from Kalamazoo and Peoria and other places like that would be wandering around the streets…sightseeing. Patrick’s Day Parade down Fifth Avenue and for all (She stops. In spirit. NENA : Totoy. Kikay smilingly gazes at him. It’s my real home. Kikay. I’ve become a completely different person in just one year. TONY : There is something I must tell you…something very important. and I’d feel rather sorry for them living out in the sticks… 94 . are you coming with me or not? TOTOY : (Following her) – Anywhere. a more streamlined. for a more vivacious. So much has happened to me. Do you know…I feel as if I’ve always lived in New York. After all. dream girl. It stands for higher and finer things. overcome with her memories) Oh. what’s a person? Just relative terms. do you? KIKAY : (Laughing) – Of course not. TOTOY : I second the motion NENA : So do I. I’ve changed so much since then. I felt I had come home at last. TONY : That was only a year ago. the backyard of Tondo. You don’t mind. give all your heart. And when you meet again. Tony. I was only a child at that time. I am and have always been a native of Manhattan. I’d go riding on one of those double-decker buses just to cool off. Do go. Tony. KIKAY : To me. shake hands…just good sports.) TONY : (Finally gathering courage) – Kikay…I don’t know just how to begin. Tony… what are you looking so miserable about? (Tony rises from his chair and sits down beside Kikay on the sofa. a good beginning. last summer it was really hot…one of the hottest summers we ever had. idiot. nothing must drag on too long. and a more daring way of life! KIKAY : It stands for Freedom and for the Manhattan skyline and for the Copacabana and for Coney Island in summer and for Grant’s Tomb on Riverside Drive and for Tuesday nights at Eddie Condons with Wild Bill Davidson working on that trumpet of his and for Saturday nights at Madison Square Garden with the crowds spilling all over the side walk and for the nickel ferry ride to Staten Island and for the St. Tomorrow forget.13 | P a g e KIKAY : Just call me Francesca. TOTOY : (Acting up too) – Oh . Forget.. it’s impossible to make you see! TONY : I still prefer a tree that grows in Tondo. TONY : What are you talking about? KIKAY : Tony. KIKAY : (Tolerantly. the barong-barongs of Maypaho. Tonight. because it was my city they were admiring.. More can happen to you in just one year in New York than in all a lifetime spent anywhere else. the streets of Sibakong… NENA : (In the center doorway) – Listen. When I first arrived there. KIKAY : Oh. can’t we just forget all about it? TONY : Forget? KIKAY : That’s the New York way. He is nervous and cannot speak. our Totoy still has a most terrific crush on Nena. Tony. (Tony is silent) Do wake up. what’s a year. listen. very much the woman of the world) – Oh you funny. TONY : When? KIKAY : When you and I got engaged. as he rises) – To the ends of the earth! NENA : (In the Kikay manner) – No darling…just out to our dear little backyard. but I’d be feeling very proud too. anywhere at all! (Exits Nena and Totoy) KIKAY : (Sitting down on the sofa) – Apparently. it seems a century. funny children! NENA : I really must go and say hello to our tree.lived at all! That tree of ours over there… it doesn’t stand for kid stuff and childish foolishness. Nothing must ever be so serious.

NENA : What’s all this? KIKAY : Nothing…nothing at all. Tony…not anymore. Tony but I wanted you to realize how ridiculous it would be to think that I could still be engaged to you. This treacherous business! Oh. but I didn’t know about all this. you…you… TONY : (Backing off) – I did try to tell you. eh? NENA : (Taking Tony’s hand) –Tony and I are engaged. TONY : (Waving his fist) – If you weren’t a woman. you horrible. NENA : Tony. You’ll find somebody else…someone more proper for you. you are only a boy. TOTOY : What were you two quarrelling about? KIKAY : We were not quarrelling. People in New York don’t lose their temper. be a sport. I’m a stranger to you…we don’t speak the same language…and I feel so much. the shame of it! Getting engaged to you when he was still engaged to me! Do I look like the kind of girl who’d let a man jilt her? (Moving towards Tony) Oh. he’s not engaged to you anymore. TONY : (Leaping up) – I’m not going to sit here and be insulted. 95 . ha? KIKAY : Because he was still engaged to me when he got engaged to you! NENA : Well. Tony…forget: that’s the New York way. horrible monster! TONY : (Backing off some more) – Now remember Kikay…it’s uncivilized to lose one’s temper. hush! Don’t shout. Tony. you got engaged to a girl named Kikay. I don’t want to talk about New York…I want to talk about our engagement. He’s my fiancé. There are other “goils” in the “esters”. KIKAY : Ah. Tony…but surely you see that there can between us would be stark miscegenation! Imagine a New Yorker marrying a Tondo boy! TONY : (Blazing) – Now look here…14 | P a g e KIKAY : (Very tolerantly) – I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you. KIKAY : Hush. The person you see before me is Francesca. KIKAY : He’s not your fiancé! NENA : Oh no? And why not. KIKAY : (Rising) – Engaged! TOTOY : (At the same time) – Engaged! NENA : Yes! We’ve been secretly engaged for a month. you just said so yourself. Tony…you must never. that girl doesn’t exist anymore…she’s dead. I hate to hurt you. huh? Be brave. Well. Tony.TONY KIKAY TONY KIKAY : Listen. Find another girl. careful there…you’re speaking to my fiancé. much older than you. never hit a woman. Tony. Kikay…I was trying to tell you… KIKAY : You unspeakable cad! NENA : Hey. Not people of the haute monde anyway! KIKAY : I’ve never felt so humiliated in all my life! You beast! I’ll teach you to humiliate me! NENA : (Blocking her way) – I told you to leave him alone. I’m a woman of the world. : And that’s what we cannot do. People in New York don’t lose their temper. Tony and I just decided to be good friends and nothing more. I’d…I’d… KIKAY : Hold it. : Why not? : Tony. Let’s smile and shake hands and be just friends. Don’t you see.15 | P a g e KIKAY : A month! (Fiercely. is this true? TONY : (Shouting) –Yes! NENA : Oh good! Now we can tell them! KIKAY : Tell us what? TOTOY : What’s going on here. don’t lose your temper…it’s so uncivilized. as they say in Brooklyn. Not people of the haute monde anyway! TONY : (Shouting) – What do you want me to do…smile and say thank you for slapping my face? KIKAY : Yes. to Tony) – Why.

) TONY : Now you’ve ruined my life. as he approaches) – You keep out of this or I’ll knock your head off! TOTOY : Naku. take me away from here! TOTOY : (Pointing to Tony) – Are you still engaged to him? NENA : I hate him! I never want to see him again in my life! TOTOY : Good! Come on. he defends me! TOTOY : (To Tony) – You take your hands off her! TONY : I told you to keep out of this! (Totoy socks Tony.) NENA : (Running to Totoy) – Oh Totoy. infuriated. breaks away from 16 | P a g e Tony…who’s dragging her away. Tony continues to sit on the floor. I hope you’re satisfied.. you’ve saved my life. have ruined your life? You…have ruined mine! TONY : (Advancing) – What you need is a good spanking.Don’t you come near me. don’t you talk to Nena that way.17 | P a g e (He takes her arm and propels her to the door. get away from here. you brute! TONY : (Still sitting on the floor) – I wasn’t talking to you. 96 .) TONY : (Furious) – How dare you sock her? NENA : What? She hit me first! TONY : Look what you’ve done to her! ( Totoy has dropped the knocked-out Kikay on a chair. let’s go. lumabas din and pagka Tondo! NENA : Shameless hussy! KIKAY : Man-eater! (They grapple and stagger.) KIKAY : (Kneeling beside Tony) – Tony. Tony and Totoy rush forward to separate them and finally succeeded but not before Kikay has socked Nena.) NENA : Totoy. pull them apart! KIKAY : (To Totoy. I wouldn’t touch you with a ten foot pole. Kikay is on the floor on the other side of the room. Tony drops to the floor. why have you never told me? TOTOY : (Shyly) – Well…now you know… TONY : (Still on the floor) – Congratulations! NENA : (Coldly) – Let’s go darling…I don’t like the smell around here. TONY : You keep out of this! NENA : He’s more of a gentleman than you are. her haughty back to him. Tony … open your eyes! TONY : (Sitting up and brushing her hands away) – Oh. TOTOY : Don’t you speak to me either! You have insulted the woman I love! NENA : (Beaming up at him) – Oh Totoy. you…you Canto Boy! TONY : (Stopping) .Don’t worry.) NENA : Are you trying to defend her? You never defended me! TONY : SHUT UP! NENA : I hate you! I hate you! TONY : Shut up or I’ll bash your mouth off! TOTOY : (Deserting the reviving Kikay) – Hey. Tony pulls Nena away. and pounces on Kikay…whom Totoy is holding. Kikay has run to Tony’s side. NENA : You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You’re just being a dog in the manger! KIKAY : You ought to be ashamed of yourself…stealing my man behind my back! NENA : (Exploding) – WHAT! What did you say? TONY : (Keeping a safe distance) – Totoy. Tony rises and dusts himself. Tony came running but is too late to prevent Nena from socking Kikay. (Exit Nena and Totoy. in the attitude of Rodin’s “Thinker”. Kikay sags down in Totoy’s arms.) TONY : (As they pass him) – Hey! NENA : (Pausing) – Don’t you speak to me. (Kikay rises and haughtily moves away. (Meanwhile. Nena..KIKAY : And I tell you he’s not! He’s engaged to me until I release him …and I haven’t released him yet. KIKAY : (Retreating) . KIKAY : (Whirling around) – I.

Tony. nothing must ever drag on too long… KIKAY : Oh Tony. KIKAY : Yes. and Francesca is dead. I was engaged to a girl named Kikay. MRS. Tony. you promised to wait for me. I’m not Francesca…I’m Kikay. are you still here? Francesca. The girl standing before you is Kikay. huh?18 | P a g e KIKAY : Yes. Madame. TONY : If I were right. TONY : In that silly dress? KIKAY : It’s true.) MRS. Tony. Nothing must ever be too serious. Mendoza is heard calling “ Francesca.” Tony and Kikay listen.) KIKAY : (Subsiding) – Sorry. Tony. TONY : Welcome home. The girl standing before you is Kikay.) SEVERINO REYES 97 . TONY : Just one year in New York and you forget your old friends! KIKAY : Just one year that I’m in New York… and what do you do! But when we got engaged. TONY : Liked it in New York? KIKAY : Uh-uh. Kikay! How was the trip? KIKAY : Horrible! I couldn’t wait to get back. (She approaches him. Aling Atang. (They dance around the room as the CURTAIN FALLS. Francesca. They have turned on the radio. throwing her hands up. you swore to be true. approaching him) – Oh. Tony…that was Francesca saying all those silly things. Tony. partner? TONY : (Bowing) – Delighted. I believed you! (She begins to weep) Oh. M : (Dazed) – But Kikay is Francesca… KIKAY : Oh no. and you’re still engaged to her. Tony. Give me Tondo anytime. Tony! TONY : Well. I’ve come back.) May I have this “jaggingjagging” with you. TONY : Why didn’t you answer my letters? KIKAY : (After just a wee pause) – Francesca wouldn’t let me write. It’s playing “Again” or some such silly song. I’m Kikay…remember me? We used to go swimming together. when we were kids. And I believed you. M : (After gazing from on to the other. I’m not! I’m glad I found out what kind of a person you are! KIKAY : (Alarmed. I’ve been such a fool! I’m so sorry. MRS. Inay. you’re fickle. darling. M : (Appearing in doorway) – Frances…Oh. But Francesca exists no more. you’re wrong. fickle! TONY : What are you crying about? Be brave…forget…that’s the New York way. you’re wrong! I’m not that kind of a person at all! TONY : Oh “person” is just a relative term. Tony. TONY : That misty girl. then burst into laughter. don’t be angry but I couldn’t live without it! TONY : (Moving towards the radio) – That was Francesca.) – I GIVE UP! (Exits) (Tony and Kikay burst into laughter.KIKAY : And I wouldn’t touch you with a 20-foot pole. I’m glad she’s dead! (Offstage Mrs.

he was immediately released after disproving the claims. Until today. He studied in different schools like San Juan de Letran and University of Santo Tomas.) is one of the most famous figures in Tagalog and Filipino literature. Cruz. The stories that she tells are always meant to teach moral lessons to the children listening to it. writer and a dramatist. Reyes also co-founded Liwayway.Severino Reyes (also known as Lola Basyang. Manila in February 11. Some of the earliest works of Severino Reyes are his involvement in the making of industrial and commercial films and a translator of Tagalog to Spanish texts and vice versa. He died on the 15th of September 1942 wherein he was given a simple and quiet service and procession. No one can deny the important contribution of Severino Reyes during his time in the early part of 20th century until today even after more than fifty years of his death. However. The name Lola Basyang became a generic name in the Philippine society which point out to an old grandmother who loves telling stories for her grandkids. One of the most cited and famous play that he created is the zarzuela No Wounds (Walang Sugat) which tackled the bravery and dedication of the Katipuneros or the local revolutionary army of the Philippines during the later years of Spanish occupation. Tales of Grandmother Basyang (Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang). He got a degree in philosophy from University of Santo Thomas in Manila. Indeed. 1861. 98 . As a playwright. Due to his contribution in the arts and literature in the country. Lola Basyang came from one of his most popular segment in a local magazine in the Philippines.a: Sa loob ng isang bahay *kantas* Julia: Iligpit na ninyo ang mga bastidor at kayo’y umalis na. the name Lola Basyang is still being used by different arts and shows. His alias. Reyes was regarded as the Father of Filipino Plays. He was born in Sta. Reyes was imprisoned in 1896 due to his alleged participation on the revolutionary army of the locals against the Spaniards. Severino Reyes is one of the foundations of Filipino arts and literature. Severino Reyes is regarded as a giant in the arts and culture industry in the Philippines and had produced numerous stories and literary works that are considered classic in his local country. Walang Sugat Unang Yugto Tagpo 1. Reyes is the daughter of the couple Rufino Reyes and Andrea Rivera. a local literary magazine in the Philippines in which he published his series. Liwayway which published a series entitled “Tales of Grandmother Basyang” (Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang).

Mamang Teňong! Teňong: O Lucas. Huwag mo munang tingnan.a Teňong: Julia. A-. ah. na hagod kandila. Saka na lang. Teňong: Hindi pala akin ah! Kung sa amang o sa demonyo ma’y bakit ang letra’y A. na ito ay nakita ko na minarapat mong ilimbag sa panyong ito ang pangalan ko! Julia: Hindi ah! Nagkakamali ka… Hindi para sa iyo ang panyong iyan. titingan ko lamang saglit… Julia: Wag mo na akong tuyain. Julia. N. patawarin mo ako… Julia: Masakit sa akin. eh. ang N ay natin. Teňong. Narciso at F. kapag maganda na. ay Flores! Julia: Hindi mo pangalan iyan. at nakaganti na ako! Teňong: Julia. Sa ibang araw. laging bagay! Teňong: Lumalaganap sa dibdib ko ang masaganang tuwa. sa amang iyan! Iya’y iaalay ko sa kaniya ngayong kaarawan ng Pasko. Teňong: Kasinungalingan! At kanino namang pangalan ito… A. patingin nga ng binuburdahan mo Julia: *ilalayo ang panyo kay Teňong. Teňong: Amang natin frayle? Niloloko mo ba ko? Laking kaalipustahan! Huwag mo kong aglahiin tungkol sa mga taong iya’t madaling magpapanting ang tainga ko! Julia (to self): Aba. pangit nga ang mga daliri ko! Teňong: Ay!  Julia: Anong lalim ng buntong-hininga. pagka’t ang A ay amang. napaano ka? 99 . na parang nilalik na maputing garing. Amang natin frayle. Pipilitin ni Teňong na makita ang panyo pero pilit itong inilalayo ni Julia* Huwag na. Antonio. magalit ka at hindi. Teňong: Posible ba na ang mga daliring ito. nakita mo ba ang baro kong makato? Lucas: Mamang Teňong.Tagpo 2. Lalo ko pang pagagalitin… Teňong: Julia. ipapakita ko sa iyo. at ang F ay frayle. ay may yayariin na hindi maganda? Hala na.a Juana: Julia. masama ang pagkakakayari. N at F? Julia: Oo nga. Julia ko… Hindi na ko nagagalit. magsabi ka nga ng totoo! Para sa Kura nga ba? Kapag di ko sinilaban ay sinungaling ako… *kantas* Tagpo 3.

Kura 2. Ang rasyon na sinasabi ko sa yo ay ang palo. Kura 1. Kakaunti pa! (bibigyan ni Kura 2. si Kapitan Piton. na lahat ng C pinapalitan ng K. masamang tao ito…Kung hindi man mason. 4: Si. hemos traido. Opo. among.0: Mabuti.0: Aba e. hirap na po ang mga katawan nila at nakaaawa po namang mangagsidaing. Marcelo: Hindi po ako kabayo.0: Marcelo. habeis traido el dinero para el Gobernador? Kura 2.Lucas: Dinakip po ang tatang mo ng boluntaryong Sta. Kura 1. kundi. bakit ganoon? (gulat).) Kura 1. at huwag bibigyan ng mabuting tulugan. at ang Juez de Paz. na si Kapitan Inggo ay araw-araw papaluin at ibibilad at bubusan nang tubig ang ilong. patyo ng Gobyerno. cabayo K(a). Kura 1. Among Kura 1.. A = Musika Tagpo 5.0: Hindi pagkain ang itinutukoy ko sa rasyon! Hindi! Ano sa akin kundi sila kumain? Mabuti nga’t mamatay silang lahat.0 si Marcelo ng kuwalta at tabako). maraming mga bilanggong nakatali sa mga rehas. 100 .: Ah. Marcelo: Si Kapitang Inggo ay pinagsaulan ng hininga. maraming palo ang kailangan. Maria! Teňong: (gulat) Diyata’t dinakip si Tatang? Lucas: Opo! Sa Bulacan daw po dadalhin… Teňong: Tiya.a (Bilangguan sa Bulakan. Kura 1. 3. si Kapitan Luis! Ito tagaroon sa amin. Marcelo: Dati po’y tatlong kaban…ngayon po’y lima ng kaban. ay daragdagan ng rasyon. Samakatwid ay limang beses 25. na sa sandaling oras ay kusang lumilipas.: Marcelo. (Suggestion: sana habang ginagawa ‘to pinapakita na si Inggo na inaapi) Marcelo: Ah. Tagpo 4. ay Huston 625 (binibilang sa daliri).0: Kahapon ilan ang namatay? Marcelo: Walo po sana. Marcelo huwag mong kalilimutan. si Kapitan Miguel.0: Si Kapitan Inggo pinagsaulan ng hininga! Narito si Kapitana Putin. ---bababa ang tabing. ha? Marcelo: Opo. Kura 1. at ibig daw makita si Kapitan Inggo na asawa niya. isang linggo na pong paluan ito. among! Kura 1. at isang linggo na po silang walang tulog! Kura 2.0: Loko ito! Anong awa-awa? Nayon walan awa-awa. at makalimang 125. Kung ganoon ay hindi na mamamatay si Kapitan Inggo? Marcelo: Mamamatay pong walang pagsala: wala na pong laman ang dalawang pigi sa kapapalo. at tinutuluyan uli ng limang kaban. marahil filibustero. dalhin dito si Kapitan Inggo. mabuti. Masamang tao iyan. Kura 1. ako po’y paparoon muna’t susundan si Tatang… Juana: Hintay ka sandali’t kami ay sasama. sapagka’t kung siya sumulat …maraming K(a).0.0: (Sa mga kasama niya) Compañeros. duro que duro-awa-awa? Ilang kaban ang rasyon? Ang rasyon ng palo. mabuti mamatay siya.0. nagigit sa pagkakagapos. magtapis ka… Teňong: O mundong sinungaling! Sa bawat sandaling ligaya na kinamtan sa dibdib ay tinutugunan kapagdaka ng matinding dusa! O mundong mandaraya! Ang tuwang idinudulot mo sa amin ay maitutulad sa bango’t halimuyak ng bulaklak. Marcelo: Hindi sila makakain eh! Kura 1. subalit nang mag-uumaga po ay pito lamang. at ang dalawang braso po’y litaw na ang mga buto. si. Julia.0: May buhay-pusa si Kapitan Inggo! Saan naroroon ngayon? Marcelo: Nariyan po sa kabilang silid.0: Hindi ko sinasabing kabayo ikaw. kung isulat niya ang kabayo may K. at makalima po sa isang araw. ha.

Tenyong: Tatang. at sasabihin namin na pakawalan na lahat ang mga bilanggo.) Putin: Inggo ko! Tenyong: Tatang! Julia: Kaawa-awa naman! Tenyong: Mahabaging Langit! Tenyong: Ang dalawang braso’y gitgit na ang laman..0: Dalhin dito pati ang papag... Los 3: Si.0: Kapitana Putin. kay sama mong bata. tingnan mo’t naghihingalo….Inggo… Tenyong: Patay na! (Mangagsisihagulgol ng iyak) ---bababa ang tabing.anak ko…. a fusilar. es necesario deciral General que empiece ya a fusilar a los ricos e ilustrados de la provincia.a Manila. di makababayad sa utang na madla. babae at lalaki. Salamat po. Putin. ikaw po’y ititihaya ko nang hindi mangalay… Inggo: Huwag na….Ang kaluluwa ko’y inihain ko na kay Bathala. Tenyong at mga dalaw.a 101 .Tatang.a (Mga babae’t lalaki): Di na kinahabagan kahit kaunti man. (Sarili) Kung nababatid lamang ng mga ito ang pinag-usapan ng apat na lilo! Nakalulunos ang kamangmangan! (Ipapasok si Kapitang Inggo na nakadapa sa isang papag na makitid. ama kong ibig. naglabas ang buto sa mga tinalian. eh! Kura 1. Putin: Opo. Julia. Putin: Inggo ko.) Tagpo 7. lipos na ang sugat ang buong katawan.0: (Sa mga kasama) Despues de ver el Gobernador.) Kura 1.0: Kapitana Putin.a Putin: Tenyong.) Kura masama ang lagay ni tatang. masdan mo po…. Julia: Tenong ko’y huwag ng isipin mo pa ang ipaghiganti buhay ng iyong ama. among.hindi na maaari…luray luray na ang katawan…Tayo’y maghihiwalay na walang pagsala! Bunso ko. Tenyong: Inang.Marcelo: Hindi po makalakad. kapag ka namatay oh. si Tenyong ay hindi at ang mga ibang lalaki. huwag mong pabayaan ang inang mo! Putin. lahat ng gawa ng frayleng khul. kaawa-awa naman sila. at sinabi ko sa Alkalde na huwag nang papaluin. Huwag po kayong maniniwalang sasabihin niya sa Gobernador na si tatang ay pakawalan! Bagkus pa ngang ipagbibiling patayin na ngang tuluyan. si a fuislar. (Papasok ang mga pare. tatang…. asahan mo po at igaganting pilit kahit na ano ang aking masapit.OO’t di ko matingnan. Kura 1. porque esto va mal. bakit ka hindi humalik ng kamay sa among? Tenyong: Inang. puso ko’y sinusubhan sa ginawa kay amang ng mga taong hunghang ang awa’y nilimot sa kalupitan. Tagpo 8.Inang. ay Putin…Juana-Julia…kayo na lamang ang inaasahan kong kakalinga sa kanila…. (Mangagsisihalik ng kamay. Tagpo 6.. among. sa ulo ng prayle isa sa kikitil. mano na nga po…. Juana. cogemeros el tren en la Estacion de Guiguinto. nakahahambal! Ay! Ang anyo ni amang! Ang lahat ng ito’y gawa ng pari na sa Pilipinas siyang naghahari lalang ni Lusiper sa demonyong lahi kay Satang malupit nakikiugali…Ah. ngayon makikita mo na ang tao mo. buto sampung taba. Lalaki’t babae: Wari mukha nang bangkay…. mga dalaw.a (Mga Relihiyoso. May diyos na tanto na nakakakakita.0: Ya lo creo que va mal. Tenyong: Diyos na may kapangyarihan! Ano’t inyong ipinagkaloob ang ganitong hirap? Tenyong: Taya ng loob ko at binabanta-banta mga taong iya’y tadtarin man yata lahat niyang laman. pariseos ay daig sa magpahirap. dadalhin dito. parito kayo. (Magsisilabas ang mga dalaw). Kura 2. ang mga kamay pong nanatay ng kapwa ay hindi dapat hagkan. huwag nang ibibilad at ipinagbilin ko na bibigyan na ng mabuting tulugan…Kami ay aakyat muna sandali sa Gobernador.

Ikaw irog ko’y aking itatago sa loob ng dibdib. kung siya’y masambit ipagtanggol ka sa mga panganib. Tenyong! Tenyong: Julia! Julia: Matitiis mo bang lisanin ang ina mo. Tenyong: Sa Diyos nananalig.Putin: Tenong. lahi ni Lucifer! Magsisi ka’t oras mo na! 102 . mamaya’y si Julia. Ang mga sugat mo’y aking huhugasan ng masaganang luhang sa mata’y nunukal.) Ang larawang ito’y aking isasabit sa tapat ng puso’y huwag iwawaglit at sa mga digma. (Titigil) Yayao na ako! Julia: Ako’y lilisanin? Balot yaring puso ng matinding lumbay. ako ay hinihintay ng mga kapatid. ng paglagot ng matibay na tanikalang mahigpit sa tatlong daang taong sinasangayad. at nabatid ko tuloy nasasabihin daw nila sa Heneral na tayo’y pagbabarilin na. ikaw’y kalaguyo. “ngayo’y kapanahunang ako’y ibangon na ninyo sa pagkalugami.a (Tugtuging nagpapakilala ng damdamin. datapwa’t sa sarili mong loob. huwag nang mangamba. Darating na ibig. sa tabi ng puso. Huwag ipagdusa ang aking pagpanaw. Tumugtog na ang oras ng pananawagan ng naaaping ina. naaliping ina. Tenyong: Huwag nang matakot. huwag kang umalis! Tenyong: Julia. nangangatal ang buong katwan ko.a (Tenyong at mga kasamang lalaki. sa pinto ng nagpaubayang anak. Tenyong: Tayo na sa estasyon ng Guiguinto. Tenyong: Juling aking sinta! Julia: Oh. tangnan at isusuot kay Tenyong ang gargantilya. Tenyong: Ang ulap Julia ko’y di mananatili. dito sa dibdib ko’y tumitimo ang nakalulunos niyang himutok. Julia ko. Julia: Mangungulimlim na ang sa matang ilaw. Pagdating ng bahaging masaya ay maririnig ang sigawan sa loob. gayo’t ganito ang kaniyang anyo? Hindi mo ba alam na ikaw lamang ang tanging makapagaaliw sa kaniya? Bakit mo siya iiwan? Tenyong: Julia. hindi maaari ang ako ay di pasa-parang. nagsisikip ang aking dibdib. Ako’y tutupad lang ng aking panata sa pakikianib sa mga kasama. Isa pa: Walang patawad! (Nang mangagsiayon.) Julia: (Biglang lilingon) Te…! Yumao na! (Papasok) Tagpo 10. Isa: Mga tampalasan. Nang hindi malubos ang pagkasiphayo sa mga sakuna. Oras na. Mga prayle at mga kasama ni Tenyong at si Tenyong. alang-alang sa paglingap mo sa akin? Sa bagay na ito. narinig ko ang salitaan nila. pahatid kang agad sa aking kandungan. di ba si inang ay kakalingain mong parang tunay na ina. hindi na yata ako makasasapit sa atin! Julia. ang sakit ay tagos hanggang likod! Ay Tenong. magsikuha ng gulok. tunay ang sinabi mo. hindi ako makahinga. Isa: Ako’y merong iniingatan. nguni’t hindi kaila sa iyo na ang maililingap ng isang lalaking kamukha mo ay di katumbas ng isang babaing gaya ko. Julia: Wala akong maitututol.) Tenyong: Mga kasama. at ang may rebolber ay dalhin. /Kung saka-sakaling irog ko’y masaktan. Tenyong: Huwag mamanglaw. ang ina natin ay nangangailangan ng tunay nating pagdamay. hindi dapat tulutang…mga iaanak natin ay magising pa sa kalagim-lagim na kaalipin. Ang puso ko’y parang pinipitpit sa palihang bakal! Tenong: Langit na mataas! Tagpo 9. ang nakapanlulumo niyang daing: “Mga anak ko. si Tenyong ay nakahuli sa paglakad. ano ang ipagaalaala ko? Julia: Oo nga. Tenyong.” anya. bumalik ka agad nang di ikamatay. Julia: Puso ko’y dinadalaw ng malaking hapis. Tenyong ng buhay! Tenyong: (Anyong aalis) (Sarili) Kaawa-awa! (Tuluyang aalis. Isa: Nalalaman mo bang sila’y mangagsisilulan? Tenyong: Oo. tanggapin na lamang ang huling tagubilin! (Huhubarin ang gargantilyang may medalyita. Julia: Tenyong na poon ko’y kahimanawari. Aming tutubusin. ang pagluluwalhati.) Isa: Ah. Isa pa: Mayroon din ako. Tenyong. Magliwayway uli’t dilim ay mapawi. sa lalabas si Julia) Julia: Tenyong.

taksil! Kura 1. at kung ano ang pasya ng isip ay siyang paiiralin: ang puso sa panahong ito ay hindi na gumaganap ng maganda niyang katungkulan. Tenyong. .0: Desgraciadas! Tenong: Walang utang na hindi pinagbayaran! Wakas ng Unang Bahagi Ikalawang Bahagi I TAGPO (Bahay ni Julia) (Julia at Juana) Salitain Juana: Julia. Julia: Ang tanggapin pong mahinusay ng puso ko. Ay! Magdumali ka’t daluhan. huwag mo akong bayaang mapasa ibang kandungan. Juana: Julia. nagbago nang lahat ang lakad ng panahon… ngayo’y kung may lalaking nangingibig ay tinatanggap ng mga mata at itinutuloy dito (hihipuin ang noo) dito sa isip at di na sa puso. igayak ang loob mo. bugtong na anak at nakaririwasa…ano pa kulang? Julia: Ako po. inang ko. sabihin mong hinihintay ko siya. ay bukas-makalawa’y mag-aasawa ka rin lamang… ay kung mapapasa-moro. Monica: Opo (Papasok) III TAGPO (Julia-mamaya’y Miguel. sila’y pagpapakitaan nang mainam. inang ko. siya’y nagpapahingalay na… Julia: Nakasisindak. ako’y natatawa lamang sa iyo. diyata' ako’y iyong natiis na hindi mo na sinilip sa ganitong pagkahapis. Julia? Hindi naman siya pangit… Kung tutuusin nga’y siya’y lipi ng mabubuting tao. Pari Teban. Juana: (Natatawa) Julia. ang hinahangad ko po ay…. ikaw ay bata pa nga – anong pusu-puso ang sinasabi mo? Totoo nga’t noong una’y kapag may lalaking nangingibig ay tinatatanggap ng mga mata at itinutuloy sa puso.. Julia: Kung pumarito po sila. Tadeo. . at Juana) Musika Dalit ni Julia Oh. madali ka….Tenong: Ikaw ang natay sa ama ko. ang mga pangungusap mo! Ako po’y hindi makasunod sa masamang kalakaran ng panahon. ay di kausapin mo po! Juana: Bakit ba ganiyan ka makasagot. Subalit ngayo’y iba na. tubusin sa kapanganiban. 103 . sabihin mo at nang maintindihan ko. Papunta na si Miugel at ang kanyang ama. dito po ako makatatakwil sa tapat na udyok ng aking puso. halika. ay mapasa-Kristiyano na! (Papasok) Julia: (Sarili) Moro yata si Tenyong! II TAGPO (Julia at Monica) Salitain Julia: Monicaaaaaaaaaa. Juana: Ay ano? Duluhan mo. Halika. may kinalulugdan ka na bang iba? Julia: Wala po! Juana: Kung wala ay bakit ka sumusuway sa aking iniaalok? Nalaman mo na.0: Perdon. Monicaaaaaaaaaa Monica: (Sa loob) Pooo! Julia: Halika!(Lalabas si Monica) Pumaroon ka kay Lukas. Tenyong niyaring dibdib. tila wari . ay hindi naghahangad ng mga kabutihang tinuran mo. ang kagalingan mong sarili ang aking ninananais. at kung ano ang kaniyang tibok ay siyang sinusunod. . patawarin ninyo! Kura 2. Ang wika ko baga.

Juana: Totoo po ang sabi mo. hindi ko po nasagutan… Tadeo: Napakadungo ka! Ay Ige. Juana. kung iyo nang maibaon sa malungkot na pantiyon. e. tantuin niyong kaming mga pari ay hindi mabubuhay sa panay na hangin. Julia: Adios! Tagpo 4. among. tila yata itong pagkabuhay namin ay lagi na lamang sa hirap… noong araw kami ay walang inaasahan kundi kaunting suweldo dahil sa kami’y alipin ng mga prayle. ngayon ko napaglirip na ang mga kabanalang ginawa ng mga tao noong araw ay pawang pakunwari at pakitang-tao lamang alinsunod sa malaking takot sa mga prayle.Marunong kang pumili. at mukhang lalabas na mabuting asawa…. tayo na’t nagkayari na kami ng kaniyang ina. narito pala ang among! Mano po. wala nang pamisa… ang mga patay ay hindi na dinadapit. Miguel: Ay! Aling Julia…ay. Teban: Kaya. Teban: Masama. kamusta? Juana: Mabuti po among. Miguel. walang pagsala! At kung patay na abutin itong iyong nalimutan ang bangkay ay dalhin na lamang sa malapit na libingan. Aling Julia! Ay. Juana: Bakit dami mo pong mga pinakakaing mga pamangking dalaga? P. P. Juana. Tadeo: (Kay Miguel) Lapitan mo. di-malayong kaming mga klerigo ay mauwi sa pagsasaka. Teban: Siya nga. Julia! Juana. tayo na’t baka ka pa mahalata… P. Julia ko! Tadeo: Wala ka nang nasabi kundi pulos na “ay”? Hindi ka nagpahayag ng pagsinta mo? Miguel: Sinabi ko pong malapit na…. Ang inang mo? Julia: Nariyan po sa labas. Miguel: Ay…salamat (tuwang-tuwa) Julia: (Sarili) Ipinagkayari na pala ako ni Inang? Tadeo: Ano ba ang sinabi mo? Miguel: Sinabi ko pong… ay Julia! Ay. wala naman kaming kinikita.. Miguel: Baka po ako murahin ah! Tadeo: Bakit ka mumurahin? Juana: Kumusta po naman kayo. a. P. tatawagin ko po. Adios Juana… Magpapakumpisal pa. (Lalabas si Juana). Teban: Oo nga. (Papasok).ma…ma…malapit na po….a Lucas: Magandang araw po…! 104 . oh! Tenyong. P. subalit ngayon nga. dalawin minsan man isang taon. Teban: Hindi. Teban: Magandang bata si Julia. among? P. ulilang inaampon ko. Teban: Ah. Juana: Aba. Tadeo: Malapit na ang alin? Miguel: Itinatanong nga po sa akin kung alin ang malapit na eh. ang mabuting mamili. kami na ang namamahala. P. hindi kahiya-hiya. Teban: (Pumalakpak) Kaganda ng dalit mo Julia…napakalumbay lamang… Julia: (Gulat) Narito po pala kayo! Patawarin po ninyo at hindi ko nalalamang kayo’y nangagsirating…Kahiya-hiya po. Huling samo. P. si Miguel po’y hindi maalam makiusap. Julia: Alin po ang malapit na? Miguel: Ang…ang…ang… Julia: (Sarili) Ano kaya ang ibig sabihin nito? Tadeo: Miguel. Juana. Tadeo: Ako. Adios. among. mainam ang dalit baka di na abutin si Julia’y humihinga pa… papanaw.

Subalit ang tanging nais ko ay ihatid lamang sa kanya ang sulat na ito. iniwan at sukat itong bayan. ba’t naguumiyak si Juana? Anong ginawa mo? Miguel: Kinausap ko lamaong po tapos pumadiyak-padiyak na at ako’y iniwan… *tinatawag ni Juana si Julia* Juana: Kinakausap ka lamang ni Miguel… tapos nagalit ka na? Julia (sa sarili): Aba nakapagsumbong pa ang tunggak! Julia: Sinabi ko pos a kanya’y huwag akong kausapin sapagkat masakit po ang ulo ko. At wala po siyang sagot.. ang totoo nga’y hilig ko ang putukan. Tagpo 2. Sige po. Julia: Wala na. Tagpo 5. araw at mga bituin. Julia: Ano ba ang bilin sa iyo? Lucas: Sabihin ko raw po sa inyo na siya’y uuwi na. Ngunit kung kailangan niyo talaga ay aking hahanapin siya. 105 . Kabo: Hari na kayo Sarhento: At ang rebesino? IKATLONG YUGTO Lucas: Tao po! Tao poooo… (repeat if necessary) Julia: Aba Lucas! Kailan ka dumating? Nakita mo ba siya? Lucas: Kararating ko pa lamang. nabigay ko na.a Miguel: Julia. Julia: Oo. Babanggitin uli ang buwan. Venus at marami pang kaulolan.a *musika* Tagpo 6. nilimot mo na ako! --music— Tagpo 3.. Sa oras na sasagot na siya ay bigla namang dumating ang kaaway Julia: Kung gayo’y napapalaban si Tenong? Naku! Hindi kaya masugatan! Kay laking panganib! Lucas: Pinaalis po akod ako ni Kapitan Tenyong at baka raw mapahamak pa ‘ko at wala nang makapagbalita sa inyo. Kung silay magkaroon ng ligamgam. alimuum at huni ng ibon… Miguel: Bakit ba ayaw mo kong sagutin? O talang maliwanag. totoog masakit na ang ulo ko. Sarhento: Kami ay walang malas pa lamang. At opo. Lucas: Maaasahan niyo pong darating ito sa kanya. Sana’y makabalik ka agad. Marami na kong utang sa’yo. Naintindihan mo ba? Marteng matapang Julia: Tenong. ako’y aalis na. daig mo ang araw na bagong sumikat. at ang kumausap sa akin ay ibig kong… Miguel: Bakit baa yaw mo kong sagutin? Julia: Masakit ang ulo ko. Pagkatapos ang ulan. Julia: At sino naman ang nagsabi sa inyo niyan? Miguel: Sinabi mo na ang kumakausap sa iyo’y ibig mong… Julia: (laugh) Ulol nga pala? Ang kumausap sa akin ay ibig ko nang … dikdikin. Lucas. tala. salamat at ngayo’y napapanood ko na ang liwanag ni Febo Julia: Narito na naman ang ulol na ito.a Kabo: Limang buenas na kayo. Sabihin niyo lang po… Julia: Salamat. Lucas. Kung wala nap o kayong iuutos. ako’y aalis na. maliban lang kung.. Bawat tunog na nadidinig ko ay tila nginangatngat ng aso ang ulo ko. ibalita mo sa kanila na wala nang Kastila rito.Julia: Lucas! Tuloy ka.a Juana: Miguel. Ngunit lalo pa niya akong kinausap at sinabi pang ako si Febo. Miguel: Ay. Julia: Maaasahan ko kaya? Lucas: Marahil po. Alam mo ba kung nasaan si mamang Tenyong? Lucas: Hindi po. Julia: Miguel. sumagot din! Salamat at ako’y iniibig mo na. Subalit kung ako lamang ang masusunod ay tutulong po ako sa kanila! Hindi ako natatakot sa mga putok. Lucas. Huwag mo akong kausapin.

tinatanong ka ng magiging biyenan mo. hindi ba nagkakasakit? Juana: Wala naman pong nagkakasakit sa amin. mukha ngang manununog. manununog pa! Tagpo 4. Hindi naman po siya engrandeng engrande.a Miguel: Ah. ang tatang mo’y hindi ba paririto? Miguel: Patungo nap o rito. Tadeo: (to Juana) Balae.. dumaan lamang sa bahay ni Fiscal Manuel. 106 . parehas pa rin ng dati. Sabihin mo sa kanya na hindi na matutuloy sa Sabado. hindi po dapat iwan. Julia: Ano itong narinig ko?! Ibig pang pabilisan ang pagsabi ng mabangis na kamatayan! Mga walang awa! Juana: Tatanungin ko po si Julia kung pumapayag siya. at sisita pa raw po ang lahat ng orquesta Julia (sarili): Tunggok na nga. narito na po si Tatang Tadeo: Ano balae. huwag na matingnan Kay Tadeo: ikaw matanda ka’y Kita’y uunatan Mga walang awa. Huwag na nating hintayin pa ang ikadalawampu’t lima. Venus. Tagpo 5. subalit pumunta siya roon para pasindahan ang lahat ng simbahan. (to Julia) Julia ipinakikiusap ng biyenan mo na sa Sabado na lang daw ang kasal. Magaalas-dose na nga yata eh! Juana: Julia naghihintay na raw si Pari Teban Julia: Hayaan niyong maghintay siya! Si Tenong po’y mamamatay na… Kaaawa-awa naman. ha… Sugatan lamang Lumayas ka Miguel. sabihin mo p okay Julia na totoong tanghali na. Tadeo: Miguel. Si Miguel lamang ang palaging sinisinat… Si Julia? Juana: Narito po. Julia! Julia! Pumarito ka.a Recitado: Magsilayo kayo. maghintay na! Ikaw ay umuwi na at dumaan kay Fiscal Manuel. Siya nga pala. ibig ko’y ikaw ang pipili ng damit mong bibilhin. Ayaw niyang pagwikaan ng mga tala. mabuhay ang kasal! *kanta* Miguel: Julia! Nasan ka na? Naghihintay na si Pari Teban! Ano bang tagal ng salubungan yan? Napakatagal nga naman talaga! Julia: Pakasal kang mag-isa mo. ako sana’y may ipakikisuyo sa iyo na isang mumunting bagay. ako’y bitiwan Dumating na ha. (Kay Miguel): Julia lang ang itatawag mo sa kanya. may banda’t orchestra Koro (sigaw) Mabuhay ang Filipinas. sabihin mo pos a kanila na antabayanan ang araw na napagkasunduan! Bakit po minamadali nila? Juana: Siyanga po naman. Juana: Opo Julia (sarili) Kay bigat nga naman talaga ng duko ko sa matandang ito. ha. Julia: Inang.. Tadea: Hija..Juana: Ganoon naman pala eh.. Kamusta naman po kayo? Tadeo: MAbuti. Miguel: Kay sama naman ng sagot nito! Aling Juana.. sa araw ng Sabadong darating ay iraos na natin ang mga bunso. maghintay na po tayo. ah mga kuhila! Koro.

taught school and became a university administrator. Heneral: Ginoong medico! Tignan niyo nga po ang Kapitan Tenong! Mamamatay pala. na yayamang siya ay mamamatay rin sa oras na ito. During the war years he studied at the University of Illinois. Santos was a government pensionado to the United States in 1941. and Harvard and served with the Philippine government in exile in Washington. of Pampango parents from Lubao. mangyaring tawagin ang kura nang makapagkumpisal ang Kapitang Tenong Miguel: Hindi po. Juana: Julia.Juana: Mamamatay pala! Ginoong Heneral. Bienvenido N. In 1958 he was a Rockefeller Foundation fellow at the Writers Workshop in the University of Iowa 107 . ay mangyaring ipakasal sa kanya si Julia” Juana: Ipakasal sa kanya si Julia?! Bakit? *nagtatanong din sina Miguel at Tadeo* Kura: Sapagkat noon p ama’y may kasunduan na sila’y magpapakasal sa oras na ito. at kay Ginoong Miguell. Ipinagmamakaawa niya sa iyo Juana. Ginoo. ang tao pong nasa mahalagang oras ng kamatayan. ako nap o ang tatawag Kura: Ako’y may ipahahayag sa inyo na isang malaking bagay… “ang Kapitan Tenong na sa oras na ito’y lilipat sa baying tahimik. D. Columbia. at malapit ng dumulok sa hukuman ng Diyos ay hindi na nagsasasabi ng kasinungalingan.. Santos Born in Tondo.C. Juana: AH totoo nga! Lilong anak! Sukab na pamangkin! Julia: Inang! Juana: HINDI KITA ANAK! *kanta parts* Bienvenido N. In 1946 he returned to the Philippines. masama raw po ang lagay ni Kapitan Tenong. Manila. May salitaan nga ba kayo ni Tenong? Julia: Inang. ay may huling kahilingan. halika.

he was a Visiting Writer and Artist at De La Salle University. looking very straight and proper since it was seven in the morning and the starch in our long-sleeved uniform had not yet given way. He was a Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Wichita State University from 1973 to 1982. His works include the following: Novels • The Man Who (Thought He) Looked Like Robert Taylor • Brother My Brother • The Praying Man • The Volcano • Villa Magdalena • What the Hell For You Left Your Heart in San Francisco Short fiction collections • Dwell in the Wilderness • Scent of Apples • The Day the Dancers Came • You Lovely People Poetry • Distances: In Time • The Wounded Stag: 54 Poems Nonfiction • Memory's Fictions: A Personal History • Postscript to a Saintly Life • Letters: Book 1 • Letters: Book 2 The Chieftest Mourner He was my uncle because he married my aunt (even if he had not come to her these past ten years). I tried to be brave while I read that my uncle had actually 108 . so when the papers brought the news of his death. and Bicol University in Legazpi City gave him honorary degrees in Letters and Humanities. I felt that some part of me had died. his alma mater. the University of the Philippines. and was awarded an honorary degree in humane letters upon his retirement.where he later taught as a Fulbright exchange professor. In late 1986 to 1987.I was boarding then at a big girls' college in Manila and I remember quite vividly that a few other girls were gathered about the lobby of our school. He has received a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship and a Republic Cultural Heritage Award in Literature. too. In 1981.

He scribbled a dedication on them and instructed me to give them to my aunt. my aunt put me in a car and sent me to his hotel with a letter from her. only. including the number of crabs she ate for lunch and the amazing fact that she was getting fatter and fatter without the benefit of Scott's Emulsion or Ovaltine at all. I never got a taste of Uncle's lemonade.It began to be a habit with Aunt Sophia to drop in for a periodic recital of woe to which Mama was a sympathetic audience. he had probably died in her embrace!Perhaps I received an undue amount of commiseration for the death of the delinquent husband of my aunt. said that I shouldn't be so unhappy because my uncle was now with the other great poets in heaven--at which I really howled in earnest because my uncle had not only deserted poor Aunt Sophia but had also been living with another woman these many years and. knowing the kind of husband he would make. It gave Aunt Sophia profound satisfaction to relay the report of friends on the number of creases on Uncle's shirt or the appalling decrease in his weight. She said that he had never meant to marry. but I remembered that shortly after he went away. Everybody suddenly spoke in a low voice and Ning. and when he was really drunk. Uncle ushered me into his room very formally and while I looked all around the place. she took me to the sink and began to wash the inside of my mouth with soap and water while calling upon a dozen of the saints to witness the act. he inquired after my aunt. as printed. she tied him to a chair with a strong rope to teach him a lesson. Uncle smiled his beautiful somber smile and drew some poems from his desk. While I sipped solemnly at my glass. most horrible of all. but that her beauty drove him out of his right mind. and when I said ha-ha. She never saw him drunk again.I was very little at that time. and on those occasions he always tried to make up for his past sins. To her. but it wasn't my fault because I never really lied about anything. I found myself answering with alacrity. he told me that I could have some lemonade every time I came to visit him. covered only his boyhood and early manhood because our adviser cut out everything that happened after he was married. some months after his demise. as in his poetry. My aunt always forgave him but one day she had more than she could bear. I made much show of putting the empty glass down but Uncle was dense to the hint. my poem entitled The Rose Was Not So Fair O Alma Mater was captioned "by the niece of the late beloved Filipino Poet. until I got to the line which said that he was "the sweetest lyre that ever throbbed with Malayan chords. for as soon as he was able to.My aunt used to relate that he was an extremely considerate man--when he was sober. he walked out the door and never came back. I couldn't possibly refuse when I was asked to write on My Uncle--The Poetry of His Life. The topic of the conversation was always the latest low on Uncle's state of misery. It wasn't my doing either when." I was still being brave all the way down the lengthy eulogies. he prepared a special kind of lemonade for the two of us." Something caught at my throat and I let out one sob--the rest merely followed. She said that the last half of his life was not exactly poetic. I was sorry he poured it out into wee glasses because it was unlike any lemonade I had ever tasted." And that having been printed. who worshipped me. the fact that Uncle was getting thinner proved conclusively that he was suffering as a result of the separation. When the girls hurried over to me to see what had happened. She asked me to say ha-ha. At the door. although I still maintain that in his vices. It looked as if Uncle 109 . I could only point to the item on the front page with my uncle's picture taken when he was still handsome. he followed closely the pattern of the great poets he admired. To my surprise. nobody thought to ask me just how close an uncle he was. however.been "the last of a distinct school of Philippine poets. The article. And then all of a sudden she looked at me queerly and made a most peculiar request of me. Aunt Sophia was so pleased with the poems that she kissed me. I was happy to report all details of my aunt's health.

for that horrid woman never allowed him to have his own way. She was young. I suppose protocol had something to do with it.When I was about eleven. Later I began to appreciate the subtlety of the Spanish la mujer esa. (A surprising number of connotations were attached to these terms. It was about this time that I took an interest in the Spanish taught in school. I directed my gaze in the same direction. I wanted to ask my aunt who she was but after embracing me when I arrived. she kept her eyes stolidly fixed before her. At first I couldn't gather much except that Uncle was not any more the main topic. obviously a brother or a nephew. Aunt Sophia was sitting in one of the front pews at the right section of the chapel. a confusing situation ensued. the way he was reported to be thinner each time. My eyes fell upon a cluster of white flowers placed at the foot of the casket. being a loyal wife. a woman of means. Across the aisle from her was a very slight woman in her early thirties who was dressed in a dramatic black outfit with a heavy veil coming up to her forehead. A young man. like that personage himself. but one day in school all the girls were asked to come down to the lecture room--Uncle was to read some of his poems! Up in my room. when a girl came up and excitedly bubbled that she had seen my uncle--and my aunt." I looked at Aunt Sophia and didn't see anything dove-like about her. At the front was the president's immense wreath leaning heavily backward.And so I learned about the woman. she even denied him those little drinks which he took merely to aid him into poetic composition. Because the woman brazenly followed Uncle everywhere. calling herself his wife. It was a woman by the name of Esa--or so I thought she was called. thinking not so much of herself but of his career.) Aunt Sophia. 2 had decamped.would not be able to hold much longer. the faintest trace of his somber smile still on his face. After a while a system was worked out by the mutual friends of the different parties. was bending over her solicitously. as though in deference to it. The paradox of the situation.I hadn't seen Uncle since the episode of the lemonade. 2 for the woman. accomplished.The morning wasn't far gone when I arrived at the chapel and there were only a few people present. I was puzzling over who was to be the official widow at his funeral when word came that I was to keep Aunt Sophia company at the little chapel where the service would be held. because Uncle didn't have much weight to start with. was that Aunt Sophia was now crowding Mama off the sofa and yet she wasn't looking very happy either. Something about her made me suddenly aware that Aunt Sophia's bag looked paunchy and worn at the corners. however. Everytime I cam into the room when Mama and Aunt Sophia were holding conference. My musings were interrupted.I tiptoed over to the muse before Uncle as he lay in the dignity of death. I concluded with relief that No. were other wreaths arranged according to the rank and prominence of the people who had sent them. the talk would suddenly be switched to Spanish. grieved that Uncle should have been ensnared by such a woman. I was indisposed. When people mentioned Uncle's wife. there began to be a difference. I looked at the slight woman in black and knew of a sudden that she was the woman. and a pace behind. who was surprisingly young and so very modern!I couldn't go down after all. Knowing him so well. It was ingeniously fashioned in the shape of a dove and it bore the inscription "From the Loyal One. I took 110 . however. I stopped to fasten a pink ribbon to my hair thinking the while how I would play my role to perfection--for the dear niece was to be presented to the uncle she had not seen for so long. No. She had on a black and white print which managed to display its full yardage over the seat. 1 came to stand for Aunt Sophia and No. it became more so when he died.Complicated as the situation was when Uncle was alive. she was positive that he was unhappier than ever. there was no way of knowing whether they referred to my aunt or to the woman. It was also at this time that Aunt Sophia exclaimed over my industry at the piano--which stood a short distance from the sofa.

There was more talking back and forth. She wore the same black dress but her thick hair was now carefully swept into a regal coil. going one pitch higher.We made up for leaving ahead of the woman by getting back to the chapel early. I understand that you want me to leave. They had the same deep eye-sockets and hollow cheek-bones which had lent a sensitive expression to the poet's face but which on them suggested t. looked even larger. The eyebrows of the women around me started working and finally.. looked relieved. There were two women. surveying the scene before they marched self-consciously towards the casket. her eyes. which had been striking enough. Aunt Sophia. and eyes darting toward the woman at the left." the poet's sisters said. The choice must have been difficult when they knew both. isn't it? Now that he is dead and cannot speak for me you think I should quietly hide in a corner?" The woman's 111 . everybody was polite.I went over to sit with my aunt who was gazing not so steadily at nothing in particular. slithered--either towards my aunt or towards the woman.At first the women spoke in whispers. As though to give balance to the scene. The only good thing about it was that now I could hear everything distinctly. They paused a long time at the door. they closed in on the woman.b. I could appreciate my aunt's delicadeza in this matter but then got hungry and therefore grew resourceful: I called a taxi and told her it was at the door with the meter on.The friends of the poet began to come.. do you? You think perhaps you can bully me out of here?" the woman said. although I was merely a disproportionate shadow behind her. Later in the morning a horde of black-clad women. Didn't you come here purposely to start one?""We're only trying to make you see reason. the scrawniest of the poet's relations whispered to the others and slowly. that the president himself was expected to come in the afternoon. and then they wrenched themselves from the spot and moved--no. she was sobbing. but there was something grimly ludicrous about my uncle’s funeral. I thought their faces showed a little disappointment at finding the left side of the chapel empty.. Still. The women almost invariably came to talk to my aunt whereas most of the men turned to the woman at the left. together. Uncle's clan certainly made short work of my aunt for when I returned. the young man stood his full height near the woman to offset the collective bulk of Aunt Sophia and myself. If you think of the dead at all."It's you who are creating a scene. the sisters and cousins of the poet. swept into the chapel and came directly to where my aunt sat. a Dennis Morgan chin. But at about three. a mischievous cowlick. it became obvious that neither my aunt nor the woman wished to leave ahead of the other. wistful eyes. the woman arrived and I perceived at once that there was a difference in her appearance. one of the women said. As though to comfort her.."So you want to put me in a corner.I always feel guilty of sacrilege everytime I think of it. I recognized some important Malacañang men and some writers from seeing their pictures in the papers. For a long time she did not come and when Uncle's kinswomen arrived. seemingly unmindful of each other.Toward lunchtime. The air became dense with the sickly-sweet smell of many flowers clashing and I went over to get my breath of air. especially when I caught him looking in our direction. her skin glowing."Shh! Please don't create a notice of him even though he had elegant manners. on the other hand. Another pause there. and a pin which testified that he belonged to what we girls called our "brother college. As I glanced back I had a crazy surrealist impression of mouths opening and closing into Aunt Sophia's ear.. and suddenly the conversation wasn't polite any more. each taking possession of her portion of the chapel just as though stakes had been laid.""Let's see who has the reason. in a whisper which I heard from the door. and then the voices rose a trifle. yet revealing by this studied disregard that each was very much aware of the other. Aunt Sophia's unwillingness lasted as long as forty centavos." I showed him that he absolutely did not exist for me.

. Fitfully. but she shook free. and in a few quick steps she was there before the casket. taking it up for Aunt Sophia. She stood wordless while her young protector. 112 . That's what you want."Now you listen. "All right. desperately. but it seemed like a long time. because you were there. During the war when the poet was hard up do you suppose I deserted him? Whose jewels do you think we sold when he did not make money. you scandalous woman.. It may have been a second that she stood there.""Por Dios! Make her stop it--somebody stop her mouth!" cried Aunt Sophia. her eyes going up to heaven.."The woman's face went livid with shock and rage. I saw what I had waited to see. When he was ill. you--you shameless bitch.. his eyes blazing... And then the sobs came..... looking down upon that infinitely sad smile on Uncle's face.... who was it who stayed at his side."All right." she blurted.. and who peddled his books and poems to the publishers so that he could pay for the hospital and doctor's bills? Did any of you come to him then? Let me ask you that! Now that he is dead you want me to leave his side so that you and that vieja can have the honors and have your picture taken with the president..." the scrawny one said. came between her and the poet's kinswomen. "Let me ask you.. But somehow it wasn't funny at all.. to have a decent and respectable funeral without scandal. she tugged at her eyes and nose with her widow's veil. "We don't care for the honors--we don't want it for ourselves. But we want the poet to be honored in death. You can have him--all that's left of him!"At that moment before she fled. turning about. Who took care of him during all those months. "You've created enough scandal for him in life--that's why we couldn't go to him when he was sick. Her face began to twitch." one of the clan said.""Yes. and the least you can do is to leave him in peace as he lies there. The young man took hold of her shoulders gently to lead her away. isn't it--to pose with the president.voice was now pitched up for the benefit of the whole chapel. Big noisy sobs that shook her body and spilled the tears down her carefully made-up face. The mascara had indeed run down her cheeks.

Nick Joaquin
Quijano de Manila is the pen name of Nick Joaquin. He started writing before the war and his first story, “Three Generations” has been hailed as a masterpiece. He has been recipient of almost all the prestigious awards in literature and the arts, including the National Artist Award for Literature in 1976. He was also conferred, among other recognitions, the Republic Cultural Heritage Award for Literature in 1961, the Journalist of the Year Award in the early 1960s, the Book of the Year Award in 1979 for his Almanac for Manileños, the national Book award for several of his works, the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, Creative Communication Arts (the Asian counterpart of Nobel Prize) in 1996, and the Tanglaw ng Lahi Award in 1997.


Dr. Leonardo Quitangon, a soft-spoken, mild-mannered, cool-tempered Caviteno, was still fancy-free at 35 when he returned to Manila, after six years abroad. Then, at the University of Santo Tomas, where he went to reach, he met Lydia Cabading, a medical intern. He liked her quiet ways and began to date her steadily. They went to the movies and to baketball games and he took her a number of times to his house in Sta. Mesa, to meet his family. Lydia was then only 23 and looked like a sweet unspoiled girl, but there was a slight air of mystery about her. Leonardo and his brothers noticed that she almost never spoke of her home life or her childhood; she seemed to have no gay early memories to share with her lover, as sweethearts usually crave to do. And whenever it looked as if she might have to stay out late, she would say: "I'll have to tell my father first". And off she would go, wherever she was, to tell her father, though it meant going all the way to Makati, Rizal, where she lived with her parents in a new house on Zapote Street. The Quitangons understood that she was an only child and that her parents were, therefore, over-zealous in looking after her. Her father usually took her to school and fetched her after classes, 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. This highhandedness seemed natural enough, for Pablo Cabading, Lydia's father was a member of the Manila Police Depatment. After Lydia finished her internship, Leopardo Quitangon became a regular visitor at the house on Zapote Street: he was helping her prepare for the board exams. Her family seemed to like him. The mother Anunciacion, struck him as a mousy woman unable to speak save at her husband's bidding. There was a foster son, a little boy the Cabadings had adopted. As for Pablo Cabading, he was a fine strapping man, an Ilocano, 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, and smoldering with vitality. He was a natty dresser, liked youthful colors and styles, decorated his house with pictures of himself and, at 50, looked younger than his inarticulate wife, who was actually two years younger than he. When Leonardo started frequenting the house on Zapote Street, Cabading told him: ill be frank with you. None of Lydia's boy friends ever lasted ten minutes in this house. I didn't like them and I told them so and made them get out." Then he added laying a hand on the young doctor's shoulder:" But I like you. You are a good man."


The rest of the household were two very young maids who spoke almost no Tagalog, and two very fierce dogs, chained to the front door in the day time, unchained in the front yard at night. 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, to which it is bound by the slope of the roof and which it overlooks from a balcony, so that a person standing in the sala can see the doors of the bedrooms and bathroom just above his head. The house is painted, as is also the current fashion, in various pastel shades, a different color to every three or four planks. The inevitable piazza curves around two sides of the house, which has a strip of lawn and a low wall all around it. The Cabadings did not keep a car, but the house provides for an eventual garage and driveway. This, and the furniture, 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. Lydia took the board exams and passed them. The lovers asked her father's permission to wed. Cabading laid down two conditions: that the wedding would ba a lavish one and that was to pay a downy of P5.000.00. The young doctor said that he could afford the big wedding but the big dowry. Cabading shrugged his shoulders; no dowry, no marriage. Leonarado spent some frantic weeks scraping up cash and managed to gather P3.000.00. Cabading agreed to reduce his price to that amount, then laid down a final condition: after the wedding, Lydia and Leonardo must make their home at the house on Zapote Street. "I built this house for Lydia," said Cabading, "and I want her to live here even when she's married. Besides, her mother couldn't bear to be separated from Lydia, her only child." There was nothing. Leonardo could do but consent. Lydia and Leonardo were on September 10 last year, at the Cathedral of Manila, with Mrs. Delfin Montano, wife of the Cavite governor, and Senator Ferdinand Marcos as sponsors. The reception was at the Selecta. The status gods of Suburdia were properly propitiated. Then the newlyweds went to live on Zapote Street -- and Leonardo almost immediately realized why Lydia had been so reticent and mysterious about her home life.


He wanted to sit in front with them. even of his daughter's honeymoon. Leonardo found himself within a family turned in on itself. the talk had stop. But.The cozy family group that charmed him in courtship days turned out to be rather too cozy. being drawn to revolve. silent. Leonardo explained that he was not much of a talking: "That's why I fell in love with Lydia. They didn't have to talk at all. silently and obediently. besides Mrs. so long as they sat there in the sala before his eyes. The incident would be repeated: there would always be other reasons. One night. 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. 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. self-enclosed and selfsufficient — in a house that had no neighbors and no need for any. He couldn't bear to see Lydia and Leonardo rise and go up together to their room.and it was this moment that Cabading seemed unable to bear. because she's the quiet type too". his house. he would do all the talking himself. Had his spirit been so quickly broken? Was he. finally." After a dead look at her husband. Whenever Leonardo and Lydia went to the movies or for a ride. So. Cabading insisted on being taken along. The daughter. And within that house he wanted to be the center of everything. Lydia obeyed. 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. while Cabading talked and talked. be raged and glowered. No matter. his compact family group sat around him at night. the listeners had to rise and retire . Pablo Cabading did not like what his to stray out of. around the master of the house? 116 . like the rest of the household. What horrified Leonardo was not merely what being done to him but his increasing acquiesces. When Leonardo came home from work. mother. and what was not his to stray into. Cabading's toothaches. The entire household revolved in submission around Pablo Cabading. as they rose to retire: "Lydia. Leonardo went to bed alone. unable to bear it any longer he shouted. you sleep with your mother tonight. the maids and even the dogs trembled when the lifted his voice. the foster-son. too. said Cabading. If they seated him on the back scat while they sat together in front. She has a toothache.

Once. I would not be fair. The offer was rejected. Says Gene: "That memory makes my blood boil -. Leonardo moved out. late at night. then they went to tell her father. where Leonardo spent the night. or by all three. During the succeeding weeks. to share that moment of glory too. 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. the doors are locked. he suddenly showed up at his parents’ house in Sta. Mesa and his brothers were shocked at the great in him within so short a time. but Leonardo felt in his pocket and said. Cabading announced that only he and his wife would accompany Lydia to the ceremony. the gates are locked. "I've got my rosary." His brothers urged him to buy a gun. What had happened? His car had broken down and he had had it repaired and now he could not go home. fifteen minutes. ten. Otherwise. "Everybody in that house must be in by a certain hour. begging to be let in. Her parents would not let Lydia go and she herself was too afraid to leave." he groaned. He looked terrified. Cabading preferred to hire a taxi. 1 wouldn't have waited a eldest brother fearfully clanging and clanging the gate. When Lydia took her oath as a physician. He talked it over with her. efforts to contact her proved futile. knocking at thai gate. I'll shoot her head before your eyes. I couldn't have it!" In the end the two brothers rode back to Sta. When he returned to the house on Zapote the next day. The house on Zapote became even more closed to the outside world. who had not borne the expenses of Lydia's education. Mesa. alone. But why not? "You don't know my father-in-law. Gene offered to accompany him home and explain to Cabading what had happened. he said. If Lydia emerged from it at all. Leonardo said that. she was always accompanied by her father. the windows are locked. to let Leonardo. and nobody to let him in. but he waited five. Nobody can get in anymore!” A younger brother. 117 . Said Cabading bluntly: "If she goes with you. if he would like them at least to use his car. mother or foster-brother." Cried his brother Gene: "You can't fight a gun with a rosary!". The two rode to Zapote and found the house dark and locked up. After about two months at the house on Zapote Street.

snatched a submachinegun from a box. As they stood wondering what to do.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. he was allowed to enter. Cabading ran to the taxi. dropped the boy off at a street near Zapote. He sent her a check by registered mail. then got out and demanded that the Quitangons produce Lydia. The very next day. Nonilo Quitangon cried: "Abah. "Just mail it. Mesa. to tell them what he had done and to warn them that Cabading would surely show up there. she's with her husband." he told his brothers. it was promptly mailed back to him. a servant girl came and told them that the master was out. On Christmas Eve.) 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. then sped with Lydia to Maragondon. He stopped at a gasoline station to call up his brothers in Sta. Finally. (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. who was inside the waiting taxi. Mesa and Mrs. Then all the lights were turned off. where she was with her foster brother. but nobody responded to their knocking. Cabading. present his gift to Lydia and talk with her for a moment. 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. Vexed. Cavite where the Quitangons have a house. She said that her father seemed agreeable to a meeting with Leonardo's father." she cried and fled into the house. Leonardo returned to the house on Zapote with a gift for his wife. Leonardo knew that she was with child and he was determined to bear all her prenatal expenses. She said she could no longer bear to be parted from him and bade him pick her up at a certain church.) "Produce my daughter at once or I'll shoot you all down!" shouted Cabading. The lights were on in Cabading house. (Nonilo had run into the house to get a gun. 118 . picked up two. "No! No! All I want is my daughter!" she screamed. and trained it on Gene Quitangon. what have we do with where your daughter is? Anyway. 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. Lydia was no longer working at the hospital. Leonardo rushed to the church. At about ten in the morning. and stood knocking at the gate for so long the neighbors gathered at windows to watch him. So the elder Quitangon and two of his younger sons went to Zapote one evening. a taxi stopped before the Quitangon house in Sta. "Get Mother out of the house. to discuss the young couple's problem." At that.

" "Oh. Mesa. never been happy!" And the brothers at last had glimpses of the girlhood she had been so reticent about. saw Cabading drive past three times in a taxi. Instead. and their faces lit up. Leonardo said that his father-in-law was an artista. hoping that "diplomacy" would work. "and a lucky one". of mystery. you better ask the PC to guard this house!" Then he and his wife drove off in the taxi." she moaned. Mesa." he told Gene. inside the house? Look. The police advised Gene to file a complaint with the fiscal's office. "I can't go back." said Gene. just a moment before the mobile police patrol the neighbors had called arrived." Lydia told Gene as he entered the house. "If you don't. "We're having our honeymoon at last. you don't know him!" cried Lydia. Lydia and Leonardo appeared at a window and frantically asked what had happened. Gene decided to go to the house on Zapote Street. sought to pacify the older man: "Why can't we talk this over quietly." Cabading lowered his gun. after supper. Gene said that he was going to Cavite but could not promise to "produce". Lydia by midnight: it was up to the couple to decide whether they would come back. "I've known him longer. in Sta. "He seems to be a reasonable man after all. And the old air of dread. But it was there again when. did seem to have lifted from her face. especially toward her.) 119 . It was about eight in the evening when Gene arrived in Maragondon. She told them of Cabading's baffling changes of temper." he growled. he told them what had happened in Sta.. and I've never. "Remember how he used to fan me when I supped there while I was courting Lydia?" (At about that time.Gene. we're creating a scandal in the neighborhood. how smiles and found words and caresses could abruptly turn into beatings when his mood darkened. To his surprise. As his car drove into the yard of this family's old house. "You are a brave man. "I give you till midnight tonight to produce my daughter. like decent people." said Gene. on guard at the gate of his family's house. "Nothing. And he ordered a coke brought for the visitor. Nonilo Quitanongon. he was admitted at once by a smiling and very genial Cabading. the gun's muzzle practically in his face. "He'll kill me! He'll kill me!" "He has cooled down now.

Said Lydia: "We have prayed together and we have decided to die together. he said: "And you . but the advice given seemed drastic to them: summon Cabading and have it out with him in front of his superior officer. He reproached his balae for not visiting him before. "You'll have to decide that yourselves." drily remarked the elder Quitangon. Lydia and Leonardo went straight to the house in Sta.” We'll go back with you. to try to reason with Cabading. Gene Quitangon felt so felt elated he proposed a celebration: "I'll throw a blowout! Everybody is invited! This is on me!" So they all went to Max's in Quezon City and had 120 . After another long wait. "If you wanted to move out. where all their relatives and friends warned them not to go back to the house on Zapote Street." They we’re back in Manila early the next morning. Leonardo's father then offered to go to Zapote with Gene and Nonilo. so that the newlyweds could be reconciled with Lydia's parents. the Quitangons urged Cabading to go with them in Sta. "but no one would open the gate. What would you live on?" The two said they would talk it over for a while in their room. Finding the door ajar. Mesa. When they arrived in Sta. "No. Having spoken her piece. as they had decided to do. the Quitangons noticed that Mrs. "Was I in the house that night our balae came?" her husband asked her. they went to the Manila police headquarters to ask for advice. She came into the room and sat down.are angry with me?" house by themselves. the couple came out of the room. in the morning. Gene returned to the supper table. But what. did you have to run away?" To Leonardo. They found him in good humor. "Why have you done this?" her father chided her gently. Mesa. (On their various visits to the house on Zapote Street. she got up and left the room. 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."I can't force you to go back." Cabading had his wife called. Confused anew. Cabading appeared only when summoned and vanished as soon as she had done whatever was expected of her)." said Gene. "I did come once. Overjoyed. you were out. are you planning to do? You can't stay forever here in Maragondon. Lydia and Leonardo were on their knees on the floor. full of smiles and hearty greetings. Lydia and Leonardo were sitting on a sofa in the sala. saying the rosary. actually." she replied. Cabading readily agreed. he looked in. Gene waited at the supper table and when a long time had passed and they had not come back he went to the room. Mesa.

at the house in Zapote. Lydia. "This should be on me!" But Gene would not let him pay the bill. I'm not going to 'coach' Lydia". Mrs. Would Lydia please visit her? Leonardo and Lydia went to Zapote. rising. Lydia's mother refused to eat and kept asking for her daughter. "Excuse me. "Why. and returned to Sta. When they arrived at the Zapote house. turn this house over to them. “Don't misunderstand me. lay on the parlor sofa. She glanced at the crucifix and said it was one of the first things she wanted taken to her new home. this is a family reunion!" laughed Cabading. over his shoulder. Cabading." persisted Cabading. He smiled at the childishness of the stratagem. After a long while." she said. he said to the Quitangons. the Quitangon brothers were amused by what they saw. "I thought all that was settled last night. "Just tell Narding to fetch me. were they heard her pulling out drawers. and that Mrs. 121 . "I built this house for Lydia. 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. If she and her husband want to be alone. a large towel spread out beneath her. There was no expression on her face when she told the Quitangon boys to go home. "and this house is hers. Lydia was clasping a large crucifix. the supposedly sick mother slipped out of the sofa and went upstairs to Lydia's room. found nothing the matter with her mother. "tossing restlessly. Lydia and her father came out of the room together and came down to the sala together. He went into Lydia's room and closed the door behind him. Gene surmised that it had fallen in a struggle between mother and daughter. Mesa house to pay that his wife had fallen ill." said Cabading. her eyes closed. Early the next morning. She wont straight to her room.. Leonardo left for his classes. Suddenly the men heard the clatter of a drawer falling upstairs. Cabading was obviously just pretending to be asleep." Gene wearily explained that Lydia and Leonardo preferred the apartment they had already leased. Cabading called up the Sta." Gene noted that the towel was neatly spread out and didn't look crumpled at all." Gene groaned.a very merry fried-chicken party. While the Quitangons and Cabading were conversing. "She has been lying there all day." said Cabading. but Lydia was past being amused." said Gene. Cabading told the Quitangons that he wanted Lydia and Leonardo to stay there. After lunch. Mesa. I and my wife will move out of here. As he went upstairs. asking for you. "But I thought we were going to start moving your things out this afternoon. Then Cabading called up again.

Then. Gene told him: "Don't force Lydia to go with you." Gene told him not you go alone. leaving the door open. "Why did you leave her there?" cried Leonardo. followed by sobbing. where he works. the phone rang. he had to catch a bus for Subic. Cabading motioned Leonardo upstairs: "Lydia is in her room. ran to a gasoline station and called up Gene. Gene sent a younger brother to inform the family lawyer and to alert the Makati police. It was almost dark when he got there. Gene realized that he was not sure he was going to Subic. The house stood perfectly still. and he went upstairs. A few moments later. in anguish. The minutes quickly ticked past as he debated with himself whether he should stay or catch that bus. Cabading go up to Lydia's room with a glass of milk. He watched it from a distance but could see no movement. Then Nonilo heard three shots. He knew he couldn't rest easy until he had seen Lydia and Leonardo settled in their new home. He had telephoned from a gasoline station. at about a quarter to seven." "I'll be right over. for any reason. leave at once. When Leonardo arrived." he cried. He said that when he and Leonardo arrived at the Zapote house. Gene could not go along. the door was closed. not a light on inside. Then a taxi drove up and out jumped Nonilo. Nonilo saw Mrs. "Who are up there?" "Lydia and Narding and the Cabadings. be persuaded to stay there too. to pass by the Sta. Then he drove like mad to Zapote. but when he heard a fourth shot he dashed out of the house. Nonilo pointed to the closed front gate. Cabading gave Nonilo a cup of coffee and chatted amiably with him. Mesa house first and pick up Nonilo. Do not. It was Nonilo. He related what had happened." Leonardo went up. He left too worried. He stood petrified. "Something terrible has happened in Lydia's room! I heard four shots." When his brother had left for Zapote. Nonilo saw him enter Lydia's room. If she doesn't want to. Gene and Nonilo had the painful task of telling Leonardo. A while later. 122 . they heard a woman scream. The brothers suspected that Cabading was lurking somewhere in the darkness. when he phoned. with his gun." said Cabading. that Lydia was back in the house on Zapote. "There seems to be trouble up there. Mesa. "He'll beat her up! I'm going to get her.Back in Sta. he was sure he had left it open when he ran out.

He groped for the switch and turned use her maiden name. he and Gene shuddered at what they saw. for all these new suburbs in Makati used to be grassland. She had been shot in the chest and stomach but was still alive. The policemen crawled toward the front gate and almost jumped when a young girl came running across the yard. 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. The policeman pushed the door hard and what was blocking it gave. Lady Physician. It was an ice-cold night. He peered in at a window and could detect no one in the sala. He slipped a hand inside. Lydia continued. 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. As the Quitangon brothers shivered in the darkness. Lydia C.or was made. A policeman volunteered to enter the house through the back door. shaking with terror and shrieking gibberish. who lay on top of her husband's 123 . replacing the uprooted reeds with split-levels.Before them loomed the dark house. She was one of the maids. As they entered. The policeman tried to get a statement from her but all she could say was: "My hand. riceland. the dark of the moon. Even barely two years ago. In very new suburbs.) Above the sign was the garland of colored lights that have been put up for Christmas and had not yet been removed. my handit hurts!" She was lying across the legs of her daughter. one feels human sorrow to be a grass intrusion on the labors of nature. But the wind remembered when the sighs it heard here were only the sighing of the ripe grain. As they crept up the stairs they heard a moaning in Lydia's room. pushing noisy little streets into the heart of the solitude. forming the house's chief facade. just as the policeman came in from the kitchen. marshland. The Quitangons warned them that Cabading had a submachinegun. bore a curious sign: Dra. now so sinister and evil in their eyes. (Apparently. opened the front door and entered. Cabading. lay Mrs. It was they who had closed the front gate. until the big city spilled hither. push it. Gene said he would try the front one. On the floor. The entire room was spattered with blood. 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. The upper story that jutted forward. Cabading. the talahib still rose man-high on the plot of ground on Zapote Street where now stands the relic of an ambiguous love. when the cries it heard were only the crying of birds nesting in the reeds. "Push it. a police van arrived and unloaded quite a large contingent of policemen." wailed a woman's voice. blocking the door. They tried the door but it was blocked from inside.

a . I cursed him as he lay there dead. Lydia was still clutching an armful of clothes. near Mrs. "Oh. They had died instantly. she. It was found at the foot of the bed. and Mrs. to fire at himself a second time. together. 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. Cabading when she tried to shield Lydia. Tuesday last week. I cursed him!" cries Eugenio Quitangon with passion. to watch the police and the reporters going through the pretty little house that Pablo Cabading built for his Lydia. it appears that Cabading shot Lydia while she was shielding her husband. through the right side of the head. The violent spasm of agony must have sent the gun . for I had wanted to find him alive!" From the position of the bodies and from Mrs. and it's an indication of the man's uncommon strength and power that. Sprawled face up on his daughter's bed. Cabading's feet.body. Leonardo was holding a clothes hanger. as his hands dropped to his breast. he seems to have been able. He had been shot in the breast. in the heart.45 caliber pistol. 124 . Then he turned the gun on himself. which must have been mortal enough. "Oh.flying from his hand. God forgive me! Yes. hurrying commuters slowed down and a whispering crowd gathered before 1074 Zapote Street. The drama of the jealous father had ended at about half-past six in the evening. after the first shot. Cabading's statements later at the hospital. I cursed that dead man there on that bed. The next day.

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