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Alberto S. Florentino is the author and playwright of the famed The World is an Apple.

" The themes he usually tackles about deals with everyday scenarios of a commoner's life. He usually portrays the struggles of Filipinos. He was born on July 28, 1931. Florentino had his first familiarity probably during the time when his father, a teacher, was active on school activities such as directing plays, opted to get assistance from his son to do copies of the plays that he is directing. It is said that Florentino got his technique in playwriting with the experiences he got due to the fact that while typing multiple copies of his father's plays, he needed to read the manuscript over and over again. As for his education, he attended U.S. Information Service and then at the University of the East. He also attended the University of the Philippines and the Far Eastern University. Alberto Florentino was 23 when, as an accounting student at the University of the East, he won a Palanca award for his play, "The World is an Apple." This success at his first serious attempt at playwriting made him abandon his accounting studies to become a writer. He has since written more than 50 plays for stage and more than 100 for television, besides having published seven collections of his own plays and more than 70 titles by other Filipino authors. He is today considered one of the foremost Filipino playwrights in English.

Source: http://www.shvoong.com/entertainment/plays/2032990-alberto-florentinobiography/#ixzz1WiCPUvQv
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THE WORLD IS AN APPLE


Alberto S. Florentino Alberto S. Florentino is an award-winning Filipino playwright. He is also a TOYM awardee. This play which won first prize in the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for literature has been staged in different schools and colleges all over the country. THE CHARACTERS: Gloria, Mario, Pablo (An improvised home behind a portion of the Intramuros walls. Two wooden boxes flank the doorway. At left is an acacia tree with a wooden bench under it.) (Mario enters from the street at left. He is in his late twenties, shabbily dressed and with hair that seems to have been uncut for weeks. He puts his lunch bag on the bench, sits down, removes his shoes and puts them beside his lunch bag.) GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA (calls from inside). Mario! Is that you, Mario? Yes (A small woman about Marios age, with long hair and a scrawny body, comes out wiping her hands on her dress.) Im glad youre home early. How is Tita? (Without waiting for an answer, he enters the dwelling.) (crosses to the bench). Dont wake her up, Mario. Shes tired. She cried the whole day. (reappears and crosses to the bench and sits on one end). Has she been eating well? She wouldnt even eat a mouthful of lugao. But Ill buy her some biscuits. Maybe shell eat them. (She slips her fingers into his breast pocket.) Ill take some of the money (rises annoyed). Gloria! Cant you wait a minute? (taken aback). Hey whats the matter? Why are you suddenly so touchy? Who wouldnt be? Im talking to about the child and you bother me by ransacking my pockets! I wish youd think more of our daughter. (crosses to the center). My God! Wasnt I thinking of her? Why do you think I need some money? To buy me a pretty dress? Or see a movie? Tone down your voice. Youll wake the child up. (low but intense). All I want is a little money to buy her something to eat! She hasnt eaten anything all day! That was why I was bothering you! (repentant). Im sorry, Gloria (grips her arm and turns away.) Its all right, Mario. Now may I have some of the money? (turns to her). Money? I I dont have any not right now. Today is pay day, Mario. Yes but But what? Wheres your pay for the week? I dont have it.
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MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA

MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA

What? I waited for you the whole day and you tell me (angry) that I have nothing! Nothing! What do you want to do steal? Im not asking you to do a thing like that! All I want to know is what you did to your pay? (sits on the bench). Nothing is left of it. Nothing? What happened? Oh, I had a few drinks with my friends. Before I knew it, I had spent every centavo of it. (eyeing him intently). Mario, do you think you can make a fool of me? Havent I seen you drunk before, crawling home like a wounded snake and reeking of alcohol like a hospital? You dont smell or look drunk. All right, so I didnt go drinking. But you pay what happened to it? Its better that you dont know, Gloria. Look, Mario, Im your wife. I have the right to half of everything you get. If I cant have my share, I have the right to know at least where it went! Gloria, youll feel better if you dont know. I must know! All right. (rises). I spend it all on another woman. Another woman? I dont believe it. I know you wouldnt do such a thing. I didnt know you had so much faith in me. No, Mario, what I mean is you wouldnt spend all your money when you know your daughter may need some of it. You love her too much to do that.

(Mario sits down and buries his head in his hands. Gloria crosses to him and lays a hand on his shoulder.) GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO Whats wrong, Mario? (turns his face away). Nothing Gloria, nothing. (sits beside him). I know something is wrong, Mario. I can feel it. Tell me what it is. (stares at the ground). Gloria, Ive lost my job. (rises, shocked). Oh, no! (looks up at her). Its true, Gloria. What about your pay for the whole week? I lost my job a week ago. And you never even told me! I thought I could get another without making you worry. Do you think you could get another in five months? It took you that long to get the last one? It wont take me as long to get another. But how did you lose it? (rises and turns away). Whats the use of talking about it? That wont bring it back. (suddenly, in an agonized voice.) Mario! (turns around). Yes?
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GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA

What did they accuse you of? Just what you mean to say, Pilfering, they call it. What else, would you call it? (Pause). What, according to them, did you steal? (low). It was nothing much, really nothing at all. What was it? It was an apple. An apple! You mean Yes, and they kicked me out for it, for taking one, single apple. Not a dozen, not a crate Thats what you get for not stopping to think before you do something. (sits down). Could I have guessed they would do that for one apple? When there were millions of them? (pause). We were hauling them to the warehouse. I saw one roll out of a broken crate. It was that big (demonstrates). It looked so delicious. Suddenly I found myself putting it in my lunch bag. Thats the trouble with you, when you think of your own stomach, you think of nothing else! (rises). I was not thinking of myself! Whom were you thinking of me? Did I ever ask you to bring home an apple? I am not as crazy as that. I was thinking of our child. Tita? Why? Did she ever ask for apples? Yes, she did. (pause). Do you remember the day I took her out for a walk? On our way home we passed a grocery that sold delicious apples at seventy centavos each. She wanted me to buy one for her but I did not have seventy centavos. I bought her one of those small green apples they sell on the sidewalk, but she just threw it away, saying it was not a real apple. Then she cried. (pause). So when I saw the apple roll out of the broken crate, I thought that Tita would love to have it. You should have tried to bring home pan-de-sal, or rice, or milk not those delicious apples. Were not rich. We can live without apples. Why? Did God create apple trees to bear fruit for the rich alone? Didnt He create the whole world for everyone? Thats why I tried to bring the apple home for Tita. When we brought her into this world, we sort of promised her everything she had a right to have in life. So, for a measly apple, you lost a job you needed so much I wouldnt mind losing a thousand jobs for an apple for my daughter. Where is this apple you prize so much? Were you able to give it to Tita? No. They kept it as evidence. (Sits down). See? You lost your job trying to filch an apple and you even lost the apple for which you lost your job. (Gloria puts away the shoes and the lunch bag. She sits on the steps and they remain silent for a time). (rising). Filching an apple thats too small a reason to kick a poor man out of work. You should ask them to give a second chance, Mario. They wont do that. Why not?

MARIO

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA

MARIO GLORIA

MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO

GLORIA

(rises). Cant you see they had been waiting for me to make a slip like that? Theyve wanted to throw me out for any reason so that they may bring their own men in. You should complain Suppose I did? What would they do? They would dig up my police record. (crosses to him). But, Mario, that was so long ago. Why would they try to dig that thing up? They would do anything to keep out. (holds her arm). But dont worry. Ill find another job. It isnt really so hard to look for a job nowadays. (From this point, he avoids her eyes). You know, Ive been job-hunting for a week now. And I think I have found a good job. There you go lying again. Believe me. Im not lying this time. (crosses to the center). Youre always lying I cant tell when youre telling the truth. In fact Ill see someone tonight who knows of a company that needs a night watchman. (holds his arm). Arent you only trying to make me feel better, Mario? No, Gloria. Honest? (avoids her eyes). Honest! (sits down). (sighs happily, looks up). I knew God wouldnt let us down. He never lets anybody down. Ill pray tonight and ask Him to let you have that job. (looks at Mario). But, Mario, would it mean that youd have to stay out all night? That would be all right. I can always sleep by the day. (brushes against him like a cat). What I mean is it will be different when you arent by my side at night. (walks away from him). But, oh, I think Ill get used to it. (crosses to the center and turns around). Why dont you go and see this friend of yours now? Anyway you dont have anything to do tonight. Dont you think its wise to see him as early as you can? (after a pause). Yes, I think Ill do that. (Gloria crosses to the steps to get his shoes, followed by Mario). (hands him the shoes). Here, Mario, put these on and go. Ill stay up and wait for you. (Sits on the steps and watches him.) (putting on the shoes). No, Gloria, you must not wait for me. I may be back quite late. All right. But I doubt if I can sleep a wink until you return. (Gloria comes up to him after he finishes and tries to hug him, but he pushes her away. Suddenly confused, he sits on the steps. Gloria sits beside him and plays with his hands). Mother was wrong. You know before we got married, she used to tell me, Gloria youll commit the greatest mistake of your life if you marry that good-for-nothing loafer! You cant make him any straighter than you would a crooked wire with your bare hands. Oh, I wish she were living now. She would have seen how much youve changed (She sees someone behind the tree: Pablo, He has been

PABLO MARIO

PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO

GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA MARIO PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA

watching them for a time. He is older than Mario, sinister-looking, and well dressed). (sarcastic). Hmmmmmm. How romantic! Pablo! (suddenly unnerved, Mario starts to fidget. There is an uncomfortable silence as Gloria rises and walks to the center, her eyes burning with hate. Pablo lights a cigarette, never taking his eyes off her.) Youre not glad to see me, are you? (Puts a foot on the bench). (angry) What are you doing here? What do you want? Saaaaay! Is that the right way to receive a friend who has come a-visiting? We dont care for your visits! You havent changed a bit, Gloria not a bit. Neither have you, I can see! Youre still the same woman who cursed me to hell because I happened to be Marios friend long before you met him. Time has not made you any kinder to me. You still hate me, dont you? Yes! And I wish youd stay away from us for the rest of our lives! Am I not staying away from you? Then why are you here? God! May I not even drop in now and then to see if life has been kind to you? How are you getting along? (scornfully). We were doing well until you showed up! Your daughter she was only that high when I saw her last how is she? (curtly). Shes all right! Oh, and I thought she had not been very well. (suspicious). How did you know? (To Mario), Did you tell him? (stammering). I no how could I? I havent seen him in a long, long time (sits down). Until now of course What is she sick with? (curtly). We dont know! Dont you think you should take her to a doctor? (Puts his foot down and pulls out his wallet). Here, Ill lend you a few pesos. It may help your daughter to get well. (scornfully). We need it all right but no, thank you! Why dont you take it? Paying you back will only mean seeing your face again. Well, if you hate my face so much, you dont have to pay me back. Take it as a gift. The more reason I should refuse it! All right, if thats how much you want it. (sits down and plays with the wallet). Mario has stopped depending on you since the day I took him away from your clutches! Havent you realized by now that it was a terrible mistake your taking him away from my clutches? I have no regrets. How about Mario? Has he no regrets either? He has none.

PABLO

GLORIA PABLO

MARIO PABLO

MARIO GLORIA

PABLO MARIO PABLO GLORIA PABLO MARIO PABLO MARIO PABLO

GLORIA

MARIO

GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO GLORIA PABLO

How can you be so sure? When he and I were pals, we could go to first-class airconditioned movie houses every other day. Ill bet the money I have here now (brandishing his wallet) that he has not been to one since you liberated him from me. And that was almost four years ago. One cannot expect too much from honest money and we dont. (rises and walks about). What is honest money? Does it look better than dishonest money? Does it buy more? Or honesty? What is it? Dressing like that? Staying in this dungeon you call a house? Is that what you so beautifully call honesty? (rises). Pablo (derisively). See what happened to your daughter. That is what honesty has done to her. And how can honesty help her now? Shes not sick and she needs no medicine. You know that. You know very well that she needs: food, good food. Shes under-nourished, isnt she? Pablo! I know you have come to lead him back to your dishonest ways, but you cant. He wont listen to you now! We have gone this far and we can go on living without your help! (sarcastic). You call this living? This, Gloria, is what you call dying dying slowly-minute by minute. (laughs). (crosses to him and shakes him). Pablo stop it! (Pablo stops.) You shouldnt have come (Brushes him off). I got tired of waiting for you! So you have been seeing each other! I was afraid so! He came to the house yesterday Pablo, dont! Pablo, dont! (ignoring Mario) He said he would be back this noon. But he didnt show up. I came because I was afraid his conscience was bothering him. Pablo, I told you she should not know! Its all right, Mario. Youd better tell her everything. Shes bound to know later. Tell her what you told me: that you no longer believe in the way she wanted you to live. Tell her. (Mario turns his back on them). (crosses to Mario). Mario is this what you meant by another job? Oh, Mario you promised me you were through with him. You said youd go straight and never go back to that kind of life (turns around and holds her arm, stammering). Gloria you you must try to understand I tried I tried long and hard but I could not lift us out of this kind of life (crosses to the center and shouts at Pablo). Youre to blame for this, you son-ofthe-Devil! Youve come to him when you know hes down He came to me first - when you know hell cling to anything and do anything! Even return to the life he hates! (crosses to him and tries to strike him.) Get out of our sight! Get out! (easily warding off her fists). All right, all right, Ill leave just as soon as Mario is ready to go. Hes not going with you! (crosses to center) Is that so? Why dont you ask him? (sits on the bench, grinding.)
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GLORIA PABLO GLORIA

MARIO GLORIA

MARIO GLORIA

PABLO GLORIA MARIO

(shouts). I said hes not going! (points to Mario). Go on, ask him. (turns to Mario). Youre not going with him, are you, Mario? Tell that crook youre not going with him anywhere! Tell him to leave us and never come back! Tell him to go, please, Mario, please (holds her arm). Gloria, I Mario I know he has talked to you and tried to poison your mind again but dont go with him. This is still the better way of life. If things have not been turning out well, you must know that God is not letting us down. He is only trying us. (holds her). Gloria, I (pulls away from him). Youre going! I can see that you want to go with him. Ohhhhh . (cries). Youll leave me here again, wondering whether youll be shot in the head or sent to jail! (behind the tree). Dont worry about him, Gloria. Hes safe with me. He wont come anywhere near jail. Ive got connections (like a berserk beast, she rushes at him and claws his face). You hideous beast! You You Get out! Get out! (pulls her away). You stay there, Pablo, Ill be with you in a minute. (Leads her to the steps.)

(Pablo fixes his clothes, cursing.) MARIO GLORIA MARIO GLORIA MARIO (firmly) Gloria, Im going with him. Dont Mario, dont You cant make me stop now. Ive thought about this since last week. No, no Mario, no (holds fast to him). (loosens her hold). You take good care of yourself and our child. Ill take good care of myself. Dont wait up for me. Ill come home very late.

(Mario walks away with Pablo. Gloria stares dumbly at them, too spent to run after them. Then she shouts.) GLORIA MARIOOOOOO!

(She covers her face with her dress and cries into it. From inside, the daughter, joins her in crying as the curtains close.)

Source:

Communication Skills IV by Josefina P. Gabriel and Edda M. Martires, pp. 15-21

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