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“Breakwater Girls” by Saquina Karla C.

Guiam

Introduction
Learning Competency: Analyze the figures of speech and other literary
techniques and devices in the text.

Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to:
 Identify figures of speech and other literary devices in the text.
 Explain the meaning of some figures of speech.
 Show appreciation to poetry through creating a poem using poetic devices.

Overview of the text:

Saquina Karla C. Guiam is from General Santos City, Philippines. Her work has
appeared in Cotabato Literary Journal, The Fem Lit Mag, The Rising Phoenix Review,
Scrittura Magazine, Dulcet Quarterly, and others. She is the Roots nonfiction editor of
Rambutan Literary and the Social Media Manager of Umbel & Panicle. The literary
text “Breakwater Girls” written by illustrates the death of women.

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Connect
Activity 1. Figure this Out
 Fill in the table with the information from your teacher’s discussion.

Literary Devices Meaning Example

Figures of Speech

1. Simile

2. Metaphor

3. Hyperbole

4. Personification

5. Idiom

Sound Devices

1. Rhyme

2. Consonance

3. Assonance

4. Alliteration

5. Onomatopoeia

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Activity 2. Read it!

 Listen as your teacher reads the poem.


 Mark the breaks or the parts where your teacher uses long pauses.
 Next, underline the rhyming words in the poem.
 After listening to your teacher, read the poem following the marks
used during the listening activity.

Breakwater Girls by Saquina Karla C. Guiam


(This piece first appeared in Dagmay, the literary journal of the
Davao Writers Guild.)

Little girls, little girls


Dancing by the breakwater
Their faces bloated like balloons
With electric plugs tucked behind their ears
Their eyeballs starting to fall from their sockets
Smiles turn to sneers
Maggots crawl all over their skin
Skin and bones visible through the naked eye
Blood on their clothes never lie
And whenever people pass the breakwater by midnight
Little girls with decayed teeth, torn-out clothes, electric plugs by their side
and holes in their chests
Will come out to play with you
And make you wish they were locked in their baggage.

Retrieved with permission from https://cotabatoliteraryjournal.com

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Activity 3. What does it mean?

 Copy the lines which contain figures of speech and write the meaning of the
figures of speech.
 Use the graphic organizer below.

Figures of Speech 1:

• Meaning:

Figures of Speech 2:

• Meaning:

Figures of Speech 3:

• Meaning

Figures of Speech 4:

• Meaning

Figures of Speech 5:

• Meaning

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Apply
Activity 1. Figurative Language Project

 Look for a song, which contain example of figure of speech.


 Focus on simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification and idiom.
 Copy the lines from the song which contain the figurative language and
explain the meaning of the line.
 Use the matrix below.

Sample of Figurative Language Project.

Figures of Speech Title of Figurative Explanation


the Language
Song
1. Simile

A comparison of “Do you ever feel Katy Perry has many


between two or Fireworks like a plastic bag.” similes in “Fireworks”,
more things using by Katy “Just own the night for instance she says,
“like” or “as”. Perry like the Fourth of “Just own the night like
July” the Fourth of July”, which
means to stand out to
the world.

2. Metaphor

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3. Hyperbole

4. Personification

5. Idiom

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Reflect
Activity 1. Sing the Poem

 In groups of five.
 Write a four-stanza poem that will show your own view of the
Breakwater Girls as characters in the poem.
 Use different poetic devices such as figures of speech and rhyme.

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Extend
Activity 1. Poetry Scrap Book

 Collect poems containing simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification,


& idiom and compile them like a scrapbook.
 Be creative by personalizing your scrapbook using photos and other
designs.

Rubrics in scoring the Poetry Scrap Book.


Criteria Poor - 55 Fair - 70 Good - 85 Excellent - 100

Disorganized & Somewhat Presented in a logical, Extremely well-


confusing; lacks a organized; some thoughtful manner; organized; logical
logical format. logical formatting. good organization. format;
Organization
organization
Format
5.5 7 8.5 enhanced project
and was very
effective. 10
Illegible writing, Legible writing, print Legible writing, well- Word-processed or
loose pages or too small or too formed characters, very neatly written,
stapled poorly, , large, papers clean & neat in a clean & neatly
messy physical staples together; space provided or any bound in a cover in
Appearance appearance in a good in a space material used.. a space provided
space provided or provided or any or any material
inappropriate material used. used.
material used. 7 8.5
5.5 10
Little or no Added a few Clever at times; Very clever &
creativity used; original touches to thoughtfully and presented with
bland, predictable enhance project uniquely presented. originality; a unique
Creativity and lacked “zip.” but did not approach; truly
5.5 incorporate 8.5 enhanced the
throughout. project.
7 10
The scrapbook The scrapbook The scrapbook The scrapbook
demonstrates little demonstrates demonstrates general demonstrates
understanding and partial understanding and complete
comprehension of understanding and comprehension of the understanding and
the figures of comprehension of figures of speech. The comprehension of
speech. The the figures of scrapbook is most the figures of
scrapbook is few speech. The visuals are identified speech. The
Content
to no visuals are scrapbook is some with an explanation. scrapbook is
identified with an visuals are focused and fully
explanation. identified with an 42.5 developed. All
explanation. visuals are
27.5 identified with a
35 written explanation.
50

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“Little Statue” by Adonis Z. Hornoz

Introduction
Learning Competency: Produce a creative representation of literary text by applying
multi-media skills. Choose an appropriate multimedia format in interpreting a literary
text.

Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to:
 Interpret the literary text using multi-media application.
 Use the principles in multi-media production.

Overview of the Literary Text


Adonis Hornoz is from Isulan, Sultan Kudarat and the author of “Little Statue”.
In this poetry, the speaker is the little statue that represents the old Filipino animistic
tradition. Where Filipinos came from until the Western religious influence arrived. The
little statue knows our race: however nowadays children who is looking at the statue
cannot recognize because we have already forgotten our native identity; the child
represents the younger generations. Unlike before, our statue is consider sacred
compare to these days as seen with dust in its place.

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Connect
Activity 1. Concept Mapping

 Form a group of five and create a concept map about Multi-Media


 Organize your ideas into categories
 Use lines or arrows on the map to represent your idea about the elements of
multi-media and its purpose.
 Use the graphic organizer below.

Multimedia

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Activity 2. Read it!
 Listen as your teacher read the poem like a spoken poetry piece.
 Notice the voice, diction, intonation and the emotion emphasized by
your teacher.
Little Statue by Adonis Z. Hornoz

Child,
in the radiance of your eyes
staring at me
I see them, your father and
your father’s father and
all of your great-grandfathers,
singing and playing intricate bamboo strings
cheering, clapping around me with women carrying
their children.
Adlaw they called me,
after the sun.
They knelt before me
for I provided the blessings they desired,
offered a flower, fruit, or coin from their heart
in times of sickness,
cried for mercy,
for rain, for the demon spirit to be driven away.
Everyone talked to me though I didn’t talk to them
and only smiled with bold and open eyes.
I was carved
with your forefather’s sweat.
My brows are thickened.
My skin is dead.
The history of your race, in my memory, is clear,
for I’ve been in every house all day
for more than a century.
I’ve seen your people die and grow.
I was always placed with care
on a table with flowers and lighted candles.
Now I stand on the same spot
with dust all over my body.
Child,
I know you.
Do you know me?

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Apply
Activity 1. Speak like a Poet!
 Read the poem “Little Statue”.
 Record yourself as you deliver the poem.
Activity 2. Hear me Audio!

 Create a spoken poetry in this task.


 The content of the spoken poetry must be similar in theme to the “Little
Statue” by Adonis Hornoz.
 Record your voice as you perform the spoken word poetry.
 Submit your output in mp3 format via Facebook with your name.
 You will be scored using the rubric below

Excellent 4 Good 3 Fair 2 Poor 1


Vocal Highly effective Effective and Moderately Not effective;
Intonation and and expressive expressive effective and more practice
Expression intonation used intonation used expressive with intonation is
to reinforce to reinforce intonation used strongly
change in change in with room for recommended.
mood, setting, mood, voice, improvement
and setting and and practice.
characterization. characterization.
Language Highly effective Effective use of Moderately Little use of
used used of strong vocabulary as it effective use of vocabulary as it
vocabulary as it relates to vocabulary as it relates to
relates to storyline and relates to storyline and
storyline and similar to the storyline and similar to the
similar to the Little Statue. similar to the Little Statue. No
Little Statue. Some words Little Statue. A words were
Some words were taken from few words were taken from the
were taken from the vocabulary taken from the vocabulary
the vocabulary journal. vocabulary journal.
journal. journal.
Volume Highly Appropriate Volume not Volume is not
(Loudness) appropriate volume used used effectively. appropriate for
audience when speaking More practice is audience. More
volume used and performing, recommended. practice when
when speaking with a little room speaking and
and performing. for performing is
improvement. highly
recommended
Audience Appropriate Appropriate A little more A lot more
Impact audience audience practice in practice in
address with a address; voice, voice,
high likelihood to audience may intonation, intonation,
engage and be engaged language, and language, and
entertain. and entertained. volume is volume is
recommended recommended

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to engage and to engage and
entertain the entertain the
audience. audience.

Reflect
Activity 1. Reflection Vlog
 Create a video log showing your opinion of the poem
 Talk about a statue in your place as the subject of your vlog. The statue
represent your faith, heroism, bravery or other virtues.
 Share your vlog on Facebook and document the comments made by your
friends.
 Please be guided with this rubric in creating your vlog.

Grade 3 - Excellent 2 – Adequate 1 – Needs Improvement

Criteria

Link to Class Vlog consistently Vlog sometimes Vlog rarely demonstrates


Content demonstrates clear demonstrates clear and clear and insightful links
and insightful links to insightful links to class to class content
class content content

Use of Media The vlog displays a The vlog displays a The vlog displays an
mastery of the competency of the inconsistent use of the
media, visual media, visual elements media, visual elements
elements are clear are often clear and are vague and
and accurately sometimes represent their inaccurately represent
represent their goal goal accurately their goal
Verbal/Written Student displays a Student displays a Student displays an
Portion clear understanding somewhat clear unclear understanding
of their working understanding of their of their working process
process and working process and and struggles to explain
eloquently explains generally explains relevance to classroom
relevance to relevance to classroom concepts
classroom concepts concepts
Depth of Reflection is deep Reflection is sometimes Reflection is generalized
Reflection and personal. The deep and personal. The and impersonal. The log
log displays a highly log displays a generally displays a lack of
reflective quality reflective quality and reflective qualities and
and demonstrates demonstrates some demonstrates little
evidence for evidence for personal evidence for personal
personal growth. growth. growth.
Extend

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Activity 1. Digital Movie.

 In a group of ten, show your interpretation of the poem by creating a short


play based on it.
 Use the Windows Movie Maker for your final output to be submitted to your
teacher via electronic format (i.e. Facebook or email)
 Some members of the group may act as the characters of your play while
others work on the technical aspect of your play.
 Be guided of the Rubric below.
Rubrics in grading Dramatic Play using Windows Movie Maker
Performance Needs Improvement Satisfactory Excellent
Level
Video content The video lacks a central Information is Video includes a clear
and theme, clear point of connected to a statement of purpose.
organization view, and logical theme. Details are Events and messages are
sequence of information. logical and presented in a logical
Much of the information is information is order, with relevant
irrelevant to the overall relevant throughout information that supports
message most of the video the video’s main ideas.
0-2 points 3-5 points 6-10 points
Dramatic The dramatic scene does The dramatic scene is The dramatic scene is
Scene not orient the viewer to clear and coherent motivating, and hooks
what will follow. and evokes the viewer from the
0-1 points moderate beginning.
interest/response 4-5 points
from the viewer.
2-3 points
Literary Text Literary text interpretation Literary text The literary text
is not evident. interpretation is interpretation is evident
Information is confusing, evident in much of throughout the video.
incorrect, or flawed. the video. Most All information is clear,
0-9 points information is clear, appropriate and correct.
appropriate, and 21-30 points
correct.
10-20 points
Production Video is of poor quality Tape is edited. A Tape is edited. Video
and is unedited. There variety of transitions runs smoothly from shot
are no transitions added are used and most to shot. A variety of
or transitions are used so transitions help tell transitions are used to
frequently that they the story. Most of assist in communicating
detract from the video. video has good the main idea. Shots and
There are no graphics. pacing and timing. scenes work well
0-10 together. Graphics
explain and reinforce key
points in the video.
16-20 points

“A Quest to Recapture the Spirits” by Jude Ortega

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Introduction
Learning Competency: Infer literary meaning from literal language based on usage.

Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to:
 Distinguish between literary and literal meaning of sentences.
 Infer the implied ideas in the literary text.

Overview of the Literary Text


"A Quest to Recapture the Spirits" is about the old yet famous albularia, Nang
Moray of Esperanza, who, in her quest to find where spirits go, ends up meeting her
successor. This story reflects the reality that many people seek the help of traditional
healers and mediums because of the lack of decent medical facilities in their areas
and the high cost of seeing medical doctors.

Connect

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Activity 1. Literary vs Literal meaning

 Read the two sentences below:

Literary: You wake up and see tree branches on the ground, broken
windows, devastated lands and houses.

Literal: There was a typhoon fall last night.

 From the given sentences above explain the meaning of:

a. Literary:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
b. Literal:
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________________

Activity 2. Identifying Literal Language to Figurative Language

 Decide if the sentences below use literal or figurative language.


 Write L if it is literal and F if it is figurative.
Example L: The grass looks green.
F: The grass looks like spiky green hair.

____ 1. My teammate is a snail and a turtle combined!


____ 2. Sometimes I have to be my little brother’s brain.
____ 3. Michael thinks doing schoolwork is one big video game.
____ 4. Romel expresses many feelings through his photography.
____ 5. Rosa may seem clumsy, but onstage she dances like a deer.
____ 6. Helena has made up her mind to volunteer every Thursday after school.
____ 7. I have a ton of paperwork to do before I can enjoy the sun this summer.
____ 8. Before the basketball match, both teams attended a sportsmanship program.
____ 9. As I delivered my speech, my voice sounded as if I had swallowed rocks and
sand.
____ 10. Thinking about summer camp makes me feel like a bundle of joy and
sunshine.
Activity 3. Read It!

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 Read silently the “A Quest to Recapture the Spirit” by Jude Ortega.
 While reading, underline the difficult words found in the text.

“A Quest to Recapture the Spirit” by Jude Ortega


An earlier version of this story won first place in the Jimmy Y. Balacuit Literary
Awards at the 20th Iligan National Writers Workshop (2013)

Nang Moray, the best-known albularia in half a dozen villages, woke up


one day to find the spirits gone. She summoned them through her usual chants
and rituals, but she did not receive any response. The spirits did not manifest to
her in any way, not even in the form of a soft whisper in the wind or a faint
shadow darting past the corner of her eye. They had left her without any
warning, without leaving any trace for her to follow, as though they had not
been her companions for nearly half a century, as though they had never
existed. After several days of calling in vain for them, she set out to look for her
friends.
The sixty-year-old albularia could think of a number of reasons why the
spirits disappeared, but her biggest suspicion was that they had been drawn
to another—maybe stronger, she hated to admit it—center of energy. For the
past several months, Nang Moray had been hearing about a new healer in
the capital town. The man, whether on purpose or by accident, must have
lured the spirits away from Nang Moray’s abode. Nang Moray did not know
exactly what to do with the other healer. She decided she should go to his
place and observe first. She told herself that if she found out her suspicion was
true, and the man took away the spirits with ill intentions, she wouldn’t let him
get away with it.
Nang Moray lived in the town of Esperanza, and Isulan, the capital town
of Sultan Kudarat, was just twenty minutes away. She rode a jeepney and
alighted at the public market of Isulan. She was quite familiar with the place,
so she had no trouble looking for the terminal of tricycles bound for Kawayan,
the slightly remote village where she had heard her rival lived.
A man in his twenties approached Nang Moray. She assumed
immediately that he was a driver, for his arms were covered with garish-red
cooling sleeves designed with black dragons, a recent trend among tricycle
and skaylab drivers. He asked Nang Moray, “Are you going to Kawayan, La?”
The albularia was not able to say anything and only managed to nod.
She was usually loquacious and would respond to mundane questions with a
lengthy answer. Her long experience in handling patients had taught her that
making people comfortable with her was the first step in healing them. Words,
however, failed her this moment because the young man had called her
“Lola.” She was reminded of her age. Though she was well aware that half her
hair had turned gray and her face was lined with wrinkles, she was not used to
being referred to as a grandmother. Nang Moray had no grandchildren, for all
her four children died when they were too young to marry, and her patients,

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who were mostly her age or younger, addressed her as “Nang” or “Nanay,”
not “Lola” or “Iyay.”
The driver led Nang Moray to the back of the sidecar. The front was
already filled. Seated in it were three persons, two in the main seat and one in
the extra, narrow seat. As soon as Nang Moray was seated at the back, she
heard the old man in front grunt in pain, leaning on the woman beside him.
Nang Moray stared at the horizontal mirror attached near the ceiling of the
vehicle, and she saw the reflection of the man and the woman. There was no
doubt that they were father and daughter. Their noses, which looked like the
base of a coconut frond, seemed to have sprouted from the same trunk.
The old man groaned louder. His daughter turned to the driver and
asked, “Aren’t we going yet?”
“In a while,” the driver said. “Just two more passengers.”
“Ah, Diyos ko!” the father said, his hand grappling at the wall of the
vehicle as though he was blind. The other hand was pressed against his belly.
“I can no longer take this.”
Nang Moray, having seen countless patients in pain, could tell that the father
was suffering from no ordinary affliction. He seemed to be a man who had
grown old toiling under the sun and drinking gallons of tuba, and men like him
usually kept their pain to themselves as long as they could help it. If they were
crying like a child, especially in front of their own children, the pain must be
equivalent to having three aching teeth.
“Diyos ko,” the father said again. “Hijo de puta!”
Nang Moray was alarmed. When men like him called out to heavens and
cursed in the same breath, the pain was as severe as having ten aching teeth.
She glanced around, looking for spirits. She wanted to help the old man. But as
she had expected, there was no spirit hovering around. Spirits shied away from
crowded, noisy places.
“How much is the fare?” the third passenger in front, a man in his forties,
asked the driver.
“Twelve pesos per person,” the driver answered.
“We’ll pay for the empty seats,” the passenger said. Nang Moray realized he
was a companion of the father and daughter.
“All right,” the driver said, hopping at the motorcycle at once, as though
afraid the passenger would change his mind. “That’s an additional twenty-four
pesos.”
“No problem,” the man said. “Just hurry up.” He was seated on the
narrow seat in front of his companions, so he had to sit sideways. His body
faced the door, his knees jutting out of the vehicle. Now that his neck was
twisted toward the driver, Nang Moray was able to see his face better. He did
not look like the father and daughter, but he looked three times more worried
than the daughter was.

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“Kawayan’s not very far,” the driver said. “We’ll be there in fifteen
minutes.” The tricycle winded its way out of the public market. For some reason,
the sick old man stopped whimpering.
When the tricycle moved off the highway and started to run on unpaved
road, the driver told the family, “You’re going to Doc Sonny, eh? Don’t worry,
he’s really good.” He spoke aloud, so Nang Moray could hear his voice over
the hum of the engine. “I’ve brought so many patients to his house, and almost
all of them later claimed they were healed.”
The daughter nodded. “So we heard,” she said in an equally loud voice.
“The doctors in the provincial hospital seem unable to cure Tatay, so we
decided to take him to Doc Sonny.”
At first the conversation confused Nang Moray, but almost immediately
she figured out that “Doc Sonny” was a faith healer—the faith healer she was
looking for. The family and she had the same destination. She wondered why
her rival was called a doctor. She strained her ear forward so as not to miss a
word in the conversation. She didn’t have to exert much effort, though. Unlike
some people her age, she was still sharp of hearing.
The tricycle ran over a bumpy spot, jolting up the passengers a few
inches from the seat. “Puta!” the sick man shouted. “Diyos ko, puta!”
Nang Moray peeked out the tricycle, hoping to see spirits in the less bustling
surroundings. The spirits didn’t have to be her friends. She knew how to ask for
a favor from spirits that she had only met for the first time. Her eyes surveyed
the rice fields flanking the road, and her heart leaped when she saw wisps of
smoke gliding around a tree. To her dismay, however, the spirits were pale-
colored and shrieked at one another. They were young—she guessed they
came into existence after the Second World War—and oblivious to human
pain.
“Hold on, Tay,” the third passenger in front said, his eyes on the verge of
tears. He tried to rub the sick man’s arm, but with surprising vigor, the sick man
brushed off the hand.
“Just let him be, Pang,” the woman told the man. Nang Moray realized he was
her husband.
The man did not seem to take offense with what his father-in-law did, but
he turned to the side and looked out the vehicle. He reminded Nang Moray of
Mando, her late husband. Mando had a thoughtfulness that bordered on
cowardice. Every time she gave birth to their children, he would cry as he held
her hand, while she only gritted her teeth and grunted in a low voice.
Whenever one of the children got sick, he would be unable to sleep at night,
kissing the kid every now and then and telling him or her to fight, until Nang
Moray would be annoyed and tell him to leave the kid to rest. In his last days,
however, Mando showed extraordinary courage. Tiny worms slowly ate him
alive from the legs up. Every morning, while he still had strength in his arms, he
would silently drag himself near the hearth, pick the wriggling creatures one by
one, and toss them into the fire.

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The tricycle driver said to no one in particular, “I’m sorry. I’ll drive more
carefully. Iyoy is suffering from what, by the way? Kidney stones?”
“No,” the woman answered. “The ultrasound showed his kidneys are all right.
No stones. The doctor said he’s got prostate cancer instead.”
“Prostate? Where is that?” the driver said. Nang Moray, too, had no idea
what kind of cancer it was.
“It’s a common disease of men nowadays,” the woman said.
The driver looked uneasy, and the woman seemed to relish this. She
explained further, “The prostate is found somewhere in the groin of men. It’s a
kind of sex organ, and women don’t have it. The ultrasound showed my
father’s prostate has grade four enlargement.”
“Grade four?” the driver said. “It sounds like your father’s prostate is
going to school. I thought cancers are classified by stages.”
The woman said, “The grade has something to do with how the cells
look, while the stage has something to do with how the cancer has spread. My
father’s cancer is in stage two, meaning it’s still confined in his prostate. Stages
three and four mean the cancer has spread to other organs.”
“You explain well.”
The woman beamed. “Oh, I was able to go to college for a few
semesters.” To show more of her skill, she added, “As to the grades of prostate
cancer, grade one means all the cells still look normal and grade five means
all the cells no longer look normal.”
“I see,” the driver said. “With Doc Sonny, though, it does not matter at all
in what stage or grade your cancer is. A month ago, he got a female patient
with stage three breast cancer. She was already so thin and weak. Now I heard
she already sweeps her yard. Doc Sonny can cure you as long as you believe.”
“We believe in him,” the woman said. “He has also cured someone from
our town. We’d rather resort to Doc Sonny’s care than stay in a hospital. The
provincial has no specialist who can operate on Tatay. When we went to the
private clinic of a specialist, we were told we must prepare seventy thousand
pesos. My god, where would we get such an amount!”
“Indeed, hospitals will suck you dry,” the driver said. “While Doc Sonny,
he does not ask for any amount. Donation only. Oh, here we are.”
The tricycle stopped in front of a house, which was identical to most
houses in the outskirts of Isulan. The lower half was made of hollow blocks, and
the upper part was covered with weaved African palm. A scooter was parked
in the front yard. “You’re lucky,” the driver said. “Doc Sonny doesn’t have so
many patients today. Sometimes, the yard is full of vehicles, some of them four-
wheeled.”

20
The family paid the driver and stepped out of the tricycle. The old man
cried in pain again as his companions assisted him. He paused after almost
every step.
“Do you want me to carry you, Tay?” the son-in-law asked.
“Puta,” the sick man said. “Don’t touch me.”
The daughter said, “Please stop cursing, Tay,” which only made the sick man
utter more expletives.
The driver, who was watching the family, giggled soundlessly. “Poor
man,” he said.
Nang Moray couldn’t determine if he was referring to the sick man or
the son-in-law. Nonetheless, she told the driver, “Cursing helps him bear the
pain.” She alighted from the tricycle and handed her fare.
“You’re just here, too?” the driver said.
“Yes,” Nang Moray said. She had given the driver a twenty-peso bill, and the
young man was taking his time counting her change.
“You’re going to consult Doc Sonny?”
“No,” she said. But realizing the driver might ask more questions, she lied,
“I mean, yes. I’m having trouble with my back.” She stretched out her open
palm toward the driver to signify that she was waiting for her change.
The driver counted faster, handed her the coins, and told her, “You
came to the right place. Doc Sonny offers hassle-free treatment. He’s not your
usual albulario. He doesn’t perform rituals or ask you to offer something to
spirits.”
Nang Moray wasn’t able to say anything until the tricycle left. When she
turned to the family, she saw them disappear into the doorway. She followed
them to the house.
A woman about forty years old had welcomed the visitors to the living
room. “Is this the patient?” she asked, touching the grumpy old man at the
back.
The couple nodded.
“Doc Sonny is inside the clinic, treating someone,” the woman said,
pointing behind the heavy curtains that covered what should normally be a
dining area. “But he will attend to you in a short while. For the meantime, here.”
She fumbled at the pocket of her duster and took out a ballpoint pen and a
tiny piece of paper. She gave them to the sick man’s daughter. “Please write
the full name of the patient.” With emphasis, she added, “Include the full
middle name.”
Without any question, the daughter did as she was told.

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“I am Doc Sonny’s assistant, by the way,” the woman introduced herself.
“You may call me Nurse Lydia.”
Nang Moray’s eyes inspected Lydia. Her shoulder-length hair looked as
though she had not used a comb since she woke up that morning, and her
floral duster had faded from being washed so many times. Detergent had
obliterated the printed stems that connected the pale flowers and light-green
leaves. She did not in any way resemble a nurse, just as the house did not in
any way resemble a clinic or hospital.
The curtains parted, and a young couple came out. The woman was
pregnant.
“Oh,” Lydia said. “The checkup is done.”
Checkup! Nang Moray thought in indignation. That term is for real
doctors only.
The young couple bade Lydia goodbye and went out of the door. The curtains
parted again, and a smiling young man peeked out. He had a deep dimple
on both cheeks.
“That’s Doc Sonny,” Nurse Lydia said. “My son.”
Nang Moray stared at her rival in surprise. He seemed to be just eighteen or
nineteen.
“Good mor—” The young man was not able to finish his greeting when his eyes
met Nang Moray’s. She knew that he sensed something peculiar about her.
“W-who’s the patient?” the young man asked.
“My father,” the daughter of the sick man said, standing up from the long
bamboo seat.
Doc Sonny avoided Nang Moray’s eyes and told the others, “Please take the
patient here.” He disappeared again behind the curtains.
Lydia assisted the family. Nang Moray watched as the old man was
slowly guided to the other side of the curtains. Outside the house, she heard
an engine come to life and then fade away. The pregnant woman and her
husband must have left, riding the motorcycle that had been parked in the
yard.
Lydia came out of “the clinic” and asked Nang Moray, “Are you not with
them?”
“No,” Nang Moray said.
“I’m sorry,” Lydia said, sitting beside the older woman. “I think you have
to wait for a while. It looks like the man’s condition is serious. Write your name
first.” She gave Nang Moray another piece of paper and the pen that was
used by the sick man’s daughter.

22
Behind the curtains, Doc Sonny said, “Teodoro Ogatis Flaminiano.”
“He’s reading the patient’s name,” Nurse Lydia explained to Nang Moray. “He
can diagnose the patient’s illness from the name alone.”
“He doesn’t consult spirits?”
“He does. He has a number of guides.”
Nang Moray stared around the house. She could not see or feel the presence
of any spirit.
Doc Sonny was speaking to the patient. “Tatay Teo, I can tell from your
name that there’s something wrong in your abdomen.”
“That’s true, Doc,” Nong Teo’s daughter said. “He’s got—”
“Kidney trouble,” Doc Sonny said.
There was silence.
“Am I right?” Doc Sonny said.
“Actually, Doc,” Nong Teo’s daughter said with hesitation, “we’ve
brought Tatay to a hospital, and the ultrasound showed his kidneys are fine. No
stones or any abnormality. His prostate is enlarged instead.”
“Ah yes,” Doc Sonny said. “Of course. The prostate and kidneys are
connected. All problems in the abdomen really start from the kidneys.
Oftentimes, the affliction goes down and causes the legs to swell. In your
father’s case, the swelling did not descend farther and stayed in the groin.”
It occurred to Nang Moray that the boy was a quack. There was no spirit
around, so he had no guide whatsoever. He was swindling his patients.
Doc Sonny said, “Your father’s prostate is in grade four.”
“Oh, Doc Sonny,” Nong Teo’s daughter said. “That’s what also the
doctor—I mean, the previous doctor—told us.”
Nang Moray was confused. She wondered how the boy knew about the
exact grade of the prostate, how he was able to determine the patient’s
ailment without the aid of spirits.
Doc Sonny continued, “It’s grade four leading to stage one.”
“So it’s not cancer yet?” the daughter asked.
“It’s not. But your father must be healed the soonest possible time.”
“Oh, thank you so much, Doc Sonny. We were so worried that Tatay’s got
cancer. You give us hope.”
It struck Nang Moray that the woman believed the boy more than in the
doctor in the private hospital. The boy had a different and crude explanation

23
for the stages and grades of prostate cancer, but the woman took his word for
truth. Nang Moray could not blame the woman. Doctors did not know
everything. They did not believe that evil spirits had something to do with
illnesses, but Nang Moray, having a third eye and herself capable of curing
diseases, knew better. As to the boy, however, she could not decide yet if he
truly had a healing power or he was just a good trickster.
Nang Moray told Lydia, “I can’t feel the spirits.”
“Of course, you can’t,” Lydia said. “They only show themselves to Doc Sonny.”
Nang Moray held her tongue. Nobody in the place knew that she was a healer
herself.
Lydia explained, “Sonny used to be a nursing student, but he had to stop
because I could no longer send him to school. Last year, he was stricken by a
serious illness. He died of it. But he came back to life after maybe half an hour.
Spirits then started to come to him and help him heal other people.”
Nang Moray nodded. So that explains it, she thought. The boy had some
knowledge about medicine, and that was what he had been using to
determine the illnesses of his patients. He was not truly capable of
communicating with spirits. The story about him dying and then coming back
to life was most likely something he and Lydia had spun. It was an all too
common story among purported healers. In Nang Moray’s case, she gained
the trust and friendship of the spirits painstakingly. She started, at the age of
ten, as an apprentice of a babaylan, the younger sister of her maternal
grandmother. She found it difficult to believe that spirits would liaise with a
human being in so abrupt a manner as what happened to the boy. She saw a
glimmer of hope. The boy had not taken away her friends, and she still had a
chance to find them.
Inside “the clinic,” the daughter of the sick man asked, “So what do we need
to do now, Doc? How are you going to cure my father?”
“First, your father must use a catheter again,” Doc Sonny answered. “He
must be able to urinate. When you went to the hospital, the doctor had your
father wear a catheter, right?”
“How did you know, Doc? Oh, I’m sorry for asking. I know, spirits are
guiding you. You’re right. They made my father wear a catheter in the hospital.
After a week, Tatay felt better, so we went home. Then last night, Tatay felt
pain again in his abdomen. We decided to come here instead of going to the
hospital, for the doctor might insist Tatay should undergo an operation. We
can’t afford the seventy thousand the hospital is asking from us.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll perform the operation. You don’t have to spend so
much money with me, and I won’t open up or even just touch your father’s
abdomen.”
“Really, Doc? I’m so happy to hear that.”

24
“Yes, but first, I’m afraid you have to go back to the hospital. Have a nurse put
a catheter on your father and then come back here tomorrow for the
operation.”
“We’ll do that, Doc. Thank you. But could you do something right now to
ease my father’s pain?”
“Yes, I’ll give your father first aid.”
Nurse Lydia stood up and told Nang Moray, “Please excuse me. Doc Sonny
needs my assistance. Don’t worry, the first aid normally doesn’t take much
time. It will be over in a minute.”
Nang Moray nodded, and when Nurse Lydia had gone behind the
curtains, she stood up too. She had to leave now. She no longer had any
business in the house. When she reached the doorway, however, a cry of pain
stopped her in her tracks.
“Don’t touch me!” the sick man shouted behind the curtains.
“Tay,” the daughter said, “you have to get up. We have to go back to the
hospital.”
“It hurts,” the father said. “God, it hurts!” He then uttered a string of expletives.
As the sick man cursed, Nang Moray heard thuds and creaks and saw
the curtains shake. The man must be pounding with his fist the bamboo bed
he was lying on. The daughter wailed in distress, asking his father to stop and
imploring Doc Sonny to do something. The others behind the curtains were also
talking in panicked voices. Forgetting where she was and why she was there,
driven by a desire to help, Nang Moray rushed to “the clinic.” She gasped
when she parted the curtains.
Dark haze was swirling around the sick man, and the other human
beings, including Doc Sonny, seemed unaware of the malevolent presence.
The boy, muttering something useless, was pointing his two outstretched fingers
at the sick man’s exposed abdomen. “Let me do it,” Nang Moray said,
brushing aside the boy’s hand. She heard protests, but she blocked out
everything else in her senses.
She might be unable to summon good spirits, but driving away evil spirits
was another thing. She took out the tiny bottle that was always slung around
her neck and hidden under her blouse. She then pulled open the cap, poured
a drop of coconut oil from inside the bottle to the tip of her index and middle
fingers, and with the oil made a sign of the cross on the sick man’s abdomen.
While making the sign, she repeatedly uttered a phrase from the Latin version
of Our Father. The haze gave out a shriek and, in the form of a horned serpent,
darted out of the door at the back of the house. The sick man whimpered and,
still conscious, collapsed on the bed.
The other people in the room stared at Nang Moray in bewilderment.

25
“It’s gone,” Nang Moray said. “The bad spirit has left.”
“It’s true,” the sick man said. “The pain has stopped. Am I healed now?”
“No,” Nang Moray said. “Bad spirits feed on the illness of a human being. They
will come again. For them to go away completely, your physical malaise must
be eradicated first.”
“Who are you?” Lydia butted in.
Nang Moray was reminded that she was in the house of other people. “I-I’m
sorry,” she stammered. “I shouldn’t be here.”
The boy touched Nang Moray on the arm. “You’re a healer,” he said.
Nang Moray pulled away. She turned to the family who had been with
her in the tricycle. “Go to the doctor,” she said. “Or to another healer.” She
then rushed out of the room.
The boy followed her. “Iyay, please,” he said. “I want to know you.”
Still walking fast and without looking back, she told him, “Stop fooling people!”
“I’m not fooling people. I’m really a healer. I have guides.”
Nang Moray stopped walking. “I don’t see them.”
“They’re not here right now. They left when you arrived.”
“What a convenient excuse.”
“I’m telling the truth. I still have so much to learn. I sometimes don’t know why
spirits behave in a certain way. Maybe you can help me.”
Nang Moray continued walking.
“Iyay, please!”
“Let me leave!”
When Nang Moray reached the road, there was no tricycle in sight, so
she kept on walking, not minding the dust and the heat of the sun. The boy
had stopped bothering her, but even if she didn’t look back, she knew that he
was watching her walk away. The silence told her so.
After a few minutes, a tricycle stopped beside Nang Moray. “To the
market?” the driver asked. Without answering, Nang Moray stepped into the
vehicle, and as soon as she was seated, the driver asked her again. “Is your
checkup over?”
It was the same tricycle that she had ridden earlier. “Yes,” she told the driver.
“The checkup was quick.”
The tricycle sped up. The driver said, “I went back to Doc Sonny’s house
to wait for your fellow passengers earlier, but Doc Sonny said they’re staying

26
there for a while. He told me to go after you instead. Thanks to him, at least I
have one passenger on the way back to the market.”
Nang Moray nodded. She was in no mood to talk to the driver, or to
anyone for that matter, but he was quite garrulous. He asked, “How did it go?
The checkup.”
She lied. “Doc Sonny just gave me a bottle of coconut oil. He instructed
me to apply it on my back every night.”
“That’s weird. Doc Sonny does not usually give anything to his patients.
My wife and I go to him regularly. He just points at the afflicted part of the body,
chants some inaudible prayer, and then gives us a list of food that we shouldn’t
eat.”
Nang Moray opted not to comment. She pretended to be busy looking
at the view beside the road.
“Doc Sonny is a good healer.” The driver kept on talking. “But sometimes
my wife and I feel we really need medicine. For that, we go to Nong Ontit in
Bagumbayan. He doesn’t want to be called ‘doctor,’ but he acts more like a
doctor than Doc Sonny. He checks your eyes and mouth and gives out
prescriptions.”
“He knows the name of tablets?”
“Yes. Tablets, capsules, syrups. And not just paracetamol or mefenamic acid,
mind you. Even the ones that are hard to spell.”
“Isn’t that dangerous?”
“No. Aside from having a guide, if you know what I mean, Nong Ontit is
quite familiar with medicines. He used to work in a pharmacy. Similar to Doc
Sonny. He was a nursing student before he died and came back to life. Don’t
you find it interesting? There’s a new trend among healers now, especially the
popular ones. They know some science. They’re more like doctors than
albularios. I think gone are the days of smelly ointments and chicken offerings.”
The driver chuckled.
“But there are still a lot of good old-fashioned albularios,” Nang Moray
said, trying not to raise her voice. “Have you heard of Nang Moray?”
“From Esperanza?”
“Yes.”
“I know her. My mother used to go to her. But I don’t. I hope you’re not
her friend or relative”—the driver chuckled again—“but I trust Doc Sonny and
Nong Ontit more. Nang Moray is a has-been. Only old people and those who
live in the boondocks continue to trust her methods. Why, have you been her
patient?”

27
“N-no,” Nang Moray said. “I just heard of her.”
When she reached her home, Nang Moray once again called the spirits,
but none of them appeared. She sat near the window and stared at her yard.
There had been days when it was crowded with vehicles, some of them even
four-wheeled, but now it was empty, and she thought with dread that it would
be so from then on.
For most of the day the following weeks, Nang Moray spent her time
gazing out the window, reminiscing about her heydays as an albularia, wishing
for her spirit friends to reappear gliding toward her. She swore to herself that if
they did come back, she would take them without any question. She would
work with them again as though they had never left.
She had to refuse her visitors who came to be healed, and their number
was dwindling. When one day she sensed a person standing in her yard, she
did not bother to even look at him. She remained leaning on the window, her
forearms resting on the sill, her chin resting on her forearms. She had no
enthusiasm to greet someone she would only send away in a while. The person,
for his part, remained standing in silence, as though patiently waiting for her to
finish her waking dream.
When Nang Moray eventually stared at the stranger, her jaw dropped.
It was Doc Sonny. She was not surprised to find out that it was he. She was
surprised that he looked so young—younger than she remembered him to
be—even if his face was serious and his youthful dimples were not shown.
She opened the door, and he greeted her, “Good morning, Nang Moray.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, “but I cannot entertain visitors today.”
“I am not alone,” he said. She frowned, not understanding what he
meant, and he explained, “I was telling the truth. They went away when you
were coming to my house, and they came back when you left.”
She found his statements still too cryptic, but before she could clarify
further what he had said, the wind blew and the spirits that she had been
looking for appeared. So the spirits had indeed gone to the boy.
The spirits did not come close to her or go inside the house through the
door or windows, but they encircled the humble structure, as though
inspecting a property that they had abandoned but still considered their own.
“Come in,” Nang Moray told Doc Sonny, and as soon as the visitor was
seated, she said, “Are you giving them back to me?”
“But, Nang Moray,” Doc Sonny said, “I cannot give back what I have not taken
away. The spirits came to me of their own accord.”
She had a feeling that he was telling the truth, but her heart was filled
with rancor for him. “I do not believe you,” she said. “You did something to lure

28
the spirits to your house. In any case, you can let them go. They will come back
to me.”
“They won’t go back to you. They won’t go anywhere else.”
“So why are you here?”
“There are so many things I still don’t understand. I need someone who will
teach me. I need your help, Nang Moray.”
Nang Moray was struck speechless. She had not entertained the
possibility that the other healer would come to her to be her apprentice. When
she found her voice, it was quivering and full of spite. “So you’re not only keen
on stealing the spirits. You want me lose my place among healers. You want
me to lose everything.”
“I am not going to replace you, Nang. I am only asking you to share your
knowledge with me, not to transfer it to me.”
“All the same. Without the spirits, I can’t heal serious illnesses. I’m
reduced to a manughilot, someone who kneads aching muscles. Have you
thought of that?”
“But, Nang, the spirits have decided. I can’t make them go back to you.
Perhaps you can do something to make them go back to you. I won’t prevent
that from happening. But as long as they want to be with me, I’ll accept them.
I’ll take care of them.”
“Hah! You don’t know what you are talking about. Keeping spirits in your
stead takes more than lighting an incense or guarding a tree for them. You
have to give your life.”
“I’m willing to spend the rest of my life healing other people if this is what God
wants me to do.”
“I’m not being metaphorical. The woman who taught me to be
an albularia was killed by evil spirits, and she was a babaylan. She was a
powerful healer. She knew the ancient arts of healing. But she was still
defeated. The good spirits were not able to save her. The same thing might
happen to you.”
“It didn’t happen to you. Clearly you’re no ordinary albularia. You’re also
a babaylan. And if evil spirits were not able to defeat you and you share with
me your knowledge, then I will be spared from meeting a tragic end.”
Nang Moray shook her head. “I am not a babaylan. I am not worthy of
such a name. Though I am still alive, my fate was worse than that of my master.
The evil spirits killed my husband and our four very young children! Now be
stubborn and sacrifice your mother’s life.”
Doc Sonny grew pale. For the first time since he talked to her, Nang
Moray saw him waver. “S-surely, there’s a way,” he said. “These thing need not
happen.”

29
Nang Moray didn’t know if her heart was touched with pity for the young
man or she wanted to scare him more into giving up. She decided to give him
an explanation, to let him in on some babaylans’ secrets. “Healers will always
be vulnerable,” she started. “That’s because there are different kinds of spirits,
and a healer must know all of them well. When I was in your house, the spirit I
drove away from there came into existence during the Spanish occupation. It
was something that can defeated by Catholic rituals and Latin prayers. You
can’t see those kinds of spirits—”
“I saw it when it was fleeing,” Doc Sonny interrupted. “It looked like a
huge snake and had horns.”
“All right. But your third eye isn’t strong enough yet to see it while it was
still coming, and you don’t know the rituals against it.”
With his silence, Doc Sonny admitted that Nang Moray was right. She
continued, “I’m not saying that I will, but I can teach you those rituals. I know
how to defeat, or at least drive away, spirits that came into existence as far
back as seven or eight hundred years ago. The problem is that, as far as I know,
no one can teach you to fight ancient spirits. They no longer abound and not
many of them are malevolent, but our lack of knowledge makes us healers
and our family and patients defenseless against them.” Nang Moray thought
that with her last statement, she sounded as though she was recognizing Doc
Sonny as a legitimate healer, as someone who belonged to the age-old family
of babaylans. She didn’t want the young man to have such an impression, so
she added, “You don’t have to feel responsible for the spirits. If you don’t want
to keep them and they deem me no longer fit to take care of them, they can
look for another person. For every generation, there are always a few people
who are born with a third eye.”
“But . . . Maybe in other parts of the country, there are babaylans there
who know how to fight ancient spirits.”
“I’m afraid the knowledge has been completely lost. I went to Panay
and Negros once to look for such a person, but I didn’t find any.”
Long silence followed. When Doc Sonny opened his mouth, he said,
“Thank you, Nang Moray, for talking to me. I think I need some time to think
over matters.”
Nang Moray nodded.
She led him to the door. From several directions, the spirits floated and
formed a cluster in the front yard, waiting for their new friend. When Doc Sonny
was about to turn away, Nang Moray was suddenly gripped with fear that he
would not come back. It dawned on her that there was something greater at
stake, something greater than her pride. “Perhaps,” she said aloud, and
waited for him to face her. When he did, she continued, “Perhaps the
babaylans themselves were to blame. At some point in history, maybe one
generation refused or failed to pass on their knowledge to the next.”

30
Doc Sonny smiled. With his dimples, he looked so young and sweet and
even guileless. She could no longer understand why she had considered him
a threat. “And perhaps,” he said, “one generation was unwilling to learn from
their predecessors or did not brave the danger that came with the calling.”
“You know where to find me when you’re ready.”
Doc Sonny nodded. She watched him walk away, the spirits gliding
around him, stirring the wind and causing the leaves to rustle. Now she knew:
he was not her rival; he was her successor. He was not the other healer; he was
the new healer. She did not call the spirits to come back to her. She whispered
instead, “Guide him. Give him the courage that he needs, just like what you
did to me when you found me.” She then bid them goodbye.

Retrieved with permission from https://cotabatoliteraryjournal.com

Apply

Activity 1. Give it to Me Straight!

 Take five sentences from page 3 that show figurative language.


 Infer the literal meaning of the figurative language.
 Use the space provided below.

Example:

31
Sentence: The grass looks like spiky green hair.
Inferred Meaning: The grass is green.

1. Sentence:______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.
Inferred Meaning:
_____________________________________________________________.
2. Sentence:______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.
Inferred Meaning:
_____________________________________________________________.
3. Sentence:______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.
Inferred Meaning:
_____________________________________________________________.
4. Sentence:______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.
Inferred Meaning:
_____________________________________________________________.
5. Sentence:______________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.
Inferred Meaning:
_____________________________________________________________.

Reflect
Activity 1. Reflect on it!
 Read the sentence below and answer the question that follow.
 Write your answer on the graphic organizer.

There are Filipinos who believed on the spiritual healer or “albularia” who used
the combination of spiritual faith and alternative medicine. Many Filipinos claimed that
they were healed through that.

32
1. Do you agree that those who claimed to be healed are indeed healed because
of the “albularia”?

Extend
Activity 1. Strip the Comic!
 Below is a wordless comic strip.
 Infer the situation of the comic strips.
 Write the inference on the space provided.

1.

33
2.

34
3.

35
“Killing the Issue” by Karlo Antonio G. David

Introduction

Learning Competency: Explain the literary, biographical, linguistic and


sociocultural contexts and discuss how they enhance the text’s meaning and enrich
the reader’s understanding.

36
Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, the students are expected to:
 Identify the literary, biographical, sociocultural and linguistic context of the
presented text.
 Explain the sociocultural background of the literary text to understand its
meaning.
 Show appreciation of the literary text through various written activities.

Overview of the Literary Text

Karlo Antonio G. David of Kidapawan City writes, “Killing the Issue”, the one-
act play. This one-act play won the second prize in the 2014 Don Carlos Palanca
Memorial Awards.
Young and profligate Arthur Reyes has just returned home from Davao to the
province of Bajada, where his family the Reyes clan has dominated politics for
generations. He comes at a delicate time: Celestino Fernandez, a known critic of the
dynasty, is visiting the province with a convoy of journalists. The family plots to do
something about their political nemesis, but the past - and their own actions - come
back to haunt them.
In this play, bad-words such as, “puta”, “tonto”, “putang-ina”, “leche” and “yawa”
are present. These words are used to express strong emotions like anger. These are
usually common among Visayan speakers as part of their conversation in the regional
context like Davao City.

Connect

Activity 1. Gallery Walk


 Form a group of five members.
 All members would act as curator.
 These curators are task to pre-organize the pictures and topics to be explained.
 These are the following topics:
1. Author’s style of writing
2. Education
3. Family
4. Success Stories

37
5. Behind the Story of the text
6. Sociocultural issues
 The first group starts on the first topic, followed by other groups in other
topics. Then the first group moves to the second topic and other groups would
follow simultaneously until on the last topic.
 Listen and take note of the topics prepared by your teacher during the gallery
walk.
Use the space below for note taking during the gallery walk.

Activity 2. Note Taking

 Listen and take notes as your teacher discuss the five elements of drama.

Use the graphic organizer for your notes.

38
Theme

Plot

Characters

Dialogue

Setting

Activity 3. Read it!

 As you read the one-act play “Killing the Issue” by Karlo Antonio G. David,
encircle the difficult words and underline the social issues reflected in the text.

39
Killing the Issue by Karlo Antonio G. David
(This one-act play won the second prize in the 2014 Palanca Awards.)

CHARACTERS

Hon. Emmanuel “Manny ” Reyes Sr. (80s): congressman of the second district
in the province of Bajada
Hon. Emmanuel “Manny ” Reyes Jr. (60s): governor of the province of
Bajada, Manny Senior’s son.
Ruth Cipriano–Reyes (60s): daughter of mayor of municipality of Bacudo, and
sister of mayor of municipality of Santo Tomas, Manny Junior’s wife.
Hon. Raymond Paul Cipriano–Reyes (20s): chair of the League of Barangays,
Bajada Chapter and ex-officio member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
Arthur James Cipriano–Reyes (20s, about two years younger than Raymond):
younger son of Manny Junior and Ruth
Insp. John Paul Aladin (44): provincial chief of police

PROPS

Tables, overly expensive looking furniture, a TV, some food, maids and
henchmen

GENERAL SETTING

In the Province of Bajada, somewhere in Christian Mindanao, Philippines, the


present time and consciousness, noon up to afternoon

The action of the play is completed within twenty-four hours.

MISE-EN-SCÈNE: In the living room of the Reyes Mansion, Municipality of Santo


Tomas, Province of Bajada. There are expensive-looking chairs and a coffee
table at center with a flat-screen TV of the most expensive kind nearby. A
door leading outside is to the left, while one leading to the rest of the house is
to the right. There is a desk upstage and a radio to the right near the door. A
white carpet dominates the floor. The room is furnished with luxury. Maids are
constantly sweeping the floor or dusting the tops of shelves and tables.
ARTHUR REYES is sitting on one of the chairs in front, texting. He has a beautiful
face, with shoulder length brown hair tied neatly in a pony tail. He has an

40
elegant slenderness that goes well with the long sleeved polo shirt he is
wearing. He moves with some degree of femininity. He speaks articulately
with an indifferent nonchalance.
Enter RAYMOND REYES, with a number of maids bringing some papers and
food. Raymond is taller than Arthur. The two bear some resemblance, but
Arthur has smoother skin and Raymond a more tanned complexion.
Raymond’s hair is in a short barber’s cut parted to the left. He is also more
muscular that Arthur. The maids bring the food to the coffee table and the
papers on the desk.

Raymond: (To a maid) Turn on the TV. (To Arthur) You’re going somewhere
already, Arthur? Why, you just arrived from Davao.
Arthur: Kuya Raymond! I have a date. It’s not my fault I’m popular.
Raymond: But it will be your fault if something happens to you because of
that popularity, so be careful.
Arthur: True. In every crime, the victim’s stupidity is the lead culprit. But by the
way—
Raymond: Wait. (Points to the flat-screen TV)
TV: Journalist and public intellectual Celestino Fernandez is expected to
arrive today in the Municipality of Santo Tomas in the Province of Bajada to
begin his nationwide intellectual symposium tour entitled “Violence in the
Mind: Human Rights Violations on the Level of Thought.” Fernandez’s decision
to begin the tour in the province, stronghold of the Reyes Clan, was not
without controversy. Not a year has passed since the acclaimed political
theorist first criticized the family, which has been in power in the province for
five generations, and includes current Governor Emmanuel Jr. Aside from
fears for Fernandez’ss safety, low participation in the symposium, in the face
of high public approval for the Reyes Clan is also feared.
And to bring us the showbiz news— (Raymond turns the TV off.)
Raymond: Our tiktik was right, it was aired nationally . . .
Arthur: So, Kuya Raymond, what will the family do?
Raymond: I can’t tell you. Have you unpacked? (As they converse he is
signing papers)
Arthur: No, I haven’t yet. I’ll do it when I get back.
Raymond: Oh, nonsense. (To maid ) Beng, you can unpack Arthur’s things
now.
Maid: Yes, kuya. (Turns to leave)
Arthur: No, wait. Beng, stop. I’ll do it na lang lagi, you can go.
Maid: Yes, kuya. (Exits to the right)
Reymond: What’s in your bags anyway that you don’t want the maids to
unpack it for you?
Arthur: Nothing dangerous. I just don’t like the idea of having people do
things for me. But come on, tell me. What are you going to talk about
with Lolo today?

41
Raymond: Now how did you know I and papa are going to tell him
something? I told you, you can’t know. It’s for officials only.
Arthur (scowling): Really now, you politicians just can’t be reached
anymore. Whatever happened to transparency.
Raymond: I owe you no transparency, you’re not a registered voter. I
wouldn’t owe you any transparency if you were.
Arthur: Oh come on, Kuya, spill. For affection’s sake, if not for an FOI law.
Raymond: No.
Arthur: Even if I say please? (Walks slowly to position himself behind Raymond)
Raymond: I said no. If you want to be in the know, enter politics. And besides,
you’re tabian. If you know something, everybody ends up knowing about it.
Arthur: Ah yes, having the knack for talking is one of my more flattering
defects.
Raymond: How lovably vain you are. (Laughs. Rolls eyes. Scowls at paper he
is holding) Domestic violence in Bacudo is up again. When will this end?
(Realizes Arthur is peeking at his papers) Oh you’re as nosy as a journalist, will
you stop it!
Arthur: (Laughs) I like being curious, it dispels the boredom.
Raymond: You wouldn’t be so bored if you weren’t wasting your time being
idle, you know. And be careful with that curiosity of yours, curiosity kills the
journalist. (Laughs at his own joke with a sinister air)
Arthur (distractedly): Yes, it can be quite dangerous . . . (Snaps back to
attention) Well, about that domestic violence problem of yours.
Raymond (exasperated): It never ends, really. And there’s barely anything we
could do to solve it, taking the men into custody could only do so much.
Arthur (after a moment of contemplation): What if you provide livelihood
seminars to the poorer areas?
Raymond: What does that have to do with domestic violence?
Arthur: (Distractedly gets some papers from Raymond’s pile) I’m guessing the
main cause of instances of fighting is livelihood related?
Raymond: Yes, apparently, husbands beat their wives when wives begin
nagging about their husbands’ not working.
Arthur: And I’m guessing husbands always say as an excuse that working is
difficult and pointless because you can never be rich with the menial sources
of income available to you?
Raymond: Now how did you know that? Board Member Balasabas did say
that.
Arthur: If you start livelihood seminars, that will help change their mind-sets
about small-time businesses. And you can include seminars on sensible saving
practices as well as counselling for unhappy marriages in that budget.
(Seems happy with himself)
Raymond: (Sees the merit of the idea but is sceptical) Hmm . . . I’ll think about
it.
Arthur: (Laughs, returns to his seat) What a typically politician response. By the
way, Kuya, don’t you have classes? We have a saint’s feast day in the
Ateneo de Davao, but aren’t you from a state university?

42
Raymond: Asus, I have much more important things to worry about. Well,
education is still important of course, but my duties as an SK Chairman come
first.
Arthur: Of the whole province, you never mentioned. When mama arranged
it with the COMELEC to let you run for SK even though you were overaged, I
thought that would be the end of it. But to reach the provincial level!
Raymond (with affected vanity): It helps, I guess, that I look youthful.
Arthur: And you say I’m vain. (Laughs) But in any case, you never mentioned
this to me when I arrived. Imagine how I felt when I was told that
my kuya had become the chairman of the SK Federation for the whole
province. (Theatrically) How poorly, I thought, do people regard their familial
relations.
Raymond: Oh, don’t tell me nangluod ka. (Laughs) Well, I figured you’d know
about it anyway.
Arthur: Still, when first meeting someone after a period of time, it is only proper
courtesy to mention a fact that has not yet been established between the
two of you, regardless of whether both of you are aware of it or not. You
didn’t even mention it when I came home last night. (Feigns luod)
Raymond: Ah well, I’ll be leaving the courtesy to you, that would be your
department. But point is, I have the SK and the board to think about now—
though admittedly there’s nothing much to think about with the SK—so going
to class wouldn’t be that important. And besides, what’s the use of
having Tita Jane as our dean? If I’m right, she’s even ninang to our PolSci
chairperson’s wedding. So heck. I’ll still have high grades.
Arthur: (Laughs resignedly) The youth is the future of the Fatherland!
Enter Gov. Manny Jr. and Ruth with another entourage of maids and with
some henchmen. Manny Jr. is shorter than Arthur. His big stomach is bulging
out from behind his barong tagalog. His wavy hair is in an army cut. In
general he looks like a bulldog. Ruth is around the same height, and she looks
like a ripe rambutan. Her curly hair, as brown as Arthur’s, is shoulder length.
Her clothes and makeup look expensive and churchy. If Manny Junior is a
bulldog, she looks like a chowchow.
Gov. Manny Jr. (obviously not hearing the preceding conversation): If you
know that, why don’t you make something out of your own future,
you buang! (Arthur makes obeisance. He kisses the boy on the forehead) You
know that your kuya is now the provincial SK chairman?
Arthur: Opo, Pa. I’ve heard of it back in Davao.
Ruth: And what about you? You wouldn’t even try to be club president! Oh,
you’re wasting your potential, dear! (The couple sits down.)
Gov. Manny Jr.: (To Ruth) Make me a cup of coffee.
Ruth: Raymond.
Raymond gestures to maids to make coffee. A maid obeys.
Ruth: (To Arthur) What time did you leave Davao yesterday?
Arthur: Around six, Ma. I had something to do before that.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Flirting with someone again? Uwagon! (Laughs) I was not
able to meet you last night, I had to attend an SK Federation meeting—

43
pastilan, those kids were stupid. Their parents have done nothing to make
them intelligent.
Arthur: They’re still the first generation, Pa. Give them a few more generations
and they’ll learn the trade.
Gov. Manny Jr.: True. But you are not one to talk, you opted out of politics—
you are wasting your privilege. (Theatrically) You, dong, happen to be the
issue of five generations of politicians! (Gets one of the newspapers from the
coffee table) Well, at least you are not causing trouble like those
stupid aktibistas. (Glares at Arthur) Are you?
Arthur: Don’t worry, Pa. I have my convictions, but I’m not so in love with
them as to throw stones at policemen for them.
Ruth: Now it’s a good thing you only look like an activist—oh, would you fix
that hair of yours, dear!
Arthur: Oh no, Ma, activists don’t wear their hair long anymore, the hippies of
the seventies realized conditioner is too bourgeois. One-inch to skinhead is
the new hair range for activists these days, political detainee coiffure. In fact
they don’t think much of me. I’m far too stylish to sympathize with the masses.
Besides, I like this long hair, it’s allowed me to experience many things.
Ruth: What kind of things, if I may ask?
Arthur: The kind I wouldn’t tell my mother, of course. (Pecks her on the cheek
as she giggles)
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Laughs) Well, it’s a relief too that you are not making noise
like these pinisting journalists. (Opens the paper he is holding) Mga yawa.
They don’t see anything good, all they see are the mistakes.
Arthur: Ah, that’s true, Pa. In the Philippines, all that those in position are
saying is that they’ve been doing everything right, while the opposition and
the media say that the administration is doing everything wrong. Nobody
seems to want to listen.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Laughs) Exactly!
Ruth: Oh, would you reconsider for me, ’Nak? You’re far more articulate than
many of the baga’g-nawongs that have the gall to run. Try running for some
office for me, will you?
Arthur: I dare not do so, Ma. I might win.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ay you are hopeless. (Laughs. Sips coffee but finds it too
sweet) Leche. This is too sweet. (Slams it on the table, much coffee spills. To
maid) Clean that, and make me another cup. (The maid obeys tremblingly.
He reads the papers again) Putang ina, this Celestino Fernandez! All he
knows is to attack LGUs. If he is not accusing them of making useless projects,
he would be calling them useless themselves for not doing anything. What will
you do to impress this yawa!? And what he said on the radio last night—oh,
your lolowill be so angry!
Arthur (with some anxiety): What he said last night, Pa?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ay, you tell him, dear. My blood pressure will go up again.
Ruth: Well he was implying something during the press con about this
symposium of his here. When he was asked if he was not afraid of the family,
he answered—now how did that go? “I am afraid of neither the bolo of the
Old Reyes’ past, nor the tank of the younger Reyes’ present. I am even brave

44
enough to uncover them.” I was at Epifania’s this morning for a meeting of
the Couples for Christ wives, it’s the talk of the town.
Arthur is visibly aghast, but his family does not notice it.
Gov. Manny Jr.: The putang ina knows about the tank, but he knows
something else, I tell you.
Arthur (after a pause. with composure): I have to excuse myself, Pa, Ma. I
have to meet someone. I’ll try to come home early.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Raises eyebrow) Going off to flirt again? (Laughs) At least
you are spreading our genes. Go on, leave now. We have to talk to
your lolo later. You’ll just be distracting him again.
Ruth: Do come home early tonight. I want to take you to Salud’s dinner party.
Her daughter Terry has just returned from Manila with her Chinese boyfriend.
You remember Terry dear, don’t you?
Arthur (in a rush): Well, not as much as I should, perhaps.
Ruth: You were always very warm with Terry, I thought you had something
going on.
Arthur (with sentimental amicability, still in a rush): Well, we find new people to
be warm with. (Motions to leave. With great anxiety) Now I really must excuse
myself.
Ruth: Oh wait, have you unpacked?
Arthur: (Stops on his tracks) Not yet, Ma, but I’ll just do it later.
Ruth: Oh, let the achays do it. What’s the use of having achays.
Arthur (almost consternated): Oh no, Ma, I insist. I’ll be unpacking them
myself.
Ruth (affectionately): Are you ordering me!? (Giggles) Just go, already!
Arthur: (Kisses mother and father) Okay. Kuya.
Raymond: Yeah, take care.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Take one of the cars. (Gestures to one of the henchmen)
Arthur: Oh no, Pa, I prefer commuting. I haven’t commuted here in Santo
Tomas for a while, I want to reminisce. (To the henchmen)You can stay here,
Boy. (To the family) I’ll go ahead.
(Exeunt Arthur in a rush to the left)
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Follows Arthur with his eyes. Affectionately) Ay, that boy is
hopeless. (Reading the paper) Putang ina this Fernandez. Kahilas! Listen to
what he wrote on this column of his: “The underlying elitism that manifested
itself in the Magdalo–Magdiwang rivalry crippled the Revolution and it still
cripples us today, because the elitists (note that I do not use here ‘the elite’)
never consider the capabilities of those whom they perceive are below
them.” Funny, because he himself is an elitist! Inglisero! (Puts down the paper
violently) I hope papa agrees to the plan!
Ruth: I’ve been nothing but tears and hurt feelings in front of the Couples
wives and with the Gabriela people. Have you dealt with the Federation,
Ray?
Raymond: Not without difficulty. Arthur’s the only actor among us, you know!
Ruth: (Laughs) What did you do, dear?
Raymond: When Fernandez was mentioned in the Federation meeting, I
pretended to be unaffected. But in a few moments, I pretended to be

45
bothered. When they fell silent, I explained to the idiots that “I was just hurt
because all the family gets after five generations of service is criticism.” I also
brought up the issue of extrajudicial killings, and I said if I had only known
they’d suspect me and my family, I should never have taken the responsibility
of chairman. Finally I apologized for digressing from the order of business of
the federation. Basically, I just did what Tito Edward pulled off in the
Sangguniang Panlalawigan.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Laughs) And what do they think of Fernandez now?
Raymond: Hilas, an elitist who never understood their sufferings.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Good! Now we are no longer the sole suspects, the angle of
a privately motivated directive could be seen. It is a good thing our appeal is
populist while Fernandez is seen as being hilas. (Gestures to the maid to hand
him another newspaper)
Ruth: Everything seems to be in order. I think we ought to call Papa. (Rises. To
Raymond) Come, let’s get your lolo.
Raymond: Yes, Ma. (He and Ruth exit)
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Reads papers. After a short while, he gets his cellphone)
Hello, John Paul. Come over . . . What, and where did Cocoy take the men?
What happened? (Listens)
Re-enter Raymond and Ruth, with Cong. Manny Sr. The congressman is old,
but he is just as plump as his son Manny Junior. His army cut hair is entirely
white. His face is ruddy, making him look like a mastiff. His age, however,
imposes a high amount of respect from all the other characters. They crowd
around him like little children clambering up a scowling Buddha.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Stands up to greet father) Papa, have you had a good
sleep?
Cong. Manny Sr.: Yes, but dios mio, I really cannot deny it anymore, I am old.
Just walking is becoming tiring! (Laughs)
Raymond: Tito Cocoy took some of the men with him, Pa?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Yes. Apparently the idiot could not control his urges. He did
the wife of a policeman in his city. Now the policeman found out!
Ruth (condescendingly): Oh, men!
Raymond: Now where did I hear that story before!?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Yes! It is familiar, isn’t it?
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Looks at the maids and henchmen and dismisses them to
exit. They exit. Laughs suddenly) You young people have terrible memories!
Have I not shared with you boys that the same thing happened to me when I
was young? Ah, that Lucretia was one woman. (To Gov. Manny Jr.) Even your
mother was no match for him, Jun! (Laughs)
Gov. Manny Jr.: Do refresh our memories, Pa.
Cong. Manny Sr. (with a glint of nostalgia in his eyes): I was right around your
age, Raymond, and was just a capitan de barangay—yes, you have
outdone me, I was not the provincial chair of the Federation! That Lucretia
was the wife of a policeman, Collatino. When the tonto was out I did her.
Well, she liked it (laughs) but she ratted to him anyway, the puta.
Ruth: (The feminist in her is aghast) Oh, Papa!

46
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Eyes her authoritatively, silencing the feminist in her.
Continues as if she did not interrupt) The gago of a husband threatened to kill
me, said it would be easy since I was just some kid. But the neighborhood was
for me, exactly because I was young—they could not believe a young man
like me from a buen familia could do something like that. And to protect me,
this neighborhood thug named Dionisio—I forgot the family name—went so
far as accusing the policeman of stealing his goat! And the neighborhood’s
attention was diverted to the goat! (Laughs) One night, I drank with Dionisio
and made him drunk. When the idiot was asleep, I took his bolo and went off
to take care of the couple. It was his bolo, and he had a known grudge
against the victims, so Dionisio was in prison until he died!
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ah yes, now I recall. It’s been some time since you’ve told
that story! (He realizes. Suddenly, he looks aghast.)
Ruth: Manny?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Papa! We have to kill that Fernandez! (Almost to himself) It
was just a countermeasure about the tank, but now we have to do this! We
have to kill him!
Cong. Manny Sr.: Wait, wait. Calm down. (Takes a deep breath) I knew we
were coming to this. But let us talk about it properly before deciding. This is a
big decision. Inhale, exhale (Gov. Manny Jr. obeys.) Okay, let us decide on
this properly. (To Raymond) Ray, hijo, could you lead us a prayer so God can
enlighten us?
Raymond: Opo. (Stands up) Let us all be reminded that we are in the
presence of God. (Sign of the cross) Father God, thank you for giving us a
new day. Please guide us as we make this very important decision. These we
ask in Jesus’ name, amen.
All: Amen. (Sign of the cross)
Cong. Manny Sr.: Okay, now that the Espirito Santo has blessed us with
prudence, speak.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Stands. Clears his throat) Papa, Celestino Fernandez will
come to the province today. We have devised an operation to get rid of him
and his entourage.
Cong. Manny Sr. is surprised but seems passive.
Cong. Manny Sr.: How will you pull it off? How will you hide it from the police?
Gov. Manny Jr.: That is easy. (Looks at window) Ah, John Paul’s timing is
admirable.
John Paul enters with an entourage of henchmen. He is as tall as Raymond,
with army-cut hair and a well-built body. He has a stiff expression on his face.
His complexion is much darker than that of the other men. At a gesture from
the old man the henchmen exit.
Gov. Manny Jr.: John Paul. Before all else, tell us, do you promise to be loyal
to the family with respect to its plan I already mentioned to you?
John Paul (a bit surprised): Yes, sir.
Cong. Manny Sr.: So you have the provincial chief of police with you. Good.
Okay, let us continue.
Gov. Manny Jr.: As you can see, Papa, the provincial chief of police is ours. In
fact, it will be the provincial police who will be doing the deed.

47
Cong. Manny Sr.: But what about the national police? How will you avoid
blame? You should pass the blame on others.
Gov. Manny Jr.: We have thought of that, Papa—yes, Edward, Celinia, and
Boboy are in this as well. We have specifically chosen to do the deed in our
NPA hotspots here in the province. Edward and Raymond here too have
been talking in their respective assemblies to rally sympathy for us. We have
also stirred a considerably high amount of public dislike for Fernandez that
the angle of private action is more than likely.
Raymond: Yes, Lolo. Tito Edward’s been the one negotiating with the NPA,
and things are going well. But Tita Cely says the people in Congress still think
we have little control of them. The possibility of rash action from them to
please us—and also because Fernandez has been criticizing the NPA too—
will make them very convincing suspects!
Cong. Manny Sr.: I see. (After a pause that makes the other characters tense)
But really, is his criticism all the reason why you want to get rid of him? What
are you hiding from me?
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Hesitates) Well, Papa, when Fernandez was speaking on a
radio station last night, he was asked if he was not afraid of the family. Well . .
. he answered, “I am afraid of neither the bolo of the Old Reyes’ past, nor the
tank of the younger Reyes’ present. I am even brave enough to uncover
them.” (Cong. Manny Sr. starts up) I only remembered about it when you
retold the story a while ago!
Cong. Manny Sr.: So you think he knows? How? What is he planning to do?
Gov. Manny Jr.: One of our assets speculates that Fernandez’s men might
have already found your bolo. It was taken to the police for evidence, was it
not? It would be very easy for an inquisitive man to look it up. He might be
planning to meet with the henchmen who got it when he arrives—that is why
he chose to start that tour of his here!
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Stands up) Kill that putang ina and everyone in his convoy!
He dares dishonor me and this family? Get rid of him! (Raymondtries to calm
him down and leads him back to his seat) How do you intend to do the
deed?
Gov. Manny Jr. gestures to Ruth.
Ruth: (Wipes sweat) This will be how things go po, Papa: Fernandez’s convoy
will enter from Davao into the municipality of Bacudo. Daddy, Mayor Pablo
Cipriano, gave us his policemen to act here.
Cong. Manny Sr.: So Cipring is in it too?
Ruth: Opo, Papa. SPO3 Tirona of Bacudo will meet the convoy and pretend
to escort them to Buduan. Here, the policemen of Buduan and Bagong
Quezon will pick them up. They will ask the convoy people to give their
communication devices to secure the area. They will say there is an NPA-
related conflict. After these communication devices are to be taken and
destroyed, they will be brought to Santo Tomas, far from the town, and they
will be disposed of there.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Disposed of? How?
Ruth: Shot po, before being chopped to make burying them convenient.
John Paul raises hand. Ruth looks at him and nods in consent.

48
John Paul: Let me just add, sirs, ma’am, that for the whole operation, SPO3
Ervic of Santo Tomas, my wife’s cousin, will be in charge. He’s a newbie, sir,
but I trust his capability.
Cong. Manny Sr.: That bolo worries me. (To himself) How on earth did he find
out? Are you sure if we kill Fernandez, we will get rid of that bolo?
Gov. Manny Jr.: We will make the convoy stop for a few hours in Bacudo
before they are picked up to let Fernandez’s man come after them. That
way whoever that tiktik of his is would be included in the shooting. Besides,
Papa, we are still not sure if Fernandez really has found it, or even if he
actually knows what happened.
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Breathes deeply) Yes, I should not worry too much. But it’s
best to be certain. (Smiles) It is a well-made plan! Who thought of it?
Gov. Manny Jr.: It was Ruth, Papa.
Cong. Manny Sr. (smiling): You are very clever, hija.
Ruth: (Bashfully accepts his beso on the cheek) I learn from the best, Papa.
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Laughs. Notices Raymond’s pale face) What’s wrong, Ray?
Raymond: I don’t know, Lolo, but I have a bad feeling. We’re dealing with
lives here, I realized.
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Laughs) You have weak guts, boy. This is how you kill issues
and problems: you kill the people making them.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Even better, reverse it: think that you are not killing a person,
you are killing the issue.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Is that how you do it, Jun? Yes, you can do that too. But to
be sure. You ought to make this boy’s guts stronger. (To Raymond) Go to the
site today after the whole thing is done, hijo. That will give you guts, a lot of it,
I can imagine! (Laughs) Report to us if the plan was successful.
Raymond: (Loses his cool) But . . . but I might throw up!
Cong. Manny Sr.: Oh, it will be nothing! Just think they had slaughtered pigs.
Raymond: But . . . but, Lolo, Pa—Ma! I . . . I really don’t think this is right. These,
these are lives we’re dealing with—
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Shuts him up with a gesture) Elders say, you obey. Okay?
(Raymond nods with a mixture of continued reluctance and fear) Good. Jun,
make me a cup of coffee.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Distracted chatting with John Paul) Oh, Ruth.
Ruth: Raymond.
Raymond (loudly): Beng!
Enter a maid. Raymond gestures to her to make coffee. The maid obeys.
A cellphone rings. It is John Paul’s. He answers it.
John Paul: Hello, Vic . . . Yes, yes—what, you’ve began moving? (The family is
startled) It’s a good thing the congressman agreed! Wait . . . (To the family)
They’ve started, sirs. The convoy arrived early.
Ruth: Where are they now?
John Paul: Heading towards Santo Tomas.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Did you make them wait in Bacudo?
John Paul: Let me ask, sir. (Phone) How long did you stay in Bacudo? (To
Cong. Manny Sr.) just as was planned, sir: about two hours. They just started
the plan early.

49
Gov. Manny Jr.: You mean to say even though the plan was out of schedule,
they still went accordingly? This is a useful bata you found, this Ervic!
John Paul: I know, sir. He’s a clever man. Oh, he was asking about the women
and children.
Ruth and Raymond: Women and children?
John Paul: Yes, sir, ma’am, there are women and children in the convoy.
Ruth: Violence against women!
Gov. Manny Jr.: Oh drop it, Ruth. Women should get equality in everything,
even the things men have to suffer.
Cong. Manny Sr. laughs.
Raymond (unable to restrain himself): Lolo, the children, please, not the—
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Again shuts Raymond up with gesture) Get rid of them too
to keep things clean. That’ll get rid of the NPA too. Imagine the public outcry!
(Laughs)
John Paul: Okay, sir. (Phone) Include them. Call me if it’s done . . . Okay . . .
(Puts phone down)
Cong. Manny Sr.: Brilliant! I was hesitant that a newbie is taking care of this,
but now I am glad!
John Paul: We really don’t have too many old-timers now, sir. Many of them
have retired by now. In fact most of the people in this operation are newbies.
Sir Cocoy somehow took all the old-timers with him.
The family laughs except Raymond. Ruth observes his silence and tries to
comfort him. He cheers up a bit.
Cong. Manny Sr.: At any rate, we do need to secure more bata.
John Paul: Yes, sir. I was going to suggest that.
Gov. Manny Jr.: John Paul. When you recruit more bata you should mention
the tank we’re about to get. That’ll draw them in!
John Paul: A tank, sir?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Yes! I was able to bribe this general, he even gave us some
ammunition to go with it. It was a real bargain.
John Paul: This is sure to attract more men, sir!
Cong. Manny Sr.: (To John Paul) Really, boy. I am glad I took you in. The
family’s future depends on your able action.
John Paul: (Smiles humbly) I do my best to repay your kindness, sir—my son is
graduating thanks to your support!
Raymond (with hesitation): By the way, Lolo, can . . . can I request
something?
Cong. Manny Sr. (with pronounced gentleness this time): Yes, Ray?
Raymond (encouraged by the display of gentleness): You see po, barangays
don’t have any budget to support domestic violence victims. Could you lead
the legislation on this? (Ruth perks up at hearing this.)
Gov. Manny Jr.: Why? Is not the DSWD doing anything? Stupid national
government.
Raymond: I don’t know, Pa. We always direct complaints to the DSWD, but
they always answer that nobody is in the DSWD Office. And besides, right
now the DSWD is just acting like a juvenile prison. (Gov. Manny Jr. shrugs his
shoulder). Domestic violence is a big problem in barangays. But the women

50
aren’t the only victims, men too are also indirectly affected. Poverty is the
main cause of instances: usually when we ask, we are told that the battering
begins when the wife complains too much to the husband—the image of the
demure battered wife is far from true! For there really is no such thing as a
demure housewife anymore. Really, poverty is a big problem: we had this
family who resorted to catching mice and lizards to eat.
Ruth: Ugh, why didn’t they just ask from their neighbors!?
Raymond: The neighbors don’t want to help. The family would just rely on
them, they say. This is usually what happens
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Shudders) What a relief we are in power.
Raymond: (Misinterprets what his grandfather said. Face brightens with hope)
That’s why I believe if we give free vocational training, it will really help. And if
we incorporate counselling on anger management and marriage
counselling, it will solve two problems at once. It will be a long-term solution.
Cong. Manny Sr. (dismissive): Okay, okay, draft the articles and I will pass it
when I go to Manila—I have to go soon, anyway. I’ve been absent in
the Camara for months already.
Ruth: Oy, my friend Bibeth is also asking about that House Resolution on
allowing mining in Buduan, Papa. Her husband has foreign investors willing to
fund operations already.
Cong. Manny Sr. (slightly annoyed): Yes, I’ll check that, too.
Ruth: Oh, and Luz wants your vote for this bill Gabriela is planning to pass next
month. It’s about women’s health.
Cong. Manny Sr. (annoyed this time): Okay, okay, I’ll check that too. Where is
that stupid secretary of mine when you need her.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Remember you gave her a leave?
Cong. Manny Sr.: And right before I’m to go to Manila. What a bad idea.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Mischievously, adding to the list) Oh, and Papa, we seriously
need to increase Bajada’s IRA. We want to set up an intelligence fund
Cong. Manny Sr. (very annoyed): Why don’t you just tell Lotlot at the NSO to
magic the province’s birth rate for the coming fiscal year! (The family laughs,
and when Cong. Manny Sr. realizes the joke, he laughs too)
Ruth (remembering her tasks): Oh, I have to prepare for tonight’s party, and I
have to read those papers Salud sent me! But I’ll go unpack Arthur’s bags
first. (Gestures to maid, and maid waits by the door for her. To Manny Jr.)
Update me if the plan was successful.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Okay.
Exit Ruth with maid.
Cong. Manny Sr.: I think that maid heard too much. (To John Paul) Take care
of her after Ruth’s done with her. Go have fun while you’re at it.
John Paul: Yes, sir.
John Paul’s phone rings again, and he picks it up.
John Paul: (Phone) How did it go? Okay . . . (Puts down the phone. To the
family) It’s done, sir.
Gov. Manny Jr.: It was fast! (To Raymond) Go, ’Nak, take a look and call us to
confirm that Fernandez is dead.
Raymond (hesitantly): Okay, Papa. (Stands up)

51
Cong. Manny Sr.: Wait. (Takes some money from pocket and gives to
Raymond) Here, treat the men to something!
Raymond: Opo, Lolo. (Exits to the left)
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Follows Raymond with eyes. To Gov. Manny Jr.) You have a
hardworking son.
Gov. Manny Jr.: I’m proud of both of them—even if Arthur’s being a useless
dandy, he has remarkable insight too.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Yes, very good with his words that boy, hopeless case that
he is. But what worries me about your panganay is that he does not seem to
have the sense of responsibility for his “duty of privilege.”
Gov. Manny Jr.: Duty of privilege, Papa?
Cong. Manny Sr.: I am certain you know what I mean. You feel it too of
course. Though it is stronger with Cocoy and Edward. (Laughs) Not only is
Raymond a public servant himself, he was born into a family of public
servants—that makes him doubly superior to the ordinary people. And
because he is better than them, it is his duty as it is ours to enjoy things in
behalf of them. He must enjoy the privileges of power that are not given to
everybody. We as leaders are obliged to be happy in behalf of the suffering
masses. As Arthur would put it, noblesse oblige.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ah, I am still so young, Papa.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Of course. You have a lot more rice to eat, dong. (Laughs.
Looks around) But dios mio, how on earth can we enjoy for the masses when
our house is this small? (Sighs) you know what, in our five generations of
service we have gotten very little, compared to some upstart who happens
to be in Manila. We are just LGUs in faraway Mindanao, unfortunately. You
are planning on becoming congressman, right? Try to be as conspicuous as
you can in the House so you can aim for Senator. The local politician’s
resources are really not enough to support us. (Sighs) As for me I’m too old
now. The reigns are yours, dong.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ginoo, don’t pressure me, Papa. (Laughs)
Cong. Manny Sr.: (Laughs along) If I do not pressure you, what kind of a father
would I be!
Gov. Manny Jr.: True! (Laughs. He shouts the name of a maid, and maid
enters. Gestures to the papers on the desk. The maid hands it to him. He
dismisses the maid after receiving the papers) Raymond has been bothering
me to sign these ordinances for months now. (He begins signing the papers
while Cong. Manny Sr. reads newspapers)
Cong. Manny Sr.: (After some minutes reading) Punyeta!
Gov. Manny Jr.: What is it, Pa?
Cong. Manny Sr.: Have you read this Zayd Suleiman? A new writer, it seems.
Here, read this column of his on Davao Star (Hands the paper. Maid takes it
and hands it to Gov. Manny Jr.)
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Reading) “The continued hegemony of the Reyeses in
Bajada in spite of their decades of atrocities just goes to show that Mindanao
politics is predominantly ‘makatao’ (personality based) rather than idea-
based: There’s too much focus on personalities and not enough emphasis on
ideas. But it must not be said that this problem is limited to Mindanao: This is a

52
national problem. During People Power 1, for instance, the ‘fight’ was
between then-president Marcos (a personality) and senator Ninoy Aquino
(another personality). Was it not the case that the personality of the latter
‘party’ was transferred from Ninoy when he died to his widow Cory? It can
even be said that this may very well be the reason why Mindanao Secession
as a movement was unsuccessful: it was too focused on concepts. It took a
P-Noy to sign the Bangsamoro deal, and a defeated villain in the person of
Misuari to make it all the more a success.”

Cong. Manny Sr.: His tone infuriates me, as if he knows everything. Who is
this m——, writing as if he is somebody! He shouldn’t be speaking, he’s just
a moro. In my time, we killed Muslims before they started bombing things.
And now they’re giving these cockroaches an autonomous state of their
own!? Where is this country going—Ah, now I remember! Was not he
that terorista who criticized the SK sometime ago?
Gov. Manny Jr.: Yes, I recall, it was him. What a headache that was.
Cong. Manny Sr.: Oh, I hope he’s part of Fernandez’s convoy!
A phone rings. Gov. Manny Jr. answers his own.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Phone) Hello, Ray? I’ll put you on loud speaker so
your lolocan hear you (Presses something on the phone). Hello?
Raymond (voice): Hello, Papa. I’m here in the area now. I can see it all . . .
scattered everywhere . . . chopped to bits . . . I feel like I’m going to throw up.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Giggles) Wait, wait: think those are toys, just props for
some pelikula.

Raymond (phone): Opo . . . I feel better now


The sound of a car stopping is heard from the phone.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Laughs) Have you arrived?
Raymond (phone): Yes . . . Ah, I’m starting to get sick again. It’s so rancid.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Laughs) Then use a handkerchief, idiot!
Raymond (phone): Opo. (The sound of rustling cloth is heard. A bit less clear
than before) Can you still hear me, Pa?
Gov. Manny Jr.: It’s is a bit muffled, but yes. Look for Fernandez’s body. You
know what he looks like?
Raymond: Yes. Wait a moment . . . (Momentary silence) I’m in front of his
head, Papa. I don’t know where the rest of him is—Ugh! They hit the back of
the head with a bolo, and the brain’s oozing out!
Gov. Manny Jr.: Kaarte! (Laughs) Have Ervic wrap that up and bring it here—
you do not have to touch it, have it placed at the back of the Fortuner!
(Laughs)
Raymond (phone): Opo.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Oh, and was anyone bringing a bolo among there?
Raymond (phone): I’ll just ask . . . (To Ervic) Bossing, was there anybody here
who was bringing a bolo? Okay. (Phone) They didn’t find anything, Papa. A
few people followed, but they didn’t find anything. They’d have noticed it
immediately, because they took all the journalists’ possessions.

53
Gov. Manny Jr.: Okay. Ah! The journalists and their families will be wearing
formal attire, of course. Try to look for a body without of place attire there,
Ray.
Raymond (phone): Opo . . . (Momentary silence) Where did I see this polo . . .
No . . . (Breathing becomes rapid. The sound of running is heard) No! (The
sound of the phone being thrown away is heard)
Gov. Manny Jr.: Hello, Ray? Ray, what happened?
The continued shouts of “no” from Raymond are heard. He suddenly falls
silent, with someone asking a hesitant “sir” heard. “That’s the one who
followed,” the other voice can be heard saying. Violent sounds are heard
and a gunshot. Raymond shouts “A sack! Putang ina, give me a sack!” and
the rustling of a sack is heard. The sound of running, then the loud sound of a
vehicle starting up. Then the line is cut: the car has crushed the phone.
Gov. Manny Jr.: What happened to him? (Jokingly) Oh, someone he knew
was included! Tsk. He’ll learn, that boy. But to be sure, could you meet him,
John Paul.
John Paul: Yes, sir. (Exits to the left. In a short while, the sound of a vehicle
leaving is heard)
Gov. Manny Jr.: What could have happened to that boy? Oh well. (Returns
to signing papers)
Cong. Manny Sr.: (After a while, stands up) I think I will take another siesta. Tell
me when Raymond has returned.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Opo, Papa. (Gestures to maids. Maids assist Cong. Manny Sr.)
Exeunt Cong. Manny Sr.
Ruth enters suddenly, holding some worn-looking sheets of paper in one hand
and a black attaché case in the other.
Ruth: Punyeta! Manny!
Gov. Manny Jr.: What is it?
Ruth: That Arthur! Look at this!? (Hands the papers to Gov. Manny Jr.)
Gov. Manny Jr. reads, his face growing livid, while Ruth continues to curse.
Gov. Manny Jr.: (Furious) Draft articles—Arthur—Arthur is that Zayd
Suleiman? Putang ina! (Tears the bits of paper to pieces, unable to speak out
of anger) He was that warik-warik? He nearly cost his brother the SK post!
Ruth: (Controls Gov. Manny Jr.) Dear, your heart! (Leads him back to the seat)
Gov. Manny Jr.: That boy! We have allowed him to do what he wants, but he
has gone beyond the limit, I say! What else is in that attaché case?
Ruth: I don’t know. Here. (Hands him the attaché case. He takes another
piece of paper inside and reads it). My temper rose when I saw these papers,
so I didn’t bother looking at the rest. (Notices the gesticulation on her
husband’s face) Why? What’s in it?
Gov. Manny Jr.: It’s from that Celestino Fernandez! (Reads it silently) Putang
ina, how close they are, it is almost indecent! (Reads quietly again) “ . . .
follow the convoy on time . . .”
Ruth: “Follow the convoy on time”?
The sound of a vehicle is heard.
Gov. Manny Jr.: Ginoo, Ruth! So that means . . . (Insanely) Ginoo!

54
The violent slam of a door and the shattering of car window glass is heard.
The couple looks to the left.
Raymond (voice): (In a lachrymose roar) Pa! Ma! Arthur! It’s Arthur!
Curtain

Retrieved with permission fromhttps://cotabatoliteraryjournal.com/2016/09/02/killing-


the-issue/

Apply
Activity 1. Hunt the meaning!
 List the difficult words you have encircled and give its meaning. You may use
dictionary for this activity.
 Use the space provided below.

Activity 2. Across the issue!

 Go back to the social issues you identified while reading the text.
 Explain the social issues in relation to the text.
 Use the space provided below.

55
Social Issue 1: ___________________________________________________

Explanation: _____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Social Issue 2: ___________________________________________________

Explanation: _____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Social Issue 3: ___________________________________________________

Explanation: _____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Social Issue 4: ___________________________________________________

Explanation: _____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Social Issue 5: ___________________________________________________

Explanation: _____________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________

Activity 3. Group Script-Writing

 Form a group of four.


 Select one sociocultural issue presented in the Gallery Walk.
 Write a short script reflecting the issue chosen.
 Do not forget to apply the literary elements of the play discussed earlier
especially the dialogue.

56
 Use the graphic organizer below for your draft.

Draft

Sociocultural issue:________________________________

Characters: ______________________________________

Setting: __________________________________________

Plot:

Intro: ______________________________________________________________

Rising: _____________________________________________________________

Climax: ____________________________________________________________

Falling: ____________________________________________________________

Denouement: _____________________________________________________

Final Script

57
Reflect
Activity 1. Letter to the Author
 Write a letter to the author, Karlo Antonio G. David about your reaction after
reading the text.

58
 In your letter, you may ask the author a question or you may suggest something
to him.
 The space below is for your draft.
 For your final paper, follow this house style:
 Paper Orientation (Portrait)
 Paper size (A4)
 Margin (1 inch-right, left, top, bottom)
 Font style: Helvetica
 Font size: 12 pt
Use this as your Draft
__________________
__________________
__________________

__________________,

_________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.

_________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.

_________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________.

________________,

________________
Extend
Activity 1. Gender Bending Recast

59
 Reread the one-act play “Killing the Issue”.
 Choose lines of any characters from the text.
 Recast the lines. If the speaker is a male, rewrite the lines to make it sound like
a female character saying the lines.
Example:
Line from the text: Male: Yes, apparently, husbands beat their wives when
wives begin nagging about their husband’s not working.
Revised: Female: Yes apparently, wives nagged to their husband when
they drink liquor, going home late at night, and entertain other women.
1. Line from the text:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
Revised:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
2. Line from the text:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
Revised:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
3. Line from the text:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
Revised:
___________:____________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________

60