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 Literature represents a language or a people: culture and tradition. But it is more important than just a
historical/ cultural artifact
 Reflection of society  group of people
 place
 objective
 Etymology: Litterae (latin word)  letters
o The Latin word for literature was simply the plural, litterae, and in this basic sense literature
embraces everything written with the letters of the alphabet
 System of Writing: Phoenicians
 Objective of Literature
o Catharsis
 Emotional tension after overwhelming vicarious experiences
 The act or process of releasing a strong emotion (pity or fear) especially by expressing it
in an art form
 Difficult to achieve
 *No real consensus or one all-embracing definition of the term literature – a lot of definitions
 Subjectivity of Literature – all theories of literary value are subjective and that literary evaluation is a
purely personal matter (*loose ends)
o “Compendium of written works done imaginatively”
 *Modes in Which Literature is Expressed
o Spoken Form (orature)
o Written Form
 2 Classifications of Literature (Literary Forms)
1) Prose
o Straight narratives
o Sentences/ paragraphs
a. Novel
 100 pages
 TNR/ Arial
 12, double
b. Short Stories
 10-25 pages
1. Characters/ Tauhan (hindi lahat tao)  can be inanimated (not living)
 Major/ Minor
 Protagonist/ Antagonist
 Bida (life)/ Kontrabida
*Salvador – Savior
 Round/ Flat [change in person]
*Dialogues of characters – represent what they say
2. Setting
 When, Where
 Milieu
 The physical/ social setting in which something happens/ develops
 *social environment
 *social context
 The setting tells the character how to act/ speak
 The world surrounding the characters, not only the setting but also culture and
society, government and religion, family and traditions, everything
3. Plot
 Storyline
 Sequence of events that form the story
 Introduction/ Exposition
o The beginning of the story where the characters and setting are revealed
 Rising Action/ Complication
o This is where the events in the story become complicated and the conflict in the
story is revealed
 Climax
o Considered the high point – the most exciting part – of the story
o This is where all the rising action and conflict building up in the story finally
reaches the peak
o It is usually the moment of greatest danger or decision making for the protagonist
o The turning point can be considered the incident right before the climax
 Falling Action
o Deals with the effects of the climax on the main character
o The events and complications begin to resolve themselves
 Resolution/ Denouement
o Conclusion to the story
o *there is usually a release of dramatic tension and anxiety (catharsis)
o Reveals the outcome of the conflict
o Unraveling or untying of the complexities of a plot
4. Conflict
 A struggle between opposing forces that drives the action of the story
 Man vs Himself
 Man vs Man
 Man vs Nature
5. Theme
 The central and dominating idea/s in a literary work
 Message or moral implicit in any work of art
*tungkol saan yun kwento
2) Poetry
o Language raised to the nth level
o Persona: mask (speaker)
o Imagery
 By the use of imagery, the poet makes what is not familiar to us familiar
 Uses images to share his experiences, thoughts, feelings and ideas
o Lines/ stanzas – chamber
o *A verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that evokes an emotional response from the reader

Unit 1: Imaging the Filipino Man

 Patriarchy
o Has institutionalized masculinity as the bedrock structure that defines power, language &
o According to feminists, patriarchy acts as the mode of culture which dominates and denigrates
o Basing from psychology’s definition, patriarchy creates caricatures which are damaging to both
men (perennial conquerors) & women (perpetually conquered)
 The selections clustered under this theme situate the multifarious domains the Filipino man occupies
“Mill of the Gods” – Estrella Alfon
 Radical depiction of the Filipino man as an ignoble father and husband
 Foregrounds the plenitude of literature in exploring how culture and politics emblematize the patriarchal
 Characters
o Martha
 Isang maganda at tahimik na babae na dati ay huli sa kanyang pag-aaral. May
matinding galit siya sa kanyang ama.
 Dramatic/ round character
o Ina
 Siya ang nanay ni Martha na mapagtimpi sa panlolokong ginagawa ng kanyang asawa.
 Flat character
o Ama – Ang tatay ni Martha na may kabit. Namatay siya sa huli pagkatapos barilin ng asawa ng
kanyang kabit.
o Espeleta – Ito ang mga kapitbahay at ang lipunan (community) na kinabibilangan ng pamilya ni
Martha. Sila ang nakasaksi sa bawat pangyayari ng buhay nila Martha.
 Theme
o Patriarchy
 Pio as the antagonistic husband, father and womanizer
 Hindi nabigyan ng parusa ang ama ni Martha kahit na alam ng lahat ang
pangangaliwa nito. Sa halip ay tinanggap pa rin siya ng kanyang asawa.
 The man who left Martha for another woman
 The doctor who had a wife and secretly had an affair with Martha
o Paghihiganti
 Piniling maging kabit si Martha upang mapunan ang galit niya sa ginawa ng ama.
o Pambababae bilang madalas ngunit patagong gawain
 Halos lahat ng lalaki sa kuwento ay nangaliwa.
 Images/Symbols
o Pigtails: youth
o Knife/Gun: power, violence, bloodshed
o Window: freedom or lack thereof
o Flowers: beauty, gentleness, admiration or death
o Darkness: evil, ignorance, danger
o Saliva: disgust, hatred
o Mill of the Gods: retribution or punishment (slow but certain)
o Crucifix: justice
 Figurative Speech
o Simile:
 “…life must seem like a road given us to travel…”
 “…life seems like an old-fashioned melodrama…”
o Hyperbole: “…both of them struggled and panted and had almost no breath left for words.”
o Irony: “Even in play, there was some part of her that never managed to take too great a part—
she was so content if they always made her “it” in a game of tag, if only they would let her
play… if only they would only include her in the fascinating games she could not play alone.”
 Point of Views
o Omniscient
 Point of view if the story is all-knowing
o Dramatic
 Like a play; dialogues
 Summary
o Matha, the daughter of Pio and Engracia, was 12 years old and was lagged behind others of her
age, whether in study or in play. One night, she heard her parents arguing and struggling in
terrible fury with each other. Martha immediately got out of her room when she heard her
mother’s voice and she saw that they were struggling for the knife. Her father had commanded
her to take the knife away from her mother’s hand and so she did and threw it out of the
window. Engracia wordlessly slapped her husband a couple of times as soon as he released
her. She clutched at Martha and told her words that were unfamiliar to her; words that were only
half-understood. But despite of this, Martha was crying. Her father went out and was gone after
her mother spat on him, and Martha’s mother directed her to find him but she could not. She
went back to the room and cried with her mother.
o When Martha was 18, she fully understood the night that had been a blur to her when she was
still 12. She fell in love with a guy not older than herself, and her seriousness with love hindered
things such as play or game. Martha asked him about their marriage and he just laughed at her.
She realized his excuses meant that he did not want to marry her. He married another woman
and Martha, taking in reality, knew that she had learned her lesson. That night came back to her
and made her hate her father and regret about throwing the knife.
o Martha turned religious and Espeleta approved because they did not know what she prayed for.
Martha’s parents are still together even after that night but between them there was silence.
After she had fallen in love, when she started hating her father, she also started to hate her
mother. Martha graduated with high honors in high school at the age of 18 and everyone,
including her mother and father, was proud of her. Martha studied nursing and started to have
visitors – this time they were doctors – in the house again. But out of all the other doctors,
Martha chose someone slightly older than the rest. Between him and her, there had been a
quick lifting of the pulse and quickening of the breath. But for the very first time they talked to
each other, he told her he was married and if ever he’ll have an affair with another woman, it
should be hidden. Martha found in herself the deep abiding secret against her father and the
laws of man and the church. It seemed like her mother’s burden was passed on to her unwilling
o One day at the hospital, Martha was in the emergency room and saw a man who had been
shot. She imagined that the man was his father. The doctor she loved was in charge and she
was shocked when he returned her gaze with a look of pain on his face. She then realized that
the man who had been shot was really his father, and as she walked out of the room she saw
her mother crying. She wanted to cry to ease the tightness in her chest but instead she felt the
cruel justness of things. When they got home, there was a crowd who waited for them. There
was also an unfamiliar group called Colon and they were the witnesses to her father’s death.
They told Martha that the one who shot her father was the husband of the woman whom
Martha’s father had an affair with. And after hearing all these, she went to her father, looking at
his face that seemed to be in peace and free from pain. She went to her room and there hung a
crucifix. She prayed and thanked that justice was repaid at last.
Estrella Alfon (July 18, 1917 – December 28, 1983)
o Born on 1917 in San Nicolas, Cebu City
o Even if her parents were shoe keepers, she managed to attend college to study medicine
o During her college, she was mistakenly diagnosed with tuberculosis
 She was sent to a sanitarium to be quarantined and decided to resign from her pre-
medical education
o She had the Associate of Arts degree instead (UP)
o Her children are: Alan Rivera, Esmeralda “Mimi” River, Brian Alfon, Estrella “Twinkie” Alfon, and
Rita “Daday” Alfon <deceased>. No grandchildren
o She died in the year 1983 at the age of 66. Due to a heart attack which she suffered on-stage
during the Awards night of the Manila Film Festival
o Storywriter, playwright & journalist
o Well-known author who wrote almost exclusively in English
o Most prolific Filipina writer prior to WWII
o Only female member of the Veronicans (group of writers in the 1930s)
Literary pieces that bolster the myriad possibilities of interpreting the Filipino man as text and as a decentered
object of desire: “To the Man I Married” & “The Spouse”
“To the Man I Married” – Angela Manalang-Gloria
 Romantic poem which delineates the man as the beloved
 Romanticizes man as her love object in the poem
 Presents a specific value judgment for a woman’s man – lover, protector, provider, elemental
 Metaphor:
o “You are my earth and all that earth implies”  my everything
 “…the land that stills my cries…”
o you are my provider
 Summary
o She considers her husband her earth. The Earth that nourishes her, the Earth that gives her
everything in order to live. The Earth that provides for her. Her husband is also the air she
breathes, the orbit that sets off her directions in life. Not only does the Earth provide for her
living, it also gives her resting place by the time she rejoins her Almighty Creator.
o It may seem that her Earth is the only thing that she needs but no! She also needs her Sky, her
Almighty Creator. But that doesn’t mean that she loves her Earth any less.
o Her love for her Earth might be great but it is not comparable to the ocean. Not because her
love wasn't real or great or what, but because in reality, only the Almighty Creator can love as
great as an ocean. But she compares her love to the waves.
 Part I (Intensity of Love)
o In the octave, the speaker makes the bold claim addressing the man she married: “You are my
earth and all that earth implies.” The speaker’s claim alerts the reader to a metaphorical
comparison: the addressee is her earth.
o And just what does “earth” imply? Because the person is her earth, he supplies her necessities
for life: “gravity that ballasts me in space,” “air” that she breathes, the fertile soil where her food
is grown. He gives her direction by his “orbit” that “marks [her] way / And sets [her] north and
south, [her] east and west.”
o The speaker’s final point of comparison is both startling yet quite logical: her husband is like the
earth, in that he is “the final, elemental clay / The driven heart must turn to for its rest.” While he
acts as a force for life as the earth does, he also provides a place for death also as the earth
o While the octave implies a very close and sustaining relationship between the speaker and her
husband, the sestet asserts that that closeness does not completely satisfy all of the needs of
the speaker as an individual: “If in your arms that hold me now so near / I lift my keening
thoughts to another one.”
o Even as she acknowledges her close, nurturing relationship with her husband, she finds that
she needs “another one,” because of her “keening thoughts.” And then she metaphorically
compares herself to a tree whose roots though “long rooted to the earth” raise their “leaves and
flowers to the sun.”
o She needs the earth, but she also needs the sky, just as the earth does, just as trees need the
sun. That does not diminish her love for and attachment to her husband, who is her earth. The
speaker wants to make that fact quite clear so she repeats her claim: “You who are earth, O
never doubt that I / Need you no less because I need the sky.”
 Part II (How long…)
o Part II of “To the Man I Married” consists of two quatrains, in which the speaker asserts that she
does not want to overstate her case about her love for her husband, and she even backtracks
o Although he is metaphorically her earth, she really cannot compare her love for him to the
ocean, because “no such love / And no such ocean can ever be.” “I cannot love you with a love
that outcompares the boundless sea.” This doesn’t mean that her love for him was lessen or
wasn’t real, but because only the Almighty God can love as great and as wide as the ocean. But
she can love him in a finite way, like the waves that keep crashing against the shore; after all,
those waves do reflect “The blue of everlasting skies.”
Angela Caridad Legaspi Manalang-Gloria (1907–1995)
o Born on August 2, 1907 in Guagua, Pampanga
o Her parents were Felipe Dizon-Manalang & Tomasa Tolosa-Legaspi
o They are from Pampanga but they settled in Albay, Bicol Region
o Studied at St. Agnes Academy in Legaspi, where she graduated valedictorian in elementary
o In her senior year, she moved to St. Scholastica's College in Malate, Manila, where her writing
started to get noticed
o Angela Manalang was among the first generation female students at the University of the
Philippines. Angela initially enrolled in law, as suggested by her father. However, with the advice
of her professor C.V. Wickers, who also became her mentor, she eventually transferred to
o During her education in UP, her life-long rivalry with the poet Jose Garcia Villa was developed.
o She also became the literary editor in Philippine Collegian, with Celedonio P. Gloria as the
 Their friendship led to marriage and they had 3 children
o March 11, 1945: Japanese patrol attacked her husband and her son Ruben in Alitagtag,
 Though Celedonio died, Ruben was able to survive but he had a trauma. This left
Angela a widow with 3 children to take care of. It also forced her to leave writing and
change her means of living from a writer to abaca business.
o Is versatile; lyric poet, pianist and editor
o “Poems”
 First and only pre-war anthology of poetry in English by a Filipino Woman
o An idealist turned pragmatist
“The Spouse” – Luis Dato
 Explication of the young wife as the lover
 “Her hair disheveled in the night of passion”
o Manifestation of love
 Oedipus
o The only one who was able to answer the mystery
Sender: To the Man I Married (The Spouse)
Characteristics of man: Provider & Hardworking
Characteristics of woman: Realistic & Dissatisfied
 This poem is spoken by a third person. It is about a woman who is not satisfied with her life. She is
crying because after their night of passion, when she woke up her husband is already gone plowing the
fields. Doesn’t that makes you feel alone? Just when you expect you’ll see his face the moment you
open your eyes after a passionate night, but you only see a rose – a compromise. But she cannot do
anything about it. She is just a woman. And she believe she has no other life but other than this. In the
end, it questions: Will there ever be a change? Will she get the love she deserved?
 *Setting: Rural
 *After the sacred strife, the husband abandoned his wife (sinaktan tapos iniwan)  because he needs
to work
 *to console: rose  no arrogance (husband)
Luis Guevarra Dato (July 4, 1906 – January 29,1984)
o Date of Birth : July 4, 1906
o Place of Birth : Baao, Camarines Sur
o Parents :
 Eugenio Dato y Esplana
 Barbara Guevarra y Imperial
o Paternal Grandparents :
 Damaso Dato
 Nicolasa Esplana
o Maternal Grandparents :
 Ludivico Guevara
 Higina Imperial
o Brothers and Sisters :
 Rodolfo Dato
 Francisca D. Flores
 Soledad H. Hidalgo
 Pablo Dato (2nd Nuptials)
o Schools Attended :
 Naga Central School, (1914 - 1917)
 Tabuco Primary School, (1917 – 1918)
 San Vicente de Paul Seminary (1918 – 1919)
 Naga Elementary School, (1919 – 1920)
 Camarines Sur High School, (1920 – 1923)
 U.P. High School, (1923 – 1924)
 U.P. College of Liberal Arts (1924 – 1928)
 U.P. College of Law (1928 – 1933)
 Southern Luzon College (1947 – 1949)
 University of Nueva Caceres (1949 – 1951)
 St. Anthony College (1971 – 1972)
o Degrees :
 Associate in Arts, U.P., 1926
 B.S.E., Southern Luzon College, 1949
 Bachelor of Laws, University of Nueva Caceres, 1951
 Master of Arts, (30 units) University of Nueva Caceres, St. Anthony College

Unit 2: Imaging the Filipino Woman

 “Vanity, thy name is woman”
 Significant One or the inessential Other
 Venus and Mariang Makiling
o The muse of love, nature and inspiration
 Medusa and Mangkukulam
o Demonic entity casting evil spells and inflicting plagues on otherwise orderly society
o Trademarks: mystery & ambiguity
 Luna (the moon)
o Deliberately feminized as a result of her variegated phases
 Typhoons & hurricanes
o Predominately carry female names, evidenced by their erratic shifting fluxions
 Nature
o Characterized as an entity which can be preserved, cultivated, or destroyed
o Bears a “mother” label
 Mater Dolorosa
o The silent, grieving mother whose agony and tears foreground her equally agonizing Child
 Femme fatale
o Whose sly and provocative schemes lure her men of prey to their doom

“Ang Babaing Nangangarap nang Gising” – Rio Alma

 The life of a typical Filipina who has experienced a lot of hardships in life. Despite the challenges and
struggles she's been through, she still hopes a better life with her husband. She dreams of a peaceful
and happy married life. She wants to escape these disappointments and she does it by day-dreaming.
She wishes a happy life; she doesn’t want to experience any more pain. She’s been hurt so many
times. She wants a perfect life, she may not achieve it in reality but through day dreaming, it gives her
the blissful feeling. She’s a strong Filipina who possesses the quality of being patient and martyr.
 "I think that the poem was written at a time when the country was still on the verge of industrialization
and living in the city was at its peak. The woman in the story symbolizes a typical person living in the
province that is blinded by the fast life and possibly a better future in the city. This was her ambition.
Simply put, to live in the city means to live in prosperity. Now reality struck her, she got married to a
drunkard husband in a home with few to eat. Amidst all these, still she closes her eyes and dreams a
life with violins playing and with sweet care from her husband."
 Para sa akin, ang ibig sabhin ng tulang ito ay, may isang babaeng mahirap at lumaki sa malansa at
bukid na basa sa isang liblib na nayon, siya'y nangarap na sanay makatagpo sya ng isang prinsipe na
maaaring makapagpaganda ng kanyang buhay at mamuhay na parang prinsesa, kaya lunsod ay
kanyang tinungo, subalit ang babaeng ito ay bigo sapagkat nilamon sya sa tukso ng lungsod at
kanyang natagpuan ay lalaking lasenggero lamang, ang lahat ng kanyang pangarap ay naglaho at ang
kanyang mga nais na matupad sa buhay ay hanggang sa pangarap na lamang.
 May isang babaeng probinsyana na nangarap umahon sa kahirapan. Siya ay nakipagsapalaran sa
lungsod ngunit sa hindi inaasahang pangyayari, siya ay nadala ng tukso o makamundong pagnanasa.
Dahil sa pangyayaring ito, naglaho ang kanyang pangarap. Ngayon, siya na lamang ay nangangarap
ng gising. Dahil sa kahirapan at pagkaligaw ng landas, siya ay napilitang gumawa ng masama. Hindi
rin maganda ang naging buhay niya sa kanyang asawa. Sa tuwing ang lalaki ay darating, siya ay pipikit
at magpapanggap na siya ay sasalubong sa prinsipe niyang lasing at mangangarap ng gising na ang
bawat himas ng asawa’y kaginha-ginhawa. Lumalabas na siya ay itinuturing na laruan lamang ng
asawang lasing.
 *Gusto na pangarap na hindi achievable
 *She wants to be a princess
 *Ligaw na sisiw
 *Daydream habang nagluluto ng tuyo  symbol of poverty
 *May belief na if sa city = mas okay
Virgilio Almario (Rio Alma) (March 9, 1944)
o Born on March 9, 1944 in the rural town of San Miguel in Bulacan
o Parents: Ricardo Almario and Feliciana Senadren.
o Spouse: Emelina B. Soriano
o 3 kids: Asa Victoria, Ani Rosa and Agno Virgilio.
o A Filipino artist, poet, critic, translator, editor, teacher, and cultural manager
o He is a National Artist of the Philippines and currently serves as the chairman of the Komisyon
sa Wikang Filipino (KWF), the government agency mandated to promote and standardize the
use of the Filipino language.
o Elementary: Camias Elementary School in 1955
o Secondary: San Miguel High School in 1959
o Growing up in Bulacan among peasants, Almario sought his education at Manila and completed
his degree in A.B. Political Science at the University of the Philippines (1963)
o His life as a poet started when he took master’s course in education at the University of the East
where he became associated with Rogelio G. Mangahas and Lamberto E. Antonio.
o He was an instructor at the Lagao Central Elementary School from 1969-1972. He only took his
M.A. in Filipino in 1974 in the University of the Philippines. In 2003, he was appointed Dean of
the College of Arts and Letters in the said university. On June 25 of the same year, he was
proclaimed National Artist for Literature

“Woman with Horns” – Cecilia Manguerra – Brainard

 "Woman with Horns is a short story written by Filipino writer Cecilia Manguerra Brainard. The story was
first published in Focus Philippines in 1984 and is part of the author's first short story collection, Woman
with Horns and Other Stories (New Day Publishers, 1987). Woman With Horns is centered around two
personalities, two extremely opposite personalities: Agustina, the so called Woman with Horns and
Gerald, an American doctor in the Philippines at the turn of the century; The title refers to a fictional
character named Agustina Macaraig, an Ubecan widow, rumored to have horns. Brainard's character
was inspired by fanciful folklore from Cebu, Philippines,where she grew up in and which inspired her to
create the setting of many of her stories - Ubec, which is Cebu backwards.
 Characters
o Dr. Gerald McAllister – American physician, widower
o Dr. Jaime Laurel – assistant of Dr. McAllister
o Augustina Macaraig – widow with a daughter
o Blanche
o Mayor
 Setting
o 1903 (Philippine – American)
o Ubec  Cebu
 The story is set in 1903 a year after the tumultuous Philippine-American War. America was busy
sending American administrators to their newly acquired colony in the Pacific. One of those who went
to the "Islands" and who ended up in Ubec was a New York doctor and widower, Gerald McAllister. As
the Public Health Director of Ubec, he carries on with his duties of establishing a vaccination program
to stop a cholera epidemic. His initial meeting of the beautiful and sensual widow, Agustina Macaraig,
disturbs and irritates the doctor. It is his assistant, Dr. Jaime Laurel, who reminds him that life is more
than work: "Friend, you don't know how to enjoy life. Look at the sun turning red, getting ready to set
spectacularly. It is a wonderful afternoon, you walk with a friend, you talk about beautiful women, about

 Dr. Gerald McAllister went to his house to eat lunch and return to his office at the Ubec General
Hospital. It was March 16, 1903 on that day. A year and a half passed after his arrival to Ubec from San
Francisco. Three years passed since his wife, Blanche, died.
 He met Agustina Macaraig, an Ubecan widow, at the hospital. She went there to have a medical check
– up, but Gerald requested her to return after lunch because there were no doctors on duty. A story has
been told about Agustina by Dr. Jaime Laurel, his assistant, during their walk at the park. According to
the story, Agustina is a half – woman, half – myth creature. Her mother is a laundry woman while her
father is an encantando, a river spirit. She was born with horns, but then her mother bribed the
carpenter to saw them off.
 During Gerald’s visit to the Mayor’s house he went to the verandah to drink his rice wine. There he met
Agustina again. She tried flirting with him and invited him to have dinner at her house with her child.
 After their dinner, Gerald went home with anger and confusion. Like him, Agustina should keep on
lamenting for the death of her spouse, but it was the other way around. He tried forgetting it by staring
at an album of pictures of his wedding with Blanche. Blanche died due to consumption. In order to stop
himself from mourning, Gerald went to Philippines and worked there as the Public Health Director of
Ubec. This loss is compounded by his transgression with the nurse who took care of his sick wife, the
wife discovers the affair before she dies - With loss and guilt, Gerald is drying like a twig, losing his
battle with depression...
 Night passed and the next day came, Gerald went to Jaime’s office. Jaime told him that the mother of
the Mayor died – but Gerald, instead of showing sympathy, did not care at all, which made Jaime
 Gerald went to the Mayor’s house, where the body of the old woman was in funeral service, to show
 After the burial of the Mayor’s mother, which always happen at the end of a funeral service, the
mourners, including Gerald, went back to the Mayor’s house to have a banquet. There he met Agustina
again and had a conversation with her.
 Gerald went home after the event, but then he decided to swim in the river during the night. He went
there and saw Agustina slowly approaching him as he swam, until they fell into each other’s arms.
 *Horns (irony)
o Literary Symbol
 Evil
 Masculinity (bull, kudu, impala, etc)
 *Gerald (Tiger – but helpless)
 *sign of death ng mother ng mayor – sanitize sa story, she has high position
Cecilia Manguerra – Brainard
o Born: 1947 at Cebu, Philippines
o The youngest of four children to Concepcion Cuenco Manguerra and Mariano F. Manguerra.
o The death of her father when she was nine prompted her to start writing, first in journals, then
essays and fiction.
o She attended St. Theresa's College and Maryknoll College in the Philippines; and she did
graduate work at UCLA
 She attended Maryknoll College in Quezon City from 1964 to 1968, where she received
a BA in Communication Arts.
 In 1969, Brainard immigrated to the United States to study film at UCLA graduate
o She has lectured and performed in worldwide literary arts organizations and universities,
including UCLA, USC, University of Connecticut, University of the Philippines, PEN, Beyond
Baroque, Shakespeare & Company in Paris, and many others. She teaches creative writing at
the Writers Program at UCLA-Extension.
o Like many Filipinos at this time, Brainard emigrated to flee the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.
She reestablished her friendship with Lauren Brainard, whom she had met in the Philippines
when he was serving in the Peace Corps.
 She is married to Lauren R. Brainard, a former Peace Corp Volunteer to Leyte,
 They have three sons: Christopher, Alexander, and Andrew.
o Her work has been translated into Finnish and Turkish; and many of her stories and articles
have been widely anthologized.

Unit 3: Representing the Filipino Family

“Mats” – Francisco Arcellana
o Place: Nana Emilia’s House
o Time: The time setting for the action is in the afternoon. This story happened somewhat
between 1950’s up to the present time. There is no specific season for the said story but the
story evolves in the evening.
 "The Mats" is set somewhere before World War II. It was in the time when people did
not sleep in beds but slept on mats. As the story opens Mr. Angeles, head of a large
family, has just returned from one of his periodic inspection tours on the family’s farm
lands in the Marivales in the province of Bataan. Students of WWII history will know of
the Bataan Death March.
o Protagonist: Mr. Angeles
o Antagonist: Himself
o Family Members
 Jaime Angeles
 Nana Emilia (Miling)
 Marcelina
 Jose
 Antonio
 Juan
 Susanna
 Jesus
 Alfonso
o Dead Family Members
 Josefina
 Victoria
 Concepcion
o Exposition: The story is started by Mr. Angeles who is coming home for his periodic inspection
trip. Then he had written in Mariveles (Bataan) to Nana Emilia that he has a surprise to him that
he bought mats that are made by an artistic craftsman at this area. These mats have colorful
designs with their own distinguish weaves, design, and colors. He is excited to give it to them
o Rising Action: The rising action is when Mr. Angeles is giving his surprised gift to the whole
family. And the siblings were very excited to get their gifts. And one by one, on the lighted area
of the house, he gave the mats with distinguish names and symbolism on it.
o Climax: The highest part of the story is wherein they all get the mats but there are 3 remaining
mats that must be unfolded. And Mr. Angeles unfold it one by one and he speaks in a loud voice
that he offers this simple mats to his 3 dead offspring which are Josefina, Victoria, and
o Falling Action: The falling action of the story is where Nana Emilia and Mr. Angeles argues
about this sensitive issue that they must forget already because they are dead but Mr. Angeles
is so stubborn that he emphasized that these children must not be taken for granted
o Denouement: The denouement of this story is when the children heard the word exploding in
the silence. They wanted to turn away and not to see the face of their father and also when
Nana Emila shivered once and twice, bowed her head, gripped her clasped hands between her
o Ending: At the end of the story there was a total silence on the house. Then the mats were
unfolded and each name was slowly revealed. And the mats for the 3 dead offspring were
o Man vs. Himself
 Because Mr. Angeles wants to commemorate his 3 offspring and he was so emotional
that this sensitive issue must not be talked about and also the emotion was look before
in himself and he find the way out to burst that emotion by offering mats to the 3 siblings
o “We must not forget and take for granted the people whom passed away
because they contributed to our life and we must respect them by commemorating them.”
 *mat symbolizes each one of them
 *mat – seldom used (special occasion), older than anyone of them, symbol of healing, family tradition
 *pasalubong (cohesive)
 *Weird
o Upper middle class – but gumagamit ng mats
o Own banig (mat) – the wife
o Reaction of father – change of mood noong nagtanong yun nanay about the “other mats”
- Sudden outburst
- “Sa tingin mo ba nakalimutan ko?”
- Disconnection  the mother did not know the anger of the father…
Francisco Arcellana (September 6, 1916 – August 1, 2002)
o Francisco "Franz" Arcellana (Zacarias Eugene Francisco Quino Arcellana) was a Filipino writer,
poet, essayist, critic, journalist and teacher. He was born in aka Frank V. Sta. Cruz, Manila.
o He is the fourth of 18 children of Jose Arcellana y Cabaneiro and Epifanio Quino. He was
married to Emerenciana Yuvienco with whom he has six children, one of whom, Juaniyo is an
essayist, poet and fictionist. He received his first schooling in Tondo. The idea of writing
occurred to him at the Tondo Intermediate School but it was at the Manila West High School
(later Torres High School) that he took up writing actively as staff member of The Torres Torch,
the school organ.
o In 1932 Arcellana entered the University of the Philippines (UP) as a pre-medicine student and
graduated in 1939 with a bachelor of philosophy in degree. In his junior year, mainly because of
the publication of his “trilogy of the turtles” in the Literary Apprentice, Arcellana was invited to
join the UP Writers Club by Manuel Arguilla – who at that time was already a campus literary
figure. In 1934, he edited and published Expression, a quarterly of experimental writing. It
caught the attention of Jose Garcia Villa who started a correspondence with Arcellana. It also
spawned the Veronicans, a group of 13 pre-WWII who rebelled against traditional forms and
themes in Philippine literature.
o Arcellana went on to medical school after receiving his bachelor's degree while holding jobs in
Herald Midweek Magazine, where his weekly column “Art and Life” (later retitled “Life and
Letters”) appeared, and in Philcross, the publication of the Philippine Red Cross. The war
stopped his schooling. After the war, he continued working in media and publishing and began a
career in the academe. He was manager of the International News Service and the editor of
This Week. He joined the UP Department of English and Comparative Literature and served as
adviser of the Philippine Collegian and director of the UP Creative Writing Center, 1979- 1982.
Under a Rockefeller Foundation grant he became a fellow in creative writing, 1956- 1957, at the
University of Iowa and Breadloaf Writers' Conference.
o In 1932 Arcellana published his first story. “The Man Who Could Be Poe” in Graphic while still a
student at Torres High School. The following year two of his short stories, “Death is a Factory”
and “Lina,” were included in Jose Garcia Villa's honor roll. During the 1930's, which he calls his
most productive period, he wrote his most significant stories including, “Now Sleeps the
Crimson Petal” cited in 1938 by Villa as the year's best. He also began writing poetry at this
time, many of them appearing in Philippine Collegian, Graphic and Herald Midweek Magazine.
o He is considered an important progenitor of the modern Filipino short story in English. Arcellana
pioneered the development of the short story as a lyrical prose-poetic form within Filipino
literature. His works are now often taught in tertiary-level-syllabi in the Philippines.
o Some of his works have been translated into Tagalog, Malaysian, Italian, German and Russian,
and many have been anthologized. Two major collections of his works are: Selected Stories,
1962, and The Francisco Arcellana Sampler, 1990. He also edited the Philippine PEN
Anthology of Short Stories, 1962, and Fifteen Stories: Story Masters 5, 1973. Arcellana credits
Erskine Caldwell and Whit Burnett as influences. From 1928 to 1939, 14 of his short stories
were included in Jose Garcia Villa's honor roll. His short story “The Flowers of May” won second
prize in 1951 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature. Another short story, “Wing of
Madness,” placed second in the Philippines Free Press literary contest in 1953, He also
received the first award in art criticism from the Art Association of the Philippines in 1954, the
Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan award from the city government of Manila in 1981, and the
Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas for English fiction from the Unyon ng mga Manunulat
sa Pilipino (UMPIL) in 1988. He was conferred a doctorate in humane letters, honoris causa, by
the UP in 1989. He was proclaimed National Artist in Literature in 1990 – L.R. Lacuesta and
R.C. Lucero

“The Sadness Collector” – Merlinda Bobis

 Theme
o Dislocation
o Diaspora
o Displacement
 Characters
o Rica
o Father
o Mother
 Figures of Speech
o Apostrophe – “Big Lady”
o Hyperbole – “So she can be saved from bursting”
o Hyperbole and Metonymy – “She only comes to eat your sadness” (sadness = tears)
o Metaphor – “She likes sadness, it’s food.”
o Simile – “She’s sad, like her meals”
 Symbolisms
o The sadness collector/ Bedtime Story
 Our “Source of Comfort”
 Separating reality from fantasy
o “She can’t take you away from me”
 Referring to custody
 *Diaspora – part and parcel of Filipino’s life (✓Economic, ✓Pride)
 *Poignant – painfully affecting the feelings
 *Climax – mukha hindi na babalik
 *Rica  - mom OFW sa Paris – no legal work unless magaling na painter, opera, actor, etc
- Tourist only (illegal [TNT])
 Communication: Long hand
 *Mom being legal – may na yun nanay (legal  pwede na kunin yun anak)
 The story represents the importance of the specific roles played by each of the members of a Filipino
family. It is evident that a mother and a father in a Filipino family tend to have a very distant role to
perform in the household. The father should be the bread-winner while the mother should stay at home
taking care of the kids. In the story The Sadness Collector they have seemed to break tradition. The
mother went to Paris to work and actually be the bread winner, while the father, although still working,
stayed at home with Rica. In the absence of the mother, the Filipino perspective that the mother is the
best person who can look out for the welfare of her child/children was represented in the story seeing
Rica as a confused and disturbed child because her mom is not by her side. The father was so hard to
connect with Rica because of the reason that it was hard for him to accept the fact that he had to stay
with his child which, for him, is not his real role. Seeing this situation, I can say that a Filipino family
tends to be more patriarchal and breaking this tradition seemed to be, for the many, ruining of the
family. What is also evident here in this selection is the perspective of the very big role played by the
mother in the Filipino family; they keep family ties and a child without a mother by his/her side tends to
grow out of the way, being an incomplete person inside.
 At first glance "The Sadness Collector" seems to be your typical story of a Filipino family, one of which
we see on movies. The mother goes to a foreign country, leaving her children behind, while taking care
of a stranger's child with the intent to give a comfortable living for the family. However, what seems to
be the typical story may be classified as a "daily tragedy", Merlinda Bobis depicted the corroding of
what is said to be the essence of a Filipino family, "Close Knitted Family Bonds". Young girls usually
steps within the shadows of their mother, but Rica not like most girls, lost the chance in her growing
years. Suffering a great loss from the physical distance of the mother from Paris, to the eventual
emotional distance of the father, who refuses to read her mother's letter and answer the questions
about the baby pictures. In this story it is now obvious that the effects is focused on Rica, a model of
every Filipino child that never/forgot feeling of the loving touch of their mothers. In Merlinda Bobis'
"poetic" short story leaves an alarming message, a child who lost the joy of being her mother's
daughter, Filipino family seized of its very essence - what do we do now?
 It is a common situation in many families today. Husband and child remain at home while wife works as
a domestic helper in a foreign country. Rica, now six years old, was just three when her mother left. Her
father works in a factory and attends to her only in the evenings. Sometimes she watches TV and plays
with the pretty little things sent by her mother. Early this year a picture of her employer's baby was
included in the packages sent.
 Father and daughter Rica are signs each distinct from the other. Sometimes Rica does not like to eat
supper and father resorts to scolding, cajoling or telling stories. She likes especially the story of Big
Lady who comes in the evenings to eat the sadness she has gathered from the homes. Filled with
images about the Big Lady, Rica whiles away the time by drawing stick figures of her with a tummy that
grows bigger every day. She knows that it will eventually burst and she waits for that moment.
 That evening her father comes home late as usual to avoid answering her questions about the baby in
the picture. But he is drunk and shouts. “That whore!” (In reference to his wife who has decided to stay
for another year in Paris) as he kicks the pots and pans in the kitchen that fall cluttering on the floor.
Rica screams and collapses as he takes her in his arms. The father, both in anger and remorse tries to
assuage and comfort Rica who believes it is the Big Lady who has come back. For venting his anger at
his wife he realizes that the havoc he created has caused his daughter’s fears so he assures her of his
love without telling his real feelings; he even hides his closed fists behind her back as she tells about
the Big Lady while the father curses his wife. That Rica does not understand her father’s pain is for her
 Clearly, the father is the signifier which means sadness, the signified. Rica, also a signifier, and the
father have had enough—two years to suffer the absence of the mother. Each tries hard to keep sane,
each a paradigm complementing the other. It is the father’s outburst that draws a syntagmatic whole
and gives meaning to the narrative.
o Actually, the notion of a Big Lady who comes at night to eat the uneaten food of children who
refuse to eat supper is a Bikol folk custom.
Merlinda Bobis (November 25, 1959 – present)
o Born in Tabaco, Albay
o Her main interest was painting, but at age 10 she began writing poetry because ‘painting with
words’ was cheaper
o Writer, performer, academic
o Completed her Bachelor of Arts at Aquinas University of Legaspi [Summa cum Laude]
o Got her post-graduate degree in (Master of Arts in Literature) University of Santo Tomas and
(Doctorate of Creative Arts) University of Wollongong (Australia)
o For ten years she taught Literature and English at Philippine universities before coming to
Australia in 1991 on a study grant.
o She completed a Doctorate of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong where she now
teaches creative writing. She lives in Wollongong, which echoes her first home: a city nestled
between the mountain and the Pacific.
 Senior lecturer at the University of Wollongong
“Breaking Through” – Myrna Peña Reyes
 Characters
o The Persona and her father.
 Theme: Filial Love
 The poem Breaking Through written by Myrna Peña-Reyes is very profound in terms of its appeal to the
reader. The poem is all about the filial relationship between a son/daughter and a father.
 The poem basically revolves around the father and his son/daughter. The plot of the poem tells the
reader that a certain persona in the first stanza receives a parcel that came during that morning. The
persona lamely opened the small box and it takes for him/her a short labor to undo the tie. Although the
box is just small, it is being tied skillfully and very well. It is not stated in the first stanza where the
package does came from but lately, it is being mentioned that it’s from the persona’s father. The
package box came all the way across 10, 000 miles of ocean. While opening the box, the persona can
feel the love of his/her father that binds them together.
 Breaking Through if examined could be the literal meaning of breaking through or the undoing of the
strong thread of two or three strands that are being twisted together tied around the package box
received by the persona from his/her father. The title itself could be the connotation of the applied effort
of a certain persona in the poem in executing a little labor by untying the box. This effort of the persona
in the poem is very present from line 1 to 7 of the first stanza. It says that, “Haltingly I undo the knots
around your parcel that came this morning. A small box should require little labor, but you’ve always
been thorough, tying things tight and well. The twine lengthens, curls beside the box.”
 The title Breaking Through is the metaphorical representation of the filial devotion of the persona to
his/her father. The title could be the denotation of the persona in the poem of the lessons that he/she
had learned from his/her father. It could also mean “love” as supported from the last two lines of the
second stanza. The line says that “my father, this undoing is what binds us.” Although it’s not directly
mentioned that love is the breaking through, it is showed indirectly through subliminal meaning of the
phrase “this undoing is what binds us.” What makes the father and the persona bind? The clear and not
vague answer is love, nothing more.
 The author also used symbols in the poem. The first symbol is the box. As an assertion, the box highly
symbolizes the love of the father to the persona that is being away from him. It is distant because the
author mentioned in the last lines of the first stanza. It says that the package box came across 10, 000
miles of ocean. The box also represents the longing of the father to his son/daughter that is away from
him for a long time. Through the box, the father extends his warm filial love to his daughter.
 The knots around the parcel also represents that the father’s love is true and fair to the persona. The
love that is true and fair can be supported by lines from 6-7 of stanza 1 that says “but you’ve always
been thorough, tying things tight and well. The twine lengthens” and lines from 11-12 of stanza 1 that
says “you hoped the package would hold its shape across 10, 000 miles of ocean.” In those lines, the
father of the persona tied the knots thoroughly to keep the package in its original shape from the
father’s home until it reaches the persona’s hand. It only signifies that he wanted that his best regards
and love would remain intact after journeying across 10, 000 miles across the ocean. The knots also
symbolized of how patient the persona’s father, it definitely reflects he tied the box.
 In the poem, there is a mention of belt in the 10th line of first stanza. It says, “Once your belt slapped
sharply against my skin,” it is being enclosed in the parenthesis for further emphasis. The belt that the
author projects in line 10 only symbolizes that the persona’s father is a man of discipline. He slaps the
persona sometime in his/her childhood to discipline him/her. Through the belt, it shaped the persona for
he/she know through the father’s slapping, the persona learned things between bad and good, and right
or wrong. The belt also symbolizes display or the manifestation of power. It only shows that during
childhood of the persona, he/she exists in the patriarchal world. Indeed, during the persona’s childhood,
he/she exists in the patriarchal society for he/she experienced being beaten by the father.
 Not using the scissors in cutting could also mean a lot in the poem. As an assertion, the persona did
not use the scissors to unravel the tight knots of the box because the persona wanted to savor the
moment of unraveling with love. If the person uses the scissors, it will project that the persona is non-
appreciative of the love of the father. Not using the scissors could also mean that the persona
prolonged the excitement by opening it very lamely. It also means that the persona had learned the
craft of patience from his/her father.
 The author had also left its readers the dramatic impact by not revealing what is inside the box. It poses
questions of what is inside the box. Is it a food? Books? Dress? Bag or anything that is liquid? The
reader can’t figure out for its not revealed. A strong assertion is that, no matter what’s inside the box, it
surely resembles the love of the father to the persona of the poem.
 In a contemporary setting, if the author is mentioning about across 10, 000 miles of oceans, the first
that comes into the mind of the reader is that, the persona is situated abroad or in states. If being
assumed that the father is in Philippines, maybe the persona is in West Asia, America, Europe,
Australia and others. The reader does not also know if the persona is working abroad, married, touring
and etc. because it’s not directly stated. What is very vivid in the context is that they are away from
each other and they haven’t seen each other for a long period of time.
 The tone of the poem is about longing and sadness. In the first part of the poem, the persona undoes
the box haltingly. Haltingly in other words could mean lamely. In this thought alone, an assertion came
in that the persona is sad because it made him/her feel home sick as the box arrives. The tone of
longing could also be sensed. As the persona is undoing the knots of the box, the persona reminisce
his/her father-his teaching, disciplinary actions and love. Through the presence of the box, the persona
can imagine his/her home that heightened his/her sadness and longing.
 Characterization of the father in the poem is also very effective. In the context, the father is portrayed
as caring for he sends the persona a package box although it’s very far. Unlike other father figure, the
father in the poem is very mild-not ruthless and cruel. Though there is a use of belt slapping in the
poem, it is being done to discipline his child. The father did do it for a good purpose, for the benefit of
the child when he/she grew up but not in the abusive manner. The father figure in here is perhaps a
gentle and amiable father.
 The author also used strong images to convey the meaning of the poem. The delivery is very
suggestive images like the undoing of the box; the scene is very vivid and understandable. Through this
clear description, it brought the reader the catharsis of emotions or eliminating its complexity, the author
effectively carried out the essence and meaning of the poem.
 In terms of form and structure, the author unconsciously celebrated the form over the content. Like T.
S. Eliot, she has done it for she chose to write in free verse or blank verse. She does not follow rhymes
and meters, what she did is the total deviation of the traditional metered poems. The style is very
contemporary, or maybe it belongs to the Romantics.
 In general, the Breaking Through is a superb poem. It tackles a rarely touched theme in poetry, filial
love. Through this theme, it makes the poem unique and notable.
 *outdated – may tie (buhol); packaging now gumagamit ng tape
 *a girl about to get married
 *persona – opening a package (~10,000 miles)
 *yun nagbigay ng package hindi makapunta
 *important kung paano packaging – paano dineliver
 *iniisip niya paano pinackage ng tatay
Myrna Peña Reyes
o She was born in the year 1938 to school teacher parents in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental.
o Her family spent the WWII years in the jungles of Mindanao where her mother passed away
when she was only four years old.
o After the war, her family moved to Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental where she completed her
elementary, high school, and college education.
o She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Oregon where she met her husband,
poet William T. Sweet.
o For several years, she was on the faculty of the Department of English and Literature at Silliman
University and the Silliman National Writers Workshop.
o In Eugene, Oregon, where she and her husband now reside, she has taught college classes;
was co-owner of a grocery store and a bookstore; worked in an office supply shop; and is
presently a book buyer for a bookstore.[From River Singing Stone]
o Two of her acclaimed works are “The River Singing Stone”, published in 1994, and “Almost
Home”, published in 2004.
o Her style: free verse and contemporary
“Bringing the Dolls” – Merlie Alunan
 The poem “Bringing the Dolls” written by Merlie Alunan is about a mother’s realization that in one’s
moving on, one need not bring only those considered important.
 The child has the discretion of what is most important to her, and the mother has no right to insist upon
what she deems vital for her child, in this case the child’s bringing the dolls, which the child loves and is
loyal to. Her daughter’s keeping the faith eventually teaches the mother that memories, even those one
will rather forget, serve a function or two, in her case a learning point as mother and child go on in life.
This realization of an old truth fulfills the promise of the material used in the poem, that the daughter
and her rag dolls have a lesson to tell to the too-practical mother, in which case the poem succeeds in
projecting the universal theme of keeping the faith.
 *Boat, bagahe – problema
 *We have our own weaknesses
 *Kids have their own needs (ex: dolls, shirt)
o *Holding onto her toys: keeping memories alive
 *Lilipat – hiwalay sa asawa
- pabilisan (barest needs) – POV of mother
 *Dolls – useless for mom
 *Must not impose your standard sa bata (others)
Merlie Alunan (December 14, 1943)
o Merlie M. Alunan (born December 14, 1943 Dingle, Iloilo) is a Filipina poet.
o She graduated Silliman University with an MA in Creative Writing in 1974.
o She teaches at the Creative Writing Center, University of the Philippines Visayas Tacloban
College. She lives in Tacloban City.

Unit 4: Exploring Filipino Traditions

“The God Stealer” – F. Sionil Jose
 A short story by Filipino National Artist F. Sionil José. It is José's most anthologized work of fiction. It is
not just a tale about an Ifugao stealing a religious idol, but also about the friendship that developed
between a Filipino and an American, a representation of the relationship that developed between the
"colonized" and the "colonizer". The story was a first prize winner during the 1959 awards in the
Philippines. It is included in the book by José with a similar title, The God Stealer and Other Stories
 Sam Christie and Philip Latak were best of friends and that was possible because they worked in the
same office. On one December dawn, Sam Christie was on his way to Ifugao with his native assistant.
It was his last month in the Philippines and in a matter of days he would return to Boston for that leave
which he had not had in years.
 During their journey, they talked about the grandfather of Philip and the different views in the Ifugao.
Philip encountered an acquaintance that he did not want to recognize because the latter called him by
his native name. When they had arrived on the village of Philip Latak, they met Sadek, Philip’s brother.
From there, Philip told Sam how his brother, as well as all the others in the village, disliked him. After
staying for quite some time in the house of Sadek, they went to Philip’s grandfather; but only Philip
went inside to meet and talk to the elder.
 They visited the Mission the following day after having hiked to the villages. And there Reverend Doone
invited them for lunch. He told them how he reminisced San Francisco and how he feels like home.
 Going down the hill, Sam told Philip that he would not leave Ifugao without a god because it’s more
than a souvenir and it would remind him of Philip. Philip then told Sam that he would steal a god for him
since he made the vacation and the raise possible.
 They hiked to the village and this time it was not as difficult as it had been the previous day. When they
reached the village, they went to the grandfather of Philip. Sam was pleased with the prospect of being
inside a native Ifugao house for the first time. He was able to see the Ifugao god for the first time, and
he witnessed the rite wherein the blood of the slaughtered pig was poured on the head of the idol, and
was returned to where it was kept.
 The feast began. For some time, Sam Christie was entertained by the dances and the songs, but soon
he was bored. He told Philip that he would like to return to the boarding house.
 Philip Latak went to the boarding house past midnight carrying his grandfather’s idol and he handed it
to Sam Christie. They argued if it was better that Philip returned the bloodstained god back to his
grandfather. When Sam Christie woke up it was already daylight. It was Philip Latak who had stirred
him, his voice shrill and grating. He told Sam that his grandfather is dying. The next day, Sam was told
by Sadek that their grandfather is dead and that Philip would not return with Sam to Manila
 Philip told Sam that he would not be going back to Manila and that he was the reason his grandfather is
dead. From that moment, their friendship was broken. Philip Latak did not, even once, face Sam. He
seemed completely absorbed in his work. Sam knew then that Philip was determined to stay and break
his bonds with Sam. Sam realized that Philip was carving a new god to replace the one he stole from
his grandfather.
 Elements of the Short Story
o Characters
 Philip Latak – Also known as Ip-pig, is an Ifugao who became a Christian and lived in
Manila. By becoming a city dweller, Philip became less sentimental with his cultural
identity, beliefs, and customs. His name was derived from the word Philippines.
 Sam Cristie – Was an American who wanted to view the rice terraces of the Mountain
Province (also known as the Cordilleras). He was also interested in purchasing an
original figurine of an Ifugao god. His name was derived from Uncle Sam, a
representation of the United States.
 Sadek – Embraces his culture
 Grandfather – Symbolizes time, the old days, past story.
o Setting
 After World War 2
 Manila
 Baguio
 Rice Terraces
o Plot
 Philip and Sam went to Baguio City. During a feast honoring Philip for his return, Philip
and Sam were because of the unwillingness of the Ifugao people to sell any Ifugao
statue. Philip plans to steal his grandfather's god in return for the salary raise given to
him by Sam. After finding out that his god was missing, Philip's grandfather dies.
Because of his grandfather's death, Philip decides not to return to Manila with Sam as a
form of repentance. Philip transforms himself back into an Ifugao attired in traditional
clothing that was in the process of replacing the old Ifugao idol by chiseling a new one.
o Theme
 Lost Filipino’s Culture and Identity
 Colonial mentality of the Filipino people
 Filipino is rich in cultural heritage
 *Agency
 *Vietnam War (Cold War) *1946-1991* [1960s]
o US vs Russia (Soviet Union)
 *Coke na walang yelo
 *Sam Cristie – gusto sumama
o (travel only, souvenir <genuine>)  ayaw niya imitations/ ayaw niya yun made for tourist talaga
 *story behind every artifact
 *Philip Latak
 *we want to own pieces of history
 *naputol ugnayan ni Philip with tribe noong umalis siya ng Ifugao (except for the lolo)
 *Philip wants to impress his boss
 **bul-ol – icon for fertility, ugly, crude
 **Do not use
o Rice Terraces, Hagdan-Hagdang Palayan  Payyo
o Pambansang Ibong: Agila, Philippine Eagle, Monkey-Eating Eagle  Banoy
 *Death
o Old age + drinking & partying
o Nawala god (disappointment) kasi alam niya na it was his grandson who stole it
 *ayaw na ni Philip bumalik sa Manila
Francisco Sionil Jose (December 3, 1924)
o F. Sionil José or in full Francisco Sionil José (born December 3, 1924) is one of the most widely
read Filipino writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social
underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society. José's works - written in
English - have been translated into 22 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Czech,
Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.
o Filipino novelist, writer, journalist
o Ethnicity: Ilocano
o Alma mater: University of Santo Tomas (dropped out)
o He is the son of Antonio Jose an Aglipayan minister, and Sofia Sionil
o He is married to Maria Teresa Jovellanos with whom he has seven children.
o Childhood
 José was born in Rosales, Pangasinan, the setting of many of his stories. He spent his
childhood in Barrio Cabugawan, Rosales, where he first began to write. José was of
Ilocano descent whose family had migrated to Pangasinan before his birth. Fleeing
poverty, his forefathers traveled from Ilocos towards Cagayan Valley through the Santa
Fe Trail. Like many migrant families, they brought their lifetime possessions with them,
including uprooted molave posts of their old houses and their alsong, a stone mortar for
pounding rice.
 One of the greatest influences to José was his industrious mother who went out of her
way to get him the books he loved to read, while making sure her family did not go
hungry despite poverty and landlessness. José started writing in grade school, at the
time he started reading. In the fifth grade, one of José’s teachers opened the school
library to her students, which is how José managed to read the novels of José Rizal,
Willa Cather’s My Antonia, Faulkner and Steinbeck. Reading about Basilio and Crispin in
Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere made the young José cry, because injustice was not an alien
thing to him. When José was five years old, his grandfather who was a soldier during the
Philippine revolution, had once tearfully showed him the land their family had once tilled
but was taken away by rich mestizo landlords who knew how to work the system against
illiterates like his grandfather.
o Life as a writer
 He studied at the Rosales Elementary School, Far Eastern University High School, and
the University of Santo Tomas (UST).
 José attended the University of Santo Tomas after World War II, but dropped out and
plunged into writing and journalism in Manila. In subsequent years, he edited various
literary and journalistic publications, started a publishing house, and founded the
Philippine branch of PEN, an international organization for writers. José received
numerous awards for his work. The Pretenders is his most popular novel, which is the
story of one man's alienation from his poor background and the decadence of his wife's
wealthy family.
 José Rizal's life and writings profoundly influenced José's work. The five volume Rosales
Saga, in particular, employs and interrogates themes and characters from Rizal's work.
 Throughout his career, José's writings espouse social justice and change to better the
lives of average Filipino families. He is one of the most critically acclaimed Filipino
authors internationally, although much underrated in his own country because of his
authentic Filipino English and his anti-elite views.
 "Authors like myself choose the city as a setting for their fiction because the city
itself illustrates the progress or the sophistication that a particular country has
achieved. Or, on the other hand, it might also reflect the kind of decay, both
social and perhaps moral, that has come upon a particular people."-F. Sionil
José, BBC.com, July 30, 2003
 Sionil José also owns Solidaridad Bookshop, which is on Padre Faura Street in Ermita,
Manila. The bookshop offers mostly hard-to-find books and Filipiniana reading materials.
It is said to be one of the favorite haunts of many local writers.
 In his regular column, Hindsight, in The Philippine Star, dated September 12, 2011, he
wrote "Why we are shallow," blaming the decline of Filipino intellectual and cultural
standards on a variety of modern amenities, including media, the education system—
particularly the loss of emphasis on classic literature and the study of Greek and Latin--,
and the abundance and immediacy of information on the internet.

“The Wedding Dance” – Amador T. Daguio

 The Wedding Dance is a story of Lumnay and Awiyao, who as members of a tribe in Cordillera, have to
conform to the dictates of their culture. After seven harvests, Lumnay and Awiyao are still childless. Not
having a child creates a problem with them. Lumnay, as a woman is expected to be suspected as
infertile. Awiyao has to look for another wife even if he loves Lumnay so much. At the day of Awiyao’s
wedding to Madulimay he paid visit to Lumnay for the last time and invited her to come to his wedding.
They are both wretched. Lumnay tried to fight for her husband. She wanted to defy the unwritten law of
the tribe, besides, they both love each other. During the course of their conversation Awiyao explains
his opposition to his marriage to other woman but is defeated with cultural dictates. Awiyao called by
the load sound of the gongs goes back to the ceremony. Lumnay considered breaking into the
ceremony but ends up alone in the company of bean plants. The love for their tribe reigned over
Awiyao. Lumnay becomes the image of a woman whose qualities as a good wife and the best dancer
among all the other women in their tribe mean nothing if she cannot bear a child.
o Awiyao and Lumnay were husband and wife for seven years, but now the husband has to marry
another woman, Madulimay, because Lumnay was not able to give him a child. (In their culture
in the mountains during those times, having a child to follow after the husband’s name was a
o On the night of the wedding, Awiyao goes to his and Lumnay’s house to personally invite her to
the traditional wedding dance. However, Lumnay, the best dancer in the entire tribe, refuses to
go. Then, during their conversation, it is revealed that both of them still love each other, but
because of their tribe’s custom, they have to separate.
o Awiyao goes back to the wedding, to the wedding dance, after being fetched by some friends.
Lumnay wants to follow, partly because of the dance, and partly because she wants to put a
stop to their tribe’s tradition of having to marry another partner just to have a child.
 1. Lumnay – a woman who was left by her husband because he had to marry another
woman/ Developing
 2. Awiyao- the husband stated above / Flat
 3. Madulimay – Awiyao’s new wife / Flat
o PLOT – Linear
 a) Introduction
 The story opens with Awiyao entering his and Lumnay’s house.
 b) Rising Action
 Things start to heat up when Lumnay says she does not want any other man.
 c) Climax
 There is more intensity when Awiyao says he does not want any other woman.
 d) Falling action
 But they both have to follow their tribe’s tradition.
 e) Denouement
 Awiyao has to go back to the wedding dance.
 a) place – in the mountains somewhere in the Philippines
 b) time – a long time ago
 c) weather conditions – fine
 d) social conditions – lower-class
 e) mood or atmosphere – sad and tense
 The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient Limited – The author tells the
story in third person (using pronouns they, she, he, it, etc). We know only what the
character knows and what the author allows him/her to tell us. We can see the thoughts
and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.
 For me, there is an extensive use of the literary device Symbolism. There are many
symbols here, and these are the darkness, the house’s four walls, the smoldering
embers, and the beads. The darkness symbolizes how the two lead characters feel.
Meanwhile, the house’s walls symbolize the former couple’s “imprisonment.” The
smoldering embers that become glowing coals symbolize the love that both of them still
feel towards each other. Finally, the beads symbolize Awiyao’s great love for Lumnay
even if she was not able to give him a child.
 In my opinion, the theme True love never dies is applicable to this story.
 The conflict here is Man vs. Society. The lead characters have to follow their tribe’s
 *Melodrama
o Exaggeration
o Extravagant theatrical action
o A sensational dramatic piece with exaggerated characters
 *“I don’t care about the fields,” she said. “I don’t care about the house. I don’t care for anything but you.
I’ll never have another man.” – heighten drama
 *drama – theatre
 *the story is not good to study for literature
 *authenticity – para sa Milieu
o If conversation is emotionally charged: dapat may stutters
 Interjections
 Dapat hindi complete yun mga sentences
Amador T. Daguio (January 8,1912 – 1966)
o Daguio was born January 8, 1912 in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, but grew up in Lubuagan, Mountain
o A poet, novelist and teacher during the pre-war.
o He was best known for his fictions and poems. He had published two volumes of poetry,
"Bataan Harvest" and "The Flaming Lyre".
o He served as chief editor for the Philippine House of Representatives before he died in 1966.
o He was class valedictorian in 1924 at the Lubuagan Elementary School.
o Then he stayed with his uncle at Fort William McKinley to study at Rizal High School in Pasig.
o Those four years in high school were, according to Daguio, the most critical in his life. “I spent
them literally in poverty, extreme loneliness, and adolescent pains … In my loneliness, I began
to compose verses in earnest.” He was in third year high when he broke into print in a national
weekly, The Sunday Tribune Magazine (11 July 1926), with a poem, “She Came to Me.” He was
going to be valedictorian or salutatorian, but his teacher in “utter lack of justice …put down my
marks in history—my favorite subject. That just about broke my heart because then I would
have had free tuition at the U.P.”
o Thus out of school for the first semester in 1928, he earned his tuition (P60.00) by serving as
houseboy, waiter, and caddy to officers at Fort McKinley. He enrolled for the second semester
with only P2.50 left for books and other expenses. He commuted between the Fort and Padre
Faura, Manila, walking about two kilometers from Paco station twice daily. He would eat his
lunch alone on Dewey Blvd. and arrive at the Fort about 9 o’clock in the evening. This continued
for three years. Then an uncle arrived from Honolulu who paid his tuition during his third year;
before this, he worked Saturday and Sunday as printer’s devil at the U.P. and served as
Philippine Collegian reporter. During all this time, he learned the craft of writing from Tom Inglis
Moore, an Australian professor at U.P., and was especially grateful to A.V.H. Hartendorp of
Philippine Magazine. His stories and poems appeared in practically all the Manila papers.
o One of ten honor graduates at U.P. in 1932, he returned to teach at his boyhood school in
Lubuagan; in 1938, he taught at Zamboanga Normal School where he met his wife Estela. They
transferred to Normal Leyte School in 1941 before the Second World War. During the Japanese
Occupation, he joined the resistance and wrote poems in secret, later collected as Bataan
Harvest. He was a bosom-friend of another writer in the resistance, Manuel E. Arguilla.
o In 1952, he obtained his M.A. in English at Stanford U. as a Fulbright scholar. His thesis was a
study and translation of Hudhud hi Aliguyon (Ifugao Harvest Song). In 1954, he obtained his
Law degree from Romualdez Law College in Leyte. Daguio was editor and public relations
officer in various offices in government and the military.
o He also taught for twenty-six years at the University of the East, U.P., and Philippine Women’s
o In 1973, six years after his death, Daguio was conferred the Republic Cultural Heritage Award.
“The White Horse of Alih” – Mig Alvarez Enriquez
 "The White Horse of Alih," the title story in this collection, talks of the exotic Moslem culture. It is the
story of two brothers, who in their attempt to regain the honor that they have lost, decide to become
juramentados. The story further shows the gap between the Moslems and the Christians – Filipinos and
blood-brothers – who are set apart by cultural and religious differences. This dichotomy achieves
concreteness in the river (“The school was across the river. The Moros were not allowed to set foot on
the reservation”.) In the end, their plans fail and ironically, it is Alih who kills his brother Omar because
of the former’s obsession with women (“… Alih simply, did not love his white horse as he did his houri”).
The white horse with wings they had envisioned as a reward for killing and which would transport them
to heaven, remains what it is – an illusion (“… conjured by fanatics in their attempt to give reason to
their behavior. The prophet never taught it. He was a man of peace.) They adamantly refuse to heed
the Imam’s wise words, and persist in their plan. Omar’s death at the hands of Alih manifests the truth
that to take the life of a fellow human being is to take the life of your own brother.
 The story happened on July 4th in a city with a parade of people. It was a happy day for everybody
because they are celebrating the big American Holiday. Among the crowd was Alih, a Moro who was
then looking for his brother, Omar. That day was intended for them to fulfill their plan. Their plan is to kill
these people.
 So Alih waited for his brother, he went out of the crown and sat under the acacia tree. While he was
sitting and looking at the parade, he remembered his past, his childhood and his growing years where
he met the women whom he wished and longed for and he remembered his mission. That is---to kill the
people. But people can't notice them as Moros because they were in disguise.
 When he saw a man riding a horse and controlling the crowd, he remembered how much he longed for
a horse for himself. He recalled when his brother punished him because he spent his earnings just to
ride in a merry - go- round. He wanted to ride on a wooden horse because he saw the girl whom he
liked most and her name was Lucy. Lucy was the girl who lived in the reservation area where the
Americans live. Moros were not allowed to enter that vicinity. But because he needs to go to school, he
cross the river and reached the reservation area. There he saw the first girl he liked. Though, they were
not given the chance to see and talk to each other since then.
 When he grew up, Omar told him about how the American soldiers killed their father without any
reason. Their father was known and respected in their village. With these, Omar taught him to be brave
and be able to fight against these people because he believes that only by killing could they wash away
their shame. He taught him words to live by and beliefs to be respected and attained.
 As he grew into a mature individual, he met another woman named Fermina. Fermina was a beautiful
bar maid with a mole near her mouth. He likes her so much but the woman doesn't like him because of
his impertinent manner towards her. He was put to jail for six months because of what he did.
 Remembering all of these from his past, he thought of what Omar said about the promise of their
prophet to those who are faithful to him. That is to have a white horse ride to heaven and as many
hours as the number of infidel heads he could lay before Allah. But when he thought of what their Imam
said that white horse, as a reward for killing is an reference conjured by fanatics in their attempt to give
reason to their behavior. The prophet never taught them about that because he was man of peace.
 So back to reality, he continued searching for Omar into the crowd. Soon he saw a float with a girl
whom he thought of as Fermina. He went near the float and assisted the girl to go down to the ground.
As he was about to hold her completely, Omar came but to his surprise, he was drunk and tipsy! All
along, he realized that Omar had been drinking tuba. He knew that Omar was afraid to kill that is why
he drink tuba first before he go to the town.
 Omar shouted and leap to the street, and then he gets his fatal blade from his pants.
 The crowd screamed. Fear and panic seized everyone. Everyone is running and escaping from Omar,
even fermina jumped into the ground and run away but she got stuck from a bamboo frame of the float
because of her long flowing robe that hooked on the edge of the bamboo frame. She tried to set herself
free but she saw Omar coming to her swinging his blade. Fermina screamed and screamed because of
 The screams struck Alih because he saw that Fermina the girl he was love is in danger and get his
blade from his leg immediately and then he leaped to his brother Omar and hit its back by his sharp
blade repeatedly. Omar died.
 The town spoke out about the strange tragedy for many days after. But nobody had known Alih, and
nobody could figure out why he turned against his brother.
o Psychological effect of man's alienation from the society he is at
o Racial Discrimination
o Traditions in religion
o Psychological impact of an individual’s experiences
o Quarrel between religions
o Discrimination based on religion
o Setting
 A Moro Village in Zamboanga (Mindanao – dialect: Chavacano)
 The story happened on July 4th in a city with a parade of people.
 *Story happened between 1946~1961 because the Philippines observed Independence
Day on July 4
o Characters
 Alih
 A Moro who plans on killing the people celebrating the Filipino- American
Friendship Day
 Omar
 The older brother of Alih who dictates him on what to do in every aspects of his
 Imam
 The village priest who tried to dissuade the two brothers, he explain to them that
the prophets did not teach to do it
 Lucy
 Girl who lived in the reservation area where the Americans live
 She is the first girl Alih liked
 Fermina
 A beautiful bar maid with a mole near her mouth
 Alih likes her so much but the woman doesn’t like him because of his impertinent
manner towards her.
o Conflict – Alih did not want to kill but the fear he had for his brother while he was growing urged
him to the killings and also because his brother taught him that killing will be their way to wash
away their shame and gain respect for their father who had died by the American soldiers
without any reason.
o Plot
 Complication – When they decided to become merchants there were rebels who stole
their commodities
 Rising Action – He saw a float with a girl whom he thought of as Fermina. He went near
the float and assisted the girl to go down to the ground and found out that it is Fermina
when he saw the little black mole on the corner of the girl’s mouth
 Climax – As he was about to hold her completely, Omar came but to his surprise, he
was drunk and tipsy! All along, he realized that Omar had been drinking tuba. Omar was
about to kill Fermina.
 Falling Action – Alih kills his brother despite their plans to gain the white horse for him to
protect Fermina.
 Resolution – After the incident, many speculations was made of what happened. Some
said Alih became insane that is why he killed his brother. But the thing is Alih didn’t want
his white horse anymore.
o Theme- the short story tells about the tradition, beliefs and faith of the Filipinos
o Point of View – Third person limited
o Historical Approach
 Since the author was born on 1925, this may influence his work on The White Horse of
Alih. The setting of the story happened on July 4th in a city with a parade of people. The
author might experience this big event in the history wherein the July 4th is considered
as Filipino- American Friendship Day.
o Mimetic Approach
 The text is can be related to the reality. It there were discrimination among races,
differences among religions and traditions. And the moral aspect of killing is an issue of
their faith.
o Freudian Approach
 The main character tries to overcome his feelings on this text but Alih shows his
intention to Fermina in the middle of story when he ask for a kiss to the lady.
o Houri - (hū'rē, hou'–) one of the beautiful maidens said by some Muslims to dwell in paradise for
the enjoyment of the faithful. The passages in the Qur'an detailing the physical delights of
heaven are considered by many Muslim critics as allegorical.
o Imam- a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque, a religious teacher
o Jihad- A Muslim holy war or spiritual struggle against infidels.
o Qur'an or Koran- The sacred text of Islam, considered by Muslims to contain the revelations of
God to Muhammad.
o Shia or Shiites - A member of the branch of Islam that regards Ali and his descendants as the
legitimate successors to Muhammad and rejects the first three caliphs.
o Juramentados - The term juramentado was derived from the Spanish verb juramentar, meaning
"to swear an oath." A rushing Moro warrior with shaven hair, fiery eyes and plucked eyebrows,
brandishing kris or kampilan to attack infidels until he was slain. It was a person who had
chosen to fight in the Way of Allah in his individual capacity since. A sacred duty and when he
died in the course of his attack, he became shahid or "martyr" with paradise as his ultimate
reward. As with any real Muslim warrior, the juramentado loved martyrdom more than life.
 *The eponymous White Horse comes from a Moro legend which explain that if a Moro should kill
someone (and be killed in the process), Allah shall send for a white horse to retrieve his soul and bring
it to paradise, where thousands of houri (woman) are waiting for him. In the end, Alih decides his houri
is more important that his white horse
 *Independence Day
o The day of celebration of independence varied throughout the nation’s history
 July 4, 1946: formal recognition of independence from US through Treaty of Manila
 On May 12, 1962, President Diosdado Macapagal issued Proclamation Number 2695
 June 12, 1898: commemorates the Philippine Declaration of Independence from
Spain & the Philippines’ flag was raised and its national anthem was played for
the 1st time in 1898.
 *they can regain their honor (manhood) by killing daw
 *man who wants revenge
o Agitated by his brother  inagitate ni Omar si Alih
 *make statement while seeking revenge: revenge + making statement because sa Parade of American
Independence Day
 *revenge : (motivation)
: seek revenge for the death of their father by the hands of Americans  naulila kasi sila
 *massacre of Filipinos (sidearm of American army from 0.38 caliber revolver  0.45 caliber revolver)
 *girls (intifada) – price for Muslim Warriors
 *people die for their faith
 *Muslims are prepared to die  they go to heaven daw if they die as martyr
 *Juramentados
o Shave everything
o “to swear an oath”
o Holy warrior
o Last fight – murderous killing spree
 *Omar, himself, not well-agitated
 *Justice was not served sa goal nila
Mig Alvarez Enriquez (1925)
o Emigdio Alvarez Enriquez was born on the year 1925. He is a Filipino by birth. A native of
Zamboanga City
o Elementary and Secondary at Ateneo de Zamboanga
o Gained his A.B. at Arellano University
o Went on to study and gain a “Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Writing” at the State
University of Iowa through an International Scholarship and a Fulbright Grant
o He started writing at the age of 20.
o He is a novelist, story writer, and playwright. Among his famous literary works are: Blood on the
Moon, A Tale of Two Houses, Cachil Kudarat (Sultan of Mindanao) or Cachil Corrala, and
Labaw, Donggon. All of this short stories won Palanca awards in the year
“May Day Eve” – Nick Joaquin
 May Day Eve is the magic night, proper time to consult oracles, hold séances. Certain rites and runes
are supposed to enable you at midnight to behold in a mirror the face of the person fated to be yours
 A ball was held in honor of young men returning from Europe. After the ball, the young men wandered
out; the maidens proceeded to their sleeping chambers.
 Old Anastasia told the ladies of an enchanted ritual for one to see her future husband. But if anything
would go wrong, the face of the devil should appear.
 Agueda, who was very bold and stubborn, still carried on with the ritual. Don Badoy Montoya’s face
appeared over her shoulders. Alas! He fell in love with Agueda at the mere sight of her. But Agueda
resisted his advances and ran away.
 Agueda and Badoy retold the story of their meeting that took place on that faithful eve of May; Agueda
to her daughter, Badoy to his grandson. But instead of revealing that they saw each other’s faces,
Agueda claimed that it was the devil she had seen and Badoy claimed that he had caught a glimpse of
the witch
 Theme
o Love is not just full of happiness. It also has a sad or an “evil” side of bitterness and hate
 Characters
o Agueda – bold and liberated girl; unlike girls among her age
o Dona Agueda – old lady who has gray hair, full of sentiments; emotional and resentful
o Badoy Montiya – a rich stereotypical, forceful man intent on proving his machismo
o Don Badoy Montiya – full of sentiment old man, who regrets that he failed to show his late wife
how important she really is to him
o Agueda’s Daughter – a very keen child who is close to her mother
o Voltaire – Don Badoy’s grandson, a very curious child who believes in superstition
o Anastasia – an old lady who is obedient to her mistress and believes in superstitious beliefs
o Girls in the dormitory (?)
 Settings
o Place: in an unnamed place, possibly in a rural area; room with a big hanging mirror
o Time: (1847~1890) May of 1847; Unknown time; 1890
 Plot (The story has 2 parts, the story told by Agueda to her daughter and the story told by Don Badoy to his
o Exposition
 Anastasia told the girls about the story that they would be able to know their future
husband by reciting an incantation in front of the mirror but if it gone wrong, they would
see a devil.
o Complication
 Agueda tried the incantation in front of the mirror then she saw Don Badoy. They had
some confrontation and she ended up biting Don Badoy’s hand because he wouldn’t let
her go. At that moment, he fell in love with her but he would still make her pay for what
she did.
o Climax
 Don Badoy told his grandson, Voltaire, that he once saw a witch in front of a mirror when
he caught him doing the incantation in front of the mirror. Amazed by what he said,
Voltaire told him that his grandma once saw the devil in that mirror.
o Denouement
 Don Badoy realized that he ponders on love that had been wasted. They had shared a
bitter and loveless marriage. His forgot his love to Agueda since that May day eve.
o Resolution
 Don Badoy reminisced the time when he saw Agueda in front of the mirror and when he
fell madly in love with her. That old love had been blinded by hatred, but it has now
resurfaced but it’s too late because Agueda is dead.
 What is the May Day Eve? Explain the traditions that people celebrate during this day.
o May Day refers to first day of May and is traditionally a celebration of spring. Several cultures
believe that spring is a gift from gods, thus festivities and gatherings are usually held. May Day
also holds a mystic attribute, for it is also considered a time for divination and lovers.
 How do you describe the love between Agueda and Badoy?
o The love they had was true, but was clouded by their initial dislike for each other; hence, the
love they shared was poorly manifested.
 What is the significance of mirror in the story as a way to explain the tradition?
o The mirror enables you at midnight to behold the face of the personfated to be yours. It serves
as a clue to unlock the mystery of the past andthe future, the departure and return, and the
idealistic traces of what is"out there" and what is "at hand."
 Story is told in back and forth
o May Day Eve of 1847  goes forward to the old Agueda telling her daughter about the “devil” +
reminiscing about it  shifts back to the May Day Eve of 1847 again  goes forward to the old
Badoy telling the story to his grandson + reminiscing about it on a May Day Eve of 1890
Young Agueda Old Agueda
Headstrong and defiant Miserable
Liberated Bitter
Has sharp tongue (and teeth) Angry
Mature Resentful
*TIME can turn the tide of emotion
Young Badoy Old Badoy
From Europe Tame
Confident, has a sense of superiority Resentful
Vain, aggressive Nostalgic
Full of passion (vengeance, violence, hate, love
intention of getting Agueda)
*TIME can bring back memories that can bring out regret. He was regretful of how he wasn’t able to
love her as much as he could have
 *We need to put our self in their situation
o May of 1847
 No aircorn, ilaw ,kuryente [inconveniences]
 Party na walang ice – but  pa rin sila; they drank brandy (jerez) (?)
 *Mirror (midnight)  dati may pocket watch lang
o “Mirror, mirror show to me him whose woman I will be.”
o Soul mate OR Devil OR Witch
o Badoy & Agueda  bittersweet love
 *happy story pa rin siya
 *cycle of life: to suffer
 *May – blossoming; merry month
Nick Joaquin (May 4, 1917 – April 29, 2004)
o Nicomedes Joaquin (born May 4, 1917, Paco, Manila, Phil.—died April 29, 2004, San Juan,
o Filipino novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, and biographer whose works present the diverse
heritage of the Filipino people.
o Joaquín was born in Paco, Manila, one of ten children of Leocadio Joaquín, a colonel under
General Emilio Aguinaldo in the 1896 Revolution, and Salome Márquez, a teacher of English
and Spanish. After being read poems and stories by his mother, the boy Joaquín read widely in
his father's library and at the National Library of the Philippines. By then, his father had become
a successful lawyer after the revolution. From reading, Joaquín became interested in writing.
o At age 17, Joaquín had his first piece published, in the literary section of the pre-World War II
Tribune, where he worked as a proofreader. It was accepted by the writer and editor Serafín
Lanot. After Joaquín won a nationwide essay competition to honor La Naval de Manila,
sponsored by the Dominican Order, the University of Santo Tomas awarded him an honorary
Associate in Arts (A.A.). They also awarded him a scholarship to St. Albert's Convent, the
Dominican monastery in Hong Kong. A description of Manila’s fabled resistance to 17th-century
Dutch invaders. After World War II he traveled to the United States, Mexico, and Spain, later
serving as a cultural representative of the Philippines to Taiwan, Cuba, and China
o Starting as a proofreader for the Philippines Free Press, Joaquin rose to contributing editor and
essayist under the nom de plume “Quijano de Manila” (“Manila Old-Timer”). He was well known
as a historian of the brief Golden Age of Spain in the Philippines, as a writer of short stories
suffused with folk Roman Catholicism, as a playwright, and as a novelist.
o Joaquín deeply admired José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Joaquín paid tribute to
him in books such as The Storyteller's New Medium - Rizal in Saga, The Complete Poems and
Plays of Jose Rizal, and A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of
Philippine History. He translated the hero's valedictory poem, in the original Spanish Mi Ultimo
Adios, as "Land That I Love, Farewell!"
o Joaquín represented the Philippines at the International PEN Congress in Tokyo in 1957, and
was appointed as a member of the Motion Pictures commission under presidents Diosdado
Macapagal and Ferdinand E. Marcos.
o After being honored as National Artist, Joaquin used his position to work for intellectual freedom
in society. He secured the release of imprisoned writer José F. Lacaba. At a ceremony on
Mount Makiling attended by First Lady Imelda Marcos, Joaquín delivered an invocation to
Mariang Makiling, the mountain's mythical maiden. Joaquín touched on the importance of
freedom and the artist. After that, Joaquín was excluded by the Marcos regime as a speaker
from important cultural events.
o Joaquín died of cardiac arrest in the early morning of April 29, 2004, at his home in San Juan,
Metro Manila. He was then editor of Philippine Graphic magazine where he worked with Juan P.
Dayang, who was the magazine's first publisher. Joaquin was also publisher of its sister
publication, Mirror Weekly, a women’s magazine. He also wrote the column (“Small Beer”) for
the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Isyu, an opinion tabloid.
Unit 5: Discovering Love and the Filipino
“Bonsai” – Edith Tiempo
 The poem entitled “Bonsai” written by Edith Tiempo talks about love in terms of a plant “Bonsai”. Bonsai
is a perennial woody plant that has the features of a tree. In the poem, it describes how a Bonsai could
be related to love. Many say that love is a huge monumental feeling that is found in every little aspects
of life. This award-winning poet describes how love could be scaled down into a “cupped hand size”.
 One of the literary images shown in the poem is how all the author’s love is fold over once. This shows
how the author thinks that love is something that is foldable or flexible depending on the situation. The
author expressed how love could be reduced to a cupped hand’s size. This irony shows that we all
have control to what our hearts could give. However, we are limiting ourselves, which in return, makes
our hearts smaller than it could really be. Another literary image shown in the poem is the metaphor “Till
seashells are broken pieces from God’s own bright teeth”. Seashells are said to be nature, which are
slowly being destroyed by man. Man would then pay the price and man would later be judged by God.
This goes to show that everything needs to come to an end and that nothing lasts forever.
 The title “Bonsai” would at first seem as an inappropriate title for the poem, but as you read the poem
over and over again, you would come to realize that the poem speaks for a Bonsai plant. Bonsai is a
special type of plant wherein you would have to limit it growth by constantly cutting or trimming its
artistic shape. Similarly, love could not be perceived to be something very general or large because too
much of something would not do any good. It is essential to keep everything to limit it to a smaller size
in order to maintain all its features. Furthermore, any bonsai plant will not live forever. There would
come a time wherein it would die or fade away. Likewise, love does not always last forever. It would
always be there but it would never be the same. Sometimes, it may fade away if it is left unattained or it
would just die down once it loses control. Thus, bonsai and love should be properly cultivated and
respected for it to attain its deepest purpose.
 *scaling down of love
 *tremendous emotions
 *artifacts that remind us of the feelings
 *sentimental values
 *Bonsai – small na mataba na plant/ tree – loved tenderly
Edith Tiempo (April 22, 1919 – August 21, 2011)
o A poet, fiction writer, teacher and literary critic
o A Filipino writer in the English language.
o Tiempo was born in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. Her poems are intricate verbal
transfigurations of significant experiences as revealed, in two of her much anthologized pieces,
"Lament for the Littlest Fellow" and "Bonsai." As fictionist, Tiempo is as morally profound. Her
language has been marked as "descriptive but unburdened by scrupulous detailing." She is an
influential tradition in Philippine literature in English. Together with her late husband, writer and
critic Edilberto K. Tiempo, they founded (in 1962) and directed the Silliman National Writers
Workshop in Dumaguete City, which has produced some of the Philippines' best writers.
o She was conferred the National Artist Award for Literature in 1999.

“Patalim” – Cirilo Bautista

 Patalim – metaphor used by the author to depict their love for each other
 Talim ng aming balaraw – tamis ng ating pagmamahalan
 Hindi niya ako titigilan ng Sasak sabatok - di titigil sa kakangawa
 *connotation – an idea or quality that a word makes you think about in addition to its meaning (not
 *mundane – ordinary
 *fight over small things
Cirilo Bautista (1941)
o Born in 1941
o A poet, fictionist, critic, and writer of nonfiction.
o Received a degree in AB Literature in the University of Santo Tomas and graduated a cum
laude in 1963.
o In 1968, Re received a degree on MA Literature in St. Louis University, Baguio City and also
graduated a magna cumlaude.
o In 1990, Bautista received a Doctor on Arts In Literature from De La Salle
o In 1968-1969 He received a fellowship to attend the International Writing Program at the
University of Iowa and was awarded an honorary degree.
o He is a co-founding member of the Philippine Literary Arts Council (PLAC)and a member of the
Manila Critics Circle, Philippine Center of International PEN and the Philippine Writers

Unit 6: Exploring Filipino Humor

 Part of Humor
o Shared knowledge – no need to explain
 Origin of Humor
o Relief Theory
o Superiority Theory
 Pamimintas
 You feel superioir kasi it’s not you
o Incongruity Theory
 Deviation from norm (inconsistent)
 Mababaw kaligayahan ng Pilipinas

“My Father Goes to Court” – Carlos Bulosan

 Point of view: 1st person
 Setting: 1918
 Summary
o When the persona was 4 years old, his/her family moved to the town because their farm was
o They lived with a rich neighbor whose servants always cooked good delicious food. They can
smell the aroma of the dishes through the windows of the house.
o The doors and windows of the neighbor’s house were always shut and the children were not
allowed to play.
o The persona together with his/her siblings grew healthy and happy while they were allowed to
play outside, under the sun. And they continued to savor the delicious smell from the neighbor’s.
o As they grew healthier, they started to hear their neighbors getting sick, coughing day and night.
First, the parents then, the children.
o One day, the persona’s family received a complaint from their neighbor who grew sicklier each
day, while them, the opposite.
o The day of the court trial, their father represented themselves.
o Trial:
 It was said by the neighbor’s lawyer that they stole the spirits of their neighbor from all
the smelling of the food.
 The father asked the neighbor if they think they stole their spirits. The neighbour said
 So the father said they will pay them. He gathered money from his pockets and from his
children. And walked with the straw hat containing the money to the other end of the
 He then said, now they have paid them through giving the spirit of the money to them.
 Then, the neighbor fell to the ground. Father went to his aid
o The judge said that his uncle died laughing. So the father said, do you want to hear my family
laugh? The whole crowd laughed along with the family.
 *Absurd – illogical
 *Rich – has access to resources
 *Poor – limited access to resources
 *Sa story un mahirap nagplaplay while yun mayaman nakaconfine lang sa loob ng house
Carlos Bulosan (November 2, 1913 – September 11, 1956)
o Carlos Bulosan was born in the Philippines in the rural farming village of Mangusmana, near the
town of Binalonan (Pangasinan province, Luzon island).
o An English-language Filipino novelist and poet who spent most of his life in the United States.
His best-known work today is the semi-autobiographical America Is in the Heart, but he first
gained fame for his 1943 essay on The Freedom from Want.
o Bulosan was born to Ilocano parents in the Philippines in Binalonan, Pangasinan.
o Most of his youth was spent in the countryside as a farmer. It is during his youth that he and his
family were economically impoverished by the rich and political elite, which would become one
of the main themes of his writing. His home town is also the starting point of his famous semi-
autobiographical novel, America is in the Heart.
o Following the pattern of many Filipinos during the American colonial period, he left for America
on July 22, 1930 at age 17, in the hope of finding salvation from the economic depression of his
home. He never again saw his Philippine homeland. Upon arriving in Seattle, he met with
racism and was forced to work in low paying jobs. He worked as a farmworker, harvesting
grapes and asparagus, and doing other types of hard work in the fields of California. He also
worked as a dishwasher with his brother and Lorenzo in the famous Madonna Inn in San Luis
o As a labor organizer and socialist writer, he was blacklisted. Denied a means to provide for
himself, his later years were of flight and hardship, probably including alcoholism. He died in
Seattle suffering from an advanced stage of bronchopneumonia. He is buried at Mount Pleasant
Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.

“My Own Theory of Devolution” – Jessica Zafra

 Point of view: 1st person
 Devolution: the more you drink, the lower you become
 Stages of Devolution:
o APE – vision blurs, nauseous, starting to slouch, arms down like an ape
o REPTILE – non-functional legs, crawl to travel to another part of the room
o POLITICIAN – talkative, loud voice, reveal secrets to strangers, then become pompous, and
stop making sense, obnoxious
o FISH (or Sammy the Sperm) – not attempting to crawl anymore, swim on the floor
o ROCK – pass out, lose consciousness, not an organism anymore, lowest on the evolutionary
 Next morning: start of evolution again
 Resolutions to never drink again and not keep: human again
 *Alcohol needs water to dilute  our body puro water  then yun brain mawawalan ng tubig +
 *Alcohol deprives body of the needed water (lack of water)
 “In vino veritas” – Latin  “In wine there is truth”
 *Bacchos – god of wine (bacchanalia)
 *Metaphor  popular / not misleading archetypes dapat
 *Problems with Metaphor
o Walang isang kahulugan (w/c one sinasabi)
 *Pacto de sangre – blood compact
Jessica Zafra (1965)
o Jessica Zafra (born 1965) is a fiction writer, columnist, editor, publisher, and former television
and radio show host. She is known for her sharp and witty writing style. Her most popular books
are the Twisted series, a collection of her essays as a columnist for newspaper Today (now
Manila Standard Today), as well as from her time as editor and publisher of the magazine Flip.
She currently writes a weekly column for InterAksyon.com, the online news portal of TV5. She
resides in Metro Manila, Philippines, where she is working on her first novel. She also managed
the Eraserheads during the 90's.
o Her work often are about current events (both Philippine and international), tennis, movies,
music, cats, books, technology, and her personal life. Her work has been the subject of
academic study. The main ingredient to her work is often fun cynicism and irony.
o She went to St. Theresa's College, Quezon City, from prep school until 6th Grade. After which,
she went to the main campus of the Philippine Science High School then to the University of the
Philippines and majored in Comparative Literature

“My Brother’s Peculiar Chicken” – Alejandro R. Roces

 The story was about the weird chicken which Kiko and his brother found. They couldn’t tell whether it is
a hen or a rooster. They keep on arguing to each other because Kiko insist that the chicken is a rooster
for they saw it on the field fighting another chicken. But his brother is not convinced for the chicken has
no comb or wattles, both disagree to one another.
 They began to ask their mother and father, even the people on their village like Tasio and Mr. Cruz. But
all of them couldn't tell whether it's a hen or a rooster. And they also thought that it was a "binabae".
 So instead, they decide to bring it into the cockpit and make it fight to a rooster. But during the fight
there is a turn of events, things gone different for what they have expected. A lovesick expression came
into the rooster's eye, instead of fighting, the rooster began to do some love dance but the peculiar
chicken suddenly stubs its spur into the rooster and the fight is over. The brothers couldn't believe what
they saw.
 Kiko thinks he convinced his brother that the chicken is a rooster, but the chicken acted something
strange. It began to quiver, and egg came out and drop into his brother’s hand.
 Setting
o Early morning
o Cornfield
o Village
 Characters
o Kiko – believes that the chicken is a rooster
o Alejandro – believes that the chicken is a hen
o Peculiar Chicken
o Kiko & Alejandro’s father and mother
o Tenienteng Tasio – head of the village
o Mr. Eduardo Cruz – operated a large egg farm
 *Dinamay yun buong community…
Alejandro R. Roces (July 13, 1924 – May 23, 2011)
o Alejandro Reyes Roces (13 July 1924 – 23 May 2011) was a Filipino author, essayist, dramatist
and a National Artist of the Philippines for literature. He served as Secretary of Education from
1961 to 1965, during the term of Philippine President Diosdado Macapagal.
o Married to Irene Yorston Viola (granddaughter of Maximo Viola)
 Daughter: Elizabeth Roces-Pedrosa
o Educational Background
 Elementary: Ateneo de Manila
 Secondary: Ateneo de Manila
 College: State University of Arizona (degree in Fine Arts)
 Master’s Degree: Far Eastern University (Masters in Fine Arts
 Doctorate Degree: conferred by Tokyo University and Polytechnic University
o Roces was a captain in the Marking’s Guerilla during World War II and a columnist in Philippine
dailies such as the Manila Chronicle and the Manila Times. He was previously President of the
Manila Bulletin and of the CAP College Foundation.
o In 2001, Roces was appointed as Chairman of the Movie and Television Review and
Classification Board (MTRCB). Roces also became a member of the Board of Trustees of GSIS
(Government Service Insurance System) and maintained a column in the Philippine Star called
Roses and Thorns.