Said to be "The Most Famous Philippine Short Story in English," this is another story in the collection that evoked a stronger meaning to me now that I am a middle-aged man. The first time I read this was when I was 12 and a freshman high school and I just brushed this aside as a school requirement. Now that I am 47, the deeper meaning like Baldo's (the narrator) family is the Philippines and Maria (his brother's wife) is the Americans puts my reading into a totally different perspective.
This chapter discusses the development of the Philippine short story in English. English was firmly established both as a medium of education and literary expression during the 1920s. There seems to be general agreement among critics that it was in the field of the short story that Filipino writers in English excelled. Many have remarked on the speed with which Filipinos took to the genre, which was born only around fifteen years before the outbreak of the Pacific War. Jose Garcia Villa's collection of stories, , had earned from the American critic Edmond O'Brien the comment that Villa was “among the half-dozen short story writers in America who count.” Villa also undertook an annual collection of what he considered the best Filipino short stories in English, a project he was to sustain until 1940. The project played an important role in determining the way in which the short story in English was to develop.
Philippine Short Stories, 1941-1955: 1950-1955
Leopoldo Y. Yabes
Limitadong pagsilip - 2009
This is the first Philippine short story written in English. Paz Marquez Benitez (1894-1983) was among the first generation of Filipinos trained in the American education system which used English as the medium of instruction. She was a member of the first freshman class of the University of the Philippines, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912. Her prose is most of the time lyrical and her choice of words is very eloquent. It's just that I thought Alfredo's character is caricaturist and the way he is portrayed is quite unrealistic for a rational man.
The list includes: Paz Latorena, "Desire"; Loreto Paras Sulit, "The Bolo"; Arturo B. Rotor, "Zita"; Manuel E. Arguilla, "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife." Additionally, the works of Cristina Pantoja-Hidalgo, Alfred Yuson, Jaime An Lim, Jessica Zafra and Cirilio Bautista among others appear in the anthology entitled "The Best Philippine Short Stories of the 20th Century."