When Luis returned to Sipnget for vacation after being unable to visit for years because of studying and then now because of work he visited his grandfather and his mother, but originally he decided to go back to visit his ailing father, Don Vicente. He planned to stay for weeks even for a month but then he suddenly changed his mind when he realized that the place had already changed a lot, his brother is not there and more over his mother and grand father has gone believing that his father and all the rich people should give up their wealth to the poor.
He couldn’t take it. And, also there was the Hukbalahap which is against the Japanese and the elite’s— he couldn’t take it anymore. Before leaving first thing in the morning the next day he heard his father shout in surprise and when he ran to look after him he saw the window glass of his father’s room was broken and a stone wrapped in paper was on the floor, when his father picked it up and then read the message it says that “he should give all he has to those who deserves it better— the poor.”
Luis, stunned by what he saw was also wondering who did it. He kept thinking but only one suspect is fitted with the situation. It’s his brother Victor who is very best at using sling—sling was the best thing to use to throw a stone trough the mansion’s security. After that, Luis fled off back to manila and then there was a time that Victor came to him and asks for his support—just the same as to the message his father got, back to Sipnget.
What is the conflict of the story?
Thus, the brothers had different personalities, beliefs, views and status in life. They met again as both friends and foes. These are their misunderstandings as brothers. Luis considers himself liberal. He is against the goals of his brother which is to put down his status as a wealthy landowner for the benefit of the poor.
What is the climax of the story?
He returned to Rosales. He came home together with Trining, his female cousin, who studies in the convent. In order for the Asperris to preserve their wealth, Luis married Trining. After sometime, she got pregnant. But in manila, Luis also had an affair with his manager’s daughter – Ester – which is also Trining’s best friend. But because they quarreled one night, Ester disappeared and was found out to be dead. He then found out from his mother that his half-brother Victor became the commander of Hukbalahap (hukbong bayan laban sa mga hapon) which is against rich people and feudal landowners.
What is the resolution? At the end of the story, Vic warned them about the Huks. He told him to leave the place. But they didn’t listen. Trining got shot and died. Luis then revenged and fought for his status and for the death of his wife.
VI.REACTION TO THE NOVEL
This story is a must read for everyone for it elaborates on the political structures and some aspects of the Philippine history. It is also somewhat similar to Jose Rizal’s Noli me Tangere and el Filibusterismo. Reading it really requires full attention for them to be able to grasp the meaning of
the story. Although the theme tackles more on political life of the rural people, readers can still be caught by romance in some chapters, particularly to Luis, and his affection for 2 women, Trining and Ester.
When Trining died I felt sorry for both the main character and her. As said Luis took revenge for his status and his wife so that settles it because I definitely like to have my revenge if it was me. Good for Luis he is elite so he didn’t feel so down and he had the power to do so. I was surprised to read the incest situation in the novel I couldn’t bring myself to believe but the writer simply made it as if it was real. I fell thinking, are there many incest here in our country just to preserve their pure elite blood? I felt being more understanding to respect everyone’s choices for they have their own motives. My understanding of people’s motives has now been clear to me that everything has a cause and that cause might be good or bad but still we follow what we believe because we are humans we can decide for our own.
While reading I found some Filipino values depicted in the novel and they we’re: the true love and respect of family members. Patience, dignity, disciplines and being responsible—they were all shown with great passion. From what I now observe in our system as Filipinos we must keep deep understanding between the poor and the rich. Now we have this border that keeps our world apart that sparks a revolution against each other. We must learn to understand, listen and share.
VII.BIOGRAPHY OF THE AUTHOR
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, Russian, Latvaian, Ukrainian, Dutch.
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. Jose 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. Life as a writer
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.
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. 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. Works
Rosales Saga novels
A five-novel series that spans three centuries of Philippine history, widely read around the world and translated into 22 languages * Po-on (Dusk) (English, 1984)
* The Pretenders (1962)
* My Brother, My Executioner (1973)
* Mass (December 31, 1974)
* Tree (1978)
Original novels containing the Rosales Saga
* Dusk (Po-on) (1993)
* Don Vicente (1980) – Tree and My Brother, My Executioner combined in one book * The Samsons
* Gagamba (The Spider Man) (1991)
* Viajero (1993)
* Sin (1994)
* Ben Singkol (2001)
* Vibora! (2007)
* Sherds (2008)
Short story collection
* The God Stealer and Other Short Stories (2001)
* Puppy Love and Other Short Stories (March 15, 1998)
* Olvidon and Other Stories (1988) * Platinum: Ten Filipino Stories (1983) (now out of print, its stories are added to the new version of Olvidon and Other Stories) * Waywaya: Eleven Filipino Short Stories (1980)
* Asian PEN Anthology (as editor) (1966)
* Short Story International (SSI): Tales by the World’s Great Contemporary Writers (Unabridged, Volume 13, Number 75) (co-author, 1989) Children’s books
• The Molave and The Orchid (November 2004)
* Questions (1988)
Essays and non-fiction
* In Search of the Word (De La Salle University Press, March 15, 1998) * We Filipinos: Our Moral Malaise, Our Heroic Heritage
* Soba, Senbei and Shibuya: A Memoir of Post-War Japan
* Heroes in the Attic, Termites in the Sala: Why We are Poor (2005) * This I Believe: Gleanings from a Life in Literature (2006) * Literature and Liberation (co-author) (1988)
* Po-on (Tagalog language, De La Salle University Press, 1998) * Anochecer (Littera) (Spanish language, Maeva, October 2003)
* Tong (a short story from Brown River, White Ocean: An Anthology of Twentieth-Century Philippine Literature in English by Luis Francia, Rutgers University Press, August 1993 In film documentaries
* Francisco Sionil José – A Filipino Odyssey by Art Makosinski, 1996 Awards
* Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Awards for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts (1980) * National Artist Award for Literature (2001)
* Pablo Neruda Centennial Award (2004)
* Palanca Awards