Cream of the Crop

Finally I can get this out of the way! I didn't realize that grade computation for the finals is such hassle. But as promised, I post here the cream of the crop (and yes, the credits' been added to where they're supposed to be credited)

Best Film: Bread of Salt 3T2
Diana Monica Castillo
Ivan Chavez
Carolyn Daza
Akina Dela Cruz
Gerry Alane Lopena
Kristine Nicolas
Carla Nunez
Rhonna Quiatchojn
Jan Anthony Silangan
Jennifer Zulueta

Best Adaptation: The Day the Dancers Came 3T1
Lauren Baclig
Realiza Ballaran
Grace Cabico
Dianne Delos Reyes
Najmah Dingcong
Agatha Geron
Zaidee Manalo
Kathleen Morante
Ronald Santiago
Angela Trinidad
Mely Yu

Best Screenplay Adaptation: May Day Eve 4H1
Elena Dumalaog
Gwen Gatchalian
Cristina Guiam
Casey Santos
Loraine Villanueva
Jason Rivera
Brenda Noquillo
Karl Ceniza
Elaine Luna
Don Soledad

Most Viewed: Mist 3T3
Ninna Zorilla
Mia Castro
Angelica Mananghaya
Audrey Poblete
Hermie Canciller
Katia Tena
Jen Sosa
Mary Anne Moreno

Best Male Actors:
Michael Salazar 4H2
Don Soledad 4H1
Ronald Santiago 3T1

Best Female Actors :
RobyFrances Cruz 3T1
Hajer Serag Eldin Shahin 3T4
Patrissia Cruz 4H3
Emily Roxanne Fernandez 3T2

Some Reminders for the Finals

The following sections earned 80 points in the final exams:


Aforementioned sections will still have to answer the last part of the final exams (essay part) to earn more points.

I will be present in the classroom during the scheduled final exams to oversee the completion of the final exams; and to distribute your past quizzes, assignments and index cards. I will also grade your class participation during this time. Everyone has to be present. Those who will not answer the last part of the exams will get an INC (incomplete) mark.

Students of abovementioned sections who missed a quiz/zes should see me before 7PM of October 8 to make up. Otherwise, incomplete requirements would earn the student an incomplete mark for final grade. I will be out of the country during the semester break and will not be bothered.

Philippine Lit adaptations uploaded on YouTube will earn the following points:

Uploaded on or before the Oct 4 deadline: 10 points in class participation
Uploaded on or before October 8 (9PM): 5 points in class participation

On October 10, 2007, I will announce the individual/group awards. The announcement will be posted in our website. The following will merit a perfect grade (finals only):

group category:

Best Adaptation
Best Screenplay Adaptation
Best Film- student's choice (a short list will be posted on this site for poll)
Most Viewed (as of October 10, 5PM)

Individual category

Best Male Actor
Best Female Actor

Literature of Exile

Literature of Exile

Imaging the Filipino Migrant

What constitutes literature of exile?
recurring related themes of
expatriate life,
travel abroad

What is the impact of these experiences on the writer’s lives and work and the national literature ?

How do these experiences influenced their sense of nation, identity and their concept of home?

Theme: the experience of exile

Exile itself has been the one central fact of our whole literary tradition. The expatriate choice is only one form of exile. For some, it takes the form of escape to a more seminal, intellectual centers of Madrid, Paris, HongKong and New York. For others, it implies Dapitan or Muntinlupa, for still others, exile into the past.

The exile referred to in the subsequesnt discussion is actual expatriation-exile from homeland, not just familial residence.

Filipino Migration to the United States
1st generation of filipino migrants to the US
1906-1946 approx 150,000 (to the sugar plantations of Hawaii and California)

2nd generation of Filipino migrants to the US
1946-1964 approx 30,000 Filipinos (mostly war veterans)

3rd generation
1964-1984 approx 630,000 Filipinos

among the first generation:
Jose Garcia Villa
NVM Gonzales
Bienvenido Santos
Carlos Bulosan
Nick Joaquin

The theme is fairly new to women’s narratives. It did not find its way into the stories by women of the generation of NVM Gonzales, Bienvenido Santos and Carlos Bulosan.

Most of the stories of exile that have emerged in the last few decades are written by women married to foreign men: Casper, Brainard, Skinner, Apostol. Most of their stories deal with homesick middle-class women. And the relocation is no longer confined to the United States.

A new variation of this theme –and one more likely to become significant in the future- focuses on the OFW and the mail order brides, the heartbreaking side of the contemporary Philippine Diaspora.
No longer confined to the United States
some examples
Fruit Stall (Kingcross, Australia)
Case 2182-93 Angela Cabading, Age 26(HongKong)

Character analysis
Fruit Stall
Case 2182-93 Angela Cabading, Age 26
The Day the Dancers Came
America is in the Heart

Character analysis
Fruit Stall
The fruit seller

Character analysis
Case 2182-93, Angela Cabading, Age 29
Angela Cabading

Merlinda Bobis in "Fruit Stall" and
Nadine Sarreal in "Case 2182-93 Angela Cabading, Age 26"

from the lower class
pushed into exile by circumstances not completely within their control
both pay monstrous price for the exile

But both stories are sharp indictments of the system that condones—even encourages—such suffering, by turning a blind eye to the consequences.


Does the fact that these stories are written in English detract or contribute to their effectivity? Is this a relevant question?

( Reading assignment for next meeting )

The Day the Dancers Came by Bienvenido Santos
America is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan

More Notes on May Day Eve

Reading Nick Joaquin’s May day Eve Brings to mind stories told us as children. But the second reading of the story, and a closer reading at that, will not only show you Joaquin’s fine craft but prove to his lofty ideal as well.

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 love.

The plot of the summary may be simple enough.

In one part, Joaquin intended to present the circumstances of Aqueda describing her encounter with the devil in the mirror to her young daughter. The child is keen in fact sees a similarity of his father to the description of the devil by her mother. The ambiguity of Aqueda weeping towards the end renders innumerable possibilities.

In yet another part Joaquin is more determined to show the circumstances of Don Badoy Montiya’s recollection of seeing a witch in the mirror. This, he recalled teary eyed to his grandson whom he saw standing before the mirror hoping to see his soon to be wife.

Some in fact have been guilty of looking at the story as a simple tale for little children, but Joaquin aims at something grander and loftier. His attention to present a man and a woman holding on to love until the death of them is worthy of note. His intention to exhibit the hazy romance of the old world, the quiet consummation of their love, itself an elevated thought, is a result of his great imaginative power.

The sexual overtones in the story are forgivable only because Joaquin aimed at a higher purpose. He is not only brave enough to make the suggestion but he is also dignified to scale those dangerous heights in good taste.

Initially, one is propelled to feel connection especially if one has been told of age-old ritual, but it is even true that you will at once be enthralled by it at first reading. The beauty of Joaquin’s language at once moves you.

Joaquin through his outstanding employment of the figures of speech in this quit simple story achieves this grandness in his work.

Many a times, Joaquin chose to repeat for amplification. This he intends to produce familiarity. He writes the following lines to begin the story so as to suggest a mood of the old world.

“…looked out upon the medieval shadows of the foul street where a couple of street-lamps flickered an a last carriage was rattling away upon the cobbles, while the blind black houses muttered hush-hush, their tiled roofs looming like sinister chessboards against a wild sky with clouds, save where an evil old moon prowled about in a corner or where a murderous wind whirled, whistling and whining, smelling now of the sea and now of the summer orchards and wafting unbearable Maytime memories of an old, old love…Guardia sereno-o-o! Alas dice han dado-o-o!”

He repeats exactly the same description of the foul street towards the end of the story to encourage the reader to remember the mood and promote further transport. The story should leave an impression that last even after the story has been put away.

Also note his asyndeton, his rapid flow of words with occasional stops.

“The ball had been in their honor: and they had waltzed and polka-ed and bragged and swaggered and flirted all night and were in no mood to sleep yet-no, caramba, not on this moist tropic eve! Not on this mystic May eve! – with the night still young and so seductive that it was madness not to go out, not to go forth..”

In fact, this beautiful word arrangement even if it is quite apart from the natural flow of words did not fail the computer auto-correction. As it is being typed in my computer, the program offered no automatic grammar correction at all!
May Day Eve immediately brings transport. His choice and striking words wonderfully attracts and enthralls.

“Mirror, mirror,
show to me
her whose lover
I will be.”

Joaquin’s phrasing not only used the words most striking but breathes life into what seem to be non-living as well consequently lending the work its delicious ambiguity and double meanings.

“She bewitched me and she tortured me. He ate my heart and drank by blood.”

test tayo next meeting.

Reading Assignment and Notice of Exams

Reading assignment: Read the following literature of exile

The Day the Dancers Came by Ben Santos
Fruit Stall by Merlinda Bobis
Case #28XXX Angela Cabading by Nadine Sarreal

We will have a diagnostic test before discussion (20pts).

On Oct 1, we shall have our test on poetry (40pts).


Order for Masks (Virgie Moreno)
Montage (OA Dimalanta)
Coming to Grief (OA Dimalanta)
Manhattan Rain (Carlos Angeles)
Gabu (Carlos Angeles)
Bonsai (Edith Tiempo)
Lament for the Littlest Fellow (Edith Tiempo)

Some Notes on May Day Eve

The following notes from May Day Eve were gathered from different blog sources:

The catholic imagination filters anything pleasurable and beautiful and luxuriant as tempting and therefore evil. Not surprisingly, the central characters in May Day Eve were both young, good looking, at the prime of their (sexual) lives and therefore teetering on the edge of sin. Which brings us to why evil is often represented as a beautiful temptress or as an extremely attractive man always ready to seduce you, or even as a highly coveted, rare object that can give you power, prestige or wealth (think Friday the 13th, Bedazzled, etc., Decadent Chociolate, a sinful treat.)

possible central idea

leventually, husband and wife will realize that they are married to the devil and the witch

a cynical assessment of marital relations (but I hope that we all prove this wrong when our own time comes)

Notes on Poetry

Lesson Overview

Poetry or Prose?
What makes a good poem?
Form and Content
Organic Unity

Poetry or Prose?

Some questions to consider:

1. Does the piece make use of metaphorical or figurative language?
2. Does it have concreteness, particularity, sensuous shape?
3. Is it a piece that should not be read on its literal sense alone?

Metaphorical/Figurative Language

The use of metaphorical/figurative language is the use of the different figures of speech

Figures of speech gives us the pleasure of recognizing similarities in the otherwise different natures of objects

Denotative Language

By concreteness, we mean poetry’s use of visuals in terms of IMAGES.

By particularity, we mean the use of specific objective reality or situation, a particular emotion, or a particular point of theme.

Literal vs Figurative

Is it a piece that should be read on the literal sense alone?

Figurative language -A form of language use in which writers and speakers convey something other than the literal meaning of their words.

Literal language- A form of language in which writers and speakers mean exactly what their words denote.

by Conchitina Cruz

You fall behind
Because of the cloud
On your back.
It is heavy
With rainwater.
When I stop
To wait,
You hide
In the cloud,
Choosing to drown.

Beauty Truth
Pleasure Instruction
Artfulness Lesson

All the parts work together.
Every element in it contributes to the meaning and the beauty of the work.

Culinary Arts

Emotional/Intellectual Value

A good poem then possesses concentration and intensity that makes it memorable.
Brings an engagement of the senses, the emotional, the mind.

Poetry may be this or that, but it shouldn’t necessarily be this or that, except delirious and lucid.
Robert Desnos

Reading Assignment

For Friday, August 31, 2007

Order for Masks by Virgie Moreno
Snail by Conchitina Cruz (Text below)
Snail by Tita Lacambra Ayala
Moth by G. Burce Bunao

Poems of Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta especially:
A Kind of Burning
Time Factor
Coming to Grief
Flowers are for Picking, or are they?

All poems of Jose Garcia Villa.



Students may earn extra credit by participating in any Philippine Literature-related cultural and literary activities at UST and the community this September! 20 points to be credited after presentation of tickets and a short review of the opera.

Mayo..Bisperas ng Liwanag
Based on Nick Joaquin's May Day Eve, Mayo is an opera in three acts to be staged at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Main Theater. (Libretto and lyrics by Fides Asencio, Music by Rey Paguio, Orchestral Arrangement by Rey Pacis, Stage Direction by Nazer Salcedo.)

Call the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP Complex) or Joy Rago at 0919-6577961. Ask for discounts.

September 11 3PM and 7PM
September 12 3PM and 7PM

I will watch on September 11 at 7pm. I suggest you read May Day Eve before watching the opera. May Day Eve is on page 118 of your lit102 reader. May Day Eve will be discussed in class last week of September. Incidentally, it is also one of the selections that failing students (including students who missed some quizzes due to absences) may read to prepare for the make up test on September 4.


since my mwf classes were not yet advised on contingency for failing students, special exams to make up for absences and failed quizzes will not push though this saturday. please wait for further announcement. the announcement should be finalized saturday morning. tentative date of the make up test is on Tuesday, August 28. meanwhile, please refer to some selections that you may read in preparation for the contingency. the selection will depend on case to case basis. Please bring your excuse letter, doctor's certificate or what have you on the day of the make up test.

For those who missed a quiz due to 1 absence :
Weight by Lakambini Sitoy
Eye of the Needle by Gilda Cordero Fernando

For those who missed more than 1 due to absenceS:
Weight by Lakambini Sitoy
Eye of the Needle by Gilda Cordero Fernando
Bread of Salt by NVM Gonzales

For those who would like to make up for failing quizzes and major exam, I will give a 10 pt quiz base on the following stories (each item will be worth 2 points each. I know it's not too much, but come on, this is to make up for your shortcomings. and did I tell you that beggars cant' be choosers? :P ):
Weight by Lakambini Sitoy
Eye of the Needle by Gilda Cordero Fernando
Bread of Salt by NVM Gonzales
May Day Eve by Nick Joaquin
The Day the Dancers Came by Bienvenido Santos

Should you have any comments, suggestions, questions, points of clarifications, please do not ask me along the corridor. Feel free to leave your message here on this thread. thank you and good luck!

Prelim Reminders

All ITHM students taking LIT102 prelim departmental exam later today at 1630hrs are required to use the official UST test booklet. This was announced to all TTH classes last week. For my MWF classes, except for 3T1, I shall be providing each section 45 pcs of test booklets payable next meeting.

People in the War --will include in the prelim

People in the War and Wilderness of Sweets by Gilda Cordero Fernando are stories set during World War II, but they are a far cry from the conventional war tale, which would emphasize scenes of battles, acts of heroism or cowardice and political choices.

These stories are about being at war, but they are not about fighting in it. They are about surviving in it.

Unlike the conventional war stories, People in the War and Wilderness of Sweets do not have anything to do with the combatants. There are no characters who are soldiers. The Japanese have but shadowy presence until the last part of the story, when they become simply nameless, insane butchers. The Americans do not even make an appearance. The political reasons for the war are never mentioned. The focus is on the travails of the civilian population.

The fact that the narrator is an adolescentmakes this plausible, enables the writer to concentrate on the story she wishes to tell.

IMAGING THE FILIPINO WOMAN. Theme: Love and the Erotic

Romantic Love is, of course, an important theme in the fiction by Filipino women. The erotic element, though generally downplayed, is there too. We see it even in the pre-war fiction, for instance in the stories of Estrella Alfon and Loreto Paras Sulit.

In the post war fiction, eroticism is continued to be expressed with great subtlety:

The Virgin (ca 1950's) by Kerima Polotan
and The Coral by Edith Tiempo

more explicit in the stories of Gilda Cordero Fernado (A Cake Left Out in the Rain)

and Tita Lacambra Ayala ( The Bird)

What the youngest women writers are doing with the themes is interesting:

Ma. Romina Gonzales in Welostit, Joy Dayrit in Mist and Lakambini Sitoy in Weight.

Eroticism is an aesthetic focused on sexual desires especially on the anticipation of sexual activity, state of arousal and an attempt through whatever means of representation to incite those feelings.

The erotic strain is a powerful one in the poetry in English by Filipino women from 1935 to the 90's: Tita Lacambra Ayala, Ophelia Dimalanta, Marjorie Evasco, Merlie Alunan, Kerima Polotan, Gilda Cordero Fernando, Estrella Alfon, Joy Dayrit, Ma. Romina Gonzalez, Lakambini Sitoy.

We have discussed the following stories:

Servant Girl (1930's), The Virgin (1952), Mist (1997) and Welostit (1997)

In Sythesis: What these stories have in common is that first of all, their tales are very much of the city. Their protagonists are independent creatures, very rarely depicted as part of a family--they live alone, work for a living, do not belong to anyone, least of all to the men they are in love with (or not in love with). Clearly, the female protagonists of the last four stories we've discusses fly in the teeth of any attempt to fit them into traditional female roles. Indeed, they don't even seem to be aware of these roles.


Attention: All LIT102 under me

Gilda Cordero Fernando's "People in the War" will be included in the Prelim exam. I have discussed the introduction of the story in some classes. Unfortunately, due to the significant lost contact hours, I was not able to discuss this in other classes. To make up for this, you may either attend my make up class on Friday afternoon by leaving a message/comment in this post that you are interested, or you may read my introduction on the selection. The intriduction/lecture will be posted on wednesday night.