Rice by Manuel Arguilla

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The story “Rice” is a narrative story describing the situation of rice farmers and their family in Hacienda Consuelo. It was when the social condition is only on the side of those in the higher class. At the beginning of the story you can actually feel the dark or unpleasant feeling the characters is experiencing. Mang Pablo, the main character has three children – two of them are boys and a little girl named Isabel. He is a thin dark man. Thin because of inadequate food especially this season when they have no harvest.

He is dark in complexion because of everyday farming under the heat of the sun. Her wife Sebia is also thin as indicated in the line “her skirts clung to her thin legs… ” The couple Andres and Osiang is the neighbour of Mang Pablo. There is also a rude senora and a watchman in the rice field. Other farmer named Elis act as the leader of the farmers. Elis and Andres aspire for changes or merely they just want a just arrangement for the rice they borrowed to senora. It is the farmers against the immoral senora.

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Because of the situation, farmers start to complain about the arrangement that for every five cavans of rice they borrowed, they have to pay it for ten cavans and that even a handful of snails from the rice field costs five cavans of rice. Farmers plan to ambush the truck loaded of rice that are about to deliver in the city. Andres find it better to steal that rice than to have nothing to eat because for him it is not stealing like the statement suggests “it is not stealing… the rice is ours. Mang Pablo chose not to go with the plan of Elis and Andres but Pablo cant take to see his family especially his children crying because they have nothing to eat. In the end, Mang Pablo decided to go with Elis and Andres. He said “we shall have food tonight! ” that clearly shows that Mang Pablo is a father that will do anything for his family even stealing. The story is told by the narrator who is revealed by using his, her, she, he, they etc. And talking directly to the reader .

I can see thought and feelings of the characters if the author chooses to reveal them to the reader. The author did use figures of speech to improve the literary work and for the reader to imagine of feel what the story conveys. The use of sensory words really helps me in visualizing the story. BREAD OF SALT by N. V. M. Gonzales Formalistic Approach The Bread of Salt is a story about a young boy who was very much in love with a girl named Aida. One of his dreams is to become a rich and famous violinist.

This story talks about the painful realization of a young boy who was blinded by the reality. It is said in the opening part of the story that Aida is living in the great Spanish house and from the line “I often wondered whether i was being depended upon to spend the years ahead in the service of this great house”, it clearly shows the difference in their classes. The young boy turned down because of the difference in their class that he later realized. He wrongfully regarded Aida as his world. He also had so many plans for Aida like writing a letter and buying a brooch.

In the middle part of the story, the young boy was happy when her aunt brought a maid and his task of buying pan de Sal is given to the poor girl. At the end of the story, “the bread is not ready”, it means that the young boy is not quite ready to accept the real world. The narrator in this story is the young boy. It is revealed through his words and i can see thoughts and feelings of him. Aside from Aida and the young boy, the other characters in the story are the grandmother, Pete where the young boy attended his violin rehearsals, the Buenavistas and other minor characters.

Pan de Sal symbolizes the young boy and buy giving the task of buying pandesal every morning shows how he is trying to escape from the reality because he want to concentrate on his dreams. If from the very start, the boy had accepted the difference of their class and he realities of the world, he would not have been hurt. CEBU by Peter Bacho It’s coming-of-age time in the Philippines, where a young American priest returns to bury his mother, question his faith, find his home, and fall in love.

Ben Lucero first visits Cebu, his mother’s hometown near Manila, when he travels there for her funeral. As a guest in the home of his wealthy and powerful Aunt Clara, he finds himself disoriented by the unfamiliarity of Filipino life–especially when confronted by the spectacle of self-inflicted crucifixion, a grisly local custom by which penitents attempt to placate the divine wrath–and overwhelmed by his sudden infatuation for Ellen, his aunt’s secretary.

Gradually and belatedly, Ben discovers the forces and events that shaped his family and formed the silent, unknown background of his life: the brutality of the Japanese occupation, the poverty and clannishness of Filipino life, the weird syncretism of the indigenous Catholicism, the pervasive corruption of the island authorities. He flees to the security of his native Seattle, but there he finds himself haunted by his recollections of Cebu, and impelled by circumstance to resolve the doubts he has experienced regarding his faith and identity. The novel starts when Ben arrived in the Philippines and his reunion with his Aunt Clara.

The first part talks about the history of Clara’s friendship with Ben’s mother and how Clara became wealthy, how she rescued Remedios from the Japanese and how Remedios married Ben’s father, Albert and moved to the States. It also tells more on Clara’s history during the War. The novel’s main character is an American priest named Ben Lucero, who is the son of a Filipino mother and a Filipino American father, as he makes his first trip to the Philippines. When Ben’s mother dies, he takes her body to Cebu, Philippines for burial; it is his first trip to his mother’s country.

In the Philippines, he stays with his mother’s best friend from childhood, “Aunt” Clara Natividad, who has become a wealthy and powerful businesswoman but led guerilla fighters during the war and earned her fortune through ethically questionable business practices. The novel follows Ben’s encounters with Philippine culture and tradition, both in Cebu City and in Manila where he spends time with Clara’s assistant Ellen but also sees the violence around him, such as a protest at the U. S. Embassy in which Philippine soldiers attacked their own people.

Unnerved by his experiences in Manila, Ben returns home to Seattle where he finds himself caught up in an escalating cycle of violence within the Filipino immigrant community. Ben is confused by his experiences, feeling like an outsider in both his mother’s homeland and his own local community. The characters in Seattle are Teddy, Johnny Romero: a local cop who works in Ben’s section of town; he is half-Filipino and half-Native American, and although he is raised Filipino, he uses his Native American ancestry to get a college degree and government money; he illustrates the impossibility of pinning minorities to either “Filipino” or white,” and he exemplifies the ways minority groups get ranked in a hierarchy of importance and/or respect, and Carmen “Zorro” Gamboa: a Mexican girl who moves into Ben’s neighbourhood while they are still in school; Teddy calls her Zorro because she has facial hair, and the nickname becomes popular with the school kids; only Ben is friendly with her, but she is upset to find out that he is not romantically interested in her; when she dies a few months later after getting involved with a “bad crowd,” Ben blames himself until he finds out that she came from a bad home and was all but destined for a bad life.

The novel features themes around the differences between American and Philippine culture and between American and Philippine Roman Catholicism. Other themes covered include the history of the Philippines from the final days of World War II, the effect of American presence in the country, and the difference between American-born Filipinos and Filipino immigrants. The Philippine concept of barkada, a notion of loyalty to one’s peer group, plays an important role in his experiences in Seattle after his return.

Bacho writes with a light touch, lending an ambiguity to his narration that can be frustrating but is more usually intriguing. His characters and situations reflect a maturity rarely found in first novels, and his ending, in its refusal to provide a simple resolution, succeeds in adding a new depth to an already-intricate construction. A sensitive–and convincing–debut.

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Rice by Manuel Arguilla. (2017, Mar 04). Retrieved from


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