Nicomedes Marquez Joaquin was a Filipino writer, historian and journalist, best known for his short stories andnovels in the English language. He also wrote using the pen name Quijano de Manila. Joaquin was conferred the rank and title of National Artist of the Philippines for Literature. Born: May 4, 1917, Paco, Manila, Philippines Died: April 29, 2004, San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines Books: The Woman Who Had Two Navels, Cave and Shadows,Reportage on the Marcoses, 1964-1970 Awards: Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts Plays: A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino
Movies: In Just the Wink of an Eye, Jaguar CHARACTERS : Among the characters conjured by Joaquin are the Manolo Vidal and his family, Connie Escobar, Esteban and Concha Borromeo, Father Tony, Paco Texeira, and Doctor Monson, a former rebel hiding in Hong Kong to avoid postwar trials. Connie Escobar, the lead female character, was described by literary critic Epifanio San Juan as a sufferer of her mother’s estrangement from a world where unconfident males take advantage of women by violating them or by venerating them.
Connie is married to Macho Escobar, a man who had an affair with Connie’s mother, a past incident that serves as an “umbilical cord” or “umbilicus”, a remnant connected to her present and future because of her refusal to leave the issue in the past. According to Epifanio San Juan, the character of Manolo Vidal is the embodiment of the Filipino nationalistic bourgeois who were once critical of the theocracy of the Spaniards but became transformed puppets and servants of these colonialists.
While, on the other hand, Macho Escobar is not a revolutionary but a member of the dehumanized clan of hacenderos or landlords of sugar plantations. Paco Texeira was a survivor between the behaviors of the Monson and Vidal families, and also acted as Nick Joaquin’s “conscience”, an observer who could have penetrated the existing rituals and ruses. Texeira had the capacity to apprehend and break the class barrier depicted in the novel’s society, but refused to do so. SUMMARY :
The story started with a woman named, Connie, who is trying to ask for help from a veterinarian doctor named, Pepe Monson. She told Pepe about her having two navels. The conversation started with her doll Minnie, whom she found having one navel, and the way she had an inferiority complex being in a different situation. She also told Pepe about her being married to Macho Escobar, who is the former lover of her mother, Dona Concha Vidal. She escape from the hotel’s window and immediately went to Hongkong and she looked for him to ask for help.
The story turns to Pepe Monson’s life, his being a Filipino and their family’s life in the Philippines, including their house in Binondo. Afterwards, Connie encounters Pepe’s brother, Tony, who happens to be a priest. Both of them desperately try to help Connie until they find out that she is lying The story ends up with revelations. Connie’s hallucination about having two navels is due to her past. Her mother inflicted grief and unrealistic views on her mind Joaquin used a type of prose literature in the story.
However, the novel itself shows different varieties of styles like allegory, in terms of political and historical attributions; realism, which is based on the truths of ordinary society and their problems which typically introduced by the characters as well as in the plot and structure; romance, in terms of love and relationship between each characters; narration, as Nick Joaquin is portrayed as the third person who narrates the story around each of the characters; and Picaresque, as it involves ideals, themes and principles that refuse the so-called prejudices of the society.
Although the whole plot of the story shows feministic style of writing, Joaquin enables to put his own creative literature style in every characters and transition of story. He symbolically illustrates an image of influences and heritage of the colonial eras The story, “Woman with two navels”, is an image of a man’s struggle to maintain their sanity under harsh circumstances.
Joaquin clearly enterprise his journalistic style through putting his subjects in an actual situation of the country during colonization period of Spanish and American regime It is written in a casual voice, which is informal, honest, human, and ironic. Joaquin tells the story as they happened in a past-present manner, but he also did go offto the point to give information that provides the reader with a fuller picture.