CL 150 Exam

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1) Of the poems discussed in class, choose 3 poems you liked best.Justify your answer
Of the poems of Filipino poets discussed in class, I like “Ang Pagbabalik”, “Brief Beauty is Brave”, and “My Islands.” These are which I like most because they are for me examples of good poems that made me think of it in a deeper.sense. “Ang Pagbabalik” by Jose Corazon de Jesus belong to the Philippine literature during the span of 1890s. The poem has a narrative element which makes its plot evident. It is written in the kind of Tagalog language which makes it true to its time. Because of the melancholic tone of the poem, the intense emotion is heightened to the extent that I as its reader understood the feeling of the male persona. This makes de Jesus’ poem my favorite. The other poem entitled “Brief Beauty is Brave” was written by Bienvinido Santos. This time, It belongs to Philippine Literature in Ebglish. One fetaure of the poem is free verse quatrains which goes well with the persona’s commemoration of his own country. It all happens when he sat in a classroom listening to a lecture, all of a sudden he comes to a discussion on beauty on his time away from home. The deeper underlying point is thatwhen in the brink of dying there exists a brief beauty that is thenonly realized. The poem’s message for me is the willingness to endure and to enjoy what life offers. The last one is “My Islands” by NVM Gonzales. His poem has nationalistic themes. Like that of Santos’ poem, this poem also remarks on the beauty of the his hometown. The poem romanticizes beauty as it is for the poet. I really like the rhythm of the poem and its shortness that in the end it is able to say how proud the islands are of themselves. These poems are the things I like most. They are for me wonderful creations by Filipino poets.

2) Discuss the dominant themes & styles of Philippine short stories in English, use specific selections as illustrations to your ideas.
There are different themes that revolve in the Philippine short stories. And there exists a dominant themes relating to each others work. Love is very dominant in almost all short stories. Mostly in “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez-Benitez abounds its characters’lives. The theme is portrayed revealing such vagueness that made me feel whether such tendencies happen.The same Love theme also is evident in Jose Garcia Villa’s Footnote to Youth, Midsummer & Heat of Manuel Arguilla, and in “The Mats” of Francisco Arcellana. Another theme dominant in most stories is human nature. By reading them, one comes to realize the different characters in the story. Like In “Writer in War” by Francisco Arcellana, Salvador shows human wilingness to survive despite of the coming face to face with death and thus, along with it is the wisdom he had gained.Female writers in Englisgh such as Paz Latorena and Ligaya Victorio-Reyes both reveal to us lives of women in different circumstances. Through their stories there would be an  examination of why and how the character felt pain, frustrations even insecurities. One thing that enabled the stories to convey their subtle messages is the tone that brigns about the whole mood of the stories. One element in short stories is its narrative element which allows the experience to be explicated also internally. There is also the good use of Flashback technique which reveals to us the prior events that help to develop the story. These are the themes and style of Filipino writers that makes them credible for understanding more of human existence through experiences and exploration of possibilities.

3)Discuss and justify your top 3 choices among the short stories discussed in class.
My top three short stories are as follows “Dead Stars”, “Scent of Apples” and “Water from the Well.” These three stories are amont the things that make me admire its writers and their works. “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez-Benitez is the first short story in English that is why the infatuation of writer in the new language was applied.
The story is characterize by romantic elements. The descriptive detail of the characters makes helps for the emphasis of the intention as wella s to setting the mood of the story.The theme love is evident in that it revolves on the lives of Alfredo, Julia and Esperanza.”Scent of Apples” by Bienvinido Santos examines an experience during a lecture in America.The themes of Santos in most of his stories are grounded on the dislocation or transplantation of fellow Filipinos in another place and their experience in marrying Americans. The character somehow nostalgia but in a quite different sense for it seems that they are at least contented of being in a foreign land. The apples in the story is a symbol or representation that concerns an entirely different reality for Fabia. The last one is “Water from the Well” by Estrella Alfon. The story is among the writers autobiographical works. In her point of “truth as fiction and fictionalizing truth” the story for me touches lives. It made me experience life in the countryside as what the I persona had. Some of the representations like the well for an instance signify a relative importance to the story. These are the things that makes the three stories successful in recounting the story to me as a reader. For me, I came to realize that Filipinos can be as great as the American and English writers in using  the English language as medium. I really learned to appreciate the works that founded Philippine Literature.


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