Tito Quiling, Jr.'s Reviews > May Day Eve and Other Stories

May Day Eve and Other Stories by Nick Joaquín
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's review
Apr 12, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: classics, filipiniana, horror, history, crime-suspense
Read from May 29 to 30, 2012 — I own a copy

In this collection, named after his celebrated story of magic realism, May Day Eve tells a story of pain, regret, horror and folklore, which are described in a non-linear fashion, interweaving with time, characters and local color which enhances the tasteful description. The myth of finding out your marriage partner when you look into a mirror at midnight on April 31st. Witches, devils, disobedient children -- these are the main characters in his story of the same name, all of which transcend time.

Three Generations is a tale of pursuing failed love, of strained family ties eager to be repaired by the younger family members. All of these are recurring situations which spans three generations.

Dona Jeronima speaks of a legend of a cave nymph and her lover by the Pasig River, believed to be Dona Jeronima herself and the Archbishop, as a young buck before he left the city for soldier duties.

The Legend of the Dying Wanton tells of a miraculous story of a delinquent Spanish soldier named Currito Lopez who become the sole survivor of a shipwreck. The intercession of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus became his mark of change, as a devout Intramurense named Dona Ana de Vera blessed him before his voyage to Cavite.

Guardia de Honor ia a narrative on a family heirloom, which creates a parallel outcome for the wearer, specifically on the same feast day, when their family serves as the Guardia de Honor for the image of the Virgin Mary.

Reviewing a Filipino classic work, especially that of Nick Joaquin can be daunting because of the basic fact that it has been studied, or has become familiar to most readers. On the other hand, there's still a number of his works that are quite obscure to the majority.

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