How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife
Manuel Arguilla (1911 – 1944) was an Ilokano writer in English, patriot, and martyr.
He is known for his widely anthologized short story "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife," the main story in the collection "How My Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife and Other Short Stories" which won first prize in the Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940.
Most of Arguilla's stories depict scenes in Barrio Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union where he was born. His bond with his birthplace, forged by his dealings with the peasant folk of Ilocos, remained strong even after he moved to Manila where he studied at the University of the Philippines where he finished BS Education in 1933 and where he became a member and later the president of the U.P. Writer's Club and editor of the university's Literary Apprentice.
He became a creative writing teacher at the University of Manila and later worked at the Bureau of Public Welfare as managing editor of the bureau's publication Welfare Advocate until 1943. He was later appointed to the Board of Censors. He secretly organized a guerrilla intelligence unit against the Japanese.
In October 1944, he was captured, tortured and executed by the Japanese army at Fort Santiago.
Maria was the first one introduced in the story - the wife of the main character Leon. She first noticed Baldo, the brother of Leon; then Labang was introduced, the family bull.
On the way, Maria expressed her fear - that their father might not like her.
Leon explained to Maria that their father is the mildest-tempered, gentlest man he knew.
When they got home, their father did not welcome them. He was said to be in his room; “his leg is bothering him again.” Baldo saw his mother and sister Aurelia and Maria in the kitchen who seemed like crying. His father removed the roll of tobacco in his mouth when he saw Baldo