WANTED: A CHAPERON
Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero
To the memory of Amalia B. Reyes
First Performance: The Filipino Players, under the author’s direction, at St. Cecilia’s Hall, November 21, 1940 CHARACTERS:
DON FRANCISCO (the father)
DOÑA PETRA (the mother)
NENA (their daughter)
ROBERTING (their son)
FRED (her son)
FRANCISCO (the servant)
PABLO (the mayordomo)
TIME : One Sunday morning, at about eleven.
SCENE: The living-room. Simply furnished. A window on the right. At the rear, a corridor. A door on the left Sofa, chairs, etc. at the discretion of the director.
When the curtain rises, DON FRANCISCO, about sixty, is seen sitting on the sofa, smoking a cigar He wears a nice-looking lounging robe. Presently ROBERTING, his twenty-year old son, good-looking, well-dressed, enters. He wants to ask some. thing from his father, but before he gathers enough courage, he maneuvers about the stage and clears his throat several times before he finally approaches him. ROBERTING (Clearing his throat). Ehem-ehem-ehem!
FRANCISCO (Looking up briefly). Ehem
FRANCISCO (Without looking at him). What?
ROBERTING. Well, you see it's like this-
FRANCISCO. Like what?
ROBERTING. It's not easy to explain, Father
FRANCISCO. If it isn't then come back when I'm through with the paper ROBERTING. Better now, Father. It's about-money.
FRANCISCO. Money! What money?
ROBERTING. Well, you see-
FRANCISCO (imitating his tone). Well, you see-I'm busy!
ROBERTING. I need money.
FRANCISCO (Dropping the paper). Need money! Aren't you working already? ROBERTING. Yes, but-it isn't enough.
FRANCISCO. How much are you earning?
ROBERTING. Eight hundred, Father.
FRANCISCO. Eight hundred! Why, you're earning almost as much as your father! ROBERTING. You don't understand, Father.
FRANCISCO. Humph! I don't understand!
ROBERTING. Don't misunderstand me, Father.
FRANCISCO. Aba! You just said I don't understand-that means I'm not capable of understanding. Now you say not to misunderstand you-meaning I'm capable of understanding pala. Make up your mind, Roberting! ROBERTING. You see, Father, what I'm driving at I~ I want-er -I want-my old allowance. FRANCISCO (jumping). Diablos! You want your old allowance! You’re working and earning eight hundred, you don't pay me a single centavo for your board and lodging in my house-and now you re asking for your old allowance! ROBERTING. I have so many expenses, Father.
FRANCISCO. How much have you got saved up in the bank?
ROBERTING. How can I save anything?
FRANCISCO. So you have nothing in the bank! What kind of gifts do you give your girl-friend? ROBERTING (Embarrassed). I-I-
FRANCISCO. Flowers? (ROBERTING nods.) Twenty-or thirty-peso flowers? (ROBERTING nods again.) Que hombre este! When I was courting your mother I used to give her only mani or balut. (DONA PETRA, about fifty-five,. enters and catches his last words.) PETRA. Yes, I remember quite well, If you only knew what my mother used to say after you used to give me mani or balut. "Ka kuriput naman!" she'd say. FRANCISCO. Pero, Petra, this son of ours is earning eight hundred. He doesn't give us a centavo for house expenses, and on top of that he's asking for his old allowance. Where in the world have you heard such a thing? PETRA I know a place where the children work and don't give their-parents any money and still ask for their allowance. FRANCISCO. Were?
PETRA. In the Philippines.
FRANCISCO. Aba! How ilustrada you are, Petra!
PETRA. (To ROBERTING). You're not going to get a centavo.
ROBERTING. But, Mother-
PETRA If you've no money to ride in a taxi, take a jeepney.
ROBERTING. Jeepney to visit a girl! Ay!
PETRA.. (imitating him). Ay what? (ROBERTING goes out mumbling.) PETRA. (Calling). Francisco!
PETRA. I'm calling the servant!
FRANCISCO. Demontres with that Servant! Having the same name...
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