Francisco Bayan Icasiano wrote a column entitled "From My Nipa Hut" for the Sunday Tribune Magazine. Written in English, Francisco tried to capture the Filipino life and culture through the eyes of "Mang Kiko." The light-hearted and humorous essays revealed a deep sympathy for the common tao (or the commonly used term nowadays, for the "madlang people").
In 1941, a collection of F.B. Icasiano's essays were compiled into a notable book titled "Horizons From My Nipa Hut."
The following essay appears in the book:
The World in a Train
"Mang Kiko" Francisco B. Icasiano
One Sunday I entrained for Baliwag, a town in Bulacan which can well afford to hold two fiestas a year without a qualm.
I took the train partly because I am prejudiced in favor of the government-owned railroad, partly because I am allowed comparative comfort in a coach, and finally because trains sometimes leave and arrive according to schedule.
In the coach I found a little world, a section of the abstraction called humanity whom we are supposed to love and live for. I had previously arranged to divide the idle hour or so between cultivating my neglected Christianity and smoothing out the rough edges of my nature with the aid of grateful sights without – the rolling wheels, the flying huts and trees and light-green palay seedlings and carabaos along the way.
Inertia, I suppose, and the sort of reality we moderns know make falling in love with my immediate neighbors often a matter of severe strain and effort to me.
Let me give a sketchy picture of the little world whose company Mang Kiko shared in moments which soon passed away affecting most of us.
First, there came to my notice three husky individuals who dusted their seats furiously with their handkerchiefs without regard to hygiene or the brotherhood of men. It gave me no little annoyance that...