Background of the Author
F. Sionil José or in full Francisco Sionil José is one of the most widely-read Filipino writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism in Filipino society. José's works - written in English - have been translated into 22 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.
F. Sionil José or Francisco Sionil José was born on December 3, 1924. He spent his childhood in Barrio Cabugawan, Rosales, where he first began to write. José was of Ilocano descent whose family had migrated to Pangasinan before his birth. Fleeing poverty, his forefathers traveled from Ilocos towards Cagayan Valley through the Santa Fe Trail. Like many migrant families, they brought their lifetime possessions with them, including uprooted molave posts of their old houses and their alsong, a stone mortar for pounding rice. He attended the University of Santo Tomas after World War II, but dropped-out and plunged into writing and journalism in Manila. In subsequent years, he edited various literary and journalistic publications, started a publishing house, and founded the Philippine branch of PEN, an international organization for writers. José received numerous awards for his work. The Pretenders is his most popular novel. It is the story of one man's alienation from his poor background and the decadence of his wife's wealthy family. Throughout his career, his writings espouse social justice and change to better the lives of average Filipino families. Probably the most critically acclaimed Filipino author internationally, he is much underrated in his own country because of his authentic "Filipino English" and his anti-elite views. Sionil José also owns a bookshop, Solidaridad Bookshop, which is located in Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila. The bookshop offers mostly hard-to-find books and Filipiniana reading materials. It is said to be one of the favorite haunts of many local writers.
1.Antonio “Tony” Samson- who gained a doctorate degree in Harvard University 2.Carmen Villa- wife of Antonio Samson; a typical rich girl; daughter of Don Manuel Villa and Mrs. Villa 3.Don Manuel Villa- father of Carmen; husband of Mrs. Villa; a rich and influential man 4.Mrs. Villa- wife of Don Manuel Villa; who against to Carmen and Tony’s wedding 5.Father of Tony- who was punished by being imprisoned for life 6.Dean Lopez- head of the University; who helped Tony to study abroad 7.Ben De Jesus- wife of Nena De Jesus; business partner of Carmen Villa; who had an affair with Carmen Villa 8.Senator Reyes- executive of the Villa’s influenced
9.Betty- sister of Tony who paid for Tony’s schooling
10.Emy- cousin of Tony; who had a relationship with Tony before going abroad 11.Nena De Jesus- wife of Ben De Jesus; Carmen best friend
12.Godo- old college friend of Tony
13.Charlie-friend of Tony
14. Bettina- Tony’s cousin
Antonio Samson, a smart guy from Rosales who fortunately reached Manila after his father made a crime in their town. He, together with his mother and sister lived in Manila for a long time. His mother died, and his Manang Betty is his only companion who sacrificed for his study. He was fortunately given the chance to take his doctorate studies in the United States through the help of Dean Lopez, the head of the university. Antonio Samson (also called Tony) returned to the Manila and visited his father in prison to tell that he is going to marry a girl named Carmen Villa. He met Carmen while he was studying in the United States.
Carmen Villa introduced Tony to her parents. But because Tony belonged to lower class of the society he wasn’t accepted by Carmen’s mother. But Don Manuel Villa, Carmen’s father likes him for he saw the potential of him in the business field. They were secretly married because Carmen was already pregnant. Tony did not want the...
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