To My Groupmates in Crime — Err, Groupmates in our Philippine Literature Report that is!

August 05, 2011


Here's the script for our Philippine Literature role playing on Monday. I'm really sorry if I had to post it here instead of just simply handing out copies. Let's blame our schedules for that! I tried to hold meetings but everybody seems to be busy. So the best thing I came up with was just posting the script here in my blog. Thankyouverymuch!

And since we failed to meet for the role playing, I just assigned who's playing who. So here's the characters and the artists:

Narrator - Tuesday
Mother - Catherine
Father - William
Brother - Ian
Sister - Avi
Rich Man - Jojo
Rich Man's Children -Mariebeth, Shield and Ellaine
Rich Man's Lawyer - Frankie
Judge - Tophe

Now, what we're supposed to do is read the story/script and try to determine the characters, setting, plot, conflict, theme and style because Ma'am Shiela is the type who asks questions to random members of the group (it is always best to be prepared, y'all know!).

By the way, I already prepared our Powerpoint presentation. The only problem now is where are we going to present it, I mean, ! Do you guys happen to own — or at least know someone who owns one which we can borrow for Monday — a laptop computer? I made our Powerpoint presentation using Powerpoint2007, do you think it would matter if we play it on Powerpoint2003?

About the costumes (if we decide to wear them), let's try to find vintage looking outfit for our roles as the setting says that the story happened in the 1920's. As for the props, I'll try to look for whatever props we're going to use. But let's talk it through text later.

OK. Let's move on to the script. What I ask of all of you is memorize the dialogues (which is a piece of cake actually as there aren't really long lines). And hopefully, by Monday, we could find time to rehearse a little just for the sake of it!

Good luck to us! Kudos!

Carlos Bulosan

o Narrator
o Mother
o Father
o Brothers and Sisters
o Rich Man
o Rich Man’s Sons and Daughters
o Rich Man’s Lawyer
o Judge
o Policeman
o Town Clerk

NARRATOR: When I was four, I lived with my mother and brothers and sisters in a small town on the island of Luzon. Father’s farm had been destroyed in 1918 by one of our sudden Philippine floods, so for several years afterwards we all lived in the town, though he preferred living in the country. We had a next-door neighbor a very rich man, whose sons and daughters seldom came out of the house. While we boys and girls played and sang in the sun, his children stayed inside and kept the windows closed. His house was so tall that his children could look in the windows of our house and watch us as we played, or slept, or ate, when there was any food in the house to eat.

Now, this rich man’s servants were always frying and cooking something good, and the aroma of the food was wafted down to us from the windows of the big house. We hung about and took all the wonderful smell of the food into our beings. Sometimes, in the morning, our whole family stood outside the windows of the rich man’s house and listened to the musical sizzling of thick strips of bacon or ham. I can remember one afternoon when our neighbor’s servants roasted three chickens. The chickens were young and tender and the fat that dripped into the burning coals gave an enchanting odor.

Some days the rich man appeared at a window and glowered down at us. We were all healthy because we went out in the sun every day and bathed in the cool water of the river that flowed from the mountains into the sea. Sometimes we wrestled with one another in the house before we went out to play. We were always in the best of spirits and our laughter was contagious. Other neighbors who passed by our house stopped in the yard and joined us in laughter.

Laughter was our only wealth. Father was a laughing man. He would go into the living room and stand in front of the tall mirror, stretching his mouth into grotesque shapes with his fingers and making at himself. Then he would rush into the kitchen, roaring with laughter.

There was always plenty to make us laugh. There was, for instance, the day one of my brothers came home with a small bundle under his arm, pretending that he brought something good to eat, maybe a leg of lamb or something as extravagant as that, to make our mouths water. He rushed to Mother and threw the bundle into her lap. We all stood around, watching Mother undo the complicated strings. Suddenly a black cat leaped out of the bundle and ran wildly around the house. Mother chased my brother and beat him with her little fists, while the rest of us went double, choking with laughter.

Another time one of my sisters suddenly started screaming in the middle of the night. Mother reached her first and tried to calm her. My sister cried and groaned. When father lighted the lamp, my sister stared at us with shame in her eyes.

SISTER: I’m pregnant!

FATHER: Don’t be a fool!

MOTHER: You’re only a child.

SISTER: I’m pregnant I tell you!

FATHER: (Kneels by Sister and puts his hand on her belly and rubs it gently.) How do you know you are pregnant?

SISTER: Feel it!

(Everybody puts hands on Sister’s belly and feels something moving in it. Father gets frightened. Mother gets shocked.)

MOTHER: Who’s the man?

SISTER: There’s no man!

FATHER: What is it then?

NARRATOR: Suddenly my sister opened her blouse and a bullfrog jumped out. Mother fainted, father dropped the lamp, the oil spilled on the floor, my sister’s blanket caught fire. One of my brothers laughed so hard he rolled on the floor.

When the fire was extinguished and mother was revived, we returned to bed and tried to sleep, but Father kept on laughing so loud we could not sleep anymore. Mother got up again and lighted the oil lamp; we rolled up the mats on the floor and began dancing about and laughing with all our might. We made so much noise that all our neighbors except the rich family came into the yard and joined us in loud, genuine laughter.

It was like that for years.

As time went on, the rich man’s children became thin and anemic, while we grew even more robust and full of life. Our were bright and rosy, but theirs were pale and sad. The rich man started to cough at night; then he coughed day and night. His wife began coughing too. The children started to cough, one after another. At night their coughing sounded like the barking of a herd of seals. We hung outside their windows and listened to them. We wondered what had happened. We knew they were not sick from lack of nourishing food, because they were always still frying something delicious to eat.

One day the rich man appeared at a window and stood there a long time. He looked at my sisters, who had grown fat with laughing, then at my brothers, whose arms and legs were like the molave, which is the sturdiest tree in the Philippines. He banged down the window and ran through his house, shutting all the windows.

From that day on, the windows of our neighbor’s house were always closed. The children did not come outdoors anymore. We could still the hear servants cooking in the kitchen, and no matter how tight the windows were shut, the aroma of the food came to us in the wind and drifted gratuitously in the house.

One morning a policeman from the presidencia came to our house with a sealed paper. The rich man had filed a complaint against us. Father took me with him when he went to the town clerk and asked him what it was about. He told Father the man claimed that for years we had been stealing the spirit of his wealth and food.

When the day came for us to appear in court, Father brushed his old Army uniform and borrowed a pair of shoes from one of my brothers. We were the first to arrive. Father sat on a chair in the center of the courtroom. Mother occupied a chair by the door. We children sat on a long bench by the wall. Father kept jumping up from his chair and stabbing the air with his arms, as though he were defending himself before an imaginary jury.

The rich man arrived. He had grown old and feeble; his was scarred with deep lines. With him was his young lawyer. Spectators came in and almost filled the chairs. The judge entered the room and sat on a high chair. We stood up in a hurry and then sat down again.

After the courtroom preliminaries, the judge looked at Father.

JUDGE: (To Father.) Do you have a lawyer?

FATHER: I don’t need any lawyer, Judge.

JUDGE: Proceed!

RICH MAN’S LAWYER: (Jumps up and points a finger at Father.) Do you or do you not agree that you had been stealing the spirit of the complainant’s wealth and food?

FATHER: I do not.

RICH MAN’S LAWYER: Do you or do you not agree that while the complainant’s servants cooked and fried fat legs of lamb or young chicken breasts you and your family hung outside his windows and inhaled the heavenly spirit of the food?

FATHER: I agree.

RICH MAN’S LAWYER: Do you or do you not agree that while the complainant and his children grew sickly and tubercular you and your family became strong of limb and fair of complexion?

FATHER: I agree.

RICH MAN’S LAWYER: How do you account for that?

FATHER: (Gets up and paces around, scratching his head thoughtfully.) I would like to see the children of the complainant, Judge.

JUDGE: Bring in the children of the complainant.

NARRATOR: They came in shyly. The spectators covered their mouths with their hands; they were so amazed to see the children so thin and pale. The children walked silently to a bench and sat down without looking up. They stared at the floor and moved their hands uneasily.

Father could not say anything at first. He just stood by his chair and looked at them.

FATHER: I should like to cross-examine the complainant.

JUDGE: Proceed.

FATHER: (To the Rich Man) do you claim that we stole the spirit of your wealth and became a laughing family while yours became morose and sad?


FATHER: Then we are going to pay you right now.

NARRATOR: He walked over to where the children were sitting on the bench and took up a straw hat off my lap and began filling it up with centavo pieces that he took out of his pockets. He went to Mother, who added a fistful of silver coins. My brothers threw in their small change.

FATHER: May I walk to the room across the hall and stay there for a few minutes, Judge?

JUDGE: As you wish.

FATHER: Thank you.

NARRATOR: He strode into the other room with the hat in his hands. It was almost full of coins. The doors of both rooms were wide open.

FATHER: Are you ready?

JUDGE: Proceed.

NARRATOR: The sweet tinkle of the coins carried beautifully into the courtroom. The spectators turned their toward the sound with wonder. Father came back and stood before the complainant.

FATHER: Did you hear it?

RICH MAN: Hear what?

FATHER: The spirit of the money when I shook this hat?


FATHER: Then you are paid.

NARRATOR: The Rich Man opened his mouth to speak and fell to the floor without a sound. The lawyer rushed to his aid. The Judge pounded his gavel.

JUDGE: Case dismissed!

NARRATOR: Father strutted around the courtroom. The Judge even came down from his high chair to shake hands with him.

JUDGE: By the way, I had an uncle who died laughing.

FATHER: You like to hear my family, Judge?

JUDGE: Why not?

FATHER: Did you hear that children?

NARRATOR: My sisters started it. The rest of us followed them and soon the spectators were laughing with us, holding their bellies and bending over the chairs. And the laughter of the Judge was the loudest of all.

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