How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife is a story written by Manuel Arguilla about a man who comes home to his province to introduce his wife from the city to his family. This short story won first prize in the Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940. >>ABOUT THE AUTHOR Manuel E. Arguilla was born on June 17, 1911 in Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union to parents Crisanto Arguilla, a farmer, and Margarita Estabillo, a potter. Their mediocre living was not a hindrance for Manuel to attain his dreams especially in literature.
He finished his elementary school in his hometown and his high school in San Fernando where he became the editor-in-chief of his school’s newsletter, the La Union Tab. He was also an athlete where he became champion in swimming events he joined. He entered the University of the Philippines where he joined the UP Writers Club and later became the president and the editor of the UP Literary Apprentce. He finished Education in 1933. He married Lydia Villanueva, a fellow artist and writer and lived in Ermita, Manila. Upon graduation, he practive his profession in University of Manila.
He later joined the Bureau of Public welfare where he was the editor of Welfare Advocate, the bureau’s publication. As a writer, his famous works were compiled in a book entitled How my Brother Leon Brought Home a Wife (And Other Stories) published by Philippine Book Guild in 1940. These stories were written when he was 22-29 years old. This collection of stories won first prize in short story category during the first Commonwealth Literary Contest in 1940. When the Japanese invaded the country in 1941, Arguilla join the freedom forces of the country and led a division of the Marking’s Guerillas.
He was captured by the Japanese in 1944 and was imprisoned in Fort Santiago together with his family. His family was later freed but Manuel was sentenced to death. He was executed on October 1944 at age of 33. Manuel Arguilla, an Ilocano pride. His shown love to the country as a teacher, a writer, and a freedom fighter was a virtue of patriot who offered his talents and life for the country. ;;Manuel Arguilla was born to Crisanto Arguilla and Margarita Estabillo in Barrio Nagrebcan in Bauang, La Union on June 17, 1911.
The Arguillas were a humble, hard-working family who farmed the small piece of land they owned to make a living. In school, Manuel was a sharp student who showed promise of being a brilliant writer at an early age. He graduated as salutatorian of his high school and then left La Union to study at the University of Philippines, where he would eventually earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. Around the same time, he married fellow writer, Lydia Villanueva, and moved to Ermita, Manila. gt;;Manuel Estabillo 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. His stories “Midsummer” and “Heat” was published in the United States by the Prairie Schooner. 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 married Lydia Villanueva, another talented writer in English, and they lived in Ermita, Manila. Here, F. Sionil Jose, another seminal Filipino writer in English, recalls often seeing him in the National Library, which was then in the basement of what is now the National Museum. you couldn’t miss him”, Jose describes Arguilla, “because he had this black patch on his cheek, a birthmark or an overgrown mole. He was writing then those famous short stories and essays which I admired. ”  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.
SETTINGS in barrio nagrebcan ,buang ,la union CHARACTER Baldo – younger brother of Leon, fetched Leon and Maria from the road to Nagrebcan Leon (or Noel) – older brother of Baldo who studied in Manila where he met his wife Maria – the beautiful and stunning wife of Leon from Manila Labang – the bull whom Baldo considers as his “pet” Norman Tabios – Maria’s ex-boyfriend who happened to be a loro Gagambino – Leon’s favorite fictional character who gave him lots of guts to study in Manila Churita – Labang’s girlfriend/fiance SUMMARY gt;>Baldo and his older brother Leon were both waiting for the arrival of their visitor riding the carretela. Seeing his brother’s wife, Baldo was easily taken away by the beauty of the woman from city as he narrates their journey to Nagrebcan. The idea of meeting with Leon’s parents for the first time made Maria a bit anxious. But along their way home, Maria discovered the peculiarities of the life in Nagrebcan as opposed to their life in the city where she met and fell in love with Leon. >>>The story is told from the point of view of Baldo, the younger brother of Leon. The second paragraph gives you the clue. ) Leon is called Noel by his wife, the beautiful Maria. In the story, you’ll get the feeling that Baldo makes a distinction between traditional names and modern ones. For example, he takes note that his brother calls his wife “Maria” instead of “Mayang”, while Baldo’s sister-in-law calls Baldo’s brother Noel, which is the reverse of “Leon. ” Baldo also wonders if their father will approve of Leon’s new nickname. Anyway, Baldo fetches his brother and Maria, and takes them home. They do not pass through the usual route.
Instead, they take a shortcut through a field. I don’t know if symbolism is used in How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife. What I felt while reading the story is Manuel Arguilla’s great love of Nagrebcan (Bauang, La Union). Arguilla takes the time to note the shape of clouds, the sounds made by the rolling wheels or even the rope near the neck of Labang (the bull), and even the scent of the air. It’s as if Arguilla transports you right there, among Maria and the two brothers. Right there with their father, mother, and sister Aurelia.
Perhaps another title for this short story would be How Manuel Arguilla Brought You To Nagrebcan. ANOTHER SUMMARY This a story written by Manuel Arguilla about a man, Leon who comes home to his province, from the road to Nagrebcan, to introduce his gorgeous wife Maria to his brother Baldo and the rest of his family. HE stepped down from the carretela of Ca Celin with a quick, delicate grace. She was lovely. She was tall. SHe looked up to my brother with a smile, and her forehead was on a level with his mouth. “You are Baldo,” she said and placed her hand lightly on my shoulder.
Her nails were long, but they were not painted. She was fragrant like a morning when papayas are in bloom. And a small dimple appeared momently high on her right cheek. “And this is Labang of whom I have heard so much. ” She held the wrist of one hand with the other and looked at Labang, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud. He swallowed and brought up to his mouth more cud and the sound of his insides was like a drum. I laid a hand on Labang”s massive neck and said to her: “You may scratch his forehead now. ” She hesitated and I saw that her eyes were on the long, curving horns.
But she came and touched Labang”s forehead with her long fingers, and Labang never stopped chewing his cud except that his big eyes half closed. And by and by she was scratching his forehead very daintily. My brother Leon put down the two trunks on the grassy side of the road. He paid Ca Celin twice the usual fare from the station to the edge of Nagrebcan. Then he was standing beside us, and she turned to him eagerly. I watched Ca Celin, where he stood in front of his horse, and he ran his fingers through its forelock and could not keep his eyes away from her. “Maria—” my brother Leon said.
He did not say Maring. He did not say Mayang. I knew then that he had always called her Maria and that to us all she would be Maria; and in my mind I said “Maria” and it was a beautiful name. “Yes, Noel. ” Now where did she get that name? I pondered the matter quietly to myself, thinking Father might not like it. But it was only the name of my brother Leon said backward and it sounded much better that way. There is Nagrebcan, Maria,” my brother Leon said, gesturing widely toward the west. She moved close to him and slipped her arm through his. And after a while she said quietly. You love Nagrebcan, don”t you, Noel? ” Ca Celin drove away hi-yi-ing to his horse loudly. At the bend of the camino real where the big duhat tree grew, he rattled the handle of his braided rattan whip against the spokes of the wheel. We stood alone on the roadside. The sun was in our eyes, for it was dipping into the bright sea. The sky was wide and deep and very blue above us: but along the saw-tooth rim of the Katayaghan hills to the southwest flamed huge masses of clouds. Before us the fields swam in a golden haze through which floated big purple and red and yellow bubbles when I looked at the sinking sun.
Labang”s white coat, which I had wshed and brushed that morning with coconut husk, glistened like beaten cotton under the lamplight and his horns appeared tipped with fire. He faced the sun and from his mouth came a call so loud and vibrant that the earth seemed to tremble underfoot. And far away in the middle of the field a cow lowed softly in answer. “Hitch him to the cart, Baldo,” my brother Leon said, laughing, and she laughed with him a big uncertainly, and I saw that he had put his arm around her shoulders. “Why does he make that sound? ” she asked. I have never heard the like of it. ” “There is not another like it,” my brother Leon said. “I have yet to hear another bull call like Labang. In all the world there is no other bull like him. ” She was smiling at him, and I stopped in the act of tying the sinta across Labang”s neck to the opposite end of the yoke, because her teeth were very white, her eyes were so full of laughter, and there was the small dimple high up on her right cheek. “If you continue to talk about him like that, either I shall fall in love with him or become greatly jealous. My brother Leon laughed and she laughed and they looked at each other and it seemed to me there was a world of laughter between them and in them. I climhe cart over the wheel and Labang would have bolted, for he was always like that, but I kept a firm hold on his rope. He was restless and would not stand still, so that my brother Leon had to say “Labang” several times. When he was quiet again, my brother Leon lifted the trunks into the cart, placing the smaller on top.
She looked down once at her high-heeled shoes, then she gave her left hand to my brother Leon, placed a foot on the hub of the wheel, and in one breath she had swung up into the cart. Oh, the fragrance of her. But Labang was fairly dancing with impatience and it was all I could do to keep him from running away. “Give me the rope, Baldo,” my brother Leon said. “Maria, sit down on the hay and hold on to anything. ” Then he put a foot on the left shaft and that instand labang leaped forward. My brother Leon laughed as he drew himself up to the top of the side of the cart and made the slack of the rope hiss above the back of labang.
The wind whistled against my cheeks and the rattling of the wheels on the pebbly road echoed in my ears. She sat up straight on the bottom of the cart, legs bent togther to one side, her skirts spread over them so that only the toes and heels of her shoes were visible. her eyes were on my brother Leon”s back; I saw the wind on her hair. When Labang slowed down, my brother Leon handed to me the rope. I knelt on the straw inside the cart and pulled on the rope until Labang was merely shuffling along, then I made him turn around. “What is it you have forgotten now, Baldo? my brother Leon said. I did not say anything but tickled with my fingers the rump of Labang; and away we went—back to where I had unhitched and waited for them. The sun had sunk and down from the wooded sides of the Katayaghan hills shadows were stealing into the fields. High up overhead the sky burned with many slow fires. When I sent Labang down the deep cut that would take us to the dry bed of the Waig which could be used as a path to our place during the dry season, my brother Leon laid a hand on my shoulder and said sternly: “Who told you to drive through the fields tonight? “
His hand was heavy on my shoulder, but I did not look at him or utter a word until we were on the rocky bottom of the Waig. “Baldo, you fool, answer me before I lay the rope of Labang on you. Why do you follow the Wait instead of the camino real? ” His fingers bit into my shoulder. “Father, he told me to follow the Waig tonight, Manong. ” Swiftly, his hand fell away from my shoulder and he reached for the rope of Labang. Then my brother Leon laughed, and he sat back, and laughing still, he said: “And I suppose Father also told you to hitch Labang to the cart and meet us with him instead of with Castano and the calesa. Without waiting for me to answer, he turned to her and said, “Maria, why do you think Father should do that, now? ” He laughed and added, “Have you ever seen so many stars before? ” I looked back and they were sitting side by side, leaning against the trunks, hands clasped across knees. Seemingly, but a man”s height above the tops of the steep banks of the Wait, hung the stars. But in the deep gorge the shadows had fallen heavily, and even the white of Labang”s coat was merely a dim, grayish blur. Crickets chirped from their homes in the cracks in the banks.
The thick, unpleasant smell of dangla bushes and cooling sun-heated earth mingled with the clean, sharp scent ofarrais roots exposed to the night air and of the hay inside the cart. “Look, Noel, yonder is our star! ” Deep surprise and gladness were in her voice. Very low in the west, almost touching the ragged edge of the bank, was the star, the biggest and brightest in the sky. “I have been looking at it,” my brother Leon said. “Do you remember how I would tell you that when you want to see stars you must come to Nagrebcan? ” “Yes, Noel,” she said. “Look at it,” she murmured, half to herself. “