"A NIGHT IN THE HILLS“
BY: PAZ MARQUEZ BENITEZ
Short Story and it’s
BIOGRAPHY OF PAZ MARQUEZ BENITEZ
Born in 1894 in Lucena City, Quezon. Marquez - Benítez authored the
first Filipino modern English language short story, Dead Stars, published
in the Philippine Herald in 1925. Born into the prominent Marquez family
of Quezon province, she was among the first generation of Filipino people
trained in the American education system which used English as the
medium of instruction. She graduated high school in Tayabas High School
now, Quezon National High School and college from the University of the
Philippines with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912. "Marquez"Benitez.
She was a member of the first freshman class of the University of the
Philippines, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912.
Two years after graduation, she married UP College of Education Dean
Francisco Benítez with whom she had four children.
Márquez-Benítez later became a teacher at the University of the
Philippines, who taught short-story writing and had become an influential
figure to many Filipino writers in the English language, such as Loreto
Paras-Sulit, Paz M. Latorena Arturo Belleza Rotor,Bienvenido N. Santos
and Francisco Arcellana. The annually held Paz Marquez-Benitez Lectures
in the Philippines honors her memory by focusing on the contribution of
Filipino women writers to Philippine Literature in the English language.
Though she only had one more published short story after “Dead Stars”
entitled "A Night In The Hills", she made her mark in Philippine literature
because her work is considered the first modern Philippine short story.
For Marquez-Benitez, writing was a lifelong occupation. In 1919 she
founded "Woman's Home Journal", the first women's magazine in the
country. Also in the same year, she and other six women who were
prominent members of Manila's social elites, namely Clara Aragon,
Concepcion Aragon, Francisca Tirona Benitez, Carolina Ocampo Palma,
Mercedes Rivera, and Socorro Marquez Zaballero, founded the Philippine
Women's College now Philippine Women's University. "Filipino Love
Stories", reportedly the first anthology of Philippine stories in English by
Filipinos, was compiled in 1928 by Marquez-Benitez from the works of her
When her husband died in 1951, she took over as editor of the Philippine
Journal of Education at UP. She held the editorial post for over two
In 1995, her daughter, Virginia Benitez-Licuanan wrote her biography,
"Paz Marquez-Benitez: One Woman's Life, Letters, and Writings."
SUMMARY OF: A NIGHT IN THE HILLS
Gerardo Luna, a jewelry store salesman in his 30’s, has
always dreamed to go to the forest which he regards as a
beautiful place. One day, when Ambo, an orchid gatherer
who buys some jewelry for his wife’s store, tells Gerardo
about living in the forest for weeks at a time, the latter
gets more interested, and tells his wife about it. However,
his wife is eyeing only the business aspect of such idea.
Hence, he never mentions his dream again.
Then Gerardo’s wife dies. At last, he can fulfill his long-time
dream, especially that Ambo has come again, with
stories regarding newly opened public land on a forest
plateau. So, the two of them plan to go to the forest.
Before actually going to the planned trip, Gerardo’s Ate
Tere is not so keen on the idea. She wants him to marry
Peregrina who will surely take him the minute he proposes.
Ambo and Gerardo go to the hills, and it is among the
foothills where they spend noontime. Gerardo is tired and
sweaty, and he asks for water, which, according to Ambo is
ten minutes away. They walk and walk, and along the way
Gerardo experiences nature in a manner that is not that
wonderful for him.
Finally they enter the dim forest. Gerardo is
uncomfortable on his bed of small branches and twigs. He
cannot sleep that night; he thinks of his wife, not fondly,
though. He also thinks of God. He is oppressed by
There is an eerie light in the forest, and Gerardo hears
strange sounds that are caused by tree worms. Then he
hears water from afar. All in all, he feels that he will
never understand the forest.
Gerardo goes home, first getting his house’s key from his
Ate Tere. There he meets Peregrina whom he tells “Pereg,
as soon as I get these clothes off I shall come to ask you a
question that is very—very important to me. ”As she
smiled eagerly but uncertainly into his face, he heard a
jangling in his hand. He felt, queerly, that something was
closing above his hand, and that whoever was closing it,
was rattling the keys.
PLOT OF THE STORY
Gerardo Luna is being introduced, with the mention of his secret
long-time dream of going to the forest.
b) Rising Action
He tells her wife about such dream, but she brushes it off;
thus, he forgets about that dream. Then she dies.
The peak of this short story is when Gerardo is finally in the
forest, and he experiences things that he has never though
the forest has.
d) Falling action
Things start to “fall” when Gerardo realizes that the forest is
not exactly what he has always dreamed.
When he goes back home, Gerardo feels he should get back to
SHORT STORY ELEMENTS
1. Gerardo Luna - a jewelry store salesman in his 30’s,
2. His wife – Antagonist, Flat, Static
3. Ambo - an orchid gatherer who buys some jewelry for
his wife’s store, Flat, Static
4. Ate Tere or Sotera – Gerardo was a younger brother
to the former mistress of her also younger brother, Flat,
5. Peregrina – Flat, Static
SETTING, POINT OF VIEW, LITERARY DEVICES,
a) place – in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
b) time- a long time ago
c) weather conditions- fine
d) social conditions- Gerardo has a nice job
e) mood or atmosphere- light
Point of view
The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient Limited - The author tells the
story in third person (using pronouns they, she, he, it, etc). We know only what the
character knows and what the author allows him/her to tell us. We can see the thoughts
and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.
For me, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony. Gerardo’s dream
of going to the forest symbolizes the freedom he has always longed for. Meanwhile, this
dream is ironic because the forest is not what he thinks it is.
In my opinion, the theme things are not always as they appear to be is applicable to this
The conflict here is Internal, that of Man vs. Himself. Gerardo has always dreamed of
going to the forest, and he has kept this within himself.
1. Who is Gerardo Luna ?
A. a jewelry store salesman in his 30’s, Protagonist, Developing
B. antagonist, Flat, Static
C. an orchid gatherer who buys some jewelry for his wife’s store, Flat, Static
D. Flat, Static
2. What is the name orchid gatherer who buys some jewelry for his wife’s store?
B. Gardo Luna
3. What is the theme of the story?
A. try and try until you succeed.
B. life must go on.
C. things are not always as they appear to be.
D. The effects of, the loneliness of, to cure it.
4. Where is the setting of the story?
D. in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
5. What is the conflict of the story?
A. that of Man vs. Himself. Gerardo has always dreamed of going to the forest, and he has kept this within
B. Gardo’s mother die, because of cancer.
C. Ambo go in other country.
D. Gardo’s wife left.
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