Let's meet JOSE GARCIA VILLA
José García Villa (August 5, 1908 –
February 7, 1997) was a Filipino poet,
literary critic, short story writer, and
painter, awarded the National Artist of
the Philippines title for literature in 1973,
as well as the Guggenheim Fellowship in
creative writing by Conrad Aiken. He is
known to have introduced the "reversed
consonance rhyme scheme" in writing
poetry, as well as the extensive use of
punctuation marks—especially commas,
which made him known as the Comma
Poet. He used the penname Doveglion
(derived from "Dove, Eagle, Lion"), based
on the characters he derived from himself.
Aling Biang - unforgiving woman who
was betrayed by her husband with her
Aling Sebia - a childless widow/ aling
Biang's neighbor who has not seen a
feeling of remorse having caught with her
Iking - aling Biang's son who wanted his
mom to reconcile with their neighbor
Aling Sebia's Daughter - a girl who is
good in playing guitar that made Iking to
fall in love
Aling Biang's husband - a man who left
unsettled with his wife
About Ikeng and Aling Sebia's daughter
Ikeng - hollow dark eyes
and shaggy hair
Aling Sebia's daughter
- rugged features , a
simian face, and a
very narrow brow,
Old house on the roadside, so brown
were the nipa leaves that walled and
roofed them that they looked musty,
The setting is reflective of the kind of
characters and the situation they would
The nipa huts look desolate and
empty, reflective of how their occupants
behave and feel for each other.
They have no neighbors and yet the
need for each other seems remote and
The Setting, Par. 2
They stood there on the roadside, they two alone,
neighborless but for themselves, and they were like two
stealthy shadows, each avid to betray the other. Queer
old houses. So brown were the nipa leaves that walled
and roofed them that they looked musty, gloomy. One
higher than the other, pyramid-roofed, it tried to
assume the air of mastery, but in vain. For though the
other was low, wind-bent, supported without by luteous
bamboo poles against the aggressiveness of the
weather, it had its eyes to stare back as haughtily as the
other—windows as desolate as the souls of the
occupants of the house, as sharply angular as the
intensity of their hatred.
The story opened with the description of the
setting and how the characters are reflected in
"They should have stood apart, away from each
other, those two nipa houses."
"There should have been a lofty impenetrable
wall between them, so that they should not stare
so coldly, so starkly, at each other—just staring,
not saying a word, not even a cruel word. "
Formerly there had been no bamboo fence;
there had been no weeds.
There had been two rows of vegetables, one to
each house, and the soil was not parched but
soft and rich.
But something had happened and the fence
came to be built, and the vegetables that were
so green began to turn pale, then paler and
yellow and brown.
Aling Biang had caught her
husband with taling Sebia
The next morning she had gone to the
bamboo clumps near the river Pasig and
felled canes with her woman strength.
When morning dawned she rose and went
back to the back of the house although
very tired and began to split the bamboos.
Her husband noticed her, but said nothing.
By noon, Aling Biang had built that fence.
Two tanned country-women finished the
fence from the opposites to centerward.
Check out the convo!
When her husband asked her what she was doing, she
answered, “I am building a fence.”
“What for?” he asked.
“I need a fence.”
And then, too, even AlingSebia, the other woman, a
child-less widow, asked inoffensively,
“What are you doing, AlingBiang?”
“I am building a fence.”
“I need a fence, AlingSebia. Please do not talk to me
But early one night, from beyond the fence, Aling
Biang heard cries from Aling Sebia. Unwilling to
pay any heed to them, she extinguished the light
of the petrol kinke and laid herself down beside
But, in spite of all, the cries of the other woman
made her uneasy. She stood up, went to the
window that faced the fence, and cried from
there: “What is the matter with you, Aling
“AlingBiang, please go the town and get me a hilot
“What do you need a hilot for?” asked AlingBiang.
“I am going to deliever a child and I am alone. Please go,
fetch a hilot.”
AlingBiang stood there by the window a long time. She
knew when child it was that was coming as the child of
Aling Sebia. She stood motionless, the wind brushing
her face coldly.
What did she care of AlingSebia was to undergo
She decided to lie down and sleep. Her body
struck against her child’s as she did so, and the
The other child, too, could be moaning like that.
Like her child from the womb of AlingSebia.
Hastily AlingBiang stood up, wound her tapiz
round her waist, covered her shoulders with a
The boy Iking was not allowed to play by
the roadside. And he could just catch
glimpses of a girl on the other side. This
made the boy to secretly sneak to the
other side of the fence. At night, he hears
an incomplete sound of a guitar he knew
coming from the other side.
Check this out!
At night, as he lay on the bamboo floor, notes of
a guitar would reach his ears. The notes were
metallic, clanking, and at the middle of the
nocturne they stopped abruptly. Who played the
raucous notes? Who played the only music he
had ever heard in his life? And why did the
player never finish his music? he asked.
And one night, Iking approached her and said: “I
will sleep by the door, nanay. I want to sleep
alone. I am grownup. I am fifteen.”
Falling Action Cont...
One morning Ikeng woke up with a disturbing
sound. He saw his mother reinforcing and
strengthening the fence.
“Why-why!” he exclaimed in protest.
His mother stopped hammering. She stared at him
“I need it,” she declared forcefully, the veins on her
forehead rising out clearly. “Your mother needs
it. You need it too.”
Iking really wanted his mother to allow him at
least listen to the music but he was never granted
even though that night was Christment and both of
them prayed for the lord.
Even after the Christmas eve, Ikeng was still
waiting for the guitar to be played because he is
hearing that sound on that time. But it never
Until 2am when Ikeng's eyes were closed and his
hands were cold. So sick he rested that night. At
3am, the guitar was played and finally finished its
playing but aling Biang was very angry, shouting
that the guitar playing was a mock because his
son is already dead.
POINT OF VIEW
THIRD PERSON POV
The narrrator is not part of the story and can
give feedback and comments from
The fence signifies the walls that
hindrance and separate even best friends,
family, or relatives. The bamboo
strengthened the hatred as these
bamboos take away the decaying feeling
in the heart of aling Biang and Sebia
Aling Biang and Aling Sebia are most afraid
one of them would give way.
The building of the fence seems necessary
to protect themselves from seeing each
1. Who is the better mother, Aling Biang or
Aling Sebia? Discuss your answer.
2. Why do you think aling Sebia was not
seen any feeling of remorse in the story?
Can you tell what does she feel about
3. If you are JGVilla, how will you end the