Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Personal Reaction

Dead Stars – things we remember occasionally because of who we were at the time. Just like Alfredo, a lot of us see them in our thoughts. We feel as if the feeling is still there, then in one moment during our present, we recall this emotions enough to make us feel the joy or pain in a short while. The story reflects a lot of things that occur in our life. One of it is that though we have the freewill, sometimes we really have to follow or consider the demands of our society. Because of the time setting of the story, people care a lot of their social status and their reputation as members of the society. Just like Alfredo did, he married Esperanza because it is what he MUST do, not because he wants it to. Though he may have no regrets about it, actually it was said that he wasn’t unhappy with his marriage, but it wasn’t said that he was happy either. Then after eight years, when he had the time to be with Julia, he realized that he was seeing the light of dead stars and that he's not really in love with Julia, after all. The only thing is that, no matter how much love we get lost at, there would always be redemption for everything...

-Michael S. Salvador


(by: Jessica Mae C. Eva BSA - 2b)

When I first heard of the title Dead Star, I thought it was all about something in connection with the field or study of Astronomy. But, I was wrong. Instead, it was all about "LOVE". According to some, it is a short story only so I was very eager to really read it because I thought it was only short but when I saw how many pages it occupies on the book, plus the very small font size of the texts, the short story turned to into a long one. But, nevertheless, I read it still. In my first reading, I was not able to really understand it very well because of some words used by Paz Marquez - Benitez which are unfamiliar to me like filigrees, prosaicalness, capitulation and sober. But when I read it again for the second time, I was able to understand it already with the aid of the dictionary. The "short story" Dead Star is all about the forbidden love between an engaged, groom - to - be man which I can say belong to the upper class of the society and a lady who was just in town for a vacation. I liked the story because it was all about love, forbidden love specifically which I could relate, not with my personal experience but with those that I oftenly watched on television or I can say even in reality. Both the lovers, even if they did not turn to be real lovers, have experienced love at first sight. I said did not turn into real lovers because they were not able to let each one feel and show what really their feelings for each other. I really like things like this, love at first sight, direct to the point. The guy really pursue to show and express his love for the girl he had only meet 6 weeks ago even if he knew that he is hurting another woman in the name of Esperanza.In the case of the character, I do not like the character of Julia in the sense that she even do not have the courage to express her feeling, her love for Alfredo. She did not have the perseverance to return the love that Alfredo give to her. But in some way, I like her because she did not become a destroyer of the relationship already binded even only by agreement. She chose not to create a mistake of destroying another woman by deciding to just live the town and go back and live with her parents. Alfredo, in some way, is correct and in the other way is wrong. Correct, for me ,because he only followed what his heart is saying and that is love Julia because he found a different happiness with her especially when he is besides Julia. Wrong, because he was untruthful with another woman who believed that he do not have any other woman except for her. If I were Alfredo, I will just tell Esperanza what I really feel for her, that he already love another woman and he did not want to hurt her and why they will just be friend. But he did not have the courage to really confess to Esperanza because he was worried of what the society might said. When I came to the part of my reading where Alfredo was already doing "neighboring" with another woman, I felt sad for Esperanza because she was living in the untruthfulness of the man she love, the man she believed still love her. Esperanza tried to remember the regenerative virtue of institution, that Alfredo who belongs to a high - class family of the society would not do it to her. In the end, they two chose to cross different paths of life. Julia returned with her parents and Alfredo got married with Esperanza. Also after years of being married with Esperanza, he was still thinking of Julia and when they faced each other again, Alfredo realized that the Julia he met in the past was already vanished and that the "Magical Love" he felt during those happy moments with Julia were no longer there. So he just let Julia and realized that they were not destined for each other, that there love for each other was already dead.The setting of the story was beautiful. It was during the American period because the story was wrote during the year 1920. It featured what is the setting of the Philippine society during that period when the Americans were still here.Paz Marquez - Benitez was really a great writer. She deserved to be a Carlos Palanca Memorial Awardee for this great writing. Philippine Literature in English should be made known to every Filipino because it really features our culture, values and traditions.


In the overall view of the short story entitled "Dead Star" by Paz Marquez-Benitez, for me, it could really be considered as one of the best literary compositions particularly short stories written by Filipinos. It was written during the early times of the Filipinos with formal education, but it was already that good. I was mesmerized by the way it was written and constructed because at that early the author used a lot of deep English words which I did not know yet until I read the story, and now I'm thankful because I have widened my vocabulary. I liked the way the story started, the beginning was really the middle of the entire story where the wedding was already approaching. Then, there were flashback of events, where it really made me think if my understanding was right. After I read it, I felt that it lacked twists, may be because I was used to stories made by the present generation where there are plenty of story twists and revelation.

-- Cyril S. Macaraig --

Personal Reaction on the Short Story,Dead Star

(by Charmaine Mae B. Bombita)

The story was about a man named Alfredo Salazar who fell in love with another woman named Julia Salas but he was already engaged at that time with his fiancee Esperanza.He was confused between the two of them.Then he was about to choose between the two options: to do what he should or to do what he wants.In the end he choose to marry Esperanza and Julia the girl of his dream was like a dead star.In the story dead star symbolize a dream for something that not exist.When, I read the story I realized that our life always faces burdens, challenges and confusion.We should know how to handle this things.We should be careful in making decision in our life think several times before making decision because it may cause disappointment.In love not always what we want is right.Sometimes things are not meant to happen.In the story love that Alfredo feel with Julia is not right because at that time he was already committed with Esperanza.Although he think that he love Julia than Esperanza at the end he realize that he has no longer feelings with Julia.Julia is just a part of his life in the past and she is dead star in his life.Love will just come in our life anytime and it is so unpredictable.Sometimes it causes heartaches but in the other way it help us to be complete as a person.

Personal Reaction on the Short Story, Dead Stars

(by Kristine Carla A. Asido)

Would you like to travel and find out what the future might be? What do you expect or hope to see in that future world? I do believe these are the things which kept on circulating on Alfredo Salazar's mind of Paz Marquez Benitez’ Dead Stars during the times of chaos—confusion as to with whom will he find his future as marvelous as he wants it to be, with Esperanza or with Julia? Indeed, the short story fascinated me as a teenager. Perhaps, I was once stuck into a situation like that—me as Julia. (Note: I was once..was) But then, we’ve got our own version. I just found the story somewhat similar with what I used to get my heart and mind in dilemma. We did not have an ending just like what the Dead Stars had. Young and neophytes as we were, we had come up with a decision, which was the result of the succeeding scenarios in our own life. Those circumstances can be associated with the twists in Koreanovelas, Mexicanovelas and the like. I, myself, never thought, time will come, I will be faced to the complicated world of a triangle. Sulutan? World War III? Naaaah... There's no such thing. After all, everything ran so smooth--was "handled with care". At the end of the day, I just found myself on the right track. Upon reading the short story, I felt like I really did what was just right. Am I the "dead star" in our short story? I think... I'm not. I don't know. Yeah.. It was a triangle but then, their story ended the way young lovers do. He fell in love with another girl during their rocky months. Who else could that girl possibly be? haha!! Hey! Please, don't misinterpret it as if I am proud being "the other girl". Despite that fact, I stood as his friend. Never did I follow the saying, Grab the opoportunity. I believe that would just be a foolish act on the part.. childish, selfish.. But, I am not like that. I adviced him not to quit--not to end their relationship and work things out. It was not my intention to ruin their relationship--never!! All I am after is for friendship. My friends can attest to that. What did I do wrong as his friend? I did not do anything wrong, indeed. It's just that, they were not able to continue any further due to according to him, individual differences. I have nothing to do with that. After their break-up, still, I did not entertain him for it seemed awkward on my part. Besides, I do believe, I'm not yet ready to get into a relationship. Thus, we remained friends.. but inevitable circumstrances flourished between us which made our story even more complicated. We ended up with us, back to being strangers in each other's eyes. I was Julia in the said triangle but I guess, I wasn't the dead star in our own version. haha!! I don't know. Maybe not.. Maybe yes.. But what's important is that we've became stronger individuals by saying goodbye. Life goes on. Still, I am living life with so much zest. The short story was great!! I love it. Aside from the fact that somehow, I was able to relate on it, I love it because the story was somewhat filled with mystery. The scenes were erratic, even the title itself is filled with mystery. Indeed, sometimes, it's not really love that each one of us feel. It is just the feeling of happiness which developed into a habit..Paz Marquez Benitez is a legend in the field of Philippine literature. Excellent job to Miss Paz Marquez Benitez..=))

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Personal Reaction on Dead Stars

Rosalie Camille P. Lagrosa :
Reactions on Dead Stars

At first, I never thought that Dead Stars revolves on "love". But when I started reading the short though it maybe a long story to read, that's the time when little by little I understand where the story goes and what it is all about. I like how the author, Paz Marquez Benitez wrote the flow of the story giving the readers questions on what will happen next making them interesting and inspired at the same time. Dead Stars taught the readers like me a lot of lessons especially about love.
For me, I learned that love is really unpredictable but in the end, if it's meant for you, then it's meant for you. If it's not, then it's not. Just like what happened in Dead Stars, Alfredo who is long-engaged to Esperanza was at one point in his life unexpectedly fell in love with Julia though it is forbidden. There arose the unfaithfulness, betrayal of Alfredo to Esperanza because of loving another woman. He was put into a situation where he was confused of what he wants to do and what he needs to do. But I believe that everything happens for a reason and God has plans for us. Like here, after the goodbyes Julia and Alfredo made to each other since Julia alreday know about Alfredo's approaching wedding with Esperanza, Alfredo still married Esperanza though he was still thinking of Julia for that long years of marriage. But when they met again in Julia's hometown and had chance to talk to her, there he realized that the MAGIC was gone and he was over her. From this, I do believe that it's really God's will. In this case, it only means that Alfredo and Julia were not meant for each other. Maybe God has his reasons why Alfredo met Julia and why i the end, he made him realized that it's not really her.

That's why, love is really unpredictable. We can never tell what will happen. But it only means one thing, if it's not destined for us, then it is not. All this time, Alfredo had been seeing "the light of dead stars, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in heaven". Though the magic is no longer there, the memory still remains - maybe it's no longer love but like dead stars, its glow is still visible after they are gone. Yes, it is true! Even if we no longer love the person, our good and bad memories with them will still remain for a lifetime. That is what the author, through Dead Stars wants all of us to learn. It was a great story, a very inspiring one especially in today's world..=))

individual task: Reaction about Dead Stars

(From Miss Genevieve Anne E. Diocos)
From the title itself, my first impression about Dead Stars was all about astronomy and astrology. But I was wrong. Never did I picture Dead Stars as a love story. This is an awesome story, as if it wasn’t written from the 1920’s. I like how Paz Benitez presented the story short and straight to the point. The story was like similar to the stories today or maybe the stories today was inspired by this story. The characters were also great. For me, the best part about the story was when Alfredo still chose to marry Esperanza and when he visited Julia in the last part, he finally realized that he was not anymore interested to her.

Friday, July 3, 2009


On August 13, 1898, the American forces occupied Manila. A few years later, in April 1900, President William McKinley directed The Philippines Commission to make English the official medium of instruction for all public schools. The first teachers of English were members of the United States Army. In August of 1901, six hundred American teachers arrived on the transport Thomas. They replaced the soldiers as teachers. In that year, 1901, the Philippine Normal School was founded. Ots purpose was to train Filipinos in the art of teaching so that they could eventually take charge of elementary education.

The students and the people in general learned English quickly. Even in 1899 there were English newspapers such as The Courier, insular Press, and Manila Freedom. In 1900 the Daily Bulletin was founded, while The Cablenews started in 1902. The Philippines Free Press began in 19o05, edited by F. Theodore Rogers. At first it was a bilingual weekly in English and Spanish. In 1908 it published the first Filipino short stories in English.

In that same year, 1908, the University of the Philippines was founded. This school became the forerunner in the use of English for higher education. In October of 1910, the University of the Philippines’ College Folio was published. This magazine printed the works of the first promising writers in English. This early selections were mostly ghost stories or folk tales explaining natural phenomena. Often the authors taught a moral message which was evident event at first reading.

Among the famous early teachers of English might be mentioned Professors Dean S. Fansler and his wife Harriot Ely Fansler, George Pope Shannon, Tom Inglis Moore, Harold P. Scott, and C.V. Wicker. In literature classess they taught the works of Chaucer, Milton, Donne, Shakespeare, Irving, Hawthorne, Emerson, Thoreau, Poe Longfellow, Bryant, Harte, Holmes, Lowell, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge, Lamb, Joyce, Tennyson, Thackeray, Macaulay, and other famous writers.

For composition themes they encouraged the students to write about folk tales and their own experiences. In one college class of 1913 the students were asked to write speeches for these topics. The Building of a Modern Sabitary Market; A Speech at the First Banquet of the Philippine Normal School; An Appeal to the Moral Sense – Cockfighting; Primary Education in the Philippines; A Stump Speech before the People of a Certain Barrio; and The Unveiling of a Monument Dedicated to Apolinario Mabini. The student themes were carefully corrected and when a grammatical mistake was made, students were required to write the corrected form five times. At the end of each theme, the student wrote statement of originality testifying that “… this is my own original work.” The skill and dedication of the early teachers was to produce rich results in the years to come.

At the first Filipino writing in English was quite formal and initiative. Influences from the Spanish language could be seen in the use oof Spanish expressions and in an ornate style. Grammatical expressions was at times awkward and there was some difficulty in the use of prepositions and pronouns. But gradually the quality of writing improved. Between 1908 and 1914, some students at the University of the Philippines collected and retold, in English, old Filipino tales. These writings were gathered by Dean S. Fansler and published in Filipino Popular Tales in 1921. In 1921, the graduates of the Manila High School published their English writings in The Coconut. The following year 1913, the Philippine Normal School introduced its publication. The Torch.

Aside from student publications, newspaper and magazines provided an early outlet for wrioters. In 1920, the Philippines Herald began publication. It was founded by Manuel L. Quezon and its magazine section was edited by Paz Latorena, Loreto Paras, Jose Garcia Villa, Casiano T. Calalang, and others. In 1924 A V H Hartendorp becam the editor of the Philippine Education Magazine. Some four year later, he widened its content and renamed it the Philippine Magazine. The high quality of these magazine made it so popular that it became the most influential literary magazine oin the country. It published some of the best Filipino writing in English.

Fiolipino writers received further encouragement ion 1925. In that year, the Free Presso began paying for original manusctipts and offered P1,000 for the best stories. The Manila Tribune was founded and; along with Graphico, the Woman’s Outlook, the Woman’s Home Journal, and the Philippine Collegian, offered further incentioves to promising writers. Also in 192o5, the Philippine Writers Association was organized with Rizal G. Adorable as president. Among the early members were: Paz Latorena, Loreto Paras, Jose Garcia Villa, Jose Panganiban, Remedios Mijares, Mercedes Grau, Celoemencia Joven, Casiano Calalang, Jose Dayrit, Sol H. Gwekoh, Arturo B. Rotor, D.H. Soriano, and Augusto C. Catanjal.

Perhaps an even more influential group was the Writers’ Club founded in 1927 at the University of the Philippines. This group published Literary Apprentice which became the leading college literary publication in the country. The writers club stimulated and encouraged an artistic consciousness among the literary circles of the Philippines.

The first thirty years of Philippines Literature in English produced little in the fields of drama and novel. Drama was hardly written because vernacular plays and the zarzuela still dominated the stage. The fiorst Filipino novel in English was A Child of Sorrow in 1929. Another novelist of this period was Ernest Lopez who published His Awakening in 1929.

From 1900 to 1930 there was some significant writing of essays, shory stories, and poems. In the following paragraphs the development of these forms will be treated in more detail.

Essays. The essay was a popular form of expression for the early writers. As early as 1926 essayist expressed the need for literature that was native and national. Many essays first appeared as newspaper columns and later they were published in anthologies. In 1921 Zoilo M. Galang published Life and Success, the first volume of essays in Ebglish. In that year Zoilo M. Galang also published anoher book of essays, Master of Destiny. Among the early essay writers might be mentioned F.M. Africa, Francisco Benitez, Jorge Bacobo, Amador Daguio, Leandro Fernandez, M.M. Kalaw, Pedro de la Llana, I.V. Mallari, Ignacio Manlapaz, Fernando Maramag, Camilo Osias, Claro M. Recto, Carlos P. Romulo, and Eulogioo B. Rodriguez.

Short Stories, Virginia R. Moreno has described the literary years 1910 – 19o24 as “ … a period of novices with their experiences both infiction-making and the use of the new language. 1925 – 1931 was the periood of phenomenal growth among the practitioners in the art.” It is true that the early short stories were the work of novices. The tales were often romantic and the adventures, thems, and plots were sometiomes imitated. There were difficulties in grammar and at times there waws a tendency toward sentimentalism. But gradually, certain writers appeared who showed that the novitiate periods was ending. Jorge Bacobo’s “Horrible Adventure” in the Philippine Revioew for May 1916, and Paz Marquez Benitez’s “The Siren of 34 Real” in the Philippine Review for July 1917 were praised by critics for their high literary quality. On september 20, 1925 The Philippines Herald published “Dead Stars” by Paz Marquez Benitez. This story was quickly recognized as one of the best short stories yet written by a Filipino.

In 19o25 Zoilo M. Galang published the first collection of short stories in book form under the title Box of Ashes and Other Stories. Beginning with 19o26, Jose Garcia Villa encouraged writers with his yearly selection of the best Filipino short stories. In 1927 the first Anthology of Filipino short stories was edited by Paz Marquez Benitez. It was entitled Filipino Love Stories. Oin that same year, Jose Villa Panganiban published The Stealer of Hearts and Other Stories. In 1928 the best short stories were compiled by Jose Garcia Villa in Philippine Short Stories: The Best 25 Stories of 1928.

By 1930, original and significant stories were being written. “Zita,” written by Arturo B. Rotor around 1930, has been called “…one of the finest love stories in Filipino literature in English.” Among the early short story writers were: Paz Marquez Benitez, Jorge Bacobo, Amador T. Daguio, Pilar Hidalgo Lim, Paz Latorena, Tarcila Malabanan Jose Villa Panganiban, Arturo B. Rotor, Loreto Paras Sulit, L.B. Uichangco and Jose Garcia Villa.

Poems. The first known Filipino poem in English is “Sursum Corda” by Justo Juliano. It appeared in the Philippines Free Press in 1907. This poem, along with others of that period, has been criticized as being too artificial and overwritten in order to achieve intensity. The early poems in book often borrowed images and similies from English or American poets. The first collection of poems in book form was Reminisces, by Lorenzo Paredes, in 1921. In 1922, Procopio Solidum publioshed Never Mind, a collection of Filipino poetry in English. Rodolfo Dato edited an anthology of Filipino poems in 1924 under the title Filipino Poetry. In 1926 he published his own poems in Manila.

Most critics agree that Marcelo de Garcia Concepcion was a leading poet of the early period. His Azucena was published in New York in 1925. His poems reveal simple images with deep sensitivity and original thought. Some poets who belonged to the early period ooof Philioppine Literature were: Aurelio S. Alvero, Marcelo de Gracia Concepcion, Rafael Zulueta da Costa, Luis Dato, Vicente L. del Fierro, Virgilio Floresca, Angela Manalang Gloria, Jose M. Hernandez, A.E. Litiatco, Fernando M. maramag, Natividad Marquez, Conrado B. Rigor, Juan F. Salazar, Abelardo Subido, Trinidad Tarrosa Suboido, Francisco G. Tonogbanua, L.B. Uichangco, and Jose Garcia Villa.

Thursday, July 2, 2009



  • dappled - spotted with different color
  • perfervid - extremely passionate or enthusiastic, ardent
  • insipid - dull, uninteresting, flavorless
  • tumultuous - noisy and unrestrained, confused and agitated
  • haste - great speed, urgency
  • deluded - lead into false belief
  • relish - interest, excitement, enjoyment
  • spurt - sudden burst of energy
  • indolence - laziness, painless and slow to change
  • recalcitrant - disobedient, hard to do or handl
  • exuberant - full of enthusiasm
  • wayward - unpredictable, stubborn
  • shrivelled - weakened
  • currying - to use flattery
  • shrug - to draw up as a sign of doubt
  • derided - imitated
  • austere - plain and without luxury
  • plump - well filled or rounded in form
  • desultory - random, passing from one thing to another
  • hammock - hanging bed
  • poignantly - causing sadness or pity
  • ebbing - recede from shore, tidal movement away from land
  • piquant - stimulating or provocative
  • evasive - avoid sharplying an issue, avoiding trouble
  • perversely - inexplicably irrational, stubbornly unreasonable
  • woo - seek woman's love
  • solace - relief from emotional distress, source of comfort
  • encumbrances - burden or hindrance
  • devout - very sincere
  • repose - restlessness, serenity
  • winnowing - remove chaff from grain, examine something to remove bad parts
  • nuances - subtle difference
  • bewilderness - confuse somebody
  • obstinately - stubborn, difficult to control, refusing to change
  • filigrees - lacy metal ornamentation, delicate work
  • forlornly - lonely and miserable, desolate, hopeless
  • resonant - echoing
  • verge - margin
  • vantage - advantageous position
  • prosaicalness - straightforward, lacking imagination
  • melancholy - a gloomy state of mind, especially when habitual or prolonged; depression.
  • cot - a narrow, collapsible bed, as one made of canvas or plastic sheeting on a frame that can be folded up,a small shelter,a covering or sheath, as for a hurt finger
  • sober - marked by sedate or gravely or earnestly thoughtful character or demeanor, marked by temperance, moderation, or seriousness, showing no excessive or extreme qualities of fancy, emotion, or prejudice
  • lugubriously - mournful, dismal, or gloomy, especially to an exaggerated or ludicrous degree.
  • sundry - various, miscellaneous
  • athwart - from side to side, crosswise or transversely, so as to thwart, obstruct, or oppose; perversely.

  • heed - to give consideration or attention to
  • capitulation - the act of surrendering or yielding
  • baffled - to defeat or check (as a person) by confusing or puzzling, to check or break the force or flow of by or as if by a baffle
  • sinuous - of a serpentine or wavy form, marked by strong lithe movements
  • unvexed - not to make angry or annoyed by little provocations
  • exasperation - the act or an instance of exasperating,the state of being exasperated, frustrated annoyance
  • goaded - to prod or urge with or as if with a long pointed stick.
  • disdain - a feeling of contempt for someone or something regarded as unworthy or inferior
  • tumult - disorderly agitation or milling about of a crowd usually with uproar and confusion of voices , violent agitation of mind or feelings
  • dingy - darkened with smoke and grime ,dirty or discolored, shabby, drab, or squalid
  • absurdities - the condition or state in which humans exist in a meaningless, irrational universe wherein people's lives have no purpose or meaning
  • fastidious - having high and often capricious standards, difficult to please, showing or demanding excessive delicacy or care, reflecting a meticulous, sensitive, or demanding attitude
  • resentment - a feeling of indignant displeasure or persistent ill will at something regarded as a wrong, insult, or injury
  • indignant - showing anger or indignation, especially at something unjust or wrong
  • wistful - full of yearning or desire tinged with melancholy
  • reverted - to return to a former condition, practice, subject, or belief
  • circuitous - not being forthright or direct in language or action
  • vague - not clearly expressed, stated in indefinite terms , not having a precise meaning not clearly defined, grasped, or understood,not clearly felt or sensed, somewhat subconscious not thinking or expressing one's thoughts clearly or precisely
  • gaily - in a lively manner, cheerfully

  • placidity - serenely free of interruption or disturbance
  • tarred - to smear or cover with or as if with any of various dark-colored viscid products obtained by the destructive distillation of certain organic substances, as coal or wood

  • tardy - late,behind time,not on time, moving or acting slowly, delaying through reluctance.
  • porches - a structure attached to a building, forming a covered entrance to a vestibule or doorway.
  • drawled - to speak slowly with vowels greatly prolonged,to utter in a slow lengthened tone
  • tinkled - to make light metallic sounds, as those of a small bell.
  • lurking - to lie in wait in a place of concealment especially for an evil purpose, to move furtively or inconspicuously, to persist in staying to, to be concealed but capable of being discovered
  • trodden - to set down the foot; step, to press, crush, or injure something by or as if by trampling.
  • averred - to verify or prove to be true in pleading a cause , to allege or assert in pleading