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Summer Solstice By: Nick Joaquin ]Presented By: Sergio Joseph Tusoy
AuthorName: Nicomedes Marquez JoaquinAka: “ Quijano de Manila”Born: May 4, 1917 (Paco Manila on Calle Herran)Died: April 29, 2004 (San Juan Metro Manila)Parents: Atty. Leocadio Y. Joaquin (colonel of the Philippine Revolution) Salome Marquez (school teacher)Educational Background: Elementary: Mapa High School in Intramuros Secondary: Mapa High School in Intramuros (up to 3rd year) College: St. Albert College in Hong Kong
Early Education At age 17, Joaquín had his first piece published, in the literary section of the pre-World War II Tribune, where he worked as a proofreader. It was accepted by the writer and editor Serafín Lanot. After Joaquín won a nationwide essay competition to honor La Naval de Manila, sponsored by the Dominican Order, the University of Santo Tomas awarded him an honorary Associate in Arts (A.A.). They also awarded him a scholarship to St. Alberts Convent, the Dominican monastery in Hong Kong.
Career After returning to the Philippines, Joaquín joined the Philippines Free Press, starting as a proofreader. Soon he attracted notice for his poems, stories and plays, as well as his journalism under the pen name Quijano de Manila. His journalism was both intellectual and provocative, an unknown genre in the Philippines at that time, and he raised the level of reportage in the country. Joaquín represented the Philippines at the International PEN Congress in Tokyo in 1957, and was appointed as a member of the Motion Pictures commission under presidents Diosdado Macapagal and Ferdinand E. Marcos. After being honored as National Artist, Joaquin used his position to work for intellectual freedom in society.
CharactersDonya Lupeng Moreta- long-married woman with three childrenDon Paeng Moreta- the highly moral husband of Donya LupengGuido- young cousin to the Moretas who studied in SpainAmada- the family cook and Entoys wifeEntoy- the family driver
Summary The Tatarin, or otherwise known as the Tadtarin, was a three day festival that celebrated a ritual of fertility. This was done only by women. Many men frowned upon the extravagant dances and plays surrounding the ritual. "Summer Solstice" is set during the three days of the St. John’s festival. Lupeng, a Filipino woman who feels closed to her womanhood, is married to Paeng, who is no doubt loyal to her. They have three small boys and live a somewhat wealthy life as they have a carriage driver named Entoy and a maid and cook named Amada. Guido is a cousin of Paeng’s who comes back to the Philippines after studying in Europe. The story starts when the family is enjoying the days of the St. John’s festival until Guido makes suggestive comments to Lupeng, and even bending down to kiss her feet. This makes her leave abruptly and have a discussion with her husband the coming night. Lupeng secretly found herself intrigued by the attention of Guido; she felt that he was correct in saying that women should be ravished and men should adore them. This causes her to participate in the last night of the festival, which is the Tatarin ritual. Paeng goes with her and tries to drag her back once the dancing begun, but she runs from him to the women. He tries to take her back but the women in the crowds beat him out, leaving him helpless. As the two return home, Paeng says he must whip his wife because he loves her and feels that she needs to be put in her place. To this, she shouts and says she wants to be adored, not respected and orders him to kiss her feet.
Settings The story takes place in the 1850s, women were repressed and felt shut in. Lupeng may seem to be happy in her routine life, but she also feels angry. You can notice this when she states to the children “Hush, hush I implore you! Now look: your father has a headache, and so have I. So be quiet this instant — or no one goes to Grandfather.”
Conflict The stereotypes of masculinity and feminine traits run rampant in the story. Women are supposed to look after their husbands and children while the husbands work and wait for their supper. Not only is this seen in the story but in daily life as well, which makes the story shocking to readers since it is about women wanting to be free. Lupeng shatters the concept of the suppressed woman when she gains control of her husband, who kisses her feet at the end of story. This makes it seem as though the internal conflict was that women are the ones who want to be the rulers of men, as seen in the Tatarin festival.
Plot• The Summer Solstice is a short story written by Nick Joaquin. The book tells the story of a ritual performed by women to call upon the gods to grant fertility. The ritual they perform is to dance around a century-old Balete tree. The ritual was known as Tatarin and lasted for three days during the summer months. The last day of Tatarin is the same day as St Johns Day. The story is set on St Johns Day in the 1850s in the Philippines. Entoy tells Dona Lupeng that Amada has participated in the ritual. While they are onboard a carriage, Dona Lupeng talks about why Amada still believes in the ritual. The carriage comes to a halt and everyone watches a procession taking place. Dona Lupeng mocks the arrogance of the men taking part in the procession. When they arrive at a house Dona Lupeng discovers that Guido, Don Paengs cousin, had taken part in both the procession they have just witnessed and in the Tatarin ritual. Guido lifted Dona Lupengs skirt whilst she was looking for her children. Dona Lupeng then tells Don Paeng about the incident and tells him that Guido had even kissed her feet. Don Paeng is disgusted that the woman has been shown adoration, as he feels that love and respect are more befitting. Dona Lupeng and Don Paeng go to witness the ritual and Dona Lupeng joins in with the ceremony.Once home, Dona Lupeng makes Don Paeng tell her that he adores her. He submits by kissing her feet. The Summer Solstice was classed as controversial because of the mix of Pagan ritual and Christian rites of passage.
Theme Main Theme: St. John’s and Tatarin Festivals – The St. John’s festival is about men and their fertility, which seems quite vulgar to Lupeng and makes her start to realize how she wishes women could be seen in the same way. The Tatarin festival is the exact opposite, showing women as leaders of fertility since they carry children. This festival is the last trigger to make Lupeng feel as though she is stronger than a man and deserves adoration.
Symbolism Amada – When Lupeng rushes to find her cook, Amada, she sees her in a compromising position on the bed which makes Lupeng blush and feel restrained about her own sexuality.. Guido’s Speech – When Paeng’s cousin Guido returns from Europe, he tells Lupeng of his travels. He also says “I remember that you are a woman, yes. A beautiful woman. And why not? Did you turn into some dreadful monster when you married? Did you stop being a woman? Did you stop being beautiful? Then why should my eyes not tell you what you are — just because you are married?”
Analysis The Summer Solstice represented a "stereotypical notions of masculinity and femininity", the difference between genders, and the hierarchy that bound the two sexes. The Summer Solstice is pro-woman story. A tale of "triumphant women" because of Don Paengs submission to Doña Lupeng and the portrayal of womens reproductive role that made them "rulers of men“. (Feminism Approach)