Celebrating Awesomeness (?) 
The Mats
Francisco Arcellana

I find this story very dramatic and very moving although I felt it on the later part of the story near the ending. I thought it was just another narrative story where scenes were just plainly stated and thing alike. Everything was at ease on the first parts. Happy family was presented. But of course, it appeared as a rather typical story of a Filipino family in a Spanish time. The family was in a middle-class. “Mats” were a normal pasalubong in Filipinos when someone was to go somewhere. Mr. Angeles in the story was just doing his fatherly actions, doing his job and making sure everyone in the family was remembered by his distributed “mats”.

But there was a slight tension happening when as he distributed the “mats” he claimed a mat whose colors were “purple and gold” which could be an implication for superiority or royalty. However the characters in story seemed unnoticed this because they were so overwhelm to the fact that the “mats” given to them were really personalized. Another tension was presented when he one by one cited to his specific children “not to use this until the year of your internship” (for Jose) and “You are not to use these mats until you go to the university.” He was imposing his authority towards his children. Or he wanted to give them something as an inspiration to get an achievement which is a common thing among parents (maybe).

And the most dramatic part started when Emilia wondered why “there are some more mats” then later on Jaime confessed that they were for “The others who aren’t here…” Emilia tried to argue with this action of her husband but as a defense he said, “Is it fair to forget them? Would it be just to disregard them?” I realized that the three others mentioned referred to their children who died at their young age.

I felt that Jaime didn’t like the idea that once people die, living people forget them. Maybe he didn’t want to be forgotten when he die.