Celebrating Awesomeness (?) 
The Summer Solstice
Nick Joaquin

I find this story really disturbing. Everything seems hot like the hotness of the summer solstice reflected the character’s disposition and the framework of the story. On the first part, Lupe’s irritable display of actions was kind of affected by the “already burning with the immense, intense fever of noon.” When her children asked her about their visit to their grandfather, she seemed very irritable. Most especially when she saw their cook, Amada, half-naked and displayed a strange laughter, “the moist pile of her flesh quivering like brown jelly. Saliva dribble from the corners of her mouth.” There was something interesting in Amada’s character and her major involvement in the “Tadtarin.”

I convinced myself to believe that this was a feminist story no matter how our discussion in class argued. Maybe it wasn’t yet clear for me until now what was the story was all about. But I believe Guido took part in the story’s movement. Without him, Lupe wouldn’t realize what she actually longed for and Paeng wouldn’t be able to feel what was his wife really longed for. Although he displayed sweetness for his affection to his wife, it wasn’t enough. “Bumaybe we do not want to be loved and respected --- but be adored.”

It was also evident that reversal of roles of the major character where executed. Lupe, from being inferior to superior, and Paeng, from being superior to inferior. There was of course a hesitation of Paeng’s movement, “Is it not enough that you have me helpless? Is it not enough that I feel what you want me to feel?” but in the end the reversal of roles succeeded. However, it is known that whatever happened to the roles, it was only for a night. When the festival ends, man becomes powerful again and woman as powerless.

I would also like to cite the part when during the “Tadtarin,” men were allowed to participate but only when wear someone feminine. I think this would be a symbolism of woman’s sentiment that men should empathize to. Woman wanted to feel superior in a way. But with Guido, this was a sort of mockery to the woman because it was as if he just did it for the sake of festival or the tradition? Hmmm. 