How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife, MEA

November 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm (Baul, Literature, Prose) (, , , , )

This might be my second read of How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife but this is definitely the first I’ve tried to digest the beauty of the prose as an experience in itself. However, unlike more fortunate literature buffs who have their own copy of How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife (And Other Stories), I had to rely on Baul to give me a similar fantastic ride to Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union.

Shame! Manuel Viloria says the collection was only twenty pesos.

The story, like most of Arguilla’s prose, transpires in Barrio Nagrebcan in La Union, the birthplace of Manuel E. Arguilla himself. You’ll immediately realize how the writer loves his hometown by the vivid imagery and sensuality that he offers on the plate. From the shapes and the sounds to even the scent of the air, Arguilla spares no detail to prove that beauty exists in Nagrebcan.

From the title, you can surmise what type of story this is and how it could develop as it goes along. Leon is actually the big brother of the main protagonist, the wielder of the mystic point-of-view, but his wife takes to him as Noel as the latter coinage is presumably a modern twist of Leon though obviously it is an inversion of the word. Baldo is the little brother and Maria, Baldo taking traditional names into mind as he hears her name for the first time, is the wife whom Leon/Noel brought back home.

Maria is actually city bred and Leon/Noel and Baldo are blatantly townsfolk. There’s the culture clash that serves to be the conflict, though only between the father and the oblivious Maria. Since Leon/Noel brought Maria to Nagrebcan, it can be presumed that they’ll be staying there. As a precaution, unbeknownst to even Leon/Noel and Baldo, their father have asked the younger son to do certain things out of the norm just to see if the wife can really adjust to her new setting – the barrio and the family.

Certain characters, with depth, to note are their sister Aurelia and the bull Labang.

What I like about the short story is Arguilla’s character development. They seem to just pop out of the text, giving the reader an impression that they could have been, and could very well be, real people. Most writers often base their characters on real life acquaintances. Whether Arquilla went deeper or not, he still pulled it off and impressively, if I may be so bold.

The ending reflected Baldo’s attraction to Maria or, to be more specific, to the notion of finding his own wife someday.

In its entirety, How My Brother Leon Brought Home A Wife focuses on the aforementioned culture clash or the setting shift when someone from the barrio or the city is transported to the other. The concept is distinctly Filipino but essentially global. People outside of the Metro (Manila, specifically) wish to travel, and to a greater extent, live in the modernist capital because it is widely believed that they’ll find greater pleasures and successes there. In other words, it borders on a “grass is green” idea or immigration issues.

Arguilla makes me want to go visit Nagrebcan and spend one night there.

† Jofer



  1. jhell said,

    cute hehe

  2. Jofer Serapio said,

    Haha! Thanks for the comment. Yeah, the story is really cute.

  3. Shannevie said,

    hey, thanks so much for your analysis of this particular story. i would not have understood the story in a deeper sense if i have not read your analysis. thanks again 🙂

  4. Jofer Serapio said,

    Thanks and your welcome, shannevie! It’s an awesome story, deserving of a read. 🙂

  5. Bernie Oleary said,

    You have done it once again. Amazing post.

  6. chriztine mae said,

    thanks ……. 🙂 🙂

  7. chriztine mae said,


  8. leslie said,

    if u will be the writer what do you think is the great ending of this story?????plz reply,,, i need your answer….. :)) tnx.

  9. joseph said,

    pano i print assingment ko to eh!!!

  10. lala said,

    what’s the climax of the story?

  11. chelle said,

    thnx for this…

  12. jison imelda said,

    cte ng story kso mdyo hrap ata gwin proj. ko jeeeejeeeee……

  13. angelin said,

    did you like the resolution of the conflict?

  14. joana said,

    well said…thanks!

  15. Jofer Serapio said,

    Hey, guys! Sorry I haven’t been replying to any one of you. It’s just that, this blog has been dead for quite a while now. But if you have questions concerning this certain blog post, I’m willing to help you out. Just direct all queries to my yahoo mail:

    Happy reading!

  16. arjay said,

    who is the antogonist and protaginist in the story

  17. jesh heartstabber said,

    boring cuz i cn’t understand it.. do you?

  18. jonavy magalona said,

    actually I dn’t like the story…it’s quite perplexing!!..

  19. Kokocrunch Bonifacio said,

    naks!galing mo classmate…=)

  20. camille co said,

    maganda sya daming aral naks nman ,…………….hhh

  21. camille co said,

    daming aral ganda promise,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,hahhh

  22. Mhari Park said,

    The imagery used in the story is so cool. Like you, I feel like visiting Nagrebcan. Actually, this is the first time I’ve heard about that place! 😀

  23. mhel said,

    great analysis of the prose…this would be quite a help to those students who are finding difficulty in comprehending what the story is all about….great job!

  24. christopherabayata said,

    its so beautiful

  25. angelina said,

    So cool! i like it! But could it also mean that their father wanted Maria to hide her from the neighborhood to avoid their family from becoming the talk of the town because his child, Leon, brought home a wife without asking his blessing first into marriage, which is a Filipino value.

  26. trixie said,

    The story began and ended without touching on the basic Filipino values especially dealing with marriage. The fact that the setting was in the province, this would be very hard for the new couple to deal with the conservative, local people in their neighborhood.The author has left the readers with too much things to imagine on what could possibly happen next.

  27. kay pineda said,

    wer da conflict in the story ?
    pls help …tnx

  28. maLyn said,

    thank you for posting this site… we have to dramatize this story in literature 1…so im really happy that there is a copy of that story here,,,

  29. ForMi-jofer Patenio said,

    we have the same names…

  30. said,

    Hello very cool web site!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I am happy to search out numerous useful info here in the put up, we’d like develop extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing.

  31. Jhoi Enriquez Colas Palomo said,

    there is a certain word there like Waig… what is the meaning of that word. for seems funny that sinta was being translated as sweetheart and to be found out that it is a tie of the yoke, i guess. so thanks….

  32. big brother said,

    excellentpost I’m a huge Big Bro fan from Sweden

  33. led lysrör said,

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your
    content seem to be running off the screen in Chrome.

    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but
    I figured I’d post to let you know. The design and
    style look great though! Hope you get the problem fixed soon.
    Many thanks

  34. hkmb said,

    why it isn’t boring?

  35. rhea said,

    Because it’s all about love and all of us could relate with that, the true essence of love.

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