Book ✓ The Woman Who Had Two Navels 336 pages ´ Nick joauín

Book ☆ The Woman Who Had Two Navels Ì Nick Joaquín

The Woman Who Had Two NavelsRed as a classic in Philippine literature It is divided into 5 chapters Paco Macho La Vidal The Chinese I was a kid when I read this book Probably I was twelve or so I also saw the short story version the short story came first then upon a Rockefeller Grant Joauin expanded it into a novel

Nick Joaquín Ì The Woman Who Had Two Navels Kindle

This book is a fictional story of a Filipina woman who believes she has two navels It is widely conside Past EngagementsA Book Review of Nick Joauin’s The Woman Who Had Two NavelsIn 1955 Nick Joauin left the Philippines on a Rockefeller creative writing grant taking him to countries such as Spain the United States and Mexico This two year sojourn gave birth to his first novel inspired by an earlier shorter work The Woman Who Had Two Navels published in 1961 having won the very first Harry Stonehill awardA historic novel now considered a seminal work in Philippine Literature it revolves on the lives of Filipino emigrants living in Hong Kong centering on the story of Connie Escobar a woman who indulges and deludes herself as having two belly buttonsnavels so as to set herself apart and seen as somehow special by others She confers this secret to Doctor Pepe Monson a horse veterinarian son of a former Filipino businessman and revolutionary in self imposed exile terrified to deal with the trials of post war independence As the book progresses we meet these characters at muted wars with themselves and as if serving like a mirror reflecting Joauin’s experiences prior his travels and composition of the novel it portrays their struggle to keep their identity amidst different cultural point of viewsI’m sure this novel’s odd title the point of inuiry and fascination of anyone who had either merely read it on the front cover or read the book through is what excites anyone’s curiosity how can someone have two navels and what are the reasons concerning it? Is it because of an anatomical or genetic anomaly here unto now unheard of? Or it is an outright lie from someone’s disjointed view of reality? In a stroke I will call nothing short of brilliant Joauin paints an efficient literary device a catalyst from which to springboard uestions pertaining to nationalism amidst the heavy influence and heritage of past colonial masters society’s collapse wrought by past wars and the Filipino identity as it basks in its new found freedomAside from the occasional critical essays I’ve encountered I still particularly recall his colorful essay about Nora Aunor which I read ages ago in our college’s Introduction to Film subject it’s like encountering an all too different Nick Joauin in the pages of this novel Getting into the novel reuires a huge amount of comprehension and perception in the part of the reader and in no pretension whatsoever it is truly a difficult read I lumbered through the first part myself Yet carried on I did and I’m uite delighted by the pay off If I’m ever ualified to make suggestions as how to read the book I say take it in stride like a leisurely walk on the battlements of Intramuros paying the utmost attention to the cobbled stones you walk upon the brick work of the structure the sun that illuminates the place with an unfathomable wonder and the location’s sense of history Joauin’s prose is intricate at times profoundly confusing and has this surreal uality as if entering upon a dream at once overwhelms and likewise gratifies in ways that words can’t uite express; with elouently beautiful scenes imagery and flashbacks similar to viewing sepia tinted pictures it makes reader wax poetic about the past of a Philippines in its youthful glow in its erstwhile glory during a time when the epithet The Pearl of the Orient rings true The Woman Who Had Two Navels is a many layered chaotic and less than prefect novel that taunts out universal paradoxes of truth and falsehood illusion and reality past and present by paralleling it to the characters and reader’s inner turmoil and puts it in the context of the Filipino’s search for identity In Nick Joauin’s view we must look at the past with the consciousness need of engaging the present world in its own termsBook Details Book #30 for 2011Published by Bookmark IncPaperback 1991 Edition336 pagesStarted July 26 2011Finished August 2011My Rating ★★★★See this review on my book blog Dark Chest of Wonders and for many others

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Book ✓ The Woman Who Had Two Navels 336 pages ´ Nick joaquín ´ ❰Download❯ ➵ The Woman Who Had Two Navels Author Nick Joaquín – This book is a fictional story of a Filipina woman who believes she has two navels It is widely considered as a classic in PhilippineMoon and Doctor MonsonThis is a novel not be confused with the short story collection of the same name This book deals with the absurd The book is a complex story on individual choice as a step in living a fulfilling life and through the characters an allegory on how a developing country chooses democracy in its steps for self determination I understand how some people find this book a hard read because the character's engage in a sort of stream of consciousness montage that occasionally shifts from past to the present as well alternate scenerious that one can interpret as hallucinations Parts 3 5 is excellent piece of experimental writing as well as having complex moral dilemmas so I will give this book a 5 stars A southern landlord Mr Escobar gave his boy on his 15 birthday a servant girl whose father was a tenant father who had debts owed to Mr Escobar When she got pregnant Escobar tried to hide the girl but Macho got pisses off and rebelled against his father since she was his first experience After going to boarding school in Manila Macho came home and became fast friends with his father who he hunted drank and whored with Macho tells on how he met Senora Vidal Mr Vidal told his wife that they should court the Escobars because they had significant voting blocs that they could secure While Mr Vidal led Mr Escobar to the gambling tables Senora de Vidal entertained Macho Escobar said that Concha was a good wife and devoted mother who had a reputation for being lecherous though no one could place anything definite on her Mr Escobar said that she probably had an itch to cheat but just need an opportunity to and joked that Macho should go after her before she goes after him After a few months of being a bad boy galavanting around town Macho meets Concha again by chance and was taken with her passion and excitement for him so much so that she did not try to hide their affair What started out as a fling became something where they both fell in love Love was something that was serious and needed to be hidden because it destabilizes stable societal ties Macho suggested that they run away together so they could live happily ever after without having to look over their shoulders but Concha could not bring her 9 yrs old daughter with her Concha said she would go away on her own because she did not want to destroy Connie nor Macho's life and urge him to tell his father that the affair was over His father wanted progeny so he urged his son to leave Concha After Escobar died and Concha left him Macho became the evil landlord like his father and their forefathers before them so that the tenant farmers nothing ever seems to change in which one master is just replaced with someone who is as eually as cruel During WWII he became a cruel guerilla overlord who got his tenants together into a small guerilla army to kill Japs and their collaborators with a sadistic pleasure since he considered his life destroyed After the war he bumped into Concha again and knew he still desired and wanted her Due to war Concha changed into a hardened woman Later she wanted Macho to marry Connie which Concha thought would be the best solution for the both of them Macho hated Concha for suggesting such a match but married Connie anyway since it was Concha who asked Only when Macho discovered that Connie knew about the love letters did he realized the magnitude of the betrayal that he shared with Concha against Connie For Senora Vidal whatever she does seems wrong She tried to break off with Macho because her conscience demanded it only to see him destroy his own life She also tried to match Macho and Connie because she knew that they would be happy together only to find people thought what she did was depraved In trying to save the two most important people in her life she destroyed them and damned her life to misery Joauin says it best Anguish was manufactured by her benevolence; her private hell was indeed paved with good intentions Paco Texeira's band was the only band playing American jazz during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong Filipinos are the only Asians who understood and mimic American jazz rhythm Unlike the Monson boys who were constantly reminded that they were sons of a patriot in exile Paco had no sense of country as long as he had his music he could live anywhere The only thing he remembers of his father talking about the Philippines is a description of its mountain ranges as a woman lying down Paco lived with his mother because his father had an unstable income because he was also a musician He makes an interesting observation in juxtaposing between Filipino traditions and Americanized Filipinos occurring in the same individual Filipino In one of his gigs Paco befriended Senora de Vidal so they could swap tips on where to go in Hong Kong vs Manila Paco thought their relationship strictly platonic as his marriage to Mary was great in that they seemed to be extensions of one another But despite the platonic nature of Paco and de Vidal's relationship the gossip of them being lovers made their friendship lose its luster For a couple of weeks he stopped seeing her and found a Manila that was poverty stricken unlike de Vidal's rich Manila Two Manila's living side by side but never seeing each other One day while waiting for de Vidal Paco found Connie and from that moment on wanted her It was during this time that Connie found the love letters between Concha and Macho and went to her mother's house to confront her Connie became a groupie of his band showing up in clubs that he would play in perhaps to distract herself from problems at home or possibly even get revenge from her husbands affair with her mother In am moment of terror in which one man shot another Paco comforted Connie and was driven to him by his protection Knowing that the attraction was mutual Paco allowed her desire for him to overtake her mental reservation on cheating on her husband Not knowing her background story and thinking that she was a tease Paco was about to rape her but was scared off by the all seeing eye Paco states that both Connie and Senora de Vidal have an evil hold on him and he knows that he will go running to them when they call him Pepe realized both his father and Paco have a similar traumatized look after they came back from the Philippines The book starts of with Connie visiting a horse doctor in Hong Kong believing she is abnormal because she has two navels and wants something to be done about it because she does not want to seem like a freak when she has to undress for her husband Later Connie asked Pepe to act as a go between her and Macho For Pepe Connie seemed to be a troubled girl with a compulsive lying past Senora Vidal remembers how Dr Monson courageously chose exile rather than pledging allegiance to the US after they took over the Philippines Senora forced her daughter Connie to marry because she became upset by the common rumor that her father was pilfering from state coffers in order to send his daughters to a good private school Connie believed the rumors and did not want to go to school with blood moneyAccording to Senora Vidal Connie is now chasing a band leader Paco Texeira because she was forced to marry a man she did not love or even choose Connie runs away to Hong Kong and is followed by her mother and husband De Vidal matched Connie up with Macho though neither one was in love with the other she gradually grew to like him a lot due to his good humor and good looks For his part though he liked her too he did not seem present when they were together Macho came to Hong Kong to take Connie home so she would not embarrass her politician father during election time by creating a scandal that can hand the opposition gossip as ammunition When Macho realized he could lose Connie forever due to the love letters he changed his tune and wanted her back in her own terms no matter how long that took Meanwhile Rita and Helen owns a successful interior decorator venture that Is expanding due to the rapid expansion of Hong Kong Rita was her batches leader and matched Paco and Mary together since they seemed each others extension of the other While Mary used to be independent in traveling to other parts of the world while her batch mates stayed in Hong Kong now that she is a mother she is servile to Paco as she feels they are two halves to the same soul But ever since Paco and Pepe's father returned from the Philippines it seemed the group is falling apart CHAPTER III VIDALDuring Concha's childhood it was known that the house lizards were servants of the Virgin In April at age 15 Concha met her first husband during a play in which the ambivalent new empire the Americans established tried to censor the theatre as a means for expressing nationalistic sentiments after the Filipino American war It was here that Concha met her first love an Esteban Borromeo who was a former editor of her fathers nationalistic newspaper who was sued by libel because he called the American merchant propping up in the Philippines carpetbaggers Because nationalistic sentiment remained high after the Filipino American war Senior Gil mortgaged his home so that Esteban could be freed from prison Since Senor Gil's paper closed Esteban started working as a playwrite of a subversive play critical of American occupation Esteban Borromeo had a Byron cool on the outside hiding an interior lightening As expected when it came to the subversive part of the play the Americans closed down the play and arrested all the actors including Esteban himself For Concha Esteban represented the heroism that she was looking for in a real man who stood for nationalistic impulse against a foreign power When she met him she felt that for the first time she was a real woman because she knew what it was like to be in love Reading his poetry she was intrigued how naughty the words were which she juxtaposed by his sweet demeanor towards her Despite her interest in Esteban she tried to be couettish about her interest to throw her parents off from her precocious interest towards Esteban She was able to force Esteban into a conventional courtship from the rebellious man since he had romantic habits but classic custom Unlike her contemporaries Concha was able to have her love match Just like a gentleman he asked her parents for her hands in marriage Esteban and Concha saw a bright future for each other with Esteban bursting with ideas not aware that America's presence would drastically change the social and cultural landscape so that Esteban intelligence and faith in the old language of Spanish and its customs would be discarded in favor of English and American culture so much so that their ideas became inaccessible to future Filipino generations While initially Americans were considered an occupier at the fringe of society no one knew the extent of how American culture would usurp European or indigenous Filipino cultures Not until after WWII did Filipina's even consider being with an American It was said that Southern girls were the best looking mix of Malay Chinese and Spanish blood It was a land of chieftains The woman of the south were either heiress servants or prostitutes Esteban was a casualty of this cultural shift from Spanish to English in which a promising man of letters becomes an outdated fossil Because he was not able to make the shift from Spanish to American rule he died a broke and broken hearted man Concha became a widow as Esteban succumbed to his illness and had to live with her father During her widowhood she got pregnant by an effete writer and she turned to Dr Manolo Vidal for help Vidal was widely known as a man who would perform abortions for sexual favors since to be with child outside of marriage was seen as a disgrace to the family Perhaps because he himself was an old literary revolutionary he respected Concha Borromeo Unlike the other old revolutionary intellectuals he saw the future laid in American politics so he uickly associated himself with uezon who was backed by Americans as a reward for meeting American's half way Because he was able to adapt to changing times Manolo Vidal political fortunes rose After her abortion Concha turned to religion with eual passion which she displayed in earlier love affairs But before she could dedicate her life to God Vidal came back into her life to court her Even though she was in her mid 30's Manolo surprised her by finding her beautiful enough to marry her As a monk Tony Monson feels that he does not belong in Hong Kong instead seeing it as a place for exile He does not feel holy either as his monastery is in the middle of the city As per Pepe suggestion Connie goes to Tony to find an explanation for her two navels She felt both troubled and blessed to be different from other people To Tony she seems dangerously delusional who does not want to find out that she is delusional though she realizes that this maybe a real possibility Concha did not join the group at the club because she just wants to watch the young be young and full of energy Later she argues with Father Monson that God made women beautiful so she feels it is her duty to God to be beautiful in front of everyone While Father says it is inner beauty that God looks at Concha feels it is her vanity that defines her She says perhaps the real reason she married Macho off to Connie was because of the hate she felt for her daughter for preventing her from running off with Macho unlike her superficial reasoning that she did it because she thought they would make a good match Concha thinks her inability to face her daughter maybe due to her fear that she actually hates her The Monson brothers found Connie in their apartment and relayed the information that Macho wants to start from scratch with Connie wherever she might want to go as long as they are together She insists that the knowledge of her two navels will scare him away The Monson brothers think that she is using the delusion of having two navels in order to feel uniue and disengage from her problematic life including an excuse for not confronting Macho about being her mother's former lover She wants to be safe so she retreats from a fully lived life The Monson brothers want her to reengage in her life in order to live a full free responsible life of her own choosing She wants the Monson brothers to confirm or refute her two navel delusion once and for all by stripping and letting them see for themselves whether or not she has two navel Father Tony left Pepe to refute her two navel delusion which Pepe hesitantly acuiesced to Chapter IV When Pepe confirmed that she only had on navel her delusional world broke apart She proceeded to do what she always has done to run away first toward the monastery During her drive towards the monastery she had both flashbacks and hallucinations of the destruction of her family FLASHBACKS When she was 5 Connie went to a carnival and wanted her doll Minnie to see Bililken a carnival god who was going to be her idol in her belief in having two navels Connie being a spoiled brat wanted the Biliken idol even going as far as throwing Minnie away and lying about it in order to convince he mother to get Bilikern for her Here we see Connie as a compulsive liar because she euates her lies with safety and the outside world as having the 3 hags of terror in it When she was 11 she was able to possesses Biliken because Mr Vidal thought it would represent happy memories during the beginning of WWII For Connie Biliken represented the joyous past before WWII destroyed it It was during this time that mother broke up with Macho and the happy illusion of a family broke up Up to that point Connie idealized her mother as good and beautiful But when she came back from Hong Kong she became cold and mean For Connie Biliken represented a friendly face during American occupation before the horrors of WWII set in At age 14 she was evacuated since the war was coming to Manila At age 15 after the war the Vidals returned to the ruins of their home which Connie did not want to be rebuilt because things can never be what it was She looked for her lucky charm Biliken which was the only thing keeping her sane after her mother emotionally abandoned her and during the horrors of WWII only to find two bullet holes in its belly shocking her With the mutilated and ugly Biliken she begins to internalize what she saw as her own disfigurement as having two navels and begins to doubt her happy past as a possible figment of her imagination Perhaps she sees her past as horrible which was confirmed with Macho and Concha's affair she takes on the delusion of having two navels as a way of internalizing her traumatic past transforming her into this horrible monster After her honeymoon with Macho Connie discovered the love letters The shock sent her to Biliken not remembering the events that led her search for Biliken PRESENT DAY HALLUCINATION OR ALTERNATE PARALLEL UNIVERSE Connie is devolving in her delusions based on her own lies now has grown to seeing spies everywhere she looks When she entered the train compartment she found Macho waiting for her inside She realizes that she lacks free will and her life has been predetermined from the very beginning despite Macho wanting to break from the past and start anew When Connie told him that she no longer wanted to be with him Macho dropped the pretense of free will and said that he Concha and Connie will forever be linked He suggests that as a little girl she knew about the affair as was an implicit accomplice to it She eventually agreed that the love triangle will forever be linked and that when Macho makes love to Connie it will be both with Connie and Concha he is making love to Even though Macho wants to escape so that it is just he and Connie he knows that Concha presence will always be present Connie felt comfortable with Macho's presence growing up as he was the stand in for the brothers she never saw while finding the love letters dispelled the myth that Macho and Connie were merely friends Her childhood was built on a foundation of lies about friendship and false comfort The hallucination ends with the train crashing and both of them dying Connie gets on a ship and sees her mother there Her mother says that she is there because Connie is there further underscoring their being tied Connie feels that Concha never loved her but just be kind and not hate her just as if she was a step daughter not her real daughter Instead of Connie Concha got her affection from Macho Connie thinks she is the fruit of all evil that Concha carried inside her Concha confesses that she did a terrible thing marrying Manolo Connie wanted to go on pretending that Conch was the perfect mother but she could no longer pretend to love Connie because of the happiness that being with her cost Concha Concha agreed that she never wanted Connie and she represents all the evil in Concha's life The hallucination ends with Connie and Concha drowning in a sinking ship