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The Day the Dancers Came: Selected Prose Works (Filipino Literary Classics)

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THE DAY THE DANCERS CAME opens with the title story, which won the Philippines Free Press annual short story contest in 1966. The characters are familiar to readers of Bienvenido N. Santos: the hurt, homesick men of YOU LOVELY PEOPLE; the people back home of Tondo, of Bicol, and thus of BROTHER, MY BROTHER and THE VOLCANO; and the confused characters of VILLA MAGDALENA who THE DAY THE DANCERS CAME opens with the title story, which won the Philippines Free Press annual short story contest in 1966. The characters are familiar to readers of Bienvenido N. Santos: the hurt, homesick men of YOU LOVELY PEOPLE; the people back home of Tondo, of Bicol, and thus of BROTHER, MY BROTHER and THE VOLCANO; and the confused characters of VILLA MAGDALENA who bear burdens of guilt, and come and go on unscheduled flights to lonely places. And yet the range is different, the insights are new, and humanity here wears other familiar faces.


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THE DAY THE DANCERS CAME opens with the title story, which won the Philippines Free Press annual short story contest in 1966. The characters are familiar to readers of Bienvenido N. Santos: the hurt, homesick men of YOU LOVELY PEOPLE; the people back home of Tondo, of Bicol, and thus of BROTHER, MY BROTHER and THE VOLCANO; and the confused characters of VILLA MAGDALENA who THE DAY THE DANCERS CAME opens with the title story, which won the Philippines Free Press annual short story contest in 1966. The characters are familiar to readers of Bienvenido N. Santos: the hurt, homesick men of YOU LOVELY PEOPLE; the people back home of Tondo, of Bicol, and thus of BROTHER, MY BROTHER and THE VOLCANO; and the confused characters of VILLA MAGDALENA who bear burdens of guilt, and come and go on unscheduled flights to lonely places. And yet the range is different, the insights are new, and humanity here wears other familiar faces.

30 review for The Day the Dancers Came: Selected Prose Works (Filipino Literary Classics)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maknae

    Bienvenido Santos' The Day The Dancers Came is not the kind of book you would read as a past-time outside of school, or rather, it is to me (and also some of my classmates). Our English teacher first having introduced the book to us as required reading, it was nothing but added expense on my part. It was especially a hassle to search for said book-- apparently it was only available in Fairview, Crossings, and another branch of National Bookstore which my memory has failed to cling on to. Neverth Bienvenido Santos' The Day The Dancers Came is not the kind of book you would read as a past-time outside of school, or rather, it is to me (and also some of my classmates). Our English teacher first having introduced the book to us as required reading, it was nothing but added expense on my part. It was especially a hassle to search for said book-- apparently it was only available in Fairview, Crossings, and another branch of National Bookstore which my memory has failed to cling on to. Nevertheless, it was worth it. Say whatever you want about Bienvenido Santos, you cannot deny he has talent in writing. The ten short stories in this collection are enough evidence. Although slightly wordy, The Day The Dancers Came was a beautiful masterpiece, an obra maestra Santos weaved. It did not promise, nor fulfil, happy endings, because it is set in real life, and reality itself is a reminder that there are no happy endings for all endings are bittersweet. You live and then you fade, you have dreams and these dreams slip out of your fingers inevitably as time consumes it. I, as a mere student born after the war, cannot fully appreciate and comprehend the harshness of war, the bitterness of life, and the cruelty of dreams, but I am given a peek as I read. The downside of this book was the execution-- it was beautiful, yes, but at times, it felt as if you were not into the story itself. At some parts, you had to stop and reread because, in Filipino terms, nakakalula ang lalim ng salita subalit walang aksyon ang nagaganap. (The pace of the story was far too slow and wordy, basically.) Despite these, it was still a great read. The Day The Dancers Came makes you think and reflect, a perfect "school book", much like a classic version of John Green books. You read it and as you put it down, you are left with questions that will probably never be answered by even Stephen Hawkings or Albert Einstein. My real rating for this book: 4.5.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Eleennae Ayson

    All of the stories (yes, including the play) in this book deal with rootlessness, wandering, homelessness, and nostalgia. It manages to capture the Filipino-American experience in the 1950s: workers trying to find a place among the whites; Filipinos stubbornly sticking with each other; migrants trying and failing to remember the "old country". It has a very romantic and wistful tone, almost as if everything is one big dream or memory. Although the tone helps in building the themes of each story, All of the stories (yes, including the play) in this book deal with rootlessness, wandering, homelessness, and nostalgia. It manages to capture the Filipino-American experience in the 1950s: workers trying to find a place among the whites; Filipinos stubbornly sticking with each other; migrants trying and failing to remember the "old country". It has a very romantic and wistful tone, almost as if everything is one big dream or memory. Although the tone helps in building the themes of each story, it also backfires by making me sleepy 🤣 I kinda missed a LOT of details because the writing style feels like drifting on clouds. I'm surprised that I love the book as a whole. I empathize a lot with the lost and listless characters because I, too, grew up struggling with being Filipino in a foreign land. Tapping into those familiar feelings eased my hostility towards the stalwarts of PH literary classics. I was prepared to dislike it because Bienvenido Santos is a staple in Philippine Lit (in English) classes, and I had no idea why I bought this in the first place. Though it's not something I would RAVE about in literary papers, I'm still happy that I spent my time well. Favorite stories: The Day the Dancers Came (titular piece), The Contender, The Vision of Sir, Quicker with Arrows Least liked: The Long Way Home, Footnote to a Laundry List

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle

    Apart from the The Day the Dancers Came, I have already read two or three more of the stories here, as they came out in The Scent of Apples, my first book by Bienvenido Santos. The rereading somehow, packs more of a punch now. I've come to associate Ben Santos's short stories with scenes of mid to upper middle class Filipinos in wartime America, adrift in melancholy loneliness, alienation, helplessness, uselessness. Apart from three or so that deviate from this theme, all stories follow my expec Apart from the The Day the Dancers Came, I have already read two or three more of the stories here, as they came out in The Scent of Apples, my first book by Bienvenido Santos. The rereading somehow, packs more of a punch now. I've come to associate Ben Santos's short stories with scenes of mid to upper middle class Filipinos in wartime America, adrift in melancholy loneliness, alienation, helplessness, uselessness. Apart from three or so that deviate from this theme, all stories follow my expectations, and I find these to be the stories that I empathize with the most.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary Joy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. want to read

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dezel Marie Ocampo

    Maybe it's time for me to read more literary classics! :)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    "No, I must not be sentimental."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Eli

    love this story. :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Soleil

  9. 5 out of 5

    Larah

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ronald Gabriel

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jesha May

  12. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Grace

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yxxha

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alvin Patindol

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jade Manabo

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shayne

  17. 5 out of 5

    Monica

  18. 5 out of 5

    KaiPea

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eunice Saligumba

  20. 4 out of 5

    Herlen Miranda

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shiela

  22. 5 out of 5

    Allen Severino

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Garcia

  24. 5 out of 5

    Saitama08

  25. 4 out of 5

    Janog

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Ong

  27. 4 out of 5

    Rachelle Kim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Chester

  29. 4 out of 5

    Fiel

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lee Guinmapang

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