Jose Y Dalisay. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Add tags for "Soledad's sister: a novel". Soledad's Sister book. Read 31 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. A casket arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Mani. Soledad's sister by Dalisay, Jose Y.; 1 edition; First published in

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The imperiled Filipina migrant body in Jose Dalisay's Soledad's Sister | 𝗥𝗲𝗾𝘂𝗲𝘀𝘁 𝗣𝗗𝗙 on ResearchGate | The imperiled Filipina migrant. Read and Download Online Unlimited eBooks, PDF Book, Audio Book or Epub for free Paez the woman in the box must be her sister Soledad who u. A casket . download a cheap copy of Soledad's Sister book by José Y. Dalisay Jr.. Free shipping over $

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View all 37 comments. Aurora was one of millions of Filipino workers scattered all over the world who left the Philippines in droves in order to bring home the dollar, or riyal or whatever currency can fill empty pockets. Lacking sufficient source of income at home, they were swayed into workin "The Woman in the Box", the title of the first chapter of the second novel by Filipino writer Jose Dalisay, recounts the story of Aurora Cabahug's journey as a corpse in a casket from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to her home country.

Lacking sufficient source of income at home, they were swayed into working day jobs abroad to earn enough for a few years and then come home to live the Filipino dream. There's a profession for every determined person.

These were the maids, cooks, drivers, dancers, plumbers, draftsmen, welders, able-bodied seamen, and other purveyors of sundry services and trades who had left their kitchens, pigsties, classrooms, fruit stands, videoke bars, shoe factories, and vulcanizing shops in search of better jobs—in roiling sea and burning sand, from Singapore to Stockholm, London to Lagos, Riyadh to Reykjavik, in backstreet bar and oil rig, in nursing home and cannery, in wave after leaping wave across all the seas and oceans that ringed their island.

In exchange for financial gain, they had to make the sacrifice of leaving their children, spouses, parents, siblings, and friends. They had to brave the discrimination and abuses that some intolerant foreigners heap on them. Sometimes Filipino women who were taken in as domestic helpers were maltreated by their employers. Along with hard-earned dollars, some were unlucky enough to also earn bruises, scratches, and marks of flat iron on their back. Some had to escape their place of work and run to the Philippine embassy to report the physical assault and torture they suffered under their cruel employers.

One also hears of news reports of a Filipina leaping from a high building in order to escape male employers who were about to rape them. The government, instead of creating attractive jobs at home, was complicit in this diaspora. Grateful for the cash that their Overseas Filipino Workers OFWs bring home, the government hailed them as bagong bayani modern-day heroes.

Their sacrifices and martyrdom were a big factor in bolstering the economy. Those who were hardworking and lucky managed to come home moneyed and triumphant.

But some of them—the likes of Aurora Cabahug who was dead from a mysterious drowning and Filemon Catabay who was beheaded for some reason—yearly arrived in Ninoy Aquino International Airport in boxes, sealed tight and properly tagged with names and other identifying information. Soledad's Sister is a darkly comic novel of Aurora's premature homecoming. The tragedy is not lightened by the frankness of the telling but the comedy is so potent it brings silent chuckles with its prose alive with brilliant asides, snides, and scathing ironies.

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And so it happened that a family of seven had come all the way in a jeepney from Lingayen to meet and to claim the two segments of Filemon Catabay, who had been executed three months earlier. They had learned of his death the way many others did—after it happened, from a routine news report on DZXL, between an involved discussion of a movie star's rumored abortion and a commercial for a new and more potent livestock dewormer. The man's mother was gutting fish when her grandson ran in with the news; the fish she was holding trembled in her hand and then leapt out altogether in a final spasm, as though it had come back to life.

It was a case of corpse switching. It was a mistake, like every mistake and quirk of fate that materialized in the rest of the novel's trajectory. The body in the box was that of Aurora's, not Filemon's. The cause was a switching of the documents in the hands of an inconsiderate and vengeful vice-consul.

Dalisay used an irreverent omniscient narrator so powerful that he the narrator had recourse to every detail from what's being reported in radios to what the fish did after its last moments on earth. The seamless enjambment of scenes delineates the fickle narrator's switching from one detail to another. The narrator did not lack for things to say about certain characters introduced in the novel.

In fact, new characters are still introduced even until late in the game. The narrator was without let up in describing things and people and their background and their circumstances in life. At the same time, he seems to be the harbinger of the fateful happenings in the story.

Just like what the real Aurora, Soledad's sister, observed: Who knows why people do what they do? Every day we do things we ourselves don't understand, although they seemed to make sense when we did them. Why is that? Can you tell me? Who knows why novelists do what they do? The narrator will not tell but he sure will describe every nook and cranny of whatever, whatnot, anything his mind alights on. The rest of the novel's plot ambled along according to this principle of random-like addition of story elements.

But instead of swiftly panning from one area of interest to another, the narrative started to linger longer on every character. This had the effect of killing the steam of the story. The pace rather flagged in the end such that the masterful, darkly comic start devolved into a solemn exercise in writing descriptive passages. It became a bit monotonous when its embrace of its initial conceptual framework began to loosen.

Nevertheless, Dalisay consistently cultivated at the heart of his tale a paradox as universal as it is inscrutable. Something to do with a person's pining for and expectation of something right, something better, something that will improve her station in life. When the overseas worker is far from home, there is no contingency for which she is ever prepared for. Her loved ones, for their part, are no less ready for any externality. Just like that.

Feb 04, Kristel rated it liked it Shelves: It is included among the five shortlisted novels for the first ever Man Asian Literary Prize. What happens after is a sort of morbid road trip, two people going through a long and lonely journey through the countryside. The exiled cop, SPO2 Walter Zamora, however, it is his time to go back to the city he once called his home, the bustling and often dangerous Manila.

His return brings back memories of infidelity and betrayal, a botched kidnapping rescue, and a young girl who disappeared from his life at a Oh, and the body is stolen on their way back. The story itself touches upon many narrative tropes and conventions, turning them over their heads in ways that are often surprising. Take Walter Zamora, the cop, one of the stock characters in every Filipino action movie.

Fernando Poe Jr. Throughout the story we catch glimpses of his young, more reckless self, probably with the trademark swagger of an action hero. But the man facing Rory is already a tired gunslinger, resigned to oblivion in Paez. Rory Cabahug, the karaoke singer is a character described with much warmth and compassion,—a certain zest for life. She prefers Karen Carpenter to Edith Piaf and is unapologetic about it, but at heart, she is a vulnerable girl who suddenly finds herself acutely alone in the world.

If there is an aspect to the story that comes short, it has to be the ending—it loses some of its steam and finally putters off to uncertainty.


In the beginning, there has been teasing suggestions of a crime novel, but there is no dramatic final revelation about the culprit or the repercussions of the crime. Ridiculous side trips and all, however, does not deter from the fact that the accolades have been deserved.

The story never runs out of twist and turns, examining pertinent and often sensitive issues like the Philippine Diaspora, crime and corruption without sinking into sermons or invectives.

Cynical yet still hopeful, audacious as it is fumbling, it is a sincere ode to our own glorious mess of a city, of a culture, of a country. Everything is left to the imagination, with only a quiet but steely optimism. Ironic for a novel that starts with a dead body in an airport. Read more. Dec 27, Krizia Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: I really liked "Soledad's Sister".

I just love the familiarity of the book. I find myself at times trying to connect to a book but I can't because it happened in New York, Egypt or Hogwarts, somewhere I've never been to. But this one is just too close to home. I also love how Butch Dalisay narrate personal histories.

Eve I really liked "Soledad's Sister". Even minor characters are given life by Dalisay by letting us take a peek at their lives, something that will make you connect to them more. The story itself is so personalized and well-thought of that you'd think its non-fiction, that it really happened.

I can just imagine myself watching TV at home while Walter and Rory are filling a complaint at the police station. However, I still felt at times that it would have been best if conversations were in Filipino because I find myself translating the dialogue. The story was open-ended, a lot of questions left unanswered like what happen to Soledad?

What will happen to Rory? How about Walter? I'm very much intrigued.

I do hope Dalisay would make a short story just to satisfy my curiosities especially about Soledad and her time in Hong Kong and Jeddah. Feb 01, Fantaghiro23 rated it liked it. Review adapted from my original review, published at Coffeespoons: This is the first Philippine novel to be shortlisted for the distinguished Man Asian Literary Prize in I remember reading about the Man Asian at that time and finding out about Dalisay's shortlisted novel.

And I recall thinking, "Well, that sounds about right. This much is evident when you read Soledad's Sister. The su Review adapted from my original review, published at Coffeespoons: The summary for Soledad's Sister is entrancing. A coffin arrives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, but the name on the coffin, Aurora Cabahug, is not the actual identity of the body.

Rather, Aurora is the sister of Soledad, the body in the coffin. Soledad used her sister's name to acquire a job in the Middle East as a nanny, leaving behind her son in order to earn more money to secure their future. There, however, she died, and though there are traces of foul play, her death is unsolved and her body is sent home. Rory, the sister, receives the news in her far off province where she works as a club singer. She sets off on the long journey to fetch her sister's body and is accompanied by Walter, a policeman who exiles himself to Rory's province after he was left by his wife and son.

When they finally get the body, however, it is stolen from them and, according to the back cover, "things get even more confused than ever.

I felt like I knew them all: Soledad, who has to leave her child and family to seek her fortune in foreign lands; Rory, who dreams of making it big through her innate singing talent; Walter, the down-and-out and all-too-fallible cop who still tries to act according to his principles. Even the airport personnel, the local politician, and the body thief are painted excellently.

We know their background and motivations, and these people seem very real. The narrative shifts point-of-view from one character to another, so we enter even Soledad's thoughts during her first trip abroad to Hong Kong. This also allows us not only to know the characters themselves, but to know how the characters perceive each other.

In my opinion, it all aids to the roundedness of Dalisay's creations. Everything seems to be revealed.

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Except, of course, the ultimate knowledge--why did Soledad die? And this is where I felt that the book could've been much more, could've said much more. It felt like the story was just beginning. I've read other reviews saying that the way it ends reflects our lack of identity. But if I had a peso for every writer, professor, or personality who talked about lack of national identity Does the unending discussion about lack of national identity actually help find national identity?

Or does it just perpetuate this perception and leave no resolution?

Personally, I don't mind books without a resolution. If it makes sense not to have one e. But given that everything else was revealed, that there was no constraint about point of view, that we were given access to Soledad's thoughts and experiences, the holding back of this last piece of information--why and how she died--did not seem organic to the entire story. Who knows, though? Mayhap Butch Dalisay will write a sequel or an epilogue to the story.

Because, if we're going to talk about Filipino identity, I think we deserve to be known and to know ourselves. I think our story needs to be told. And I, for one, would like Soledad's story told until the tragic end. Setting aside my preferred story changes, though, I still think Soledad's Sister is a book that people should read, particularly those who are into literary fiction. The writing itself is both beautiful and accessible.

And for Filipinos, it presents familiar characters and situations that may evoke unity and compassion for fellow countrymen. For non-Filipinos, it speaks of the third-world, postcolonial experience in our part of the world. Moreover, however you want the story to end, I think it's the kind of book that will leave you thinking about it way after you're done.

Nov 22, Kareen Jean rated it really liked it.

Soledads Sister Pdf

The story tells us that Soledad came back to Philippines pregnant after she had an affair with the son of the couple she worked for. However, the thief is taken along and drowns with the corpse. In the end, Soledad died in the water having no identity.

The story is set in Metro Manila and one of the Southern provinces in Luzon named Paez which will take 6 hours of travel to the capital. Soledad who has an introvert personality has always tried to be a good sister to Rory. After the fire which caused the death of her parents and her younger brother, she has always blamed herself about the accident and has promised to take good care of Rory. On the other hand, Rory grows up to have an opposite personality of Soledad.

She likes singing and has many friends and suitors. Soledad is the witness of how good Rory has become. These sisters may have different personalities but has given us insights how sweet and caring Filipinos are. Soledad decided to work abroad in order to send Rory in college and download a house in Bagumbayani Village. To help her sister, Rory took good care of Nathan, son of Soledad. However, she has not told Soledad yet that she stopped schooling and is already working as a singer in The Flame Tree.

The Bagumbayani Village first opened as Candiville named after the wife of the mayor of Paez, Candida. This practice is still very present nowadays. Moreover, Filipinos have shown very much importance in helping those in need and not giving up easily despite the difficulties. Walter who is a policeman has done his job well. We would know that Walter was left by her wife and son because of another woman. He may have a bad past, but he has shown us that people change.

SP02 Walter Zamora was unlike that. As we can see, most of the Filipinos think this way. We usually consider those people who speak English well as educated. English has become our basis in classifying how educated a person is. However, I cannot also blame Soledad for that. She grew up to be alone and had no friends or suitors. After what the boy did to her, I think Soledad decided to just obey what the owners tell her and has expected that she will lose the job soon.

As we read the story, there are instances that make us wonder why the characters have decided to do this and that. If you consider the period she lives, a lot of Filipinos want to go abroad because most of them think that they would get much money compared here in the Philippines. I want to keep the house, I want Nathan to grow up and become an engineer.

Rory obeys her sister that she willingly stands as a mother of Nathan. She must have lied to her sister about her schooling but I think she is happy for what she decided. Since we value family so much, we always want the best for our family.

However, in the end, both Rory and Walter have lost someone they loved.

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Walter lost his wife and son who are now in England. Also, he is still not sure where to find his mother and sister for they have transferred a new house. Soledad is just like a bubble who vanishes in a thin air, that no Filipinos except from her relatives or families, have not known her death.

Literature is one way of defining our country and its people. The novel has become a means to share to the world about the Philippines, the Filipinos and its culture. This novel has become one of the important contributions in the Philippine Literature for it has successfully expressed to the world about the Filipinos and has left us a question to critically think and answer.

It tells us that Soledad is just one of the OFWs who were unfortunate in going abroad. In the end, Soledad died being unknown in Jeddah and also unknown in the Philippines. By reading the novel, I understand that I am Filipino because this is our culture and our tradition that we practice. I can relate to the stories because I have learned, heard and experienced those.

I may not have met other Filipinos abroad, but we become one because we share the same culture, and practice the same tradition. Philippine Literature let the Filipinos realize that we should be proud of who we are because our country, the Philippines, has ancestors who had fight thousands of wars in order not to be slaves of their own land, OFWs who have worked very hard just to support their loved ones, heroes who willingly sacrificed their lives to free us from the enemies and the younger generation who will shape the future.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. He steals the FX used to transport Soli's body and unknowingly steals Soli's corpse along with it. Tennyson Yip — Tenny. He is Rory's customer and helps her find means to claim her sister's body. She disappears with Soli, but her body is never found.

Soledad's sister : a novel

A pianist from Cafe Sonata who gives Rory informal music lessons Mrs. Cabahug — Rory and Soli's mother. She favors Rory over her elder sister and dies in a fire along with her husband and her son Ditoy Mr. She becomes Walter's lover and the cause of his separation from his wife Bessie — Walter's wife Paolo — Walter's son Social Significance[ edit ] The novel is situated precisely in a time which Filipinos and those who have experienced emigration, whether personal or through the exodus of their family members, can relate to.Dios Ina God the Mother and Philippine nationalism.

Archived copy as title link. He was a smart cop who was interested in the world events and could not care less about police departmental politics. Dalisay , — In the excerpt above, we find that, while Soledad is not the one who initiates the encounter, she does nothing to reject Hedison either.

Dec 07, Mangkanor added it. A Paez police officer who helps Rory claim her sister's body Jose Maria Pulumbarit — Jomar, more notoriously known as Boy Alambre for his carnapping skills. Instead of the potential of a fast paced crime-busting novel one would expect from its summary alone, we are given the total opposite of that.

She likes singing and has many friends and suitors.

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