Here is the summary (buod) of the Filipino short story Di Ko Masilip Ang Langit (rough translation: I Cannot See Heaven or I Cannot See the Sky), by Benjamin P. Pascual…
You can read Di Ko Masilip Ang Langit online at:
This Filipino short story is told from the point of view of a construction worker who is in jail for arson. He tried to burn down the hospital that he helped build, because his baby died when his wife, Luding, gave birth in the hospital lobby.
They are poor, and he thinks that the nurses just told his wife (who was in labor) to just wait. He thinks that the nurses ignored his wife after they found out that Luding was not the wife of the rich Mr. Cajucom (who works at the BIR), but was just hitching a ride to the hospital.
Since no one was attending to Luding, she gives birth, and the baby hits her head on the cement floor and dies.
The construction worker signs a promissory note so that he can bring his wife home from the hospital. No one visits them during the wake of their deceased baby.
He buries his baby. He sees his wife staring off into space.
He goes to a bar and drinks. He goes to the hospital and pays off his debt. He tears the promissory note.
On his way out of the hospital, he decides to look at his surroundings one more time. He looks at the doctors and nurses and they appear as civet cats (alamid) who killed his baby.
He snaps. He goes to the second floor, enters a waiting room, vandalizes it, and burns it.
Someone sees him leaving the room, sees the smoke, sees the flames under the closed door, and correctly guesses what had happened.
He runs and gets caught and beaten by other hospital personnel and the security guard. He goes to jail.
The story ends with the construction worker telling his cellmate to go to sleep since it’s probably 10:00 in the evening. He talks about how you cannot see the sky, and how he no longer believes in heaven because God has forgotten him for a long time.
Heto na ang buod…
Isang kantero, naghalo ng semento at tumulong magpatayo ng isang ospital. Nung manganganak na ang asawa niyang si Luding, hindi sila inasikaso ng mga nars at duktor sapagkat mahirap lamang sila ni Luding. Namatay ang bata nung nabagok ang ulo nito sa sementong sahig ng lobi ng ospital. Pinagtangkaang sunugin ng kantero ang ospital. Siya ay nahuli at nabilanggo. Pakiramdam niya’y matagal na siyang kinalimutan ng Diyos.
Now that’s one short buod, which will make certain people happy (you know who you are). 🙂
I’ll probably write a more substantial summary (in Tagalog / Filipino) in the future.
Some Tagalog or Filipino Terms
If you find yourself stumped and unable to find some of the Filipino phrases in your dictionary, try the following quick list:
ob-lo = loob (ng selda) / inside the prison cell
haybol = bahay / house or home
les-pu = pulis / police
waswas = asawa / wife or spouse
[Will add more in the future…]
Analysis of Di Ko Masilip Ang Langit
Benjamin P. Pascual uses Filipino words that were probably popular during the 70s, which means Filipino students today will most likely have a hard time understanding some of those terms.
Even if they look through their not-that-thick dictionaries, they won’t find those words with reversed syllables.
For example, ob-lo means “loob” or “inside”, which is slang for “prison.”
As a result, the use of colloquial language makes the reader feel that the construction worker is genuinely speaking. The slang and language used makes you feel what the construction worker is feeling, especially if you’ve heard some of those terms before.
I highly suggest you read the story out loud (and with emotion), so that you will feel what I mean. In fact, don’t be surprised if your voice cracks when you reach the last line of the story.
In the future, I will post here some audio clips of some of the passages read out loud. Eh pag hindi mo pa naramdaman, ewan ko na lang.
CAUTION: Some of the language may be quite vulgar, such as when the construction worker describes the anatomy of his wife, Luding.
Yes, it is a depressing Filipino short story. And you’ll be amazed by the power of the spoken word. So please read the story out loud.
Question: Anong uri ng kuwento ang Di Mo Masilip Ang Langit?
Kuwento ng Trahedya
Ano ang mga iba’t ibang uri ng kuwento?
Kwento ng pangkapaligiran
Kwento ng katutubong kulay
Kwento ng banghay
Kwento ng tauhan
Kwento ng pag-ibig
Kwento ng siklohikal
Kwento ng trahedya
Kwento ng komedya