When I was fixing my “abubot”, I found a short story which we have studied in high school. I can’t prevent myself from reading it again.
The Wedding Dance is a short story written by Amador T. Daguio (1912-1965). He was born in Laoag, Ilocos Norte. He lived in the Mountain Province until he was 12 years old. He went to Rizal High School(my alma mater) in Pasig City and at 16, he entered the University of the Philippines, where he graduated in 1932 with a Ph. B. degree. He obtained an M.A, degree from Stanford University on a Philippine Government scholarship in 1952.
The Wedding Dance is about a husband and a wife leaving in the Northern part of the Philippines. As the author described the setting of the story, I believe it is somewhere in Ifugao.
Awiyao and Lumnay are the main characters. I remember the movie, Don’t give up on us (which starred Judy Ann Santos and Piolo Pascual).There was a scene in that movie where they attended a wedding dance. I’m not sure, but it could be a tradition of the Ifugao to have a wedding dance.
In the story, Awiyao has to leave Lumnay and marry another woman, for inspite of being a great wife, Lumnay can’t give him a child. It is said that there is an unwritten law that a man may take another woman, if his wife can’t give him a child. In the mountains before, our fellow Filipinos belonging to ethnic groups rely more on their traditions and cultures.
Awiyao has to take another woman inspite of his love for Lumnay in longing for a child. A child, who will continue his bloodline to live in their tribe. Lumnay once said to herself, how does that woman knows if she can give Awiyao a child? How can anybody know? She’s right, not unless both of them will undergo medical examinations.
I don’t know but I was really moved by this story. I felt the pain that Lumnay had in her heart when Awiyao left. Though in the later part of the story, she decided to go to the dance and thought of talking to the chief of the village, to the elders to tell them that it was not right. She was able to make it to the place where the wedding dance is taking place. But then, she backed off. Maybe because of his great love for Awiyao, that she’d rather be in pain than see Awiyao being mocked at his back for not having a baby.
Lumnay showed not only a great love for Awiyao but a selfless love. What a love story
Want to read the story? Click here.