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Now and at the Hour

By: Aida L. Rivera Ford


Born January 1926 in Jolo, Sulu

Education: Cum Laude, BA English., Silliman University, 1949 M.A. In Creative Writing, University of Michigan, 1954 Fulbright Travel Grantee in 1953-54

Fulbright grantees are selected through an open and merit-based competition. This ensures that the most qualified applicants are fairly chosen in a way that contributes to the main goals of the program: to provide overseas experience to individuals not previously afforded such an opportunity and to promote mutual understanding and benefit through contributions to both host and home communities. Selection is made on the basis of academic and professional record, language preparation, feasibility of the project or course of study, personal qualifications. She received the Jules and Avery Hopwood Award in Fiction for a volume of short stories.

Founder of the Ford Academy of Arts in Mindanao First fine arts school in Mindanao

Awarded the Datu Bago Award in 1982 The highest honor that the City of Davao bestows on its outstanding residents who have brought honor and distinction to their home city.

Received from the Philippine government a Parangal for Writers award; 1984 For post-war years writers

Named an Outstanding Sillimanian by her alma mater; Awarded as National Fellow for Fiction in UP;1993 Formerly an instructor in Mindanao Colleges; University of Maryland, Armed Forces School, Pusan, South Korea In presently, the chairperson in Humanities Division of Ateneo de Davao (1969-Present)

Now and at the Hour and Other Stories

Published by the Benipayo Press Acknowledgments are due the Diliman Review and the Manila Chronicle`s This Week Magazine, and Sands and Coral where these stories have has earlier publications. Published October 1957

Love in the Cornhusks The Madonna Face Young Liberator The Chieftest Mourner Now and at the Hour

Aida Rivera chose wartime as the dark-fired crucible for three of the five stories in Now and at the Hour and Other Stories

A Note from the Publisher

Nolan Miller A member of the board of judges for the Hopwood Competition 1954

`` Here is a mature writing, a controlled style, a subtle underwriting which is in most instances highly successful. Discounting the exotic background, which is so attractive, this writer has excellent control of her material and knows how to put the story together. I think the best two pieces are Love in the Corn Husks and Now and at the Hour. . . . . . The writer is in excellent control of the material; she knows just how she can best achieve tension. Each story has its own charge, even the one I did not think as good as others. Fundamentally, we are most interested in the people here, in what we learn about them as we read; only after reading are we aware of the writer`s skill, her subtlety. The `craft-sense` of this writer is very high``. . . Alberto D. Benipayo Publisher

It is difficult to write about these stories without having to describe how artistic they are. That in itself is a trap. To succeed in it is to deprive the reader of the pleasures of discovery. To fail, of course, is to win largely his annoyance. . . Miss Rivera succeeds because, to my mind, her stories demanded it for her. She is our most cogent chronicler of our peculiar variety of the middle class, and this class happens to have a story that must be honestly told. . . N. V. M. Gonzales
Aida L. Rivera, Now and at the Hour and Other Stories (Manila: Benipayo, 1957) p. iv vii

Comments: Critics were one in hailing the story with uncommon praise. Citing its masterful subtlety but also its earnest vision.

"the five little tales . . . among the best in contemporary Philippine writing." "Miss Rivera is not a 'serious writer' as that term is used at present, but there is a seriousness behind the light handling of her stories. " Miguel Bernad

L.M Grow, Philippine Studies vol. 39, no.1 (Manila: Ateneo De Manila University, 1991): 40-54 Miguel Bernad, S.J., Bamboo and the Greenwood Tree: Essays on Filipino Literature in English (Manila: Bookmark, 1961), p. 87.


Synopsis of the Story It was about three years when the Philippines was invaded by Japan.

In the province Negros Occidental, city of Bacolod, the story of 'Now and at the Hour' happened. Like other Filipinos during the occupation of the Japanese, the people of Bacolod were afraid to speak anything against the Japanese Military Police that was also known as Kempetei. The story began when some of the people of Bacolod were forced to by the Kempetei to leave their houses. Some of the families who were forced to find their new shelter were the Golezes, Baylons, Roldans and the Asuncions. Because of this, Padre Ignacio as the cura of Bacolod, decided to offer some facilities of the church for those families. They lived simple while staying in the church. They showed how middle class Filipinos live in a normal day. The Roldans and the Baylons have a good friendship especially Mrs. Roldans(Isiang) and Mrs. Baylon (Catalina). Isiang and Catalina were always talking about the Asuncions particularly Mrs. Asuncion who was not very close to them and Catalina was already suspecting the Asuncions that they were traitors because of their closeness to the Japanese. One day, Padre Ignacio got a news which tells that the Americans will bomb the Philippines for the Japanese to leave that is why they were trying to mix with the Filipino residents by living in the houses of the people. They decided to build an air-raid shelter at the backyard of the convento and they start digging a hole until it turn into a huge lake. Two Japanese came and asked for Padre Ignacio. Suspicions among the families in the convento started and what they had in common is that the Asuncions are the traitors. Days go by, there was nothing heard about Padre Ignacio and it was followed by the disappearance of Mr. Asuncion. During those days, Mr. Baylon decided to shove the soil back and started doing unusual things. The news came that Padre Ignacio had come home, and Catalina prepared her pig to be a lechon for a surprice for Padre Ignacio's arrival. Suddenly, Mrs. Asuncion interuppted and asked Padre Ignacio about her husband. Padre Ignacio told her that he was also wondering why Mr. Asuncion was that there the fact that he was the reason why Padre Ignacio was able to release by the Japanese. Mr. and Mrs. Baylon were shocked from what they heard while Mrs. Asuncion was begging for her husband and Padre Ignacio calmed her and prayed "Hail Mary, full of grace. . . Holy Mary, Mother of God... Mr. Asuncion was never seen in Bacolod again and as years went by, people including his wife supplied many versions to explain his disappearance. His wife was positive that the Japanes killed her husband while some believed that he was killed by the guerillas because of his closeness to the Japanese. The Baylons were never saw in Bacolod while the Roldans complained that they always having quarrels and the Golezes had live through the war but they had died soon after, one shortly after the other. Padre Ignacio remembered how the families lived in the convento and his experience while in the hands of the Japanese until one day while the sacristans were playing near the hole, a bluish ball of light appeared and Padre Ignacio

believed that it was a poor soul struggling to have its grave sanctified.


Now and at the Hour

By: Aida L. Rivera Ford

Beroa, Christelle marie corpus, John paul ronquillo, richard sabillo, kristoffer

Mr. Guillermo Ochoa Professor