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An Analysis of Severino Reyes Walang Sugat

Kristine Joyce M. Guevarra


Miss Lisette Isonza

II. About the Author

Severino Reyes was a man regarded for the wide variety of literary works that he produced.
Reyes is one of the most renowned literary talents of Filipino descent and he is considered to be
one of the most talented writers and playwrights of Tagalog literature. Those that are familiar
with Filipino literature should know that Reyes has produced countless pieces of written work
that are still highly regarded within Filipino culture. It is also very important to note that
Severino Reyes was a writer who was capable of using his talent for words to create written
pieces that span a variety of different genres.

Severino Reyes

Reyes was the fifth child born in Santa Cruz, Manilla in 1861. He was a very well educated man
who attended several different institutions of higher learning. Eventually, Reyes would complete
his Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas.

While attending school, he worked in a number of different industries where he made films and
translated literary works into Spanish and Tagalog. At one point, Reyes was arrested and placed
into prison for being associated with the Katipunan, a revolutionary army that was geared at
overthrowing the Spaniards who had rule over the Philippines.

He was freed from prison after it was determined that there was little proof that he was in fact
involved with the revolutionary army. Upon his release Reyes would go on to establish himself
as one of best writers and playwrights of Tagalog literature.

Literary Talents of Severino Reyes

Severino Reyes is very well-known and respected for his literary talents. In fact, for many, he is
known as the Father of Filipino Plays.

While he is credited with writing several different types of literature, there are certain pieces of
writing that are most memorable. One of these pieces of literature includes the play "No
Wounds," which focused on the Philippine Revolution and the trials, tribulations and the bravery
of the Filipino revolutionary army.

An additional piece of literature written by Reyes that is fairly well known is the "Liwayway."
This was a weekly magazine that Reyes co-founded. Within this weekly magazine, he featured a
very popular series titled "Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang" (Tales of Grandmother Basyang).
This series was based on a neighbor of Reyes' and it featured fairy tale like stories that were told
by a character named Lola Basyang..

This series became so very popular that Severino Reyes was known by his alias Lola Basyang.
The impact of Reyes' literary works is still very evident in Filipino culture today. The term Lola
Basyang is commonly used to refer to a grandmother that likes to share moralistic stories and
tales with her grandchildren. Reyes' literary pieces also retained their popularity throughout the
years among Filipino people.

Cultural Significance of Severino Reyes

It is very important to note the cultural significance of Severino Reyes and the importance of his
literary works. Reyes is considered to be one of the most popular and well respected Filipino
literary talents of the early 20th century. He was not only a very talented and prolific writer but
he also created his own traveling performance company called Grand Compania de Zarzuela
Tagala. This particular company became very popular and traveled to many different towns and
provinces performing for large groups of people.

By founding the drama company and the very popular literary magazine Liwayway, Reyes'
contribution to the literary world is very well noted and his presence within the Filipino
community to this very day cannot be underestimated. Today he is considered to be a very
important part of Filipino culture.

III. Summary

Walang Sugat

A small town in the province of Bulacan, November, 1896. Tenyong arrives to find Julia busy,
embroidering a handkerchief. He ask to see it, but she refuses. Rebuffed, he sulks. Pretending to
be angry, she throws the embroidery clamps. He picks them up and asks for forgiveness. Then
seeing that the handkerchief bears his initials, he is elated, but she insists it is not for him but for
the Spanish priest. Angered by this revelation, he wants to burn it so Julia has to tell the truth.
Shortly, Lucas arrives to report that Tenyong’s father and other men were arrested by the Civil
Guards on suspicion of being rebels. The families and friends of the detained men prepare to visit
and bring food to the provincial jail. They take the train for the capital. The Spanish friars instruct
Marcelo, the town mayor, to continue the torture of the prisoners, showing no mercy at all, despite
the death of seven of them and the near death of Kapitan Inggo, Tenyong’s father.

The head friar tells Inggo’s wife that he has ordered the punishment of her husband stopped and
that he would recommend to the Governor the release of all prisoners. However, he tells the other
friars that they will go to Manila to advise the Governor General to have the rich and educated
Filipinos executed. Kapitan Inggo meets his family and friends just before he expires. Over his
dead body, heart- broken Tenyong swears vengeance. His mother faints in shock. Tenyong decides
to join the rebels and starts recruiting men. Julia tries to dissuade him, claiming that his widowed
mother needs him now. Despite her pleas, he is determined to heed the call of duty of his Mother-
land and asks Julia to look after his mother. In resignation, Julia prays for his success and safety
and gives him her religious medal. They vow to love each other forever. Julia’s mother tells Julia
that Miguel and his father will call on them to propose Julia’s marriage to Miguel. Julia protests
that she do not love him and does not reveal her commitment to Tenyong. Her mother ask her to
reconsider her decision, saying that times have changed and love is no longer the basis of marriage.
Meanwhile, Lucas and Monica are falling in love. Miguel, his father, and the parish priest arrive
to arrange the bethrothal of Miguel and Julia. Dull- headed Miguel fumbles in his attempt to win
the heart of Julia. The purpose of the visit is sidetracked by the recitation of the priest’s growing
problems caused by the people’s disenchantment with the church. While the rebels are in the midst
of preparations for an assault on the enemy, Lucas shows up to deliver Julia’s letter to Tenyong .
Captain Tenyong learns of his mother’s death and of Julia’s impending marriage to Miguel.
Depressed by the sad news and feeling helpless to heed her plea to save her, he turned for help to
his general who promises to their marriage at all costs. Lucas returns to tell Julia that Tenyong
could not answer her letter because fighting had started but sends word that he would be back soon.
Miguel visits Julia and tells her that their wedding will be in grand style and they will leave by
ship to Manila for their honeymoon. His words only disgust Julia who feigns a headache. Miguel’s
father asks that the wedding date be advanced, but Julia rejects it. He then bares his love for Julia’s
mother, claiming that since they both are bereft of their mates and their own children will be
leaving them soon, they might as well get married. Juans, however, takes his proposal lightly,
saying they’re too old for that. Julia, in desperation to avoid marrying Miguel, urges Lucas to take
her to the camp of Tenyong, but he fears that they would not be able to find him as the rebels are
always on the move. Lucas advices her to spurn Miguel during the wedding ceremony, but Julia
would not think of disobeying her mother, so she just leaves everything to God. The whole town
turns out in festive mood to witness the wedding rites that will unite the scions of two prominent
families. As the bridal entourage prepares to enter the church, the rebels, led by their general,
arrive. Tenyong, heavily bandaged, is lying on a carabao sled. Upon seeing him, Julia becomes
hysterical and, refusing to enter the church, she attends to him. Her mother, also worried, asks the
general to have a doctor examine him. The doctor, after examining him, declares him on the verge
of death, so the priest was summoned for the last rites. The priest then announces the last request
of the dying man that he be married to his childhood sweetheart. Juana is shocked to learn of her
daughter’s secret and scolds her for her deception. Miguel and his father give their consent to this
strange request for they know that Tenyong will expire very soon and the original wedding can
take place. Juana is also prevailed upon to give her blessings, so the new bridegroom, still swathed
in bandages, is brought to the side of Julia for the start of their wedding rites. As the priest is about
to begin the nuptials, Tenyong rises unexpectedly, removing his bandages. The crowd shouts in
disbelief: “Walang Sugat!”

IV. Analysis
The Walang Sugat by Severino Reyes telling the love story of Julia and Tenyong. The story was
all about sacrifices of Tenyong to Julia. When Tenyong left to join Katipuneros, Julia forced to
marry the rich man when she didn’t hear any news about Tenyong but her wedding is interrupted
by the fatally wounded Tenyong, who returns with a dying wish to Julia. The story tackled the
hardship and nationalism of the Filipino at the hand of the Spanish people.

V. References