NCR (National Capital Region)
The National Capital Region is the main financial, commercial and educational centre of the Philippines and is the region where nearly all who travel here has to pass through.
The National Capital Region not only contains the Philippines capital city Manila, but also thirteen other cities and three municipalities so it is no wonder that it is the most populous region in the Philippines. It is also the smallest region, for those of you who are interested.
Unlike the other 16 Philippine Regions, the National Capital Region does not have any Provinces.The National Capital Region is actually divided into four districts. These districts are geographically placed around the Pasig River, which flows from Laguna de Bay and drains into the Manila Bay. It is a bit of a nasty river with a lot of industrial pollution and is actually deemed to be a dead river. There are plans in place to clean it up, but I guess time will tell...still waiting.
Okay lets get back to the districts.The four districts, 1, 2, 3 & 4 have no powers or local government representation and are only used to obtain statistical information, enough said about the four districts, let’s move on to the cities.
There are fourteen cities, which make up the National Capital Region or Metro Manila.
Caloocan The landmark of the father of the Philippine Revolution, Andres Bonifacio is here.
The City of Caloocan (official name: Makasaysayang Lungsod ng Kalookan, The Historic City of Caloocan) is one of the cities and municipalities that comprises the Metro Manila region (National Capital Region) in the Philippines. It is a major residential area inside Metro Manila. Located just north of the capital City of Manila, Caloocan is the country's third most populous city with a population of 1,378,856 as of the 2007 census.
Las Piñas The City of Las Piñas (Filipino: Lungsod ng Las Piñas) (population: 532,330, 2007 Census) is a city in the National Capital Region of the Philippines. It is bounded on the north and northeast by the Parañaque City; on the east and southeast by Muntinlupa City; on the south by the Municipality of Imus, Cavite; on the southwest and west by the Municipality of Bacoor, Cavite; and on the northwest by the scenic Manila Bay. Half of its land area is residential and the remaining half is used for commercial, industrial and institutional purposes. The present physiography of Las Piñas City consists of three zones: Manila Bay, coastal margin and Guadalupe Plateau.
Makati The City of Makati (pronounced /məˈkɑːtɪ/mə-kah-tee; Filipino: Makati), in the Philippines, is one of the 17 cities that make up Metro Manila, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Makati is the financial center of the Philippines and one of the major financial, commercial and economic hubs in Asia. As the host of various embassies, it is also an important center for international affairs. With a population of 510,383, Makati is the 16th largest city in the country and ranked as the 44th most densely populated city in the world with 18,654 inhabitants per km2. Makati was founded by Spaniard Miguel López de Legazpi, who dismissed Makati as a worthless swamp. According to folklore, Legazpi asked for the name of the place but, because of the language barrier, was misinterpreted by the natives. Pointing to the receding tide of Pasig River, the natives answered, “Makati, kumakati na,” literally meaning ebbing tide.
Malabon The City of Malabon is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in thePhilippines. Located just north of Manila, the city has a population of 363,681 as of 2007. It is primarily a residential and industrial town and is one of the most densely populated cities in the metropolis. It has a total land area of 19.714 square kilometers. Malabon is part of the sub-region of Metro Manila informally called CAMANAVA. CAMANAVA consists of Caloocan City, Malabon City, Navotas City, and Valenzuela City. Caloocan lies to the south and east, Navotas to the west, and Valenzuela to the north. Malabon also borders the town of Obando in the province of Bulacan to the northwest.
Mandaluyong The City of Mandaluyong (Filipino: Lungsod ng Mandaluyong) is one of the cities and municipalities that comprise Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the west by the country's capital, Manila, to the north by San Juan City, to the east by Quezon City and Pasig City, and by Makati City to the south. At present, its nicknames are "Tiger City of the Philippines", "Metro Manila's Heart", and the "Shopping Mall Capital of the Philippines".
Manila Manila (Tagalog: Maynila; pronounced [majˈnilaʔ] in Tagalog and /məˈnɪlə/ (mə-nil-ə) inEnglish) is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila. Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas andCaloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east,Makati on the southeast, and Pasay to the south. Manila has a total population of more than 1,660,714 according to the 2007 census. Manila is the second most populous city in the Philippines, behind its neighbor, Quezon City. The populace inhabit an area of only 38.55 square kilometers, making Manila the most densely populated city in the world.Metro Manila is the most populous metropolitan area in thePhilippines and the 11th in the world with an estimated population of 16,300,000. The greater urban area is the fifth-most populous in the world and has an estimated metropolitan population of 20,654,307 people.
Marikina Marikina, officially the City of Marikina, known as the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, was former capital of the province of Manila during the declaration of Philippine Independence and one of the sixteen cities within the Manila Metropolitan Area. Marikina is part of Eastern Manila District of Metro Manila's four districts. It is located on the eastern border of Metro Manila of the island of Luzon. Several cities and municipalities lies on its border: San Mateo, Rizalto the north and northeast, Antipolo City to the east, Cainta, Rizal to the southeast, Pasig City to the south and Quezon City to the entire west.
Muntinlupa The City of Muntinlupa (Filipino: Lungsod ng Muntinlupa) is the southernmost city in Philippine National Capital Region. It is bordered on the north by Taguig City; to the northwest by Parañaque City; by Las Piñas City to the west; to the southwest by the city of Bacoor, Cavite; by the city of San Pedro, Laguna; and by Laguna de Bay to the east, the largest lake in the country. It is classified as a Highly Urbanized City with a population of more than 400,000 and is given the nickname "Emerald City of the Philippines" by the tourism establishment. Muntinlupa was once notoriously known as the location of the national insularpenitentiary, the New Bilibid Prison, where the country's most dangerous criminals were incarcerated. Consequently, Muntinlupa or "Munti" became synonymous with the national penitentiary although it has largely shaken-off this negative image to become one of the most progressive cities in the country. Muntinlupa is also home to some of the best commercial establishments in the metropolis and is the location of Ayala Alabang Village, one of the country's biggest and most expensive residential communities, where many of the wealthy and famous live.
Navotas The City of Navotas (Filipino: Lungsod ng Navotas) is a 1st class city in Metro Manila,Philippines. The city occupies a narrow strip of land along the eastern shores of Manila Bay. Navotas is directly north of Manila, west of Malabon City, and south of Obando, Bulacan. Dubbed as the "Fish Trading Capital of the Philippines", Navotas is considered to be a very important fishing community with 70% of its population deriving their livelihood directly or indirectly from fishing and its related industries like fish trading, fish net mending, and fish producing having marginal percentage of inter-Island fish producers. Navotas occupies a portion of the Metropolitan Manila bound in the west with shoreline of Manila Bay, which is a strategic coastal front and suitable for all kinds of vessels.
Parañaque The City of Parañaque (Filipino: Lungsod ng Parañaque), or simply Parañaque (pop. 552,660; 2007 Census), is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in thePhilippines. It is bordered on the north by Pasay, by Taguig to the northeast, Muntinlupa to the southeast, by Las Piñas to the southwest, and by Manila Bay to the west.
Pasay The City of Pasay (Filipino: Lungsod ng Pasay) is one of the cities and municipalities that make up Metro Manila in the Philippines. It is bordered on the north by the country's capital,Manila, to the northeast by Makati City, to the east by Taguig City, and Parañaque City to the south. Pasay City was one of the original four cities of Metro Manila. Due to its proximity to Manila, it quickly became an urban town during the American Period.
Pasig The City of Pasig (Filipino: Lungsod ng Pasig) is one of the city municipalities of Metro Manilain the Philippines and was the former capital of the province of Rizal prior to the formation of this grouping of cities designated as the National Capital Region. Located along the eastern border ofMetro Manila, Pasig is bordered on the west by Quezon City and Mandaluyong City; to the north by Marikina City; to the south by Makati City, Pateros, and Taguig City; and to the east byAntipolo City, the municipality of Cainta and Taytay in the province of Rizal. Pasig is primarily residential and industrial but has been becoming increasingly commercial in recent years. The old provincial capitol lies off of Shaw Boulevard, outside the city. Within is The Immaculate Conception Cathedral, one of the oldest churches in Metro Manila, and Pasig is one of the three municipalities appointed by the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the Philippines (as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pasig).
Quezon City Quezon City (Filipino: Lungsod Quezon) is the former capital (1948–1976) and the most populous city in the Philippines. Located on the island of Luzon, Quezon City (popularly known to Filipinos as QC) is one of the cities that make up Metro Manila, the National Capital Region. The city was named after Manuel L. Quezon, President of the Philippines, who founded the city and developed it to replace Manila as the country's capital. Quezon City is not located in and should not be confused with Quezon province, which was also named after the president. Having been the former capital, many government offices are located in the city, including theBatasang Pambansa Complex, the seat of the House of Representatives, which is the lower chamber in the Philippine Congress. The main campuses of two noteworthy universities, theAteneo de Manila University and the country's national university, the University of the Philippines Diliman, are located in the city.
San Juan, Metro Manila The City of San Juan (Filipino: Lungsod ng San Juan) or simply San Juan is a city in Metro Manila in the Philippines. Before the creation of Metro Manila, it was part of Rizal Province. Currently the smallest city in the region and the country in terms of area, San Juan is one of the smallest among the cities and municipalities in the metropolis, second only to Pateros. This was the site of the first battle of the Katipunan, the Filipino revolutionary organization, against theSpanish colonizers.
Taguig The City of Taguig (formerly spelled as Tagig; Filipino: Lungsod ng Taguig) is a highly urbanized city located in south-eastern portion of Metro Manila in the Philippines. From a thriving fishing community along the shores of Laguna de Bay, it is now an important residential, commercial and industrial center. The recent construction of the C-5 highway and the acquisition of the Fort Bonifacio development area has paved the way for the cityhood of the municipality. It will also be accessed by the future C-6 Road.
Valenzuela City of Valenzuela (Filipino: Lungsodng Valenzuela) (ISO: PH-00; PSGC: 137504000) or simply Valenzuela City is the 101st largest city of the Philippines and one of the sixteen cities that comprise the region of Metro Manila, located about 14 km (7.9 miles) north of Manila. Valenzuela is categorized by virtue of Republic Act Nos. 7160 and 8526 as a highly urbanized, first-class city based on income classification and number of population.Achartered city located on the island of Luzon, it is bordered byMeycauayan (Bulacan) in the north, Quezon City and northern Caloocan to the east; byObando (Bulacan) to the west; by Malabon, southern Caloocan and Tullahan River to the south. With a land mass of 44.59 km2 and a population of almost 600,000 in August 2007, Valenzuela is the 10th most populous city in the Philippines. Valenzuela's population is composed of 72%Tagalog people followed by 5% Bicolanos. Small percentage of foreign nationals reside in the city.
Pateros, Metro Manila The Municipality of Pateros (Filipino: Bayan ng Pateros) is a First-class municipality in Metro Manila, Philippines. This small town is famous for its duck-raising industry and especially for producing balut, a Filipino delicacy that is boiled duck egg. Pateros is bordered by Pasig City to the north, Makati City to the west, and Taguig City to the south. Pateros is the only municipality and the smallest, both in population and in land area, in Metro Manila, but it is the second most densely populated at around 27 thousand people per square kilometer after Manila.
The Mats by Francisco Arellana Valediction sa Hillcrest by Rolando S. Tinio Bartolina by Amado V. Hernandez LihamniPinayMulasa Brunei by Ruth Elynia S. Mabanglo Pagsalang by Joe Barrios
BangkangPapel ni GenovevaEdroza-Matute Nagkatuwaanangmga bata sapagtatampisawsa baha. Itoangpinakahihintaynilangarawmulanangmagkasunud-sunodangpag-ulan. Alam nilangkapagiyo’ynagpatuloysaloobngtatlongarawanglansangangpatungosalaruan ay lulubog. At ngayon, ay ikalimangarawnangwalangtigilangpag-ulan. Ilangmaliliitna bata angmagpapalutangngmgabangkal papel, nariyangtinatangayngtubig, naroongsinasalpok at inilulubog, nariyangwinawasak. Satuwiakongmakakikitangbangkang papel ay nagbabaliksaakinggunitaangisangbatanglalaki. Isangbatanglalakinggumawangtatlongmalalakingbangkang papel na hindi niyanapalutangsatubigkailanman... Isang batang lalaking nagising sa isang gabi, sa mag dagundong na nakagugulat.
Saloobngilangsaglit, ang akala niya’yBagongTaonnoon. Gayon ding malalakasnaugongangnatatandaanniyangsumasalubongsaBagongTaon. Ngunitpagkalipasng ilan pangsaglit, nagunitaniyangnoon ay walanangingaynapumapatakmulasakanilangbubungan. Sakarimla’tpinalakiniyaangdalawang mata, walasiyangmakitanganomanmalibansaisangmakitidnasilahis. Hindi niya malaman kung alin angdagundongngbiglangpumunosabahayangbiglangpagliliwanag. Gulilatsiyangnagbalikwas at hinanapnangpaninginangkanyangina. Nagsunud-sunodangtilamalalakingbatonggumugulongsakanilangbubungan. Angpaggulongngmgaiyo’ysinasaliwanngpagliliwanagatpagdidilimngbahay, ngpagliliwanag na muli. Samantala’ypatuloyangpagbuhosngulansakanilangbubungan, sakanilangpaligid, salahatngdako.
Mulingnahigaangnagbalikwas at angtinigniya ay pinatalagossakarimlan. “Inay, umuulan, ano?” “Oo, anak, kangina,” anangtinigmula sa dulonghihigan. “Inay,” angulitniyasakarimlan, “dumatingnabaangTatay?” Sumagotangtinigngunit hindi niyamaunawaan. Kaya’titinaasniyanangbahagayanglikod at humiligsakaliwangbisig. Sakanyangtabi;ynaroonangkapatidna si Miling. Sa tabi nito’ynabanaaganniyaangkatawanngina, at sakabilanamannito’ynakitaniyaangbanignawalangtao.
Ibinabaniyaanglikod at iniunatangkaliwangbisig. Naramdamanniyaangsigisnglamigngkanyangbuto. Mulasanababalotnakatawannimilng ay hinilaniyaangkumot at ito’yitinakipsasarilingkatawan. Bahagyanggumalawangkapatid, pagkatapos ay nagpatuloysa hindi pagkilos. Naaawa siya kay Milingkaya’tangkalahatingkumot ay ibinalotsakatawanniyon at siya’ynamaluktotsanalabingkalahati. Naramdamanniyaangpanunuotnglamigsakanyanglikod. Inilabasniyaangkanagkamaysakumot at kinapaangbanighanggangsamaabotniyaangsahig. Anonglamigsasahig, angnaisipniya, at angkanangkamay ay dali-dalingipinasokmulisakumot.
“Inay,” ang tawag niyang muli, “bakit wala pa si Tatay? Anong oras na ba?” “Ewan ko,” angsagotngkanyangina. “Matulog ka na, anak, atbukasaymagpapalutang ka ngmgabangkangginawamo.” Natuwa ang bata sa kanyang narinig. MagkakarerahankamingbangkaniMiling, angaki’ymalalaki’tmatitibay...hindi masisirangtubig. Dali-dalisiyangnagbangon at pakapa-kapangsumiksiksapagitanngkapatid at ngkanyangkausap. Idinaanniyaangkanyangkamaysapagitanngbaywang at bisigngina. Naramdamanniyaangbahagyangpag-aangayngkaliwangbisigniyon. Angkanangkamaynoo’yipinatongsakanyangulo at pabulongnanagsalita:
“Siya, matulog ka na.” Ngunitangbata’y hindi natulog. Mulasamalayo’ynaririnigniyaanghagibisngmalakasnahangin. At angulangtangay-tangaynoon. “Marahil ay hindi nauuwiangTatayngayonggabi,” angkanyangnasabi. Naalalaniyangmaymgagabing hindi umuuwiangkanyangama. “SaannatutulogangTatay kung hindi siya umuuwirito?” angtanongniyasakanyangina. Ngunitito’y hindi sumagot. Sinipatniyaangmukhaupangalamin kung nakapikitnaangkanyangina. Ngunitsakarimlan ay hindi niyamakita. Bago siya tuluyangnakalimot, angkahuli-hulihanglarawansakanyangbalintataw ay ito. Tatlongmalalakingbangkangyarisa papel nainaanodng baha sakanilangtapat...
At samantalangpumapailanlangsakaitaasanangkahuli-hulihangpangrapngbatangyaon, angpanahon ay patuloysapagmamasungit. Angmuntingbahaynapawid ay patuloysapagliliwanag at pagdidilim, sapananahimik at pag-uumugong, sapagbabatangwalangawinghampasng hangin at ulan... Angkinabukasanngpagtatampisaw at pagpapaanodngmgabangkangpapel ay dumating... Ngunitkakaibangkinabukasan. Pagdilatnginaantokpangbatanglalaki ay nakitaniyangnag-iisa siya sahihigan. Naroonangkumot at unanniMiling at ngkanyangina. Pupungassiyangbumangon.
Isangkamayangdumantaysakanyangbalikat at nangmagtaasngpaningin ay nakitangyao’ysiAling Berta, angkanilangkapitbahay. Hindi niyamaunawaanangtinginnoongtilanaaawa. Biglang-biglang naparam ang nalalabi pang antok. Gising na gising ang kanyang ulirat. NaroonangasawaniAling Berta, gayon din sinaMangPedring, si AlngAding, si Feli, at si Turing, si Pepe. Nakitaniyangangkanilangbahay ay halosmapunongtao. Nahihintakutangmgabatanghumanap kay kay Miling at saina. Saisangsulok, doonnakitangbatanglalakiangkanyanginananakalikmosasahig. Sakanyangkandungan ay nakasubsob si Miling. At angbuhoknito ay walangtigilnahinahaplus-haplosngkanyangina. Angmukhangkanyangina ay nakitangbatanghigitnapumuti kaysa rati. Ngunitangmga mata noo’y hindi pumupikit, nakatinginsawala
Patakbosiyanglumapitsaina at sunud-sunodangkanyangpagtatanong. “Bakit, Inay, anoangnangyari? Anoangnangyari, Inay? Bakitmaramingtaorito?” Ngunittila hindi siya narinigngkausap. Angmga mata noo’ypatuloysa hindi pagsikap. Angkamaynoo’ypatuloysapaghaplossabuhokniMiling. Nagugulumihanglumapitang bata kinaMangPedring at AlingFeli. Angpag-uusapnila’ybiglangnatigilnangsiya’ymakita. Walasiyangnarinigkundi... “Labinlimanglahatangnangapatay...” Hindi niyamaunawaananganglahat. Angpagdamingtaosakanilangbahay. Anganasan. Angayosngkanyangina. Angpag-iyakniAlingFelinang siya ay makita. Sapagitanngmgahikbi, siya’ypatuloysapagtatanong... “Bakitpo? Anopo iyon?” Walangsumasagotsakanya. Lahatnglapitanniya’ynanatilingpinidanglabi. Ipinatongangkamaysakanyangbalikat o kaya’yhinahaplosangkanyangbuhok at walana.
Hindi niyamatandaankunggaanokatagalbagomaynagdatingan pang mgatao. “Handa naba kaya?” anangisangmalakasangtinig. “Ngayon din ay magsialisnakayo. Kayo’yihahatidniKapitanSidrosapooknaligtas. Walangmaiiwan, isa man. Bagolumubogangarawsila’ypapasokdito... Kaya’twalangmaaaringmaiwan.” Matagal bago naunawaan ng bata kung ano ang nagyari. Sila’ypalabasnasa bayan, silangmag-iiba, anglahatngkanilangkapitbahay, angmaraming-maramingtao, at ang kani-kanilangbalutan. Sa paulit-ulit na salitaan, sa sali-salimbayang pag-uusap ay nabatid niya ang ilang bagay. Salabinlimangnangapataykagabi ay kabilangangkanyang ama...salabasng bayan...sasagupaanngmgakawal at taong-bayan. Nag-aalinlangan, angbatanglalaki’ylumapitsakanyanginanamabibigatangmgapaasapaghakbang.
“Inay, bakitpinatayngmgakawalangTatay? Bakit? Bakit?” Angmgabatanoongnakatinginsamatigasna lupa ay isangsaglitnalumapitsakanyangmukha. Pagkatapos, saisangtinignamarahang-marahan ay nagsalita. “Iyon din angnaiskong malaman, anakm iyon din angnaiskong malaman.” Samantala... Sa bawathakbang na palayo sa bahay na pawid at sa muntingbukid na kanyangtahananaynararagdaganangagwatngulila sa kanyangkabataan. Anggabingyaonngmgadagundong at sigwa, ngmgapangarapnakinabukasan at ngmgabangkang papel – anggabingyaonangkahuli-hulihansakabataangsasansaglitlamangtumagal. Angarawnahumalili’ytigibngpangamba at ngmgakatanunganginihahanapngtugon. Kaya ngaba’tsatuwiakongmakakikitangbangkang papel ay nagbabaliksaakinggunitaangisangbatanglalaki. Isangbatanglalakinggumawangtatlongmalalakingbangkang papel na hindi niyanapalutangkailanman...
The MatsBy Francisco Arcellana For the Angeles family, Mr. Angeles'; homecoming from his periodic inspection trips was always an occasion for celebration. But his homecoming--from a trip to the South--was fated to be more memorable than, say, of the others.He had written from Mariveles: "I have just met a marvelous matweaver--a real artist--and I shall have a surprise for you. I asked him to weave a sleeping-mat for every one of the family. He is using many different colors and for each mat the dominant color is that of our respective birthstones. I am sure that the children will be very pleased. I know you will be. I can hardly wait to show them to you."
Nana Emilia read the letter that morning, and again and again every time she had a chance to leave the kitchen. In the evening when all the children were home from school she asked her oldest son, José, to read the letter at dinner table. The children became very much excited about the mats, and talked about them until late into the night. This she wrote her husband when she labored over a reply to him. For days after that, mats continued to be the chief topic of conversation among the children.Finally, from Lopez, Mr. Angeles wrote again: "I am taking the Bicol Express tomorrow. I have the mats with me, and they are beautiful. God willing, I shall be home to join you at dinner."The letter was read aloud during the noon meal. Talk about the mats flared up again like wildfire."I like the feel of mats," Antonio, the third child, said. "I like the smell of new mats."
"Oh, but these mats are different," interposed Susanna, the fifth child. "They have our names woven into them, and in our ascribed colors, too."The children knew what they were talking about: they knew just what a decorative mat was like; it was not anything new or strange in their experience. That was why they were so excited about the matter. They had such a mat in the house, one they seldom used, a mat older than any one of them.This mat had been given to Nana Emilia by her mother when she and Mr. Angeles were married, and it had been with them ever since. It had served on the wedding night, and had not since been used except on special occasions.It was a very beautiful mat, not really meant to be ordinarily used. It had green leaf borders, and a lot of gigantic red roses woven into it. In the middle, running the whole length of the mat, was the lettering: Emilia y Jaime Recuerdo
The letters were in gold.Nana Emilia always kept that mat in her trunk. When any one of the family was taken ill, the mat was brought out and the patient slept on it, had it all to himself. Every one of the children had some time in their lives slept on it; not a few had slept on it more than once.Most of the time the mat was kept in Nana Emilia's trunk, and when it was taken out and spread on the floor the children were always around to watch. At first there had been only Nana Emilia to see the mat spread. Then a child--a girl--watched with them. The number of watchers increased as more children came.
The mat did not seem to age. It seemed to Nana Emilia always as new as when it had been laid on the nuptial bed. To the children it seemed as new as the first time it was spread before them. The folds and creases always new and fresh. The smell was always the smell of a new mat. Watching the intricate design was an endless joy. The children's pleasure at the golden letters even before they could work out the meaning was boundless. Somehow they were always pleasantly shocked by the sight of the mat: so delicate and so consummate the artistry of its weave.Now, taking out that mat to spread had become a kind of ritual. The process had become associated with illness in the family. Illness, even serious illness, had not been infrequent. There had been deaths...
In the evening Mr. Angeles was with his family. He had brought the usual things home with him. There was a lot of fruits, as always (his itinerary carried him through the fruit-growing provinces): pineapples, lanzones, chicos, atis, santol, sandia, guyabano, avocado, according to the season. He had also brought home a jar of preserved sweets from Lopez.Putting away the fruit, sampling them, was as usual accomplished with animation and lively talk. Dinner was a long affair. Mr. Angeles was full of stories about his trip but would interrupt his tales with: "I could not sleep nights thinking of the young ones. They should never be allowed to play in the streets. And you older ones should not stay out too late at night."The stories petered out and dinner was over. Putting away the dishes and wiping the dishes and wiping the table clean did not at all seem tedious. Yet Nana and the children, although they did not show it, were all on edge about the mats.
Finally, after a long time over his cigar, Mr. Angeles rose from his seat at the head of the table and crossed the room to the corner where his luggage had been piled. From the heap he disengaged a ponderous bundle.Taking it under one arm, he walked to the middle of the room where the light was brightest. He dropped the bundle and, bending over and balancing himself on his toes, he strained at the cord that bound it. It was strong, it would not break, it would not give way. He tried working at the knots. His fingers were clumsy, they had begun shaking.He raised his head, breathing heavily, to ask for the scissors. Alfonso, his youngest boy, was to one side of him with the scissors ready.
Nana Emilia and her eldest girl who had long returned from the kitchen were watching the proceedings quietly.One swift movement with the scissors, snip! and the bundle was loose.Turning to Nana Emilia, Mr. Angeles joyfully cried: "These are the mats, Miling." Mr. Angeles picked up the topmost mat in the bundle."This, I believe, is yours, Miling."Nana Emilia stepped forward to the light, wiping her still moist hands against the folds of her skirt, and with a strange young shyness received the mat. The children watched the spectacle silently and then broke into delighted, though a little self-conscious, laughter. Nana Emilia unfolded the mat without a word. It was a beautiful mat: to her mind, even more beautiful than the one she received from her mother on her wedding. There was a name in the very center of it: EMILIA. The letters were large, done in green. Flowers--cadena-de-amor--were woven in and out among the letters. The border was a long winding twig of cadena-de-amor.
The children stood about the spreading mat. The air was punctuated by their breathless exclamations of delight."It is beautiful, Jaime; it is beautiful!" Nana Emilia's voice broke, and she could not say any more."And this, I know, is my own," said Mr. Angeles of the next mat in the bundle. The mat was rather simply decorated, the design almost austere, and the only colors used were purple and gold. The letters of the name Jaime were in purple."And this, for your, Marcelina."Marcelina was the oldest child. She had always thought her name too long; it had been one of her worries with regard to the mat. "How on earth are they going to weave all of the letters of my name into my mat?" she had asked of almost everyone in the family. Now it delighted her to see her whole name spelled out on the mat, even if the letters were a little small. Besides, there was a device above her name which pleased Marcelina very much. It was in the form of a lyre, finely done in three colors. Marcelina was a student of music and was quite a proficient pianist.
"And this is for you, José."José was the second child. He was a medical student already in the third year of medical school. Over his name the symbol of Aesculapius was woven into the mat."You are not to use this mat until the year of your internship," Mr. Angeles was saying."This is yours, Antonia.""And this is yours, Juan.""And this is yours, Jesus."Mat after mat was unfolded. On each of the children's mats there was somehow an appropriate device.At least all the children had been shown their individual mats. The air was filled with their excited talk, and through it all Mr. Angeles was saying over and over again in his deep voice:"You are not to use these mats until you go to the University."