Without Seeing the Dawn By Stevan Javellana


    The title of Stevan Javellana's only novel in English Without Seeing the Dawn was derived from one of José Rizal's character in the Spanish-language novel Noli Me Tangere or Touch Me Not. Javellana's 368-paged book has two parts, namely Day and Night. The first part, Day, narrates the story of a pre-war barrio and its people in the Panay Island particularly in Iloilo. The second part, Night, begins with the start of World War II in both the U.S. and the Philippines, and retells the story of the resistance movement against the occupying Japanese military forces of the barrio people first seen in Day.It narrates the people's grim experiences during the war.

    First published in 1947, Javellana's novel sold 125,000 copies in the U.S. and was reprinted in paperback edition in Manila by Alemar's-Phoenix in 1976. The same novel was made into a film by the Filipino film maker and director, Lino Brocka under the title Santiago!, which starred the Filipino actor and former presidential candidate, Fernando Poe, Jr. and the Filipino actress, Hilda Koronel. It was also made into a mini-series film for Philippine television. The published novel received praises from the New York Times, New York Sun and Chicago Sun. Without Seeing the Dawn, the novel, became the culmination of Javellana's short-story writing career. The said novel was also known under the title The Lost Ones. It is currently a book requirement to the first year students of the University of the Philippines Rural High School. Without Seeing the Dawn

    This is one of the best books I have read when I was studying. It led me to appreciate and love the Filipiniana section of the library and gave me a sense of pride on our Philippine lit.Until now, I can feel the simplicity of life, the tragedy of war and the hope in love. 9789710621774 Look. Listen. I have read heaps of books in Philippine Literature, and by far, this is indubitably the best 'perfect book' I've ever read. After reading this delicate masterpiece, I regained a soft hum of pride for Philippine Literature, an electrifying surge of valiance, a respite from all the mediocre books I've numbly read and a gob of sympathy for the history of my country.

    It was brilliant--everything was slotted perfectly. Sure, it was a cliche novel of World War II in the Philippines but there's just a heck a lot more to that, there's this engulfing feature that unites each page stubbornly, a magnetic pull that stops me from doing anything else so radiant and strong, it sucks my goddamn face into the book's brilliance . Not so much fancy words, simple settings, one-dimensional characters--it's fit for a Filipino's liking.

    9789710621774 this book is set on the world war 2 years in my hometown so i must read it.. the author is kinda overly detailing his descriptions..such a long novel and hard to read..but is historically significant. 9789710621774 a surprising read. i never expected it. it was assigned reading but it tugged my heart as i went along the pages. in the end, i couldn'nt put it down and read it in one sitting. 9789710621774 A BOOK REPORT ON “WITHOUT SEEING THE DAWN”
    by Stevan Javellana

    Without Seeing the Dawn is a story of a young man and his village. It is the story of the simple life of the people close to the soil in a certain “barrio” in the Panay Island where one can see the sweats of the farmers and their sons, diligently tilling the land with their carabaos, a place where one can hear the laughters of the children, the songs of serenades by the young men, and a place where one can feel the love and contentment of the wives to their families. Unknowingly, the place which is known to be peaceful and quiet turns out to be devastated with the coming of the Japanese. This is the story of the death of the village from the war and the enduring thirst for revenge of the survivors.
    The novel has two parts namely Day and Night. The first part, Day, sets the story in a small farming village called Manhayang in Santa Barbara, Iloilo. It is here where Ricardo “Carding” Suerte grows up and marries Lucing. This is the “barrio” which he spends most of his happy memories with his childhood friends. At the age of 18, he is described to be tall and big like those of the town smith. Like his father, he’s a very industrious farmer that he already rides with his carabao before the sun sets in the morning. Carding meets his friends by the river while they let their carabaos lay contentedly in the water. They soon swim in the river and will try to peek those ladies washing the clothes and taking a bath. It is very much like of a province where you can imagine the clean river, the green trees and the cool wind.
    That was Philippines before in the 1930’s and when I asked my grandparents about the provinces they came from; their stories were so much like in the book. There is a part in the story where Lucing and Carding have to work in Ilo-Ilo City because they lost the land that Carding supposed to farm. Like what you can see in Cebu City now, Carding has described the city to have tall buildings and very beautiful plazas. However, this is not the scenario if one lives in the squatter’s area. Lucing even said, “How different it was from the good, clean mud in the carabao trails in which the broad hoofs of the the carabaos sloshed with a hollow, crackling sound on rainy days. But this canal was full of ooze which contained the waste from exposed toilets and the drainage from the kitchens.” Well, the city before and now are quite similar, but cities nowadays have become more polluted and commercialized.
    After how many months, the couple come back to Manhayang. This starts the second part of the book, the Night. Manhayang which is a place full of love and peace turns out to be in a great loss during the Japanese occupation. The “barrio” is in the state of darkness after the Japanese soldiers burned the whole village, killed the babies with their bayonets, raped many women and imprisoned the men to torture. It is a story of the Filipino’s dark experiences from the brutal hands of the Japanese.
    Carding who is called to be the “son of misfortune” lose his first child and the land he is working. He becomes a soldier and fights the war in Bataan. He comes home only to know that his second baby and his father were killed by the Japanese soldiers. The more he was enraged after he knew that his wife is pregnant from one of those Japanese soldiers who raped her many times. Because of that, Carding enters the guerilla and kills as many Japanese soldiers as a revenge to his loved ones.
    The book may end in a very tragic story but it makes you proud of being Filipino. The story tells you how Filipinos value the essence of marriage and family. Tatay Juan, father of Carding, has done the traditional way of asking the hand of the lady known as “pamamanhikan” before Lucing and Carding get married. He visits the house of Lucing’s parents and asked their permission to allow his son to marry their daughter, Lucing. The parents agree about the marriage in a condition that Carding should built a house and prepare an amount of money for the celebration.
    The story also shows Filipinos being respectful to the elders. The sons and daughters usually kiss the hand of their parents, relatives or someone older than them as a sign of respect. Though for me, instead of kissing the hands of my parents, I usually bless their hands. However, other children kiss their parent’s cheeks.
    Apart from that, when the neighborhood needs help, Filipinos willingly help them which we call now as “Bayanihan”. It’s the time when Lucing and Carding need to transfer their house in another place. Most of their neighborhood offer their strength and time to carry the nipa house to their new place. The people enjoy helping one another and will also be very happy every time there’s a celebration like fiesta or wedding. Filipino men in the province will prepare their gallons of “tuba” and drink many shots until they consume those. Then, they will go back to their house drunk. That’s Filipino being a social drinker.
    Also, when we have a guest, we always give and show to them what is best. When the couple receive Luis, the son of the landlord. They really cook the most delicious food called “binakol” and prepare the room on its best for it is there he will rest. Carding also harvest fruits and vegetable from the farm so that Luis can bring them to the city. As we can see, Filipnos are known to be hospitable, a practice that is also much known in the Spanish era.
    Looking back, most of the teens in the province prefer to marry at a young age instead of studying. At the age of 18, Carding has decided that she will marry Lucing who is still 16 that time. Growing up without having a mother, he then tells his father about it. When ask by his father why he wants to marry, he answered, “I am going to marry because I am old enough.” Though his father wanted to send him to school, Carding declined and said, “Look at Joaquin, who lives in Barasan. He also went through high school but now he works behind the plow like many other who does not recognize the letter A, be it as wide as frying pan.” His father did not push him anymore and agreed to his decision.
    If that happens now, many people will be very surprised of the news and you would become the talk of the town in your place. However, it was different before because it didn’t matter if you marry at a young age. As long as you can prove that you’re worthy to be a parent, then your parents and the parents of your beloved will allow you to marry and have a family. Youths before are more mature than now. At a young age, Carding is already exposed to hardwork in the farm and Lucing is also well-trained to do the household chores. When I asked my grandmother about her marriage, she said that she was married to my grandfather at the age of 18 and they had 12 children and unfortunately five died. One of those 12 children is my mother now. In this case, we should not wonder why the old generation marry at a young age.
    However, most of the people before would consider a wife being a stigma to the family if she had committed an affair with another man. There is a time when Luis has to stay in the couple’s house for vacation. On their first meeting, Lucing has admired the guy for he is mestizo and kind. One morning, Luis enters Lucing’s room knowing that Carding sets off to the farm early. They make love thinking that Carding will be in the farm for a long time. However, Carding comes back early and has seen the situation. He slaps Lucing with his left hand and has beaten Luis badly.
    Gossip travels fast in a little village that Lucing has gotten no courage to go out and face the neighborhood. When Nanay Pia, Lucing’s mother, knows about this, she cried “Oh, my daughter, it was the milk of a good, faithful wife that you sucked at infancy, not the milk of the whore.” And later on when her husband has known the news, Teniente Paul rushes to Lucing’s house and said, “Are you not satisfied with one husband? Had I known I would not have married you to Carding. I would have sent you to a house of prostitution.”
    There are circumstances like what happen to Lucing nowadays. However, there are more husbands who find another woman than the wives. It’s a rare thing to happen because women in the society are expected to be good, caring and loving. Conservative people will not really like it but in our time now, we are slowly adopting the idea of “mistress” that most of the TV dramas talk about it.
    Moreover, the novel also tells us the story of our Filipino people during the Japanese time. All men before are encouraged to join the constabulary and any people who are against it are called rebels. Isko, one of Carding’s friend, has told the people of Manhayang about the notice written on a blackboard when he goes to the market. He said to his neighborhood, “The notice said that all men of the age of eighteen and over shall report within two days to the constabulary in town.” The Japanese soldiers require all Filipino men to join them in order to hunt down the guerillas who are resisting their occupation.
    The story is very much like watching drama that ends in tragedy. However, it just tells the reader that this is what happened during the Japanese occupation. This is what happened to the Filipinos during their occupation. This is how Philippines looked like during the war. And I just like the fact that the author has divided the book into two parts because I can really picture out what happened before and during the Japanese occupation. The novel has given us something to share to our friends during the Japanese period because it’s very rich in details that the author has described it very clearly as if you’re watching drama/action films.

    The novel is an open ending story where the readers have to think for possible endings. It actually ends with a gunshot and I imagined Carding dead. In the story, it makes you proud how the Filipinos fight the Japanese despite their less chance of winning. They fought bravely that they were very willing to sacrifice their lives just to protect their own country. Even though they don’t know each other in the guerilla, they unite to fight what is theirs, never wanting to become a slave of their own place. They face the war to fight for the country and its people. Through that goal, their determination to fight has never been wavered and that helps them a lot to keep going. Thus, the novel has effectively shared a part of our history, the Filipino people and its culture.

    Read & Download Without Seeing the Dawn

    very dark, but AMAZING. 9789710621774 Crying, my memory whenever I recall this, writhing, pained, memorable. Especially if you realize what the title meant. Carding, will always be a sad sad name, but is it relateable, i guess its not, well i hope its not, because i lived my life free of this, but the new gen seems to like this, even if he is filipino and not japanese. And they feel empowered by giving away power or better word freedom to think.well lets just hope i am wrong and this is clearly just about the japanese occupation and not a precursor book of who filipinos really are.poor nephew and nieces if it were true. So there, yes, its one of thise memorable books that transports you back like a wormhole everytime you see it, come across with. Really is life altering, must be why im scared of dictators and suffocating power over me. 9789710621774 Stevan Javellana's first novel (considered as the first Filipino novel in English) is rooted in the soil, essentially connected to the land. Its wide array of characters are simple farmer folk living their simple life: plowing their fields, sowing their crops, praying for rain, reaping the fruits of their toil. They are people who entertain themselves by swimming in the river and in the puddles where their carabaos bathe, by gossiping about the latest wedding or scandal.

    They are simple people, thrust into the complexities of life, of war.

    Without Seeing the Dawn is brutal in its eloquence and the economy of its structure. It is at once surprisingly funny, and sad, and sadistic. Compulsively readable and a classic in its own right.

    Actual rating: 4.5 9789710621774 This was one of our required readings in college. Proud of myself for finishing this. :) 9789710621774 I recently visited the Philippines and returned with some literary classics, of which this was one of them.

    Although it begins slowly as a fictionalised description of Philippine culture, the book is like a slowly brewing thunderstorm. The emotions in it are subtle but deep, and I felt moved by the lives of these characters. The fate of the couple at the heart of the story will haunt me for a long time. 9789710621774