Si Armanda Bartolome, sa simula ng nobela, ay isang karaniwang maybahay at ina, naghahanda ng kape ng asawa, at nangangalaga sa mga pangangailangan ng mga anak sa paaralan. Sa pagdaan ng mga araw, nakita ni Amanda ang mga pagbabago ng mga anak, lalo na si Jules. Ang pagkahilig ni Jules sa mga awiting nagsasaag ng pagkamakabayan ay nagtulak dito upang sumapi sa mga kilusang laban sa katiwalian ng gobyerno. Sinabi niya ito kay Julian ngunit nagwalang bahala lamang ito. Hindi nakatiis si Amanda. Sinigawan niya si Julian na takang-taka sa inasal niya.
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But somehow, in all my years of schooling, I had evaded all the panitikan teachers who would include this novel in their syllabi.
I imagined—framed—my friend as a concerned citizen discreetly sharing subversive readings to a fellow citizen, for enlightenment in these dark times. I have no idea when, or if at all, I would ever have read this novel if not for this friend.
By their covers, that is. Certainly, we could read the synopsis, cross-check with reviews or recommendations, but before any of this can be accomplished, we would already have instinctively formed prejudices on a book by its face.
There is actually nothing surprising in this novel for those who paid attention to their history lessons, and have not succumbed to historical revisionism. In this novel set in s Manila, a character befriends progressive youth, and becomes radicalized himself; he joins the underground movement, and is later arrested, imprisoned, tortured. Authorities barge into homes, searching for subversive materials, leaving the rooms in disarray.
Those left behind are gripped by worry and paranoia. Such was the political climate of the time, the atmosphere of dread during Martial Law—and we know this from our lessons and textbooks, but this novel gives names and faces to the actors of this tumultuous era. It is also because it is fiction of the truest kind: false only in its small details, but authentic in its larger history, and in the spirit, wisdom, and humanity of its characters.
Bienvenido Lumbera identifies these virtues of the work in his introduction to the novel. The first is the portrayal of its central character, Amanda Bartolome. Lumbera writes: …ang pinakamahalaga, bukas ang isip [ni Amanda] sa mga ideyang dala ng nagbabagong panahon.
Sa mga akdang nasa wikang Pilipino, halos iisa ang hulmahang pinagmulan ng mga tauhang ina—ang Birheng Maria sa pasyon, inang mapagkalinga, matiisin, mapagpatawad, inang natatangi sa kanipisan ng pandama at pansinin sa kababawan ng talino.
Naiiba sa mga ito si Amanda Bartolome… Bagamat ang pamagat ng nobela ay tumatawag ng pansin sa nilalamang pangkasaysayan ng akda, ang tagumpay ni Bautista ay nasa pagkakalarawan sa isang babaeng nakatatap sa kanyang identidad bilang indibidwal sa isang panahong ang lipunang kanyang kinapapalooban ay dinadaluyong ng mga pagbabago. Sa nobela, ang wikang namamagitan sa mambabasa at sa nilalaman ay palatandaan ng uring panlipunang kinabibilangan ni Amanda Bartolome at sagisag na rin ng dinamikong yugtong sikolohikal na kinapapalooban ng tauhang ito.
But Bautista subverts such expectations, and instead uses a conversational tone with a decidedly non-purist diction. Here are a few sentences from the first chapter: Okay, fine. Masama ang rekord ng Bartolome boys. Bautista deserves praise for wading against the current of expectations from the literary establishment, and writing in a pedestrian style. The effect is unexpectedly powerful. Amanda speaks such an authentically middle-class Pinoy idiom that I paused on several occassions while reading the novel, because it sounded like it was my mother talking to me.
Unlike the Bartolome family in the novel, my parents had enough troubles to sort on their own, before they could even try to engage in the troubles of the nation at large. I may not have truly felt what they felt, but I listened, and I think I understood. Up close, personally, intimately. That is when abstract concepts like history and nation and justice become most powerful—when they descend from the realm of public discourse, and become private matters of personal relations.
Buod ng nobelang Dekada 70 ni Lualhati Bautista
But somehow, in all my years of schooling, I had evaded all the panitikan teachers who would include this novel in their syllabi. I imagined—framed—my friend as a concerned citizen discreetly sharing subversive readings to a fellow citizen, for enlightenment in these dark times. I have no idea when, or if at all, I would ever have read this novel if not for this friend. By their covers, that is. Certainly, we could read the synopsis, cross-check with reviews or recommendations, but before any of this can be accomplished, we would already have instinctively formed prejudices on a book by its face. There is actually nothing surprising in this novel for those who paid attention to their history lessons, and have not succumbed to historical revisionism.
Author: Lualhati Bautista Dekada 70 is a Filipino novel that can be classified as a political and historical novel. The novel was written by Lualhati Bautista, a woman who first-handedly witnessed the situation during martial law. In the same year of publication, the novel won one of the two grand prize winners for the Palanca Awards for the novel. Dekada 70 was later adapted into a film by Star Cinema in , which was starred by Christopher de Leon and Vilma Santos. She took up Journalism in the Lyceum of the Philippines, and eventually stopped schooling because all she wanted to do was write. She started writing while she was still 16 years old, and was mainly influenced by her parents who were into composing and poem-writing.
Dekada '70 (Ang Orihinal at Kumpletong Edisyon)
It was in September 21st, , that he chained close whatever inkling of democracy the Filipinos had by declaring Martial Law. It is a novel of a mother and her family, how society around her affects her family. It is a tale of she becomes torn between the letter of the law or her responsibility as a mother. Amanda acts as a supposed symbolism of detachment.
On Lualhati Bautista’s ‘Dekada ’70’
May 22, Jr Bacdayan rated it really liked it Note: This review was written as a course requirement for my class: History of Women and Feminism in the Philippines. Dahil silay mga babae at imposible para sa babae na kalabanin ang lalaki. Its a mans world. Translation: Its because they are women and it is impossible for women to oppose men, its a mans world.