Title: My Native Wife
Author: Cissie Byrne
The story is a cross of the city and provincial life. It has that typical rich-bad-boy-turns-to-good-boy plot, but the inflicting backgrounds of the characters made the story stand out. It seems to be a class love story at first, however, the tables did turn!
The setting of the story was at Benguet, a province located at the southern tip of the Cordillera Region. It is found within the bounds of the southernmost part of Pangasinan and La Union in its western angle.
A popular tradition of the province Benguet are the ‘Marriage Trees’ wherein municipalities require engaged couples to plant before they
are issued marriage licenses.
In the story, Jason and Ariya married under a tree at the family’s farm which shows a hint of the traditional ‘Marriage Trees’ in Benguet. Each couple is required to plant 5 trees but as for Jason and Ariya there was only one tree that was mentioned in the story. If the author applied the practice regarding the planting of 5 trees before getting married maybe the story would be more interesting for the readers because it shows information about their culture without searching for it online.
Igorot or people living at Benguet have this nature of being into the tradition.
For instance, many Igorot families especially the elders are still following the traditional way of living that up until the present time youth are being influenced by the culture. The family of Attiw applies this kind of nature which shows the generation of Jason and Ariya that still follows the beliefs and traditions of their grandfather. It was a good catch for readers to believe that the parts of the story were indeed true. The province of Benguet is known as the ‘Salad Bowl of the Philippines’ due to its huge production of upland vegetables.
Base on Gab’s description of the Attiw’s homeland, the family has its own farm which depicts what Benguet is known for.
The author really searched the historical background about her given setting that made her story more credible. During the wedding of Gab and Ariya, the story described them as wearing the traditional clothing of Igorot which was a logical factor of the story to apply the culture of the given setting.
Another practice that is very common during weddings is the playing of gongs and dancing.
Although the story did not mention playing of gongs in the after wedding party but it showed how the people of Benguet celebrate the wedding of fellow natives.
The literary work was well done as it was rich in the dialects used. The novel covered places like Benguet and the Metro Manila in which tongues vary in speech. The author used Ibaloi (the native language of Benguet), Filipino, and English. It was apparent that she had ample knowledge of Ibaloi since she also adopted terms like “apo” which means Grandfather and “lakay” which is for endearment. The author had a remarkable style of writing, opting for three dialects to connect with her audience is commendable. It is indeed difficult to transpose and translate from one to another, yet she made it look like a cinch! Although there were grammatical errors that grammar nazis may condemn, the trilingual quality of the story definitely makes up for it.
Review: Sociocultural approach/technique
The lead characters, Jason and Ariya, were seen as people who give importance to their culture and traditions. It was obvious that the story had culture as its highlight as it was the reason why the plot went on. It was, personally, brilliant. Today’s novels lack insights on the wealthy culture we possess, and this novel was such a breath of fresh air. We loved how the author enlightened and educated her audience with the culture of Benguet. It was amazing how she graced the story and at the same time promoted the wonders beyond the city. We absolutely recommend the book for people who love to travel, this book would surely spike that wanderlust on you again!
5/5! Recommendable for readers of any age! It is a story worth reading. Educational, touching, emotional, and it had that kilig factor everyone looks forward to! It is a cross cultural story that brings significance to the affluent ethnicity in the country. It is a reminder for Filipinos living in the urban to go back to our roots and pay homage to our culture and traditions.
About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from Now
NOVA VICTORIA S. PENA, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
School: Pasig City Science High School
Interests: Playing musical instruments like ukulele, tambourine, and violin. Watching vlogs and reading articles.
How do you see yourself 10 years from now? 10 years from now I’ve already graduated from the University of the Philippines in Manila and I’ll be working in a very prestigious company that would help me develop my knowledge in dentistry and soon I’ll be having my own clinic.
RACHEL ANN S. ABENIDO, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
School: Pasig City Science High School
Interests: Reading novels and blogs. Watching vlogs
How do you see yourself 10 years from now? 10 years from now, I still see myself on the process of finding who I am
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