I have found it a bit difficult to find information on Amador T. Daguio, best known in this blog as the author of the story "Wedding Dance". I recently discovered that the page (a page in the National Commission for Culture and the Arts site) I linked to for information on Mr. Daguio is no longer working. I found the same article, but the link address is now different. I will reference directly the NCCA article by Gemino Abad entitled "Amador T. Daguio: A Turning-point in Filipinio Poetry from English".
Mr. Daguio was a writer. He was a poet who wrote pieces like "To Those of Other Lands", "The Hordes", "Mountain People", and "Man of Earth". As stated in his article's title, Dr. Abad describes Mr. Daguio's poetry as a "turning-point in Filipino verses from English" because "the verse...is English but the poetry...is Filipino". But Mr. Daguio also writes fiction and the "Wedding Dance" is one of his most popular pieces. He translates literary works. He was also a teacher.
Mr. Daguio's life is summarized by the article in the following passage from Dr. Abad's article:
Daguio was born 8 January 1912 in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, but grew up in Lubuagan, Mountain Province, where his father, an officer in the Philippine Constabulary, was assigned. He was class valedictorian in 1924 at the Lubuagan Elementary School. Then he stayed with his uncle at Fort William McKinley to study at Rizal High School in Pasig...
...Thus out of school for the first semester in 1928, he earned his tuition (P60.00) by serving as houseboy, waiter, and caddy to officers at Fort McKinley. He enrolled for the second semester with only P2.50 left for books and other expenses. He commuted between the Fort and Padre Faura, Manila, walking about two kilometers from Paco station twice daily. He would eat his lunch alone on Dewey Blvd. and arrive at the Fort about 9 o’clock in the evening. This continued for three years. Then an uncle arrived from Honolulu who paid his tuition during his third year; before this, he worked Saturday and Sunday as printer’s devil at the U.P. and served as Philippine Collegian reporter. During all this time, he learned the craft of writing from Tom Inglis Moore, an Australian professor at U.P., and was especially grateful to A.V.H. Hartendorp of Philippine Magazine. His stories and poems appeared in practically all the Manila papers.One of ten honor graduates at U.P. in 1932, he returned to teach at his boyhood school in Lubuagan; in 1938, he taught at Zamboanga Normal School where he met his wife Estela. They transferred to Normal Leyte School in 1941 before the Second World War. During the Japanese Occupation, he joined the resistance and wrote poems in secret, later collected as Bataan Harvest.1 0 He was a bosom-friend of another writer in the resistance, Manuel E. Arguilla.
In 1952, he obtained his M.A. in English at Stanford U. as a Fulbright scholar. His thesis was a study and translation of Hudhud hi Aliguyon (Ifugao Harvest Song). In 1954, he obtained his Law degree from Romualdez Law College in Leyte. Daguio was editor and public relations officer in various offices in government and the military. He also taught for twenty-six years at the University of the East, U.P., and Philippine Women’s University. In 1973, six years after his death, Daguio was conferred the Republic Cultural Heritage Award.
A Google search of the name "Estela Daguio" gave me Mr.Daguio's wife's name "Estela Fermin Daguio" and the name of one of their children: Danny. I also came across a Philippine Star article on a lecture with the same title as the NCCA article above.
Recently, a reader named beautiful lumnay commented in the "Wedding Dance" entry. The comment read
hi, everyone.. am Amador T. Daguio's youngest child.. i would like to thank you, in behalf of our family, for all the interest and appreciation posted here on the greatest work of my Dad, The Wedding Dance.. i hope to be able to post here some trivia on this work as related by my Mom when i was still a student like you, studying this literary piece.. again, my sincerest thanks to all..
Because of the lack of information on Mr. Daguio, I encouraged beautiful lumnay to keep posting whatever he or she could remember and received this comment:
I was only six when my Daddy died of cancer of the liver.(He was never a drinker nor a smoker. He just took irregular meals and too much peanuts as Mom narrated). There is such a longing in my heart for him and somehow his works serve as a connection. It warms my heart to know there are people like you who appreciate his works, somehow keeping him alive. again, thank you. Yes, till next posting.
I'm waiting for new posts from beautiful lumnay. I am also conducting my own research on Mr. Daguio. If anyone else has anything to contribute, I do hope they come and post.