On Amador T. Daguio

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. 

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

it's good to know that you are able to keep in touch with mr. daguio's daughter. i envy you. her dad is one of the best writers ever. :]

hyacinth faye said...

please answer my question:
1.what was the prevailing mood/tone of the story the wedding dance?
2.from whom was the mood emphasized?
3.what was the tradition practice in their tribe about married?
4.what would lumnay complain to the chief of the village?
5.how did lumnay prove her love to awiyao?
6. if you were lumnay, how would you face the situation?
7.where and when is the setting of the story?
8.who are the character?
9.what was the conflict in the story?

tnx.. -yadaday-

*^_^* said...

Nice post! Awesome!

Anonymous said...

What a big help! Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

hello. i am a 2nd year english major from pup-manila. i have a report and it's about, yes, daguio. just want to know if u have other information about him? i'd really appreciate it if u'll reply to me. thanks!

Paris dLR said...

@Anonymous PUP student: Unfortunately, we have no updates from beautiful lumnay so whatever you read from this site is all I have. I would appreciate it if you have additional information that you'd like to share about any of the authors here.

Thank you very much for visiting.

Danny said...

I am the eldest son of Amador Taguinod Daguio. I can lead you to my facebook page Danny Daguio or my dand16.bigblog.com.au

Danny said...

That Fateful Day in 1966


Dad went into a coma after surgery, the doctors knew it was only a matter of time. It was going to be soon if the bleeding wouldn't stop. I was a young lad of 15, about to graduate from high school, the eldest child in a brood of 4. At the hospital, they didn't tell me what exactly was wrong. I had the feeling something was not right. I tried to elicit more information from my cousins but everyone was trying to pretend everything was going to be alright. I could sense it was more than what I was being told. I went to Mum and asked if it was true Dad had cancer, I said Sonny Boy, my cousin, told me. It was a delberate lie to get to the truth. Mum hesitating somewhat...she told me everything. That was the hardest part of all, the realisation that I was going to lose my Dad. I cried like never before, though somewhat subdued like a man would.

On the Tuesday early morning, he suddenly spoke, "Open the windows, I can hear the birds chirping, it is a beautiful morning". Mum was so happy, it seemed he was going to pull through.

I was at home, still sleeping after staying awake, tossing in bed and not being able to sleep. By the time I awoke, it was past my usual waking time. I tried to rush, to get ready for school. Took the bus from Project 6 to Claro M Recto, then walked to San Sebastian College. I didn't make it on time. The school guards closed the front gate and would not let me, and some others, in. I decided right there and then, to go to the PGH where Dad was. It was a blessing as it allowed me to see him in his lucid moments. I can't forget the face of my Mum, she was running towards me as soon as she saw me coming. Your Dad is awake...oh, such wonderful words.

It was mid-morning and Dad, while having ice cream, requested that I be given ice cream, too. My recollection was he was being given ice cream to help ease the pain but I am not sure if this was fact as, now that I think of it, it seemed not plausible given he had all those tubes in him. Nevertheless, I remember him doing a burp and he tells me, "My son, that is called a burp. The one below is called fart but I don't want to demonstrate it to you now as there is a beautiful nurse beside me". When his best friend, Rod Feria, came to visit, he said "Don't give Rod ice cream, this is only for me and my son." He had that sense of humor with him that day...that was inspite of everything.

Later in the afternoon, my youngest sis, Malinda, was taken to him from school at St Mary's in QC. I still can see his face, the happiness in seeing his 6 year old daughter, yet the sadness in his eyes as he says," How could a man die?". He knew it was going to be his last.

That evening, 26th of April 1966, my Dad passed away. On his tomb at the Manila Memorial Park, a poem he wrote when he was a struggling youth is written:

To you O' Death laurelled by the sun's fire; To you whose dark face is forgetfulness; To you whose grim, dread presences, make still the lips of loveliness; To you, swift, unfathomable, To you wholly unsurpassed and pale,

I'll someday give my youth to die, under a shining April sky.