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Scent of Apples;
Transcript of Scent of Apples;
Born in Tondo, Manila, Philippines March 22, 1911.
In 1941 after Santos completed his undergraduate at the University of Philippines he was awarded a scholarship to study abroad. He then attended the University of Illinois in 1941 at thirty years old, where he received a master of arts in English and went on to study at Colombia University in the summer of 1942. He studied basic English at Harvard in 1946 and then went back home to the Philippines. He came back to America in 1958 as a Rockefeller Foundation fellow at the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop.
He then died at his home in Albay on January 7, 1996.
When war broke out in America he found himself an exile in America leaving his wife & 3 daughters behind. The heartbreak of separation that he faced in his first journey to America is crucial to his development as a writer. Exile defined the theme of his fiction from then on.
Santos' first two pieces "Villa Magdalena" & " The Volcano" were published the same year Santos won the Philippine Republic Cultural Heritage Award for Literature in 1965. "Immigration Blues" his first short story won the Best Fiction award by New Letters Magazine in 1977. In 1980 The University of Washington published "Scent of Apples" the first and only book of short stories in the US. In 1981, he was awarded the American Book award from the Before Columbus Foundation.
In "Scent of Apples" Bienvenido Santos tells the story of two Filipino men living in America during World War II. Santos left everything he knew & loved behind, he is considered in exile. He experiences loneliness & nostalgia, but also gains an education & a name for himself as a well-known Filipino speaker. He meets a fellow exile from the Philippines named Celestino Fabia who reminds him of his hometown of Manila & in a way himself. Celestino takes Santos to his apple farm thirty miles east of Kalamazoo, Michigan to meet his American wife Ruth & son Roger. At their farm is where Santos is greeted by a wave of the past & an overwhelming scent of apples. Their house reminds him of the home he grew up in. The men form a bond through fond memories of their homeland. They share a deeper connection as they are both saddened by their lives in the United States and living with regrets.
"Bienvenido N. Santos (Author of Scent of Apples)."
N.P., n.d. Web 27 Jan 2014
"Bienvenido N. Santos pictures Google search."
Google, n.d. Web 27 Jan 2014
"Aren't those apples trees?" I asked wanting to be sure. "Yes, those are apple trees," he replied. "Do you like apples? I got lots of 'em. I got an apple orchard, I'll show you." All the beauty of the afternoon seemed in the distance, on the hills, in the dull soft sky. "Those trees are beautiful on the hills," I said. "Autumn's a lovely season. The trees are getting ready to die, and they show their colors, proud-like." "No such thing in our own country," I said. That remark seemed unkind, I realized later. It touched him off on a long deserted tangent, but ever there perhaps. How many times did the lonely mind take unpleasant detours away from the familiar winding lanes towards home for fear of this, the remembered hurt, the long lost youth, the grim shadows of the years; how many times indeed, only the exile knows. Page 2791
Celestino Fabia: an older Filipino immigrant
Ruth: Celestino's wife
Roger: Celestino's son
When the United States became involved in World War II, many Filipinos were unable to return home. In 1942 the U.S. government summoned Santos to work for the war effort in Washington, D.C. Where he wrote speeches, & articles as part of a public relations venture to educate Americans about the war in the Pacific. After that he toured the country giving speeches about the Philippines, & this experience became the autobiographical basis for stories like "Scent of Apples".
Scent of Apples by Bienvenido Santos
Santos, Bienvenido N.
Scent of Apples:
A Collection of Stories. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979. Print