By Wilfredo Ma. Guererro
Scene 1: Mrs. M: Visitors, always visitors, nothing but visitors all day long. I‟m beginning to feel like a society matron. Mrs. M: Tony! I thought you were on the province. Tony: Is that you aling Atang? Mrs. M: of course. It‟s I, foolish boy. Why? Tony: You don’ look like Aling Atang. Mrs. M: I had a haircut. Think it’s horrible? Tony: Oh, no, no.. You look just wonderful. Aling Atang for a moment, I thought you were Kikay. Mrs. M: Oh, you are so palikero as ever, Tony. But come in. Here, sit down. How is your mother? Tony: Poor mother. She is homesick for Tondo. She wants to come back here at once. Mrs. M: How long have you been away?
Tony: Only 3 months.. Mrs. M: Only 3 months!!! It’s too long for a Tondo native to be away from Tondo. My poor kumara. She must be bored out there. Tony: Well, you know, we engineers are always on call. But as soon as I finish the bridge in Bulacan, we‟ll be going here in Tondo. Mrs. M: Yes, must bring her back as soon as possible. We miss her when we play mahjong.. Tony: That is what she misses most of all. Mrs. M: I understand. Once a Tondo girl always a Tondo girl. I wonder if that‟s fit my Kikay because after a year in America , she says she‟s not homesick at all.. Tony: When did Kikay arrive Aling Atang? Mrs. M: Last Monday. Tony: I didn‟t know it „till I read it in the newspaper. Mrs. M: That girl only arrived last Monday and look what happened to me! She dragged me to the parlor. My hair was cut, eyebrows shaved, nails manicured. And when I‟m going to the market, I used lipstick! All my kumara are laughing. People think I‟m a loose woman. Because of my age, but I can‟t do anything because it’s hard to argue with Kikay. And she insists that I should look like an Americana .. Tony: You look just wonderful, and where is she now? Mrs. M: Who? Tony: Kikay? Is she at home? Mrs. M: She‟s still sleeping! Tony: Still sleeping?! Mrs. M: She says, in New York , people don‟t wake up until 12:00 noon. Tony: It’s only 10:00 now. Mrs. M: Besides, she’s busy. Since she came home. Welcome parties here and there. Visitors all day long. She’s spinning like a top.
Tony: Well, will you tell her I called to welcome her. And kindly give her these flowers. Mrs. M: But surely you‟re not going yet? Tony: I did want to see Kikay. But if she doesn‟t get up at 12 noon Mrs. M: Wait a minute. I‟ll go and wake her up. Tony: Please don‟t bother Aling Atang. I can come back some other time. Mrs. M: Wait right here. She‟ll simply be delighted to see her childhood friend. The flowers are beautiful, how expensive they must be. Tony: Oh, they‟re nothing at all Aling Atang. Mrs. M: Oh, Tony.. Tony: Yes Aling Atang? Mrs. M: You mustn‟t call me “Aling Atang” Tony: Why not? Mrs. M: Kikay says that it’s more civilized to call me Mrs. Mendoza. Tony: Yes Aling… I mean, Yes, Mrs. Mendoza.. Mrs. M: Wait a minute and I‟ll call Kikay. Tony: Huh!! Mrs. M: Oh! And Tony.. Tony: Yes, Aling…. I mean, Mrs. Mendoza? Mrs. M: You must not call her Kikay. Tony: And what shall I call her? Mrs. M: You must call her Francesca.. Tony: Francisca? Mrs. M: Not Francisca.. Fran-CES-ca..
Tony: But why Francesca? Mrs. M: Because in New York , she says that‟s the way they pronounce he name, it sounds like “chi-chi” so Italian, be sure to call her Francesca and not Kikay. Tony: Yes, Mrs. Mendoza . Mrs. M: Now, wait right here while I call Francesca…. AIE DIOSMIO!!! Tony: Never mind Mrs. Mendoza, I‟ll answer it. Mrs. M: Just tell them to wait, Tony. Scene 2: Totoy: Tony! Tony: Totoy! Totoy: You old son of your father! Tony: You big carabao! Totoy: Mayroon ba tayo dyan? Tony: You ask me that… and you look like a walking goldmine! How many depots have you been looting, huh!!?? Totoy: Hey hey!! More slowly there.. It is you the police are looking for. Tony: Impossible! I‟m a reformed character! Come in Totoy Totoy: Okay Tony. Tony: Good to see you old pal.. Here, have a smoke. Totoy: I thought you were in the province, partner. Tony: I am. I just came to say hello to Kikay. Totoy: Tony. I‟ve been hearing the most frightful things about that girl. Tony: So have I. Totoy: People say she has gone crazy.
Tony: No, she has only gone New York . Totoy: What was she doing in New York anyway? Tony: Oh, studying. Totoy: Studying what? Tony: Hair culture and Beauty Science. She got a diploma. Totoy: Imagine that! Our dear old Kikay! Tony: Pardon me, she’s not Kikay anymore,.. She’s Fran-CeS-ca.. Totoy: Fran-CeS-ca?? Tony: Our dear Kikay is now an American. Totoy: Don‟t make me laugh! Why I knew that girl when she‟s still selling rice cakes.. Puto kayo dyan!! Bili na kayo ng puto mga suki!! Tony: Remember when we pushed her into the canal? Totoy: She chased us around the streets. Tony: She was dripping with mud! Totoy: Naku! How that girl could fight! Scene 3: Nena: Why, Totoy?! Totoy: Nena, my own. Nena: And Tony, too.. What‟s all this? A Canto Boy Reunion ? Totoy: We have come to greet the Lady from New York . Nena: So have I. Is she at home? Tony: Aling Atang is trying to wake her up. Nana: To wake her up?! Is she still sleeping??
Mrs. M: No, she‟s awake already. She’s dressing. Good morning Nena and Totoy. Mrs. M: Well, Totoy? Nena? Why are you staring me like that? Nena: Is that you Aling Atang? Totoy: Good God, it is Aling Atang! Mrs. M: It’s Kikay who prefers it. Nena: How you used to pinch and pinch me Aling Atang, when I was a li‟l girl. Mrs. M: Because you were all naughty, especially you! Always sneaking into our backyard for mangoes Totoy: Do you still have that mango tree? Mrs. M: Yes. Come and help me carry something in the kitchen. Nena: Aling Atang, don‟t you prepare anything for us. We‟re not visitors Mrs. M: It’s only orange juice. I was preparing some for Kikay. Nena: Well. Tony. Tony: You shouldn‟t have come today, Nena. Nena: Oh, why not? Tony: I haven‟t talked with Kikay yet. Nena: Not yet! I thought you said it last night. Tony: I lost my nerve. Nena: Oh Tony, Tony! Tony: Use your head. Nena it’s not easy breaking off his engagement with Kikay or with the girl for God sake!! Nena: Are you in love with Kikay or with me? Tony: Of course with you!! I‟m engage with you.
Nena: Yes, and with Kikay. Too! Tony: That was a year ago! Nena, you know how much I love you. Nena: How could you ask me if you‟re still engage with Kikay! Tony: This is what I get from being honest! Nena: Honest? Making me fall for you when you‟re inlove and engaged with Kikay! Tony: I thought I didn‟t belong to Kikay anymore. It’s only a secret engagement anyway. I proposed to her before she left for America . But when she stopped answering my letters, I considered myself a freeman again. Nena: And so you proposed to me.. Tony: Yes.. Nena: Then, you tell me to keep it a secret! Tony: Because I found out that Kikay was coming back. Nena: I‟m tired of being secretly engaged to you! Tony: Just give me a chance to explain to Kikay. Then we‟ll tell them. Nena: Well, you better hurry. I‟m getting impatient. Tony: How can I talk to Kikay? Nena: Why not? Tony: Because you‟re here and also Totoy. I don‟t wanna jilt Kikay infront of everybody. Nena: You want Totoy and me to clear out? Tony: No.. just give me a chance to be alone with Kikay for a moment.. Nena: I‟ll take care of Totoy.. Tony: That‟s good.. Nena: Just leave it to me.. Scene 4:
Totoy: Puto kayo dyan.. Bili na kayo.. Mrs. M: Here comes Kikay, But she wants to call her Francesca. Kikay: Oh hello darling people!! Nena my dear…… But how but you‟ve become.. and Tony, my little pal… how are you? And Totoy… my raishing! You look goodness,, you look like a Tondo Super Production in Technicolor!! But sit-down everybody and let me look at you.. Oh mumsy!!! Mrs. M: What‟s the matter now? Kikay: How many times I must tell you, never to serve fruit juices in water glasses? Mrs. M: I couldn‟t find those tall glasses you brought home. Kikay: Oh, poor li‟l mumsy.. she is so clumsy noh? But never mind, don‟t break your heart about it. Here sit down. Mrs. M: No, I must be going to the market. Kikay: Oh, don‟t forget my celery. I can‟t live without it. I‟ like a rabbit, munch all day. Mrs. M: Well, if you people will excuse me. Tony, remember me to your mother. Kikay: And remember, a little bloom on the lips, a little bloom on the cheeks. Say mwah, mwah.. Mrs. M: Do I have to, Kikay? Kikay: Again mumsy? Mrs. M: Do I have to paint this old face of mine? Francesca, what am I going to do with you? Kikay: But how dreadfully you put it. Oh mumsy, what am I going to do with you? Mrs. M: I give up! Kikay: Poor mumsy. How pathetic! Nena: Tell us about New York . Tony: How long did you stay there? Kikay: 10 months, 4 days, 7 hours and 21 minutes. Totoy: And she‟s still there…. In her dreams…
Kikay: Yes, I feel as if I was still there, as though I had never left it, as though I lived there all my life. But I look around me and I realized that no, no, I‟m not there. I‟m not in New York , I‟m at home. But which is home for me, this cannot be home because here, my heart aches with homesickness.. Nena: I don‟t think we ought to be here at all. Tony: Yes, we shouldn‟t disturb her. Totoy: Let‟s all just walk out very, very quietly. Nena: And leave her alone with her memories. Tony: Is that girl we used to go swimming with the mud puddles? Kikay: Ah, New York , my own dear New York .. Nena: Totoy, will you come with me.. Totoy: To the ends of the earth! Nena: No darling, just out to our dear little backyard. Totoy: Oh, the backyards of Tondo, the barong barongs of Mypaho, the streets of Sibakong.. Nena: Listen Idiot! Are you coming with me or not?? Totoy: Anywhere dream girl, anywhere at all!! Scene 5: Kikay: Apparently, out Totoy still has a most terrific crush on Nena. Do wake up, Tony. What are you looking so miserable about? Tony: Kikay, I don‟t know how to begin. Kikay: Just call me Francesca… that‟s a good beginning. Tony: There is something I must tell you… something very important. Kikay: Oh, Tony, can‟t we just forget all about it? Tony: Forget??
Kikay: That‟s the New York way, Tony. Forget, nothing must ever too serious; nothing must drag on too long. Tonight, give all your heart, tomorrow, forget. And when you meet again, smile, shake hands… just good sports.. Tony: What are you talking about? Kikay: Tony, I was only a child at that time. Tony: When? Kikay: When you and I got engaged. I‟ve changed so much since then, Tony. Tony: That was only a year ago. Kikay: To me, it seems a century. So much had happened to me. More can happen to you in just one year in New York . Tony: Listen, I don‟t want to talk about New York … I want to talk about our engagement. Kikay: And that‟s what we cannot do Tony. Not anymore. Tony: Why not? Kikay: Tony, you got engaged to a girl named Kikay. Well, that girl doesn‟t exist anymore. She’s dead. The person you see before you is Francesca. Don‟t you see, Tony, I‟m a stranger to you. I hate to hurt you, but surely you see that there can be no more talk of an engagement between us. Imagine, a New York Girl, marrying a Tondo Boy!!! It’s so insane!! Tony: Now look here.. Kikay: I‟m sorry if I‟ve hurt you, Tony. Tony: I‟m not going to sit here and be insulted. Kikay: Hush! Tony! Hush! Don‟t shout, don‟t lose your temper. It’s so uncivilized. People in New York don‟t lose their temper. Tony: What do you want me to do? Smile, say thank you for slapping my face? Kikay: Yes, Tony. Be a sport, let‟s smile and shake hands, and be just friends, huh? Tony: If you weren‟t a woman, I‟d I‟d… Scene 6:
Totoy: Hold it Tony. You must never, never hit a woman. Nena: What‟s all this? Kikay: Nothing,,, nothing at all.. Totoy: What were you two quarrelling about? Kikay: We were not quarrelling. Tony and I just decided to be good friends and nothing more Nena: Tony, is it true? Tony: Yes! Nena: Now, we can tell them! Kikay: Tell us what? Totoy: What‟s going on here? Nena: Tony and I are engaged!! Kikay: Engaged!! Totoy: Engaged! Engaged!! Nena: Yes! We‟ve been secretly engaged for a month! Kikay: A month!? Why you….you… Tony: I did try to tell you Kikay, I was trying to tell you… Kikay: You unspeakable cad!! Nena: Hey, carefully there!! You‟re speaking top of my fiancé.. Kikay: He‟s not your fiancé! Nena: Oh No!! And why not, huh!!?? Kikay: Because he was still engaged to me when he got engaged to you! Nena: Well, he’s not engaged to you anymore, you just said it yourself. Kikay: Ah, but I didn‟t know about all this..
Tony: Now remember, Kikay… it’s so uncivilized to lose one‟s temper, People in New York don‟t lose their temper. Kikay: I‟ve never felt so humiliated in all my life!! You beast, I‟ll teach you!! Nena: I told you to leave him alone. He‟s my fiancé!! Kikay: And I tell you he’s not!! He’s engaged to me until I release him… and I haven‟t release him yet. Nena: You ought to be ashamed of yourself! You‟re just being a dog in the manger! Kikay: You ought to be ashamed of yourself! Stealing my man behind my back! Nena: What? What did you say!!?? Tony: Totoy, pull them apart! Kikay: You keep out of this or I‟ll knock your head off! Totoy: Naku lumabas din ang pagka Tondo! Nena: Shameless hussy!! Kikay: Man eater!! Tony: How dare you suck her??!! Nena: She hit me first! Tony: Look what you‟ve done to her! Nena: Are you trying to defend her? You never defended me! Tony: Shut up!! Nena: I hate you! I hate you Tony: Shut up or I‟ll bash your mouth off!! Totoy: Hey, don‟t you talk to Nena that way. Tony: You keep out of this!
Nena: He‟s more of a gentleman than you are. He defends me! Totoy: You take your hands off her! Tony: I told you to keep out of this! Nena: Oh, Totoy, you‟ve save my life Kikay: Tony! Tony, open you eyes! Tony: Oh, get away from her! Nena: Take me away from her! Totoy: Are you still engaged to him? Nena: I hate him! I never want to see him again in my life! Totoy: Good! Come on, and let‟s go! Tony: Hey! Nena: Don‟t you speak to me, you brute! Tony: I wasn‟t talking to you! Totoy: Don‟t you speak to me either! You have insulted the woman I love! Nena: Oh, Totoy, why have you never told me? Totoy: Well, now you know. Tony: Congratulations!!! Nena: Let‟s go darling; I don‟t want the smell around here. Scene 7: Tony: Now, you‟ve ruined my life! I hope you‟re satisfied. Kikay: I…. have ruined your life??? You…. Ruined mine!! Tony: What you need is a good spanking! Kikay: Don‟t you come near me, you,,, you Canto Boy..
Tony: Don‟t worry, I wouldn‟t touch you with my ten foot pole. Kikay: And I wouldn‟t touch you with my twenty foot pole. Tony: Just one year in New York and you forgot your old friends. Kikay: Just one year that I‟m in New York … and what did you do? But when we got engaged, you swore to be true, you promised to wait for me. And I believe you!! Oh, you‟re a fickle, fickle.. Tony: What are you crying about? Be brave…..forget….. That‟s the New York way.. Nothing must ever be too serious, nothing must ever drag on too long.. Kikay: Oh Tony Please, please! Tony: Besides, there could be no more talk of an engagement between us. Imagine a New York Girl, marrying a Tondo boy!! Kikay: Oh Tony, I‟ve been such a fool.. I‟m sorry, Tony.. Tony: Well, I‟m not! I‟m glad I found out what kind of a person you are! Kikay: Oh Tony, you‟re wrong, you‟re wrong! I‟m not that kind of person at all.. Tony: Oh. “person” is just a relative name, huh!? Kikay: Yes Tony, that was Francesca saying all that. But Francesca exist no more, Tony, the girl standing before you now, is Kikay. Tony: In that silly dress? Kikay: Oh this is just a gift wrapping, Tony. Tony: Well, well, well.. Kikay: It’s true Tony. I‟m Kikay….remember me?? Tony: If I remember it right, I was right, I was engaged to a girl named Kikay. Kikay: Yes, and you‟re still engaged to her Tony! Tony: Welcome home Kikay!!! How was the trip? Kikay: Horrible!! I couldn‟t wait to get back.
Tony: Like it in New York ? Kikay: Uh-uh! Give me a Tondo anytime! Tony: Why didn‟t you answer my letters? Kikay: Francesca wouldn‟t let me write, Tony. Tony: That nasty girl. I‟m glad she’s dead! Mrs. M: Frances ……. Oh, Tony, are you still here? Francesca, don‟t be angry but I couldn‟t find any celery.. Kikay: Oh, never mind, Inay, I hate celery! Mrs. M: Hate celery? Why? You said, you couldn‟t live without it! Tony: That was Francesca. Aling Atang and Francesca is dead. The girl standing before you is Kikay! Mrs. M: But Kikay is Francesca.. Kikay: Oh, no, Inay, I‟m not Francesca……I‟m Kikay! Mrs. M: I give up!! Kikay: That tune! What memories it brings back! I first heard it in New York , at Eddie Candon‟s.. Tony: uh-uh.. Kikay: Sorry darling. May I have this dance with you partner? Tony: Delighted, madame..
New Yorker in Tondo is a classic satirical play in one-act, written by Marcelino Agana Jr. in 1958. First staged by the Far Eastern University (FEU) Drama Guild at the FEU, Manila. This is one of the more popular Filipino comedies that have been produced many times through the years.
This play in Tagalog is about Kikay who is a balikbayan or a newly arrived from New York. The girl acquires the style, manner, and culture of New York and thus forgets her roots and one true love in Tondo. It also tells how she gets back to being the Kikay of Tondo that her friends and love ones knew. This story is among the best Filipino short stories, and it’s among our free online stories.