Lalaki sa Dilim

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Lalaki sa Dilim is one of Benjamin Pascual's most notable novels. The main character is Rafael, a playboy doctor who commits a heinous crime against his patient. It explores the issues of adultery, rape, pride, and forgiveness.


Rafael is an ophthalmologist who is a womanizer. A fight breaks out during his bachelor party and as he tries to hide from the police he stumbles upon a young sleeping lady whom he rapes whilst under the influence of alcohol.

A minor narrative is the story of Marina, married to Nick, who experiences abuse in her husband's hands. In their deteriorating relationship, the two resort to adultery and revenge.


The novel explores the dominant idea of virginity as the emblem of honor for women. When this is disparaged by a crime such as rape, the image of a woman is forever marred. It also explores the various abuses experienced by women in a patriarchal society such as that of the Philippines.

It is to be noted that the male protagonist repents for his crime on account of love, something that lends a hopeful and less aggressive conclusion.


Before the novel was published, around a decade before, Pascual wrote a short story with a similar title, "Psst...Ako ang Lalaki sa Dilim." The title of the novel was also an alteration because writer Jun Cruz Reyes had a novel with the same title, "Ang Lalaki sa Dilim".

The language of the novel has often been described as simple, and the borrowing of English words such as "boyfriend" and "sex" later on became acceptable.

The Author

Benjamin Pascual was known as a short story writer before he ventured into writing novels. He took up journalism in the Far Eastern University but did not finish it. However, he was able to become an editor of Liwayway magazine and Filipino section editor of People's Journal Tonight. He won two Palanca Awards for Landas ng Bahaghari and Di ko Masilip ang Langit. In 1994, he was recognized by UMPIL for his contributions to Philippine Literature in Filipino.

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