The Mats

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The Mats is short story written by Francisco Arcellana that captures a father's affection towards his family the same way as he pays tribute to their loved ones who already passed away.


  • Mr. Angeles (Jaime) - the head of Angeles family
  • Emilia (Miling) - wife of Mr. Angeles
  • Marcelina, Jose, Antonio, Juan, Jesus, Susanna, and Alfonso - children of Mr. and Mrs. Angeles
  • Josefina, Victoria, and Concepcion - dead family members


Mr. Angeles' homecoming celebration from his occasional trips out of town had never been more different than his homecoming from the South. Aside from the things that he usually bring home, he carried with him extraordinary sleeping mats from a matweaver whom he met during his trip. He made each sleeping mats personalized for everybody. However, it surprised them when they found the extra mats that Mr. Angeles bought for their loved ones who already passed away.


Francisco Arcellana (1916-2002) is considered as a progenitor of Filipino short stories in English and pioneer of short story as a lyrical prose-poetic form.

This National Artist from Sta. Cruz, Manila, bloomed early in his craft and prospered until he entered in the University of the Philippines as a pre-medical student. He was later invited to join the U.P. Writer's Club. Arcellana also made a mark in the beginning of nontraditional forms and themes in Philippine literature when he edited and published the Expression in 1934. He graduated with a degree in philosophy in 1939 and later went into medical school.

He worked as columnist in the Herald Midweek Magazine while in medical school. Later after the war, he came back to UP as a teacher and became the adviser of the Philippine Collegian and director of Creative Writing Center.

In 1951, his short story “The Flowers of May” won first prize in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature (see Palanca Awards). His work entitled the “Wing of Madness” made became second prize in the Philippine Free Press literary contest in 1953. His other noteworthy works include 'The Man Who Could Be Poe”, “Death is a Factory”, “Lina”, and “Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal”.




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