The Summer Solstice

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"The Summer Solstice" is one of the most popular short stories authored by National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin. It is set in the 1850's and portrays the tensions between human nature and decorum, passion and discipline, as experienced by a woman. It is part of the collection Tropical Gothic published in 1972.


  • Donya Lupeng Moreta- a long-married woman with three children
  • Don Paeng Moreta- the highly moral husband of Donya Lupeng
  • Guido- young cousin to the Moretas who studied in Spain
  • Amada- the family cook and Entoy's wife
  • Entoy- the family driver


On St. John's Day, Donya Lupeng finds Amada in a state of madness and ecstasy after the latter attended the local ritual of Tadtarin, where the women dance and invoke the spirit to empower them. She leaves for Paco, Manila with her family to celebrate the feast of St. John. She meets and enchants Guido, who tries to draw her out from her moral stiffness by enticing her with the Tadtarin ritual. Unsettled, Donya Lupeng joins the last day of the ritual and dances with the other women to her husband's horror. When they arrive at their house, Don Paeng tries to chastise his wife, but Donya Lupeng, flushed and freed by the ritual, subverts him instead.


The movie Tatarin directed by Tikoy Aguiliz and written by Ricky Lee is based on "The Summer Solstice". It starred Edu Manzano, Dina Bonnevie and Raymond Bagatsing, and was released in 2001.

The Author

Born Nicomedes Marquez Joaquin, Nick Joaquin was a poet, essayist, playwright, and journalist. He wrote as "Quijano de Manila" in the Philippines Free Press, espousing a new kind of reportage. After the declaration of Martial Law, he became the editor of The Philippine Graphic magazine and publisher of Mirror Weekly.

Among his collections of works are Prose and Poems (1952) and Tropical Gothic (1972). His novel The Woman Who Had Two Navels (1961) won the first Harry Stonehill Award. Other works include the play A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino (1966). He was awarded the Palanca Memorial Award in 1957 and the Republic Cultural Heritage Award in 1961. He became a National Artist for Literature in 1976.

External links


  • Abad, Gemino. The Likhaan Anthology of Philippine Literature in English from 1900 to the Present. Quezon City: UP Press, 1998.



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