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Samson College of Science and Technology

The Woman Who Had Two Navels

Nick Joaquin

Name: Rose Ann F. Ong

Course Name: ACT - 11A1/201927752
Professor’s Name: Ms. Melanie Gugola
SY: 2019-2020
Among the characters conjured by Joaquin are the following:

-Manolo Vidal, is the embodiment of the Filipino nationalistic bourgeois who were once
critical of the theocracy of the Spaniards but became transformed puppets and servants
of these colonialists.

-Señora Concha de Vidal, is the mother of Connie Escobar and happens to be her
rival. Concha de Vidal married at first to a poet and then gets divorced and married
again another guy who is Connie Escobar’s father.

-Connie Escobar, The lead female character who suffers from her mother’s
estrangement from a world where unconfident males take advantage of women by
violating them or by venerating them. Connie is married to Macho Escobar, a man who
had an affair with Connie’s mother, a past incident that serves as an “umbilical cord” or
"umbilicus", a remnant connected to her present and future because of her refusal to
leave the issue in the past.
-Macho Escobar, is not a revolutionary but a member of the dehumanized clan of
hacenderos or landlords of sugar plantations and Connie’s Husband.

-Pepe Monson, is the first person in the story who got victimized by the lie that Connie
Escobar has two Navel. He is the husband of Rita, and the younger brother of Father
Tony and the best friend of the Texeira Couple.

-Father Tony Monson, is a holy person in the story and he seeks to solve the problem
between Connie Escobar and her relationship with her mother.

-Rita Lopez, is Pepe Monson’s Wife. And Helen Silva’s friend.

-Paco Texeira, is married to Mary and band member in Manila.

-Mary, Paco’s wife.

-Pete Alfonso, band leader in Tovarich who is seeking for a pianist and singer.

-Kikay Valero, knows all the Filipinos in Town and reported Concha about Connie’s

-Esteban Borromeo, a good painter, and an activist she fell in love with Concha and
got married to her.
-Pepe’s Place
-Hong Kong
-Hotel Room
-Chinese Temple
-Hellen’s Painting Shop



This novel contained mixtures of hatred, love, anger, insecurities and sufferings
that manifest in the realities of life making.
Home and exile. The choice between good and evil. The paying of old debts and
the cost of saving a single soul.



It is a 1961 historical novel and it is also considered a classic in Philippine literature.It
was the recipient of the first Harry Stonehill award. It tells the story of a Filipino elite
woman who is hallucinating, and is preoccupied with the notion the she has two navels
or belly buttons in order to be treated as an extraordinary person. This novel by Joaquin
is a literary assessment of the influence of the past to the time encompassing events in
the Philippines after World War II an examination of an assortment of legacy and
heritage and the questions of how an individual exercise free will can and how to deal
with the “shock” after experiencing “epiphanic recognition”
The story started when Connie went to Pepe’s place for consultation. The problem of
Connie is how to remove her other navel. Because if she (if ever) give birth, where
would the other umbilical cord be connected. Connie told Pepe the story about her child
hood times. Pepe talked to Señiora de Vidal, and everything that Señiora de Vidal told
Pepe exactly the opposite of what Connie told Pepe. Some things that Señiora de Vidal
told Pepe, was that Connie only have a navel, her navel was not really two. Also the
age, which Señiora de Vidal said that Connie was just 18 years old. And she was not
just got married that day, but she was married almost a year already. Pepe know that
Connie hide from her after hearing that Señiora de Vidal ordinary that her father was in
news and that controversies often comes when her father is in the government.
Connie’s mom told her not to be affected with the controversies. After that, Señiora de
Vidal also told Pepe that her daughter likes Paco. Pepe knows Paco because they were
classmates during they are in Grade School.

After talking with Señiora de Vidal, Pepe went to Texeria's after. They talked and Pepe
discovered that Paco was in Manila, he writes Mary a lot of letters about Connie's
Mother. Paco was in manila with his band to play and sing in two different clubs, they
had already signed contracts. Paco became interested with Manila, while Señiora de
Vidal became interested with Hong Kong. They even talked and said, they would meet
often and know each other’s countries. One time, Connie's mom was not around their
house, and Paco met Connie. Starting that time, Connie started watching Paco and his
band playing for the club. Until one they, there were few people fighting and one of them
got shot. Connie was there and she was shocked. Paco with Connie went together to a
Chinese Temple. Connie told Paco that she can talk to somebody else, Connie left him.
After some weeks passed by, Paco exited the club that he was playing for, and
suddenly saw Connie's car in dark. They drove till they reach Paco's hotel. Paco went
out of his hotel room and go away. After that happening, 2 days to be exact, Paco left
Manila alone and went back to Hong Kong.

Mary, Pepe, Paco went to the park and talked. After few hours, Mary went home ahead
with her children. The two gentlemen talk about Connie's two navel. They were
wondering if it is true or not. After talking about it, Pepe went home while Paco was left
in the park. When we came home, he saw his father who was supposed to be in Manila.
His father was very unusual that time and cannot answer most of Paco's questions.
Tony his brother and Rita, were engaged, they went to Paco's house because their
father was there. They ate together and his father went to his room earlier that other.
They were all thinking of what happened to their father when he was still in Manila. He
wasn't able to answer their questions and he went to Hong Kong earlier than what is
expected. The only thing this he saw in his room was the dirty rug that was full of dust.
Pepe gave up of figuring up things and went away.

In the next chapter, Rita Lopez and Hellen Silva’s painting shop. The phone rang and
the person on the phone was Pepe and ask Rita to go to a dinner with Mary and Paco.
Hellen told Rita it was sweet but Rita said, it was all Mary’s idea. Rita wanted to go
home and change clothes but Pepe told him that they will be going straight to Rita’s
shop. So Rita just stay in her shop and decided not to change clothes. So they went to
ride a ferry going to a Disco club in Tovarich. They went there to see one good band
playing in Tovarich. Pete Alfonso went near them in the bar and talk to them. And ask a
drink with them, Paco ask Pete Alfonso why there were no singer and pianist. So he
answer and said they ran away and need a replacement. So Paco applied and was
accepted to start the next day.

Next, Rita asked Pepe to dance with her but Pepe told him he was too full to dance.
Pepe ask someone who was sitting across them a while ago and said it was Vidal. After
talking, Pepe ask permission to Rita if she can go to the balcony, Pepe went to the
balcony to talk with Connie Escobar. Pepe went back to Rita and told them to go home
first because he is going to talk to someone. So Connie Escobar went home with Pepe.
While riding in his car Connie told Pepe stories and at last, they arrived at the hotel.
Connie kissed Pepe on his cheeks and go to her room. But, Connie went back to Pepe
and ask him to bring her to other places. Pepe ask her why and she said, because his
husband is up there. Pepe ask her, “Why are you get worried?” Connie told him that
Macho has other girls, the worst thing about it was, her own mother Concha De Vidal
was the other woman of his husband. Connie saw the letters of her mother to Macho.
So Pepe help her and brought her to his wife’s place. Connie ask Pepe to tell Macho
that she was just sick, she don’t like to go there.

Pepe told that to Macho, Macho ask Pepe if Connie is alright, and ask him if he is a
doctor, Pepe told him he was not a doctor. So Macho ask him to get Connie one, Macho
was asking and asking Pepe where Connie is but Pepe didn’t tell him because it was
what Connie ask him to do. When Pepe was about to leave Macho’s room, Macho stop
him and told the story of how he and Connie got married. Macho became emotional,
while the story was on going. Macho’s father got stroke and after a few days, Macho’s
father died. So Macho has to take care of their business and their “hacienda”.

As Pepe went home, just daylight before Rita woke up. Rita didn’t saw Connie in the

The next chapter started when it was New Year in Hong Kong. Paco and his band
perform in Tovarich. Everybody there was having a lot of fun. In the convent of St
Andrew, Father Tony was planning to teach novices different languages. But he had a
visitor, it was Seniora de Vidal. She told Father Tony that Connie was starting to invent
stories. She knows that Connie hated her because she as Father Tony to convince her
to go back to his husband Macho. After hearing the story, Father Tony was confused
and felt very uncomfortable. After that, Father Tony when to the club to talk to Pepe,
Rita, Paco & Mary. He told them everything that Seniora de Vidal told him, there Paco
hated them more.

Later that night, Concha remembers when she first met his husband Esteban Borromeo.
A Handsome boy, a good painter, and an activist she fell in love with and who she
married. After Esteban died, she met and married her latest husband, Mr. Vidal.

That night, Concha ask Father Tony to go to her car. They talk everything about
Concha’s past and about Connie. Then Tony and Pepe went home and they saw
Connie standing in front of their door. They try to talk with her, to forgive whatever her
mother did to her. And try to start a new life, and told her she only have one navel. And
it was just her imagination. Then Connie started to tease Father Tony and Pepe to look
and see that she really has two navels.

The next chapter is about what happen to the Connie’s life. How she want to destroy
her parents. How she hated her husband Macho and can’t forgive him. How she sees
the world as an evil world, trying to live in a make believe world. Connie can’t accept the
reality of the world.
While Connie was on the top of the peak. She recalled everything that happened and
felt hated that is inside her heart, her mothers and his fathers. She remember the times
when she always says that her father and mother are bad, and not her. She felt soared
but still, cannot accept the truth. After a while, she went to the Monastery.

When she was in the Monastery and got inside, she wanted to talk to Father Tony but is
was an older father who approach her. They had confrontation of what Connie really
felt. The father showed her that she was bad. But whatever the Father told her, she
always believe that she is not bad.