Filipino Author Macario Pineda: Biography, Famous Works, Short Stories

Macario Pineda was a Filipino short story writer, novelist, and columnist. He started out writing short stories in English. "Five Minutes", his first story was published by Graphic. His other English stories were "Cita", "Nila", and "Auntie Writes the Ending". However, he is most well-known for his stories written in Tagalog. In 1937, his story "Walang Maliw ang mga Bituin" was chosen as one of the ten best stories of the year by Mabuhay. In 1943, his story "Suyuan sa Tubigan" won second prize in a literary contest by Liwayway. His short stories has appeared in various magazines and publications including Sinag-tala, Daigdig, Ilang-ilang, Bulaklak, Malaya, Aliwan, tagumpay, Paru-paro, Kislap, and Liwayway.

Pineda was born on April 12, 1912 in Malolos, Bulacan. His parents were Felisa de Guzman and Nicanor Pineda. He finished his secondary education at the Bulacan High School where he excelled in writing and basketball. He has held various jobs including being a telephone lineman, municipal clerk, palay seller, and treasurer in Malolos, Meycauayan, Pandi, and Bigaa.

When he was just twenty years old, Pineda married and settled down in San Juan, Bigaa, Bulacan. He and his wife had seven children. When World War II broke out, Pineda joined the local guerilla movement where he did propaganda work with other Filipino writers such as Clodualdo del Mundo, Brigido Batungbakal, Mabini Rey Centeno, and A.C. Fabian.

Pineda's stories has appeared in anthologies including Ang 25 Pinakambuting Maikling Kathang Pilipino ng 1943 (1944) and Maikling Kuwentong Tagalog, 1886-1948 (1949) which was edited by Teodoro A. Agoncillo.

Pineda has also written a number of full-length novels. These are Halina sa Ating Bukas (1945), Ang Ginto sa Makiling (1947), Mutyang Tagailog (1947-1948), Langit ng Isang Pag- ibig (1948), Magat (1948), and Isang Milyong Piso (1950). He wrote regular columns for the Liwayway and Daigdig magazines.

Pineda died on August 2, 1950 at the young age of 38.

Short Story Collection

In 2016, Anvil published a collection of Pineda's stories translated into English by Soledad S. Reyes. The collection contains twelve of Pineda's most significant stories. The book was titled Macario Pineda's Love in the Rice Fields and Other Short Stories. It featured the following twelve stories:

1. Love in the Rice Fields
2. Dawn Breaking
3. The Measure of a Man
4. My Country is a Filipina
5. A Wedding in the Big House
6. Oh My Jesus...By Thy Crown of Thorns
7. Each Withered Flower
8. Ka Martin's Heaven
9. Mother
10. Why the Angels Are Sad
11. The Nymph of Karuyan
12. The Looting in Longos

Themes of Pineda's Stories

Here is an excerpt from Soledad Reyes's journal article titled "Theme in the Stories of Macario Pineda". This journal article appeared in an issue of Philippine Studies (Vol. 19, No. 3, July 1971).

"The recurrence of several dominant and interrelated themes is discernible in the works of Macario Pineda. Viewed as a total narrative, his fiction embodies a pervasive and unified view of life. There is a compelling rendering of reality which makes the reader perceive signifiance emerging from human experience. Pineda's stories and novels seem to embody major themes touching on the basic forces of human experience: life, love, death and idealism.

The age-old conflict between good and evil, one of the universal themes of literature, is a central theme -in Pineda's stories where inevitably the forces of good equated with life triumph over the powers of evil. From this central theme flow several inrrelated themes. The war that dehumanizes, an evil force, is vanquished by the acts of good men. The abstract conflict between good and evil is concretized as the opposition one finds between city and barrio life. In these stories, the goodness and beauty in the barrio are pitted against the sordidness and illusory kind of hapiness found in the city. Again, the barrio is made to represent the regenerative forces of life.

Macario Pineda