A PASSING SEASON is the saga of families during the time of the twin wars of 1896 and 1898, known in history as the Philippine Revolution and the Filipino-American War. It is the story of the Eduartes, the de Almogueiras, the Herreras, and their neighbor and occasional friends, the Ricaforts, trying to hold on to old and trusted rituals of daily life amidst the turbulence and upheaval in the last years of the nineteenth century in Manila.
The novel is a weave of many stories. It is a story of love amidst the furor of a beginning warof Guido and Maria Fe, of Angela and Enrique, of Rosalina and her patriot-priest, of Pepe and the girl he would never marry. But it is also a war storyof Filipinos who went to war to claim victory over the Spanish colonial oppressor, a victory that would quickly be wrested from them by another colonizer, the Americans. It is the story of Juancho, a warrior of political confrontation, of Guido, whose trail of war leads him to the heroic tragedy at Tirad Pass, of Pepe engulfed with a passion for his native land, for whom martyrdom is an inevitable conclusion.
It is also a story of political intrigue, of men who see opportunity in political turmoil, and seize the moment of advantage in order to establish a power base for politicaland personalaggrandizement.
It is, in addition, a story of women, of Maria Fe and her friends, Andrea and Juliana Herrera, who try to develop their talents and potential in order to assert their roles in a male-dominated society; of Angela who insists on her own choices, unknowingly haunted by the shadow of her grandmother's experience, and her sister, Margarita's, doll-house existence; of Rosalina, trapped by her father's tyranny; of Aurora who fights in the revolution because it has also become her war.
Most of all, A PASSING SEASON is a novel about ordinary peopleof Tibor and Aurora, Masin and his cousin Subas, of Torcuato, the servant boy who knows no other existence, but who, in the end, establishes a kinship with the epical heroes of the nation because his sacrifice has not been less noble.
The novel is a minstrel's tale of ilustrados, fishermen, young girls, businessmen, farmers, servants, expatriates, housewives, and seditionistsa cross-section of Manila society at the end of the nineteenth century, seeking the triumph of integrity and self-respect, hoping for a peaceful time of freedom, but realizing that the change they were looking forward to is nothing but a change of masters and a change of language that would devastate their lifestyle and their culture.