Busabos ng Palad (The Wretched)
Isang Nobela (A Novel)
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Written in 1909 amidst the proliferation of American-influenced cabarets and dancing halls in Manila, Busabos ng Palad (Pauper of Fate) was a landmark Filipino novel that confronted the ills and injustices of a society. A story of love lost and found, Busabos ng Palad recounts the tragedy of the lovers Celso and Rita. After meeting in the province and pledging their love to each other, Celso leaves to study in Manila, where Rita is later thrust into a miserable life as a prostitute. After two long years of separation, Celso finally finds Rita in a dismal whorehouse. Despite the whisperings of those around him, he offers her his unwavering love. But with such an abominable reputation, does Rita still deserve his heart? In the end, Aguilar shows how love can be tragic, and begs us to consider our judgment of the prostitute with the golden heart.