Laygo, Enrique K.

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Enrique K. Laygo –b. Lipa, Batangas Jun 1987 d. Manila 1932. Fictionist, poet, essayist. He married Florencia Katigbak in Baguio in 1924. Eight years after he was murdered in Manila reportedly because of his biting journalistic comments. He was educated at Ateneo de Manila, where he developed his literary skills. Although he finished law, he was not active in his profession and devoted himself in writing articles for various newspapers.

Laygo is considered is considered the most important short story writer in Spanish during the golden age of Philippines-Spanish literature. His stories are noted for their psychological depth and sudden delineation of characters. Rafael Palma, in his introduction to Caretas , notes that in Laygo’s book, “the characters are men and women of our time, restless and volatile, spirits who do not know whether to position themselves on the side of the past or the present, caught and trapped in a period of transition which has confused the precise meaning of good and bad in their minds…”

Most of the stories were published in La Vanguardia, El Debate, El Ciudadano, Excelsior, La Defensa, and Philippines Free Press. He also wrote poetry. His collection of some 20 short stories and poems, Caretas, Cuentos Filipinos(Masks, Philippine Stories), won the Premio Zobel in 1925 and was published in 1931. Among his better-known stories are “Caretas”, “Tirong”, “Idolo con pies de barro” (Idol with Clay Feet), “La Fuega” (The Flight), “La Risa” (The Smile), and “Siempre igual” (Always the Same).

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