The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes



The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes

In The Adventures of Cayo Malínao, a hardworking bookkeeper Cayo Malínao—who, from childhood, has led a virtuous and modest life—finally encounters a temptation he can’t resist when he reunites with his childhood best friend Vincentito, now a dissolute card sharp. In thrall to Vincentito, Cayo swiftly falls into a heady addiction to gambling, women, and vice, risking the life he built through the years for what he believes will be the winning gamble of a lifetime.

A poor studious bibliophile attempts to aid his sick mother, but ends up in jail, a seemingly disastrous twist of fate that instead leads him to an exceptional career as the wealthy customs inspector Rufino Rojo in The Promotions of Inspector Rojo. Rojo is assisted in his fortuitous ascents up the rungs of life by well-meaning superiors and fortunate coincidences. However, it is Rojo himself who determines his destiny by behaving with utmost sobriety and following every social dictum, proving that success is not always a matter of courage and ambition.

In Aunt Pasia, the titular character is the widow of a slain revolutionary desperately seeking to avenge her husband, who was assassinated by the local bandit chief Captain Palás. When authorities turn a blind eye, Aunt Pasia becomes obsessed with Palás, hounding his tracks until he gets arrested, and eventually hanged. In the process, Aunt Pasia becomes consumed by her own vindictiveness. The death of her arch-nemesis doesn’t give her peace; instead, it portends the haunting of a nightmare of her own making that almost drives her insane.

Premio Zóbel awardee Guillermo Gómez Windham takes readers on an absorbing literary journey in these three novellas in The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes. Published in a bilingual edition, and annotated and introduced by renowned Hispanic literary scholar Ignacio López-Calvo, this book features the best writing of Gómez Windham, who lived during the tumultuous transition from Spanish to American colonial rule in the Philippines.

Despite his Hispanic upbringing, Gómez Windham was an admirer of English-language literature and practiced a distinctively hybrid literary style that unites the stylistic elements of American writing with the ironic themes of the Spanish picaresque genre. In these powerfully wrought stories that hold a mirror up to his times, Gómez Windham has created a world of repressed obsession, thwarted idealism, and ever-shifting social identities. Provocative and meditative, The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes reinforces Gómez Windham’s standing as a consummate artist of the conflicted interior lives of characters caught in destinies beyond their control.“With their collaboration on the translation into English of Guillermo Gómez Windham’s The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes, Robert Rudder and Ignacio López-Calvo render a great service to Fil-Hispanic letters in particular and Philippine literature in general. Their work provides access to nonhispanophone Filipino literary and cultural scholars to better understand the oft-neglected Hispanista dimension of Philippine culture. The translation also comes at a timely moment, a century after Gómez Windham won the inaugural prize of the Premio Zóbel, the highest literary award given to Filipino writers in Spanish.”

—Wystan De La Peña
Professor, Department of European Languages,
University of the Philippines


“I think it is wonderful that this great initiative of publishing bilingual editions of Filipino classics in the Spanish language has Gomez Windham’s book, The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes. Through Windham’s agile prose, with the translation of Robert S. Rudder, we can peek into the particular world of the Philippines invaded by the United States and the struggle in the cultural field that the successive occupations produced. Ignacio López-Calvo’s essential introduction allows us to understand the social and autobiographical references of the three short novels in depth, and to locate them within Gómez Windham’s oeuvre.”

—Rocío Ortuño Casanova
Professor of Literature, Universidad Nacional de
Educación a Distancia (Spanish Open University)

“With the debacle of the Revolution not yet a faded memory, the  characters of Gómez Windham’s San Pedro struggle to find their way—and themselves—under the conditions of “the new sovereignty.” The Adventures of Cayo Malínao and Other Philippine Novelettes is a masterwork that deserves to reach a worldwide readership, and it should with this edition, which features a brilliant translation by Robert S. Rudder and illuminating introduction and annotations by Ignacio López-Calvo.”

—Eugenio Matibag
Professor Emeritus of Spanish, Iowa State University




About the author

Guillermo Gómez Windham was the first Filipino writer to receive the
prestigious Premio Zóbel for his novella collection La carrera de Cándida (Candida’s Career, 1922). Born in Iloilo to a distinguished family of Spanish descent, he learned Spanish as his mother tongue. He advocated for enriching the language and Hispano-Philippine literature and cofounded the Academia Filipina de la Lengua, serving as its director for 15 years. His fluency in the English language, which he learned during his short stay in Hong Kong, enabled him to hold important government positions during the American period and
after independence. Having a background in bookkeeping and accounting, his natural knack for words pushed him to publish numerous novels, poems, stories, articles, and essays—both in Spanish and English.

About the Translator

Robert S. Rudder is an expert in Spanish literature. He finished his doctorate in Spanish and English history with a specialization in golden age Spanish literature at the University of Minnesota. He devoted years of his career translating literary texts while teaching Spanish at the University of California, Los Angeles and other universities in the US. Some of his published works are The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes (1975), Pérez Galdós’s Nazarín (1997), and Jesús Balmori’s Birds of Fire: A Filipino War Novel (2022). He was a recipient of writing grants from the
Spanish Ministry of Culture and the National Endowment for the Arts.


About the Annotator 

Ignacio López-Calvo is a professor of Hispanic American literature at the University of California, Merced, where he also serves as director of the Center for the Humanities and presidential chair in the Humanities. He authored more than a hundred articles and book chapters together with full-length books and essay collections. His recent works include Saudades of Japan and Brazil: Contested Modernities in Lusophone Nikkei Cultural Production (2019), Dragons in the Land of the Condor: Tusán Literature and Knowledge in Peru (2014), and The Affinity of the Eye: Writing Nikkei in Peru (2013). He is also the codirector of the academic journal Transmodernity: Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World. His main research interests include Hispanic American, Brazilian, Latinx, and Spanish-language Filipino cultural production.

232 pages
15.24 x 22.86 cm
ISBN 978-971-97-0843-8 (hardbound)
ISBN 978-971-97-0844-5 (softbound)



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