Who Are the Characters of “New Yorker in Tondo”?

The characters of “New Yorker in Tondo,” by Marcelino Agana Jr., are Tony, Kikay, Francesca, Totoy, Nena and Mrs. Mendoza. The satirical, one-act play tells the story of a Philippine girl who returns home from New York as a different person. The play won the 1956 Carlos Palanca Memorial Award.

The satirical aspect of the play stems from the dual personalities of the main character, Kikay, who has returned from New York to her home in the Tondo district of Manila. Kikay is met by her fiancé, Tony, who begins to talk about the couple’s wedding plans. However, Kikay tells Tony that she know longer wants to go through with the marriage. As Tony questions Kikay about her change of heart, the audience realizes that Kikay has literally changed into a New Yorker who calls herself Francesca, and Francesca has no desire to marry Tony.

Two other characters, Totoy and Nena, interrupt the conversation at this point in the plot. It is revealed that Nena and Tony have been engaged during the same time as Tony and Kikay’s engagement. This revelation works Francesca up into a jealous fury, which causes her to revert back to the character Kikay. Kikay pleads with Tony to take her back, telling him that Francesca is gone and that all Kikay wants is to be his wife. The play concludes with the couple dancing to a song on the radio.