What Is the Plot of “Footnote to Youth”?

The plot of Jose Garcia Villa’s short story “Footnote to Youth” involves the struggles that a young man named dondong has with family life, marriage and the responsibilities of adulthood. At the beginning of the story, dondong isn’t sure about how to talk to his dad about his desire to marry Teang, the love of his life. As the story goes on, dondong and Teang both have a hard time dealing with their decisions and wonder if matters might have ended differently had their choices not been the same.

Another area of focus in “Footnote to Youth” is the juxtaposition of the regrets and rueful knowledge that often come with adulthood with the naive joy of youth. This makes the story represent the circle of life in a way, showing how matters travel in a complete circle, ultimately repeating themselves.

Jose Garcia Villa developed quite a following in the United States, as writers like e.e. cummings proclaimed the value of his writings. After the publication of the short story collection that contained “Footnote to Youth,” Villa switched over to poetry and spent the next three decades writing verse collections. Between the 1960s and 1993, Villa did not publish anything at all, but his body of work remains compelling.