List of Characters
The Gonzaga Family
Rio Gonzaga: One of three main narrators; a young mestiza woman of Filipino, American and Spanish ancestry; born in Manila but moves to the U.S.
Freddie Gonzaga: Rio’s father; married to Delores Gonzaga; an influential upper-middle class businessman.
Dolores Logan Gonzaga: Rio’s mother; married to Freddie Gonzaga; a former beauty queen.
Raul Gonzaga: Rio’s older brother; he becomes a fundamentalist Christian minister at the end of the novel.
Belen Garcia Gonzaga: Raul’s first wife; they have three girls and she leaves him.
Erlinda Gonzaga: Raul’s second wife; they marry in a civil ceremony and the family believes they are living in sin because they do not marry in the Catholic Church; they have two girls.
Lola Narcisa Divino: Rio’s maternal grandmother; a Filipina; married to American Whitman Logan.
Whitman Logan: Rio’s American maternal grandfather, married to Lola Narcisa.
Socorro Pertierra Gonzaga: Rio’s paternal grandmother and a widow; she is a Filipina but lives in Spain; her deceased husband Don Carlos Jose Maria Gonzaga was also Filipino but like his wife, considered himself Spanish. She visits once a year and considers herself to be very “high society” (this is the title of the chapter in which she appears). Her character represents the Spanish colonial influence in the Philippines.
Cristobal Gonzaga: Freddie’s oldest brother; lives in Spain with Freddie’s mother; wealthy head of an import/export firm.
Esteban Gonzaga: Another of Freddie’s brothers.
Tita Menchu Gonzaga: Esteban’s wife.
Eddie, Ricky and Claudio Gonzaga: Rio’s grown-up Spanish cousins; sons of Esteban and Tita Menchu.
Pucha Gonzaga: Rio’s flirtatious cousin; narrates one chapter at the end of the novel.
Agustin Gonzaga: Pucha’s father; Rio’s uncle, Freddie’s older brother; Freddie gets Agustin a job working for Severo Alacran.
Florence Gonzaga: Pucha’s mother and Rio’s “Tita” (aunt).
Miguel “Mikey” Gonzaga: Pucha’s older brother.
The Alacran Family
Severo “Chuchi” Alacran: Suave, powerful and ruthless tycoon; considered the richest man in the Philippines.
Isabel Alacran: Former beauty queen; Severo’s wife
Rosario “Baby” Alacran: Severo’s daughter; his only legal child.
Pacifico Alacran: Severo’s brother; he is the blind father of Girlie and Boomboom.
Blanca Alacran: Pacifico’s wife; she is deceased; mother of Girlie and Boomboom.
Boomboom Alacran: Severo’s spoiled nephew; brother to Girlie.
Girlie Alacran: Severo Alacran’s niece; runner up to Daisy Avila in the beauty contest; when Daisy abdicates, Girlie becomes the winner.
The Avila Family
Senator Domingo Avila: A popular, left-leaning Philippine senator, leader of the opposition movement against the government; Daisy’s father; he is assassinated. His character serves as a symbol of Philippine resistance. He is patterned after Benigno Aquino, a popular leftist leader who challenged the authority of the Marcos...
(The entire section is 1348 words.)