Set in a small farming village called Manhayang, Sta. Barbara, somewhere in Negros. Like most rural baranggays, the hardworking and closely-knit village folk there had simple needs, simple wants, and simple dreams. They were living their own simple lives when the violence of war reached their place and brought death to their village, their homes and their hearts.
Here revolves the story of Ricardo "Carding" Suerte, son of Juan Suerte. An industrious, strong and sometimes quick-tempered young man, he aspired to marry Lucia, the daughter of the teniente del barrio. Though his father thought he was not yet prepared and had wished to send him to school, he gave his blessing to the decision of his son. He consented to asking Lucia’s hand from her parents in the traditional pamamanhikan, accompanied by the village’s best orator and the godmother of the lass. After agreeing to the conditions of the village chief, the marriage was set. Tatay Juan gathered up almost all of his hard-earned savings for the dowry and expenses for the wedding feast. In the meantime, Carding excitedly built their house despite the advice of the elderly- that building one’s house in May will bring misfortune to its inhabitants.
And so it came to pass that after the grand wedding and the feast that followed- which was even attended by their representate- the newlyweds lived happily on the land entrusted to Tatay Juan by Don Diego, but not for long. Misfortune struck early when their first child was stillborn. A more difficult trial came when Lucing disgraced herself, her family and her husband by having an affair with Luis, the son of their landlord. Caught naked, he was beaten up by the strong, angry husband whose honor and pride were hurt. The couple patched things up, but the land that Carding and Juan Suerte had been tilling for a very long time was given to another tenant.
With no land to till, the pair tried their luck in the city. There, in Iloilo, Carding met Rosing and...