May Day Eve tells about how the love story of Don Badoy and Dona Agueda began. They both believe in the myth of the May day eve, for people say that during the eve of May 1st one will be able to see his/her future wife/husband when he/she will look at the mirror. They both saw each other in the mirror, a thing that they did not expect for they hated each other. But that very midnight, they realized how they were falling inlove for each other. As they were “fated”, they become husband and wife but their love somehow faded as the time went by. They always saw the worst in each other every time they retell that May day eve to their children and grandchildren. In the end, Don Badoy realized how he really love Agueda though it may be too late for Agueda had already passed away.
The story has a theme of magic realism. It is somehow a mix of the magic world and the real world. The way Nick Joaqin described the moon, the houses and the wind that eve of May, giving them life and a dark and mysterious feel made it even an enchanting night. And also the way Joaqin tells the part where Agueda was heading to the sala , approaching the mirror, he narrated this with a sense of suspense. The story also has a theme of love. The love between Dona Agueda and Don Badoy, whether it was true love or may be they were just carried away by what they saw in the mirror.
The story has a setting sometime in the 1940s or 1950s. According to one article, it was set in Intramuros Manila.
The mirror was somehow an important symbol in the story. The mirror may symbolize the illusions which Agueda and Badoy saw in each other. How Agueda admired Badoy’s dark and elegant mustache and his gentleman stature and how Badoy fancied Agueda’s bare shoulder that was gold in her candlelight and was gently furred, how he considered Agueda’s neck and breast all enchanting, all these as they were reflected in the mirror. Agueda and Badoy may just be so into these superficial components that they thought they were already madly inlove with each other. This may be is the reason why their marriage have not bloomed and why their love for each other faded.