This story set before World War II in Intramuros tells of the plight of sisters Candida and Paula Marasigan, daughters of high-profile painter Don Lorenzo Marasigan. Since Don Lorenzo has not produced a single painting for a long time, the family is in financial trouble. To have a source of income, the sisters take in a boarder, Tony Javier. Meanwhile, Don Lorenzo becomes a recluse. The painter’s self-portrait fetches a high sum as it attracts the curiosity of many individuals which include pretentious art critics, bonafide journalist and family friend Bitoy Camacho, Senator Perico who asks the sisters to donate the portrait to the government and Tony who tries to convince Candida and Paula to sell it to an American.