Book Review: If You Read and Love Filipino Literature – YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK! [Bob Ong’s “Si”]

Writter’s Note: Yes, I am a Filipino. Yep. You can add that to the things that you know about me. I don’t know if Book Reviews will be a regular part of this blog. Let’s see about that. And a very important reminder; the following post will be mostly written in Filipino since I am going to talk about a book written in Filipino (but if you want me to translate this post, just comment below)

Noong sinabi niyang “Lahat” at naka-italicize yung nabasa mong salita. Oo, isa iyong hudyat upang mag-isip ka kung papaano mo babasahin ang librong ito.

At sa wakas, kung hindi mo pa nakukuha ang mensahe, muli nang nagbabalik ang tagapagligtas ng makabagong mambabasang Pilipino at ang superhero ng mga tagasulat ng contemporary literature sa Filipino, si Bob Ong. At syempre bitbit niya ang latest niyang libro, ang librong pinapamagatang “Si”.

Si

Kung hindi ka pa sigurado kung lumabas na nga ba ito at kung nag-aalangan ka kung nabasa ko na nga ba ito eh hindi mo pa nakikita ang Si sa bookstore na may pangalang nagsisimula sa titik N, malamang dahil ‘yon sa available pa lang ata ang librong ito sa bookstore na may pangalang nagsisimula sa F. Doon ko pa lang kasi nabalitaang mayroong stock ng Si at ang bookstore na iyon ay may branch sila sa pinuntahan kong mall.

Ang Si ay isang 180 na pagbabago sa istilo ng pagsulat ni Bob Ong. Siguro nga ginulo niya kayo kung papaano mo babasahin ang aklat na ito pero mukhang iyon lang ang rule breaking na ginawa niya para sa akda niyang Si. Kung mababasa mo ito  ng matino, makikita mong hindi colloquial ang mga ginamit niyang mga salita. Ang mga istruktura ng kanyang mga pangungusap ay higit na tugma sa mga patakaran kung paano sumulat ng tamang pangungusap sa Filipino. Ang tunog ng kanyang pagkukwento ay higit na mas banayad at mas pormal kaysa sa ating nakasanayang nating istilo ni Bob Ong. Pati ang cover ng librong ito ay mas tame kaysa sa mga cover ng ilan niyang mga aklat. Masasabing sumunod siya sa mga standards para sa librong ito.

Pero kung inaakala mong bumaba ang kalidad ng kanyang pagsusulat dahil sumunod siya sa proper standards of writing, eh diyan ka nagkakamali. Napatunayan niyang isa siyang magaling na manunulat at hindi lang puro tyamba ang pagiging bestseller niya all these past few years. Oo, maraming kumekwestyon kung kaya ba niyang magsulat ng matinong literature gamit ang midyum na ginagamit ng isang conservative at purist na Filipino writer, well, kaya niya. Sa librong ito mo mapapatunayan na hindi lang dahil sa pagiging moderno niya sa pagasasalita at pagsusulat kaya siya naging sikat. Magaling na manunulat si Bob Ong. Ikaw lang ang naghinala noong umpisa.

Ayoko kong magcomment ng tungkol sa plot; kung sino si Si. Kung bakit “Si” ang title nito. Kung sino si Veronica, kahit na alam mo nang love interest yun ni Si simula pa lang nung flinip mo ang librong ‘to at umasa kang may summary sa likod pero ang tangi mo lang nakita ay dialogue. Syempre ang mahiwagang tanong ay: Malalaman mo ba kung sino si “Si” sa unahan, gitna o wakas ng istorya? Ayokong sabihin. Isa lang masasabi ko. Maganda ang buhay niya; nakakakilig, nakakaiyak, nakakainspire at fulfilling na basahin. Parang buhay mo kung isusulat ni Bob Ong ang biography mo. Kaya lang tingin ko mahal yun! Hehehe!

Basta, sa pagtatapos ng kwentong ‘to mapapabuntong-hininga ka at masasabi mong “aaaawwwww……”

Ito yung kwentong may idea ka na kung paano magtatapos pero hindi ka sigurado. Iyong alam mo nang lovestory pero hindi cheesy. Yung alam mo nang parang kwento ng lolo’t lola mo pero hindi boring. Iyong medyo review ng History pero okay lang, hindi mo tutulugan.

Ang galing lang ng pagkakasulat at pagkakagawa ng istorya. Para siyang kwento ng tatay, lolo, lola, tito, tita mo. Lovestory ng nanay at tatay ng guwardiya at janitor niyo sa school o kaya ng professor mo sa college. Relatable siya. May kakilala kang ganito ang istorya at masasabi mong istorya natin siyang lahat.

Oo naman, kailangan mong mabasa ang librong ito! Dahil naniniwala akong, isa ito sa pinakamahusay na akda ni Bob Ong. Wala pa siya sa “hype” level ngayon at magugulat ako kung hindi ito magiging sikat kaya kailangan nitong maging sikat!

PASIKATIN ANG “SI” ni BOB ONG!
GO~!

Pero, seryoso, pagkabuklat mo kailangan mo munang isiping mabuti kung papaano sisimulang basahin ang librong ‘to! Hindi nga…. Totoo nga!

(Huwag mong sabihing hindi kita pinaalalahanan!)

Fury Against The Machine

It wants to rhyme at dusk
It admires beauty
The moon even shines in its wake
and the clouds are trying to swallow it
But it argues that a storm was raging somewhere
It suggest that to stop admiring beauty for a while

But how can you halt thinking?
How can you stop it from breathing
I am physically tired
full of ideas which cannot materialize themselves
A physically tiring task
A mentally draining commotion

You have to argue against yourself

You have to defend why you need sleep with your own self
That the engine needs to rest before it starts overheating
That the steam is about to blow out but it should not be

That I need to stop typing
But the letters goes on and on
Although the yawns are more frequent,
it cannot stop giving out commands

Truly this is a fight against yourself
A battle within your own wits
A neither loosing nor winning battle of yourself

I Like Poems; You Know That, Right?!

It has been a while since I last challenged myself and I feel like challenging myself starting today. So from December 6 until January 5 I am going to write a single poem each day because…. hmmm…. well, let’s just say I am celebrating me getting older. Yeah, let’s just stick to that.

Okay, so starting today until my birthday I will be doing my “29 (or more) Poems Until I Turn 24” challenge and let’s see if I can do it.

Honestly, I don’t even know if someone reads my blog. I feel like I am talking to myself. It’s actually like Twitter but I can tweet longer, unlimited characters longer! But yeah, I like writing poems and if someone will spare their time reading this, well, Thanks! And Hi! It’s nice indirectly meeting you! =)

A Writer’s Sky

If you take a bird and slither its neck,
you will never hear it sing
you will never know how its voice sounds like
you will never know how it thinks

If you take a me and chop away my hand,
you will never know if I really think
my hand is the melody of what my voice sounds like
my words is equivalent to a song

I may never be able to fly
I don’t have wings
I do not cross seas and archipelagos

But I can fold a sheet of paper,
fold it, shape it like a plane
and let it fly

Your eyes and attention are my skies

If I ever get lost
At least someone, somehow read how I sound like
You know, in a sneak, how I think like

You will never be able to see my face
But I hope when I shout your name on a crowded street

You’ll look back and say
“Oh! You are the writer, I read”

That Poet

Since when did I became silent?
The least word I would describe my self is quiet
Believe me,
I am loud

I shout in front of a piece of paper
a virtual and a physical one
All the world is paper
I can shout at it as silent as I could

People are all words
Experiences are exclamation points

My life has never been at peace
My head is at constant turn
My eyes do all the viewing
My hand has its own autonomy

I may seem passive
I am agressive
With words that will never escape my mouth
With stares full of understandingI

Façades

There are two sides;
of every face
of every story
of every line
of every word

The are two sides;
what you see and what we hide
what is your right and what are my wrongs
what is left and what I left
what I accept and what will never take in

There is only an understanding;
what you want to accept
what I want you to understand
what you want to see
what you thought you saw

There is only an opinion;
your own

You only pick one

You only deduce

Although I hope you consider all

There are many faces in this earth

Good Luck on seeking the truth