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Stainless Longganisa

Kung gusto mong maging manunulat,

magsulat ka.

Simple.

Stainless Longganisa, the fifth book in Bob Ong’s collection, is by far my personal favorite.

First printed in December 2005, Bob Ong relates to his readers the very first time he holds a pencil, his writing influences and the process of writing his four previous books. He also tells us how he chose to become a writer, whether it was decided to be his destiny or just by sheer accident, it’s up to you to find out!

The “White Book“, in my opinion, is the closest to ABNKKBSNPLAko?!. (Arguably, the best in his series yet.) It has the same wit, humor, and cohesiveness as his very first work/masterpiece; but written mostly for aspiring writers.

Hari ka ng mundo habang nagsusulat. Akala mo nakasalalay sa mga isinusulat mo ang ikot ng mga planeta.

Don’t despair, for this book is written for anyone who aspires to be something and not just exclusively for writers. By reading this book, you could finally see his insights, share his experiences, and humanity. You can also learn a lot about the books he has written, with some random facts and explanations.

Highly recommended for everyone dreaming of being somebody and certainly a must-read for all Bob Ong fans. I don’t recommend this to be the first book you read in the series since you’ll probably get confused what he’s talking about most of the time. On the other hand though, it just might strike your curiousity to read all of his books as well! Now that’s what I call a Win-Win situation. ^_^


Bob Ong is the bomb!
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MacArthur

“Merong matigas, merong malambot;

Merong tuwid, merong kulot.

Merong buo, merong durog;

At merong mga taong hindi basta-basta lumulubog.”

Four friends define what friendship really is, despite all the grime and dirt of poverty…

Jim, Noel, Cyrus, and Amadeus “Denver” Kantuyan a.k.a. Voltron star in Bob Ong’s sixth book, MacArthur.

Released around May 2008, this modern day drama is set in the middle of  an unnamed Metro Manila slum, surrounded by drugs, violence, poverty, and even death. Dysfunctional families, broken dreams, and false hopes also plague our protagonists as they face everyday adversities.

It might strike some readers that this piece is very, very different from your typical Bob Ong. The whole experience is like being trapped inside a Maalaala Mo Kaya set.  It was very dramatic, even serious in some parts, which clearly shows the author’s diversity as a writer.

“Dalawang dekada ka lang mag-aaral. Kung di mo pagtitiyagaan, anak, limang dekada ng kahirapan ang kapalit. Sobrang lugi.

Kung alam lang yan ng mga kabataan, sa pananaw ko e walang gugustuhing umiwas sa eskwela.”

-Mang Justo pg.86

Of course, this book is not exempted from Bob Ong’s wit and humor. Though some might find some jokes and remarks quite offensive in nature, the crude (and rude) nature of these words actually capture the authenticity of everyday conversations usually heard in low socio-economic areas in our country.

This almost-a-hundred-page-book bravely bares the truth and harsh realities of life, the daily hardships a lower-class family deals with and how they stick together as one. i salute the author for creating a no holds-barred novel; a book that refletcs the real “us”; a book that is worth every penny. Read the “Red Book” by Bob Ong, and see if you are a “MacArthur” yourself.

Bob Ong rocks!
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Kapitan Sino

“Ang Pinakabagong Superhero Noon.

Mas Matibay Pa sa Orig.

Sa mas Mahabang Panahon.”

Here comes Kapitan Sino

Rogelio Manglicmot stars as “Kapitan Sino” in the 7th offering by the famed Pinoy author, Bob Ong. Later in life, he finds out that he has unique superpowers (the power of electricity) and decides to put his “talents” to good use. With a little help from his childhood friends Bok-bok and Tessa, he fights crime wearing a silver body suit, an alien(?) helmet and good ol’ Chucks. However, he later finds out that all the superhero stuff isn’t all that cracked up to be.

Released around mid-May 2009, I find this piece to be very entertaining (and much better than MacArthur!) and a real page-turner. It has everything: action, drama, suspense, comedy (of course!) and even a love story! The funny references from the 70’s and 80’s like defunct television shows, favorite chichirya, famous singers and songs, etc. will certainly leave a smile on your face.  Though sometimes, there’s too much detail in a single page and not as finely executed compared to similar pages in other chapters in this book.

As expected from Bob Ong, every chapter reflects images of daily life including: poverty, struggles, street descriptions, politics, etc. He’s obviously talented in capturing the essence of the Filipino culture and conveys it in the most entertaining way possible. From gossiping neighbors, stupid law enforcement, corruption, and political propagandas on the streets, this “Silver Book” has it all.

Here’s are some quotes I really loved from Kapitan Sino:

“Maraming tao dito ang mas malungkot pa sa taong nakatira sa buwan. Saka hindi naman kailangan ng maraming tao para makabuo ng mundo e. Minsan, isang tao lang ang kasama mo, buo na ang mundong kailangan mo habambuhay.”

-Rogelio

And,

“Hindi alam ng mga nakakakita kung kelan sila bulag.”

-Tessa (when she asked Rogelio the difference between a blind person and a seeing one)

(Both quotes can be found on pages 97-108, the chapter where Rogelio and Tessa are alone on the roof of a church, star-gazing.)

Towards the end of this book, the author will make you realize that we do not need superheroes to save us. Instead, we just need to do what we can and must do in order for us to save us from ourselves.

May it be against giant gorillas and robots, and even man-made monsters; this masterpiece is surely a great addition to any book collection. (Or even a great first book if you’re planning to start one.) Now, get your lazy ass moving and grab a  copy of this book. I guarantee that you’ll love this one!

Now, where’d did I leave silver body suit and helmet ?

Kapitan Sino Rocks!

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Ang Alamat ng Gubat

gubat 1Ang Alamat ng Gubat was certainly a surprise for first-time readers and Bob Ong fans alike. The fourth book in the series is very different from the first three books: it’s fiction! (with matching pictures!)
The Orange Book revolves around Tong, a heroic “Talangka” in search of the mystical “Puso ng Saging” to cure his ailing father, the King. Don’t be fooled even though there’s colored illustration every other page making it look like a storybook, there are symbols hidden in every character, situation and conversation. That’s where the fun begins!
Try to realize or decipher what or who “Leon“, the jungle, or even what the “Puso ng Saging” really means.

Is risking your life for a treasure really worth it or is it just another fool’s errand? Who is the real king?

These are some of the questions presented by the author.Definitely a thumbs-up or rather two paws-up for this one. A good addition to any collection. It challenges readers to be a hero in their own way, even how twisted or evil the “gubat” they are living in might be.

gubat 2
Bob Ong rocks!
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Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas

Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas is the third installment in Bob Ong‘s book series. This time, the controversial author known for writing in conversational Filipino is back in his form and this was much better than his previous one.
The Black Book (again, according to his fans) is more cohesive (writing-wise) and more enjoyable. Written in a conversation type style, the whole book looks like a really, really long script between him and <._.> !
It was career suicide, according to his fifth book Stainless Longganisa. Covering topics about politics, showbiz,history and everyday life, which, according to him, should never be uttered in casual conversation. (How much more in printed book form!)
Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas is enjoyable at first and gets tiresome towards the end. (The opposite with Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino.) The script type form was obviously a mistake but that’s how the author “obviously” wants us to see.
Nevertheless, this book is a must-have for any Bob Ong fanatic but definitely a weird one for a first-timer. (Which happened to me three Christmases ago!) Read it at your own risk…


Bob Ong rocks!
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Bob Ong Trivia

Let’s have a short commercial before proceeding to the next review.

  • Dilaw ang Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino? dahil spoof sana ng “For Dummies” book series ang cover nito.  Pero nag-evolve ang konsepto kalaunan hanggang sa nagmukha na lang itong…um, dilaw na libro.
  • Hindi alam ni BO kung paano naging orange ang “orange book”.  Nabasa n’ya na lang sa Internet na orange daw ang susunod n’yang libro.  Tinanong n’ya ang publisher kung ano ang pwedeng gamiting kulay; ang sagot: orange.  Tinanong n’ya ang mga kaibigan kung ano sa tingin nila ang susunod na kulay; ang sagot: orange.  Pinagawa n’ya ang artist ng cover na hindi orange para lang pabulaanan ang lahat.  Nang makita n’yang blue ang langit sa cover, ibinalik nya ito sa artist para papalitan ng kulay na mas “nagbabadya ng panganib”.  Ibinalik ito sa kanya ng artist sa kulay na red orange.  Nangyari ang lahat ng ito dahil sa prediksyon ng isang tao na nagsabing orange daw ang ikaapat na libro ni BO.

  • Itim na libro lang dapat ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas, walang titulo sa harap ng cover.  Pero napilitang magdagdag ng label ang publisher dahil sa utos ng bookstore.

  • Sa Chowtime Na! sa IBC 13 narinig ni BO ang kantang “You Touch My Trala La”.  May dance contest pa.

  • Nang lumabas na magkasukat ang una at ikatlong libro, hiniling ni BO sa publisher na paliitin na rin ang ikalawang libro.  ‘Yan ang alamat ng dalawang size nito.  (Magkakaroon pa ng 3rd edition.  Kasinlaki naman ng SIM ng cell phone.)

  • Galing sa mga mambabasa ang nickname ng mga libro:  Green book ang ABNKKBSNPLAko?! (book1);  Yellow book angBakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino? (book2); Black book ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (book3); Orange book ang Alamat ng Gubat (book4); at White book ang Stainless Longganisa (book5).

  • Isinulat ang draft ng unang libro sa higit limang klase ng scratch paper na may iba’t-ibang hugis at laki.  Beri propesyunal.

  • Hindi ballpen ang tinutukoy na “Stainless Longganisa”.  Wala itong ibang kahulugan bukod sa nabanggit sa libro.  Pinilit iwasan ni BO ang  kulay pula o silver sa cover para hindi maisipan ng mambabasa na may kinalaman ang nasabing titulo sa materyal na stainless o sa pagkaing longganisa.

  • Peksman!  Talagang sina Dan Brown at JK Rowling ang nagsabi ng review na nasa likuran ng ikalimang libro.

  • Ipinasa ni BO sa editor ang unang libro bilang “ABNKKBSNPLAko!?” pero naipasa ito ng editor sa publisher bilang “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!”.  (Spot the difference.)

  • “Tong! Tong! Tong!” ang orihinal na pamagat ng ikaapat na libro.  Ginawang Alamat ng Gubat para sa mas malinaw na mensahe tungkol sa mundong ginagalawan hindi lang ni Tong, kundi ng lahat ng mga hayop sa kwento.

  • Ang ikaapat ng libro ay resulta ng madugong royal rumble na kinasasangkutan ng writer, illustrator, at layout artist na may kanya-kanyang creative (o destructive) differences.  Napilitan lang silang magkasundo noon dahil magpa-Pasko na.

  • Isinulat ni BO ang ikalawang libro at ilan pang mga tula habang nasa piitan s’ya noong taong 1962 hanggang 2001.  (Halata bang nauubusan na tayo ng trivia?)

  • Kyut si Bob Ong.

  • Ang ABNKKBSNPLAko?! ay gumamit ng font na kung tawagin ay Kidfont.  Hindi ‘yon Comic Sans!

Nabuo ang Alamat ng Gubat hango sa inspirasyon ng Mongolian Barbecue The Movie.  Panoorin mo bago ka mamatay.

Bob Ong Rocks!

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Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino

Bakit Baligtad Magbasa ng Libro ang mga Pilipino: Mga Kuwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong is the second book in the series.  First printed in June 2002, the follow-up to his well-received ABNKKBSNPLAko?! book, is much more gritty and hard-hitting than the first.

The Yellow Book (by his fans) is noticeably more thicker than the rest of the series at 200+ pages, is a collection of write-ups about the Philippines and Filipinos; commentaries from prominent people; and even a bunch of forwarded e-mails! Most fans will tell you that this is his one of his worst if not the worst work yet because it’s just a “compilation of forwarded e-mails.”

Yes, I agree with them, but for a totally different reason. They fail to realize that the author wants us to see how the world percieves us and not how they judge us.Filipinos by nature are very proud of their culture and heritage (or lack of it) and hate being criticized about it. Sadly, it’s what this book is all about.

What I dislike about this book however is how loose the book was written. With the loads of material included, the transition was very poor from one chapter to another. You’re lauging at how “jologs” you are from an online test at one point, and hating the guts of a foreigner writing about his sentiments about the Philippines. Yes, it’s that incohesive.

Reading very long, forwarded material in my e-mail is tiresome. I know many of you agree with me on this and it also holds true in this book. Material that wasn’t very entertaining, educational nor does not contribute to the books cohesiveness should’ve been left out. Trying to finish the book was agonizing even for me and adding comments at the end of each could’ve made it more “interesting” at least.

Certainly not the best book to start with within the series, because you might feel cheated as a reader at the amount of re-published work contained in the book.

Seeing the heart of this book was well at the end, so make sure you finish! then ask yourself: Do I still want to be a Filipino?

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