Monday, February 28, 2011

My Golfie, the Dream, and the Nightmare

Golfie is my first car. He is a blue Volkswagen Golf, 2001 model. He’s quite old but I really don’t care. I’m not that materialistic to go into all that trouble of getting a brand new car. Besides, I’m a ravenous social-climbing pauper- impoverished, gullible (read: stupid), and exploited. In short, I don’t have the money.

Finally my dream has come true. Though I’ve always wanted an Alpha Romeo or an Audi, it doesn’t really matter anymore to me. All that matters to me is that I have car!!!!!

I’ve always thought that if I have my own car, I can go to places anywhere I want to. A dream of every guy- freedom in the fast lane- and it simply makes you feel high.

When I finally bought my car, the song Overdrive by the Eraserheads came to my mind.

Now, I have my Golfie. The slap of reality makes you realize that it is quite a nightmare. So far I’ve been using my car for work and school. Sometimes I become my sister’s driver and chauffeur to my mom’s friends. I have to work hard and save my money to pay bills and insurance. I haven’t been around with my car except for work, school and church.

But I don’t mind.  I needed a car for work.

I can’t understand why people think that the moment you just bought your car, you should automatically become an eager taxi driver for freeloaders. Left and right, you see your cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, friends, bosses, co-workers, mistresses, sugar-daddies, and lovers asking you to take them to places, begging your desperately as if it was a matter of life and death, ESPECIALLY, when they know very well that you’re about to go to your work that is located far away somewhere in the most desolate god-forsaken area of Tuscany. I mean, I bought a car because I NEED IT and for PRACTICAL PURPOSES, unlike some losers who need a car to become a better douche-bag poser and get laid.

Anyway, I’m just happy that Golfie is now in my life. So pano yan, syota na lang talaga ang kulang….

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ruby Heartbreaker is not a prostitute…

Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini said that if a girl goes to the Prime Minister’s villa in Arcore, it doesn’t mean that she’s a total harlot.

She right, isn’t she? Poor little Ruby Hearbreaker. Everybody’s calling her a whore. She’s the victim here. She doesn’t seem to like the fact that she went to our dearest Prime Minister’s parties.





Just look at her. Is this the face of a prostitute? Huh? Look! Look at that! Is that what you call a whore?!



This little girl has the looks of a victim. Poor little Ruby.


The Deadly Dance of the Bosses: Gloria’s Cha-Cha and Berlusconi’s Bunga-Bunga

If Gloria has Cha-cha in the Philippines.....




Dear old Berlusconi has bunga-bunga in Italy!



Don't you just love it when your democratic masters know how to dance?

Ang Manliligaw na Babae o si Frustrated Miss Valentine’s

Paalala: ang sumusunod na kuwento ay isang fiction, yung tipong teleserye na madalas pinananampalatayanan ng madla. Hindi ito blind-item. Kung may skandalo man dahil dito, hindi ko na kasalanan ‘yun. Makati lang talaga ang dila mo at makitid ang utak mo. Sorry, walang kinabukasan ang katulad mo.


“Kuya anong magandang i-regalo sa lalaki?”, sabi ng katrabaho ko.

Napakunot ang aking noo at tiningnan kong mabuti ang dalagita kong katrabaho? Naunawaan ko na agad kung ano ang patutunguhan ng aming paguusap.

“Teka ano na ba ang date ngayon?”, tanong ko agad sa kanya habang hinahalo ko ang asukal sa aking ika-limang tasa ng kape ng hapong iyon.

“February.”, sagot niya. Tila ba naging abstract art ang hitsura ng mukha niya. Siguro dahil hindi niya maunawaan kung bakit isang walang kwentang tanong ang itinugon ko sa kanya. O marahil ay naging ganoon na talaga ang expression ng mukha ng isang nagtatrabaho sa isang kainan na dinadayo ng mga eng-eng at mga utak-biya.

 Tripster Guy: “Ah February pala. Kala ko Pasko na naman eh.”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: “Kuya naman!”

Tripster Guy: “Bakit ba? Anong meron?”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: “Wala lang.”

Tripster Guy: “OMG! May syota ka na?! Kala ko single ka pa.”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: “Nako kuya, marami nang nakaka-alam. Hindi mo ba nakita sa Facebook account ko?”

Tripster Guy: “Wala na akong Facebook account. Pang common people na kasi ‘yun, at hindi rin ako chismoso. Sorry na lang!”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: “Anyway, ano ba ang magandang ibigay sa guy para sa Valentine’s?”

Napa-isip ako nang mabuti. Mahirap regaluhan ang lalaki, sabi ko sa kanya. Tinanong naman niya ako, “Eh ikaw ba? Ano ba ang hilig mo?”

Maliban sa mang-insulto ng mga tao, mag criticise sa mga parak at mga buwayang kongresista, pag-tripan ang mga kabaliwan ng isang laman-lupang dwende na dating pinuno ng isang nakaka-abnong bansa sa Asya, magbasa ng balita, mag cutting classes, magkape, at mangarap na i-massacre ang lahat ng mga jejemon, ano pa nga ba ang hilig ko?

Tripster Guy: “Libro! Yan ang passion ko.”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: “Libro?”

Tripster Guy: “Oo libro. Ang nerd ko no? Kakaiba ako sa lahat ng mga kalalakihan dahil iba ang trip ko sa buhay eh. Mabuti pa alamin mo kung ano ang obsession niya. Madalas sa mga guys hilig nila sports at gadgets. Puede rin ang accessories.”

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: Nako, hindi siya puede ng mga bracelets o kahit anong accessories. Puede siguro kuwintas.
Dinamayan ko ang katrabaho ko sa pag-iisip habang siya ay naghuhugas ng mga tasa at platito.

Hanep na talaga ang panahon ngayon. Ang Valentine’s Day ay isa nang extension ng Pasko para sa mga magkakasitahan!

Paano kaya nangyari ‘yun? Kung ganoon ang kalagayan ng mga piyestang ito, isa lang ang ibig sabihin nito- anak sa labas ni Santa Claus si Kupido at kaya ito may pana ay para ipagtanggol niya ang sarili niya sakaling ipapatay ni Mrs. Claus si Kupido at ang nanay niyang querida ni Santa Claus.

Pero maliban diyan, nabibigla na din ako dahil babae na ngayon ang naghahanda para sa Valentine’s Day. Dati  naaalala ko, halos mag-mukhang constipated ang mukha ko sa paggawa ng budget para sa buwan ng February kasi kasama diyan yung regalo sa girlfriend at yung pagdate sa labas. Siyempre ikaw na lalaki ang taya sa lahat. Kahihiyan pa kung hindi mo kakayanin na akuin ang mga gastusin ng pinakamahalagang piyesta ng mga magkakasintahan.

Hindi lang naman si Frustrated Miss Valentine’s ang ganyan pati na rin ang kaibigan kong si Miss Emotional Parking Lot, na medyo abala din sa pagiisip kung anong ireregalo niya kay On-and-Off-sintu-sintong-BF. Siyempre, ubang usapan pa rin yan.

Balik tayo kay Frustrated Miss Valentine’s. Pasensya na lang kung napag-tripan ko siya dito pero sintomas lang siya ng pagbabago ngayon ng lipunan. Bakit nagaatubili maglingkod ang babae kay lalaki sa araw ng Balentayms (Filipino term for Valentine’s Day)?

Tripster Guy:  Frustrated MV, ‘wag mo na masyado isipin yan! Hindi ba dapat lalaki ang umatupag sa ganyan? Ang trabaho mo lang ay maghintay para sa move niya.

Frustrated Miss Valentine’s: Oo nga kuya pero gusto din naman na meron akong maibigay din sa kanya.

Kung tutuusin sa lalaki hindi na mahalaga kung may maibigay na regalo ang gf niya o wala. Ang mahalaga sa amin ay yung pang-unawa, attention at pagmamahal. Pero bakit ba nagpapaka-haggard itong si FMV?!

Pinayuhan ko na lang siya na makipag date na lang sa kanyang kasintahan sa isang magandang restaurant. Sa kasamaang palad, nasa ibang siyudad ang kanyang magiting na irog.

Long-distance relationship pa pala. Patay.

Humingi ulit ako sa kanya ng isa pang tasa ng espresso. Ika-walong tasa na. Hinaluan ko ulit ng asukal. Hindi ko alam kung tama ng kape na iniinom ko itong nararamdaman ko o talagang naiinis lang ako sa makabagong kultura ng relationship ngayon?

Hinayaan ko na lang siya sa kanyang krisis. Tutal siya din naman ang gagawa ng desisyon at mukhang desidido siya sa ginagawa niya. Hindi ko pa rin talaga maintindihan ang ganitong uri ng relasyon. Babae talaga, hindi maintindihan. Buti na lang hindi na babae ang pinagbubuhusan ko ng attention kundi yung “bagong second-hand” kong Volkswagen. Weeeeh!

Pangalawang paalala:

Ang tungkol sa pagiging single ko at yung "bagong second-hand" na Volkswagen ko ay ang mga elementong may katotohanan sa istoryang ito. Bow.

The Valentine’s Survey: The Handsome Poor vs the Ugly Rich, The Final Countdown

Fifty-one percent of Filipinos would choose a lifetime partner who is rich but ugly rather than someone who is good-looking but poor (46%), according to the Fourth Quarter 2010 Social Weather Survey conducted on November 27-30, 2010.
And here’s something interesting- 52% of men pick good-looking but poor, 57% of women pick rich but ugly.
Among women, preference for a life partner who is rich but ugly is high across all age groups. In particular, those who would choose someone rich but ugly is highest among the women aged 18-24 (71%), and decreases by age: it is 61% among those 25-34, 57% among those 35-44, 51% among those 45-54, and 50% among those 55 and above. No wonder why most politicians get the girls.

To all the girls out there: Sino ngayon ang manggagamit? Sino ngayon ang sincere?
Size doesn’t really matter. Looks, neither. It’s the money that counts.

Friday, February 11, 2011

It's Friday!

Thank God it's Friday!

I'm not really in love. It's just that it's Friday...I'm broke!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What Reyes Failed to Be?

He failed to be a traditional Filipino politician. Poor guy. I don’t know if he’s innocent or guilty of all the charges, but I believe he wasn’t able to handle the pressure anymore. It gives a very bad impression to the situation and the military.

Unlike in Japan or South Korea, it is very rare to hear news in the Philippines of politicians committing suicide because of their involvement in corruption cases

House of Representatives Minority Leader Edcel Lagman (unfortunately, such great political leader leads a group infiltrated by the dogs and other deviant furtive beneficiaries of the Arroyo administration) said that politicians and the media must desist from trial by publicity and must entrust such issues to the legal and judicial departments.

He’s right in some ways but he’s really wrong in SO MANY WAYS.

The principle is right. But let’s put it in the context of Philippine politics.

If all issues were to undergo the normal judicial proceedings and trial, the sentence would be laid down, perhaps, after five administrations and people would have no idea what happened because we all know that judicial proceedings and trials are sometimes ‘private issues’ for the rich and powerful. The public would be denied by all means of obtaining any information.

On the other hand, such trial by publicity exposes issues which need to be exposed and people are informed of what’s happening around them. But does it bother our political leaders?

Hon. Edcel Lagman, if the practise of the media and some politicians of trial by publicity is giving a bad result by pressuring those who are implicated, why is it that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and family are still alive? Why is the Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez still alive? Why is former President Joseph Estrada still alive? Why are the Ampatuans still alive? Why is Senator Ping Lacson is still alive and hiding? WHY IS IMELDA MARCOS AND FAMILY STILL ALIVE?

Here’s the reason why: THEY ARE NOT BOTHERED BY IT BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ONION-SKINNED LIKE ANGELO REYES. That’s why suicide never came into their mind.

Holier than thou.... Mabait naman din sila diba?
For traditional Filipino politicians- resignation and suicide are NEVER, and again, I repeat, NEVER OPTIONS to get out of a problem. And we both now Mr. Lagman that we wouldn’t do what Reyes did if we were implicated with such issues. So stop complaining about being tried by publicity!

This is What Perversion of Justice Means

How is justice perverted?

photo from gmanews.tv by Joe Galvez
When you have a Supreme Court with justices from the most prestigious university of the state acquit somebody like Hubert Webb as if they were saying, “He’s still convicted. But we’re releasing him anyways because of some technicalities that common people with common wits wouldn’t be able to understand. So shut up.”

Philippine society seems not to be bothered by the fact that our justice system acquits 8 out of 10 criminal cases and we all know that there’s a very big probability that they ARE criminals because our country is actually rated as one of the top ten most corrupt country in this planet.

But in this case, many are saying that Webb is indeed innocent.

I’m not sure how to react on this. I was still a kid when I heard the news. I didn’t understand much then. And the sentence to the trial of the century was laid down in 2000, and I was already here in Italy.

I haven’t got much to say about this. All I know is that Hubert is now famous like a rockstar and girls are running after him like female dogs in heat.

And that’s the perversion of Philippine justice- you convict an ‘innocent’ guy, make him suffer for almost a decade, then release him from prison like a rockstar.

I’ve always dreamed of becoming a celebrated personality. Perhaps I can massacre a family along with my rich barkada (as if I had high society friends!), get my family and friends to create a propaganda claiming my innocence, get jailed, then an acquittal, and then become the most famous boy-next-door!

 Of course I’m just rambling now because it’s right now and I’m writing this post and I’m not making any sense at all. Well that’s what you get when you write about a justice system that makes no sense at all.

Curtain Call for the Silver Screen

Is this the end of the silver screen culture?

It’s been three weeks and I still can’t believe that Variety Cinema, the movie theatre near our home, is closing!

The streets in our area are always blocked with traffic from until not only because of the commercial activity in our area but most of all because of the cinema. I remember when Avatar came out tickets and reservations were sold out for almost a week. I never had the chance to watch it in 3D and until now I still haven’t sent he movie.

 It really pains me a lot to see the cinema closed. I’ve been there several times and I was quite satisfied with it. And just think how the Florentines feel about!

The whole neighbourhood is becoming more and more depressed with the situation. Several politicians, especially from the center-right parties have intervened to save the beloved movie theatre.

From what I’ve heard, the owners of the cinema couldn’t pay their debts so the ownership went to the hands of some real-estate firm who plans to construct apartments. And I think they’ll build apartments like small boxes for sardines with the most incomprehensible prices.

I really don’t like the depressing mood in our area. Five years ago it was so busy, filled with the bustle and hustle of the commercial activity, and a very vibrant atmosphere. Now, people are just getting troubled with shops, coffee shops, and the cinema closing down.

Mayor Renzi please do something! Life was easier when there was Variety and there were more parking spaces!!!!!

*          *          *

I think it’s time for the local government to stimulate and help the business of movie theatres. I think they should also educate the people to learn to appreciate the ‘silver screen culture’ instead of downloading movies which were smuggled and uploaded illegally by criminals.

People, like my sister, who think that paying for a movie ticket and buying DVD’s is stupid. I think of them as hypocritical criminals in the making.

The very reason why we end up with such crap like “Hating Kapatid” and the closing of cinemas and the loss of jobs of some people is because criminals/irresponsible citizens would love to get freebies even if it’s illegal and then complain that the government is not doing enough to save the community.

Of course they would explain that there’s nothing illegal with what they’re doing because they are simply ‘sharing’ files in the social network. It won’t be illegal if it’s not hurting the industry and most people, you idiot!

One way to solve the problem is to eliminate these ignorant social amoebae. Of course, some of my critics would say, “that’s not every Christian of you Brother Tripster”. Fine. Let’s do the most Christian way. Here’s an appeal to those criminals. I’ve got two words for those network pirates- Stop it! Other two words- Get lost!

Park Chan-Wook and his iPhone- to hell those sponsors!

Majority of human beings purchase iPhone4 because it’s the most ‘in-thing’. And most of them can’t even maximize the potentials of this bewitching gadget. They are usually confined with calling and texting. Some are able to download games, eBooks, and many other useless and not-so-important applications for time-wasting-and-unproductive priorities.

South Korean director Park Chan-Wook
But for someone like Park Chan-Wook, an iPhone4 is a new innovation for creating a movie.

This year, South Korea, through one of her outstanding children, produced the first short film shot with an iPhone, the fantasy-horror film "Paranmanjang" or “Night Fishing” in English.

"Paranmanjang," which means a "life full of ups and downs," is about a man transcending his current and former lives. He catches a woman while fishing in a river in the middle of the night. They both end up entangled in the line, and he thinks she is dead.

Suddenly, though, she wakes up and attempts to strangle him, and he passes out. When the woman awakens him, she is wearing his clothing and he hers. She cries and calls him "father."

The movie, made on a budget of $133,000, was shot using the iPhone 4.

Again, it’s a 30-minute movie. Unlike in the Philippines where they produce a 120-minute movie/commercial jam-packed with overrated actors.

I don’t hate my country. I just hate our absurdly glamorous movie industry. To hell those sponsors!

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: Tidbits of Tragic, Beautiful, and Humorous Quirkiness

I’m currently reading Haruki Murakami’s book ‘Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman’. It’s the first real short-story collection which was published abroad.

Some of the stories like Firefly appeared in some of his novels like Norwegian Wood.

In his introduction, he said, “There was a period when narratives I’d written as short stories, after I had published them, kept expanding in my mind, developing into novels. A short story I had written long ago would barge into my house in the middle of the night, shake me awake and shout, ‘Hey, this is no time to be sleeping! You can’t forget about me, there’s still more to write!’ Impelled by that voice, I would find myself writing a novel. In this sense, too, my short stories and novels connect inside me in a very natural, organic way.”

No, these are not the words of a drug-addict but a statement of an eccentric genius.

The stories vary from the surreal to coming-of-age, topics about love, friendship, society, ghosts, death and suicide, sex, but mostly about suicide and even more oddities of oddities.

Here are some excerpts from stories that I’ve already read-

“Everything was simple, and direct. Cause and effect were good friends back then; thesis and reality hugged each other as if it were the most natural thing in the world. And my guess is that the sixties were the last time that’ll ever happen again. A Prehistory of Late-Stage Capitalism- that’s my own personal name for that age.”

“As in every generation, there were all kinds of people, with all kinds of values. But the difference between the sixties and the decades before and after was that we were convinced that someday all those differences could be overcome.”

- from ‘A Folklore for my Generation’

“Then, suddenly, I pictured those cats, starving to death in a locked apartment. I- the real me – was dead, and they were alive, eating my flesh, biting into my heart, sucking my blood, devouring my penis. Far away, I could hear them lapping up my brains. Like Macbeth’s witches, the three lithe cats surrounded my broken head, slurping up that thick soup inside. The tips of their rough tongues licked the soft folds of my mind. And with each lick my consciousness flickered like a flame and faded away.”

-          from ‘Man-eating Cats’

“Death is not the opposite of life, but a part of it… Death was in everything around me- inside the paperweight, inside the four balls on the pool table. As we live, we breathe death into our lungs, like fine particles of dust.”

-          from ‘Firefly’

My friends say this is the most emo-thing on earth. I said, “Anything that you don’t understand is emo to all of you. For me, anybody who doesn’t understand this is an idiot.”

Enjoy reading my friends!

The Sign of the Abercrombie

There were three instances in which the sign of the abs-and-muscle oriented apparel Abercrombie and Fitch appeared to me.

The First Sign


This is now my trash bag....

Last January I was in Milan to visit my best friend and my relatives. On the last day of my holiday there, my friend gave me hand to pack up my things before I leave. Later on he handed me a paper bag with all the gifts, souvenirs and other stuff I need to bring back home. When I was on my way to the train station I realized that I was carrying a paper bag from A&F. It shows the pictures of half-naked bodies of two guys. Naturally I freaked out saying, “Darn it, this is so gay!”.

I wanted to send him a text message saying, “Thank you best friend for being able to make me look like a pervert, maniac and compulsive exhibitionist in the eyes of the world. I appreciate that. You did it again this time! Happy holidays!”





The Second Sign

A friend of mine recently got back from the Philippines and, like many other pinoys, she got pasalubong or special gifts for her friends. Well she brought me a black Abercrombie shirt (note: size L). I tried it on. I suddenly felt the bitter bite of reality. It fits me so well I thought it was my second skin. I wanted to thank her so much for thinking that I’m not a slob anymore like I used to be and that I’m so sexy that my butt can fit in any tight-fitting pants and shirt. I guess she had too much alcohol when she purchased the shirt so I told her don’t worry, I’ll starve myself to death to wear this shirt.  

However, this girl has a reputation for having an ESP and she’s partially a psychic. I said psychic, not psycho. Perhaps she had a vision of me to be just like one of A&F’s man-whore models in the future. Thank you. You are really a true friend!

Third Sign

Recently we received a package from the US. It was from the couple who stayed in our home last year. I think it was December. They were accompanying their daughter who was member of a children’s choir that was performing in different cities in Europe. We opened our doors for them and my family brought them around the city. The package was their way of thanking us.

When we opened the box, I was surprised to see a shirt they bought for me. Again, Abercrombie & Fitch. A word was written on the tag of the shirt’s collar- muscle. Muscle. MUSCLE? The word was so alien to me that I had to consult the most reliable source in this planet- Wikipedia. Wikipedia said, “muscle- something that you don’t have but don’t worry, you still have hopes to acquire them. How? It’s a mystery.”



Suddenly I opened my eyes. I passed out. It was a nightmare. I got up and grabbed the shirt and threw it into the bottomless abyss inside my drawer.

I wanted to say thank you for thinking of me as an A&F model. Of course, I simply have a six-pack flabs. Unfortunately I’ve deleted my Facebook account.

Conclusion

The thing is, I don’t care about those male-pseudo-hookers called A&F models… Ok fine! I’m envious because they get paid for being such douche-bags posing like that all day and get to sleep with a lot of women. But at the end of the day they’re still… douche-bags.

The company is headed by a perverse paedophile (who would think of producing thong underwears for little girls in pre-teen children's sizes with phrases like "Eye Candy" and "Wink Wink" printed on the front?), a human resources department who is as racist as Hitler and the Ku Klux Klan combined (yep, they mostly hire all white males who can expose their abs and girls with sun-kissed skin. Or sometimes, half-breeds), and it’s simply a big institution for douche-bags.

And besides, I’m not really a dumb fool who would pay for trash with sky-rocketing prices.

So why are there three signs? Dunno. But I guess I might as well try my best to lose weight so I can put those shirts on!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Danao is killing me softly with his song...

Have you come to that point in your life when you feel like this day is simply dull and there’s nothing really interesting around you, not even the conflicting thoughts inside your skull. It is an ordinary boring day. Then all of a sudden you hear a guy with his distinct voice, singing an unknown song as he plucks each string of his guitar creating an unknown mesmerizing melody, and then you break down in tears, sobbing heavily. You’re weeping. Your soul is dripping out of from your body in each crystalline tear that you shed. You cry a lot but you don’t understand why! It’s not even because of your period, or hormonal imbalance, and it’s not even symptoms of any psychological disorder. Have you ever experienced something like that?

Don’t worry. You’re not a full-blown emo. Things like that happen. And it just happened to me.

In the Philippines we call it 'senti mode'. It means a particular moment where you just sit down to relax and listen to the saddest love songs that remind you of your past broken relationships  and those opportunities and lovers you left behind. And eventually you will cry. ‘Senti mode’ isn’t something that’s automatic. You set your heart and mind to do something stupid like that.

In my case it was different. I was totally unprepared for it.

This is what happened. I was checking my favourite radio dj Mo Twister's blog one night. He posted a video of him hosting a radio program with Johnoy Danao, a Filipino recording artist, as his guest. The guy played the song “Ikaw at Ako” (‘You and Me’).

The intro of the song undid something in my heart. And as the words of the song flowed on, so as my tears from my eyes started to fall down. I was crying like crazy! It was a full-on senti mode session and I knew it was so gay!

It never happened to me before, not even with my favourite musicians and bands. I think I just listened to the first two lines of the song and it just destroyed me. There’s this title of Roberta Flack’s song, “Killing Me Softly”, now I know what it means when she said, “killing me softly with his song.”

It’s embarrassing really, but what the heck! I just love pure talent!

I'm not sure if he's very popular in the Philippines. If not, well he deserves to be known because he's a very talented singer and songwriter. I might order a copy of his album.

You can download his songs from iTunes or order a copy of his album from his website- johnoydanao.com

Listen to it! Let’s support Filipino artist! Galing talaga! Pinoy ang dating!
  

Orwell vs. Ong: The Writers Death Match!

I simply can’t avoid comparing George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and Bob Ong’s “Alamat ng Gubat”.

Orwell’s novel is about a group of animals who organized some sort of an animal power revolution to kick out their tyrant human master who acted worse than an animal. The farm known as Manor Farm was suddenly changed to Animal Farm, a place for the animals, by the animals and of the animals. Unfortunately, the pigs who were installed as their leaders were gradually humanised and started messing up things and acted like their former tyrant human master. The animals realised that their revolution only resulted to a worse fate for everyone.

Ong’s “Alamat ng Gubat” is similar in a sense that the author used animals as well as an allegory. His story is about a crab named Tong who ventured into the jungle to get the heart of the banana tree that will save his father from dying. This vegetable is magical. Whoever eats it can be healed from any illness and will be granted one wish. In his journey, he discovered that in the jungle many other animals aspire to rule the small jungle kingdom and would do anything to become the new leader in the jungle- from cheating the jungle elections, to insect assassinations, vote buying, flying-voters, bribes, lies and corruption. But despite all the discouraging circumstances, Tong pursued his goal, got the magical vegetable and made a wish that the jungle would become a better place.

Now, let’s put both novels in the ring:

Round 1- Both novels are allegories of the society and realities to which both authors witnessed in their lifetime. Orwell’s novel is more profound in meaning and was very specific in dealing with the issues of his day. Ong deals with the inherent negative aspects of the Filipino political culture but not as profound as that of Orwell. 1 point for Orwell.

Round 2- Orwell’s fable is able to communicate in the simplest way how dictatorships come and go, and the moral of the lesson is easily learned most people. With Ong’s fable it’s quite hard to connect the situations and elements to the real world but the moral of the story is easily grasped because of his use of colloquial Filipino. Not only it can be understood by many, but it is really a thing for the masa, a book where the poor and rich, the dumb and the wise can find a common ground. One point for Ong.

Round 3- Many individuals and groups of people are represented in Orwell’s story giving a clear picture of the situation. Plus, the way he picture those who are in power as pigs is simply the best thing a man can do to assassinate the character of those powerful slobs in the government. One point for Orwell.

Round 4- Ong’s characters in “Alamat ng Gubat” have a feisty humour and they have an attitude with what they’re doing. Plus the twist of the story was more than shocking and hilarious, it was simply impressive and witty. One point for Ong.

Round 5- Orwell gives us a picture of a dystopia and bitter reality. Ong gives a positive outlook in the future and makes a wishful thinking of a utopia for Filipinos. I say we’ve had enough troubles right now. We need someone who will encourage us and give us hope no matter what’s going on around us. Another point for Ong.

Round 6- Since we started this Writer Death Match, Orwell was already dead. And besides, I just love the cover and the illustrations of Ong’s book. It’s full of witty remarks. I also believe that it wasn’t even his intention to make a profound statement. He simply published a children’s fable written for adults, nothing more, nothing less. We just make a big deal about everything! And that’s the genius of Ong!

Bob Ong wins!

Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (Hindi ito compilation ng aking kabalastugan sa buhay, kaya ‘wag kang OA)

Nararapat lamang na isulat ko ito sa style na madalas kong tawagin na “may pagka-Bob-Ong”.

Ito ang ikatlong aklat ni Bob Ong na nailathala noong 2003.

(Before I move on, if you’re a foreigner or simply a pseudo-conyo who refuses to grasp the meaning of each Filipino word written above, I’d like to apologize if I’m writing this in my own language. I can’t insult my favourite Filipino icon by writing a ‘review’ about his work in English. I need to do this alla Bob Ong style.)

Nagpabili ako ng kopya nito sa kaibigan ko na umuwi ng Pilipinas nung isang taon. Nang una daw niyang nakita yung title naisip niya na umaapaw na naman daw ako sa dunong sapagkat pagaaralan ko ang isang gnostic gospel na isinulat ni Hudas.

Sorry pero mali siya. Unang una, bakit ako magkakainteres sa mga taong Hudas? Sa dami na nang ganyan eh sawang sawa na nga ako, bumili pa kaya ako ng mga ganong klaseng aklat? Pangalawa, baka matuluyan na talaga akong mapatawan ng excommunication ng aming iglesiya kung magbabasa ako ng mga controversial at erratic gospels, kaya hindi talaga ako interesado sa mga ganon.

Kaya nung nabuklat niya ang libro napagtanto din ng kaibigan ko na isang normal din pala akong Pilipino tulad ng nakararami- may pagka jologs at talagang inherent ang absurdity sa buhay. Oo, absurd ang sinabi ko dahil hindi ko alam sa tagalog ang absurd at tinatamad akong kalkalin ang aparador ko upang buklatin ang Tagalog-English dictionary.

Muli na naman nabuhayan ako ng dugo nang nabasa ko ang Black Book o Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas. Di ko masyado na-gets kung bakit ang Black Book na ito ang matataguriang paborito na aklat ni Hudas. Kung ito man nga ang naging paboritong libro ng apostol na hudas, marahil ito na siguro ang nagdulot sa kanyang mag-hudas!

Kung tutuusin walang kabalastugan na nilalaman ang libro ni Ong. Ang panimula ng libro ay  isang kwento ng isang taong nagpakatiwakal nakikipag-usap sa isang nilalang na hindi niya masabi kung iyon ba ang Diyos o si Lucifer na umaarangkada na naman sa pang-go-goodtime.

Nahahati ito sa pitong kabanata na bawat isa ay may titulo na pawang mga anagram ng 7 mortal sins-

Chapter 1 Veny- Envy
Chapter 2 Geran- Anger
Chatper 3 Depir- Pride
Chapter 4 Ventocoseuss- Coveteousness
Chapter 5 Tuls- Lust
Chapter 6 Gynottul- Gluttony
Chapter 7 Holts- Sloth

Ang ilan sa mga sanaysay ay walang kinalaman sa mga nasabing titulo ng bawat kapitulo. Ang nilalaman ng aklat madalas ay ang mga personal na karanasan ng manunulat sa kanyang araw-araw na buhay at ang kanyang mga saloobin at opinyon sa ilang mga bagay-bagay.

Ilan sa mga nakakaaliw na sanaysay sa aklat ay ang ‘Chalkdust: Mga Kwentong Chalk Revisited’, mga ala-ala ng mga terror teachers niya sa college at ang kanyang payo para sa mga taong nagiisip mag-suicide. Oo may payo siya para sa mga walang ka-adud-adud na nilalang na gustong magpakatiwakal!

Wala naman masyadong espesyal at napaka-ordinaryo lang ni Bob Ong kung tutuusin pero bakit patok na patok siya sa lahat ng taong marunong magbasa?

Siguro dahil ang kanyang aklat ay para salamin. Kapag binasa mo, nakikita mo ang sarili mo- ang iyong taglay na kagwapuhan at ang mala-halimaw mong mga tagihawat. Nakikita natin ang kagandahan ng kulturang Pinoy at ang madalas nating mga kapraningan sa araw-araw na buhay.

Iyan ang magandang balita ni Bob Ong.