Anluwagi by Genaro R. Gojo Cruz: A Book Review

Anluwagi_cover.jpg_1(1)This is my first Genaro Gojo Cruz’s children’s book  which I was eager to read after his Connect the Dots: Kung Paano ko Kinulayan ang aking Buhay ( 5 stars). I’ve been intrigued since then the latter one has something to do with his  life , from childhood to his being on the cusp of  professional success now.  Besides, I wondered  – right after knowing that he is a children books writer-  what kinds of  stories he loves to write. Eventually, in this book, I understood why the story is somehow heart-trending.

The child’s father is an ANLUWAGI ( Don’t be confused about its another varied spelling anluwage) or a carpenter in English who lives in a slum area along the rail. For the innocent child, he is amazed at his father’s ability to turn any things made from something disposable into something  useful like Magic .Unfortunately, the slum area will be under demolition. Everything his father patched together  will disappear . The things the child considers as his father’s oeuvres. In the end, his father’s positive outlook will prevail   and set as a good model   to his son.

The book, therefore, tackles not only demolition and relocation  which is an ordinary situation in the Philippines but also how such abject misery tests a family’s mettle  and children’s innocence.

I liked the story. It is perfectly close to the reality.  I’m sure all children who grew up with grinding poverty   can relate to it. Besides, Genaro Gojo Cruz  truly knows what a child thinks about and feels  for. Like of what his description and narration in his book Connect the Dots , he experienced to live in a house which parts   his father   patched together.

On the other hand, since I am getting along in years now, a question happened to pop into my head , “ If a child reads it, what lesson will he learn?”  I even thought about it for a while as if  I  felt and thought   like a child again.

Hmmm…Based on my experience,  if I were a child, I would realize that I should study hard to reach my dreams. I don’t want to live along the rail. I don’t want to live like a nomad moving from one place to another.

Professor Genaro Gojo Cruz. Your story pinched my heart again. If I had not read your book Connect the Dots, I would not have understood the  deep impression  you drew in your story . Thanks for sharing it with us! I will definitely share it with my little nieces and nephews.

“Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.”

Sam Rayburm, The Leadership of Speaker Sam Rayburn

Rating: 2/ 5 stars  ( It’s ok. )


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