Ang Aking Photo Album (My Photo Album) by Genaro R. Gojo Cruz: A Book Review

Ang_Aking_Photo_Album_My_Photo_Album__cover.jpg_1If you  are  a Filipino born in the 1990’s, you must be very familiar with our fondness of creating photo albums. We Filipinos love taking pictures. As a matter of fact, when I was young, I was also into this hobby. I would get the negative films I borrowed from my friends developed  to put them in a photo album, decorated with beautiful designs and captions. However, this hobby is now falling out of fashion since we are in an ultramodern era when everyone  can take “selfies” and“groupies” and at the same time post them in different social media. I guess only  those maudlin  people   still tend to get into this avocation. Besides, photos can be destroyed now when they are not protected well. In our language, we call such condition “ damaged by virus”.

Like in the story, a young boy creates his  own photo album. ( It sounds like the boy is feminine, doesn’t it? But I don’t give a damn on it! )

The boy misses   both his parents a lot. Both his parents work abroad. His mother is an English teacher in China while his father an engineer in Norway. It is very rare that both of them come back to the Philippines together. To comfort himself, he creates a photo album in which he puts all the pictures taken  with him. He is proud to describe each with captions. Among them, his most favorite is the one  of which they were all taken together.

I  may not have experienced to have been left alone by my parents as what his parents do, I could feel his sadness and eagerness to meet them again. But when I was young, I would cry whenever my parents left me alone under the wings of my grandparents. I could not abide waiting for them at the end of the day. Sometimes, I would sit by the window star gazing  and wishing that they did not have to go away. Or usually I would play with my friends  somewhere in  the heart of the forest  lying near our house.  I am cocksure this is what children out there feel likewise.

This is the second  Genarro Gojo Cruz’s children’s book  I got interested  in  upon reading his Connect the Dots: Kung Paano Ko Kinulayan and aking Buhay. Then, I noticed that most of his protagonists are young boys. I thought that it may be his way of  illustrating his childhood as what he described in his former book.  If you read the former one, his mother would always leave him alone at his other relatives’ houses whenever she had to go somewhere else. I could feel his sadness then just the like of the young boy in the story above.

This book reminds me of our   two neighbor “chikitings” and of my one godson along with his other siblings . They all have the same situation that their parents are now working abroad and under the care of someone whom their parents entrusted with. Are they similar to the child in the story? I am sure that they can relate to this book. T_T

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )


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