Si Janus Sílang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon (Janus Sílang #1) by Edgar Calabia Samar: A Book Review

Hey, folks. It’s been a long time. Although I am an avowed atheist, I still want to greet you all a belated Merry Christmas.

The good thing is I had a decent time to be left to my reading during the Christmas break.  I got the crack to read the two books written by my fellow Filipino writer, Edgar Calabia Samar. I received these two from our monito’t monita during our company’s Christmas party. As usual, books are my wishes whenever we have this kind of occasion; otherwise, I tend to have   a bland face . As long as possible, all I want to receive on special days is just books, books, books! I love books. ^__^

22011229I have read a great deal of positive feedback about this. My fellow blogger reviewed that it is likened to the Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring series of  Britain or to anything else out there considered world-class. Someone on Goodreads shouts out to the world that it is “ang lupet! ” . Also, someone  outspoken   professed that he is willing to die, ignoring the fact that the “Tiyanak” might  come out to bite out  his throat and stomach; he insisted on giving it 5 stars on Goodreads  no matter what you find fault with this.  As a matter of fact, with a special mention to Manix Abrera, the master mind of KikoMachine, reviewed that   this is one of the most frightening and hair-raising stories he has ever read. He also added that there were the moments that he would turn back because his hair would stand on end in fear that something might have been sneaking behind him. Ok. I am not against their opinions. I totally agree. Whoa! I belong to you folks.

If you are Filipino, I highly recommend you read it. Give it a try.  I promise you will like it as well as end up appreciating our very own fiction. First, it is not that cringingly old-fashioned or “baduy “. Do not be mindful of what some “anglicized” hubris put that reading local books makes a dull head of you. They must not even have a reliably scientific term paper to claim so. Rather, you can relate to it, especially if you like playing online  games . Besides, the author’s writing style is unique and  not that super slang nor super archaic. It is balanced. I may suggest it an oxymoron of informality and formality. Thus, anyone can read it regardless of your age, sex, religion, or whatsoever. In the end, you will put the feather on your cap I bet.  Alas, it has not been translated yet for foreign readers   as what happened to his   short-listed one  for Asian Man Literary Prize ,  Walong Diwata ng Pagkahulog after it was catapulted to fame.

I muttered under my breath   while reading it that for sure, young -adult readers who are addicted to playing computer games, needless to say the now-defunct , if I am not mistaken, DOTA ( Defense of the Ancient ), will  really like it. Besides, it reminded me of  my another university classmate who , aside from that he is a closet bookworm because he never brags about reading a lot, is known for  addiction to DOTA. I will share it with him once I meet him. I guess he is aware of it.

Granted that it deals with online computer games, and that I do not like reading   books more on fantasy since I believe in scientific reasons, I still enjoyed it   a whole lot. In fact, I got interested in it because the author   conceptualized a very Filipino game. Instead, he created the characters out of famous Filipino myths and legends  such as dwende, nuno, aswang, mambabarang, manananggal, tiyanak, bagani , pusong, diwata, and so forth. With these settings, I can totally relate to the story since I have learned all of them. So I got a thrill out of it. My hair stood on end. I was nervous, worried, angry until I burst into tears when the protagonist’s mother died. Shit! It was Christmas when I was reading it.

As the climax of the story goes, I am amazed at Edgar Calabia Samar’s writing skills more. It is wonder how he is able to incorporate the Filipino life and his fondness  for Philippine literary figures into such a story. Besides, obviously I can surmise, he makes sure that every angle of the story is consistent to each other without any plot holes about which a reader will be very cynical.  And I admit to overlooking   some of them just this book is rather remarkable- a tour de force. Period.

For my foreign folks, the center of the story is the Tala which means star . The main characters have to find it (Tala )through an online game, so the melodramatic game  will  be over. However, since the story is pretty interesting, I do not have the foggiest idea when the author will finish it. Of course, it is understood that he will capitalize on its fame. Besides, he must still have a large panoply of ideas  running into his head.

Up next , my review of its part two: Si Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal – Mambabarang.

Rating: 5/ 5 stars ( It’s amazing.)


The presents I received during the X-mas party


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