LAKOMPAKE! by Senyora: A Book Review

lakompake

You are found  ” OA” as in overacting if you grumble that you were loveless  last Valentine’s Day. You are not far different from people who are likely to experience seasonal  depression  during holiday seasons, especially  on Christmas holiday. We tend to feel blues and idealistic when we   find that others luckier in life  we think of than us have  a good time with their loved ones. So, many   loveless people are bitter. Here are  their common lines:

“When it is the last day of January , some  wish it were March when they woke up. “

Hahahahahah

They seem to be allergic to February.

” Happy Single’s Awareness Day.”

Ouch! I was!

“Some turn sour and grape  saying  that although they are single on that day, they will get a salary the following day. “

Hahahahahah … Money is  love.

But, the most common bitter line is :

” Walang Forever “

Hahahahha

In short, we are  all “ ampalaya” ( bitter gourd).  Oops-a-daisy… in effect, we should be sensible. Let us not teach  ourselves to be   off our rocker. Otherwise, we will be labeled stupid love. Surround ourselves with rational friends, or someone who will knock the living daylights out of us . Also, read self-help books to understand our selves.

Senyora Santibanez‘s posts on her Facebook fan page are highly-recommended and timely. But be ready to  be  culpably insinuated. I am pretty sure you would be guilty for her head-bashing  reality-checks.

Senyora Santibanez  or  known now as Senyora is an anonymous Facebook fan page which has now  approximately 2 million followers. In effect, it is just for fun because the admin intends to  publish derogatory posts  about  everything  under the sun  which followers and  readers might find witty and jocular. In light of its sensational popularity on social  media, it successfully published a book LAKOMPAKE  and has been  sold  like a cake.

The title of the Facebook fan page was inspired by the villainous character of Angélica de Santibañez  ( Chantal Andere )  in Marimar,  a Mexican telanovela which became sensational among televiewers around the world. The character  is known for her pouring scorn on the main character.

LAKOMPAKE is short for Wala Akong Pake.( I don’t care.) ,  a  colloquial, vulgar in effect , Filipino  expression to  retort  something what a person says. It is synonymous with the English expression ” I don’t mind.” in a rude way.

Since Senyora is known for her insulting and disapproving remarks , I should be upset about the book. In fact,  most of its contents could be  found cringing and annoying such as that the book, according  to her , is dedicated to  all those tramps whom she has fooled into agreeing with her  megalomaniac and pulchritudinous  hubris. However, rather than be upset about her  narcissism, I found the book hilarious. Yes, I was so convulsed with laughter by her eye-opening thoughts that I fell off my chair and wanted to  hit my student  with it. Therefore, her book adds up: It makes sense. Don’t underestimate it if you are not much fond of this kind of read. I was exhilarated by her effort to rectify us about dealing with love and social status.

Senyora’s famous derogatory   word  is “ Pwe!” It is an onomatopoeic  word to figuratively describe the sound of spitting  at a person you look down on.

Pwe , if you are stupid at love.

Pwe,  if you are a kind of a lover bitching around with someone you like.

Pwe, if you pretend to be rich.

And …Pwe, if you still pretend to be a ” paminta” ( peppermint). (laughs)

In short, be yourself and sensible. That’s what Senyora wants  us to  learn from her book. There is a method to her madness. (laughs)

To do justice to her delusional beauty, with no offense, Senyora made sure that her pieces of advice are scholarly, factual , and empirical as what the book suggests. So, readers can not just refute her derogatory tirades. Laban? (Fight?)

For the past four  months LAKOMPAKE  has still remained  one of National Book Store’s best-sellers for  Philippine Non-Fiction . In short,  Senyora’s beauty is still  “kabog”  (ostentatious) .  Her too much pride in her beauty  has something fierce.  (laughs)

For Senyora, I rate it 3/ 5 stars. I liked it.  Is it fair? 🙂

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Falling into the Manhole:A Memoir by John Jack G. Wigley: A Book Review

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A million thanks to my fellow teacher for this book. She decided to give it away to me as a gift since she saw how my eyes popped out of their sockets in excitement upon seeing it displayed on her book shelf. It was just as well that she read it already. I hope the people I am acquainted with will do the same way. (laughs)

This was one of the local books I promised myself to buy , no matter how hard up I was, when I  stumbled upon how the galaxy  of our contemporary local writers including the writers I consider part of the Super Novas of the Philippine literature such as F. Sionil Jose, Gilda Cordero – Fernando, Jessica Hagedorn, Miguel Syjuco, Lualhati Bautista, Ricky Lee, Bob Ong, Jessica Zafra ,Felisa Batacan, Genevive L. Asenjo, Merlinda Bobis, Danton Remoto,Bebang Siy, not to mention the promising ones : Genaro R. Gojo Cruz and Edgar Calabia  Samar, the apples of my eyes, turned out to be stellar, heavenly , and dazzling. Coming to this realization, I found its price  affordable and reasonable. However, I was between the lever of a teeter-totter whether it should be on my list since I could spend 220 pesos on the other books more famous than this, which writer I had never heard of. Sorry po, Professor Wigley. It just happened that I was not aware of your literary stardom.  Doggone it!  I must have been ambivalent about what local book I should have first read. I was surrounded by books I have never read yet, let alone that I was a “pooritang” reader unable to buy astronomical books, especially the best-sellers on the market. No wonder I was exhilarated by receiving this book as a gift.

John Jack G. Wigley’s memoir Falling into the Manhole is a collection of his how’s  before he became a successful  writer and professor , as to how he took to watching movies at movie theaters and was gorgonized  by  his mother’s being  die-hard Noranian ; how he was born and lived  the dilemma of being Amerasian ; how his family and he lived as nomads  moving from one house to different houses in a year ; how he became an avid fan of Madonna who was the instrument for understanding his sexual orientation; how he fell in love with his best friend- the story that I blinked my tears away because I know what it feels like; how he became a “butterfingered”  fast-food chain crew ; how he was proud to be Lea Salonga fan who was the reason why he fell into the manhole;  how he became a theatre actor and had the good chance to stage at CCP;  how he fell in love with Meryl Streep‘s acting style;  how he had the opportunity to go to America on tour and find his  American father, the missing link; how he became a teacher who can be a blooper despite that he is supposed to be superior and infallible;  how he survived Ondoy trauma; how he became one of the best and respected  UST professors; and finally,  how he took care of his mother passionately. All of his anecdotes have inspiring lessons you should learn.

Personally speaking, the book is intended for homosexuals and for those who are inspired to be a successful professor and writer. As a member of the confederation, I experienced to be an avid fan of beauty pageants. In fact, although I didn’t live in the 1980’s, I want to blow my horn  and beat others to it that I know how Chat Silayan  represented the prestigious pageant and presented herself gorgeously. Thanks to YouTube. Like him, I would also wait for its live telecast and take notes of the petite delegates in  the  semifinals.  In fact, I could almost memorize all the yearly winners by heart. It was one of my passionate hobbies in my teen-age life.( laughs)

His memoir reminded me of children’s book writer Genaro Gojo Cruz‘s Connecting the Dots because both their memoirs bear little resemblance to how they became successful in life. Like Wigley, Genaro also persevered to get out of poverty. He  was so determined not to get dumped  by  his abject miseries in life. In fact, both writers lived in a broken family with this desire to be complete by  reminiscing of their fathers . Both of their memoirs also suggest their intellectual humility; they must never imply that  they are gifted writers. Genaro admits that he never excelled in school whereas Wigley knows his  limitation upon academic excellence.

Laying it aside with the other books on my reading table,my spirit that has been bogged down in muddy despair has been sloughed off. I have learned now  how to be a writer more,  how humanity works, and how I should  love  and be passionate about my work as a teacher.Boo-ya!

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it.)

Big John: The Life Story of John Gokongwei Jr. : A Book Review

big-john1 I am glad that I have  found such a simple biography   which is supposed to be for children. Somehow I can read   little information on how  John  Gokongwei Jr.  succeeded in life . I still can’t afford to buy his  officially  thick biography; its price can break both of my pockets.

John  Gokongwei Jr. is the owner of Robinsons Malls , one of the largest shopping malls and retail operators  in the Philippines.  He is called the Big John because he owns many kinds of  businesses. He is the owner of Cebu Pacific Airlines, Yes! Magazine, the popular Filipino snacks such as Chippy, Cloud 9, Curls, and even of  the beverages  like C2 Tea  and Great  Taste Coffee. In fact, he is always included  on the list of richest men in the world by Forbes Magazine , ranking behind  Henry SyLucio Tan, Enrique Razon,  and Andrew Tan, another influential business tycoons in the Philippines .*

Despite that it is not a thick children book, it somehow  tells some important timelines for  how he began as a poor child and persevered in getting along in life. Originally, he was not born  as poor as a  church mouse . He grew up in a big house with a fountain and a personal nanny as described in the story .  It   just so happened that his father  had kicked the bucket and eventually lost  his business. To pay the big debt his father had owed,  his mother had to sell the house along with the fountain.  To help his mother, at young age, he was an entrepreneur for   different kinds of products  which he could sell from Cebu, where he grew up, to Manila. And most importantly, the book tells how Gokongwei Jr. showed determination and willingness to work and save money, an attitude which   his brothers and sister adapted. In the end, his siblings and he all worked together until they had reached the acme of their prosperity. Therefore, this book was written to teach children how to be  diligent in order to become rich. ^^

John Gokongwei Jr.  is now 89 years old. He has  now  42 Robinsons  Malls branches nationwide. He is now immortal, notably for the urban legend that one of  his malls is said to have a twin anthropomorphic serpent  brought up on the ground floor of a branch somewhere in Manila. The twin is said to be fed  with a beautiful woman. Until now this legend has still been a mystery. Pooh-bah!

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John Gokongwei Jr.

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

*Retrieved from : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Gokongwei

Happy Na, Gay Pa by Danton Remoto : A Book Review

danton remotoIt is the newly-launched book written by Danton Remoto, one of the staunchly leading LGBT advocates in the Philippines.

Ever since,  I have always been watching   out for his new books to be published . I know he has something newer, wittier , and wackier  he will share with, particularly something  he wants to educate about among narrow-minded people- not to mention the Church and “moralist” politicians.

As usual, his new book has something to do with what is the real life of the LGBT community.  But there is something   new about the book. At this time, it is written with his Filipino prose. At my first glimpse of it, I thought it was  inferior to his other  award-winning books such as Gaydar,  and Bright, Catholic- and Gay which I gave  5  stars and 4 stars respectively.  Besides, I did not like its book cover; it is too jejune in appearance, appealing  only to   young readers. There  may be a pretext in it which  Danton Remoto , along with his publisher , must have intended.

Most of his  essays are autobiographical , have something to do with his life as a student, the time when he was still in the coffin, err closet as he put it. He wrote how he had a hard time coming out in the open to his family, particularly to his father who was fond of him. But it turned out to be  just the other way around; he was accepted as whoever he was as how he is cordially accepted by his circles of friends. Also, he wrote about his past boyfriends and how he managed to make his relationship with them long-lasting. But what I liked about him is his being a prodigious son, an epitome of a smart gay who can be as promising as men and women in society. In fact, he wrote these essays ingeniuosly and in fashion with the taste of the young readers. In other words, he did not forget to blend his prose with the napapanahong  ( timely )  pop culture. That is why I liked it and now I understood why the book cover seems to be  out of mode for me.

Other half of his essays   deals with the  common issues about gays such as how they are discriminated by society, what precautions  they should do when meeting other guys,  how they are asked derogatory   questions and above all what it is like to be gay in 30’s and 40’s  , elaborated by his own experiences .  He also included   a few essays about the typical  gay hobbies  such as reading men’s magazines and watching  beauty contests.  Furthermore, he discussed some literary writers whose works reflected in their being closet gays. ( So the famous writer  Ernest Hemmingway ‘s sexual orientation turned out to be true after all. ) All the rage to each essay is the related-to-the topic pictures inserted at the end of his essays .

As a matter of fact, I have read some  of the aforesaid essays  from his previous books and newspapers articles. He just edited  and translated some  into Filipino prose. Since he is a certified critically acclaimed writer, no doubt he is still good at writing Filipino essays.

I have noticed that when Danton Remoto publishes a newly  gay-themed book, he includes the articles which have been  featured in his previous books. So for an avid reader like me, I  cannot deny the fact that it let me down to some extent. Without his witty style, especially he wrote them in Filipino, I would not have enjoyed it. Thus, I am telling you, if you are gay who tends to cringe at its  book cover and you do not feel its font size , or you  have been an avid fan of his  that you are not used to its new book transformation, forget it. Buy and include it on your book collections, and most importantly , share it with your friends regardless of their sex and religion. This is what Dan Remoto  has always intended to do ever since he realized that he has what it takes to be a knight for the LGBT community. What are you waiting for? Get on with it! The more the merrier as  the title puts it, “ Happy na, Gay ka Pa.”

Congratulations on your  another new book, Professor Danton Remoto.

By the way, when are you going to finish your first novel? As far as I know  , you were supposed to publish it in March this year.  I cannot wait to read it soon.

The book  is 175 pesos and  available at all National Book Store branches nationwide.

Enjoy reading! ^^

Rating: 4/ 5 stars ( I really liked it. )

Sampler by Gilda Cordero-Fernando: A Book Review

samplerGilda Cordero Fernando is awfully spectacular- ang galling-galing naman nya! I was impressed by her unique writing styles – very Filipino, original, far different from the other satirical essays I have read, full of fun, wacky ideas about our Filipino culture and customs. You could really laugh out loud because you could relate to them. SORRY na lang if you can’t. It might mean you are not FILIPINO after all, or perhaps it is a matter of generation gap. Besides, I wonder if she has a great influence on Bob Ong’s or Lourd de Veyra’s writing styles.How about Jessica Zafra’s ? Their writing styles have little resemblance. Probably, Gilda appears to be older than they are.But for me Gilda Cordero Fernando is exceptional.

Actually, the book is a compendium of her well-selected works she has written since 1960’s. It is composed of her essays, short stories, columns, speeches, and lectures. Gee, although some were written in between 1960’s and 1980’s , for I’m batang 90’s , I could be familiar with them, more so Gilda’s writing styles are very hilarious. She even made me chuckle on the bus to my work or during the office meeting. Yes, I did even read it during the office meeting out of sense of decorum. (laughs) The book is indeed absorbing.

The book is more interesting because each topic has its own photo which she must have chosen herself, including his paintings she is proud of , for she painted them auto didactically, without attending any formal schools.

Apparently, she must have first done a thorough research and had interviews with a close think-tank of hers before she formed her out-of-this –world ideas.

Envious of her writing styles, after reading it, I learned from Gilda Cordero Fernando that writers could be whatsoever they desire to be: They could be ORIG.

Rating: 5/ 5 stars ( It’s amazing.)

Stupid is Forever by Miriam Defensor Santiago: A Book Review

This is my review of the best-selling  Stupid is Forever by  beloved Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago that I wrote on Goodreads  in 2014  prior to her sequel Stupid  is Forevermore.

miriamTo my GR friends,

The woman in the paperback pointing both her forefingers at each side of her forehead is the author herself, Miriam Defensor Santiago, our very own Filipino senator- politician, Ramon Magsaysay awardee- equivalent to Nobel Prize- for her moral leadership in cleaning the graft-ridden government agencies. She is not only well- known for her brave character but also for her sense of humor and witty remarks, which endeared the Filipino youth and is absolutely absent among politicians in the Philippines. To know her more, you can read all about her in the Wikipedia.

This book is a collection of the beloved senator’s jokes, one-liners, pick-up lines, comebacks, and speeches.

As an avid fan of the beloved senator, I always keep track of her personal and political life through magazines, newspapers, especially through her official website. Gee, I must be enchanted by her so-called “Miriam Magic”. Thus, for an arm chair reader , there is nothing new to this book. I am almost familiar with her epigrams and speeches. So , I was almost close to giving it 1 star forgetting my passionate support for her. hahaha

Another thing that adds to my disappointment is the latent intention of the book. ( It’s just as well that it did not let me down. ) If I were a political analyst, I would opine that this book must be intended for political reasons. There are some parts the beloved senator expressing her presidential aspirations in 2016. For instance, at the end of the ABOUT THE AUTHOR
“…Her complete resume can be found at the end of this book.”

Usually, the senator is in the habit of bragging about the records of her academic excellence and professional achievements when she attempted to run in 1992, or whenever she locks horns with her political enemies. No doubt the title of the book bespeaks the beloved senator’s intellectual hubris.

In her resume, an anonymous writer seems to be putting her name on the pedestal. He/she briefly states her brilliant life as a law student in the Philippines and abroad, as a competent government official in the Congress. I find this part “apparently defensive”.

Despite the mesmerizing hidden political propaganda, I teased out the good intentions of the beloved senator, which predisposed me to giving it 4 stars. The beloved senator wants to educate voters about the incoming presidential election in 2016: She wants us to vote wisely . Reading it is like as though we listen to her speeches on the stump. But before that, she has to regale us with her pick –up lines to catch our full attention. At that time, all the kidding aside, we have to take her at her word seriously.

The book is divided into three speeches with different pick-up lines. Her first speech is on social media encouraging the students or all Filipinos to use social media as a weapon against any means of electoral fraud in 2016. The second part is the real meaning of leadership ( which caused me have a rude awakening) , how the youth should apply it to choosing our next leaders. Finally, of dreams , how it is not a “ mission impossible” to gain our shared goals.
All the rage at the end of her speeches is her inspiring poems she must have selected herself.

The beloved senator is an accomplished writer. She has written 19 books in law and social sciences. As far as I know, she is still finishing the new edition of her law book. Also, she has written two of her autobiographies. Alas, I have not read them yet. In fact, this book is the sequel to her well-received The Miriam Dictionary.

My hat is off to you ma’am. I may not know the real political circus in the Philippines, but whatever decision you will have made by 2016, your fans and I will absolutely support you. Mabuhay! ^_^

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

Stupid is Forevermore by Miriam Defensor Santiago : A Book Review

stupid-is-forevermore-cover_This is the sequel to   our  beloved Senator Miriam  Santiago’s Stupid is Forever ( 3 stars ) as  it was launched on her 70th birthday celebration on June 15. The title is still the same; it was only added with  the word ” MORE”  to imply that the beloved senator   has another sack  of jokes and epigraphs. But the color of the paperback  is now reddish as one of the common colors  of her attires she wears when she attends the senate meetings. As a rule, the contents of the books are more on her jokes  , epigraphs, and speeches which had been earmarked for this sequel. In the end, I find it somehow redundantly entertaining but worth reading in disguise.  Thus, I have been disappointed for the second time except  her short story , The Exorcism of the Ghost, an excerpt from her well-received then The Frabjous Days and other Short Stories.

In effect, if you are such an avid fan of the beloved senator  like me , obsessed with her  on a daily basis, wanting to know everything she does , it  may be in politics or in her personal life as though you are a cyber stalker  , you are undoubtedly  familiar with the contents  from  cover to cover. You have read all her witty jokes and political tirades, speeches ,  and her bio data just by means of internet access. Definitely, you  check  her website . Here you can read all the statements  she makes  in the press since she  became a senator. If you want another blown-by-blown details , you can visit the site of the Philippine Senate. There you can check the senator’s archives .  To pick the newspapers commentators’ brains  , just type  Miriam Santiago  and search it  by clicking News on Google or Yahoo. All the information you want to keep track of  is accessible in the internet. Tataaan! You are now undoubtedly a Miriam freak. ( laughs)

The pattern used in  writing this book is the same as the opinion I teased out of  her Stupid is Forever. First, before  she delivers her speech  on the stump, the senator as a rule will regale you with her witty jokes to break the ice. For sure, you will be knocked out off the aisle. Then, just  all the kidding aside, you will listen to her inspiring and educating speeches although a little steeped in political issues. Finally, she will leave us  some lines of quotes she must have selected herself. Her speeches I have read but still worth reading  have something to do with life.  

A  DATE  WITH DESTINY

Here I cottoned to William Arthur Ward’s quotes:

“The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.”

THE PARADIGM FOR HAPPY LIFE

Here I learned her philosophy:

“Life is a consequence of our moral choices.”  

What  sparked my interest is her preface and short story The Exorcism of a Ghost, a selected story in her autobiography The Frabjous Day. I have always wanted to read her autobiography as I was wondering how she is  as good at writing a story as she is witty at her speeches. To my astonishment, our beloved Senator Santiago’s intellectual hubris, indeed,  reflects in the above-mentioned short story. Now I understand. “ “Beam me up, Scotty, there’s no intelligent life here“ ( laughs )

Her preface:

The Moron

See the Happy Moron,

He doesn’t give a damn!

I wish I were a moron –

My God! Perhaps I am!

-Anonymous-

I also opined in my review of her Stupid is Forever that the book is intended for her  hidden political agenda to run for presidential aspirations in 2016. Obviously, this book – in my humble opinion- still completely resembles the former ,  hyping  up her records of  academic excellence  and professional  achievements; at the same time, with some pictures of hers showing her aura of bold and moral character as well as her massive intellect in the legal fields.

The beloved senator has not been in the press for a few months as though she had faded into the night like Batman , nor has she been able to attend the senate sessions ( despite the fact that she has the highest number of bills passed in the higher congress.) In fact, she was not able to attend the  launching of this, her second book; rather , it was launched on the market on her 70th birthday.  She must still be struggling with her stage- 4 lung cancer as she is dog-determined to recover, for she might plan to run in 2016.

Dear our Beloved Senator:

Whatever your plan in 2016 is , we,  your fans, will always  give you our all-out support. But for the sake of your health, we had rather you did not plan to do so; we had rather you took a rest, enjoyed  in your 70’s  by spending time with your family and grandchildren , or sat in a rocking chair crocheting as you once joked before when asked whether you would run or not in 1992. Politics  as you are aware of is  dirty. We may not know your personal intention why you want to become president, but what you have  done for the Philippines is enough to awaken us, your disciples you have intellectually enlightened by means of your political idiosyncrasies  beyond  the hoi polloi ‘s understanding.

To look cool, it is about time you wrote your own literary piece  as what you wanted to do when you were still young. May be when you make one, it could be bound to being  a short list in any  international literary awards as what you flaunted  whenever you got into an international  event. ^^

Get well soon, our beloved Senadora. We, your fans , miss you a whole lot.

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It is ok. )