It 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. )