Ako’y Isang Mabuting Pilipino (I Am A Good Filipino) by Noel Cabangon: A Book Review

Ako'y Isang Mabuting Pilipino

How shall we teach a child about being a good Filipino?

This is the reason why Noel Cabangon intended to write this short  children’s story. He describes in the story  the things children must do to be a good Filipino. After all, the story is very simple as though you read it like a poem. So, it might occur to you that he must have imitated the style or pattern of our  national pledge  Panatang Makabayan ( Pledge of Allegiance). Nevertheless, each line is exactly  alluded to the national issues today. You might snicker at the line:

“ … hinding-hindi ko gagamitin ang pera ng bayan…”

(“…I will never spend the people’s money on  my own interest…”)

It may sound ridiculous, but you know what Cabangon is insinuating. Whatevah! Just leave  young readers  alone, how they will practice the said line on their life.

I am aware of the fact that Noel Cabangon is a  singer and composer known for his songs Kanlungan ( Shelter) and Kahit Na Maputi Na Ang Buhok Ko ( Even Though My Hair is Now White ). Also, I know that he is always  present in any demonstration programs that have something to do with national movements. In fact, he composes songs which aim to survive the dying  Mother Nature . Indeed, being patriotism is naturally present in his heart. Thus, it is no wonder why he even used writing such a short story   as the instrument of his revolutionary advocacy. Why not? The only little problem is that it , for lack of a better word, has no originality . Thanks to Jomike Tejido’s  beautiful illustrations- very  Filipino.

In the end, it occurred to me why he wrote such a children’s story? Perhaps, Cabangon believes that the early age  is the best time when one is  educated  about nationalism.

I have not read  a modern children’s story yet  that deals with nationalism. But come to think of it. Cabangon has composed beautiful songs. I believe that he is able to write a story  greater  than a children’s story. There’s no telling how he may be as promising as prominent Filipino writers. ^_^

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


Days of Obligation: An Argument With My Mexican Father by Richard Rodriguez: A Book Review

richardEven though I get the points of Richard Rodriguez, this book is beyond my interest. I cannot relate to his essays on Tijuana and other buzz words unless I look them up in Wikipedia as though I read sheer historical information on Mexico’s sovereignty. Besides, I mistook the title of the book for his difficulties in coming out to his father. (The title turns out to be related to the relationship between America and Mexico.) So it took me a few days to finish it since I do not want to get into the habit of putting down a book that I find too sluggish to read.

The reason why I longed to read it then because I was impressed by his notable autobiography, THE HUNGER OF MEMORY since it deals with intellectual development of an average person.

Nevertheless, reading DAYS OF OBLIGATION has proven the fact that Richard Rodriguez, for me, is indeed genius; he has these exceptional skills in writing. I tend to befuddled by the ways he puts his ideas together as well as his perspectives on life as a non-native speaker, an immigrant in America. Also, he is such an independent critic. He even criticized the customs of the Filipino immigrants in America. No doubt he is heralded as one of the best American essayists. If I were a Mexican or World History professor, I would rate it 4 or 5 stars. In fact, I wonder if he could write a novel as impressive as Henry James’s. ^^

Rating: 2/ 5 stars ( It’s ok. )


Tall Story by Candy Gourlay: A Book Review

tallThis book is  bittersweet, hilarious, witty, and magical although some parts are sad. I laughed my head off when I read it. Besides,  I could relate to the story because it reflects in the Filipino customs and values, especially I used to be a “provinciano”. I grew out of the folk lifestyles, either in a province or in a modernized city: for examples, illiterate Filipinos speak “barok” English; we still use a plastic beaker or a mosquito net tucked under the edge of a mat; we are mad about playing basketball and we know Michael Jordan; our stereotype about people working abroad is that they may be rich ; we are still instilled in superstitions and black magic despite the fact that we are now living in a modern era, and so on. All about Filipino life!

Tall Story resembles Like A Brave Man by Nelson Carunungan, the first Filipino novel written in English  that I have ever read. The only dissimilarity between them is that the former depicts the life of the Filipinos in an old-fashioned- modern period while the latter is steeped in the life of the Filipinos after WWII.

What I liked about this book is its author, Candy Gourley, a Filipino immigrant in London, married to a foreigner. Despite being miles away from her native country, this first debut of hers shows that she is still proud to be a Filipino. So am I! ^__^

The story centers around Bernardo Carpio, the protagonist, burdened with Gigantism. He is the epitome of an “unsophisticated person in a strange world”. But all the rage for the story is the fact the Philippines is the capital of “Rock and Roll” in the world. In other words, the Philippines belongs to the Pacific Chain of Fire. On the other hand, Candy Gourley did not overlook to paint the real portrait of the dirty politics in the Philippines; for instance, the under –the-table government projects wherein the story, a sports arena has not been built completely yet. Instead, the quality of materials used are poor. Boom!

I am now taking to reading our Filipino writers’ works.^__^
Clap! Clap! Clap!

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