Book Review: Si

SiSi by Bob Ong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Walang kupas talaga si Bob Ong sa larangan ng pagsusulat. At sa paglabas ng kanyang ikasampung libro ay napatunayan na niyang kaya niya iba’t ibang kategorya ng kwento ma-horror man yan (Kaibigan ni Mama Susan; na hindi ko naman binasa), tungkol sa superhero (Kapitan Sino), script man ng iba’t ibang klase ng sine (Lumayo Ka Nga sa Akin), o love story na paksa ng librong ito.

Pagbuklat mo pa lang sa unang kabanata ay mapapaisip ka na, dahil ang nakalagay ay pang-72 ito. Ngayon pa lang ako nakakita ng librong sinulat ng ganitong istilo. Naiintindihan ko na kung bakit, ayon kay Bob, sinimulan niya tong isulat kasabay pa ng Stainless Longganisa pero ngayon lang natapos.

KONTING SPOILER LANG
Gaya ng nabanggit ko kanina tila pabaligtad ang pagkakasulat ng librong ito. Pagdating pa lang sa kabanata 60 ko napagtanto na ang bawat kabanata pala ay tumutugma sa edad ng bida. Bawat kabanata ay may inilalahad siyang alaala na karamihan ay may kinalaman sa pagmamahalan niya ng kanyang naging asawa. Paalala, hindi ito librong hapon na dapat basahin simmula sa huling pahina. Sinadya ni Bob na magsimula sa edad na 72. Maganda ang kinalabasan. Maihahalintulad ang karanasan na ito sa kung may nakilala ka ngayon lang sa matandang edad na at ikinuwento niya ang mga nangyari sa buhay niya. May mga detalye sa kwento na mapapatanong ka, “Sino naman yung karakter na iyon?” tapos sa sunod na kabanata ay saka lang niya maipapaliwanag kung ano ba ang kinalaman ng taong iyon sa buhay niya.

Natuwa din ako sa kung paano niya ipinahiwatig ang buhay niya. Kalimitan ang karakter ng isang libro ay may isang dimensiyon lamang. Kung ang karakter na ito ay matapang, mabait, madaldal man o hindi sa simula ng libro dadalhin mo ang impresyon na iyon hanggang katapusan. Pero dahil nga nilalahad ng librong ito ang pagtanda at paglago ng isang tao sa bawat yugto ng kanyang buhay, makikita mo ang pagkakaiba ng bida noong siya ay 20, at noong siya ay 60. Napahalagahan ko rin kung paano naipakita nito na ang mga nakatatanda sa atin ay nabiyayaan ng Diyos ng mas maraming karanasan na kalimitan ay nangangahulugan din na may dagdag na karunungan.

Marami pa akong ikinagusto sa librong ito. At kung nagkataon na 4-stars ang ibibigay ko sa librong ito, ay siguradong mapipilitan akong dagdagan ang rating na iyon para lang sa huling kabanata at pahina ng libro kung saan ay nabigyan ng panibagong kahulugan ang naunang 71 na kabanata na binasa ko bago makarating doon. Naglalaman ito ng isang mahalagang mensahe na sa panahon natin ngayon ay mahalagang pag-isipan.

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This review was originally posted on Goodreads.

Round Three

We’re gonna give this another go. Hey guys, I’m Jonn, software enthusiast and stuff, and I’m gonna give this blog thing another go. Just a dump for some random topics until I build up the habit and find out what I really want to end up talking about. Not gonna write a too-long introduction so that I don’t feel guilty when I eventually slack off on this writing exercise.

Aside

“Believe me”

There are waaaay to many things to think about. Overthinking shouldn’t even be my problem (I’ll go over overthinking in a separate post), given that we have so many things that compete, not just for our attention, but also our understanding of them.  Lourd de Veyra even said in his commencement speech just a few weeks ago, “nagtatampisaw tayo sa baha ng impormasyon” (We are floundering in the flood of information). I browse the internet on a regular basis. I get a bunch of articles on a daily basis coming from my feeds, facebook wall, links from friends and the like. I get my regular flood of information everyday. Now besides the fact that I struggle daily with trying not to drown and die from information overload, or the fact that my average-ish brain is struggling trying to take it all in, this made me realize that there was a bigger, more important problem that I had to address:

Which of these speak the truth?

Which beliefs and opinions should form the base for the principles that I will follow throughout my life? Which ones work? Which ones should I dismiss? And it’s not just the internet that trigger this kind of thinking for me. There’re the people around us that regularly exert their influence towards us, like those that come from your best friend for example, or those who you grew up with, like your family. The opinions and beliefs of these people add up and compete with the right to influence your own beliefs whether by suggestion, or straight-up imposing it on you, or by the person’s mere regular proximity to you that you slowly but surely pick up on what they believe as well. And there’s my own emotions, beliefs and biases that add to the mix. There’s the feeling of sympathy in certain situations, the occassional hipster-feel, the bias against certain people or events that affect what I believe.

I don’t know about everyone else but this gets me frustrated. This gets me really, really frustrated.. and bothered. I don’t know what to believe. Just recently, from my recent encounters with people (and the interwebz), I’ve had to question what I really believe about the following topics:

  • Grades matter, but should they really?
  • Is the Chief Justice guilty or is it just the President messing with us?
  • Will investing in a smartphone pay off and which smartphone brand has the promising future?
  • Is eating healthy worth it? What kind of healthy eating actually matters in the first place?
  • Is there a place in society for boyfriend-girlfriend relationships?
  • Tradition and culture are important in keeping one’s identity

These are opinions from various kinds of people from people I know, from people in the internet that I don’t know, people whose opinions I care about, or even people who don’t matter to me at all. They are many and some of them really matter, and choosing the wrong belief will lead to the eventual consequence. And with the sea of opinions and the fear of not knowing if the belief I’ll be picking will lead to a great amount of pain, I usually end up undecided on many matters.

This blog’s aim is to address that indecision. It will attempt to lay down in writing what I believe to be true so as to better understand what I myself believe about things. This blog is my own way of forcing myself to take a stand on beliefs that confound me. And may the Lord help me in this endeavour! Fortunately, in the sea of opinions and beliefs, in the case that the currents threaten to sweep me away from the truth, I can always cling to that one source of information that always has and always will contain only the absolute truth: the Bible, the word of God, breathed out by Him and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and for training in righteousness. [1 Tim. 3:16] May His word be the foundation of whatever belief I will profess.  Now I am not perfect, and I know that I may end up misinterpreting or misrepresenting something or someone at some point, so I ask dear reader, if you may be so kind as to gently point me in the right direction. If I am in danger of misrepresenting God’s word, even more so, rebuke me Christian brother or sister. And I pray that whatever writing may be found here, may it be written with great care and all of it end up in bringing glory to God’s name.