Title: Alamat ng Gubat
Author: Bob Ong
Bob Ong’s “Alamat ng Gubat” is a contemporary book that talks about the adventure of a crab named Tong in search for the Puso ng Saging. In his journey in finding the Puso, he encountered other animal characters, each representing people in our society.
The book was published in 2003 and is the fourth book by Bob Ong.
Bob Ong is known for depicting our current society and culture as Filipinos in his literary pieces. His works are reflections of the past and even in our world today.
In the story, there are characters that we can relate to our society today.
Buwaya was the one who took Tong’s pearls. He represents Pilipinos who wants payment or exchange before helping or doing a favor. He can be compared with a politician that is corrupt, greedy for power and money.
Bibe sticks with Palaka because of his wealth.
Bibe symbolizes Pilipinos who look upon themselves and doesn’t care about other people’s feelings. In the relationship of Bibe and Palaka it mirrors the treatment of the society with the people who are wealthy and rich. Leon seemed to be someone who has morals but then he turned out be one of the cruelest. Like Buwaya, we can also compare him to a politician whom at first was nice and kind but when time passes by we can actually see his true motives.
Langaw, that represents the “tsimoso and tsimosa” and “sawsawero and sawsawera” in our society and people who can be paid for their actions – in elections.
Langgam symbolizes businessmen who think about their businesses before anything else. Tipaklong as Filipinos who are ready to fight but do not have an exact goal and do not know what they are fighting for. Paruparo and Ipis are the standard of beauty in the society. Ulang depicts lazy Filipinos who had no dreams and ambitions in life.
Manok, which is a hen, portrayed Filipino mothers who cared for their children.
Pagong, the slow but careful kind of Filipino and is also generous and unselfish to anyone. Pagong was one of the animals who helped him. He represents Filipinos that’s still kind and helpful; he is also liked by many because of his character. Aso however represents the opposite because he symbolizes people who are selfish. Tong’s brother, Katang embodies people who are willing to do anything for revenge and jealousy.
Matsing made Tong realized what the real problem is and what his true purpose in the society.
The story shows the reality on what is happening to our society today. It shows different aspects in the government, different individuals and their beliefs, and people’s behavior and mentality on how they handle their personal life.
Even though the main topic of the story is a serious issue, still Bob Ong made it fun for the readers because of the inside jokes and illustrations on most of the pages. The readers will not be bored in reading the book because of the graphical contents and how entertaining it was. The plot was presented very clear and was easily to understand. The author used basic words and terms in Tagalog language so that Filipino readers will easily comprehend.
Bob Ong used animals and insects in the forests to represent the people in the society and how an individual affects someone’s life based on their decisions and action.
The book tackles the issue of “Who is the true ruler?” The book shows the conflicts of who will govern the society? It also tells us the inconsistencies of our government and politicians that caused chaos in our communities. Also, the book depicts social issues regarding on the capability of some people when it comes to power or what they want , there was a part were the characters were helping each other to get something from a high place, then they climb up upon each other’s back to help them reach it easier.
But instead of helping the other, nearest to the object, the ones on the bottom reluctantly rush to the top to get it by themselves because the object was said to be powerful. The author incorporated social and cultural aspects of society into his work so that Filipinos will be knowledgeable enough to know what kind of people and system we are encountering every day.
The story will not just open your eyes but also your mind, it will not just make you laugh but it will also make you question certain things that surround you.
The book also gives life lessons, and values that we can be applied to real life. Readers will enjoy reading it and at the same time they will critically think of the deeper meaning of the story. This book is recommended for all, either for the kids or the adults. All will learn and realized something from reading it.
About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from
Nikko Berse, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
Camille Ann Santos, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
Gerrord Hinojosa, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
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