Title: Bakit Baliktad Magbasa Ang Mga Pilipino
Author: Bob Ong
What makes a Juan, Juan? Do the countrymen know the sickness of our motherland at this moment of time?
The yellow book of the well-known anonymous writer, Bob Ong, entitled “Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino (Mga Kuwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong)” is all about being a Filipino. It sharply focused about the problems of us, Filipinos from different aspects like, social, mental, behavioral and moral.
As the time goes by, we Filipinos really changed. This book tackles the problems in the Philippines that may realize the Filipinos, why are we still in the third world country, like we are just changing not evolving.
The book is also composed of some entry articles from BobongPinoy.com, a site created by the author of this book, it is mostly tackled about the good and bad qualities and habits of Filipinos. Filipinos or some foreigners around the world shared their thoughts about our motherland. The hot topics in this sites are about politics and governance which is good because many netizens may expressed their freedom of speech in this site about the current situations in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, the site was shut down after the ouster of the president Joseph Estrada or Erap. That’s is why the author thought it is better to write a book.
The book was written last 2002, published by VISPRINT,INC and written by the famous, Bob Ong. It was composed of 201 pages that has a good and readable font and font size.
This is the yellow book of Bob Ong for his “For Dummies” book series. The book is displayed just like the other books in the book shelves normally where you could easy understand the cover, however there is a problem -it is inverted.
The Book cover is literally inverted- the title, the illustrations of Erap, Uncle
Sam and Filipinos in the back part of the book. We think that the book cover designer intended to make the cover inverted because of the title. They said “Do not judge the book by its cover” but we think because of the book’s cover, many people are getting interested and wanted to buy the yellow book.
Again, the title of the book is “Bakit Baliktad Magbasa Ang Mga Pilipino?(Mga Kuwentong Barbero ni Bob Ong)”. We interpreted the title about the manners of Filipinos, which are inverted or opposite. Like, there is a wall with a huge writing of “BAWAL MAGTAPON NG BASURA D2” but there is a huge pile of garbage in that specific area. Another example is in the recent escalator rule in SM Malls that “Stand” in the right and “Walk” in the left simple rule. Some people are still standing in the left side and others are walking in the right side. Yes, they are doing the opposite, that’s Juan.
When I am writing this, Bob Ong is still unknown. Bob Ong is the pseudonym of a contemporary Filipino author known for using conversational writing technique to create humorous and reflective depictions of Philippine life. Bob Ong is just a pen name which came from his website the “BobongPinoy.com”
Bob Ong is famous in this century, many intellectual readers admired him because of his way of writing and humorous books.
Many people bought his first book “ABNKKBSNPLAKo?!”, that is a green book, was written last 2001. Next is this book that was written in the year 2002. Followed by the black one, “Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas” (2003), the orange book or “Alamat ng Gubat” (2004), the white book or “Stainless Longganisa”(2005), the red book or “MacArthur” (2007),
the silver book or “Kapitan Sino” (2008), next is the horror violet book entitled “ Ang paboritong Libro ni Mama Susan” (2011) and his recent work, the pink book or “Lumayo ka Nga Sa Akin”.
Kind of Text
This yellow book is a narrative form. The author narrated the stories of Filipino culture since then up to now. Some authors from chosen articles told their experiences, thoughts and stories about the Philippines.
· Characters and Narrators – There is no specific characters casted in this book. The main author and the people who posted their articles are the characters. The people who shared their opinions in the website are Teresito C bacolcol, Orion Perez Dumdum, Nick Garcia,Mack P. Magno, Barth Suresky, Matthew Sutherland, Joaquin Sy and Herdy Yumul.
Even though there is no specific characters.
There is no particular cast in the book but the author used Juan Dela Cruz – as a Filipino. Any Filipino that is poor, rich, male , female, child, teen and more as long you are a Filipino, half-baked or not.
Another common cast here is Uncle Sam, who symbolized foreigners. Juan Dela Cruz really wanted to be and in Uncle Sam because he wanted to feel being a foreigner, he wanted to achieve something new by speaking in English as his mother tongue.
Another character is Erap, Erap symbolized the all the bad things about being Filipino. He is lazy, corrupt and ignorant.
· Settings – There are many places mentioned in the book, but the most frequent is Manila. Manila is
the capital of the Philippines. Different people lives in there – poor, rich, government officials, social workers, students, teachers, CEOs, garbage collectors and other more people. Manila was described in the book as a dirty place full of dirty people. Other settings are school, house, store, cemetery, America and more.
· Theme – The theme tackled in the book is about the Juan culture, the culture of then and now. The book is somehow filled with flaws of the Filipinos.
· Issues Discussed – There are many flaws mentioned in the book about Juan. Crab Mentality, Prostitution, Disciplinary Actions, Racism & Discrimination, relationships with other countries and Filipinos who want to be a foreigner.
· Plot – The first part of the book is a story of a Juan employee and a foreigner boss having a conversation about the state of our country, being poor. Next is the narration of the author of the Filipino culture and habits before. The author happily discussed when he was listening in the radio, playing Filipino outdoor games – patintero, luksong baka, Tagu-taguan and more.
He discussed the Filipino holidays like ‘Undas’ and especially the season of Christmas.
He also discussed the unique street and store names, kinds of jeepney drivers and how to know if you are a ‘martial law baby’. That is only the introduction of the book.
The next part of the book is more on the opinions of the author about the internet, non-sense breaking news, Filipinos trying hard to speak in English and how do Filipino contestants answer in a game show.
It may be funny but in here we can see now the problems of us Filipinos.
After the opinions of the author, he shared now the stories or opinions of the people (Filipinos &
Foreigners) who visited in his website, Bobong Pinoy. Other entries are quite good because they loved our foods and manners. Other entries are quite offensive like foreigners think that we are ‘best – buy’, meaning prostitutes and Filipinos who are ashamed of being a Filipino.
The author in the last part that our country is sick and we think it is still sick as of now, but this problem will be solved we help each other.
This book is highly recommended for us general Filipinos. As a youth, we need to help to fix the problem of our society. Like Jose Rizal, “Kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan”, it is in now in our hands.
As a student, we need to see the flaws of our state as early as we can. Also we could enhance our reading skills, in reading Filipino books or stories.
As a citizen of this country, we need to see the reality that is happening in our country. We need to help each other to solve our own sickness.
If we will change something in this book, we would not change anything. The cover, narration, message and the book itself are perfect. Even though there are quite offensive statements, it is okay for us, for Filipinos to deeply realize the feverish situations in our country.
We highly appreciated it and “Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ang mga Pilipino” by Bob Ong is a very good book.
Bob Ong’s website, BobongPinoy.com won as ‘Best Blog Award- Entertainment Category/ Social Reality’ and ‘People’s Choice Philippine Web Award for Weird/Humor’ last 1998
About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from Now
Alyssa Mae C. Eguia, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
I think that “how do you see yourself 10 years from now” is one of the most difficult questions to answer, it is because life is so unpredictable. Well hopefully, ten years from now I hope to accomplish a lot of more things. I want achieve everything. I hope that I can graduate college; I would like to see myself so smart and intelligence that I can get every opportunity that come knocking at my door. I hope that I’m very well educated, wealthy and rich where I can afford my needs and wants. I see myself working hard as a psychologist and a traveling nurse. I want to travel the world as a professional worker. I want to help the doctors in every operation and to cure other people.
Ramon Joseph A. Teoxon, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
It is that not easy to know what your future really is, without your specific goals. These goals will help you accomplish your dream you want to be. After ten years, I am already 28 years old; I think I have a small family already with one child (son or daughter). I see myself working local as a physicist. With my specialty, I can help people solve their problems involving physics. I know I have a lot of money because I’m always saving my money. I want to travel local first like Ilocos Sur, and Palawan. After that, I will visit my favorite European countries England and France. Even though I have my own family after 10 years, I will not forget my original family, my dad, mom and sisters, who supported me up to this journey of mine and I know they will still support me in the future.
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