Title: Ligo na U, Lapit na Me
Author: Eros S. Atalia
The first time I saw the trailer of the movie Ligo na U, Lapit na Me, I looked forward into watching the film. It was just a two-minute movie trailer but it captured my attention. I wanted to watch the film but unfortunately it was hard to find a copy of the whole film in the internet. There were some clips in YouTube, but it only shows a part of the movie.
During our discussion in our 21st Century Literature class, I found out that the movie was an adaptation of a novel written by Eros S. Atalia.
As part of our output in the course, every pair chose one Philippine literary work in the 21st century and make a review about the chosen book. As for our case, we chose Ligo na U, Lapit na Me by Eros S. Atalia
The title of the book is very eye-catching.
When you bump into this book in a library or a bookstore, it will catch your attention because the title is appealing and easy to remember. The cover is a little bit weird though. It features an old-looking man and a young lady sitting beside a poso.
The lady appears to be wiping her hair onto his foot, with children, waiting for their turn to fetch water from the poso, watching the two.
As we go along the book, we tried to discover the meaning behind the cover. We had high hopes with this book, we expected a lot from it, but will this novel meet our expectations?
The plot of this novel is not as complicated as what we have expected.
It simply talks about a not so good looking guy whose full name goes by the name of Karl Vlademir Lennon J. Villalobos, or Intoy for short, and his love affair(?) with Jen, a rich and sophisticated college girl. Jen decided to transfer to a state university after being caught by a security guard having sex with his boyfriend inside a classroom in her former catholic school.
Transferring to a new school, Jen became the attention of a lot of people, especially boys.
Intoy was different. Unlike other boys, he did not care how pretty Jen is. Jen became curious why does a girl like her gets bypassed by a guy like him. But in the end, Jen was able to persuade Intoy by giving him dark chocolates, his favorite snack, and they became friends. Well, not just friends, according to him they were “friends with benefits and perks”, they are not lovers but they do things which are only done by lovers.
Intoy started to have feelings for Jen, which he admitted is his first love.
He was afraid to confess his feelings for Jen because he might get ignored by her. But right after she told him that she’s pregnant from another man, she suddenly disappeared without leaving a single clue. She disappeared a few days before their graduation day.
She never returned and Intoy never had a chance to see her again. Intoy never had a chance to express his feelings for Jen.
For us, we think that Jen is suffering from an emotional condition which was not mentioned in the novel. At first, she texted Intoy when is the ideal date to commit suicide. She is a promiscuous girl who likes to have sex when she wants. Commonly, Jen’s behavior has a deeper reason. But according to her, she did not experience a broken family, or any of those causes.
The author discussed neither Jen’s point of view nor Jen’s fate in the end, leaving the readers clueless on what triggered Jen’s sudden departure.
As we read the novel, we discovered that the cover of the book was a part of the story. The cover was Benson’s dream which he shared with Intoy when he went home drunk trying to erase Jen completely from his heart. The old looking man in the book cover was Benson while the girl is his childhood sweetheart Kengkay.
In Benson’s dream, Kengkay (whom he and Intoy calls as Yoko Ono, while Intoy is Ringo Star, and Benson is John Lennon) was the one wiping her hair in Benson’s feet.
Intoy’s story ends without closure, because according to him closures are only for people who cannot wait and are too hasty to know the ending of a story. Jen is one chapter of his life, and he does not know still if a continuation awaits him. A lot of things may still happen and they are still right in the middle of their lives, so the story doesn’t end there.
Ligo na U, Lapit na Me is not that hard to understand. The author used a language that would cater the masses.
This novel’s plot, as what we have said earlier, is not as complicated when compared to other novels. Actually, the plot of the novel is simple and short. It’s just that the author introduced his opinions and POVs in every random issue incorporated in the story.
Sometimes it’s a bit funny and it makes you realize a lot of things, but a lot of times it’s boring and irrelevant because it makes the story become dull until you reach the next part of the plot.
But if you can relate to the author’s opinions, we think that you will get the relevance of what he is trying to imply. It’s on you if you will agree with Eros Atalia’s opinions.
There were a lot of erotic scenes in the novel but the author narrated them in an appropriately and not in a vulgar way unlike some stories. But still, we will not recommend this book for readers below 15 simply because they are too young for these novels. There were few typographical errors in the book but it doesn’t matter that much. The novel has a movie adaptation as what we have said earlier, but it was hard for us to find a full and clear copy of the film.
About the Writers and How Do they See Themselves 10 years from Now
Lorenz Martin P. Paño, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
10 years from now, i see myself as a world-known engineer. I already have my own house and my masters degree. I already travelled to the destinations i want to go to and i’ve already done half of my bucketlist.
John Rafael S. Sabido, Student – Pasig City Science Highschool
In ten years, I see myself as a person still in the process of being successful not just in the field that I love but also in life and to serve the people of my country in my own way.
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