Title: Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin
Author: Bob Ong
I have to admit that I asked my boyfriend to give me this book because I thought it’s a love story filled with more quotable quotes from Bob Ong.
I put off reading this book for quite some time (he bought it for me before Valentines), but I decided to finally read it today. I usually delay reading some books because I dread that my expectations will not be met and I’ll feel that it was a waste of money.
Did it meet my expectations?
Do I regret asking for the book and feel like it’s a waste of money?
I must say, the title, the heart, the picture, and the synopsis on the back misled me to think that it’s about love. Well, it isn’t. It’s actually a satire of Philippine culture, focusing on the attitudes of the general public, viewers, media, and the book industry. And I love it.
I usually read the work of foreign authors more than Filipino ones because it is rare to find original plots that don’t sound like spin-offs of foreign books. The Filipino books I’ve read and treasure are those by Lualhati Bautista (my favorite Filipino author!), Nick Joaquin, the book Canal dela Reina, and for some light reading, I read the thin chick lit from Cosmo. I also read Pugad Baboy and I have almost the complete works of Beerkada (all signed by Lyndon Gregorio himself, a surprise from my boyfriend ). I’ve only actually read Bob Ong’s ABNKKBSNPLAko? and I really loved that book. I was afraid this one wouldn’t be up to scratch.
I am so wrong. I already recommended this to my sister, I’m going to insist that my boyfriend read it, and I’m going to recommend this to my friend Jack, who loves to read Filipino literature and shares my love for Bob Ong’s quotable love quotes.
Bob Ong’s ideas are told in a script-format. The dialogue is stated by various characters and it is filled with dry wit and humor. I really related to his views on media (the one on the publishing industry, well, not so much) because that’s how I feel about the shows and ads, too! I know my friends feel that way also. I’ve actually stopped watching our shows because 1) they’re just like every other show; 2) the plot gets so tiresome, the villains are just so vicious, and it doesn’t seem to end; 3) I like to relax and not feel depressed at the end of the day.
I love that he deviated from the usual story-telling format of most authors. Although some are exaggerations, I find them funny because it’s meant to be funny. This is not a book to be taken too seriously; it’s meant to poke fun at the industry and make the readers/viewers ponder about what we’ve been seeing and watching. At the same time, his use of old kiddy playful rhymes (Bubuka ang bulalaklak… araw gabi, walang -----!) really made me laugh. His use of them was so unexpected, but hey, it just fits.
This book actually made me realize that I read very few works by Filipino authors and it made me want to explore more authors and more ideas from our very own. Wow.
I would recommend this book to all my friends. I handed it to my sister. She opened it and hasn’t stopped reading. If you want something easy to read on a light afternoon, try this one for size. Don’t take this book to heart. Read it and ponder on it, make your own conclusions. It’s meant to provoke, not to insist or push people to think the way he does. It just so happens that his sentiments echo mine.