A while back I blogged about Bob Ong’s first book. A short while after, I also picked up his next two books, Bakit Baliktad Magbasa ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Why Do Filipinos Read Backwards?) and Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas (Judas’ Favorite Book).
“Bakit Baligtad” focuses on the Philippines, its people, its quirks and its problems. “Paboritong Libro” is a lot harder to classify, as it jumps across several topics, with the unifying theme being the chapters named after anagrams of the seven deadly sins. At least I think that’s the unifying theme…
“Paboritong Libro” is also the better of the two books. Or at least the easier read, as “Bakit Baligtad” had a tendency to be a lot more serious and preachy, which might turn off people looking for a light read. Also, “Bakit Baligtad” contains a significant amount of non-original material, from the apparently-now-defunct Bobong Pinoy website and from several online forums.
In fact, after reading “Bakit Baligtad”, I realized the particular appeal of Bob Ong’s books… all of them, including the first one, read like they were written on the internet. Maybe in a blog or something. Each book is like some sort of running commentary on some part of life in general; (the first book was about education, the second about the Philippines; I’m still not sure what the third book was about) That’s why it’s so hard to pin down, it leaves you with that internet feeling of “hey-when’s-the-next-update?”
Both books are generally hit-or-miss though, with a bit more hit than miss, same as the first one. Some good parts, some you’d want to sleep through. They’re good for the price they’re at. In any case, I’ll probably pick up his next book as an impulse buy if I see it.
My favorite part of these two books (I’m not sure which book it was in anymore) was a list of amusing signs found all over the Philippines. One of them is described as such: on a cracked lopsided wall along Libis, QC: Danger Wall is Falling!
Hehe, that cracks me up, and I’m not sure why. I’d like to see that wall.