Title: Alamat ng Gubat
Author: Bob Ong
This book was a highly recommended read of a colleague, even long before I got my hands on it. And what can I say, another brilliant idea from Bob Ong. For those who are not familiar with Bob Ong’s works, he’s the one responsible for such local and famous best sellers as “Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas” and “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!” among others. As expected, candid humor and unconventional story-telling are the main ingredients of the book, but the crop is its unique presentation and plot, and, undoubtedly the mocking symbolism behind every character.
What makes “Alamat ng Gubat” stand out is that it’s a quick read (merely a hundred pages), packaged as a Children’s Book complete with full color splash pages. The story of a young Crab/Talangka in search of the Puso ng Saging that seems to be the cure for his ailing “king” father. Along the way he basically meets different animals in the jungle which represents in essence the different aspects of the Modern Filipino…in politics, culture, habits, principles…you name it. Each encounter would mirror the Filipino character combined with humor and spontaneous off color remarks by the narrator (in which the author is really brilliant with). Behind the humor and indirect character analogies, one would immediately recognize the harsh reality of which today’s Filipinos are really known for. A mockery mixed with antics, and at the end, one would think and meditate how true these fictional characters really play with their real-life counterparts. And who are they? it is you. Me. And everyone of us who calls ourselves the Filipino.
Ang kwentong pambata na pang-matanda. Ang iba’t ibang uri ng kahayupan sa kagubatan ng Saging Republic.