Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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:: 359 words

books review pop-culture

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.

Comments

Comment by clair on 2005-03-08

I should grab a copy of some of his books. I have always wanted to read some of them. Oh well.Would you lend them to me?! 😉

Comment by Roy on 2005-03-09

Sure, I don’t mind, but how would I get them to you? They’re reallycheap though. I bought all three as impulse buys.

Comment by clair on 2005-03-10

Good question!Hmmm. Do you still hang out at UP? I go there sometimes to see Mario and incidentally Dave too.

Comment by Roy on 2005-03-11

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve been to UP since I started working.Work has this bad habit of eating up free time. If it didn’t pay so well, I wouldn’t work at all!

Comment by clair on 2005-03-14

Well, true… *sigh* Working is something that eats up a lot of people’s times and energies.

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roytang.net is a personal site; I post about a random assortment of topics that interest me including software development, Magic the Gathering, pop culture, gaming, and tech life. This site is perpetually under renovation.