Vlad Gonzales’ Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan

Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan

Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan

The first page recounts the author’s kindergarten experiences, and readers can’t help recalling the same scene in Bob Ong’s ABNKKBSNPLAko?. Actually, if one is going to scan the Philippine lit bookshelves, one will feel an earnest desire of local publishing houses to come up with books that will equal if not outdo the success of the Bob Ong series. Aside from this book, there are Eros Atalia’s “Peksman, Nagsisinungaling Ako” and Bud Tomas’ “Wala lang,” which are both written in comical-but-wait-there-is-depth-and-drama-somewhere-yes-I’m-Bob-Ong-but-hello-I’m-not mode. Even National Artist Virgilio Almario employs a Bob Ong element in his new book which he entitled “Supot ni Hudas.”

But why should I complain? Many students are now flocking National and Powerbooks to search for local books with the same BobOngish mode, and before I know it they’re already reading F. Sionil Jose. And Amado Hernandez. And even Edel Garcellano! This might be a sign of an upcoming golden age of Philippine literature! And god, Bob Ong is its father.

Anyway, back to Gonzales’ book. “Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan” really is a napakalaking kaastigan, as it is indeed tough to talk about nothing but yourself in a 100+ page book. Reading it feels like going through a collection of journal entries, spontaneous, no uniting theme, and flowing with memories about childhood, school, family, sex, funny and corny cobweb jokes, and influences from pop culture. There are stories about eventful quarrels between his parents, unforgettable conversations with friends and relatives, and hilarious and sometimes melodramatic moments with the family. There are stories about growing with and being conditoned to live like TGIS stars, learning to act like Sharon Cuneta , and dance ala Maricel Soriano.

What can I say about a book whose professed purpose is to simply entertain? Vlad Gonzales’ voice is natural, playful, and pleasingly narrative. Some readers might be annoyed reading tidbits of random experiences ending with expected punchlines, but hey, it works with Bob Ong, and Vlad Gonzales definitely knows how to pull it off too, employing good writing techniques, dramatic line repetition and deft word play. If you’re an Edsa revolution baby, I recommend this. The stories that Vlad Gonzales shares and the humor that he creates simply come from our generational and cultural familiarity with what is unforgettable and what is funny. His book is your bestfriend telling you everything you’ve gone through after you smashed your head and got amnesia.

18 responses to “Vlad Gonzales’ Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan

  1. Even National Artist Virgilio Almario employs a Bob Ong element in his new book which he entitled “Supot ni Hudas.”

    so you’ve read it?

  2. so you’ve read it?

    Yep. I should.🙂
    The content, admittedly, is different.

    The first page of Ang Supot ni Hudas starts with a poet’s caveat against readers who simply open the book because of its cover (something put like, “tumitingin lamang pala sa pabalat…” ).

    This, obviously, is a clever allusion to potential Bob Ong readers who grab the book of poems by mistake, thinking that it is related to, or it is, Bob Ong’s Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas.

    I’m not bringing down ASNH to the level of Bob Ong books, I’m just pointing out how works of Phil writers , even of a National Artist, are being affected by the success and the brouhaha of Bob Ong books.

  3. This, obviously, is a clever allusion to potential Bob Ong readers who grab the book of poems by mistake, thinking that it is related to, or it is, Bob Ong’s Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas.

    talaga? it’s not about the cover being somewhat flashier than his other books?

  4. aun, bnbsa ko xa ngaun, haha…nkkatawa…super…pti mga clasm8 ko tumawa nung shinare ko sknila ung ibang part ng story lalo na ung Ala-una, Alas-dos, alas-tres…hhaha…super…actually nung thursday ko lng xa nbili ngaun nsa pg.31 na ako…hahaha….ganda tlga…haha…wla lng…

  5. Hi, Nina. Yes, it’s really a fun read. Hope we can have more of this kind of humor lit in the future.

  6. talaga? it’s not about the cover being somewhat flashier than his other books?

    Compared to his other books, ASNH is colored black, and only has silvery stars in the center. Yes, there is a flashy element, and it resembles Ong’s APLNH.

  7. interesting. i haven’t read this, but i’ll consider it the next time i’m at a bookstore.

    also, congratulations on the Delifrance Tray Couture Promo win.🙂

  8. Is it an essay/novel?

  9. i’ve bought a copy just recently. at hindi ako natuwa. bukod sa trying hard magpaka-bob ong, walang pinupuntahan yung kwento. puro blah blah lang. yung nakasulat sa likod ng book, hindi akma sa content. natawa ba ko? hindi. may bago ba? wala. astig nga ba? ewan.

    i give it 1 star out of 5.

  10. nice book ,, keep it up,,
    Godbless

  11. you’re good at making reviews😉

  12. i’ve read the book. it’s nonsense, actually. can’t even compare it with Bob Ong. never.

  13. npakaganda ng

    mga
    jokes….

  14. dami na q na read na ni bob ong pero hindi
    q lng qng nu bnago ngaun pls response nmn kau mga ripatips jan oh!tnx!god blesss

  15. eto ang bagong Bob Ong. I even thought she’s the real BO using a different pen name when I read his blog. check it out! His name is kerux haduken. http://www.haduken1.blogspot.com

  16. eto ang bagong Bob Ong. I even thought he’s the real BO using a different pen name when I read his blog. check it out! His name is kerux haduken. http://www.haduken1.blogspot.com

  17. I like Bob Ong First 5 books, maliban lang sa alamat ng gubat. and i really like Bud Tomas “Wala Lang” i have a copy of it pero nawala sa hiraman,
    meron bang ebook release nito? yung “wala lang” at kung meron din kayong alam na ebooks ng “Pugad baboy” hehehe…
    if may alam kayo pls send me a message here.

  18. wala pa ding update? hehe.. meron sana sa amazon kaso no budget,,,

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