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Book Review: Si Amapola Sa 65 Kabanata (2011)

Note: in honor of the book, this review will be in Taglish. Go ahead and let Google translate it if you can't read Tagalog. The experience is magical. If you know Tagalog and use Google Translate anyway, your journey will be transcendental.

Si Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata ay isinulat ni Ricky Lee, ang sikat at award-winning na manunulat ng mga script para sa pelikula. Ang bida ng nobela ay siya mismong si Amapola, isang baklang impersonator sa club. Parating na naman ang eleksyon, at itinakda si Amapola bilang tagapagligtas ng bayan. Ngunit feel ba niya?

Sa umpisa pa lang ay naloka na ako sa bonggang kabaklaan ni Amapola. Malakas ang tiwala niya sa kanyang sarili. Bilib na bilib itong si sister sa kanyang kagandahan. At malalim ang kanyang pagnanasa sa kanyang kapitbahay na si Oscar, na single father. Gusto ni Amapolang magkatuluyan sila ni Oscar, ngunit marami siyang hinaharap na hadlang. Ang mga tema ng libro ay nakatali sa mga sagabal na ito. Ito ang mga kailangang talunin ni Amapola:

I. Hindi siya buong tao. [Tema: Lahat tayo ay hati.]
  1. Mayroong dalawang split personality si Amapola. Ang isa, lalaking-lalaki. May girlfriend pa! Ang isa naman, ayaw lumabas sa closet, pero magaling mag-research.
  2. Manananggal pala siya. Isang gabi, bigla na lang sumipot ang kanyang mga pakpak at pangil, humaba ang kanyang dila, at humiwalay ang kanyang taas sa kanyang baba sa bewang. Kairita noh?
  3. Galit si Oscar sa mga manananggal. Ipinagbibintangan niya ito sa pagkamatay ng kanyang asawa. Ay, bad trip.
II. Itinakda siya bilang tagapagligtas ng bayan. [Tema: Lahat tayo ang tagapagligtas ng bayan.]
  1. Si Sepa, ang lola sa tuhod ni Amapola, ay manananggal noong panahon ng Katipunan. Lumakbay si Sepa sa kinabukasan upang hanapin ang apo niyang itinakda, na tatapusin ang sinimulan nina Andres Bonifacio.
  2. Kumampi kay Sepa ang isang pandak na pulis na Noranian (fan ni Nora Aunor). Kung hindi ka ba naman himatayin sa kanyang mala-encyclopedia na kaalaman tungkol sa buhay at mga pelikula ni "Guy" (si Nora ulit).
  3. Ay, hindi pala si Amapola ang itinakda. Yung nakababata niyang kapatid pala. Kelangan niyang hanapin 'yun.
III. Hindi magkasundo ang mga minamahal niya. [Tema: Iba-iba ang anyo ng pagmamahal.]
  1. Hindi magka-vibes si Sepa at ang nanay na umampon kay Amapola. Lagi silang nagsusumbatan.
  2. Ayaw na siyang kausapin ni Oscar nang malaman nito na manananggal siya.
  3. Kahit ang mga inililigtas ni Amapola bilang manananggal superhero ay minsan itinatakwil siya.
At iba pa.

Tulad ni Amapola, hati ang libro -- minsan nakakatawa, minsan nakakaiyak, at minsan nakakainis. Malakas talaga ang imahinasyon ni Ricky Lee, lalo na't sa bahagi na nakalista ang mga tawag si iba't ibang tipo ng manananggal (yung bakla, yung hindi kumakain ng tao, atbp). Mahusay niyang ipinaghalo ang kasaysayan, alamat, current events, at ang puso't damdamin ng tao.

Kung masuwerte kayo tulad ko at nakatanggap ng kopya ng librong ito mula sa mabait at syempre magandang kaibigan, basahin niyo kaagad! Maloloka kayo. Matututo kayo ng salita ng mga bakla, tulad ng "Crayola ako!" (= umiiyak)

Ang review na ito ay inihandog ng bilasang Dunkin' Donuts coffee.

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