Filipino Writer: Bob Ong

Bob Ong is not his real name. And very few people know his true identity. But Bobong Pinoy is one of the increasingly popular Filipino writers nowadays.

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The Sunday Inquirer Magazine features this mass-market mystery man, and now I'm itching to get hold of his Alamat Ng Gubat (The Legend of the Forest).

I have the following Bob Ong books (written in Tagalog):

ABNKKBSNPLAko?! (Oh, I can actually read now?!)
Bakit Baligtad Magbasa Ng Libro Ang Mga Pilipino? (Why do Pilipinos read books in reverse?)
Ang Paboritong Libro Ni Hudas (The Favorite Book of Judas)
Stainless Longganisa (Longganisa is a kind of sausage; stainless longganisa refers to those metal-encased pens)

Five books. To think it all started with a popularly humorous web site. Too bad that site no longer exists.

For those who remember Bobong Pinoy (dumb Pinoy), the satirical pieces appeal to the thirty-something crowd because of the numerous references to showbiz figures of the 70s and 80s, the bashing of certain politicians, and the jokingly biting commentary of Philippine society.

Bob Ong writes informally (and in Tagalog), and thus catches the attention of a lot of Pinoys.

If J. K. Rowling helped raise the readership level of young adults, Bob Ong helps raise the reading interest of Pilipinos otherwise subsisting on a daily fare of noontime gameshows.

So keep on writing, Bob Ong. A lot of people are waiting. And reading.

[ First posted on 07/16/2006 by Manuel Viloria ]

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