Bob Ong’s books, including “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!” which started it all, has brought joy to hundreds of thousands of readers. We were curious—what does he like to read? We turned the tables on this popular author and asked him to list his five all-time favorite Filipino books.
1. “Young Blood.” This was our generation’s Facebook way before the Internet became commonplace. It gave voice to ordinary young Filipinos of all backgrounds and curated all our innermost ’90s thoughts. The series now serves as a time capsule documenting the development of Pinoy youths’ psyche for over two decades.
2. “Trip to Quiapo.” I’m always up for any book that’s going to teach me something. And “Trip to Quiapo” did that at a time when most learnings we get were limited to enrolling in a course in schools you first have to win over with your qualifications. The scriptwriting manual by Ricky Lee was an at-your-pace equalizer and I benefitted from it.
3. “Diksyutawa.” There’s nothing like reading a book that both entertains and opens doors. Tino Dulay Jr.’s independently published work gave me the necessary boost to believe that if you’ve got the drive and enough wit in you, believe it or not, this country has readers that will be waiting for you.
4. “Saan Papunta ang mga Putok?” Regardless of how many books you’ve read and loved, there are some that you’ll never forget just because they resonated most with you. And a passage from Rogelio L. Ordoñez’s book did just that for me because it taught me, lectured me, about a writer’s responsibility to his/her country.
5. “Noli Me Tangere.” Jose Rizal’s novel will always be a favorite if only for its impact in our history. It serves as an inspiring reminder that we as a race produced a genius. That in our deepest and darkest days, one man can still make a difference, that stories still matter, truth will always prevail, and Filipinos are more than capable of self-redemption. INQ