Of birthdays and Bob Ongs


NINE PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY SAID that I write like Bob Ong. Or that they remember Bob Ong when they read my posts. More than one have already accused me of duplicating Bob Ong’s writing style. And hey, I’ve written too much Bob Ongs in this paragraph!

But before I get to that, let me first greet a very good/special friend: HEY! PEY! BERTDEY! ARIES BABALCON! That’s it. Joke.

We’ve been classmates for all of our high school life, but we haven’t really had so much time talking to and knowing each other until after graduation. You had that discreet personality that kept me guessing about your interests. You even surprised me when you showed up at our senior year’s editorial examinations, and yes, you even accumulated enough points to end up being the managing editor of our campus publication. Sorry for being the prodigal editor-in-chief that I was, because you had to do the rescuing on our paper when I was often absent for dating other girls.

That’s when we really got a little closer, with you scolding me about my misdoings and undoings and what you said before almost always goes into an ear squeezes out of the other. But yes, you always told me I was really excellent even though my grades tell otherwise. And then you utter, “who needs those grades on a piece of paper?! even if they have astronomical grades on their report cards, they’re not fooling themselves!” How I loved those statements of yours.

And now, we’re seas apart, but we always have this line that connects us. Big thanks to technology. Too many things happened to the world and to us (by the way, give my regards to Casiphia <or whatever you name her>). I feel guilty about how little this space I have allocated for you, but I hope this will be enough to get across to you the thought. I won’t slide in some cliches like “may you have mre birthdays to come” (oh, come on), but again, many thanks for thinking I’m still a good egg even though I’m slightly cracked, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Now back to Bob Ong.

What really forced me to post something like this was Ken‘s accusation. And then I was like, “errr…I hardly know him” and then he was like preaching about anything. I loved that though, because it’s not everyday that I have conversations with a superbrains like him. I said I’m a little flattered to be compared (or to be accused?!) to such an influential writer. Prior to the posting if this entry I was on a hunt for who Bob Ong is. Alright, sorry if I disappointed you for being the last man to know about his greatness, but what can I do?

I was amazed by how big Bob Ong is. Critics were all praises to him, particularly for his humor and insightful realization. And of course I also learned of his anonymity. But before that I even thought he was just another superstar blogger (but I do remember a book by him). Hell yeah, he’s the author of Ang Paboritong Libro Ni Judas which I saw in National Bookstore stalls when I was searching religious insurgence books.

Ken said my writing style was similar to Bob Ong’s (again, I felt flattered): witty and humurous but after reading he remembers nothing. Furthermore he observed how writers of today are following the fad of writing like him. He said I should never let my style overshadow my purpose. I just “listened” and revisited my sanity. I must be up to my defenses.

In the first place I didn’t even know Bob Ong until now. I feel sheepish but up to this very time I have never read any of his books or anything written by him. So there’s no possible way I could be duplicating his style. And I’ve been writing since as long as I can remember so I’ve developed in my own way my style. It might be similar in some sense because I also have influences and that I have evolved too as a writer, but I can’t remember myself intending to sound like him or any writer out there. Of course I’m a fan of many writers now but not Bob Ong (yet?). So there.

Bob Ong ought to thank me for this, he’s getting too much publicity.


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7 Responses to “Of birthdays and Bob Ongs”

  1. Arzie Says:

    Thnx ha..now lang ako nakapagcomment kc konti lang oras ko para magnet last saturday..by the way, i already changed her name to zophiel hailey jace..gusto ko parin yung casiphia kaso nga daming nagsasabing “common” na raw..tapos sabi mo pa nakakadugo ng ilong..hahay..

    kung saan2x ko na nababasa ang “bob ong” na yan..
    I’m getting interested about him..kawawa kc ako kc ‘di ko xa kilala..
    haha..research ko na nga lng..
    TNX ULIT hon..mwah*

  2. Mille Says:

    You are not Bob Ong.
    Or anyone else.
    Because you’re you!
    Don’t worry, you have your own identity,
    And it’s clear for me.

  3. mangbadoy Says:

    ako rin nasabihan nyan di sa pangagaya pero most of the writers right now kagaya nya ng writing style! siguro kasi sya yung unang sumikat na ganun pero recently ko lang nabasa yung mga books nya nakakadalawa na nga ako sa anim nyang book… salamat sa pag-bisita nga pala paki palitan naman yung link ko from talambuhay(dot)wordpress(dot)com to mangbadoy(dot)wordpress(dot)com… tenks! muahuggs! xoxo

  4. Ken Says:

    Uhm, what if … you stop blogging for a while … gawa ka ng novel, Tagalog/Taglish whatever …









    Try it! I wanna see, baka pwede ipublish tapos yumaman ka …

  5. rei37293 Says:

    Bob Ong huh?dami ko na nabasa books ni Bob Ong, sa totoo may times kasi na parang typical na style nalang ang style niya. Nakakaaliw nga lang, para kasing ‘pag nagtagalog ka or gumawa ng post na tagalog di mapigilang mahawig sa style niya…ewan pero madami-dami na rin akong nabasa na kaparego niya ng style..
    So, oks lng yan..kahit napagkakamalan kang mangagaya, isipin mo nalang di ka nag-iisa..

  6. KENJO KENJO Says:

    This should be interesting. I’m doing a research right now about authorship attribution using mutlivariate analysis for my thesis and I’m concentrating on Tagalog blog texts. I will use your blog entries as part of my corpus, this will also include my blogger friends from multiply who write in Tagalog, and also other Filipino writers (as pretesting backdrop) Bob Ong, Eros Atalia, even classis like NVM Gonzales, etc. If my algorithm is effective, none of my blogger friends including you should be identified as Bob ong … good luck to me ..

  7. naglalambingnacute Says:

    hmmm BOB ONG magaling sya… at dapat maging proud ka kasi kino compare ka sa isang magaling.. basahin mo yun book nyang stainless longganisa.. maganda yun kasi dun kinwento ni BOB Ong kung paano sya naging writer… kanya kanya style lang yan!

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