"Bakit namamalo si Miss Uyehara?
May mga notebook bang lumilipad?
Bakit masakit sa ulo ang Mafhemafics?
Ano ang lihim sa likod ng pagkakaibigan nila Pepe at Tagpi?
Bakit may mga taong nakapikit sa litrato?
Masarap ba ang Africhado?
Sino si Tigang?
Bakit may mga classroom na kulang ang upuan?
Masama bang mag-isip nang malalim habang naglalakad?
Saan ang Ganges River sa Pilipinas?
Bakit may mga umaakyat ng overpass pero hindi tumatawid?
Sino ang webmaster ng bobongpinoy sa Internet?"

I remember having read this book sometime during the end high school or the start of my college years. I did not think much of this book back then. Now, re-reading it as a legitimate (ehem) adult, I found that my appreciation for it has increased.  

The power of this book lies in nostalgia. The shared experiences of student life, as humorously related by Bob Ong. And I realized that these experiences, more or less, never really varies THAT much from era to era. The 70s born Pinoy kid will just as much relate to this as those of the 90s. Soon, I found myself back in elementary, and then high school , and then college. After which I had a nice chat with my sisters about the various sweets (choki choki! mikmik!, bazooka joe!) and junk foods we had back in school, the parlor games (saksak puso!, langit lupa!) during recess, the teachers, the crazy classmates, the cramming, the school projects and the field demos, and all other "kalokohans" and "katangahans" of student life. 

But, this book goes beyond a trip down memory lane. It is also a bit of a social commentary regarding the country's school system and the importance of education. It speaks, as well, of how much of a measure of a man's character is being learned. It also tells of justice, and fairness, and equality. 

Like I said, I enjoyed the book more than I did when I first read it. I appreciated Bob Ong making it real by including some not so happy memories of his young student life. And while I had fun reminiscing about the good ole fun times, I also took away some life lessons here and there.


  1. Looks like this book is very nostalgic. Speaking of going down the memory lane, recently, I've been looking at things we do or own during childhood. #wheniwasbatapa trend in Twitter had be laughing for a while, and the 90s trends let me look back and reminisce my childhood. I kind of missed it. It made me realize that the things in the past are very different than now.

    1. I checked out #wheniwasbatapa, it's pretty funny! I do remember the 3210, Kodak, the afternoon naps, and the idea of the moon following you, and the grooming kit! Haha!

      Oh, I know what you mean. I get nostalgic too whenever I see our old Family Computer, and Gameboy, and the Tamagotchi, and an old cellphone we had, which was extremely HUGE! The 90s was awesome! :D


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