Book Review: Kung Alam N’yo Lang by Ricky Lee

This isn’t the first book I’ve read this year, but maybe this is the one that’s meant to be reviewed first. Listening to the details of the “behind-the-scenes” of this book over the weekend got me excited to unveil what it has to offer. Now that I did, let me share with you what I think about it. 

About the Book

Kung Alam N’yo Lang is a compilation of four short stories with illustrations, featuring young boys as characters. Carlo, along with his pets went in search for God in Ang Nawawalang Diyos. Trevor struggled as he sees letters instead of the actual things surrounding him, unable to figure out what’s wrong in Ang Sayaw ng Mga Letra. Inggo finally plucked up the courage to stand for himseld against Victor, his greatest bully in Si Inggo at ang Santo Kwatro. Monty questioned the Grim Reaper on why it has to kill people, including his parents in Nang Mapagod si Kamatayan. Four not-so-ordinary stories of seemingly ordinary kids. 

What I Think About It

According to the author Mr. Ricky Lee, this book is intended for children ages 9 and above. It makes sense, because the characters are in the same age bracket. Except for, this isn’t the typical children’s book that most of us grew up reading. Instead of the happily ever after and the fairy godmothers who grant the wishes of our princesses, Kung Alam N’yo Lang contain the harsh truths and the reality of life. It breaks the traditional way of educating kids through books – instead of protecting them and their innocence by giving them stories with the answers given in the end to every question, it posed more questions as each story ended. Much like life itself, the more we think about it, the more questions come, but oftentimes the answers are almost always unavailable. Perhaps, with the proper guidance from the parents, the idea of exposing the children to some of life’s sad truths could help them as they grow older. I am not a parent, and I am definitely inexperienced when it comes to parenting, but basing it to some of my friends who were spoiled by their parents, they’re having a hard time adjusting to the real life on their own. 

Ang Nawawalang Diyos, the first story in the book is by far the story that affected me the most. Carlo’s quest in searching for God is too relatable to each one of us. Because there are moments when we feel so abandoned that we no longer want to believe if there is someone out there who hears us and is willing to be with us. Life is tough, I should say, really. 
The style and the artistry of illustrations (they’re in black and white) also added to the book’s overall appeal as a children’s book that does not end on a happy note. Despite the author and the illustrators’ admission that it was more of the financial reason (colored printing is expensive), it gave the book a unique feel and character. 

Kung Alam N’yo Lang is no doubt another flawlessly written masterpiece by Ricky Lee, though it left me with lots of questions. Did Carlo really meet God in the end? What happened to Inggo? To Victor? But then again, maybe these are the questions whose answers are, and will always be, unavailable. πŸ˜€
I got my copy of the book from The Making and Book Signing of Kung Alam N’yo Lang during the BGC Arts Festival. I am not sure if it is already available in bookstores but you can always contact the author through Facebook to buy. 

xoxo, 

Beth G. ❀

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