Friday, November 19, 2004
eople say that books define and makes up a person and I honestly believe that. In
fact I could summarize my life by the books that I've read, which would described the way my
mind ticked and what sort of stuff it is that captivated my fancy during the time.
As a kid I grew up with a lot of children's book from Ladybird and it stories were
all told to me by either my parents or my other sibling. But to start with it wasn't my
first book reading. Another is that I also grew up with Bible stories and one particular
story that I really loved at the time was that of Joseph The Dreamer. I was not yet into
that, in fact there was a time in my young life that I didn't really fancy reading. I
remember the many times that I failed periodical exams in my elementary years because I
didn't felt like reading the test question and since the test was in multiple choice I
simply randomly placed ABCD in diffrent patterns in my answer sheet to get it over with.
But all of that seemed to have changed when one time my older brother Kuya Louie
started telling me this story from this book that he's reading it was William Golding's Lord
of the Flies, as was enthralled by the tale of young boys stranded ala Swiss Family Robinson
steadily falling into savagery, and I was thrilled that I was able to relate to the
characters of Ralph, Simon and Piggy in the tale, I was grade three at the time.
Come grade four I got into collecting comic books, I started reading them it was
this particular Superman story entitled Metropolis Mailbag that sparked the trend of my
collecting which would remain as a part of me up to now. By grade five I finally got to
finish my first book it was Jules Verne's 20, 000 Leagues Under the Sea, my father was
thrilled at that breakthrough that he even made mention of it in a letter that he sent to my
Kuya Peddie who was at the time studying in Israel. One book led to another from Verne would
come Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Lost World; Kipling's Jungle Book, Dumas' Three
Musketeers and Merville's Moby Dick.
By the time I reached grade six I got into the graphic novel genre upon reading the
works Howard Chaykin and Neil Gaiman, later on as I got in transition from elementary to
high school my comic book collection have already exceeded a hundred copies, and my book
reading has then lapsed for a while but I still read a few one of them is this book called
Mysteries of Space & The Universe by some author that I've long forgotten as well as this
fictional manual about vampires and werewolves both of them given by my Ate Susie.
Come high school I got into collecting Trade Paperback collection of grand tales
from DC The Death of Superman, Knightsend, Zero Hour, Superman/Doomsday: Hunter & Prey,
Panic In The Sky, The Killing Joke and a lot more were bought out of the lunch money that I
saved by not eating my lunch and not taking the usual tricycle ride from the school to our
It was where later when I was about to graduate that I was able to read Edgar Reyes'
Sa Kuko ng Liwanag, Utos Ng Hari and other Palangka short stories that at the time were
given to us as projects but at the same time I also found this cool discovery of DC's
Vertigo line of comic books which featured the writing of Peter Milligan, Garth Ennis, Grant
Morrison, Gaiman many more along with that I finally got to appreciate the humor of the
Giffen-DeMatteis era Justice League.
Come college I've already consumed a lot more books during the summmer vacation. But
the start of college was a time where I thought one has to have this sophisticated mind so I
started out with Exupery's The Little Prince and then followed it with Lualhati Bautista's
Bata, Bata Pano Ka Ginawa?. It was then also that I got to meet Ave Perez Jacob who
introduced our class to Filipino literary works by that of Juaquin, OrdoƱez, Sikat etc. By
the time I got into the writings of Alfonso Mendoza nameley that of his short stories which
were compiled in paperback as Iskalper at Iba Pang Mga Kuwento.
By the time that I was starting out in college it was also the time that I started
out taking my Bible reading seriously where I tried to read the Bible from cover to cover
which would last for two years. Around that time also I was introduced by Kuya Ponch my
discipler at church to read Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and Asimov's Foundation Series.
Then I came to meet Jeanie and was able to swap a number of books with her at my
favorite book at the time was Ethan Hawke's The Hottest State and several Crichton novels
like Sphere, Jurassic Park, Congo and The Lost World.
Halfway through college also got me interested in leftwing politics and anarchism I
started out with Will Durant's Story of Philosophy and several anotations from the works of
Marx, Lenin and Mao. By third year I was able to finish the summarized version of Amado
Guerrero's Philippine Society & Revolution and BISIG's The Socialist Vision which opened
further horizons at lefty litterature from that of Reid's Philippine Left: Political Crisis
and Social Change; Marx's Communist Manifesto; Alfredo Saullo's Communism in the
Philippines, Sallinger's The Catcher In The Rye; Sison's Philippine Revolution: A Leaders
View, Jose Dalisay's Killing Time in a Warm place, Dekada 70 and a lot more.
That was a time of discovery for me though it cost me my relationship with God and
it embittered me with how the world works and gave me such a jaded point of view at how the
world works though indeed it has served its purpose of opening my eyes of the fact that the
world really is quite unfair.
I would be stagnated with such subverssive literature up until the time I would
finish college where God in His part of re-aligning me back to His will would lead me to
discover this book called Jesus Freaks by Toby Mackeenan of DC Talk and J. Wilkerson's Hey
Preach You're Coming Through which got me to cry in the bus as I was reading it. The Bible
once again became of interest to me and that long been kept silent longing for something
that I cannot explain which in its way also felt like a big void in me got me again to read
the Bible at a more personal level I got to read Warren's PDL, C.S. Lewis' Miracles, William
McDonald's True Discipleship, Graham's Peace With God and a lot more.
The Bible became such a personal book to me which lead me to move on and have this
new perspective in life and that is that I am already dead to sin and alive in Christ and
therefore it is no longer I who lives in me but Christ. It was cool and I began to have this
passion for apologetics and in studying the histrocicity of Jesus and the history of
Christianity it was really cool that I got to read Paul Little's Know What and Know Why You
Believe books as well as C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce as well as a lot more books, tracts
magazines and others.
Seeing as how the Bible as a book have remain that personal and that long lasting to
me makes me realize that like a book I myself is sort of a novel that God writes I am still
in the process of its completion and there would still be a lot more of plot twists and
turns and of conflicts and victories before my story would climax with that one final amen.
But as for now I'd continue to live a life on that great book which is the Bible.


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