|Posted by ella on January 11, 2011 at 9:49 AM|
First and foremost, I would like to express my thank yous to Honey Peralta of Flips Flipping Pages and Karina Bolasco and Ani Habulan of Anvil Publishing for providing us with complimentary copies of the works of home grown talents, the works of our very own Filipino authors ^_^
Candido's Apocalypse is about Bobby, a teenage boy, who because of the falsity he sensed with the people around him, started having an alter ego named Candido. It was Candido who has a say whether something or someone was "overacting" or not. Bobby wanted none of the pretentions going on with his family and friends, he wanted to stay true to himself. So he tried hard to do the things that Candido think was okay and for a while Bobby was okay...
But one day Candido took over Bobby and he started seeing people in their glorious nakedness. All their flaws and secrets out in the open for his viewing (dis)pleasure. What's worse, even the flesh started to peel off, the muscles fell off and what was left for Bobby to see were skeletons dancing with their jiggly bones...
Reading Candido's Apocalyse is like being in a rollercoaster ride. Nick Joaquin started off the story sounding like he'd never sounded before. I kept rereading the first few lines because everything just sounded off to my ears.
Every dialogue from the first part was translated from Tagalog to English. Why did he have to do that when he can deliver the lines perfectly in english?
And the transitions between scenes were very abrupt the way movies change from one scene to another but reading through them felt like the beginning of a headache instead T_T.
And so not half-way through the book, I was left wondering: Was this really the Nick Joaquin I knew back in highschool? I mean the Joaquin I knew was bloody brilliant. Or was it just my youthfulness and lack of experience that made me impressionable back then?
But Nick Joaquin is still Nick Joaquin so I continued reading. Good thing for me too because the narration take a turn for the better (a lot better) once it was Bobby's time to tell his side of story.
And then all I can do was marvel at Joaquin's brilliance...
Every sentence was concise, every thought made sense. And the sentences flow easily and did not sound "pilit".
Here's a particular passage from the book from Bobby's perspective that I really like:
See the difference? So why the contradicting writing style? One answer. N. Joaquin wanted us to experience first-hand how Bobby felt and how Candido saw things. It was not enough to rely solely on Candido's judgement of stating what was OA from what was not. Reading through the first part(where the overacting a.k.a. pretentiousness were aplenty) was enough to drive you nuts. Imagine how Bobby felt when he was right in the middle of it...
Candido's Apocalypse is like J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye for me. They both deal with teenage problems and protagonists trying to get away from the clutches of society's norm. I think that this piece will be a good material for discussion in highschool classes and a suitable read for every Filipino because we can all very well relate with the situations that N. Joaquin tackled in the book.
My Two Cents Worth:
4 skeletons out of 5