Mga Bagay na Hindi Magkakabagay: Ricky Lee’s Kung Alam N’yo Lang Book Launch

I’ve been seeing this man quite a lot (three times I think is a lot), and it marvels me that I never fail to learn something new each time I see him. The great Ricky Lee once again held an event for his workshoppers, readers, and other followers as he launches a new book, Kung Alam N’yo Lang, and dubbed it Mga Bagay Na Hindi Magkakabagay. The book was actually released in December, I think (I remember the pre-order links were all over Facebook). It was also introduced to the public back in January when I got my copy signed by the author as well as the illustrators. I am so glad that I didn’t skip the opportunity to what Ricky Lee has to say since his talk mainly addressed the writers (oh yeah, that’s me!).

Ang manunulat ay may dalawang trabaho—ang makapagsulat ng kwento na makakapagdala ng himala para makakita ang mga bulag, at ang ilantad ang mga nagpapanggap na bulag.
Ricky Lee shared a story on how Ate Guy (the superstar Ms. Nora Aunor) used to always want to go out and explore things. Something that she couldn’t do at the time because she’s a star (I know you know what I mean). Then there was a blind beggar who persistently knocked on her car window. And when she finally rolled down the glass window, the beggar cried, “Uy, si Guy!” Yes, it was the blind beggar. The relevance? Sir Ricky said a writer has two jobs/responsibilities, and that is, to be able to come up with a story that would bring a miracle which would allow the blind to see, and to uncover those who pretend to be blind.
Gamit ang kanyang imahinasyon at katotohanan sa paligid ay makakapag-isip siya ng mas maganda pang mundo.
It’s true, and maybe this is the beauty of being a writer. We tend to use our imaginations to sometimes defy reality, but most of the time, we slap people with genuine reality through our ink and words. It’s harsh, but at least it’s the truth. Back in the seminar called The Secret Life of Books where I first met Ricky Lee, there was an Australian speaker challenging the Filipino writers, asking why our children’s books seem to be untouched by reality. And so, Kung Alam N’yo Lang was born. It was indeed a book intended for children, but it contains harsh realities that it could also be a children’s book for adults.
Ang pagkukwento ay pagsasama-sama ng mga bagay na hindi magkakabagay.
And maybe we should tell stories of things that are not exactly meant to be—a preschool teacher who carries a gun in her handbag at all times or a guy who doesn’t write but has fallen in love with a typewriter. Ricky Lee shares his experience when he submitted his very first manuscript. The putanginas were taken off and replaced with walanghiya. The peros were replaced with ngunit. Even the prologue and the epilogue were taken off. From then on, he said he became more careful about what he wrote. But then he realized, that we should also fight for what we want to write because that is the job of a writer. To destroy a box. And in the end, if we wrote too many things that are not exactly meant to be, we would be able to finish a wonderful masterpiece—our very own novel.

Mga Bagay na Hindi Magkakabagay happened yesterday at 4pm in Fully Booked BGC. If you want to be informed of the next event, follow Ricky Lee's Facebook page. See yah!

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