11.3.14

Bob Ong in English - quotes from his book ‘Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin’

After such an extremely long hiatus, I’m back with my English translations of Bob Ong Quotes. This set of quotes is culled from Bob Ong’s book ‘Lumayo Ka Nga Sa Akin’ which I am translating as ‘Get As Far As You Can Away From Me’ (seeing that the title of the book is in question form, and because of the preposition “nga,” it’s as if the title is an expression of displeasure).

I really haven’t read the novel but judging from these quotes, most of them talk about current social attitudes, books and reading, art, media and their influences on the contemporary Filipino. Really very interesting…and so true!

So I hope you enjoy part 9 of my series of Bob Ong Quotes…Translated.


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“Walang pakialam ang mga tao sa katotohanan, sa tsismis lang sila interesado.”

People do not really care about the truth, they are only interested in rumours.
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“Yon ang mali sa tinatawag na 'cool factor.' Para maging 'in' ka, dapat magustuhan mo yung gusto ng iba. Pero pag sobrang dami na ng may gusto, dapat umayaw ka naman dahil magiging jologs ka na. Dapat kakaiba lagi ang gusto mo, para kunyari iba ka.”

There is something wrong with what we call the ‘cool factor.’ For you to be ‘in,’ you must also like what the others like. But if it already gets popular, you now must dislike it because you’ll become jologs. You must always like what is unique so that people would think that you are different.
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“Pero hindi lahat ng inaakala mong korni, e korni. Minsan ikaw lang din talaga ang walang sense of humor at may deperensya, siguro dahil sa pagpipilit mong maging iba.”

Though not everything you thought is corny, really isn’t. Sometimes it may be you who has no sense of humour and consistency because you force yourself into becoming different.
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"Kung gusto mong matawa, dapat paminsan-minsan magpakababaw ka rin. Huwag nga lang sosobra"

If you want to laugh, sometimes you have to be shallow also. But not too much.
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“Pero kung lahat na lang sasabihan mo ng 'corny' kasi sosyal ka -- iba nga panlasa mo, mamamatay ka namang malungkot.”

But if you say everything is ‘corny’ because you are classy – you may have distinct taste, but you’ll die a sad person.
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“Kung alam ko lang na pwersado rin akong magtatrabaho nang ganito, nagsikap na lang sana ako sa eskwelahan nung bata ako. parehas lang naman palang nakakapagod. at least pag nakapag-aral ka, may pag-asa ka pang magkaroon ng magandang kinabukasan at makatulong sa iba.”

If I only knew that I will be compelled to work like this, I should have persevered in school when I was young. Both are just as tiring. At least if you have been schooled, you have a chance at a good future and at helping others.
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“Pero sa Pilipino, magloloko ang teenager, bubuo ng pamilya...pero hindi aalis sa poder ng magulang hanggang magkaapo. Kuhang kuha natin ang mga katarantaduhan ng Hollywood, pero hindi ang kaunting pagiging responsable ng mga kanluraning bansa sa isyu ng pagtayo sa sariling paa.”

But for Filipinos, a teenager will go astray, will foster a family…but will not withdraw from the authority of his parents up until they already have grandchildren. We practically got all the foolishness of Hollywood, but not a drop of being responsible exemplified by western countries in the issue of standing on one’s own feet.
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“Bata, kanya-kanya tayo ng paglalakbay. Huwag kang magpakarga, katamaran yan.”

Kid, each of us journey on our own. Don’t be a burden, that’s laziness.
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"Lahat tayo nami-miss ang mga paborito nating activity na panglustay lang sa oras natin sa mundo. Pero hindi tayo basta-basta makakaalis dito."

All of us miss our favorite activity of wasting our time on this earth. But we can’t leave this place just like that.
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“Bakit sobra? Hindi ba pwedeng eksaktoang--eksaktong thank you? Sayang naman yung sobrang hindi na magagamit!”

Why too much? Could it not be acceptable if we make thank you exactly just right? It would be such a waste if we can’t use its surplus.
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“Kontrabida ako. Lahat ng gusto ng ibang tao, akin.”

I am a villain. Everything other people want is mine.
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On books and reading

“Pinapakita nyong mga dayuhang libro pa rin at mga dayuhang libro lang ang tinatangkilik ng mga tao. Bakit magsusugal ang mga publisher sa Pilipinong manunulat kung hindi naman pala mabili ang mga kwentong isinusulat ng mga Pilipino? At kung walang mga publisher na tatanggap ng mga trabaho ng mga Pilipinong manunulat, sino pa ang gugustong magsulat? Kung walang magsusulat, ano ang kahihinatnan ng panitikan sa bansa at sa kakayanan nating bumasa't sumulat?”

You only show that foreign books and only foreign books are being patronized by people. Why would a publisher gamble on Filipino writers if their stories are not sought after by Filipinos anyway? And if there are no publishers who will accept the work of Filipino writers, who would want to write at all? If no one writes, what will happen to literature in our country and our ability to read and write?
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“Ako, ang hinahangaan kong tao na mahilig sa libro e yung may matututunan ka pag kausap mo, yung makikita mong naging marunong at mabuti siyang tao dahil sa pagbabasa niya ng mga libro.”

What I admire in a person who loves reading books is when I learn something from our conversation, when I see that he has become a wise and kind person because he reads books.
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"Higit sa mga prestihiyosong pagkilala, mas kailangan ng libro ng mga mambabasa."

More than prestigious recognition, a book needs readers.
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"Mapapailing naman ang mga mambabasa sa buong kwento na kanilang nasaksihan, pero wala silang gagawin o babaguhin. “Tatawa lang sila. Tatawa lang sila at sisisihin ang sistema. Ang laging bida at walang kamatayang sistema.”

The readers will just shake their heads over the entire story they’ve witnessed, but they will not do anything or change anything. They will just laugh, They will just laugh and blame the system. Always the hero and the undying system.
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On Film and Art

“Nilagyan lang ng konting moral lesson ang pelikula para hindi maging ganap na basura.”

A film is just supplied with a moral lesson so it won’t become entirely garbage.
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“Gusto ng producer, feel good movie. Ubos na ang dalawang oras. Anuman ang nangyari, automatic happy ending tayo.”

The producer likes a feel good movie. Two hours have gone. Whatever happens, ours is an automatic happy ending.
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“The problem is, lahat na lang kasi ng pelikula pinipilit gawing pampamilya. one size fits all. kaya tuloy ang material for movies nagiging too mature for kids and too cheesy for adults.”

“The problem is, most films try to cater to the family. One size fits all. This is the reason why material for movies are becoming too mature for kids and too cheesy for adults.
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“Ang comedy natin, puro slapstick. Ang horror natin, puro visual. I'm sensing a pattern here”

Our comedy is all slapstick. Our horror, all visual. I’m sensing a pattern here.
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"Kung gusto mong pang-award na palabas, lumipat ka doon sa kaisa-isang pelikula na may kwenta pero walang kita."

If you want an award-winning show, switch to the only movie that has worth but not profitable.
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“Isa pa, pwede nga ring yung TV talaga ang may sumpa. Dahil ang TV, para ring drugs, pero ligal. Isipin mo, bakit isa ito sa mga unang-unang pinupundar ng mga Pilipino kahit gaano sila kahirap? Kasi malaking tulong ang telebisyon para lumimot. Para tumakas sa realidad.”

One more thing, it is possible that a TV really has a curse. Because a TV is just like drugs, but legal. Just think, why is it that this is the first thing Filipinos invest on despite how poor they are? Because the television helps tremendously in forgetting. To escape from reality.
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“Mahihirapan kang maghanap ngayon ng soap opera na walang elemento ng love triangle.”

You will find it difficult to look for a soap opera that has no element of a love triangle.
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"Lahat tayo may love triangle. Sa ganito lagi umiikot ang kwento. Pag ginawan mo ng diagram ang characters, makakabuo ka ng higanteng pyramid ng mga taong naghahabol, hinahabol, at mga magkakaribal."

We all have love triangles. The story always revolves around it. If you make a diagram of the characters, you can create a giant pyramid of people chasing, being chased at, and of rivals.
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On media’s influence to society

“And we don't ask: Anong produkto kaya ang naibenta sa akin ngayong araw nang hindi ko namalayan? Anong kaisipan? Anong ideya? Anong paniniwala? Anong ugali? Anong bagong pananaw sa mundo at sa mga kapwa ko? Hindi natin ito naitatanong pero andali-dali nating maimpluwensyahan.”

And we don’t ask: What product is it that was sold to me today that I wasn't conscious of? What thought? What idea? What belief? What habit? What new vision of the world and of my fellowmen? We don’t raise these questions but we are very easily influenced.
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“Kung ano ang nakikita at naririnig natin sa araw-araw, nagiging ‘yon tayo. Kinokondisyon tayo ng mga patalastas na hindi tayo masaya, na laging may kulang sa buhay natin. Tatlo ang magulang ng henerasyon natin. Ang tatay, ang nanay, at ang mga patalastas o media. Kaya kung mahina yung dalawang nauna, naaagawan sila nung pangatlo sa pagpapalaki sa bata.”

Whatever we see or hear every day, we become that. We are conditioned by advertisements that we are not happy, that there is always something missing in our lives. Our generation has three parents. The father, the mother, and advertising or media. So if the first two are weak, then they will conflict with the third in bringing up a child.
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“Mag-inuman tayo tulad sa patalastas sa TV: konting kahig, kontig lagok.”

Let’s drink just like in the TV commercial: a bit of scratch, a bit of gulp.
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“Nalapa na ng komersyalismo ang sining. Kaya utot na lang nito ang nilalanghap natin ngayon.”

Commercialism has devoured art. Thus, what we now inhale is only its fart.
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Next: Part 10

Previous Bob Ong Translations:
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 6-b / Part 7 / Part 8

Note to readers: If you want to copy Bob Ong quotes in English as meme in your blogs or websites, please acknowledge Pin(k)oy as your source by posting a link directed to this site. Pin(k)oy took pains and a lot of nosebleeds to translate these quotes from Tagalog to English so please...give the cat a break. Thank you.

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