More Bob Ong in English: Bob Ong quotes...translated (Part 10)

On being human

“Makakapili ka ng lugar na uupuan mo, pero hindi mo mapipili ang taong uupo sa puwang sa tabi mo... Ganyan ang senaryo sa bus. Ganyan din sa pag-ibig... Lalong 'di mo kontrolado kung kelan siya bababa.”

You can choose where you sit, but you cannot choose the person who will sit on that space beside you… that’s how the scenario is in a bus. It’s the same with love… all the more you can’t control when he/she gets off.

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“Kung matatakot kang harapin ang totoo at sabihin ang talagang nararamdaman mo dahil baka masaktan ka, isa lang ibig sabihin noon: ipinagkait mo na sa sarili mo ang pagiging masaya at kinarir mo ang magpakatanga.”

If you’re going to be scared to face the truth and express what you really feel because you might get hurt, it only means one thing: You deprived yourself of happiness and made a career out of being stupid.
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“Imbis na magtanong ka ng ‘Hindi pa ba sapat?’, bakit hindi mo na lang kalimutan ang lahat? Kung alam mong binabalewala ka na, tanggapin mong nagsasawa na s’ya.”

Instead of you asking ‘isn’t it enough?’, why don’t you just forget about everything? If you know that you don’t matter anymore, accept that he/she has already gotten tired of you.
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“Ang maganda sa pag-asa, hindi ‘to nakukuha sa’yo nang hindi mo gusto.”

The beautiful thing about hope is that it cannot be taken away from you if you don’t want to.
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“Alam mo ba ang pinagkaiba ng mga bulag at ng mga nakakakita? Hindi alam ng mga nakakakita kung kelan sila bulag.”

Do you know the difference between those who are blind and those who can see? Those who can see do not know when they’re blind.
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“Parang "Time's Up!" ang reunion,"pass your papers finished or not!" Oras na para husgahan kung naging sino ka...o kung naging magkano ka. Sino ang naging successful? Sino ang naging pinaka-successful?”

A reunion is like ‘Time’s Up! pass your papers finished or not!’ It’s time to judge who you have become…or how much is your worth. Who became successful? Who is the most successful?
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“Nakalimutan na ng tao ang kabanalan n'ya, na mas marami pa s'yang alam kesa sa nakasulat sa Transcript of Records n'ya, mas marami pa s'yang kayang gawin kesa sa nakalista sa resume n'ya, at mas mataas ang halaga n'ya kesa sa presyong nakasulat sa payslip n'ya tuwing sweldo. ”

Man has forgotten his spirituality. Forgotten that he knows more than what is written in his Transcript of Records, that he still has a lot to do than what is listed in his resume, and his value is far greater than the price written on his payslip every payday.
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“Ang liit at laki ay nasa isip lang. Bakit kami nina Bubuyog at Gagamba, may naipundar din kami kahit papano? Nasa pagsisikap lang 'yan ng tao!”

Being small or big is just in the mind. Why do us, bees and spiders, have at least saved for the rainy day? It is all up to how diligent the person is.
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“Natapos din ang unos. Pero iba na 'ko ng makaraos. Iba na ang tingin ko sa mundo. 'Yung ibang pananaw ko, bumuti, 'yung iba...hindi ako sigurado.”

The storm has passed. But I've become a different person when I overcame it. I perceive the world differently now. Some of my views have improved, others… I’m not sure.
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On literacy and the freedom of expression

“May mga librong magkakasundo ang sinasabi, at meron din namang mga nagpapatayan ng opinyon. May libro para sa kahit anong edad, kasarian, lahi, relihiyon, edukasyon, at katayuan sa buhay. May mahal at mura, malaki at maliit, makapal at manipis, pangit at maganda, mabango at mabaho, may kwenta at wala.

There are books that agree on the same things, there are those that kill each other over an opinion. There is a book for any age, gender, race, religion, education, and stature in life. There are those that are expensive and cheap, big and small, thick and thin, ugly and beautiful, fragrant and smelly, valuable and worthless.
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Lahat meron. Sari-sari. Iba-iba. Tulad din ng mga tao. Utak ng tao. Dahil ang bawat libro ay maliit na litrato ng utak ng tao.”

It has everything. Varied. Diverse. Just like people. A mind of a person. Because every book is a small photograph of a person’s mind.
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“Ang pangongolekta ng libro na di binabasa ay nangangahulugan na ang kinokolekta mo ay hindi libro kundi papel at tinta.”

Collecting books without reading means you are collecting not books, but merely paper and ink.
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"Kung nasira ko man ang araw mo, o kung hindi mo ito inkinatuwa, malinaw na hindi ako ang tipo ng manunulat na gusto mong basahin. Pero hindi ito nangangahulugan ng pagkakakumpiska ng ballpen at lisensya ko para magsulat."

PERO

"Kung may magsasabi man sa hinaharap na: "sana nagpatawa ka na lang!" yun ay opinyong handa kong tanggapin.”

If I ruined your day or you weren’t amused at all, it’s clear that I am not the kind of writer you want to read. But that does not imply confiscation of my ballpen and my license to write.

BUT

If in the future someone says: “You should have just made us laugh!” that’s an opinion I’m ready to accept.
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“Dahil sa pagsusulat, masasagi mo ang mga matatayog na egotismo ng ibang tao. Matatapakan mo ang mga lumpong paa ng kasalukuyang sistema. At maiistorbo mo ang siesta ng lipunang masaya na sa mga paniniwalang kinagisnan nito. Sa pagpahid ng utak mo sa papel, lahat yan babanggain mo. Kasabay ng pagbangga mo sa sariling mga takot, kamangmangan at egotismo.”

Because when you write, you will have grazed the soaring egotism of other people. You have stepped on the maimed feet of the present system. And you will have disturbed a sleeping society that is contented with the beliefs it grew up with. As you wipe your brain with a paper you will encounter all of that, along with your own fears, ignorance and egotism.
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“Hindi ba mas tama na sa halip na maliitin ang kabataan dahil sa binabasa nilang manunulat ay purihin sila sa pagbabasa, at saka samantalahin ang pagkakataon para hikayatin sila at ipakilala sa iba pang makabuluhang libro? O masyadong malaking abala 'yon sa inyo?”

Isn’t it right that instead of underestimating youth because they read this certain writer, they should be praised for reading, and then take the opportunity to persuade them and introduce them to other noteworthy books? Or would this be a big inconvenience for you?
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“Hindi para sa tamad ang pagsusulat dahil pag binisita ka ng idea, gana o inspirasyon, kailangan mong itigil LAHAT ng ginagawa mo para lang di masayang ang pagkakataon. Walang “sandali lang” o “teka muna”. Dahil pag lumagpas ang maikling panahong yon, kahit mag-umpog ka ng ulo sa pader mahihirapan ka nang maghabol.”

Writing is not for the lazy because if you are visited by an idea, appetite or inspiration, you must stop EVERYTHING that you’re doing so as not to waste the chance. There is no “in a while” or “wait a minute.” Because if that short moment passed, even if you bang your head against the wall it will be hard for you to catch up.
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“Mas madaling manahimik. Mas ligtas magtago ng opinyon. Mas kumportableng hindi magsalita. Pero may mga tao noon na hindi nakuntento sa mga "mas" na yan.”

It is more effortless to be silent. It is more secure to hide opinion. It is more comfortable not to speak. But there are people in the past who were not contented with all that “more.”
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“Lahat ng mga salitang yan may dating sa'yo. Sabi kasi ng isip mo.”

All those words have an effect on you. It’s because your mind says so.
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“Higit sa pakikinig kung ano ang sinasabi, unawain mo kung ano ang ipinapahayag.”

More than listening to what is being said, understand what is being expressed.
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On being a Filipino

“Pilipino ako, sapat nang dahilan `yon para mahalin ko ang Pilipinas.”

I am Filipino, that’s enough reason for me to love the Philippines.
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“Marami ang may ayaw sa Pilipinas, Pero walang nagtatanong kung gusto sila ng Pilipinas.”

There are so many who do not like the Philippines, but nobody is asking if the Philippines like them.
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“Ang karamihan nang tao ay walang pakialam, ang karamihan ng politiko ay walang utak, at yung ibang may utak... walang puso.”

Majority of people do not care, majority of politicians do not have brains, and others may have brains… no heart.
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“Tungkulin mong tumulong sa kapwa dahil may kakayahan ka at gusto mong tumulong, pero wag mong kalimutan na hindi mo mababago ang mundo at hindi mo matutulungan ang lahat ng tao. Hindi ikaw ang unang nagtangka hindi ikaw ang magiging huli, hindi ka solusyon. Pero hindi yun ang dahilan para mawalan ka ng pag-asa at tumigil na magbigay nito.

It is your duty to help your fellowmen because you have the capacity and the desire to help, but don’t forget that you cannot change the world and you cannot help everybody. You are not the first person and the last person who tried, you are not the solution. But that is not reason enough for you to lose hope and stop giving hope.
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“Masama na ba talaga ngayon ang gumawa ng mabuti at kailangan mo na itong ipaliwanag?”

Is it now really bad to do a good thing that you need to explain it?
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“Walang tigil ang mga tao sa paggamit ng enerhiya. Lahat ng maaaring pagkagastusan ng kuryente, gagawin nila. Nabubuhay sila sa sistema ng pag-aani ng kayamanan ng mundo upang gawing lason at basura.”

People use energy without pause. They will use energy at all costs. They live in a system of harvesting the resources of earth to produce poison and garbage.
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Previous Bob Ong Translations:
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 6-b / Part 7 / Part 8 / Part 9

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