Para Kay B (o kung paano dinevastate ng pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin)
Ricky Lee, 2008
A friend of mine showed me her latest collection of newly bought books one August night. One of the items had the faded red and some caricatures as a book cover. She told me it was a Filipino novel. I was expecting it to be something serious, since all Filipino novels I come across on bookstores are hardcore literary-fancy books. Well this one was something new. Para Kay B, written by Ricky Lee, it says. So it was Ricky Lee’s new book. Oh, Ricky Lee the infamous scriptwriter? My friend said yes, and also told me it was a light comedy kind of novel. So it intrigued me more. The last time I read something from Ricky Lee’s written stuff was almost a decade ago, when I was still drooling over Trip to Quiapo and almost serious in choosing Journalism as a course just to write scripts. And the last time I read something light and comedy in Filipino literature was the Ang Paboritong Libro ni Hudas-Bob Ong days more than five years ago. So why not give it a try, I thought, and maybe I’ll be having a good laugh from this book. Or some few tips for a more exciting love affair. Set aside those Stephen King books and dwell on funny slice of life stories.
As I went over the title of the book, I think I immediately included myself in the 4 out of 5 people theorized to be having a devastated love issue (did I just painfully translated the actual title into English?). But it was still early to put myself in any category (I really thought the book will tell me on which category I belong). I started to flipped on the pages.
Holy cow, this is amazing, I said to myself. The structure of the words was just like normal conversations of people on a daily basis. It was easy to read, and the unlimited use of street lingo (like bed scene stuff and gay lingo) added a funny flavor to the whole story. I kept the book at hand every time I rode the bus from Makati to Ortigas. Longer traffic, longer time of reading. And it wasn’t easy keeping the smiles and laughter to myself when reading the book. Right then on, I had the urge to write a book in a similar fashion (such a cliché feeling but hey, I think everyone who have read this piece thought of the same thing). Really, the story was chaotic in form but full of excitement (and different sorts and point of climax) from start to end. I was after the fun anyway. My friend who lent me this book couldn’t agree more.
Personally, I think I saw myself as the main character in the story at one point of time. That was the moment I felt this book was extraordinary (now now, the drama part comes). Not really me filling in the shoes of the protagonist, but something of a similarity, since from the past years I also wrote and posted stories retelling my cheesy past and using fictional names to symbolize the characters in real life. Heck, now this book was trying to make me remember everything again. The last of the five stories were actually the loveliest, since it was the one where the last drop of action took place. The story of Lucas and fiction Bessie was in par with the 80’s theme of Filipino romantic movies. Very dramatic. But it’s the story I really liked. The funniest was of Ester. The wittiest was of Erica. The strangest was of Sandra (kind of surprised about the real story behind them and his brother). And well, Irene and Jordan’s tale was just like a telenovela. All combined, the essence of the story was delivered right on the spot.
And what was the essence of the story? That love is complicated. At least I think it is. Love is complicated if the heart runs the flow in full control. Haha, and I’m the one to talk. Maybe next time I’ll write something like 7/10 complicated love matters, from a boy’s point of view. Just maybe.
Epic moment of the story? The final confrontation, when all the characters came alive to prosecute Lucas. Made me think there’s another story for Lucas after the ending of the book, something good to reciprocate the pain he had gone to. But probably just hidden in Mr. Lee’s mind was Lucas’ happy ending.
It took me 2 years late to discover this book. Nah, the time’s not of value, it’s still good that I have stumbled on something wonderful like this. Para Kay B is highly recommended. I think there are still a lot of copies available in any bookstore. Go buy now!