Friday, October 31, 2008

Translating Bob Ong

One of my favorite Filipino authors is Bob Ong because of his wit (er, satire?), his conversational tone in writing and most especially because of the words of wisdom (and a little sentimentality) he shares on his books.

A friend emailed me some popular quotes from BO's books and I chanced upon to translate them for you. For the original quotes in Filipino, see here.

*Update (01/23/09) - If it's really Bob Ong who commented below, he is clarifying that the quotes from where these were taken from aren't really his. Hmm.. got to do some research. I have to re-read all 5 books then. ^^;

Even if you're dense and have no feelings like stone, be careful. Even if you can't feel pain, you are capable of inflicting pain.

Why is it that children hate sleeping in the afternoon; don't they know that when they learn to love they won't be able to sleep even if they want to?

If you love someone you shouldn't love and got hurt, don't blame your heart. It only beats to supply the blood in your body. Now, if you're good at anatomy and you blame instead your hypothalamus which controls your emotions, you're still mistaken! Why? **** Don't blame your body organs for your heartaches in life! Remember: You can only be happy if you learn to accept that it's not your heart, brain, liver or intestine that caused everything that happened to you, but YOU yourself!

It's not sadness or fear that's difficult with loneliness but it's accepting the fact that among the billions and billions of people in the whole world, no one fought for the chance to be with you.

If you're in love with two people, choose the second one. You couldn't love another person if you really loved the first one.

Do you know how great the distance is between two people when their backs are turned against each other? You need to roam around the whole world just so you can face the person you turned your back on.

Let go of the things that hurt you even if it makes you happy. Don't wait for the day when all you feel is pain and your happiness left you.

Love is like a manhole... it's frightening to fall into... and when you do, it's either by accident or you're just plain stupid.

Go and eat siopao with a stuffed cat inside or walk through broken glass on your bare feet, but never never try drugs. If you can't avoid it, seek help from your parents. They know where the cheap suppliers are and they won't cheat on you.

Use your heart to take care of the people you love. Use your head to take care of yourself.

Don't let go of something that you hate to see being held by another person.
Don't hold onto something that you know you'll let go of in the end.
[And] never never hold onto something when you know you're already holding onto another.

If you're not loved by the one you love, don't complain. Because there are people that you don't love but love you.. It's just fair.

I don't like to get used to things that I can live without.

Not everything you can't understand is a fallacy and not everything you understand is truth.

Dream and reach for it. Don't blame your dysfunctional family, your failed relationship, your crippled puppy, or flying cockroaches. If your parents have their shortcomings, you can blame them and be a rebel. Stop your schooling, get married, use drugs, color your hair in the armpits. In the end, you're also the victim. A rebel who haven't proven anything and haven't the sanity to live.

I learned that final exams are not the passing rate of life. It's not a test of multiple choice, identification, true or false, enumeration or fill-in-the-blanks that you answer but an essay that you write everyday. It won't be judged on right or wrong answers, but on the sensibility of what was written. Erasures are allowed.

It's better to fail on doing something than succeed in doing nothing.

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  1. No, these are not Bob Ong's.

  2. BO!!!! The Filipino version is being circulated via email and tagged as your quotes. Will update the post for accuracy.

    Thanks for dropping by, Master BO! :D (If you really are him. ^^)