Friday, July 3, 2009

18 The 'Bob Ong Effect'

I have learned from my journalism GE class then in UP that we have something called as the 'CNN effect.' This refers to the impact of that popular 24 hours news channel in decision making of different countries (especially the US) during the final days of the Cold War. Aside from that, the popularity of the 24 hour news channel eventually paved the way for more 24 hours news channels all over the world. (Here in the Philippines, we have the ANC.)

So how is it related to Bob Ong? The oh-so great Filipino author that is now revered by mostly teenage readers.

This is because the country is currently feeling the wave of the 'Bob Ong effect.'

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Ever since I got hold of his first book, I was simply mesmerized on the way he wrote. He spoke directly to the point. He had freely expressed his thoughts, views and feelings without any inhibitions (except that he has yet to reveal his true identity).

From that day on, I instantly became his follower. Which did not just happen to me but to millions of other teenagers out there who do not really read books but because of their 'love' for Bob Ong, they were more than willing to be his 'followers.'

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Aside from making the 'Internet generation' to sit down on a corner and read his books, Bob Ong also opened up lots of opportunities for aspiring and deserving Filipino writers. Like what he said in 'Stainless Longganisa', the book industry is quite skeptical and conservative before when it comes to publishing 'out-of-the-box' books that are 'yet to be tried and tested' for 'commercial viability.'

But he was not discouraged. He had instead seen it as an opportunity. That single bold step he took forever changed the way books are being published here in the Philippines and paved the way for some sort of a 'renaissance' in contemporary Philippine literature.

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The first seeds were planted on the web through his now defunct website Bobong Pinoy. And so, after it had bore fruit on the 'mainstream publishing platform', its effects had went back to its roots: the internet.

The 'internet generation' that had been affected by the 'Bob Ong effect' is now ruling the web by their websites, blogs and profiles that somehow mimicks Bob Ong's way of expressing his thoughts, feelings and views. Oh yes, they are copycats. But mind you, very beautiful copycats. Some of them had even improved Bob Ong's style of delivering direct to the point, satirical and funny lines.

Some of their posts had elicited so much discussion and reactions from its visitors because of its ticklish, controversial and juicy topics. Some of which had even their blogs published into a book that contains some of their best posts - which I'm eying on in the not so distant future.

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But some would say that he was not the first one to do so. That this 'Bob Ong effect' is nothing but the true Filipino 'expressionism' lying under our skins. Yes, but we were too timid to show it off. We are afraid of what other people would think of us. Yet all these years, we were all thinking about the same thing.

Maybe Bob Ong saw this. That's why he took the risk and the rest is history.

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I guess, he would be far from the so-called 'standards' when it comes to being a great literary person. But I think that would be too unfair. He do deserve to be placed in the roster of great Filipino authors like Nick Joaquin, Jose Villa Panganiban and F. Sionil Jose. Maybe even with Francisco Balagtas.

Why?

Simply because Bob Ong made a nation of non-readers into a book loving nation. He had been able to reach out to all strata of our society. He made a CEO and a tinapa vendor laugh and cry over the same lines in his book.

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I believe what makes him different from other authors is that he does not want to be placed in a pedestal. He is very humble and does not take all the credit for what he had done. He also does not want to monopolize his niche but instead encourages more gifted writers to come out in the open and write good books. He may be an 'established name' but he is not afraid that other authors would someday 'get away his crown.'

He may not know it but definitely, the 'Bob Ong effect' is on.

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18 comments:

  1. i love bob ong! kasi kapag nagsalita siya, parang, bull's eye! parang, boom! tapos behind those humor na ipinapakita niya eh may profound meaning when you carefully read it!



    had his first book when i was in 2nd yr pa. cant wait to have kapitan sino!

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  2. Ive planned to write about the same topic as this kaso hindi ko na natuloy, Instead of the Bob Ong Effect I call it "Bob Ong Syndrome"..

    Nice post! I guess I wont be doing an entry about it anymore.. :D

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  3. Bob Ong rocks. The beauty of his writing is that it is easy to read but is able to dig deep into you.

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  4. Astig tong si bob ong, i consider myself na bob ong follower din,hehe

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  5. wah.. basta ako kumpleto ako ng libro ni bob ong. Ü

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  6. bob ong follower :D

    love that guy.

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  7. nice post about Bob Ong Dennio... Keep up the good work!!!

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  8. Bob Ong is cool.. yung mga books niya like alamat ng gubat kala mo ala kwenta pero pag inintindi mo tlga ay winneeeer..

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  9. He may not know it but definitely, the 'Bob Ong effect' is on.

    i agree with you on it. sobra. ang galing ni bob ong! sino kaya siya noh? *isip. isip. isip.

    i remember my up days. sobrang love na love ng bio soc si bob ong! :)

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  10. Yung 12 year old daughter ko fan na fan ni Bob Ong ayun tignan mo yung blog nya... http://shanayab.com ...puro Bob Ong lol!

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  11. I agree with HOMER. it is a BOB ONG SYNDROME. Parang lahat gustong maging kagya nya.

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  12. I totally agree that Bob Ong made the non-readers become i-want-to-read-books people. My sister is just one of the living proofs. She hates books more than she hates mathematics but I was surprised that she had fun reading Bob Ong's books. She find it very fun and meaningful at the same time. Bob Ong has touched many lives. :) I wonder who Bob Ong really is. :)


    Off Topic:
    About the $10 job you said, what is it sana? :)

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  13. lolo ko sia bob ong! lol :)) hahaha.. idol ng lahat ng blogger.. :)

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  14. Bob Ong follower here...

    korek maraming mga kabataan na hindi mahihilig sa libro ang natutong magbasa (hindi lang ng kung anong nasusulat kundi kung ano ba ang nais ipakahulugan ng mga bawat salitang nalathala) and because of that...BO have made a BIG BIG IMPACT to the youth and to everybody who have read his books.

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  15. it's true there are a lot of bloggers who are copying bob ong, but i think it'sjust fine. most writers from europe or other countries also copied the styles of other writers that they idolized. and eventually they develop a style of their own,.. it's a good thing bob ong has opened the doors for some of those writers

    http://kcatwoman.blogspot.com/

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  16. Sa lahat: andami niyo naman nagkomento. :D Maraming salamat sa pag-iwan ng inyong mga bakas. Sa uulitin. :) Naniniwala talaga ako na madaming oportunidad ang binuksan ni Bob Ong dahil sa mga ginawa niya. Salamat ng madami at PS paboto naman, haha.. :P

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  17. Oohh... I want soooo much to know if there really is such a person named Bob Ong.
    But I do like him. And everything you said about him is true. I love his uninhibited style of writing, and his in-your-face kind of humor. Very refreshing.
    Cool... you're a Journalism graduate? :D

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