Sabado, Hunyo 16, 2012

Orosa Nakpil Malate by Louie Mar Gangcuangco: A book review

One of my most favorite books on Earth is Orosa Nakpil Malate, which is available in the original Filipino, an uncut Filipino version and an English translation. I have the uncut and the English version. Told in quirky and colloquial language, it is the story of Dave, a young bright gay boy. We see his life from childhood and how he grew up to be a smart promiscuous teenager. I can really relate to the story of Dave. Like him, I was extremely whorish. I have no qualms with mating with men. The only difference is that unlike Dave, I do not go to gay bars often. I also love getting cock inside me all the time while Dave is more on sucking and foreplay. While Dave was very careful when having sex, I was so reckless and rash. No wonder I contracted HIV.

The book follows Dave as he met guys who changed his life. He finally met Ross, a handsome Piolo Pascual look-alike whom he fell in love with. Their love story is worth a thousand words. It made me yearn to meet someone whom I can call Kuya (older brother) and who will call me Bunso (youngest sibling/child). Like what Dave and Kuya Ross shared, I want a love that will transcend everything, including disease and death. Being an HIV positive young man, I also want to find someone who will love me in spite of the virus inside me. I want someone who can love me truly and without expecting anything in return.

If I were only more educated about this virus and other STDs like Dave, I could have taken care of myself better. I could have been living a disease-free life. Although I have read this book when I was in college, years before my diagnosis, I never really internalized the story. Yes, I enjoyed it a lot, but my love for sex was a greater influence in my life. I am not saying that this book is ineffective in delivering its message regarding HIV/AIDS awareness and safe sex. It's just that I was unquestionably debauched and decadent. I only followed my own will. I did not take care of myself better because all I cared about was to get fucked and inseminated with loads of jizm.

I love the language, the color, the very interesting and lovable characters, the 'kilig' and the 'awwww' factor it gives me every time I read it. I must have read this like 5 times and I never get tired of it. The novel is written very well. Each detail of the plot is carefully constructed. It is an educational and a fun read. It is unabashed in its erotic and almost pornographic content but I believe that is where the beauty and the effect of this book lie. Anyone who will read this will never forget this because of its stark and daring story. I might read this book again soon and I think I will read this with a new perspective as someone living with HIV/AIDS. I laughed, I cried, I felt inspired all the time I read this book. And I know I will always continue to feel this way every time I read it.

Discovering this book is a life changing experience! This book made me want to be a writer. Although the English version seeks out to more people, the Filipino is by far superior to it. We are the lucky ones, mga pinoy! This book is a big help and inspiration to all us, especially to gay men and to the ones affected and inflicted by HIV/AIDS. Truly a revolutionary work of literature that must be cherished forever. I hope more HIV/AIDS related literature in the Philippines will follow and also I hope more gay men will have the courage to take their pens and just write. I myself am planning to write an HIV/AIDS book in the form of a novel, an autobiography or an anthology, although I am opting for a happier and more positive tone.

Louie Mar made me write because I want to share what I feel. I am greatly indebted to him! I thank him so much and because of this unforgettable masterpiece, my life was forever changed. Because of the inspiration this book and dear Louie Mar gave me, I finally can call myself a writer.

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