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Book Review: Orosa-Nakpil Malate

It’s been such awhile since I finally finished a novel. The last book that I have read was the Twilight series which was 2 years ago. I was fixing my room and discovered that there are still a lot of books that I haven’t read yet. I got so excited that I told myself that part of the things to do in 2011 is to read a number of books. I actually miss reading. I just hope that I will manage to stick to it despite of the busy schedule that I have.

Anyway, for my first read of 2011, I picked a Filipino novel which was written by a gay student from U.P. Manila entitled Orosa-Nakpil Malate. It’s about a gay college student named Dave who explored his homosexuality in the streets of Malate and revolved around the pitfalls of having HIV-AIDS. I chose to read it because it is very timely… In fact, according to a friend of mine who is very active in participating and building HIV-AIDS awareness, the disease actually increased by more than 30% compared to last year and most of them are people who acquired the virus gay men and men who are engaged in MSM (Men having Sex with Men). Having heard the significant increase on its statistics is really alarming! It’s scary as hell! I mean, one wrong move and then BAM! You’re doomed! It’s just as simple as that! No turning backs…

Aside from that, as I mentioned before. I have 2 friends who have acquired already the virus and one of them is dead and the other one is struggling. It’s just so sad! It’s one of those drinking sessions that we had and it was the topic of conversation. I was telling them that I am wondering… considering that our group of friends is the conservative type and sadly, one of our friends was able to have it… What more are the others who are definitely in high risk right? I mean, there are LGBT groups who promotes drugs, orgies and partying all days of the week are part of their agenda and curriculum! Another thing that was pointed out, years by, having a virus was just “hearsay”. Hearsay in the sense, that yes, it does exist, we read it in the news, several people confessed in media that they have the virus and your friends will tell that a friend of their friends has HIV-AIDS which you really don’t know that person so you don’t actually give a damn. But now, it’s actually within the circle already. It’s totally devastating! It just proves that nobody is really safe! So what’s the option now? Stay celibate? The question is.. can gay men handle it? Super sad!  We just really have to be careful… *sighs*

Back to the book… I find it entertaining. It’s actually funny! I actually love the main character’s best fag hag friend, Donna! Her lines in the book were witty! Aside from the fact that I have been going to Malate since I was 18, I so can relate to the main character in the story. The way he narrated most of the events that happened in the book actually happens in Malate. Though there are some instances that the author went overboard with certain situations of the book. The names of the bars were changed but it’s still obvious that they are pertaining to that specific bar if you really are a Malate goer.

The author didn’t able to touch other issues such as online groups who goes to Malate, sex eyeballs and male prostitution in Malate. It could have been better if he was able to touch those points too. Also, some interjections of HIV-AIDS in some scenarios were forced unnecessarily.

I didn’t like the ending that much because I find it so unrealistic. It’s like an adaptation of a classic Filipino movie drama. It’s predictable. It could have been better if he focused on other emotions aside from love. He should have highlighted the true human behavior and reaction instead of the main character denouncing his emotions to the guy that he loves who happens to have HIV-AIDS.

Nevertheless, I will still rate it 7 out of 10! I actually enjoyed reading it. And at the end of the day, it still instilled me a lesson and able to gain more knowledge about the virus. Hooray for that!

Be safe everyone!!!