Paano Ba ‘To? (2014)

Because of end-of-term expenses I’ve had to hold back on book shopping. I’ve been wanting to read Ms Bianca Gonzales’ Paano Ba ‘To for a long time though, so when I chanced upon a bit of cash I went ahead and bought it. I finished my first reading of it and, without thinking, I instantly tweeted Ms Bianca:

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Imagine my horror when I realized that I just told her that I didn’t think I needed her book! What a horrible case of foot-in-mouth disease. Seriously though, I really didn’t think the book would help me. I’m at that point in life where I’m grasping randomly at books on positivity and motivation, but I feel that they won’t be able to help me change my situation. “My problems are too obscure.” “I can’t explain what I want to happen to my life.” I thought these things, and I thought that there was only a very small probability that books written for general support would be able to cover my issues.

Somehow though, I was able to relate very well to what Ms Bianca wrote about in her book. Frankly, I didn’t think it would be as comprehensive as it is – I appreciate how the author put effort into gathering expert opinion, because I think that shows how much she really wants the book to be effective; it’s not just a matter of having ‘published’ something. I think that no matter what one might be going through, there will be something in this book that one will be able to relate with. For example, here are some of my favorite quotes from Paano Ba ‘To? (No copyright infringement intended.)

“Normal lang yung nag-aalangan ka pa sa kung anong dapat mong gawin sa buhay mo. Mag-alala ka kung wala kang ginagawa para bigyan ng direksyon ang buhay mo.” P.60

“Be careful with your words, they are very powerful. Don’t criticize yourself if you know you are doing your best.” P.79

“… it’s not about being a ‘fashionista’ or a ‘beauty junkie.’ It’s about caring enough to look well-groomed and nice. Yung mukhang nag-abala naman. It’s not ‘just clothes and makeup,’ it is your message to the world about who you are.” P.97

“Envy can help propel you to achieve more. Jealousy can help you be on your toes so you don’t become complacent. What’s bad is too much envy and jealousy. How do you know that it is too much? When the effect hinders you more than it propels you.” P.132

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It’s probably obvious, but my favorite parts of the book are the ones about positivity and motivation. I like how the author recognizes that not everyone is naturally sunny – that not everyone can just shut down one’s thoughts and do what needs to be done. Moreover, I find the advice in this book to be very objective. Surely, it’s general because it’s meant to help as many people as possible, but the advice isn’t abstract. It’s not pa-Zen. When you look closer it actually tells you to find a dream and to commit to it – plus tips on how to commit to it, and tips on what to avoid. I appreciate that. I love how this is done in a Philippine setting, because it feels like the book was written for me.

This blog gives Paano Ba ‘To? 4 out 5 stars because it serves its purpose of empowering young Filipinas. It is straightforward, well-written and very comprehensive. I wanted to read it because I needed a bit of motivation in my life – and I got what I wanted.

Author: Bianca Gonzalez
Publisher: One Mega Group.
Pages: 151 pages, paperback.
Language: English and Filipino.

Photo (c) Modern Filipina PH.

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