Para Kay B (by Ricky Lee)
My high school year book would attest to the fact that my friends (Cha, Tin) and I could rival National Bookstore when it comes to the sheer volume of books we have in our home libraries. Growing up, I prided myself in being a well-read person.
It wasn’t until I took up CL310 at the College of Arts and Letters (in UP Diliman) that I realized…my extensive collection contained mostly Western titles. I only own two titles by Filipino authors: The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin and an autographed copy of Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Ating Panahon by Ricky Lee, which, I am ashamed to admit, I haven’t even read. (I didn’t want to mar its beautiful exterior; it’s an autographed copy!) Of course, I know Ricky Lee, the scriptwriter. Who doesn’t?
I did not know Ricky Lee, the novelist. One day, I found myself walking down Power Book’s aisle of Philippine Literature. I don’t know what came over me — perhaps the realization that I knew very little about Philippine Literature — but I bought Para Kay B: O Kung Paano Dinevastate ng Pag-Ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa Atin and Soledad Reyes’ From Darna to Zsazsa Zaturnnah: Desire and Fantasy. Essays on Literature and Popular Culture. I’m saving the latter for later — when I’m about to do my dissertation. The former, well, I read voraciously.
Para Kay B is a compilation of five short stories. Love stories, specifically, and each is just as painful yet as riveting as the next. Ricky Lee tells the tale of five different girls with a wit so refreshing that it belies the tragedies in their respective relationships. Only one of these girls will achieve happiness. Wondering who it is almost guarantees to keep a reader in suspense.
I have never read Taglish literature before, but Ricky Lee had intertwined English and Tagalog so expertly that a reader won’t be able to help getting sucked into his world. Everything is vivid. His characters are brave, unique, seriously flawed and lovable all at the same time. Truly an artist, his words transcend any medium — be they on film or in print.
[A]ng great love mo hindi mo makakatuluyan. Ang makakatuluyan mo ay ang correct love. (p. 103)