Milflores Publishing, Inc. has released “Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan,” a collection of funny, wildly imaginative, and insightful essays in Filipino by Vlad Bautista Gonzales.

Most of the essays were originally written for the author’s blogspot on the Net. They cover a wide variety of forms and subjects—from his fantastic friend, Mhia, who performs naked in public and juggles fifteen basketballs, soccer balls, and volleyballs while twirling her majorette baton, to his hilarious adventures while training to be a cadet officer in college, to a script for a TV reality show featuring his zany barkada.

There are also absurd dialogues between the author’s lola and other close relatives and ludicrous, yet touching, scenes featuring his parents and siblings.

Vlad is a master, at a remarkably young age, of the literary art of making the familiar fresh and interesting and the impossible familiar and accessible.

Some senior writers think that Vlad is the voice of a whole new generation by virtue of his inventive use of street Taglish and other literary skills.

The author teaches Malikhaing Pagsulat, Panitikan at Kulturang Popular at University of the Philippines Diliman and has taught at the Kagawaran Filipino at Ateneo University on Katipunan.

He says that he likes making his readers laugh and even when he tries to be serious, his readers laugh, anyway.

He spends a lot of his time watching anime, old local TV movies and telenovelas, and reading comics. If he were one of the characters in the anime “Naruto,” he says he would be a lazy Shikamaru or a moody Gaara.

The in-your-face cover of the book was designed by Arnold Ramos and the layout was done by Zenaida Ebalan.

“Isang Napakalaking Kaastigan” is available at all National Book Stores, PowerBooks, Books for Less and other major book stores at P195 per copy.

Call 721-6431, e-mail: milflores@pldtdsl.net, or visit http:\\milfloresonline.blogspot.com.

From the Lifestyle Section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, E4, May 19, 2008

Posted on May 19, 2008