‘GAPÔ (at isang puting Pilipino, sa mundo ng mga Amerikanong kulay brown)
This book is a part of our school subject, Filipino. Well, I decided to read it right away because the caption is catchy and seems very interesting. Translated version of the caption: And one white Filipino, in a world of brown Americans. For me it’s more humorous if it [the caption] is in Filipino language rather than English. Not that Lualhati Bautista criticizes the Americans, but these are mere facts of what really happened before. Let’s start.
Lualhati Bautista tours us to one of the places that was before owned by the Americans: Olongapo or ‘Gapo. During the World War 2, the Americans were already based here, and most of the US Navy stays here. Right after winning against the Japanese, the American and Filipino government agreed on some policies regarding Gapo at that time. Gapo is well known for a thing, and that is bars/clubs. These places are where people, mostly Americans, waste their money for enjoyment and entertainment. These clubs are those kinds that have women in bikinis dancing on top of a barrel on a stage, or sometimes a singer, like the protagonist, Michael Taylor Jr. Michael Taylor Jr. is a Fil-Am boy whose mother is one of the hostesses in a club and whose father is a member of the US Navy. He hates how the Americans treat Filipinos, and how the Filipinos are acting blindly on what they [the Americans] are doing to them. He hated to admit it but his colors show that he is American. He wanted revenge towards the Americans, even though he know he was, even a bit, part of them. But when his friends and other Filipinos are suddenly killed one by one by the Americans and the US government refuses to hand their fellows to the Philippine government, he did not stop himself from killing one. He said he’s already contented and happy. Still, those Filipinos who died haven’t gained justice.
‘Gapo tells us of the unruly government of the US in the midst of World War 2, the hospitality of Filipinos, the patience and temper of Filipinos after being called yardbirds or after being played and destroyed by Americans. It shows how weak and foolish we are and the Philippine government by following and agreeing on everything as long as it is stateside. It also shows how we suddenly degrade ourselves and our nationality just to be called ‘the superior American’.
Rating: 2 thumbs up! Out of 5 stars: 4 stars.