Bata, Bata... Pa'no Ka Ginawa?

Bata, Bata... Pa'no Ka Ginawa?

by Lualhati Bautista

...Hanggang sa ang bata ay hindi na bata kundi ama, o ina.

Lahat ng panahon ay hindi panahon ng mga takot at pagtitmpi; lahat ng panahon ay panahon ng pagpapasiya.

  • Language: Filipino; Pilipino
  • Category: Fiction
  • Rating: 4.15
  • Pages: 239
  • Publish Date: 1991 by Cacho Publishing House
  • Isbn10: 9711900971
  • Isbn13: 9789711900977

What People Think about "Bata, Bata... Pa'no Ka Ginawa?"

This book is my 158th read book for this year but just the second time that I am giving a 1-star rating. Last year, I read and liked her 2nd novel, Dekada '70 (3 stars), so this month, August, being the Month of our National Language, I picked up this book hoping that this was as good as Dekada. This book is written by a woman only for women. It's the 21st century and you can already exercise your right of suffrage, both father and mother are now working and they fight when they don't agree, many woman have children without marrying, society no longer look down on them and yes women can do almost all the jobs that we men do and nobody gets surprised anymore. I have no problem with feminist books or anything that defends equal rights for women. I said too-feminine and that made the book extremely alienating. In my 48 years of existence on earth, I have not met any woman like Lea Bustamante. At the very least, hello, have you not heard of safe sex, Miss Bustamante?I understand if my GR Filipino friends who are ladies or those who want to be ladies like this book very much but oh please, not for me.

Hindi porke babae 'ko'y maiiwan ako sa labanan. Para sa kaligtasan ng lipunan at kinabukasan ng anak ko, sa digmaan ng mga uri't prinsipyo, sa mapayapa man o madugong pagbabago, magtiwala kayo...sasama ako!" Mahirap maging isang ina. Hindi porke babae ako ay ganito na ang pananaw ko: na mas matatag ang mga babae dahil mas mabigat ang kanilang dinadala. Panahon kung saan ang kalayaan ay wala sa mga kamay ng mga Pilipino, ang mga bibig ay tikom, at ang araw-araw ay puno ng walang-kasiguraduhan.

Bilang isang mamamayan, naniniwala siya na importante sa bawat tao na ipaglaban ang karapatan niya sa pamamagitan ng pagbabantay sa gobyerno at pakikisama sa pagsigaw sa kalye at manindigan. Bilang isang babae, hindi niya ikinahiya na may pangangailngan din siya, higit sa lahat ang pangangailangang sexual. Kung hindi lalawakan ng lalake ang kanyang isip sa pagbabasa nito maaring ma-offend siya.

Ngunit tulad ng mga babae mula pa noong unang panahon, ang kanilang kahinaan ay hindi nagbabago, ang kanilang asawa at anak. Hindi ito ganoon kadali lalo pa sa isang magulong sitwasyon tulad ng pamilya ni Lea. Ang mga bata ay mayroong ibat ibang katanungan na humihiling ng kasagutan. Ngunit gaya ng pagpapalaki ni Lea kina Maya at Ojie ay sa murang edad pa lamang ang mga ito nang ipinaintindi na niya ang kanilang sitwasyon. Hinayaan niya ring magkaroon ng karapatan at kalayaan ang kanyang mga anak at itinuring na isa ng mamamayan na hindi dapat pinapakialaman ang buhay sapagkat mayroon na silang sariling isipan. Ang sitwasyon ni Lea ukol sa kanyang mga asawa ay hindi na alintana sa panahon natin ngayon.

Then I picked up one of the books in my TBR, Bata, Bata...Pa'no Ka Ginawa?, last June 12 since it's Philippines' Independence Day, and I cannot help but write about it. I am writing my review in English because I have a lot of international readers, and the Filipinos I know who read my blog are also conversant in the language. Also because I want to invite the non-Filipinos to pick up the book and read if you can. The book is centered around the life, and growth, of the main character Lea Bustamante/de Lara/Gascon, a mother of two to Roberto 'Ojie' de Lara and Natalia 'Maya' Gascon. Bata, Bata...Pa'no Ka Ginawa is also about the choices she made as a woman at a time when being a woman living with someone not her husband, and having a child with him, was still considered scandalous. This also affected her son Ojie, who was torn between going with his father Raffy to the U.S. or to stay with Lea. As her relationship with Ding slowly deteriorated, she started to become attracted to her married co-worker Johnny, and they ended up having a one-night stand. Both Raffy and Ding wanted Lea to quit working for the human rights group because they keep saying that the children need her, that she should just be a stay-at-home mom. We have Raffy, a man who makes his own choices and does what he wants even if he has to leave his family; we have Ding, the more repressive kind who thinks women should stay at home and is a momma's boy; Ojie, a growing young man torn between wanting a father and yet knowing his mother is doing what's best for him; and Maya, a young preschool who knows more about real life than her peers do at that age. We have characters who have lost hope (such as the mother who committed suicide), men who think that just because a woman had sex with different men means she's "easy", people in position who try to do what she thinks is right, and in the end understands that Lea is so much more than her sexual history. Bata, Bata...Pa'no Ka Ginawa also aroused more curiosity in me about the Martial Law era because it was before I was born, but my father was quite active that time. Bata, Bata...Pa'no Ka Ginawa made me smile and laugh while reading it, but at the end, I was actually sad because it dawned on me that no one writes like this anymore. I think it needs a lot of self-honesty as well on the part of the reader, to be able to sympathize and understand Lea's choices.

I rated it 3 stars which means I liked it; I do not loathe it nor love it. But that is also part of the things I liked about her character - she acts in her own way. I just don't know if yours have similar errors.) Although these are too minor to affect the plot as whole, it actually disrupts my reading rate. Usually, I'm not very conscious about these errors in a book, but I don't know why it impedes me here. It's a good thing that Bautista doesn't linger too much on details for it will only drag the story. Watch it if you like, I can't really say if I recommend it since I have seen it.

Para kapag malungkot ako, masasabi ko sa sarili ko: Minsan naman, maligaya rin ako." Tungkol sa buhay ng isang ina at ng kanyang mga anak at kung paano niya hinarap at nilabanan ang bawat problema na dumarating sa buhay niya, bilang ina at bilang isang babae.

All of these won the grand prize in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. In addition to being a novelist, Lualhati Bautista is also a movie and television scriptwriter and a short story writer. As a writer, Lualhati Bautista received recognition from the Philippine's Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and then the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa in 1987. Two of her short stories also won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, namely: Tatlong Kuwento ng Buhay ni Julian Candelabra (Three Stories in the Life of Juan Candelabra), first prize, 1982; and Buwan, Buwan, Hulugan mo Ako ng Sundang (Moon, Moon, Drop Me a Sword), third prize, 1983.