Maligayang pagbabalik sa ating munting mundong nababalot ng hiwaga. Nananabik na ba kayong makabalik sa piling ng ating mga butihing aswang? Halikayo’t humimlay muli sa mga bisig ni Elias, halikan ang kahali-halinang labi ni Sabel, at makinig sa mga tula ni Tasyo. Malugod kayong inaanyayahan ng tatlong ito sa kanilang hapag. Ingat-ingat lamang at baka kayo pala ang ihahain.
We already know that Tabi Po Isyu 1 is powerful enough to provoke some hiding perspectives behind our brain and Tabi Po Isyu 2 offers more. More depth, tragedy, questionable and life-changing decisions. Before we get to my real review, I am warning you…this may contain spoilers but not the entirety of the story nor the comic book but some glimpses that made me ask myself: What if everything is real?
The book started with some sensitive subjects that have been discussed that could be happening behind society’s back. I have noticed that there are some aspects that Malonzo was incorporating in his book and one of those things are the mixture of Jose Rizal’s famous Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo and both books being executed in Tabi Po but in completely different and brilliant implementation. A priest has been introduced here who’ve been committing sins like hiring a prostitute and dominating a certain place whereas the people in the community is being manipulated.
Isn’t this what is happening in our country right now?
Tabi Po is a timely read for every Filipino who would like to stand up and voice out their opinion. What depicted in Tabi Po 2 is a small scale of what is happening in the Philippines. We have been fucked up by the politicians. These people are corrupting not just our nation, not only the youth but everyone. This book also shows discrimination against lower class in society. Mervin did not put this scene in the book because he would like to degrade the lower class of the society, instead, to make the readers see how poorly treated these people are by those who are in authority.
Which will make me question you, the reader. Will you let them rule our country?
It is so ironic that those who are in the authority speak of the word demon when in fact they are the ones who are among them. Tabi Po 2 shows that whatever class you belong to, whatever reputation you have among your peers, it all boils down on your personality. You cannot separate humans among the demons.
What if the humans are the demons in disguise?
This book is something, something that we could find in the grey area between the white and dark aspect of morality in humanity. Was it the Aswang who is really the evil here by killing humans because it was their nature to eat humans to live or Is it the humans who are really evil when they are aware of their action towards their unjustified vices?
Do we really know the values we are upholding to?
Tabi Po 2 is aesthetically pleasing to my eyes. It introduces me to another world of creatures that have been told to me when I was younger. I would never expect that I will read them again in a different form and in another perspective that will ignite my critical thinking regarding morality. I will continue supporting this book as it dives into the world of monster where monsters are humans and humans are monsters. Where both creatures dwell with each other and live with each other, without knowing, that the person you are looking right now is a monster in disguise.
Let me end this book review with the quote from the book, “Lumuluha akong napaisip. Sa isang saglit nasaksihan ko ang himala ng buhay at trahedya ng kamatayan.”-Simon, Tabi Po 2 by Mervin Malonzo
“Crying while thinking. In a glimpse, I was able to witness the magic of life and the tragedy of death.”
MY RATINGS: 5 STARS
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mervin Malonzo wrote and drew the National Book Award-winning comic TABI PO. He also worked with writer Adam David on another title called ANG SUBERSIBO, a comic adaptation of Rizal’s NOLI and FILI. He graduated magna cum laude in UP Fine Arts. When he is not creating comics, he is creating websites, animations, and illustrations for other people and entities.