My Thoughts About Maligayang Pagdating Sa Sitio Catacutan: Mga Kuwentong Kasisindakan by Tony Perez (Book Review #59)

It’s almost Halloween so I decided to put my review of this book. I bought my copy of this book during the National Great Warehouse Sale last August 13-18, 2015. It’s quite a thin book but I must say that this book impressed me more than I expected it because, let’s be honest, the cover just doesn’t say anything. I actually almost put this one down because I thought it won’t be a good read. Well, it’s a good thing I changed my mind. November feels came to me early as this book gave me spine chilling thrills.

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The book features seven short stories following the lives of different individuals living in Sitio Catacutan, Barangay Rimarim which is situated in Cubao, Quezon City as they encounter the weird and scary occurrences about the unknown.

Quezon City, Philippines is the country’s most populous city and Cubao is its commercial center where many shopping malls, business offices, commercial centers and condominiums can be found. It’s the place often frequented by newly graduates, particularly those from the provinces, looking for jobs in the hope of having a better source of earnings like some of the major characters here in this book.

The first story, Traysikel, is about a ghost tricycle driver seeking revenge for what happened to him while he’s still living; the second, Rooms for Rent, a story of a haunted room, Room 61, who’s former tenants are an old man and his adopted son who each, because of fate, separated; third, Sa Gantigos Antiques, is about an antique shop where the most of the antique items are inhabited by spirits; fourth, Sinapian, a story of a woman who moved to the city for a better life and ended up being possessed at the house where she’s working as a maid; fifth, Pagsapi, the backstory of the possessed woman; and lastly, Akwaryum, a story of an misfit young man who ended up being an aquarium-maker and because of his issues with his family he ended up missing.

This book gave me a new perspective about Cubao. I only know Cubao as a place of commerce and I failed to even think that a place like Cubao could also be a great setting for tales of unexplained occurrences. It makes me think whether those characters that are in this book really do exist in real life.

The author painted a good picture of the setting and the characters. I was not lost with the transition and the connection of each of the stories. How the author set the story’s tone and also the setting is commendable. The choice of deep Tagalog words and its continuous flow is something that I has a hard time but I eventually get used to it. The author writes enchantingly and his words has this hypnotic vibe. Also in this book, he merges pop culture and the world of the unknown to create a fictional place worth returning.

A must read!

5 stars out of 5.

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