“What is the hiwaga that is in the dako paroon? Created by the balintataw or of, like, OA na imagination? I mean, what the fuck is a balintataw, anyway?
Here are three tales of wild, wonderful women in wicked situations. Why are men dying to be on The Kama ni Stella? Why does Dindin have a bad feeling about Ang Mutya ng San Isidro? And who’s the DJ in the place Where Angels Fear to dance?”
And so we dive into the weird and the wonderful that is Carlos Malvar’s imagination. His very entertaining imagination.
Truth be told, I shouldn’t have read the introduction until after I’ve read the book. Which is counter to what it is, right? I mean, it is an introduction. But the thing is, the introduction colored (and, in some ways, lessened) my enjoyment of the finished product. Why? Mostly because the author already explained the things you would wonder about in the coming stories. Especially in terms of writing form. Then again, not all readers are writers. Some just read to enjoy. And I am that, eighty percent of the time. It just so happened that I was in the 20% form while I was reading this.
The anthology is composed of three full-length stories, and three very short ones. My favorite is ‘Where Angels Fear to Dance,’ mostly because it is the most cohesive. ‘Ang Mutya ng San Isidro‘ is fun too–if it weren’t for the digression regarding the RH Bill in the middle of the action. And ‘Kama ni Stella‘ reminds me of the old Shake, Rattle and Roll movies–before they became child-friendly and less-scary. (That said, there still are a few gems in the bunch. Like ‘Punerarya‘ and ‘Parola,’ but we won’t talk about that here.)
I remember a book I’ve read a couple of years back. A horror novel, supposedly, that lost its scare factor in its attempt to be a proper novel. Author Carlos Malvar eschews trying to be proper in lieu of being entertaining in his book. And I feel that Wakasang Wasak is all the better for it. Of course, there are parts where you would just want to scratch your head at what happened, but I think that’s part of the appeal too in the end.
I picked this book up because I found the back blurb amusing; and I finished the book with this thought: I want other people to pick this up too.