Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Lampara Books Launches Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Batang Aswang

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Lampara books have been a pioneer publishing house known for publishing works of Filipino writers, who create original stories full of values and lessons for children. They specifically incorporate the richness of the Filipino culture and tradition into their stories. After years in the industry, they still know how to captivate their readers, and their readers have stayed loyal all throughout.

In addition, of their roster of original works comes a story of fifty percent mythology, fifty percent adventure, and definitely hundred percent originally Filipino made. It is a coming-of-age story entitled, “Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang Batang Aswang.” Subtly reminiscent of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter chronology, the story comes in a compilation of series that is fit for readers of all ages. People would definitely enjoy this series written by Segundo Matias Jr., simply called, “Kuya Jun.”

On September 18, 2014 at the Mall of Asia SMX Convention Center was a press launch of Lampara’s latest young adult fiction series, “Moymoy Lulumboy: Ang batang aswang” coincides with 2014 Manila Book Fair. Hosted by Ms. Gay Castro and Sir Toots Tolentino, the event was well-attended by people from the press, media and young fanatics of the series. A breathtaking musical performance by the FEU Theatre Guild entertained the crowd.

I was able to grab a copy of the book on the day of the launch itself. The cover illustration is very distinctively Filipino. The creative genius behind the art, no other than Mr. Jomike Tejido, is an award-winning illustrator with works recognized in Scholastic Publishing and Oxford University Press.

The story focuses on Moymoy Lulumboy’s life, adventures, and discovery of his real identity as he sets foot in the world of Gabun—a world of mythical creatures created by Sir Jun. Moymoy was brought to the human world as a baby by Montar—an elf or duwende—who served as the right hand of his mother, a Tibaro or earth goddess. Moymoy was then placed under the care of a human, Tracy, who raised him.

Growing up, Moymoy had the ability to shape shift into various creatures. His adventures start as he enters world of Gabun, where he meets beings of the kingdom. Modeled after Philippine mythology, these creatures were comprised of the aswang, tikbalang, manananggal, kapre, and many more. Moymoy was born with markings on his chest—a map of the land of Panalturan, sacred land of the Tibaro species. The other half of the map, could be found on his twin brother named Alangkaw, who was raised by Buhawan, a corrupt Tibaro. His motive is to reunite the twins and use the map for his own greedy purposes.

Growing up, Kuya Jun was fascinated by mythical beings. A native of Pampanga, he spent his childhood playing along rivers, streams and fields. Living in the province greatly influenced his works as a writer, especially in the creation of Moymoy Lulumboy (fun fact: the main character’s name was actually taken from Lulumboy, a town in Bulacan).

When asked if he sees himself as Moymoy, Sir Jun answered, “Partly, yes.” I had to ask him who he’d pick to play the lead role, should there be a film adaptation of the series; however there is no one just yet. Mr. Matias has published almost 1500 books for children and young adults, following known series titles, and winning prestigious awards for his works as a writer. He has also written screenplays for Viva Films, Seiko Films and Regal Films.

I am not an avid reader of books in Filipino, but as I read Moymoy Lulumboy, the illustrations captivated me and brought the story to life. I could visualize every chapter in my mind because the images are vibrant and the words are easy to understand. The book is a great read for anyone into Filipino mythology, folklore, or creative fiction. A rumored sequel is in the works, though not much has been said about it yet.

I had a glimpse of the workshops and events at the Manila Book Fair, where Lampara, Precious Hearts Romances, Black Ink, Life Is Beautiful Creatives (publishers of Wattpad and Booklat stories), and other Precious Pages subsidiaries participated. I saw that Filipino writers have been given much recognition for their works, both locally and abroad, which makes me proud of our Filipino literature and rich cultural background.

With the recurring trend of novel-to-film adaptations, supported by passionate fans, this series by Kuya Jun is sure to make waves among the young Filipino readers. This makes me proud of traditional and modern Filipino literature and excited to see what’s in store for its revival. It was an awesome experience, I can’t wait to attend next year’s Manila Book Fair.

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