A teen's thoughts on 'Si Janus Silang at ang Hiwagang may Dalawang Mukha'
MANILA, Philippines– “Uy, ‘yan ‘yung binabasa mo pa noong Grade 7 pa tayo ah. Noon ay Book 2 ka pa lang, ngayon ay may Book 4 na.”
(That's what you were reading since we were in Grade 7. Before you only had Book 2, now you have Book 4.)
“Uy, Janus Silang! May Book 4 ka na pala (You have Book 4 already).”
I looked up from reading my copy of the fourth book in the Janus Silang series: Janus Silang at ang Hiwagang may Dalawang Mukha. I was at school taking advantage of those times in between classes, reading up even fragments of the book because I was too excited to wait until I got home to read.
It was two of my classmates. One of them thought I was reading the same book over and over again but then realized it was a different book in a series.
The exchange made me realize how much time has passed since I first read the first book. I remember about 4 years ago (I think I was Grade 6 at the time), I came home one day to find two new books from my father. It was parts one and two of the Janus Silang books.
I loved them. I realized the series has become a part of my life now. Like Janus’ habit of holding on to his USB necklace, I also hold on to my USB bracelet whenever I feel nervous, or when I feel like I need a boost of strength. It may not actually give me strength, but it gives me a placebo feeling that I can overcome a problem, that like Janus, I could get through it even if it hurts.
At first I couldn't quite keep up with what was written on the pages. It was my first time reading everything after all. The scenes, characters, places, worlds, and concepts were all new to me. Now the world of Janus Silang has grown on me. I now know the concepts, the goals, and the way things basically work. The series, especially Book 3, opened me up to a world that was previously hidden from me. It made me feel like Miro or Mira when they saw both worlds at once. (READ: How Filipino silent graphic novels motivate kids to read)
However, the fourth book reveals details of the magic system that makes the foreshadowing clearer, yet makes things even more complex. That, and the numerous plot twists, make me more excited to read the fifth and the last book in the series.
The series itself reminded me of some of the lyrics of my favorite song that Filipino vocaloid producer Dasu made, "Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis." (A mouthful, I know.) The lyrics go like this:
Sa kanta sinimulan
Ang hele ng lumbay
Sumabay si Paraluman
Sa ginto idinaan
Akala mo ba na
Lahat ay makakalimutan?
Iiyak ka pa
Pinoproblema niya ang wakas
Sino ka nga pala?
Uulit ka rin ba
While I won't provide an explanation for this as they it just spoil the reading experience, I can say that people may see this the same way I did. The story and ending just reminded me of these lyrics, and the song is made for a totally different fictional story that Dasu made up. (It's called Stellar Paradigm if you're curious.)
Though I was saddened by one of the many plot twists, the fact that there's still a Book 5 gave me hope for the story: that I, along with other readers, may get an explanation on what happened. Right now I’m waiting for Si Janus Silang at ang Lihim ng Santinakpan, the series' fifth book which will reveal the deeper secrets of the story I knew and loved since sixth grade.
"Uy, anong libro 'yan? Puwedeng pabasa (What book is that? Can I read it)?"
I looked up from reading. I was still at school, during one of those breaks in between classes, reading the last chapters of the 4th book in the Janus Silang series. One of my classmates saw me reading.
"Janus Silang," I said.
They asked what the book was about and I told them the basic details. They were interested. My friend from another section and I later had a similar exchange.
Although I don't remember all the details from those conversations, I can clearly remember that I went home after class knowing that I now had someone else who will possibly like a series I knew and cherished for years. – Rappler.com
Divine de los Reyes is a fourteen-year-old Grade 9 student of Lucban Academy in Quezon province. Aside from reading and writing, she also likes listening to lo-fi music, making planners, and digital art.