“Engkantado” by Domingo G. Landicho: Not that Enchanting

Engkantado Front Cover          I have been on the look out for a work of fiction that is substantial in length, written in Filipino and appropriate for my Grades 7-9 students. I was thinking of something similar to the excitement that a “Trese” can generate but in prose form.  For the past three years or so, I have failed in my quest to find a book of perfect fit.  It is for this reason that learning about the existence of this children’s or young adult’s book by an author that I admire while browsing at a National Bookstore branch caused me more than great elation.
          It took me several more months before I got to buy the book albeit at a Fullybooked outlet. It was easy enough to read.  I imagined myself in the shoes of a thirteen year old kid and found the following to rave about: The sentences are short enough, and the language, while containing archaic Filipino words, is easy enough to understand by merely using context clues. Filipino values, as envisioned and interpreted to be demanded by PAASCU, are sprinkled in many a page.
          What I cannot get over with is the story itself and how it is told. To say it is simplistic is being too kind. Inane may be able to capture what I feel about the entire thing and how I was robbed of almost 300 bucks and potentially my students had I not read it first. The plot is so full of holes that I became conscious of the times when I do eye-rolling and face palms. This is magical realism and post-modernism forced on the page and lazily done.  I believe Sir Domeng is capable of much more.

About julesphilip
a teacher who is still in the process of discerning whether he'll stay in this way of life, answer a lifelong call to become a diocesan priest, or take on the responsibility of being a steward of his parents' legacy. may his experiences assist him in making a decision for the greater love for God.

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