Between the Covers: Stories from My Bookcase

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Paano Ba ‘To?! by Bianca Gonzalez

What do I not love about this book? Maybe it’s the fact that we are nearly the same age (I’m likely two to three years older than her), or that we were both December 2014 brides, or it could be because I watch her so much on TV, but I found her words relatable. Her intended audience seem to be the younger girls – late teens, early twenties – but that doesn’t stop me from smiling and recounting my own experiences as I flip through the pages.


The book has eight chapters: Family, Friendship, Love, Career & Money, Failures, Fashion & Beauty, Purpose, Self. Each chapter starts off with a Q n A, and then followed by Real Stories. Then there will be something from a celebrity/ies, before closing with 10 Things from Bianca that’s specific to the topic. At the end of each chapter is a page where the reader can become part of the book: there is a prompt and ample to space to write. I think I love that about the book – along with the sticker sheets. Soon, I will be using those prompts for blog posts over at Verabear.Net. Watch out for that. Smile

Each chapter, and all over the inside front and back covers, you can find quotes and hugot lines. Kudos to the author for getting calligraphy artist Abbey Sy to work with her. Apart from the wonderful type found all over the book, the doodles (I assumed they are the author’s own) all over encouraged me to write on the book too. Maybe it’s because of all the marginalia from the book I read before this one (Ex Libris), but it just felt right to react real-time by writing down my thoughts on the white space around the text.

Marginalia and doodles - Paano ba to

There is not much more to say, in terms of a review, other than to recommend it for others to read. I think that there is so much we can already learn from other people’s experiences and if it saves us from having to make the same mistakes – then that’s the real bonus.

One more reason to recommend this book to young women is that she sounds and feels genuine. Authentic. She owes up to the celebrity status, but she also uses that status to spread good. She does not try to convince us that she was perfect as she was growing up, and definitely didn’t try to come off as if she knew exactly what she was doing. That’s what makes her credible. She experienced life the way many of us did/do. Throughout the book there is also the sense of gratefulness – she acknowledges that she has been given a lot of opportunities and that what she has achieved now is a combination of her hard work, and the help of others around her.

I really like her, I like her example. And I would love for my nieces to get to know her thru this book, and maybe have her as one of their life pegs. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with absolutely everything that’s mentioned in the book, but I support the overall message that it tries to convey.

I do hope she writes another book, although I’d imagine I’d get bored if it would be exactly the same. As a follow up project she should release the type art that served as dividers for the book. I actually want to tear them off now and hang them in frames. (I just looked at the new Get To Work Book by Elise Blaha and her calendar page illustrated text are perforated so you can easily detach and hang as art print! That's exactly what they could have done with the lovely type pages on this one.)

Type/Quote - Paano ba to

Congratulations to Bianca Gonzalez-Intal on the success of her first book. I believe it’s been reprinted. In fact, I’m really happy about the local publishing industry as a whole. There’s been a number of books released recently that out sold really quickly. And it’s nice to see people at work toting a familiar book and reading during breaks. I have at least two more locally published books on my list to read. Make Your Nanay Proud was something I really enjoyed flipping thru earlier this year. Truly inspiring.
Are you reading Paano Ba ‘To?! Share your thoughts!