Dekada 60

“Isang umaga ay magigising ka sa katotohanang hindi ka na bata.”
Jun Balde

Maybe some of us have felt that way at some point in our lives – waking up with reality slapping us in the face. You’re not THAT young anymore. But, really, what is so scary about getting old? Or is it even scary at all? Here are two books that give us something to look forward to whenever we reach a new decade in our lives!

60zens Tips on Senior Citizenship

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My first encounter with Jun Balde was during the 2nd Filipino ReaderCon in the former Filipinas Heritage Library. I attended his panel and I was just blown away when he read one of his poems to us. When I saw this for sale during one Manila International Book Fair, I bought it right away. It’s been a few years since I purchased this and I browse through it every now and then whenever I need a good laugh.

If you think Bob Ong and Witty Will Save the World are pretty funny, then you’ll love his writings! This engineer turned poet / writer offers pretty practical advice for senior citizens. His writings are flavored with wit and humor BUT every now and then he sneaks in some poems here and there that will leave you in a pensive mood.

Here’s one of my favorites:

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The poem speaks of the silence and simplicity that can only be shared by two people who love each other deeply and infinitely. Which leads me to the next book…

Sixty Six

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When you think about it, how many superheroes start their transformation (by that, I mean, discover they have powers etc) past the age of 50? At the top of my head, nothing comes into mind.This is what sets Russell Molina and Ian Sta. Maria’s graphic novel, Sixty Six, apart from all the other superhero stories.

The story begins with Celestino Cabal or Tino for short. Everything about the opening scene is like him – old, slow, and bittersweet. It was like watching a faded memory over time. The pace soon changes once Tino discovers his superhero-like abilities.

Tino’s character development is an interesting change from the usual weakling turned super hero archetype. His new ability suddenly puts his identity in question – but what does this mean for a senior citizen who has, more or less, already come into terms with his fate?

The story also shows the unique relationship between Tino and his wife, Aura. This is far from the sometimes awkward yet romantic / damsel in distress story. What Aura and Tino share is something quite similar to the poem, as seen above, of Jun Balde. It is the kind of tenderness that can only be shared by two people who love each other deeply.

Reading Sixty Six feels like you’re reading and watching a movie unfold before your eyes. The visually appealing artwork will speak for itself. It is such a treat to read this if you like comic books and movies!

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60zens Tips for Senior Citizenship by Jun Balde is available in local bookstores or through Anvil Publishing, Inc.

Sixty Six by Russell Molina and Ian Sta. Maria is available in local bookstores or through Adarna House, Inc.

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