Ricky Lee's latest book, Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Ating Panahon, aims to bridge the past and the present while serving at the same time as a prelude to the award-winning scriptwriter's second novel. This special edition was launched by the author and his group, the Writers Studio, yesterday, May 31, at Powerbooks, SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed Ricky Lee a few minutes before his book signing after the program for Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Ating Panahon.
He began the interview by talking about his debut novel Para Kay B (o kung paano dinevastate ng pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin), which was launched last November at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.
"Ang Para Kay B kasi tungkol sa love stories, di ba, at mga taong umiibig. So, kumbaga, iisa ang topic niya, e. So gusto ko, pagtapos ng isang trabaho na iisa ang topic, pumunta naman ako sa malawak ang topic para makita ng tao na, 'Ay, ibang-iba naman ngayon ang istilo ni Ricky'.
"So, 'yong Tatang, 20 years 'yon, iba-ibang istilo, e, may nakakatawa, may nakakaiyak, may political, may hindi. So, kita nila 'yong range. Pagkatapos niyan, pupunta naman ako sa mas maliit ulit, 'yong sa political satire na Aswang [Ricky's upcoming novel], so liliit na naman ulit."
Originally launched in 1988, the re-issued version of Si Tatang at mga Himala ng Ating Panahon retains Ricky's past articles, interviews, short stories and the screenplay of the critically-acclaimed Nora Aunor film Himala. The special collectors' edition now has new articles like a tribute to the late Lino Brocka and reportage on behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the making of Himala. Most of the writings in the sixties and seventies were updated by Ricky himself.
"Itong librong ito, kung ako ang masusunod, pasakalye lang ito. Pangarap kong maglabas ng isang libro [tuwing] isang taon. Siguro'y scriptwriting manual muna. Saka nobela. Gusto ko ring magsulat ng plays. At siyempre, patuloy pa ring gagawa ng screenplays," said Ricky in the interview.
The book launching program was a Who's Who in Philippine culture and entertainment. National Artist for Literature Dr. Bienvenido Lumbera gave the opening remarks, underscoring Ricky's achievements as a writer in different media and genres as a miracle in itself.
Ricky's celebrity friends read excerpts intensely from the book— Dingdong Dantes, Jean Garcia, Ricky Davao, Jaclyn Jose, Chanda Romero, Alan Paule, Robie Domingo, Danton Remoto, and Nanding Josef. Ogie Alcasid brought the house down with his comic rendition of an excerpt from "Ang Paggawa ng Himala." Angel Locsin ably performed the famous dialogue of Elsa (Nora Aunor), "Walang himala...!" together with Vangie Labalan who played Elsa's mother in the classic film directed by the late Ishmael Bernal.
Highly regarded as the most respected and prolific scriptwriter of his generation, Ricky's credentials include Sa Kuko ng Agila, Himala, Moral, Anak, The Flor Contemplacion Story, Jose Rizal, Brutal, Relasyon, among many others.