Saturday, December 17, 2016

Reviving Lola Basyang: Stories for Children by Severino Reyes a.k.a Lola Basyang

Compiled and Edited by Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature - School on Blog

Acknowledgment: To all sources of information I used in this educational blog, including the movie producers of Lola Basyang stories, magazine and Klasiks publishers, Ballet Manila and all its performers, book publishers and distributors, the Internet, family and friends of the greatest Filipino storyteller for children of all times, and the University of Santo Tomas where he graduated a long time ago. I was told he finished a degree in Philosophy and Letters. 

There is one very extraordinary lesson about the storyteller which should inspire his audience, and particularly writers like me, and that is, there is nothing too late to achieve something valuable: Mang Binoy as he was fondly called, wrote the first of his four hundred children's stories at the age of seventy-five.  It inspires us all for an old man to talk the language of children and make them real men and women, courageous and happy to face the world where fantasy makes reality not only bearable but kind and fulfilling.  

I invite my readers to revive the good tradition of Lola Basyang amidst conflicting values that make children difficult to raise. It is tradition I know to be the best alternative to too much exposure to today's living conditions, what with all the computers and malls, and too much expectations we demand from our children.  Let them be in their own sweet time.  Knowledge is also learned in leisure and quiet, in sitting by the fireplace listening to a Lola Basyang, when the roads turn rough, so with the tides of life. Be children like the children in Lola Basyang's time.  

 Lola Basyang stories were translated into Tagalog Komiks which
became popular among the masses in sixties and seventies.

Popularly known as Mang Binoy, Don Severino Reyes, was also the co-founder and editor of the Liwayway in 1923. The very first years of the Liwayway was a struggle, and there was scarcity of literature to include in its contents, so Mang Binoy created the "Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang" in 1925 as filler. He did not sign it with his name though because he thought it was unethical, while still serving as editor of the magazine.

And so Mang Binoy used the byline "Lola Basyang" after a friend's neighbor named Gervacia Guzman de Zamora, who was known as "Tandang Basyang". It was from her where Mang Binoy took the inspiration to create"Lola Basyang".

In real life, Tandang Basyang was described as an old bespectacled woman in baro't saya, seated in her famous silyon, and reading her timeless classic stories - dug from her ancient baul (wooden chest) - to her fascinated grandchildren.  The grandchildren were more than eager to hear stories about faraway castles, heroic princes, lovely maidens, giants, and elves. Always, at the end of each story is a moral lesson to be learned.

The first story of the "Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang" was entitled ang "Plautin ni Periking", a wonderful story of a kindhearted kid who has a magical flute and flying carpet. It was the first of the more than 400 "Lola Basyang" stories to have graced the Liwayway, and only discontinued because of Mang Binoy's death in 1942. (Wikipedia)
In 2006, Anvil Publishing, Inc. relaunched  a series of picture books based on the tales written by Severino Reyes and retold by Christine Bellen. All books were illustrated by Frances C. Alcaraz, Albert Gamos, Elbert Or, Liza A. Flores and Ruben de Jesus. The 11 picture books are:

·         Ang Alamat ng Lamok (The Legend of the Mosquito), which was originally titled Ang Parusa ng Higante (The Giant's Curse)
·         Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin (Magical Violin)
·         Ang Sultan Saif (Saif the Sultan)
·         Parusa ng Duwende (The Dwarf's Curse)
·         Plautin ni Periking (Periking's Flute)
·         Rosa Mistica (Mystical Rose)
·         Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Hari (The Maiden Who Defeated a King)
·         Ang Prinsipe ng mga Ibon (Prince of Birds)
·         Ang Prinsipeng Duwag (The Cowardly Prince)
·         Si Pandakotyong
·         Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong (The Prince with the Long Nose)

Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang (TV series)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Season 1
·         Ang Mahiwagang Kuba (The Enchanted Hunchback)
·         Ang Prinsipeng Unggoy (The Monkey Prince)
·         Ang Parusa ng Duwende (The Dwarf's Punishment)
·         Ang Binibining Tumalo sa Mahal Datu (The Maiden Who Defeated the Datu)
·         Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin (The Enchanted Violin)
·         Ang Prinsipeng Mahaba ang Ilong (The Prince with A Long Nose)
·         Ang Sumpa ng Higanteng si Amok (The Curse of Amok the Giant)
·         Ang Walong Bulag (The Eight Blind Men)
·         Ang Prinsipeng Duwag (The Cowardly Prince)
·         Akong Ikit
·         Maria Alimango
·         Si Sultan Saif (Sultan Saif)
·         Ang Prinsipe ng mga Ibon (The Prince of the Birds)

Season 2
·         Si Pedrong Walang Takot (Fearless Pedro)
·         Ang Gwapong Sastre (The Handsome Tailor)
·         Ang Palasyo ng mga Duwende (The Palace of the Dwarves)
·         Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Maria (The Brother of the Three Marias)
·         Ang Hukbo ni Padre Pedro (The Legion of Father Pedro)
·         Ang Plautin ni Periking (The Flute of Periking)
·         Anting-anting (The Amulet)
·         Ang Mahiwagang Balabal (The Enchanted Cape)
·         Ang Dragon sa Ilog Lingwa (The Dragon in Lingwa River)
·         Pandakotyong
·         Ang Kastilyong Bakal (The Iron-made Palace)
·         Prinsesang Kalbo (The Bald Princess)
·         Ang Pitong Hilo (The Seven Idiots)

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