Thursday, April 11, 2013

Looking for Andoy: Dominic Agsaway on Ngumiti si Andoy

Dominic Agsaway's winning work on the Salanga Prize story, Ngumiti si Andoy, portrays the child narrator and Andres Bonifacio together. They interact and engage in conversation. This is pretty much a literal rendition of the story. But the child, a little boy assigned to draw Andres Bonifacio for a school assignment, is shown with a personality that is playful and imaginative

The boy is seen walking into a park that's littered with trash. Apparently, this is the school's Hero's Park where the sculptures of Rizal, Bonifacio and other heroes are found. There is no doubt or suspicion in the boy's face, instead, there is a smile  and a curious glint in his eyes. When confronted by the moving statue of Bonifacio, he is surprised but unafraid.

Agsaway's illustrations depicted the child and his child like qualities. It made me remember how fearless I was as a young girl; how curious and unafraid. His rendition of the story fits the child character's ability to imagine and create. Thinking about it all, Ngumit si Andoy is not only the story of Andres Bonifacio, but that of the thinking child and his power to imagine.

I look forward to meeting Mr. Dominic Agsaway in person this coming July 2013 as he will receive his award and cash prize during the 30th National Children's Book Day at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

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