The first book I ever read

I cannot explain the rush I felt when I spotted this book while looking through the shelves and racks at National Book Store. Mga Unang Hakbang sa Pagbasa literally was the first book I read, ever (read the words, not just looked at the pictures, etc.). Of course, back then it didn't have the english subtitle and it still carried the old Tagalog alphabet (the Abakada). But the cover design looks the same today. Even the paper it's printed on feels like it's the 1980s.

The first Unang Hakbang I read wasn't mine though. It belonged to my two older brothers who were in kindergarten that time. I was lucky they always carried this around and they always did practice reading with my parents. By observing them and listening intently while they studied (and by eventually having my own copy), I learned how to read, and I learned to love reading at an early age. I thank this book, and my family for that.

This is where I started. A E I O U and Ba Be Bi Bo Bu. My brothers used to shout these out all the time, and I couldn't understand why or what it meant. I just remember mimicking them.

I remember this as our favorite part of our reading practice, because we can cheat by pretending to read and just simply saying what's in the picture. To this day, my parents still tell the story about how our eldest kuya would read lolo as matanda and buko as niyog.

The first story I learned to read. Never mind that it is a very simple story. To my young self who experienced reading by myself for the first time, this felt like the most riveting thriller.

I think this "parts of the body" illustration did not change too because I remember asking my mother why he's carrying a bag (Where is he going? School? Why is he wearing sando to school?). Also I would question why tainga was spelled as such when we simply call our ears tenga.

The book (booklet?) is this cheap. I don't know how much this book was then. But for the sake of this blog entry, let's say my parents bought our copy for five pesos. I think it's cute to think that a five-peso book taught me how to read.

Needless to say, I bought the book haha. Why? Because just looking at it and flipping through the pages bring so many good memories of my childhood. And maybe, I like how it reminds me of how far I've come since my first encounter with the written word.


Anonymous said...

Elvin! Please keep this blog going. Nakakabisado ko na ang old entries mo. :) - Buddy Tet

Elvin said...

YES I will do my best haha

Unknown said...

Can i have a soft copy of this? I really need it for my pupils.