Lessons from "How Rosang Taba Won a Race"

1:41:00 AM

Cover of the Book "How Rosang Taba Won a Race?"

It has been months since I last read a children's book. I have been very busy because of academics, research and extracurricular things. Academic year in UP College of Medicine just started two weeks ago. We still don't have exams so I decided to read a children's book and write a book review. I chose the book "Kung Paano Nanalo si Rosang Taba sa Isang Karera (How Rosang Taba Won a Race?)". It was written by Dean Francis Alfar, illustrated by Ghani Madueno and published by Lampara Books. I bought my copy of this book from a storywriting workshop in UP College of Education last year. This book won Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Third Prize in Short Story for Children (2006).

Rosang Taba is the main character of the story. She is a fat servant of the Governor General. The story happened during the Spanish occupation in the Philippines. The Filipinos are under slavery and usury because the Spain is in power during that time. There was a celebration in the house of the Governor-General because Sir Jaime Villareal defeated a small force of insurgent Filipinos from North of Manila. Jaime mocked the Filipinos. He even compared us to animals. He said Filipinos have no courage, morals and civilization.

Upon hearing the mockery of Jaime, Rosang Taba, a mere servant replied to Jaime that she can beat him in a race. I think this is Rosang Taba's way of defending our race from the mockery of Jaime. She just cannot accept the fact that we are being compared to animals and we are accused of having no civilization. If I were in Rosang Taba's situation, I would have done the same thing. It is a fallacy that there is no pre-colonial civilization. Our Filipino ancestors have their own civilization even before the Spaniards came. 

Jaime underestimated Rosang Taba. She requested Street of Lost Hope to be the venue of their race and she also requested to be 15 steps ahead of her opponent. Jaime was confident that she can beat Rosang Taba. Little did he know that the track of their race is the narrowest street in Binondo and that only one person can fit in that street. Jaime tried his best to get past Rosang Taba, he punched, kicked, bit and even threaten Rosang Taba but he failed to pass through Rosang Taba. Jaime lost in the race and Rosang Taba was declared winner of the race.

Lessons from Rosang Taba
  1. I guess one lesson that we need to emphasize in this story is to never underestimate a person's ability. Never underestimate what a person can do. Do not judge a person because of her appearance or status in life. Rosang Taba is a fat, lady servant, who is always belittled by other people. But despite that, Rosang Taba showed her love for our country by defeating Jaime (commander of Spanish soldiers). She exemplified wisdom in choosing a street that is so narrow that only one person can fit. She did everything she can to defend the honor of our dear country.
  2. Do not think highly of yourself as if you are the best person in the world. You might be good at one thing but you can never be good at everything. Accept defeat graciously.
  3. We can also learn the importance of love for our own country. I know that there are several things that make us lose hope and faith in our country. But there are more reasons to remain hopeful that things will get better in the country sooner if not later. We just need to contribute to the best of our abilities and be the agent of change in this country. Let us not give up dreaming for a better Philippines. 
  4. Trust yourself. Trust in your own abilities. If Rosang Taba can do it, you can also do it. I don't know what struggles or challenges, you are facing right now. But I am sure that there will always be a way out and there will always be a solution to your problem. Remember to always ask for wisdom, just like what Rosang Taba did in the story, she used her wisdom to make sure that she'll win the race.
  5. Filipino are very polite. As much as possible, we try to avoid arguments. But when we are already being abused and being mocked by other people, we should be bold enough to defend our honor and rights. 

This is a great book and I recommend this to all children out there You can learn a lot more from reading the whole story of How Rosang Taba Won a Race.

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