Bob Ong—the legendary author whose real identity remains one of Pinoy pop culture’s most intriguing mysteries. He is a favorite among Filipino readers from all walks of life—a feat that few writers in the local scene can ever achieve.
But where does this “Bob Ong magic” come from?
For most of his fans, it was Ong’s ability to fuse humor with inspiration and deliver his message in pure, conversational Filipino. “Consider language as a tool,” Ong explains during one of his rare email interviews. “English would be a saw. Filipino, a knife. My aim is just to peel singkamas (turnip) for merienda. A second language can never replace the first.”
The man (or woman) behind the popular pseudonym is yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, Bob Ong’s presence has remained palpable these days, thanks to his entertaining insights on love, life, and anything under the sun.
As a fitting tribute for the love month, here’s a list of the top 10 Bob Ong love quotes from Pinoy’s favorite relationship guru extraordinaire.
Listen to your heart.
Torn between two lovers? Bob Ong recommends keeping your ego in check. Oftentimes, people fall in love for all the wrong reasons; selfishness is one of them. Loving two people at the same time only brings half-baked emotions and unmet expectations. So why choose to be a part-time lover when one genuine love is more than enough?
Forget about all these Anatomy 101 crap; your ex doesn’t care about your hypothalamus anyway. With the above quote, Bob Ong reminds us that sharing your heart with someone also entails some risks. Just like in business, investing your time and emotions to a person doesn’t guarantee a happy ending. So whatever happens, you should accept the fact that what you see in the movies are not the same with real life.
Fight in the name of love.
If no man is an island, how come thousands of people die alone? Well, it’s probably cool to die without a partner if you have some remarkable reasons to rationalize your single hood. But if you die alone, broke, and bitter, that’s a different story.
Seriously, how many of us have the guts to fight for the one we love despite the world going against us? Are you willing to take risks today or spend your whole life alone, broke, and bitter? One piece of advice from the great Orson Welles: “We’re born alone, we live alone, and we die alone. Only through our love (and friendship) can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.”
Love changes people.
Love is a double-edged sword; it can make you a better person or put your life in complete misery. Either way, relationships help us see the world in ways we never imagined before. So is it worth it? Yes and no.
If you’re the type of person who sees every failed relationship as a learning experience, you’ll reap positive results. On the other hand, pessimists usually see their self-esteem going downhill after each breakup. But regardless of which road you choose, always remember that love is God-sent. Cherish it. Savor it. Learn from it.
True love is beyond superficial.
As we age, our standards in choosing a partner mellow as well. But blame it on TV and movies, the preconceived notion that good looks matter the most is constantly spoon-fed to our younger generation.
So here’s Bob Ong coming to the rescue through his unforgettable one-liner: “Sa paglipas ng panahon, maging ang mga crush ng bayan nagmumukha ding pandesal, maniwala ka.” To sum it all up, it doesn’t matter how dumb or good-looking you are—as long as your love is sincere, it’s definitely worth fighting for.
Keep your emotions intact.
Different people see things in different ways. Just because someone cares for you doesn’t mean you should fall head over heels right away. Human emotions tend to be more fragile especially if the heart overpowers logical thinking. Best takeaway from Bob Ong? Never assume unless it’s for sure.
Use your head.
Avid readers of Bob Ong’s insightful books usually encounter the word “tanga” (moron) every now and then. However, the intention is not to offend but to remind people—especially love struck couples—that to love doesn’t mean to give up one’s common sense.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we have too many options to choose from but when it comes to love, a balance between logic and emotion works best.
Stick to one.
Married or not, a person who cheats is worse than any part-time slut. Let’s stop pretending that it’s cool to hurt someone to satisfy our lust. Just because some movies and teleseryes give sympathy to mistresses doesn’t mean its ‘ok’ to do the same.
And that stupid double-standard that tells it’s natural for men to have many partners? Well, karma surely strikes back so better drop it before it’s too late.
Learn to let go.
Never sacrifice your sanity for someone who doesn’t deserve your love in the first place. There’s more to life than playing masochist to your sadistic, insensitive partner. Everyone has a certain pain threshold and if your partner pushes you to the limit, better think twice.
There’s nothing wrong in love but if you make your relationship as the centerpiece of your life, you’re off to a big surprise. Learn how to let go and respect your limits no matter what.
Always give love a chance.
One failed relationship after another will never define you as a person. Everyone goes through a difficult phase before finding that one, true love. Although some luckily find it in first strike, rest assured that failure is a normal part of love.
We all deserve to be happy so never let your past failures keep you from the good things the future has in store. Who knows, it might be the person you’ll meet in the restaurant a few minutes from now. So always keep your hopes up and keep Bob Ong’s love quotes by heart.