Skip to content

The Boy with a Snake in his Schoolbag

by Bob Ong

A Fascinating and Funny Coming-of-Age Story set in the Philippines

This humorous coming-of-age memoir follows the author from kindergarten through high school and college to his own experiences as a young teacher. Set in Manila, it explores universal themes of friendship, love, school life, depression, academic struggles and personal successes. A National Bestseller in the Philippines, the book also includes illustrations by award-winning cartoonist Freely Abrigo, a concept artist for Warner Brothers.

This collection of warm and humorous essays candidly chronicles Bob Ong's experiences growing up in the Marcos-era Manila of the 1980s. The author casts a satirical and nostalgic eye on the events of everyday life including:

  • Fighting for a seat in a classroom with limited chairs
  • Munching on Nutribuns (UNICEF's nutrient-enriched bread sent to developing countries)
  • Having your sister discover a 20-inch rubber snake in your schoolbag
  • Taking part in a disastrous school production of Star Wars
  • Struggling to adapt to university life
  • Discovering a new perspective of the classroom when he becomes a teacher himself

Whether you're nostalgic for your own schooldays in the Philippines or simply want to enjoy an entertaining memoir set against the backdrop of a chaotic Asian city, this book is for you.