We all went crazy with B1 Gang right?

B1 GANG is about the adventures of four Pinoy high school teeners who desire to be investigative journalists when they grow up. The four (Gino, Kiko, Boging and Jo) travel around the Philippines solving myths and exposing mysteries which they encounter under the tutelage of their journalist idol, Mike Rodrigo.

If you’re a Filipino kid growing up in the 90s, chances are you’ve had a tinge of Pinoy pride when you read the courage of the four young pinoys Gino, Jo, Kiko and Boging in the local book stores. More than two decades later, those kids from back then are still proud, and can’t resist sharing their pride with the rest of the world. You might not know it, but you’ve probably seen the B1 Gang in that textbook you used through your elementary and high school years. Today, the B1 Gang was the Philippines’ first Young Adult book series in Filipino. And it’s one of the most epic thing to happen to Philippine literature in the past century.

b1 gang setting for the book 6, rice terraces view during day
Photo by Sebastian Herrmann on Unsplash

The B1 GANG series was initially conceived to balance the numerous foreign materials currently overwhelming the Pinoy youth. American paperbacks virtually monopolize the children/young adult book section of Philippine bookstores while Japanese cartoons are lording it over the television. It does not take a genius to figure out that young Filipinos could easily lose their cultural identity in the myriad of foreign influences brought about by the easy access to worldwide information.

Reading foreign young adult books is not undesirable per se but reading *only* imported books is. For example, almost all Pinoy kids know Aladdin and Princess Jasmin’s story but hardly a handful have heard the equally enchanting tale of the Star Maidens of the Ifugaos or The Adventures of Kalalagan a Wata’ of the Maranaos. Not only that but constant exposure to imported young adult books propagates foreign culture and values among our youth. Without reading any local young adult book counterpart, our young people’s national identity is slowly diminishing and that we are losing by default.

person riding tractor
Photo by Md. Golam Murshed on Unsplash

B1 GANG‘s utmost objective is to teach the kids about the Philippines, its people and values. Yes, our books will entertain, excite and even make readers laugh but that is the *easy* thing to do. The trick is how to incorporate the entertainment aspect to the educational part; that is, to make the children enjoy the reading but at the same time learn without them being aware of the teaching process. A trick not unlike what Pinoy parents do by embedding a medicine capsule inside a banana so the child can swallow it and feel better.

The books are written in easy Filipino but the dialogues reflect the actual speech of today’s youth. The books are 4-1/4″ x 6-3/4″ in dimension, saddle-stitched, averaging 100 pages with a glossy cover. The books have a minimal number of inside illustrations to inject visual breaks for the reader. The cover is specifically designed for the young audience.

group of children laughing together
Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

The B1 GANG series is tailor-made for young Pinoy readers. Simply stated, B1 GANG is a celebration of the Filipino youth and an affirmation of life. B1 GANG series is more than just good old-fashioned pulp fiction; it’s also about celebrating the Filipino youth and all that it can accomplish. The B1 GANG books are not just about the high-adrenaline adventures of four teenagers who discover they have superpowers; Superpowers to change the world by introducing good character and Filipino traits we should be proud. They’re also about the lives of those teens, their families, and their friends.