top of page

Filipino Authors and their Works

Updated: Jun 18, 2022

Hey, you! 😁

You know how much I love to read, right? It's a pity though because I haven't read many Filipino authors! Until recently, I thought Filipino authors wrote mostly historical non-fiction, but turns out there's a whole area I didn't know about. I found that out after joining a Filipino Author Book Club a few weeks ago. It was at 1am my time but it was so worth it and I got to virtually meet Mia P. Manansala. She wrote Arsenic and Adobo and Homicide and Halo-Halo (click here and here for the reviews).

June 12 is the Philippines Independence Day and in honour of that day, I thought I would come up with a Filipino Author book selection. On the list, I have only read Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal so far. I read that back in high school and I've been telling myself to get a copy of it for my home book collection here. I remember really loving it!

I promise myself to read all of the books in this list. I don't care how long it takes me - I just want to do it. 😊

"In the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and U.S. forces battle to possess the Philippine Islands, the Karangalan family hides with their neighbors in a cramped cellar, where they glean hope from the family stories and folktales they tell each other. These stories of love, survival, and family blend the supernatural with the rich, little known history of the Philippines, the centuries of Spanish colonization, the power of the Catholic church, and the colorful worlds of the Spanish, Mestizo, and Filipino cultures. As the villagers tell their stories in the darkened cellar below, Holthe masterfully weaves in the stories of three brave Filipinos--a teenage brother and sister and a guerilla fighter--as they become caught in the battle against the vicious Japanese forces above ground. Inspired by her father's firsthand accounts of this period, Tess Uriza Holthe brings to magical and terrifying life a story of the hope and courage needed to survive in wartime." - Goodreads

"It feels like there’s no ground beneath me, like everything I’ve ever done has been a lie. Like I’m breaking apart, shattering. Who am I? Where do I belong?

Jasmine de los Santos has always done what’s expected of her. Pretty and popular, she’s studied hard, made her Filipino immigrant parents proud and is ready to reap the rewards in the form of a full college scholarship.

And then everything shatters. A national scholar award invitation compels her parents to reveal the truth: their visas expired years ago. Her entire family is illegal. That means no scholarships, maybe no college at all and the very real threat of deportation.

For the first time, Jasmine rebels, trying all those teen things she never had time for in the past. Even as she’s trying to make sense of her new world, it’s turned upside down by Royce Blakely, the charming son of a high-ranking congressman. Jasmine no longer has any idea where—or if—she fits into the American Dream. All she knows is that she’s not giving up. Because when the rules you lived by no longer apply, the only thing to do is make up your own." -Goodreads

"Barbara Jane Reyes answers the questions of Filipino American girls and young women of color with bold affirmations of hard-won empathy, fierce intelligence, and a fine-tuned B.S. detector.

The Brown Girl of these poems is fed up with being shushed, with being constantly told how foreign and unattractive and unwanted she is. She’s flipping tables and throwing chairs. She’s raising her voice. She’s keeping a sharp focus on the violences committed in her everyday, and she’s writing through the depths of her “otherness” to find beauty and even grace amidst her rage. Simultaneously looking into the mirror and out into the world, Reyes exposes the sensitive nerve-endings of life under patriarchy as a visible immigrant woman of color as she reaches towards her center and the core values of her elders." -Goodreads

"Smaller and Smaller Circles is unique in the Philippine literary scene - a Pinoy detective novel, both fast-paced and intelligent, with a Jesuit priest who also happens to be a forensic anthropologist as the sleuth. When it won the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize for the English Novel in 1999, it proved that fiction can be both popular and literary.

F.H. Batacan has a degree in Broadcast Communication and a master's degree in Art Studies, both from the University of the Philippines in Diliman. She has worked as a policy researcher, broadcast journalist, web designer, and musician, and is currently a journalist based in Singapore. She previously won a prize for her short story "Door 59" in the 1997 Palanca awards, and her work has appeared in local magazines, as well as in the online literary magazine Web del Sol." -Goodreads

"One part Mari Andrew, one part Marjane Satrapi, I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir is a triumphant tale of self-discovery, a celebration of a family's rich heritage, and a love letter to American immigrant freedom. Malaka Gharib's illustrations come alive with teenage antics and earnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka's upbringing will look familiar to anyone who grew up in the pre-internet era, but her particular story is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigates her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid. I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children." -Goodreads

"In more than a century since its appearance, José Rizal's Noli Me Tangere has become widely known as the great novel of the Philippines. A passionate love story set against the ugly political backdrop of repression, torture, and murder, "The Noli," as it is called in the Philippines, was the first major artistic manifestation of Asian resistance to European colonialism, and Rizal became a guiding conscience—and martyr—for the revolution that would subsequently rise up in the Spanish province." -Goodreads

"The Alexandrian Society is a secret society of magical academicians, the best in the world. Their members are caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity. And those who earn a place among their number will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams. Each decade, the world’s six most uniquely talented magicians are selected for initiation – and here are the chosen few...

- Libby Rhodes and Nicolás Ferrer de Varona: inseparable enemies, cosmologists who can control matter with their minds.

- Reina Mori: a naturalist who can speak the language of life itself.

- Parisa Kamali: a mind reader whose powers of seduction are unmatched.

- Tristan Caine: the son of a crime kingpin who can see the secrets of the universe.

- Callum Nova: an insanely rich pretty boy who could bring about the end of the world. He need only ask.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they must spend one year together to qualify for initiation. During this time, they will be permitted access to the Society’s archives and judged on their contributions to arcane areas of knowledge. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. If they can prove themselves to be the best, they will survive. Most of them." -Goodreads

"Three years ago, Liz lost everything and everyone, nearly destroying herself in the aftermath. But as graduation nears her family sensing her growing loneliness, urge her to stop hiding from the rest of the world and do what she should have done years ago and right some wrongs. As fate would have it, she starts getting thrown into circumstances forcing her to face the mistakes she made including dealing with the fallout with her three best friends.

Brad has been living his life trying to fill that void she leaves behind. He searches for friendships to compensate for the ones he had lost and seeks out relationships to get Liz out of his head. Now that fate seems intent on placing them back in each other's lives again and again. Is he ready to forgive and forget?

But then who he finds is not the same girl he knew so will this version of her change the way he feels?

Will the secrets they kept from each other keep them further apart or will a sudden tragedy bring them closer together and help mend the broken pieces of their friendship?

What will happen when the lines between love and friendship start to blur?" -Goodreads

"The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…" -Goodreads

So, what do you think of this selection? Do you have any other Filipino author recommendations? 😁

** By the way, there are my Amazon Store Front if you are interested. You can find everything and anything on it (home stuff, hacks, books, just to name a few ...)

xoxo Elodie

86 views0 comments


bottom of page