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August is celebrated in the country as Buwan ng Wika, so we figured our local writers deserve some love for all their hard work and wonderful imagination. We think these creative minds deserve to be recognized and read. Imagine- if it’s hard for writers in the Western world to get published, how much more for us here in the Philippines? So, for simply daring to write and imagine- we thank you, dear Filipino writers.

Here are some of their awesome works:

Dekada 70 by Lualhati Bautista

This Lualhati Bautista masterpiece never loses its voice and transcends generations. If you haven’t read it or seen the movie, it is an interwoven tale of family and freedom told from the point of view of a woman in the 70s—where the country was rife with the horrors of Martial Law. I think it’s perfect for this time and age. We easily forget Martial Law and dismiss its effects as hearsay. Well in this book, all of those hearsays are very, very real and heartbreaking.

Tall Story by Candy Gourlay

We have been hunting this one down since, well, ever. In Tall Story, Candy Gourlay tells a tale about a little, basketball-obsessed Filipina and her 8-foot-tall, fresh-from-the UK brother. This book has won many accolades and recognition, partly because of the story telling and partly because of the characters—either way, prepare to fall in love with this lovely masterpiece.

Habang Wala Pa Sila by Juan Miguel Severo

Hello, JM Severo and your book of poems that hit us right in the feels. Habang Wala Pa Sila is Juan Miguel Severo’s collection of poems— most made to be spoken aloud until you can feel your heart breaking, we think.  What can we say? The guy has a knack for mixing the mundane with the poetic – he writes about shoes wet from a Malabon flood and heartbreak, and tear-soaked pillows to closure. It’s an oddly perfect combination.

Maktan 1521 by Tepai Pascual

We were casually strolling up the bookstore when we chanced upon this lovely gem of a graphic novel. There are a lot of great artists here in the country but this one caught our eye because, well, it’s about our first Filipino hero (and I’m from Mactan J). The art is wonderful and bold—almost cinematic as each page comes alive with it. What’s great is that this book began as the author’s college thesis—and now it’s ended up on bookstore shelves. Great job, Tepai!

Dear Distance by Luis Katigbak

Before his untimely death early this year, Luis Katigbak wrote for Esquire and published a collection of stories called Dear Distance. We have never been disappointed by this Palanca Awardee, and Dear Distance proves just that. We love his effortless way of making us feel that kilig without ever compromising the beauty of his prose. Here’s to you, Luis!

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Kristiana Rule

Your average not-so-teenage working class heroine. An island girl lost in the Queen City of the South. Make sure to visit her blog and say hi.


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