ARE YOU BORED of reading the same books? Filipinos love to write and use their imaginative and creative minds. Filipino literature showcases a diverse selection of books, from myths and culture to heartwarming romance and thought-provoking tales. These books offer something for every reader’s taste.  

Whether you want to reconnect with your roots or explore new horizons, why not add these literary gems to your reading list and go on an exciting adventure? Without further ado, let us delve into the vibrant world of Filipino literature! 

Song of Negros: Myths and Culture in the Philippines by Victoria Hoffarth  

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Photo courtesy of Troubador Publishing

This book talks about the symbolisms that imbue myths, legends, and folktales throughout the Philippines. As time passes, many people, especially Filipinos, disregarded what happened in the past and the meaning of it in the present.  

The Song of Negros: Myths and Culture in the Philippines included 15 artistically illustrated myths, stories, and folktales from the Negros, along with an explanation of their significance in the culture of the province and the Philippines, in general. 

Hoffarth’s book offers a deep dive into the rich tapestry of Filipino myths and legends, shedding light on their cultural significance. However, while the book provides valuable insights, it occasionally needs to catch up in engaging storytelling, making it a tough read for those looking for a more immersive and intriguing narrative experience. 

Kilig Anthology edited by Mina Esguerra and Paolo Herras  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Have you tried reading comics? Try reading Kilig Anthology. The comics is a collection made by 14 different Filipino creators. It has a wide range of fluff romance stories with cute and vibrant illustrations that will make you feel the kilig.  

The 14 comics included in Kilig are Panaginip ng Pag-big, Cat in the Bag, Tuesday Morning, Egg Soup Sunday, Stan by Me, Raise the Curtain, Doctor Congeniality, Unang Lakad, OTW, Under the Apocalypse Sun, Against the Current, One True Plant, Ikaw Pa Rin, and Last-Minute Love You. 

What sets “Kilig Anthology apart is its ability to evoke genuine emotions while delivering doses of humor and heart. It’s a reminder that love, in all its forms, is a universal language that transcends cultural boundaries. Whether you’re an avid comic enthusiast or simply searching for a heartwarming read, this anthology is a delightful treasure trove of love stories that will leave you with a smile and a warm feeling. 

The Last Tale of the Flower Bride by Roshani Chokshi  

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

In this Gothic novel by American author, Roshani Chokshi, who is of Filipino and Indian origin, the cliché of a new bride finding skeletons in her new husband’s closet turned on its head. The man finds himself relocated to her enigmatic wife’s childhood home in The Last Tale of the Flower Bride to care for an ailing aunt. He learns his wife’s secrets there. 

The tension builds to a boiling point due to the similarities between the bridegroom and Azure, both mortals confronted by Indigo’s impossibly great privilege and shared affinity for making their magic. Just as in the best folktales, the problems at the heart of these otherworldly battles are purely and agonizingly human. 

“The Last Tale of the Flower Bride” is proof of Chokshi’s talent for creating complex, immersing worlds that straddle the boundary between truth and fiction. Furthermore, readers are left with a profound and emotionally charged experience as the book delves into the depths of secrets and desires, creating a complex and atmospheric narrative. 

This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Award-winning Filipino-American author, Tracy Badua known for her captivating and heartfelt storytelling, has caught the spirit of teen challenges in this book. 

Badua takes readers on a moving journey through the life of Mia Rodriguez, a senior in high school who struggles with the intense pressure of living up to societal expectations while remaining true to her authentic self. As Mia navigates the complex world of college applications, family dynamics, and personal relationships, she must confront her insecurities and fears to find her path in life. 

Badua’s latest offering is a beautifully written, emotionally charged novel that leaves a lasting impression, making it a must-read for anyone seeking a heartfelt exploration of the hurdles of maturity and discovering one’s place within the world. 

La Tercera by Gina Apostol  

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Gina Apostol, a renowned Filipino-American author, who is recognized for her distinct narrative style and exploration of complex themes, has created yet another literary masterpiece with “La Tercera.” 

The story follows the life of Julio Fabella, a gifted writer caught up in a web of political intrigue, personal identity, and an intense love affair against the tumultuous setting of the Philippines during the Marcos regime. The book explores the hazy boundaries between reality and fiction, illuminating the intricacies of a country in crisis as Julio becomes entangled in a complex game of deception and power. 

The layers of truth and deception in La Tercera require readers’ attention, making it an intriguing and intellectually challenging book to read. Apostol’s capacity to create a historically insightful and emotionally impactful novel solidifies her popularity as an influential literary figure. This book is a testament to her skill in challenging conventional storytelling, leaving readers with much to ponder long after the final page is turned. 

These Filipino writers have rekindled the art of storytelling in a field teeming with books. Filipino authors continue to produce a wide range of interesting stories, from the vivid tales of Hoffarth’s “Song of Negros” to the sweet romance of “Kilig Anthology” and the mysterious turns of Chokshi’s “The Last Tale of the Flower Bride.” Badua’s “This Is Not a Personal Statement” connects with expediting the teenage journey, while Apostol’s “La Tercera” delicately blurs the borders between reality and fiction. These books attest to the rich tapestry of Filipino literary talent, promising readers an exciting and thought-provoking literary journey. If I were you, add that to your reading list, and it will be worth it.  

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