In the midst of all the holiday craze and before I sit down and hole up to think about (the dreaded) year end wrap-ups, I want to take a moment to tell you about the most recent local publications I have supported. This will consist of a mix of read, currently reading, and pre-ordered titles. This is in no way a comprehensive list of all the local works published this year but I hope this helps anyone looking for more Filipino literature to love. These could also serve as joyful gifts this holiday season–for your loved ones and for yourself.
Mga Migranteng Sandali by Jacob Laneria
I’m currently reading and enjoying this one. It’s a very short read but I’m not in any hurry to finish it. I will update here with a full review but at 20% I am confident to endorse this to anyone who is interested in migration and multicultural themes. Beautifully written and I am loving the feeling of nostalgia and the exploration of different types of spaces we create: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Doobiedoo Asks by Bambi Eloriaga-Amago, Roland Amago
Doobiedoo Asks is a graphic novel that tells the story of Doobie, a child diagnosed to be on the autism spectrum. It promises to promote autism awareness and destroy cultural misconceptions about the condition. I am looking forward to being further educated, but of course I am also excited about the fun art and an entertaining and heartwarming narrative, too.
You can order through this link.
Tarantadong Kalbo Volume 1
The first ever collected volume of Kevin Eric Raymundo, more popularly known as Tarantadong Kalbo in social media, is one of the most anticipated releases for 2020. Raymundo is an animation director / graphic artist famous for his funny comics with heavy political and cultural commentaries. His art has helped me process all the ups and downs of being a Filipino during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m a big fan.
You can preorder through this link.
Edgar Samar / Santinakpan
Edgar Samar is one of my favorite Filipino authors and I have mentioned him numerous times here on the blog. He is known for his immersive and lyrical writing in various genres: poetry, fantasy, and contemporary with a touch of magical realism. Santinakpan is a digital space he created to publish various literary works in e-book form. These are the two books I purchased:
Minamahal ang Dinadala Mo sa Paglisan
Sa Kasunod ng 909
You can order and read excerpts of his works here.
Adarna House Children’s Books
Though I have a 4-year-old son, I don’t solely buy children’s books just for him but for myself as well. I am of the belief that children’s books are timeless and can be enjoyed at any age. In fact I got these two because of their great art and the touching stories — a signature of all Adarna House titles.
Paboritong Lugar ni Nanay by Weng Cahiles, Aldy Aguirre
A mother explores the memories of her lost hometown in Paboritong Lugar ni Nanay. You may grab a copy here.
Tara, Itok! by Kora Dandan-Albano, Ara Villena
Tara, Itok! tells the heartwarming tale of two differently-abled friends helping each other. You may grab a copy here.
Some preview on the art! I swear I’m not kidding when I say children’s books have some of the best art out there.
Lastly, of course I couldn’t help but mention our very own Ella Arcangel: “Basbas ng Apoy” (Chapter 1). This started as a donation drive to help those affected by typhoon Ulysses but it has really evolved into a passion project for everyone involved. This is the first time that Haliya Publishing is offering a black cover with gold foil stamp, and we have always wanted to create one so we’re especially excited. We have sent the preorder proceeds to our trusted organizations as of this writing, so a big thanks to everyone who supported the project 💗 We are planning to print extra copies to accommodate anyone who didn’t make the cutoff. Bulk of the proceeds will still go to relief operations.
Exclusively available at mervstore.
That is all from my end. These are the books I have acquired from the last couple of months. Again this is just a super short list of the things I was able to catch from the local community (and all I can afford, har har). I know there are so many more out there. If there is anything good left in the world after 2020, one of them is the fact that creativity is not dead. It is thriving and resourceful and it has never been more alive.
If you have any 2020 finds to recommend for me, local books or not, please let me know in the comments! Have a lovely day!