What To Read 2021: 9 Fiction Books By Filipino Authors To Add To Your Bookshelf
What better way to spend your days at home than reflecting and living life through countless pages of well-written fiction. But instead of picking up a random book, it's about time that you read fiction written by Philippine authors. From short fiction to novels written both in English and Filipino, we've culled a long list of Philippine fiction that will take you to different places—and worlds—amidst the pandemic.
1/9 'Virtual Center' by Raissa Claire U Rivera
Raissa Claire U Rivera is the author of Virtual Center. The book is a commentary on social class. It impressively portrays Manila Bay in the far future, where the rich has turned to virtual reality, forcing the underprivileged to care for them.
2/9 'Project 17' by Eliza Victoria
Project 17 is a science fiction novel written by fictionist and poet Eliza Victoria. When the author wrote the novel, she had envisioned the latter part of 2020 with life-size robots. While we're getting closer to this version of reality, stories like Project 17 make it an intriguing read.
3/9 'Smaller And Smaller Circles' by FH Batacan
Smaller And Smaller Circles by FH Batacan is the first modern crime novel published in the Philippines. Follow two Jesuit priests—who are also forensic investigators—as they search for the truth behind the murders of young boys. Interestingly, the question of salvation is brought up in this novel as both protagonists are priests.
4/9 'Ilustrado: A Novel' by Miguel Syjuco
Ilustrado: A Novel is an award-winning book written by Miguel Syjuco. Seemingly complicated, this novel is well-written as it begins with a dead body that eventually leads the characters towards the truth behind four generations of a family while tackling the Philippines' rich history.
Read more: Ask The Expert: Miguel Syjuco On Literature, Honesty, And Why We Should Read More
5/9 'Ang Nawawala' by Chuckberry Pascual
Chuckberry Pascual's Ang Nawawala is a collection of short stories written in Filipino. Hilarious and brilliant, the stories show how Bree, a gay receptionist of Barangay Talong Punay, investigates the disappearances that have happened within the district. Not only does the collection tackle LGBTQ+ discrimination, but it also brings forth other issues, including corruption.
6/9 'Patron Saints of Nothing' by Randy Ribay
Randy Ribay takes on a different approach in tackling the subject of grief and war on drugs in Patron Saints of Nothing. Accompany Jay as he travels from the USA to the Philippines to find out the truth about his cousin's murder in this coming-of-age story.
7/9 'Ordinary World' by Jose Miguel Arguelles
Jose Miguel Arguelles' collection of short stories titled Ordinary World is not for the faint of heart. The book narrates the dark, harsh truths of our contemporaries while weaving folklore through stories told by different protagonists.
8/9 'Shine' by Candy Gourlay
Shine is a young adult novel written by Candy Gourlay. Much like the rest of us, 13-year-old Rosa has spent most of her time on the internet as she keeps herself away from Mirasol, an island that holds secrets. If you ever wondered about supernatural beings and mythology in modern times, this book is right for you.
9/9 'Janus Silang' series by Edgar Calabia Samar
This Filipino book series by Edgar Calabia Samar is the adventure you've been seeking. Revisit Philippine mythology through Janus Silang's journey and learn more about different creatures such as the manananggal and other mysterious phenomena that only he can figure out.
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