Home is where the heart is.
This month, we highlight Filipino authors in our Read Filipino collection, no matter where they are in the world. We are proud to feature books written by Filipinos coming from all different places, perspectives, and walks of life as they share the culture, diversity, and more often than not, the unfavorable realities of what it means to be Pinoy.
If you’re looking for a book to start browsing this August, Fully Booked wrapped up some Filipino authored titles you can enjoy reading for all kinds of #moods.
MOOD: Delectable food with a hint of mystery
This book will make you hungry… Consider yourself warned! Kidding aside, Arsenic and Adobo is a fun and humorous cozy mystery featuring family moments and of course, yummy Filipino dishes.
Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup and was asked to save her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant. 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.
Both tasty and twisted, satisfaction will definitely be served on a silver platter upon finishing this book.
MOOD: Light and feel-good
Heartwarming and empowering, Hello, Universe is a funny and easily-relatable story about unexpected friendships told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls.
The 2018 Newbery Medal winner Hello, Universe celebrates bravery, friendship, and finding your inner bayani (hero). It’s basically the kind of book you’ll want to read to slow down after a long and tiring day.
MOOD: Literary fiction in action
The award-winning author Gina Apostol takes readers back to 1901 when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison through following the story of two women: a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, who were working on a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War.
In what the New York Times calls a “bravura performance,” Apostol also shares that this historical fiction offers a new perspective in understanding our national hero, Jose Rizal—an interesting and explosive read told flawlessly with an inconspicuous mastery for storytelling.
MOOD: Suspense and thriller
If you’re looking for a Filipino mystery novel with a plot that will haunt you, Smaller and Smaller Circles could be what you’re looking for.
The winner of the Philippine National Book Award and Carlos Palanca Grand Prize, F.H. Batacan’s harrowing book follows two catholic priests on the hunt through Manila for a brutal serial killer. It’s a contemporary Filipino detective novel that has a hint of suspense, crime, and mystery all in one book.
MOOD: Riveting literary criticism
With a rating of 4.14 and over 5,000 reviews on Goodreads, you simply can’t miss this one! Jia Tolentino’ Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time.
Trick Mirror is a collection of nine original essays that tackles the incentives that shape us, and about how hard it is to see ourselves clearly through a culture that revolves around the self.
MOOD: Letting go and moving on
Short but heartfelt, The Last Time I’ll Write About You is a collection of poems on falling in love, painful heartbreaks, and moving on—finding the words you could be longing to say (or even hear).
Popular fiction and poetry author Dawn Lanuza featured beautiful and relatable poems that will serve as the perfect companion for anyone who has loved, lost, and emerged anew.
MOOD: Cookbook and memoir in one go
Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream is a biography by Alvin Cailan, arguably the most high-profile chef in America’s Filipino food movement. When he opened the now-legendary Eggslut in Los Angeles, a foodie cult favorite specializing in affordable but sophisticated egg sandwiches, he took the food scene by storm.
This unique cookbook features scrumptious recipes and has a twist of Cailan’s personal experiences as an amboy (the term for a Filipino raised in America) as he overcame cultural traditions and family expectations to find his path to success.
Watch the Fully Booked Chats with Alvin Cailan and discover more about the author, his book, and his life as a chef.
MOOD: Fun and child-like activities
Kids and of course, kids at heart, will surely love this fun-filled book! Pan De Sal Saves the Day is a colorful bilingual Tagalog and English activity book that has games and puzzles.
The 32 page multicultural children’s book, designed for kids 4-8, highlights beautiful illustrations and interactive games. It also includes an answer key at the back to double check answers and avoid frustration.
MOOD: Sci-fi, music, and imaginary worlds
The plot is set on many worlds and spans a millennium. Nia, the ship’s captain, travels out of place and outside of time, so she experiences only eight months every 15 years.
One of the workers, Kaeda, is drawn to Nia. The story goes on as Kaeda finally becomes an old man, while Nia remains much the same. When a small child suddenly appears next to a wrecked ship and he does not speak, his only form of communication is the beautiful and haunting music he plays on an old wooden flute. Captured by his songs and their strange, immediate connection, Nia decides to take the boy in.
A well-crafted story, The Vanished Birds is a novel about friendship, family, finding identity, and love.
MOOD: Crime and thriller with Philippine folklore (in a graphic novel)
Trese, an award-winning horror and crime comic book series that has been recently adapted into a Netflix TV series, is centered on a supernatural realm where creatures and monsters based from Philippine mythology exist within the human world.
Check out more fun facts about Trese and its TV adaptation on the blog.
The captivating novel is about a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender.
A reflective book based on the life of Meredith Talusan’s experience as a transgender, Fairest is a beatifully written coming-of-age memoir and a story about the discovery of womanhood.
MOOD: Quick read on sisterhood and family
Interestingly, We Belong is a novel-in-verse that beautifully blends Filipino folklore and the migrant experience. It’s a story about Stella and Luna, who know that their mama, Elsie, came from the Philippines when she was a child, but they don’t know much else.
One night, they asked her to tell them a story and their mama spins two tales: that of her youth as a strong-willed middle child and refugee; and that of the young life of a Mayari, the mythical daughter of a god.
The prose is undeniably lovely and the novel stayed true to the Filipino culture and norms throughout the telltale.
MOOD: Grief, angst, and redemption
The story revolves around Jay Reguero, a typical teenager on his way to head to the University of Michigan for college. When he discovers that his Filipino cousin, Jun, was murdered as part of the president’s war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, he travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
If you’re on the lookout for a powerful and informative coming-of-age book, Patron Saints of Nothing offers nothing less but the best of both of those worlds: a haunting story about grief, growing up, and learning about yourself through discovering more about your culture.
MOOD: Nothing beats the classic
First published in 1946, the autobiography of the well known Filipino poet describes his boyhood in the Philippines, his voyage to America, and his years of hardship and despair as an itinerant following the harvest trail in the rural west.
Timeless in such a way that some of the circumstances Bulosan experienced are still relevant to present day time, America is in the Heart reveals the poet’s stoic voice to the terrible events he witnessed.
MOOD: Quick but wildly entertaining
Para Kay B is Ricky Lee, the award-winning script writer, journalist, and playwright’s, first novel. It is a comical, cinematic, and entertaining read that will reveal to readers exotic episodes of both life and love. The book, written in both English and Filipino, tells the story of five women and their quest to find the meaning of love in their lives.
It’s quite short so you can most probably finish it in one sitting. After all, once you get a grip of it, you’ll definitely find yourself lost in the world of Ricky Lee and Para Kay B.
The Last Time I’ll Write About You is popular Filipino YA and romance writer Dawn Lanuza’s debut collection of poetry. Featuring beautiful, relatable poems about first love, this book is the perfect companion for anyone who has loved, lost, and emerged anew.
Get The Last Time I'll Write About You (Paperback) by Dawn Lanuza and other poetry books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Jia Tolentino is a peerless voice of her generation, tackling the conflicts, contradictions, and sea changes that define us and our time. Now, in this dazzling collection of nine entirely original essays, written with a rare combination of give and sharpness, wit and fearlessness, she delves into the forces that warp our vision, demonstrating an unparalleled stylistic potency and critical dexterity.
Get Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion (Paperback) by Jia Tolentino and other essay books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.
F. H. Batacan
This harrowing mystery, winner of the Philippine National Book Award, follows two Catholic priests on the hunt through Manila for a brutal serial killer
Payatas, a 50-acre dump northeast of Manila’s Quezon City, is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of preteen boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf.
Get Smaller and Smaller Circles (Paperback) by F.H. Batacan and other crime and mystery books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
A 1946 Filipino American social classic about the United States in the 1930s from the perspective of a Filipino migrant laborer who endures racial violence and struggles with the paradox of the American dream, with a foreword by novelist Elaine Castillo.
Carlos's experiences with other Filipino migrant laborers, who endured intense racial abuse in the fields, orchards, towns, cities and canneries of California and the Pacific Northwest in the 1930s, reexamine the ideals of the American dream. Bulosan was one of the most important 20th century social critics with his deeply moving account of what it was like to be criminalized in the U.S. as a Filipino migrant drawn to the ideals of what America symbolized and committed to social justice for all marginalized groups.
Get America Is in the Heart, Penguin Classics (Paperback) by Carlos Bulosan and other classic books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Histories and personalities collide in this literary tour-de-force about the Philippines’ present and America’s past by the PEN Open Book Award–winning author of Gun Dealers’ Daughter.
Two women, a Filipino translator and an American filmmaker, go on a road trip in Duterte’s Philippines, collaborating and clashing in the writing of a film script about a massacre during the Philippine-American War. Chiara is working on a film about an incident in Balangiga, Samar, in 1901, when Filipino revolutionaries attacked an American garrison, and in retaliation American soldiers created “a howling wilderness” of the surrounding countryside. Magsalin reads Chiara’s film script and writes her own version. Insurrecto contains within its dramatic action two rival scripts from the filmmaker and the translator—one about a white photographer, the other about a Filipino schoolteacher.
Get Insurrecto (Paperback) by Gina Apostol and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Erin Entrada Kelly
Winner of the Newbery Medal
Winner of the Newbery Medal! Acclaimed author Erin Entrada Kelly’s award-winning and bestselling novel for middle grade readers is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). The Washington Post called it, “A charming, intriguingly plotted novel.” A New York Times bestseller!
Get Hello, Universe (Paperback) by Erin Entrada Kelly and other intermediate books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Filipino recipes from the the creator of the legendary Eggslut in LA, host of the hit online series The Burger Show, and the most prominent Filipino chef in the US.
Alvin Cailan has risen to become arguably the most high-profile chef in America's Filipino food movement. He took the food scene by storm when he opened the now-legendary Eggslut in Los Angeles, a foodie cult favorite specializing in affordable but sophisticated egg sandwiches. Alvin also hosts the popular The Burger Show on First We Feast's YouTube channel, with many episodes exceeding 1 million views and guests such as Seth Rogen and Padma Lakshmi. Alvin's story of success, however, is an unlikely one. He emerged from his youth spent as part of an immigrant family in East LA feeling like he wasn't Filipino enough to be Filipino and not American enough to be an American, thus amboy, the term for a Filipino raised in America. He had to first overcome cultural traditions and family expectations to find his own path to success, and this unique cookbook tells that story through his recipes.
Get Amboy: Recipes from the Filipino-American Dream (Hardcover) by Alvin Cailan and other cookery books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
**Winner of the Carlos Palance Memorial Award for Literature**
This colorfully illustrated multicultural children's book presents an entertaining story from the Philippines in both English and Tagalog.
A heart-warming story of a young Filipino girl who builds self-confidence after spending a day with her classmates, Pan de Sal Saves the Day: A Filipino Children's Story is an award-winning, inspiring tale for young children everywhere. It's the story of a young girl named Pan de Sal who lives in the Philippines and thinks she's the unluckiest girl in the whole world. Aside from not liking her own name and finding her appearance strange, she doesn't have all the fancy things her classmates have. She can't even muster the courage to try out for the Glee Club, even though she has a beautiful voice.
Get Pan de Sal Saves the Day (Trade Paperback) by Norma Olizon-Chikiamco and other early readers books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
“This is when your life begins.”
Nia Imani is a woman out of place and outside of time. Decades of travel through the stars are condensed into mere months for her, though the years continue to march steadily onward for everyone she has ever known. Her friends and lovers have aged past her, and all she has left is work. Alone and adrift, she lives for only the next paycheck, until the day she meets a mysterious boy, fallen from the sky.
A boy, broken by his past.
Get The Vanished Birds: A Novel (Paperback) by Simon Jimenez and other science fiction and fantasy books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.
Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.
Get Patron Saints of Nothing (Paperback) by Randy Ribay and other young adult books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Cookie Hiponia Everman
An extraordinarily beautiful novel-in-verse, this important debut weaves a dramatic immigrant story together with Pilipino mythology to create something wholly new.
Stella and Luna know that their mama, Elsie, came from the Philippines when she was a child, but they don't know much else. So one night they ask her to tell them her story. As they get ready for bed, their mama spins two tales: that of her youth as a strong-willed middle child and immigrant; and that of the young life of Mayari, the mythical daughter of a god.
Get We Belong (Hardcover) by Cookie Hiponia Everman and other intermediate books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Mia P. Manansala
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.
Get Arsenic and Adobo: A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery (Paperback) by Mia P. Manansala and other contemporary fiction books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Finalist for the 2021 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Nonfiction
A singular, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir of a Filipino boy with albinism whose story travels from an immigrant childhood to Harvard to a gender transition and illuminates the illusions of race, disability, and gender
Get Fairest: A Memoir (Paperback) by Meredith Talusan and other biography and memoir books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More