5 Modern Books by Filipina Writers

By  - 9 months ago

You’ve probably heard of contemporary Filipino authors like Bob Ong, Nick Joaquin, and F. Sionil Jose, but have you heard of Cinelle Barnes or F.H. Bacatan? A new batch of talented and gifted writers have emerged in the last 10 or so years, and it’s time we train the spotlight on their works.


So pull up a chair, ready your reading glasses, and get comfy—here’s our recommended list of modern books written by Filipina authors.  


The Mango Bride by Marivi Soliven

Amazon, P752
Two different women, Beverly and Amparo, move to America to leave their respective past behind and pursue a new path—Amparo escaping from shame and Beverly looking to start a new family life.


Their paths cross and eventually they learn that their lives are more connected than they think. As the story unfolds, dark truths emerge from their past that will drastically change their future.


Smaller and Smaller Circles by Felisa Batacan

Fully Booked, P399
Two Jesuit priests. A serial killer. Payatas. These three keywords are important elements that make up this gripping and compelling tale about crime, poverty, and corruption.


Winning accolades like the Carlos Palanca Grand Prize and National Book Award in the early 2000s, it has been adapted into film last year so go check out the book before you see the movie!


What Things Mean by Sophia Lee

National Bookstore, P151
This young adult novel is a charming coming-of-age story of an awkward but wise-beyond-her-years girl. She narrates her journey in finding the answers to her questions about life—hence, the title.


If you’re more into a light-hearted and poignant read rather than complex and heavy-handed drama, this one’s the perfect book to pick up.


Monsoon Mansion by Cinelle Barnes

Amazon, P842
After years of repressed trauma and resurfaced emotions, author Cinelle Barnes immediately turned to writing to translate her pain into a tell-tale.


This autobiographical book about her painful childhood in the Philippines will tug at your heartstrings and pull you into her traumatic past page after page. Set in a family mansion, the author walks you through every significant event that happened within its walls before it was abandoned and demolished.


Don’t Tell My Mother by Brigitte Bautista

Anvil Publishing, P199
There are a lot of Filipino romance novels available, but not so much about lesbian romance, which is why Don’t Tell My Mother deserves to be in this list!


This modern forbidden love story focuses on Sam, a teenager with a strict and uptight mother and her relationship with widowed neighbor Clara. After befriending each other, Sam questions the beliefs she had growing up and discovers who she really is.


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