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5 books by contemporary Filipino authors to consider gifting this Christmas

As we say goodbye to celebrating literacy month in November, let us officially say hello to Christmas season this December—though who are we kidding, we’ve been feeling the spirit of Christmas since September came. 

To bring one celebration to another, here are some books by contemporary Filipino authors that you may consider gifting to one of your loved ones this Christmas. 

Wicked as You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin Chupeco 

Wicked As You Wish
Wicked as You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin Chupeco

The first installment in a fantasy fiction series, Chupeco takes the world of well (and some lesser known) fairytales, blends them with modern life, and places a Filipina protagonist at the center of it all. 

Tala Makiling’s family has been carrying the burden of spellbreaker across generations. Despite Tala being an outcast, crown prince Alex decides to place his trust in her. Together they journey towards setting Alex’s kingdom free from the wicked Snow Queen and returning his displaced loyal subjects back to their home.


The Farm by Joanne Ramos 

The Farm
The Farm by Joanne Ramos

This dystopian novel invokes questions on motherhood, and begs us to ask how far we would go to provide for our families? These are also intertwined with topics such as economics and morality as well. 

Golden Oaks is an opulent getaway where your every need is met, for free, and you even get paid a hefty amount for your stay. So, how do you pay? Through your body. 

Filipina Immigrant Jane is a single mother. She is exhilarated to learn that she made it through the very selective Host selection process. For 9 months, Jane must surrender her body to the farm as a surrogate. During her stay, she will have all her movements monitored. She is not permitted to leave until her time is up or risk the loss of her substantial pay. Will she make it to the end of her time despite her fears, worries, and new discoveries about the “idyllic retreat”? 


Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino 

Trick Mirror Filipino contemporary authors
Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion by Jia Tolentino

Listed as one of 2020’s Best Books of The Year by The New York Times Book Review, Tolentino shines a bright light on modern society, leaving no shadows for anything to hide or remain unsaid. 

In her essays, Tolentino cracks down on what motivates us and makes us who we are. She tackles topics such as our destructive need for constant optimization and the roles of the social internet and scamming, and our understanding of them in our modern vocabulary. 


When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe 

When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe

The spirit of resilience is kept aflame by the stories shared in a cellar. The Karangalan family must stay hidden in a cellar with their neighbors and other community members as World War II ensures above them. 

As the Japanese and American soldiers battle above ground, below, stories are being told. The act of storytelling itself allows the walls of the cellar to expand into vast and magical spaces. The stories help the people in hiding pass the time and impart valuable lessons to one another as well. The stories provide them all with strength and hope in their desire for a speedy end to the war.


Riverrun by Danton Remoto 

Riverrun by Danton Remoto

A coming-of-age story that portrays the different rites of passage a gay man must go through when growing up in the turbulent time of a dictatorship. Remoto chronicles the transition from childhood to adulthood through various forms of writing all strung together in this carefully crafted novel. 

Keep the spirit of literacy month alive and give your favorite person a gift that keeps on giving this Christmas, books! 


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