Hello, I'm that anon that gave you all that Filipino emotional dump earlier (thanks for helping me sort that out btw) and yes I would love some recommendations!!! Also, my appreciation for your existence (which was already very high) went up about one hundred million percent.
ahhhh thank you!! i just wanted to say that your message really meant so, so much to me.
and now: RECS. YES!!! pls take note that all of these recommendations are subject to my own biased preferences, so while i love them with all my heart, it may not be everybody’s cup of tea
NOVELS (these can easily be found at national bookstores!!)
- Janus Silang series by Edgar Calabia Samar (YA MMPORG filipino mythology horror story of epic proportions. exciting and fun and downright terrifying at times.)
- Mga Ibong Mandaragit by Amado V. Hernandez (a socio political pseudo sequel to Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. WILD RIDE!)
- Cave and Shadows by Nick Joaquin (a martial law era metaphysical murder mystery thriller. giant crabs! pagans! the line “this puta country and its puta weather.” gorgeous!!! novel!!!!)
- Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar (a beautiful, magical, absurd tale of love and lust and family and friendship. i havent finished reading this yet but my god, is it fucking good.)
SHORT STORIES/SHORT STORY COLLECTIONS (again can be found at national bookstores. probably. the hunt is worth it.) (pls buy local books)
- The Distance to Andromeda and Other Stories by Gregorio Brillantes (i dont have this one but i read The Distance to Andromeda for class and. god. wow)
- The Kite of Stars and Other Stories by Dean Francis Alfar (literally changed my life and made me pursue writing in college. personal favorites: The Maiden and the Crocodile, Six From Downtown, and (push). please read this)
- How to Traverse Terra Incognita by Dean Francis Alfar (i warned you about my bias)
- The Best of Philippine Speculative Fiction 2005-2010 ed. by Dean Francis Alfar and Nikki Alfar (SPECTACULAR COLLECTION filled with a phenomenal array of stories from so many writers. personal favorite: Bearing Fruit by Nikki Alfar. the Alfars are too good. we dont deserve them)
POEM (im not as well read here so bear with me)
- Aral Sa Heograpiya by Edgar Calabia Samar (i cant find it online so heres a sneaky pic from my fil textbook bc u just…gotta read this) (simple and heartbreaking portrayal of best friends/maybe more and growing apart)
- Spleen by Mabi David (Mabi David gently reached her hand through my ribs and pried my heart through my chest for everybody to see)
- Narcissus by Mark Anthony Cayanan (raw and brutal and painfully personal. ive met this guy a lot and he wears shiny silver shoes. you can buy this book at the Ateneo Press!)
- Tonight We Slurp In Color by Andrea V. Tubig (my god. sexual, intimate, intelligent, and witty. please)
- At Last, the Ocean by Alie Unson (i bought this chapbook just a few months ago and i had to stop after the first essay to just. breathe. for an hour. my god. if my heart was ripped out, her essays forcibly put my heart back in)
MORE LINKS OF NOTE
- since it’s pride month, here’s a Youngstar article recommending seven LGBT+ filipino authors!!!
- and heres a very good twitter thread with more LGBT+ filipino lit recs
- my university’s official literary folio Heights publishes every issue they have online right here. every. issue. please read them!! theres breathtaking works in both english and tagalog spanning from poems to scripts to stories to non fic to photography and art. i spent three days once doing nothing but reading through these. (personal faves off the top of my head: Vol. 63 No. 2. Company by Luis Wilfrido Atienza and The One With The Killers Concert by Regine Cabato)
- Youngstar also has an online zine that publishes various works by writers!! check out my friend’s phenomenal poem Quarter Rest by Elise Ofilada.
this looks like a lot but this is just baaaaarely the tip of the iceberg. it’s like. an icecube from the iceberg. im not as well read as i wish to be, but i will read and read and read til i am! i enthusiastically encourage all ph readers out there to give some of these a try and maybe venture even further!!! go to chapbook launches!! open mics!! find out what you like and what you dont like!!! buy and read classics and buy and read new stuff from up and coming writers!!
the ph literature scene is, heh, lit, and exploring it is an utter joy. i hope you find some of these useful. happy reading, anon!!!