Filipino Books To Add To Your Reading List

Jentri Fule

August 30 , 2021

Filipino Books To Add To Your Reading List

This Buwan ng Wika, let’s turn our attention to the local literary scene. Explore contemporary Philippine literature and add these Filipino books to your reading list.

When talking about books by Filipino authors, most of us would immediately think of classics like Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. While these classics are definitely interesting reads, Philippine literature has churned out more high quality novels that you can explore. If you’re looking to find more interesting reads, then check out the local literary scene for fresh Filipino books.

Check out these awesome Filipino novels and add them to your reading list:


Po-on by F. Sionil Jose

Po-on is the first part of the Rosales Saga, F. Sionil Jose’s most notable saga. This Filipino book explores the beginnings of the Salvador family. Set in the 1880s, this masterful novel looks at the end of the  Spanish colonization period through the eyes of the main characters. F. Sionil Jose masterfully tackles the issue of colonialism and nationalism while creating a realistic narrative that’s sure to call out to Filipino readers.


Project 17 by Eliza Victoria

One of the best Filipino authors out there is Eliza Victoria. Using her prowess with words, she weaves a compelling tale in her stories and poems. In Project 17, Eliza brings readers to a sci-fi version of 2020, which she envisioned as being filled with life-sized robots. This interesting book gives readers a speculative look at Eliza’s imaginations and a re-imagining of a pandemic-filled year.


Smaller And Smaller Circles by FH Batacan

If you love true crime and other similar genres, then you’ll love this contemporary Filipino novel that explores modern crime scenes. The novel follows two Jesuit priests who investigate a series of murders of young boys. This novel discusses morality and salvation in a new light, giving the story a more profound narrative.


The Mythology Class by Arnold Arre

For those looking to dip their toes into Philippine comics, then Arnold Arre’s The Mythology Class is the perfect starting point for you. Arnold Arre weaves a complex world using Philippine mythology, showing off his vast knowledge of lore and creativity. This Filipino graphic novel is a testament to how rich Philippine literature is and how imaginative Filipino graphic novels can be.


Ilustrado: A Novel by Miguel Syjuco

Written by the award-winning Filipino author, Miguel Syjuco, this novel sends readers through four generations of a family. Starting with a dead body, the novel looks at the character’s truths while exploring the richness of Philippine history.


Ang Nawawala by Chuckberry Pascual

This is a poignant collection of short stories, written through the eyes of Bree, a gay receptionist living in Barangay Talong Punay. The story follows Bree as he investigates the disappearances happening in the district. This collection of short stories tackles LGBT discrimination, corruption, and other contemporary Filipino issues. Written beautifully in Filipino, this shows a realistic and solemn depiction of Filipino reality.


Martial Law Babies by Arnold Arre

Follow a group of friends born and raised in the 80s, during the Marcos regime. This Filipino graphic novel depicts how the “Bagong Lipunan'' children navigate society: with high hopes and malcontent towards third-world realities. In this brilliant storytelling, witness how the characters become more disillusioned and how their idealism dwindles as they grow older and more exposed to the world around them.


Ordinary World by Jose Miguel Arguelles

Ordinary World is a brilliant collection of short stories that show the harsh and dark truths of society. Jose Miguel Arguelles wonderfully weaves the poignant realities and Philippine mythology to tell gut-wrenching contemporary truths. Be warned though, this Filipino book is not for the faint of heart.


Shine by Candy Gourlay

Shine is a wonderful book that stars 13-year-old Rosa--a girl who keeps to herself on the internet while staying in the island of Mirasol. This novel uses excellent storytelling and worldbuilding based on Philippine mythology. If you’re looking for a whimsical coming-of-age novel that is heartfelt and well-written, then this is perfect for you.


Trese by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo

At this point, we can’t talk about to-read books by Filipino authors without mentioning this worldwide hit. While Trese may have been adapted into a Netflix show, it’s originally a comic book series written by the talented Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. The novels follow Alexandra Trese solving paranormal mysteries involving Philippine mythology.


Explore Philippine Literature with Interesting Reads

Philippine literature is filled with new and interesting works of literature that showcases the talent of contemporary Filipino authors. Whether you’re looking for mythology, horror, historical fiction, true crime, or even self-help, there’s bound to be a Filipino book for you!

Check out our catalogue of books and find the next entry on your to-read list!