Though Buwan ng Wika has passed, it’s always a delight to celebrate the remarkable talent of our Filipina authors. After all, they’re the perfect epitome of girl power in a male-dominated field. So whether you’re a big bookworm or an occasional reader, here is the list of Filipina authors that you should be reading right now:
1. F.H. Batacan
Fan of Agatha Christie or Patricia Cornwell? Try F.H. Batacan. Her award-winning crime fiction novel, Smaller and Smaller Circles, had gone through several print runs and now, it’s making its way to the big screen (thanks to the Heneral Luna producers). The novel revolves around the story of two Jesuit priests investigating the series of murders of young boys in the Payatas dumpsite. Who would’ve thought that the serial killer angle can work in a Philippine setting? Not only that F.H. Batacan made the serial murder premise work, she also handled the storytelling brilliantly. No wonder she’s an inspiration to the young generation of Filipino mystery and crime writers today.
2. Gabriela Lee
Though Gabriela Lee’s first book – a collection of eleven short fantastical stories – was only released three months ago, many of her works were published in publications here and abroad. She’s been writing speculative fiction for years now – even before the term for this genre was coined (so if you’re a fan of this genre, Gabriela Lee’s works are for you!). Each of her stories in Instructions on How to Disappear: Stories was so captivating and beautifully-crafted to the point that you’ll end up craving for more. But more importantly, what Gabriela Lee brought unique to the table is her female protagonists that are far from the cliché beautiful, sexy female characters present in most novels nowadays.
3. Sophia Lee
Have you been reading works from Rainbow Rowell, John Green, and other foreign YA authors? Well, why don’t you try the YA novels written by Filipina authors? Sophia Lee’s first book, What Things Mean, is an extraordinary coming-of-age story of a Filipina teen told through a number of dictionary inspired chapters. Set in the streets of Metro Manila, this YA novel is a truly remarkable addition to the growing Filipino young adult genre today.
4. Bebang Siy
Bebang Siy is the author of It’s a Mens World, It’s Raining Mens, and Nuno sa Puso: Pag-ibig. Her books are easy reads and full of funny anecdotes! But while you’re laughing through her stories, you can’t help but think of the underlying meanings she craftily implied in each entry. Simple, pero deep. From a girl’s first menstruation to hilarious courtship ideas, Bebang Siy’s works can definitely make you laugh your head off.
These writers have been instrumental in shaping the Philippine literature for several years now – and what’s even more important is that they continue to write hoping to inspire others, especially you, Modern Filipinas!
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She's a web content writer, a playwright, and the author of the children's novel, Detective Boys of Masangkay: Ang Mangkukulam.