2015 Favorites: Local Reads

Time for another list! This time, it’s all about my Favorite Local Reads of 2015!


  1. Just a Little Bit of Love (Ines Bautista Yao)

What do you think happens to background characters in stories? You know, those girls who just see couples making up and breaking up; the friends who you ask for advice; the friends you’ve lost—the background characters who are just there, lurking behind, waiting for their stories to be told.

Well, Ines wrote their stories—and she did a really good job at it. Sure, the stories are short, but they’re my favorites because they’re kilig, and they give you a glimpse of what’s going on in the background.

These are background characters from Only a Kiss, Ines’ offering early this year). It’s the perfect book you could get yourself this Christmas. Read it with a cup of hot chocolate and feel all the feeeeeeels


2. Janus Silang at ang Labanang Manananggal-Mambabarang (Edgar Calabia Samar)

OH.MY.GOD. You know, when I read the first book early last year, I totally thought it was one of the best Filipino books written—ever. And I knew it would be hard to top.

I finally found a copy of the sequel last week and at first, I thought it would not top the first book but the revelations in this one were really strong + you also get taken into different worlds, you get to meet new characters, and well, your heart would break, I’m telling you.

OH AND THAT CLIFFHANGER ENDING!!!! You’d really wish you’d already have the 3rd part in your hands


3. One Lovely Summer Day (Amae Dechavez)

One of the best books I’ve read this year.  I don’t really read full Tagalog love stories but this one really made me kilig, and it’s not one of those “dirty” things you’re scared of lol.

It’s a simple love story, but that’s where its beauty lies: the fragility of first love, the image of the surroundings, and the fact that it’s just one of those stories that would remind you about the beauty of love.


4. This Side of Sunny (Agay Llanera)

Agay is one of my favorite Filipino authors because she always writes with such warmth and she always makes use of good imagery. This one had all those elements, but I guess what made it different from her earlier works is that this one is a sexier, deeper story—plus points for the Maja Salvador lookalike protagonist. But seriously, it’s about thinking of life and its depth—and about finding things you’ve been looking for all along, even not in the way you expect.


5. Playing Autumn (Mina V. Esguerra)

Sexy, classy, and sassy—that’s what this novel was like for me. It has a lot of the elements that I like: Reality TV competitions, a hot, brooding rocker guy, and a woman who’s on the cusp of becoming who she really is.

It may also be a little different from earlier works of the author, but I like how this was one of her first novels that dealt with life not just in the Philippines, but also in global waters—and it worked. It’s really one of her best, and I’d always say that.