April is Buwan ng Panitikan, which celebrates Filipino literature in all forms. While we’re all spending the month at home, some of us have turned to books to either relax or just catch up on our reading.
To celebrate the literature-filled month, we wanted to suggest some Filipina authors who we feel are essential reading. You might’ve heard of some of them already, while others may be new on your radar. Check out our list below and add them to your to-read list:
Known for her novels such as “Dekada ’70” and “‘Gapô,” Lualhati Bautista was a fixture in our high school curricula. Many of her works highlighted the injustices that Filipinos experienced during Martial Law and also highlighted women’s activism during Ferdinand Marcos’ regime.
Poet and activist Joi Barrios is known for her feminist works such as “Ang Pagiging Babae at Pamumuhay sa Panahon ng Digma” and “Bailaya: Mga Dula Para sa Kababaihan.” During Martial Law, Barrios became a well-known freedom activist.
If you’re looking for whimsical stories on Filipino folklore, check out Cyan Abad-Jugo’s works. Her books such as “Stories About Some Friendly Creatures” and “Sweet Summer and Other Stories: Leaf and Shadow” are perfect to read to the young ones in your home. You can also read them for your own leisure because why not?
Carmen Guerrero Nakpil
Carmen Guerrero Nakpil was a journalist and columnist who wrote for the Manila Chronicle for 12 years. She also published a collection of essays titled “Woman Enough and Other Essays,” a novel titled “The Rice Conspiracy” and an autobiographical trilogy.
Many would remember Paz Marquez-Benitez for her poignant short story “Dead Stars,” which most students read in college. It was also the first short story written by a Filipino in English. If you loved that story, then you should also read “A Night In the Hills.”
Did we miss a Filipina author you like? Tweet us @preenph and share your favorites with us.