Being A Filipino Reader

There are good as well as bad points in being a Filipino Reader but I think the good part outweighs the bad (otherwise nobody will give a damn about reading books) and I still believe that the frustrating part can be solved.

Books from the local seller are relatively cheap than buying from the foreign seller or online, cheaper when you buy them from second hand shops, and cheapest when you buy them from the black market. Though I don't promote buying from shops that dont issue a receipt, the choice is still yours where to buy your books.  The point here is, there's plenty of books for everybody.

If you can't afford to buy (or there's no immediate supply from local shops) you can easily borrow from a friend or from your school's (or college's) library. The hard part is to find somebody who also love the same genre or set of genre. But if you're into popular fiction, it's easy.

Another good thing in our country is this freedom of expression that is highly valued leading to diverse genre of stories and non-fiction topics for us to choose from. I can't remember any book published locally or globally that is being banned to read in our country. You can read any book you want in the public. While riding the MRT you can even read a book against the administration but you're still okay, no one will hurt you. Try reading The Satanic Verses in Saudi Arabia and you're dead meat. That's a big contrast.

My only frustration as a Filipino reader is that we are highly influenced by foreign culture that we tend to forget about the great, fantastic stories of our land. Harry Potter and Naruto are more popular characters than Lam-ang and Bantugan. You can ask any kid if you need more proof.

Bad News? Image from
In this age of the Global Pinoy, we Filipinos are an adaptable race in fusing different cultures and transform them to our advantage. But we don't need to look that far, outside. We only need to dig deeper. Our country is already blessed with colorful stories from the past that we can no longer remember. Only our grandfathers knew, and I envy them. From here comes the true value of a book---that is, to preserve history. And consequently the value of book reading---to pass on that history.

I Support


  1. Powerful post! I especially enjoyed the last 3 paragraphs ... excellent points. --Thanks for sharing. :)

  2. ironic that pinoys are such big readers yet we don't read enough pinoy literature!

    agree, agree, agree.

    pop by my blog when you get a chance! http://guiltlessreading.blogspot.com/2011/08/filipino-friday-book-loving-in.html

  3. thank you aloi! just dropped by your blog and your banner looked tasty! i agree with you regarding that library stuff.

  4. Hey, you're right. I never even thought about banned books until you mentioned it in your post. We can read whatever we want, wherever we want and that's a really good thing. Thanks for pointing it out. :)

    You know, I would really love to read more books by Filipino authors. I just wish they'd write more of the books that I'm interested in. Imagine if a Filipino author wrote a YA fantasy series based on Filipino myths, wouldn't that be awesome?

  5. Exactly my point, Chachic! Instead of reading foreign books (including comics & manga), it would be great for the younger generation to focus on our own fantastic stories. Grandparents usually but not exclusively own this role of telling the long forgotten stories because they are very good at this. Remember Lola Basyang?

    It's important to instill a sense of national identity to our children and the only way to do that is to teach them positive Filipino Values. If you're a parent or a writer, this is a big challenge. Thank you for visiting!

  6. I think the problem lies in our being too Westernized. The colonial mentality we call it. I believe many Filipinos just don't have the sense of patriotism other countries like Japan for instance have. If we did, we'd likely have our own translations of popular foreign books here. It's a big problem but I think if our local writers just continue producing works that are worthy of notice, we'll get there.

  7. The challenge for the Filipino writer right now is to remind our children of these lost tales. If you go in the province region by region, there is always a tale or an epic to be told by the older ones. Aswang stories and other supernatural and heroic tales are part of these.

    I'm still optimistic about this. Thanks for visiting!


Please share your comments here!