13 Books by Filipino Authors you Can Add To Your TBRs

Hello, world!

So I was staring into the void the other day, contemplating life and the unfairness of everything, thinking about what I should post in the blog next. Then I decided to make a list of books by Filipino authors that I think more people should read.

I know you probably haven’t heard of most of these, but these are books that I read and enjoyed, some from authors whose work I highly recommend. Please check out the other books mentioned as well!

Yes, this is all random. No pattern or hidden message whatsoever, I promise.

Here we go!



Jay E. Tria’s Majesty

What would you do if the ghost of someone you love appeared in front of you?
Majesty is a beautiful ghost, with her hair of fire and eyes gray like smoke. That is Andy Fey’s first thought when the ghost of her best friend Majesty Hall appeared in her bedroom, only two months since her death. Majesty doesn’t know why she’s there, why only Andy can see her.

Andy isn’t sure if she should tell Gale, that boy who claims that he and Majesty were in love. Funny, sarcastic, and a self-proclaimed serial heartbreaker, Gale is proving to be a good friend in grief, though his trail of broken hearts could soon include hers.

As Andy and Gale wade through their sorrow, Andy wonders if Majesty is here to help ease her into this new, complicated friendship, or if she has a mission all her own.

Majesty is a little different from Jay’s other books, but I love it just the same. Jay is the author of the first book in #romanceclass’ Flair lineup, You Out of Nowhere, and The Playlist series. It has five books, each featuring one member of the band Trainman as the main character. So far, Miki’s book, Songs to Get Over You, is my favorite. I haven’t read the last two books yet, so that might or might not change.

Cover - Unreported Murders

Unreported Murders, and the rest of the Trese series

When dusk arrives in the city of Manila, that’s when you become the most likely prey of the criminal underworld.

Kidnappers and thieves will be the least of your worries.

Beware the criminals that can’t be bound with handcuffs nor harmed with bullets.

Beware the ones that crave for your blood, those who hold your heart ransom, and the ones that come to steal your soul.

When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.

If you haven’t heard of Trese by now, why?? I have only read one so far, but I plan to read the rest as soon as I finish all the remaining books in my TBR (lol when). There is also an anime adaption by Netflix in the works!!

Cover - No Strings Attached

No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra

Carla’s 29 and a whiz at her job: she’s efficient, reliable, and a total genius when it comes to putting something together at the last minute. Her dating life is practically nonexistent though, and everyone has an opinion about that. Her girl best friend (who’s married) keeps trying to set her up with stable banker-types, while her guy best friend (single and proud of it) encourages her to play the field–no strings attached.

Then Carla meets hot, smug, sexy Dante, and he’s everything she didn’t know she liked. He’s also five years younger, and she thinks it makes him perfect for the non-relationship she had in mind. What happens to that plan when he thinks he’s met the one for him at 24?

Other books by Mina that I am familiar with are The Future Chosen and Interim Goddess of Love trilogy. The former is a political romance in a fictional nation where two politicians cannot come from the same family (Of course, two of them had to fall in love, huh?). I haven’t read the Interim Goddess of Love yet, but it’s sitting on my shelf, and I feel that I will love it.

Cover - Keep the Faith

Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano

As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?

But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.

With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?

The main character is a community development worker, so aside from the romance, it was also refreshing to see the behind-the-scenes of social work. Ana’s works also include Fall Like Rain, and You Could be the One.


The Secrets That We Keep

The Secrets That We Keep

Oh, we weave such a tangled dark web. Is it possible to disentangle oneself without inflicting damage, permanent damage, to one’s person?

When a person goes missing, how do you find her? Where do you find her? Does she even want to be found?

A vigilante targets neighborhood nuisances. But without any evidence, how will he be apprehended?

Don’t do unto others, lest they do to you what you did to them. In a manner more gruesome than you can ever imagine. Can you survive the retribution?

Dead bodies can’t go anywhere on their own, right? Or can they?

I was on the blog tour n years ago. While some stories are better than others, I can say that I enjoyed this #HeistClub anthology. The ones that I particularly liked are Tomorrow We’ll See by Mark Manalang, and Missing Bodies by Celestine Trinidad (also the author of Ghost of a Feeling)!

Related: Blog Tour Review: The Secrets That We Keep

Everlasting Nora

Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shanty town inside the Philippines’ North Manila Cemetery.

After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shanty town of its kind in the Philippines today.

When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.

With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.

This book is about Nora, who lives in the Manila North Cemetery, and is probably the most heart-warming novel I read in 2018. It is a story of hope and resilience, and so full of Filipino references and highlights Filipino traits.

Related: Review: Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

Cover - Raya and Grayson's Guide to Saving the World

Raya and Grayson’s Guide to Saving the World by Catherine Dellosa

“If I don’t break your heart, the world is going to end.”

When Grayson posts about his girlfriend breaking up with him with that line in an anonymous “Breakup Confessions” thread, Raya recognizes the references and knows that it’s him.

Raya has been dealing with a deeply personal loss, with only her comic books to give her quiet comfort. But thanks to her forum-lurking, she now knows that the guy she’s been crushing on for years is single again. What’s that called, when she might actually have a chance with him but senior high school just ended and they’re heading off on separate paths forever and ever? It’s called a long shot. Right. Only heroes take a risk with those odds and still win.

But when Grayson walks into the hobby shop she works for and asks Raya for a comic book recommendation, Raya realizes that superheroes can come in all shapes and sizes. And as they bond over the summer on all things caped and geeky, Raya discovers that maybe—just maybe—she deserves a chance at a super-powered love story of her own.

I haven’t read any of the books in #romanceclass’s Flicker lineup, but this sounds interesting. The other Flicker books are Heartstruck by Angeli Dumatol, and Flipping the Script by Danice Mae Sison. The fourth one, Feels Like Home by Angel C. Aquino, was announced yesterday!

You can get a copy of the first three books here.

Cover - The Retreat

The Retreat by Yeyet Soriano

What would you be willing to do to secure a publication deal of a lifetime from the biggest publisher in the country?

The challenge: You have to write a true-to-life crime story set in the Philippines. The case should not be completely resolved. At least 75 percent of the manuscript needs to be completed within thirty days. You have to be willing to go on a week-long writers’ retreat in an undisclosed location to discuss your manuscript and be critiqued by the other participants. Afterward, you have to be ready to revise and edit the manuscript for final publication.

The prize: Enough money to retire and just write with a guaranteed platform for release locally and internationally.

The catch: You can’t breathe a word to anyone. Post anything on social media and you are out. You will be asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement and a release that removes any responsibility from the organizers should anything untoward happens to you. You will not be allowed to bring any gadgets to the retreat. You will be completely cut off.

So . . . are you game?

I was reading my review of The Secrets That We Keep, and I mentioned this:

I would really love to know what would happen if Kate did attend the retreat, so I think I would enjoy reading that book.

I mean, a writer’s retreat where they have to write a true-to-life crime story, in a secluded, secret place? Ha. ha. Nothing could go wrong there.

And this book right here is what that is!

Cover - Only A Kiss

Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao

When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.

Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.

But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.

Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.

I loved this story of childhood friends become lovers, and I loved that it is told from multiple points of view. Ines Bautista-Yao is part of an upcoming #romanceclass anthology The Love We Deserve (preorder here).

Cover - The Girl from the Well

Rin Chupeco’s The Girl from the Well

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret – one that would just kill to get out.

While we all know Rin’s fantasy works such as The Bone Witch, The Never Tilting World, and Wicked As You Wish, she is also an excellent horror writer. Friends who read The Girl from the Well said that it scared the hell out of them. I mean, come on, that cover alone scares me.


Cover - Love at First Run

Love at First Run by Angel C. Aquino

After getting her heart broken, 23-year-old Diana Gomez is afraid to fall in love again. But when her office crush Paul invites her to join a running club with him, she goes for it.

What she doesn’t know is that to be a part of the club, she actually has to train for a half marathon—and that she’ll meet Joshua, the handsome club veteran who becomes her unofficial running buddy.

As if it isn’t hard enough to do speed work, interval training, and long runs after work and on weekends, she has to deal with her feelings for both boys and face her fears of falling in love.

Will she reach the finish line without getting herself (or her heart) injured? Journey with Diana as she reaches running milestones, overcomes obstacles, pushes herself to the limit, and discovers the strength within her… one kilometer at a time.

I enjoyed this contemporary romance so much that it motivated me to plan to start running. (Of course, it is still a plan up until now lol)

Cover - Another Word for Happy

Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera

What does it take to come out of the closet?

Since he was thirteen, Caleb has always known he’s gay. Now a college freshman, he falls in love for the first time. If it’s true that love conquers all, then will Caleb finally find the courage to reveal his secret?

In this tale about family, friendship and self-discovery, find out how Caleb discovers the path to the freedom he’s always longed for. Here’s a hint: it involves doing things outside his comfort zone, such as joining a spoken word group!

Agay is also part of the #romanceclass anthology Start Here, which features first encounter stories with LGBT characters. Watch a live reading here.

Waiting in the Wings

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

The main characters, Erin and her love interests (yes, plural), are theater artists. As a casual fan of local theater productions, this made me appreciate the story even more. If you loved Like Nobody’s Watching, and want more of Pio, it is worth noting he made his first appearance in Waiting in the Wings.


Okay, I lied. Now that you’ve made it here, kindly go back to the top, read the highlighted letter in each entry, and then visit https://junkterrorbill.carrd.co/ to learn more about the Anti-Terrorism Law in the Philippines.

But I still stand by the idea that more people should read these!


Let’s chat!

Have you read the books above or any books by the authors mentioned?



16 thoughts on “13 Books by Filipino Authors you Can Add To Your TBRs

  1. Man, I can’t wait to give Rin Chupeco’s books a try! Her books always have interesting premises, and I feel like I will truly enjoy her stories. Also, I really have to pick up some romanceclass books every now and then. They have really cute stories. So far, the only romanceclass book I’ve read is All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria, and that was such a fun read. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I haven’t read any of Rin’s book yet (I plan to read at least one before the year ends), but I also know that I already love them. Haha. I read All’s Fair in Blog and War and I enjoyed that one as well. A lot of romanceclass books are mentioned here, but if you need more recommendations or something, feel free to DM me. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah right no hidden message there at all *wink wink* #AwtsDu🐢 😂😂 ALSO, I HAVE NOT READ ANY OF THESE YET, I mean except for Everlasting Nora (which I totally love, and am actually writing a blog post about!!) I AM SOO HYPED TO READ THE MANY CONTEMPORARY ROMANCES MENTIONED HERE 💖🙈

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😉 Oh yes, there are so many underrated gems mentioned here, you should check them out! And I’d love to read your post on Everlasting Nora once it’s up!


    • I heard it’s really good!! And yes, please. My favorites among the mentioned above are Keep the Faith, Waiting in the Wings, and Ghost of a Feeling. 😊


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