ICYDK, November is National Reading and Book Month
How would you define a good companion? Someone who is easy to be around? Someone who is interesting? Someone who shares wonderful stories? Someone who is there whether the going gets good or rough?
Though inanimate, we guess we can all agree that a good book fits the bill if what you’re looking for in a friend are the above mentioned. As poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning once said, “No man can be called friendless who has God and the companionship of good books.” And that’s what we are celebrating this month, the bond and camaraderie created through reading and books.
In the Philippines, November has been observed as National Reading and Book Month since 2011. It started with then Department of Education (DepEd) secretary Armin Luistro and his goal of “creative ways of developing the love for reading among our young because this is an important portal to the world of learning.” Culminating the special month is the “Araw ng Pagbasa” on Nov. 25, which coincides with the signing of Republic Act 7165, an act founding the Literary Coordinating Council.
While every day and every month is dedicated to books for many bibliophiles, the “Araw ng Pagbasa” and National Reading and Book Month highlight the importance of learning “from the lives and works of eminent Filipinos.” With that, we have listed down some new local literary works to help kick start your journey this month in the company of Filipino writers.
‘Kulang na Silya’ by Ricky Lee
Through his masterful screenplays, Ricky Lee has proven that he is a master storyteller. And if you’re a fan of his previous novels such as “Para Kay B” and “Amapola sa 65 na Kabanata,” his new book “Kulang na Silya” will surely be a delightful read for you. The book captures his life through eight essays, highlighting both his struggles and funny encounters.
Order a copy of “Kulang na Silya” here.
‘Alitaptap Sa Gabing Madilim’ by Lualhati Bautista
Revered novelist behind “Dekada ’70” and “Bata, Bata… Paano Ka Ginawa?” Lualhati Bautista released her first poetry anthology during the pandemic. Dubbed “Alitaptap sa Gabing Madilim,” the book compiles poems she has written throughout the years. “Many of those poems were written in the ’70s, on WordStar, written over several years, months, and years apart from one another,” she said in a story by Manila Bulletin Lifestyle columnist Rica Arevalo.
“Alitaptap sa Gabing Madilim” is available on Lualhati Bautista’s Facebook page, Bookay-Ukay, Bookfellas, Solidaridad Bookshop, and Pandayan Bookshop.
‘Janus Silang at ang Lihim ng Santinakpan’ by Edgar Calabia Samar
In Edgar Calabia Samar’s newest novel, “Janus Silang at ang Lihim ng Santinakpan,” Janus’ adventure is about to end with the fulfilment of his quest for Tala and the safety of Santinakpan.
The latest “Janus Silang” novel will be available on Nov. 20, 2021.
‘The Last Moon’ by Yvette Tan
Fictionist and the Manila Bulletin’s Agriculture magazine editor Yvette U. Tan pens a story hailed from the Philippines’ rich folklore culture. Debuted at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021, “The Last Moon” graphic story is “a retelling of an ancient Ilonggo myth about the Bakunawa, a dragon said to be responsible for earthquakes and eclipses.”
See the colorful story of “The Last Moon” here.
‘Dancing Waters’ by Yvette Fernandez
Writer Yvette Fernandez documents the life of Vice President (VP) Leni Robredo in the picture book “Dancing Waters.” With the help of illustrator Abi Goy, readers will see how a humble woman from Naga City became the empowered woman she is today. Mirroring the VP’s philanthropic spirit, 50 percent of the sales of the book will be donated to the OVP’s Community Learning Hubs, which are located in Pasig City, Caloocan City, Taytay in Rizal, Himamaylan in Negros Occidental, Lucena City, and Tabaco City in Albay.
Get your copy of the “Dancing Waters” here.
Happy National Reading and Book Month!