Before I left for the Philippines, I told myself that I won’t indulge in any book-buying spree. A couple of days before my flight, one of my dearest high school friends left a message in the group chat that I created, saying that they would take me to this thrift store called Bookayukay. I knew right then and there that I won’t be going back to San Diego without any book in tow. The following were books I purchased during my short stay in the Philippines. Most of the books I bought were local picture books since (1) I don’t have access to any of those; and (2) sending international packages nowadays is expensive. All book photos were taken by me.

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

I bought this book a few days before I left for the Philippines. It was on sale at Barnes & Noble for $7.99 so I thought why not? I love that my Mo Willems collection keeps growing!

The Missing Piece and The Giving Tree

The Missing Piece and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Like Mo Willems, who does not love a Shel Silverstein on their shelves? The Missing Piece was the first Shel Silverstein book that I fell in love with. I actually grabbed these two Shel Silverstein books from my mini-shelf in the Philippines. I wanted my copy of The Missing Piece so it could sit side-by-side with its sequel, The Missing Piece Meets the Big-O, which I bought from Book Off several weeks ago. As for The Giving Tree, I want to give it to Daniel’s six-year-old nephew. I’m sure it’s something that he would enjoy reading.

Lola Basyang

Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Marya
(The Brother of the Three Marias)

Labindalawang Masasayang Prinsesa
(Twelve Merry Princesses)

Ang Mahiwagang Kuba
(The Enchanted Hunchback)

All stories retold by Christine S. Bellen
Illustrated by Frances Alcaraz, Abi Goy, and Sergio Bumatay III, respectively

All stories taken from the archives of Lola Basyang

Severino Reyes, known as the Father of the Tagalog zarzuela, created the character of Lola Basyang. In the Philippine tradition, grandmothers are known to tell stories to their grandchildren. Lola Basyang is a well-known fictitious character who has a lot of stories to tell her grandchildren. I have acquired three of ten Lola Basyang stories published by Anvil Publishing, Inc. In order to cater to a wider audience, local publishers have now come up with editions in which local stories are told in both Tagalog and English. I can’t wait to write about these fabulous finds for our theme, From Asia with Love.

Meow Stories

The Cardinal and the Cats by Lina Diaz de Rivera and Frances Alcaraz

The Cat Painter by Becky Bravo and Mark Salvatus

Both books have lovely covers and was delighted to find out that both are stories that involve cats. While not particularly a feline lover myself, I do enjoy cat stories once in a while. The latter, The Cat Painter, won first prize for the short story category in the 2004 Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature. Hoping to also feature these for our theme, From Asia with Love.


Nanay Coring: The Story of National Book Store’s Socorro Ramos
by Yvette Fernandez and Liza Flores

Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! by Nanoy Rafael and Sergio Bumatay III

National Book Store in Glorietta. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.
National Book Store in Glorietta. Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

Speaking of National Book Store, all of the lovely picture books above were purchased from National Book Store in SM City Masinag. National Book Store is the Barnes & Noble of the Philippines, although the former sells more office and school supplies than the latter. Nanay Coring is a fabulous find to be featured for Non-Fiction Monday, and Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu!’s book cover is simply luscious. The latter also won the 2008 PBBY-SALANGA Silver Anniversary Prize. More books for our theme, From Asia with Love.

Murakami and Green

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Click on the image to be taken to the websource.
Click on the image to be taken to the websource.

Remember what I wrote above about my friend taking me to a thrift store? Well, we didn’t get a chance to go after dinner. HOWEVER, my awesome best friend and her boyfriend took me to Bookayukay that same night. It was a small thrift store near Tomato Kick at Maginhawa St. Good finds, but you need patience in browsing the shelves, as they are not arranged alphabetically or by authors. I was debating whether or not I should go for Murakami or the UK edition of Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower (gorgeous cover!). In the end, I chose Murakami. His books are hard to come by. I don’t see a lot of Murakami books at Barnes & Noble. Besides, I got this for $10. I also bought John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars for $10 at National Book Store. I wanted a hardcover, but a cheap paperback would do. So happy I have both books!


Love, love, love!
Love, love, love!

Hanging Out with the Dream King:
Conversations with Neil Gaiman and His Collaborators
by Joseph McCabe

I would grab any Neil Gaiman book I could find. With book edges in black and Neil’s gorgeous face on the cover, I knew I had to get this book. Only worth a little over $10, here’s the latest addition to my Neil Gaiman collection. Yay!

What are your book finds this week?

Fats is the Assistant Manager for Circulation Services at the Wayne County Public Library in Wooster, Ohio. She considers herself a reader of all sorts, although she needs to work on her non-fiction reading. Fats likes a good mystery but is not too fond of thrillers. She takes book hoarding seriously and enjoys collecting bookmarks and tote bags. When she is not reading, Fats likes to shop pet apparel for her cat Penny (who absolutely loathes it).

5 comments on “BHE (53): Book Finds in the Philippines

  1. I’m intrigued by the Bookay-Ukay. Im assuming its in QC? But at $10, thats still roughly 400++ pesos right? hmmm…


    • Fats Suela

      It’s Php400 flat. Some of the newer and nice-looking books are priced at such. Others are between Php250-350.


  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Award-Winning Picture Books from the Philippines: Tight Times and Naku, Nakuu, Nakuuu! |

  3. When I go back to the Philippines, I will definitely have to check out those bookstores. And those titles!


  4. Pingback: Fantastical Elements Philippine Children’s Literature: Selected Stories from “Ang Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang” Retold by Christine S. Bellen |

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