Book Hunting Expeditions

[BHE 67] Book Hunting in the Philippines and Singapore


Myra here.

Every Sunday, we share the books that have found us and spoke to us over the past several weeks for our Book Hunting Expedition posts.

During the past month, I visited the Philippines and naturally I went on a book shopping spree. Prior to visiting the Philippines, however, I visited Kinokuniya here in Singapore to purchase a few books that I would be reading for my three week vacation in Manila. This post puts together my book finds.

Book Finds from Kinokuniya in Singapore


I was a little surprised to find out that we don’t have a lot of copies of this classic YA novel A Separate Peace by John Knowles in our libraries here in Singapore. Rather than reserve it, I thought that I might as well purchase my own copy of the book. And I got my own Kinokuniya Membership/Privilege Card while I was at it.


My daughter bought this book, she’s a huge James Patterson fan: Middle School – How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli and Snake Hill illustrated by Chris Tebbetts.


My baby girl, Fats, is a huge Neil Gaiman fan and she has been waxing lyrical about this novel, so I thought that I might as well buy it: The Ocean at the End of the Lane.


Now this is an indulgence. I tried borrowing this tome of a book from the library but six weeks just isn’t enough time for me to read it. When I saw that there is this rare, illustrated version of The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu, I grabbed it off the shelf. I was afraid that I won’t be able to find it again the next time I visit the bookstore. At 60 dollars, this is one of the most expensive books I bought for myself so far this year.


Now to find the time to read this.

Book Buys from the Philippines


I thought of putting everything together here in a photo collage. Book love indeed. We immediately headed to the bookstore the moment we arrived in Manila and here are my book finds.


An abundance of the retelling of Ang Mga Kuwento ni Lola Basyang ni Severino Reyes: Ang Mahiwagang Biyulin by Christine S. Bellen and Frances C. Alcaraz; Ang Pag-ibig ni Maryang Sinukuan (The Love of Maryang Sinukuan) by Christine S. Bellen and Blooey Singson; Ang Mahiwagang Kuba (The Enchanted Hunchback) by Christine S. Bellen and Sergio T. Bumatay III; Anting-Anting (The Amulet) by Christine S. Bellen and Hubert B. Fucio; Ang Prinsipeng Duwag (The Cowardly Prince) by Christine S. Bellen and Ruben de Jesus; Ang Kapatid ng Tatlong Marya (The Brother of the Three Marias) by Christine S. Bellen and Frances C. Alcaraz; Si Pandakotyong by Christine S. Bellen and Albert E. Gamos; Ang Sultan Saif by Christine S. Bellen and Liza A. Flores.


I also bought almost all of the books written by Russell Molina our featured storyteller here in GatheringBooks: Anong Gupit Natin Ngayon? by Russell Molina and Hubert Fucio, Sampu Pataas Sampu Pababa by Russell Molina and Conrad Raquel, Lola Puti by Russell Molina and Vanessa Tamayo, Ang Madyik Silya ni Titoy by Russell Molina and Marcus Nada.


I also bought almost all of Virgilio Almario’s picture books. Rio Alma, as he is known in the Philippines, is our National Artist for Literature. We spent a few days in Boston together for our presentation about Filipino children’s literature during the Children’s Literature Association Conference in Simmons College.

Here are some of my book finds: Ibong Adarna by Virgilio S. Almario and Jordan Santos, Ang Alamat ng Palay by Virgilio S. Almario and Conrad A. Raquel, The Love of Lam-Ang by Virgilio S. Almario and Albert E. Gamos, Ang Hukuman ni Sinukuan by Virgilio S. Almario and Mitzi Villavecer, Ang Tikbalang Kung Kabilugan ng Buwan by Virgilio S. Almario and Kora Dandan-Albano, Rosa Albina by Virgilio S. Almario and Kora Dandan-Albano, Ang Tuta ni Noe by Virgilio S. Almario and Sergio Bumatay III, Ang Kamatis ni Peles by Virgilio S. Almario and Renato Gamos, Si Hinlalaki by Virgilio S. Almario and Hubert B. Fucio.


I also bought Rio Alma’s Pilandok series. I know all about the crafty mousedeer as represented here in Singapore. I did not know that we also have our own version in the Philippines. These are all retold by Virgilio S. Almario and illustrated by Kora Dandan-Albano: Si Pilandok sa Kaharian sa Dagat, Si Pilandok at ang Manok na Nangingitlog ng Ginto, Si Pilandok ang Bantay ng Kalikasan, Si Pilandok sa Pulo ng Pawikan, Si Pilandok at ang mga Buwaya. I also bought Sir Rio’s collection of poems on youth: Dust Devils edited and translated by Marne Kilates.


I also bought the following books while in Manila: Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn, A Mercy by Toni Morrison, The Ghostwriter Secret by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex.


… and last but not the least, Manila Noir edited by Jessica Hagedorn.

How about you, dear friends, what books found their way to you during the past weeks or so?

4 comments on “[BHE 67] Book Hunting in the Philippines and Singapore

  1. I can’t believe I didn’t appreciate the bookstores in the Philippines when I was living there- late 1990’s. The only thing I can remember was the one I went to wasn’t conducive to browsing since they were shrinkwrapped.Then a used bookstore opened up near where I went to high school and that’s when I read V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic series.


    • Hi Earl,

      I still remember those times when books were shrinkwrapped. Bookstores here in the Philippines have definitely improved in terms of catering to their clients. Even the selection these days are far better than it was before. I suppose its because you aren’t dependent to one bookstore to get your lit needs. You can choose between big bookstores or second hand bookstores.


  2. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Of Friendships Lost and Gained in “The Bear and the Wildcat”, “City Dog, Country Frog,” and “Rabbityness” |

  3. I want to read those Middle School books. 🙂 What a great collection of books! 😀


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