Holiday gift list: Fil-Can Titles in 2018

Community News & Features Dec 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm

Fil-Can titles 2018By Ysh Cabana
The Philippine Reporter

Books are sure to make great presents: they open up worlds to the recipients, either your relative or yourself, at a reasonable price. This annual installment is becoming a tradition as we not only round up reads, we also celebrate the reach of Filipino-Canadian writers. Some featured below are their debut publication.

Hoy! A Philippine Islands Activity Book (Yeti Arts; 60 pages) is a title one wouldn’t miss. Illustrated and designed by educator Eric B. Tigley, this activity book for children five years and up includes puzzles, mazes and colouring pages to explore Philippine culture through myths and legends. ★★★★☆

Bridging the Gap: A Short History of Migration to Canada, written by Marco Luciano and illustrated by Mark Suva (Migrante; 48 pages) is an all-ages friendly comic book that follows the story of a young Filipino teenager as he meets new people after moving to Canada. The list of resources at the back is a plus for readers who need direct assistance on immigration and settlement matters. ★★★★★

From the start of Bodies of Water, by Yves Lamson (Yeti Arts; 240 pages) there are several reminders of the tangible material world. “The Philippines are bodies of water, and so are ww” It’s this magic that made the novel seem extraordinary. It offers plenty of reflections on social realities and the passing of time. ★★★★★

Rouge, by Adrian de Leon (Mawenzi House; 84 pages) This poetry collection was written in the aftermath of one of the worst mass shooting in the history of Toronto, or rather Scarborough. Each piece is named after a subway station not just to reclaim represent the communities in each stop but to celebrate the city as a poem itself. ★★★★★

Patria Rivera’s fourth book of poetry The Time Between (Signature Editions; 96 pages) reflects on her first debut book, Puti/White. Here she explores some of the darker times of her past and pays attention to how things have shaped our world even now. What are we here for? Why are we in this world? What needs to be done? ★★★★☆

‘What does it mean to be a Chinese man in a British colony?’ Nine Dragons, by Jovanni Sy (Talonbooks,192 pages) is a racially complex melodrama play set in 1920s Hong Kong. Manila-born, Toronto-raised author Sy takes cue in film noir in a survival tale of the two male protagonists. ★★★☆☆

The Seven Muses of Harry Salcedo, by Vincent Ternida (Ricepaper; 186 pages) eschews a tale from third culture perspective on religion, relationships and rationality. This novel introduces the reader to a series of anecdotes of varying interest as titular character Harry rushes to write the novel he’s always wanted while there’s still time. ★★★☆☆

The Femme Playlist & I Cannot Lie to the Stars That Made Me Toronto, by Catherine Hernandez (Playwrights Canada Press, 80 pages) consists of two unreserved plays that celebrate sexuality on stage and on the pages from a queer and brown mother’s view. One is set to music and the other is a guide for healing and an invitation for other women of colour to share their stories. ★★★★☆

Quintessential Filipino Cooking: 75 Authentic and Classic Recipes of the Philippines, by Liza Agbanlog (Page Street Publishing Co.; 192 pages) who is the founder of Salu Salo Recipes blog, collects her favorite dishes and cooks them into a flavor-packed debut book with a personal touch. She is originally from the Philippines and lives in Vancouver, Canada. ★★★☆☆

The New Filipino Kitchen: Stories and Recipes from around the Globe, edited by Jacqueline Chio-Lauri (Agate Surrey; 248 pages) takes Philippine cuisine to the next level with a sundry of voices that lend either nostalgia of tastes growing up or a remix recipes for the international palate. Chef Allan Pineda and food writer Nastasha Alli, fellow Filipino-Canadians. are featured in this cookbook anthology. ★★★★☆

Living Hyphen Issue 1: Entrances & Exits, edited by Justine Abigail Yu (Living Hyphen; 122 pages) is an answer to the lack of representation and diversity identities in the arc that is Canadian literature. The first issue of the journal features over fifty stories, photography, poetry and art from dozens of contributors across that country that illustrate that challenges and triumphs of living with mixed identities. ★★★★☆

Pilipinx Radical Imagination Reader, edited by Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano and Anthony Abulencia Santa Ana (Philippine American Writers and Artists, Inc.; 180 pages) asks how do we often allow ourselves the opportunity to re-imagine the experience of being and becoming Pilipinx (used by scholars, activists and a number of journalists as a alternative gender-neutral alternative to the terms Pilipino, Pilipina and even Pilipin@)? Two Filipino (or rather Pilipinx) in Canada are included in this anthology, MaryCarl Guiao and this author. ★★★★☆