Filipino American, Pinoy authors for your holiday gift lists | Inquirer

Fil-Am and Pinoy authors for your holiday gift lists

Some of the Philippine-based writers had their titles released in the US
/ 05:38 PM November 29, 2023

Book covers stacked together

Several Filipino American authors published their books this year, as did a few Philippine-based writers who had their titles released in the US. Photo from Walter Ang

Book lovers, rejoice! A barangay’s worth of Filipino American authors published their books this year, as did a few Philippine-based writers who had their titles released in the US.

Year-end celebrations such as Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa and other observances are coming soon. Here is a sampling of the titles that came out this year to help you with your gift list.


Mayumu: Filipino American Desserts Remixed

By Abi Balingit

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Imaginative and remixed Filipino American dessert recipes, plus essays on the Fil-Am experience. Recipes include Adobo Chocolate Chip Cookie, Strawberry Shortcake Sapin-Sapin and Halo-Halo Baked Alaska.

You’re That Bitch:
& Other Cute Lessons about Being Unapologetically Yourself

By Bretman Rock

A chaotically joyous collection of essays from one online influencer Bretman “The Baddest” Rock. An unfiltered look at what it means to be one of the first digital celebrities and that bitch, from dealing with cancel culture, drama and heartbreak to what it means to love yourself and your community.

Money Out Loud: All the Financial Stuff No One Taught Us

By Berna Anat

In this illustrated, deeply unserious guide to money, Anat, AKA the Financial Hype Woman, talks about all the financial stuff that always feels too confusing. Stuff like: How to actually budget, save and invest (but also make it fun), how our traumas shape our most toxic money habits, and how to create new patterns.

Chasing Pacquiao

By Rod Pulido


When teenager Bobby is unwillingly outed in a community that frowns on homosexuality, he is inspired by champion Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao to take up boxing and challenge his tormentor.

Why Should Guys Have All the Fun?
An Asian American Story of Love, Marriage, Motherhood, and Running a Billion Dollar Empire

By Loida Lewis and Blair S. Walker

The inspiring and uplifting true story of resolute immigration lawyer and activist Loida Lewis. A torrid love affair, overcoming gut-wrenching loss, commandeering a multibillion-dollar, multinational conglomerate dominated by men and leading it with aplomb.

Maribel’s Year

By Michelle Sterling (Author), Sarah Gonzales (Illustrator)

This evocative picture book celebrates the special connection between Maribel and her father in the Philippines as she waits with her mother for him to join them in America.

Murder and Mamon

By Mia P. Manansala

Book 4 of Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mysteries. When murder mars the grand opening for Lila Macapagal’s aunties’ new laundromat, she will have to air out all the dirty laundry in Shady Palms to catch a killer.

Rick Riordan Presents: The Spirit Glass

By Roshani Chokshi

From the author of the best-selling Aru Shah series. Corazon yearns to finally start training as a babaylan so she can bring her parents back from the dead. She doesn’t want to rely on a soul key that allows her to visit with their ghosts anymore. But it gets stolen.

Every Ounce of Courage: A Daughter’s Reflections On Her Mother’s Bravery

By Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino

Historical and culinary memoir detailing the life of Lourdes “Lulu” Reyes Besa, highlights of which include smuggling medicine into prison camps during World War II and being the first Filipino woman to receive two Medals of Freedom from the US government.


By Cindy Fazzi

Filipino-American bounty hunter Domingo’s specialty is catching undocumented immigrants while he works on his book of advice for aspiring immigrants. His latest job is to find biracial Filipino woman Monica Reed,,the only fugitive who has ever escaped him.

Twelve Hours in Manhattan

By Maan Gabriel

Bianca Curtis and an insanely famous Korean actor spend 12 perfect hours together, only to be torn apart at the end of the night. But their story isn’t even close to over yet.

La Tercera

By Gina Apostol

A vision of Philippine history from the 19th century to present day in the fragmented story of the Delgados, a family surviving across generations of colonization, catastrophe, war and a supposed inheritance which may or may not exist.

Nervous: Essays on Heritage and Healing

By Jen Soriano

Soriano uses science, history, sociology and family stories to weave a vivid tapestry of what it takes to transform trauma, not just body by body, but through the body politic and ecosystems at large.

American Aswang: Uncovering the truth about my Filipino American family’s repatriation to the Philippines

By Manette Trogani Snow

Snow unearths her family’s hidden histories, including being the only known survivors, despite being starved and tortured during World War II, of an orchestrated campaign to expel them from the United States under the Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935.

Here are some titles by authors from or based in the Philippines that are available for purchase online in the US.

A Tooth in My Popsicle: And Other Ebullient Essays on Becoming Filipino

By David Haldane

American journalist Haldane, who now lives in Mindanao with his Filipino wife Ivy, recounts the tragedies, triumphs and travails of how they slowly built their dream house overlooking the sea, bridged huge cultural gaps, and started a family during one of the world’s longest and strictest pandemic lockdowns.

Queen of the Universe: A Novel: Love, Truth, Beauty

By Pia Wurtzbach

Actress and former Miss Universe titleholder Wurtzbach’s debut novel features young, beautiful, talented Cleo as she makes her way through the cutthroat world of international beauty competitions. Set in Manila’s glittering urban life, Cleo has to make the biggest decision of her life as she asks what her own integrity is worth.

The Hurricane Wars: A Novel

By Thea Guanzon

A fantasy romance pitting the fates of two bitter enemies with opposing magical abilities, Talasyn and her light magic and Prince Alaric with his shadow magic, swept together in a Southeast Asia-inspired world ravaged by storms.

Some People Need Killing: A Memoir of Murder in My Country

By Patricia Evangelista

Evangelista’s meticulously reported and deeply human chronicle of the Philippines’ drug war.

Jalal and the Lake

By Hanna Usman

In a small village, everyone celebrates the bounty and beauty of their vast lake except Jalal, whose only wish is to own the magical, puffy clouds in the sky. When strangers offer to grant his wish, Jalal finally learns what the lake means to his people.

Walter Ang is the author of Barangay to Broadway: Filipino American Theater History.

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TAGS: books, Filipino-American, holiday shopping, new books by Filipinos
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