It’s time to tell the kids to drop their iPads (or whatever gadget they’re holding) and have them flip through actual book pages instead. Introduce them to the joy of reading through the following children’s books (and a comic book) that will introduce you to important Filipino personalities, events, folklore and a thing or two that the internet won’t tell them.
8. Ang Pangat, Ang Lupang Ninuno at Ang Ilog
written by Luz Maranan, illustrated by Ysabel Maranan, published by Lampara Books
This project by the mother-and-daughter tandem of Luz and Ysabel Maranan is about the life of Macliing Dulag, a pangat or a tribe leader hero from the Cordillera. He was known for opposing then President Marcos’ plans to build four dams along Chico River in the Mountain Province.
Based on a Palanca-winning story, children will read about Macliing’s leadership and bravery during Martial Law.
7. Brocka: The Filmmaker Without Fear
written and illustrated by Jose T. Gamboa, published by The Bookmark Inc.
Introduce kids to one of the best directors our country has produced.
This Sorsogon native is the man behind the movies “Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang,” “Jaguar,” “Bona” and “Insiang” which was the first Filipino film ever shown at the Cannes film festival.
This year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York had a week-long screening of “Maynila: Sa Kuko ng Liwanag”—deemed by many to be the greatest Filipino film ever made.
6. Ngumiti Si Andoy
written by Xi Zuq, illustrated by Dominic Agsaway, published by Adarna House
Winner of last year’s PBBY-Salanga Prize, the story is about Andrew’s encounter with the Father of the Philippine Revolution himself when a statue in his school’s park turns into life.
Beautifully illustrated by Agsaway, this book was released November 30 last year, just in time for Bonifacio’s 150th birthday commemoration.
written by Russell Molina, illustrated by Sergio Bumatay III, published by Adarna House
For those who want to educate kids about the People Power Revolution of 1986, this book is just what you need.
This counting book makes children tie together images of people and objects related to the EDSA Revolution, allowing them to learn numbers and about this important part of our nation’s history at the same time.
4. Guardians of Tradition
written by Mae Astrid Tobias, illustrated by Rommel E. Joson, photos by Renato Rastrollo, published by Adarna House
This 32-page book is perfect for kids (and adults) who want to get to know our country’s National Living Treasures awardees selected by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The awardees were chosen for their dedication to their craft and their contribution to preserving tradition. Some of the personalities included in the book are musician Uwang Ahadas, master mat weaver Hadja Amina Appi, poet Ginaw Bilog and master of dance Alonzo Saclag.
3. Ang Bonggang Bonggang Batang Beki
written by Rhandee Garlitos, illustrated by Tokwa Penaflorida, published by Chikiting Books
This groundbreaking children’s book tackles effeminacy in young boys. The story revolves around Adel, a child teased “beki” by his friends because he is soft-spoken, loves to sing and dance and prefers the color pink.
Illustrator Tokwa Penaflorida perfectly captures the essence of Adel’s playfulness through his wistful drawings.
written and illustrated by Borg Sinaban, published by Adarna House
Transforming classic Pilandok stories written by National Artist Virgilio Almario into a series of comic books for kids is not an easy task but Borg Sinaban managed to do a good job at it. Instead of letting kids read the usual manga, why not give them Pilandokomiks? It packs the same well-executed illustration but with stories rooted in local setting.
1. The Public’s Servant
written by Didith T. Rodrigo, illustrated by Kaecee Salvador, published by The Bookmark Inc.
The Bookmark Inc.’s Great Men and Women of Asia – Children’s Series aims to introduce to children awardees of the Ramon Magsaysay Foundation.
Jesse Robredo won back in 2000 for exemplary government service but his life as an outstanding public servant was cut short by his tragic death in 2012. This biography is written using Internet chat style to entice young readers to learn anecdotes about this modern hero’s life.
Weng Cahiles is the author of the Adarna House children’s book “What Kids Should Know About Andres And The Katipunan.”
What do you want your (future) children to know about life , our culture and history? What do you think about these books? Share your thoughts and feels in the Comments Section.