The Philippines is a beautiful and complicated country. With more than 7000 beautiful islands covered in beaches, rice terraces, volcanoes, farm land, and densely populated cities, there is always something to see or do. Cultural traditions and languages can vary from island to island, giving each area a unique background. However, the Philippines has also had a long history of colonialism and economic inequality.
I (Amanda the reference librarian) spent more than two years living in the Philippines as a member of the Peace Corps, and while I love the country I struggle with describing my impressions. Part of this is because I believe in the danger of a single story and I know that my single perspective can’t paint a true picture of a country and its people. As an American and an outsider I will never be able to tell you what it means to be Filipino, but these #OwnVoices books are a good place to start learning about the culture, people, and history of the Philippines. Learn a few words of Tagalog (one of the national languages), read a fictional account of life in the very real and violent war on drugs overseen by current president Duterte, enjoy memoirs of life in the Philippines and as a member of the diaspora, and learn why overseas Filipino workers are a big part of the culture. Read Filipino folktales, stories with well-rounded Filipino characters, and learn about the importance of family in the Philippines. And read more than one of these books because no one story can capture the true essence of a country.
YA and Adult