Filipina authors, particularly those who have authored children’s books, are having a big impact on the literary world. It is by sharing their distinctive viewpoints and stories with young readers all over the world.
These Filipina authors are producing works that inspire, educate, and entertain, ranging from narratives of Philippine daily life to imaginative tales that challenge the mind.
In this article, we discussed the writings of some of the most accomplished and well-respected Filipina children’s book authors. Learn about their origins and experiences, and identify the themes and messages that their books address. These authors’ works promote Filipino culture and traditions while also adding to the diversity and depth of children’s literature across the globe.
6 Filipina authors and their stories
Irene Carolina Sarmiento
Irene is an occupational therapist that specializes in treating kids with special needs. Her debut book, Spinning which was published by Anvil Publishing in 2009, centers on a young kid with autism. In addition, she has received honors for her writing from the Filipino Graphic/Fiction Awards, the Philippines Free Press, and the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Foundation.
Furthermore, her critically acclaimed 2012 children’s book “Tabon Girl” explores gender norms and expectations using ideas from archaeology and Filipino history. Tabon Girl, is about one of the oldest Homo sapiens in the Philippines. Through Mina, the protagonist, the book touches on archaeology and a little bit of history as well. Irene uses both English and Filipino in telling the story of Tabon Girl.
Image by Anvil Publishing
Filipino-Canadian author Mila Bongco-Philipzig, who was born in the Philippines, moved to Edmonton to finish her PhD studies at the University of Alberta. Bongco-Philipzig is a poet, author of children’s books, and a writer of autobiographical essays.
In 2020, she was awarded an Equality and Access grant from the EAC. This helped with the production of Tony’s Wheels, a children’s book about a polio-positive immigrant boy who joins the Canadian National Team as a para-athlete in kayaking and wheelchair racing.
Patricia Celina Ngo
Patricia Celina Ngo is a Filipino-Chinese author who is known for writing stories about the Chinoy experience.
In 2016, while still an undergraduate at the Ateneo de Manila University, Ngo released Blanket/Kumot, her debut work in children’s literature.
Additionally, her books of children’s poems Ordinary Adventures, Miniature Masterpieces, and Magical Mall of Mysteries earned Ngo three Palanca Prizes during her student years, shortly after she reached her first significant achievement.
Image by Anvil Publishing
Furthermore, in her children’s book titled Blanket/Kumot, a young girl is described as possessing a magical blanket (kumot in Filipino). Which has the power to transform into a variety of items, including a makeshift fort, a fishing net, and a superhero cape.
Kora Dandan Albano
Kora Dandan Albano is an accomplished author and illustrator of children’s books. The National Children’s Book Awards were given to her poetry-and-illustration book Habulan in 2018.
She also illustrated the book “All About the Philippines for Tuttle Publishing”. Which took home a Gold medal at the 2016 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards in the US. Kora, who has a degree in painting from the UP Fine Arts Department at UP Diliman, currently resides in Baguio City with her family.
Moreover, she is the illustrator of various Filipino children’s books, including the All About the Philippines, Alamat ng Ampalaya, and Pilandok series.
Carla M. Pacis
Carla M. Pacis is an author, educator, and former owner of a bookstore. She has authored several children’s books, and a few young adult novels, and received numerous local awards for her short tales.
Additionally, she is a resident fellow of the U.P Institute of Creative Writing and a lecturer at De La Salle University and the University of the Philippines.
Moreover, she is also a founding member of KUTING. Also known as Kwentista ng mga Tsikiting. It is a regular once-a-month gathering of authors for children in her community.
An identity-driven coming-of-age tale, Owl Friends is one of her works. It highlights the life of Aeta, one of the Philippines’ Indigenous peoples.
Bernadette Villanueva Neri
Bernadette Neri is a professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman where she teaches creative writing. In addition, she is a writer of fiction and plays. The children’s book Ang Ikaklit sa Aming Hardin was written by her.
Image by National Book Development Board
This book relates the tale of a girl who had two mothers while growing up. And the unwavering love she experienced from them despite experiencing bullying at school.
It demonstrates that family love may take many different forms, whether it comes from heterosexual, same-sex, or single parents. This tale honors the love a family has for one another and is full of love and acceptance.
Filipina authors paving the way
The above-mentioned Filipina authors are just a few of those authors that paved the way for more diverse voices to be heard.
These Filipina authors are essential and vibrant parts of the global literary community. Through their books and stories, many young readers are able to know the diverse and rich culture of the Philippines.
Aside from that, these Filipina authors addressed universal themes and issues relevant to the children. Not only in the Philippines, but also in other parts of the world.
We must recognize and celebrate the contributions of all the authors of children’s literature as we continue to ensure that children have access to a wide range of stories.