Happy Tuesday everyone! I hope your week is going great. Otherwise, I hope that it will start looking up in the coming days. It is my fervent hope that it will usher in positive energy, blessings, healing, and forgiveness for everyone. I hope and pray that 2022 will not only be a good year but a great one. I can’t believe today is the last day of May. Tomorrow we are going to welcome the sixth month of the year. Wah! We’re nearly halfway through 2022. How time flies! I

As it is Tuesday, it is also time for a Top 5 Tuesday update. Top 5 Tuesday was originally created by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm but is now currently being hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic: Freebie

It’s been a while since I have done a Top Five Tuesday! I have decided to join this week because it is a freebie. HAHA! I had trouble choosing a topic but I settled on the Top Five books written by Filipino writers I am looking forward to. Those who have been tuning on to my blog would know that I have been endeavoring to read more works written by Filipino writers because it is one that I am lagging behind on despite my being a Filipino. Moreover, the Philippines is set to celebrate its Independence Day on June 12 so I believe this subject is fitting.

Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn

Welcome to Manila in the turbulent period of the Philippines’ late dictator. It is a world in which American pop culture and local Filipino tradition mix flamboyantly, and gossip, storytelling, and extravagant behavior thrive.

A wildly disparate group of characters–from movie stars to waiters, from a young junkie to the richest man in the Philippines–becomes caught up in a spiral of events culminating in a beauty pageant, a film festival, and an assassination. In the center of this maelstrom is Rio, a feisty schoolgirl who will grow up to live in America and look back with longing on the land of her youth. (Source: Goodreads)

State of War by Ninotchka Rosca

A lavish festival amid a long-drawn war – the defining image of this allegorical novel – portrays the deep-seated consciousness and longings of a people facing the dark days of the Martial Law regime.

Desperate for relief from the violence and repression in the city, Eliza, Adrian, and Anna set sail for the island of K— to take part in a popular festival, hoping to lose themselves in the crowd, to dance and drink the nights away. Yet, amid the merrymaking, the young people find themselves pulled into a series of schemes that shove them, inch by inch, towards an inevitable doom.

In this gripping tale of revelry, torture, subterfuge, and warfare, State of War creates a forceful impression on readers of exhuming the buried bodies and forgotten atrocities of a repressive regime, and illuminates the conflicts and turmoils of an entire country and culture.

Gun Dealers’ Daughter by Gina Apostol

A young woman pieces together her troubled past in this story of rebellion and romance set in the Marcos-era Philippines.

Soon after she leaves home for university in Manila, Soledad Soliman (Sol) transforms herself from bookish rich girl to communist rebel. But is her allegiance to the principles of Mao or to Jed, the comrade she’s in love with? Can she really be a part of the movement or is she just a “useful fool,” a spoiled brat playing at revolution?

Far from the Philippines, in a mansion overlooking the Hudson River, Sol confesses her youthful indiscretions, unable to get past the fatal act of communist fervor that locked her memory in an endless loop. Rich with wordplay and unforgettable imagery, Gun Dealers’ Daughter combines the momentum of an amnesiac thriller with the intellectual delights of a Borgesian puzzle. In her American debut, award-winning author Gina Apostol delivers a riveting novel that illuminates the conflicted and little-known history of the Philippines, a country deeply entwined with our own.

Canal de la Reina by Liwayway A. Arceo

Canal de la Reina was Liwayway Arceo’s response to the call for committed writing as an aftermath of the violent head-on collisions of diverse forces in the 1970s. Arceo had not been known for engaged or “political” writing, where the writer deployed their craft to project a vision of a world in turmoil, where characters were fully engaged in the bloody struggle to effect radical change in society. This willful commitment to use literature to paint a canvas of a world in turmoil had been demonstrated by a long line of Filipino writers, from Jose Rizal to the generation of Lope K. Santos and Servando de los Angeles in the first half of the 20th century, to the generation of Rogelio Sicat and Ricky Lee in the post-war decades. This is a legacy which has pushed various writers to confront the burning issues of the day. (Source: Goodreads)

Ilustrado by Miguel Syjuco

It begins with a body. On a clear day in winter, the battered corpse of Crispin Salvador is pulled from the Hudson River—taken from the world is the controversial lion of Philippine literature. Gone, too, is the only manuscript of his final book, a work meant to rescue him from obscurity by exposing the crimes of the Filipino ruling families. Miguel, his student and only remaining friend, sets out for Manila to investigate.

To understand the death, Miguel scours the life, piecing together Salvador’s story through his poetry, interviews, novels, polemics, and memoirs. The result is a rich and dramatic family saga of four generations, tracing 150 years of Philippine history forged under the Spanish, the Americans, and the Filipinos themselves. Finally, we are surprised to learn that this story belongs to young Miguel as much as to his lost mentor, and we are treated to an unhindered view of a society caught between reckless decay and hopeful progress.

Exuberant and wise, wildly funny and deeply moving, Ilustrado explores the hidden truths that haunt every family. It is a daring and inventive debut by a new writer of astonishing talent.