I Wish Filipiniana Books were Cheaper

October 31, 2011

I picked up a book yesterday for 50 pesos. And it’s a Filipiniana. So that’s surprising.
The book is entitled “Taga sa Bato”  by Ted T. Antonio. First published by Ateneo de Manila University Press in 1994. It is a compilation of Tagalog poems from 1973 – 1988.
But no, there’s no Filipiniana sale going on…
The book was probably misplaced because it was in the international section (I also got Michael Phelp’s “No Limits” for  P100). Foreign titles usually goes on sale. Local titles – well, rare as a unicorn.
What I want to see is for the Filipiniana titles prices to go down.
We need to get Filipinos to read Filipinos – ensuring the Filipiniana are cheaper is a needle moving on the right direction. Comic, magazines and pocket books are the most profitable publications out there, partly, because they’re cheap and easier to read.
The price is a factor. I read a lot but I won’t spend more than 200 or 300 pesos for a book. Every peso counts these days. Books are not supposed to wreck a person’s budget.
I’ve been reading LMG (The Anthology of Leon Ma. Guererro) from the shelves of Powerbooks because it cost 1000+! Who are going to buy these books? Certainly not the average folks.
Not that Filipinos would pick up Filipiniana titles once the prices drop, of course, our schools needs to do their part.
I don’t believe Filipinos, especially students, won’t be interested in Filipino history books for example – Ambeth Ocampo already showed us it can be sold – and in high volumes!
We just have to somehow find a way to keep the prices low.
And, make people like Ambeth write…

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De AnDAJohn EarleElizabeth MedinaVincent MaldiaJun Gravoso Recent comment authors
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I am spending a couple of months in Manila and Bacolod City. Because I am still thinking in terms of UK money values, I consider a book for P300 to be cheap. However, for someone who has to be careful about every peso, I can understand that P300 is a lot of money. What troubled me when I was in the National Book Store yesterday was that most books were in two categories: (i) British novels which are high quality literature but from hundreds of years ago (e.g. William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Chares Dickens, etc,) – mostly for students, I… Read more »


I have completed my Masters’ dissertation on the appointment of British Vice-Consul Nicholas Loney and his work in Iloilo and Negros. I am pleased that it was very well received and I was awarded a mark of Distinction (in America, they call that Summa Cum Laude). I have contacted the Director of the Negros Museum in Bacolod City and offered to tell them all about it but I had no reply to my email so they are obviously not interested. That is a pity. A professor at Ateneo de Manila University is very interested so I am in contact with… Read more »


Even more disheartening is that you’ll never find any of Rizal’s books written in the original Spanish version. Neither from any of the other Filipino authors at the time, who contributed to the highest quality output of literature the country has ever witnessed.
A real shame.

Jun Gravoso

Did you read, “Ted Antonio” or “Teo Antonio”? There is a famous poet named Teo Antonio. Are we referring to the same guy? If so, his name is Teo and not Ted. Have a nice day!

Vincent Maldia

Ebooks have revolutionized the book industry. Instant worldwide distribution and near zero “publishing” or “printing” cost, with no need to kill trees. But not all people like it

Elizabeth Medina

Filipino readers should ask bookstores to carry Peter Bacho’s books. He is an excellent Filipino American writer. He was born in the U.S. of Ilocano parents. His father was part of the Manong Generation (do today’s Filipino readers know who the Manongs were?). Is there a single subject on the literature written in English in the U.S. between World War I and World War II by the Manong Generation being taught in the Philippines schools and universities? That literature is in English and it’s damned good, and it’s got the Filipino soul stamped on it. Do any Filipino youth know… Read more »

John Earle
John Earle

Today (Tuesday 2 November 2011) I visited Balay Negrense or the house of the son of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston in Silay City. Gaston senior was a contemporary of Nicholas Loney, first British Vice-Consul in Iloilo, in whom I have a particular interest. The only piece of information missing was the date of Gaston senior’s death. I know when Loney died but cannot find anywhere when Gaston died.
Does anyone know this and can give a verifiable reference?