This time I’m doing something new because I’M JOINING A READATHON FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME! Now, I don’t usually join readathons because I’m a mood reader and my brain refuses to follow a specific TBR (hence the fact that I hardly have TBR posts on this blog). I also think that readathons can bring too much pressure on me as a reader and my heart is too faint for that but right now I am making an ✨ exception ✨. Why is this so? Well, I’m joining this readathon because it’s always an honor to support and promote Filipino authors!
Wikathon is a month-long readathon hosted by Filipino content creators (please show them some love I will link their Youtube channels below) in celebration of Buwan ng Wika (or the Month of Languages in English). Every August, the Philippines celebrates Buwan ng Wika to pay homage to the rich culture and languages in the country.
In case you didn’t know, I’m a full-blooded Filipino and I’ve lived in the Philippines my whole life. There are over 170 languages in the Philippines and I can only speak three of them (Bisaya, Waray and Tagalog). Yes, this dragon is multilingual but only has three brain cells. Those two facts can coexist.
When I watched @yourtitakate‘s Wikathon announcement on her Youtube channel, I immediately knew that I HAD to join this readathon. In the past few years, I have started reading books by Filipino authors but there are still a lot of them that I haven’t read. This readathon is the perfect time to discover more Filipino authors and scream about their books.
Before I move on to the main post (yes this rambling has an end just wait), full disclosure that I might not read all of the books in this TBR because 1) I’m starting my second year of uni next month and I can’t concentrate on reading when it starts and 2) being a mood reader is a huge pain in my proverbial dragon tail. However, even if I might not end up reading all these books at least they can serve as handy recommendations if you still haven’t finalized your TBR for Wikathon (translation: pls read these books for me if I am unable to do so 😭).
Now let’s get to my TBR and book recommendations!
Wikathon has eight prompts: Filipino SFF, Filipino LGBTQIA+, New to Me, The Modern Pinoy, The Filipino Diaspora, S2PID Love, Sariling Wika, and Hosts’ Choice (see graphic below for more information). I am going to read books based on all eight prompts but I have chosen only six books for my TBR because some books fit multiple prompts.
(read a sci-fi or fantasy book by a Filipino author)
For this prompt, I have chosen to read The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso! This book has been on my TBR for quite a while but I haven’t gotten to it yet. This seems to be the perfect time to read it especially because @yourtitakate and @readerofqueens have decided to start a separate readathon for it starting August 1. I don’t know a lot about this book except that it’s fantasy and it has a badass queen, an absent king (my friends either despise him or thirst over him so that’s VERY interesting right there) and apparently there’s also food. All in all, it sounds great okay? I am 90% sure that this is going to be a new favorite. This is also my pick for the Hosts’ Choice prompt because Kate loves and recommends this book so much.
I am a complete trash for SFF and I have read quite a lot of books written by Filipino authors. You can choose these books for your own TBR!
• All the Rin Chupeco books
Every Rin Chupeco book is worth reading. The Bone Witch trilogy is one of my all time favorite fantasy series because it has dragons + necromancy excellence. The Never Tilting World has great world-building and lovable characters. Wicked as you Wish serves fairytale goodness and will keep you screaming for a sequel after you finish it. READ THEM ALL.
• Ignite the Stars duology
This duology is criminally underrated despite being a total masterpiece. Ignite the Stars is a sci-fi space opera that will grip you since page one. It’s also action-packed and has cool spaceships in it. Go read it.
• Where Dreams Descend
Where Dreams Descend comes out next month and is a perfect fit for this readathon! I have recently raved about this on my blog (and basically everywhere else really) because I am absolute trash for Kallia and Demarco. If you’re looking for a fantasy book with a lush world and romance full of yearning, I highly recommend this one.
• All the Roshani Chokshi books
I LOVE ROSHANI CHOKSHI SO MUCH. The Gilded Wolves has my favorite chaotic children and yes Severin and Laila definitely serve yearning and mutual pining on a platter sprinkled with a lot of pain. I also adore the Pandava series. If you love middle grade books, it’s perfect for you. Aru Shah is a sassy protagonist and the books are so full of adventure and friendship dynamics. I haven’t read The Star-Touched Queen yet but it also fits this prompt perfectly.
The Filipino Diaspora
(read a book by a diaspora Filipino author)
I have chosen this book because I am vampire trash (the amount of vampire fics i read on wattpad when i was in high school……yeah let’s not talk about that) and the author has kindly sent me a copy of the book so it’s FINALLY time for me to read it. Apparently this book is based on Filipino folklore, specifically aswangs, and has a mystery subplot. I’m excited to dive into it! This book also fits the new to you author prompt so this is also my pick for that prompt.
(read a book by an LGBTQIA+ Filipino author)
It’s finally time for me to read this. I’m a fan of Rin Chupeco but I haven’t gotten to this book yet. Rin is nonbinary and genderfluid so this book fits the prompt. The Girl from the Well is a YA Horror story based on a Japanese ghost story (goodreads said). I’m not that much into horror but I have found love for the genre when I started listening to the horror podcast The Magnus Archives. Looking forward to reading this one!
(read a book in a Filipino language)
Susumaton: Oral Narratives of Leyte is a collection of oral narratives that documents Waray storytellers speaking in their own tongue. According to the blurb, “the stories in this book are direct transcripts, presented exactly as they were told”.
I’m really excited to read this book because I don’t get to read a lot of books in Waray (though there are English translations at the end of each story for non-Waray readers). Bisaya is my mother tongue but I have learned to speak and understand Waray while growing up because my maternal grandparents (and my mother) are native Waray speakers. It’s also more interesting because the editor of this book was one of my mom’s professors when she was studying in UP. There’s so much history surrounding this book and I love it for that.
The Modern Pinoy
(read a book by a Filipino author set in the modern-day Philippines)
I have been reading a lot of middle grade this month and I would love to carry that energy on to August as well. Everlasting Nora is a story about a young girl living inside the Manila North Cemetery in the Philippines who goes on a journey to search for her missing mother. I have heard a lot of great things about this book and I think it’s also going to make me cry. Looking forward to that.
For this prompt I recommend Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay. The protagonist is a Filipino-American teenager who seeks answers about his cousin’s murder who was killed as part of Duterte’s war on drugs. The romance in this book was not for me but it’s still a powerful read that can open your eyes on the injustices happening in the Philippines during the Duterte regime. This book also fits the Filipino diaspora and Hosts’ Choice prompts.
(read a romance book by a Filipino author)
I don’t read a lot of romance books now (but I used to read a lot of Filipino romace books on Wattpad back in the day) but this caught my attention when I was on the romance class website searching for a book for this prompt. I also found this book in Scribd and read the cute blurb so I decided to include this book on my TBR. It also seems like a short read which seems like a win-win for me.
I read this a year ago and I just fell in love with the beautiful writing and the A+ food content. There are also magical elements in this book. I also remember the romance being so cute so you should definitely check this book out. I think this also fits the Filipino diaspora prompt.
Those are all the books in my Wikathon TBR! I’m reading most of these books digitally (via ebook or audiobook) because Book Depository still isn’t delivering to the Philippines and I don’t have a bookstore nearby where I can personally buy these books. I can’t also travel to other local bookstores because of the pandemic. There are online bookshops but the local shipping fee has also skyrocketed recently (and I live in the province so shipping is even more expensive, hate that for me) so that option is not the best for me either. Okay I’m rambling but I’m just salty that I can’t take pretty pictures of my TBR for bookstagram 😭
Personal woes aside, thank you so much to the hosts Kate @yourtitakate, Gerald @geraldthebookworm, Kat @herbookishside, Alex @alexontheblock, and Julienne @lovejulienne for bringing this readathon to life. If you’re looking for more recommendations, please check out the hosts’ booktube channels because most of them have Wikathon TBRs you can check out. There are A LOT of great books by Filipino authors that I wasn’t able to include in this post, both independently- and locally-published, but they have recommended. To everyone reading this post, please consider joining this readathon to support Filipino authors! Let’s support readathons that focus on diverse books and authors of color ✨
Before I end this post, I am urging everyone to inform yourselves about what’s happening in the Philippines. Currently, our country is losing its democracy and Filipinos are being robbed of our freedom of speech. The carrd below contains information, donation links, and ways you can help. Really, the least you can do is amplify our voices. Also, PLEASE DONATE TO THE VARIOUS DRIVES ON THE CARRD. There are a lot of PayPal links and a few dollars can go a long way.