Tag Archives: Leon Ma. Guerrero

More and more Philippine Books on Kindle!

Earlier, I bought El Filibusterismo by León María Guerrero III in the Kindle store for $9.99. While I have the book version back home, I thought of reading it again. I also have his brilliant translation of Noli Me Tangere. But in my opinion, Ma. Soledad Lacson-Locsin’s Noli was far more significant and accurate because she was from Rizal’s generation.

I noticed lately that there’s an increase in books authored by Filipinos in Kindle. For someone who collects Filipiniana titles this is exciting news.


Best biography on Rizal, also by Guerrero. The copy I have was given to me by an office colleague, Ben, nephew of NHI’s Director Badoy. This is also available in Kindle.

Recent titles like Endless Journey by Jose Almonte and Juan Ponce Enrile’s memoir, both criticized for some deceitful claims but generally good reads for both are major political figures. I’ll probably buy these two after I finish reading quite a few titles that I haven’t even started reading!

Almonte was assisted by journalist Marites Dañguilan-Vitug who also have her books about the Philippine Supreme Court on Kindle: Hours Before Dawn, Shadow of Doubt and Our Rights, Our Victories.

There are also several books about the Marcos era. One that is worth picking up is Primitivo Mijares’ “The Conjugal Dictatorship”. The author was an aide to Marcos who turned critic during the martial law years. Mijares, known as Tibo to his friends, went missing and was never found. His son was also murdered a year later.

Other books about the Marcoses on Kindle are mostly about Imelda. Which I’m sure sells well because Westerners are fascinated by her. Like Carmen Navarro Pedrosa’s work. I remember reading Marcos’s diary where the former President cited that this author was financed by Iniñg Lopez (Eugenio II) to malign his wife.

Now, for the hardcore Philippine History buff you better download “The Philippine Islands” of Blair and Robertson. Antonio de Morga’s “History of the Philippines” (originally “Sucesos de las islas Filipinas”) is also a great addition. Even Dean Worcester’s Philippine: Past and Present is up for free download. This American, who came to the islands in the late 1800’s, won a libel case against the Spanish newspaper El Renacimiento in 1908. Kalaw was one of the newspapermen that was sentenced to go to prison but was later pardoned by Governor Harrison.

Books about historical events and personalities during WWII abounds in Kindle. Admittedly, this is one area in our history that I haven’t really studied as well as 19th century Philippines.

In contemporary Philippine literature you have works from F. Sionil Jose. The Samsons, Don Vicente, Dusk, Three Filipina Woman and even a German version of Gagamba, der Spinnenmann. I interviewed F. Sionil before; indeed, a living legend. I enjoy reading his essays on Philippine history and current events.

Then there are Kindle books on finding Filipinas for companionship, marriage and even sex. I wonder how Amazon regulates such titles but they’re there and I’m sure some people are clicking and buying.


More Rizal

Media’s going loco over Rizal’s 150th birthday. The last time we had something similar to this was during the centennial.

I think this is good. Rizal is Rizal. Who doesn’t recognize the name. It’s everywhere. His life message is what we need to bring closer to our young people.

I’ll never forget reading Leon Ma. Guerrero’s “The First Filipino”,arguably the best bio on the hero. He captured the time, place, emotion – everything about Pepe Rizal. His work changed how I look at Rizal -he was extraordinary not because of how he died but how he lived.

The book was a gift from a friend (who’s now back in his native Cotabato I believe) His uncle is Mr. Badoy of NHI.

Guerrero’s bio is like Soledad Locsin’s English translation of Rizal’s novel. They did justice by writing without covering up the true Rizal. No one will ever write as good as these men and women when it comes to Rizal because they grew up in the hispano filipino culture and tradition before it was lost.

I wish that other heros, yes, those perilously close to being forgotten can one day get the same attention Rizal is getting. Rizal is awesome but it wouldn’t hurt if we can celebrate with the same enthusiasm the other important dates in the lives of the our lesser known heroes.

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