Literary Tour #1: Tradewinds Books

To officially kick off my search for libraries and bookstores, I decided to start my literary tour in The Silahis Center. This lovely old building is found in Calle Real del Palacio, Intramuros. The word silahis means the rays of the sun (it also means bisexual). The center is divided into four departments: Silahis Arts and Artifacts, Chang Rong Antique Gallery, Tradewinds Books and Galeria De Las Islas.

I have a penchant for old things and memorabilia, which is why I decided to make a bookstore in Intramuros my first destination.

Tradewind Books

As soon as I entered the bookstore, I literally let out a squeal of delight (that the cashier approached me) when I saw their Filipiniana collection. There were a lot of history books and some of which are already out of print!

Two books were written by Ferdinand Marcos (left and right) and the one in the middle was written by someone else

The book features 2 plays: Bongbong at Kris and Batang Pro

Where Angels Fear to Tread by Miriam Defensor-Santiago (interesting title ;p)

The bookstore also featured the usual items one would see in a Filipiniana collection: Rizal books, F. Sionil Jose and children’s books.


Books by F. Sionil Jose

Children's books

I also came across some books published in different dialects / languages. Here’s an example:

There are piles and piles of books on sale!

3 for Php 100!

Books for as low as Php 30!

Romance novels to support scholars (the raunchy covers kind of make it ironic hehe)

The bookstore is also friendly for people who want to take their time to browse books.

Tables, benches and chairs were scattered around the area for people who want to browse and sort their pile of choices

The cashier was also very friendly and referred me to go to Solidaridad Book Shop but I told her I was saving that trip for another time. After happily sharing to her my purchases, she told me to check out the different departments. My personal favorite, other than the bookstore, is the gallery on the fourth floor.

Galeria De Las Islas


Mixed media art


I don’t really know much about art but I was particularly drawn to the sketches and prints found inside the paper room. I liked the prints they made out of zinc plates. The assistant curator was nice enough to give me a short tour around the gallery. I learned about an artist named Antonio Doctor Garcia. The details in his works are amazing! Unfortunately, taking pictures of of specific artworks wasn’t allowed. So here’s a general view of the sketches and prints:

Sketches and prints

Sketches made by artists and students (they offer art lessons)

The Silahis Center also showcases a huge collection of Filipino and Asian antiques and crafts.

More antiques and ceramics

After walking around and lugging my books, I treated myself to dessert in Ilustrado, the restaurant right across Silahis.

The bar inside Ilustrado

Inside Ilustrado

Sampaguita Ice Cream (a bit too "flowery" for my taste)

It was an afternoon well spent and I came home with these:

Books on poetry, short stories and a novel from the 3 for 100 pile

Folktales from the Southern Philippines, Plays and a book by Marcos


The Silahis Center is open daily from 10am – 7pm. The antique stores have branches in Alabang and Makati as well. Tradewinds Books is a regular exhibitor in the Manila International Book Fair. Check out their official website: