Over the years, I’ve been quite lucky since I’ve had the chance to meet some of my favorite writers and illustrators!
If I could take some writers out on a date, I would pick: Kristine Canon and Tepai Pascual.
Admittedly, I have this bias for children’s books that are just plain fun! This is because I love to read aloud to my students. While we do read some books with serious topics, I just feel that not all books need to have the what’s-the-moral-story type of ending. Some books just need to be fun and some of them just simply tell the story of kids. This, I feel, is what I really love about Kristine Canon’s works. I believe that she captures the fun and happiness that we often associate with our childhood experiences. Whenever I read her stories in class, kids could definitely relate and would always appreciate the humor injected in the text or illustrations. Somewhere around our classroom, I would always hear students shout, “Bulaga!” (in relation to Pilo) and “Naay, Taay!!” (in relation to Naay, Taay!)
When I read the book Assassinations and Conspiracies by Manuel F. Martinez, I was fascinated with the story of Magellan and how the entire Spanish army was extinguished in the battle of Mactan. I immediately wondered why we haven’t made a movie about this historic event. It would be like having our own version of Frank Miller’s 300! Imagine my happiness when a few years ago, I stumbled upon Tepai Pascual’s Maktan 1521. Not many people choose to write about Philippine history or better yet recreate it in the form of a comic book. I thought it was a brave attempt for Tepai Pascual to try it out and perhaps inspire more people to give our history a second look.
For this post, I specifically chose to honor women writers and how their stories also challenge the norm (no matter how small). Kristine Canon’s works will always remind me that while moral lessons may be important in stories, it is just as important to make them fun and humorous. Tepai Pascual’s work inspires me to take a chance and awaken Filipino consciousness through art and imagination.
Kudos to Filipino women writers!