Our congratulations to this year’s winners of the Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards! Many thanks as well to the judges, nominees, finalists, and those who took time to vote!
Fiction in English
Winner: Gitarista by Reev Robledo (self-published)
True to its purpose, a book should reflect the world we live in. With its lyrical narrative, this book engages its reader by reflecting on the people, their culture, and principles. It effortlessly weaved both love and agony. A story in tune with the Filipino heart and spirit.
Fiction in Filipino
Winner: Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag by Allan Derain (Cacho Pub)
Romance in English
Winner: All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria (Self-Published)
This book has good chemistry between its characters and a nice dramatic build-up that ultimately makes for an adorable, kilig-inducing romance. Told in a simple manner, the love story could charm a Filipino reader through its sweet little moments. The ingenious idea of incorporating blogging goes to show how powerful social media is in sending a message of love, and the essence of travel makes the reading experience all the more enjoyable.
Romance in Filipino
Winner: Awit ng Veakaria (Book 2): Isadora, Ang Huling Tunay na Birhen ng Lamia by Vanessa (Precious Pages Corporation)
Mas masaya at masarap basahin ang kwento ng isang female lead character ng isang romance novel kung siya ay nagiisip at may sariling paninindigan. Hindi kinakailangang damsel in distress ang drama palagi ng isang female lead character sa romance novels. Dapat pang patatagin ang imahe ng kababaihan sa Pinoy Romance Novels at sinumulan ito ng manunulat sa kanyang character na marami pang pwedeng gawin at makamit bilang hero or lead character ng serye. Naghihintay ang mga mambabasa ng Veakaria sa muling pagsibol ni Isadora.
Winner: Manila Noir edited by Jessica Hagedorn (Anvil)
This book showcases the darkest side of Manila. As an anthology, it succeeded in gathering the children of this mythical metropolis in order to tell stories borne from the shadows. 14 mosquito bites, some only sting but most may paralyze you. It does not make Manila a resounding place of terror, but proves that reality is creepier than your make-believe horror.
Young Adult Fiction
Winner: The Despicable Guy by Leng De Chavez (Summit/Pop Fiction)
Among all the three books that were presented to us, this book was the one that made us laugh out loud, giggle, and swoon. We loved how the two leads were able to mingle with each other through an uncouth demeanor because we could already sense a spark between the two. The budding romance took a long time to bloom because it was supposedly a friendly relationship, where you are at arms length but once a flame sparks, it will ignite. This is our favorite type of romance, from staring daggers to the last kiss. It was never about the first, but the last will mean the most. The Despicable Guy is an überfun book and you’ll be smiling through every snarky comment. It was truly memorable! We’d strongly recommend this to many young readers, it’ll turn that frown upside down. We assure you.
Children’s Picture Book
Winner: Princess Lea: The Life and Story of Lea Salonga by Yvette Fernandez, illustrated by Nicole Lim (Dream Big Books)
Comics & Graphic Novels
Winner: Kikomachine Komix Blg. 9 by Manix Abrera (Visprint)
Sa pamamagitan ng napaka-Filipinong estilo at sensibilidad, naipapakita ng librong ito ang iba’t ibang uri ng karanasan at ineengganyo ang mga mambabasa na pag-isipan ang kanilang buhay. Tiyak na maaaliw at may mapupulot ang sinumang babasa nito.
Winner: Musings of a Filipino Fighter by Malyari Lucban (Dagitab Publishing)
Inspirational / Religious
Winner: Lovestruck: Sexy Edition by Ronald Molmisa (OMF)
This book does not only thoroughly discuss the vital issues on love, sexuality, and relationships, but also uplifts individuals facing these types of problems by providing valuable pieces of advice that are consistently grounded on Christian faith and practicality. Furthermore, the author’s language and straightforward writing style were effective in communicating his message to the readers, which actually makes the book an interesting read.
Winner: Parang Kayo Pero Hindi by Noreen Capili (Anvil)
The tales told in this book are nothing unheard of, nor are the thoughts and feelings about the stories the author tells, but what makes this collection of essays hit close to home is its sincerity and downright honesty masked by witticism. This book not just brings out its own brand of wit but it also shows the humor in the bittersweet.
Food & Cookbook
Winner: Dessert Comes First by Lori Baltazar (Sketchbooks)
It was a unanimous decision among the three judges. This book’s creativity in layout, photography, and meaningful story telling are far more superior than the other nominees thus making it the most engaging book in this category. This cookbook exemplifies passion, love, care, dedication, and hardwork. It was a treat reading it.
Winner: 60 Minutes: Interviews with People Who Inspire by Ivy Mendoza / Manila Bulletin (Anvil)