Filipino Fridays, Week 4: Diversity

I know, I know, it’s Tuesday. I swear I tried, I really tried to squeeze a post in on the right day, but….

Anyway, this was the prompt from Filipino Readercon:image

Do you think we have enough diversity in the books that we read? Are our choices enough to satisfy our different tastes? Are our writers able to present the variety of people, culture, lifestyle, interests and so on? How diverse are your reading interests, and are you able to find enough books to satisfy your reading needs? Do you think we need more diverse books?

I believe the variety of Filipino books being published has grown enormously in the last decade or so. The Filipino graphic novel genre is thriving now, and there has been a mushrooming of contemporary romantic novels, chick-lit, humor lit and even inspirational/religious books. Moreover with the emergence of Wattpad and similar platforms, producing popular lit especially young adult fiction and even fan fiction has become feasible for practically everyone, resulting in the e-publication of so many books in these genres/sub-genres.

That being said, I think there still remains in the Filipino book scene quite a huge dearth in the local-language literary fiction genre–in fact literary fiction as a whole, although there are apparently more of such works in English that are being published. I am also particularly keen on seeing a growth in the Christian/religious fiction genre, which is virtually nonexistent. And yes, we definitely need more works to represent the cultural diversity among Filipinos.

As for my reading pursuits, I have been working over the past couple of years to explore previously uncharted genres, but I must confess that I can do better at consuming Filipino lit. I read a few this year, but definitely far from enough. Maybe next year will be that breakthrough year for me to catch up on ’em Filipino books.

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