Jason Paul Laxamana’s The Third Party

Filipino teleserye cheesiness galore + LGBTQ themes = utter cuteness.



Petersen Vargas’ Hanging Out


Middle-class, millennial Philippines at its best.

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After stumbling across a random (but cute) dude’s party, David (Paulito Del Mundo) realizes that no, this is not the apartment of his Grindr hookup. (At least it’s not an orgy, either.) Plans canceled for the evening, David’s more than ready to go home; but random-birthday-boy’s friends are apologizing and urging him to tag along for the celebration, and what’s more, random-birthday-boy-Adrian (Jox Gonzales) himself is asking him to stay. Sige na lang, David figures. What harm could it do?


Salamanca by Dean Francis Alfar

A thing about Filipino fiction that I’m beginning to notice: You don’t quite know where the mythos begins and ends. On one hand Salamanca is a lot like The Unbearable Lightness of Being. It features characters that follow their passions and sees where it takes them; it asks questions about burdens, identity, and family, testing and poking at the reader’s personal philosophy with a raised eyebrow at said philosophy’s realism. (Or at least, mine.)

On the other hand, there are houses that turn into glass out of the power of beauty, and spirits that bless villagers for the sacrifice of children. It’s weird and savage and clever, if you don’t mind a bit of confusion.