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Bookbed recommends: Filipino Christmas Stories

by KB Meniado

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to catch up on our to-be-read piles and complete those reading challenges, am I right or am I right? Now maybe you already have your own list of books for your holiday readathon tradition, but here are two Filipino Christmas anthologies you may want to include: A Child’s Treasury of Philippine Christmas Stories by Lin Acacio-Flores and Annette Flores Garcia, illustrated by Albert Gamos, and 12 Kwentong Pamasko by Rene O. Villanueva, illustrated by May M. Tobias.

Both books carry holiday stories that are imaginative and identifiable, stories that bring life lessons not only applicable to readers of young ages, but also for those in the older range who want to reminisce Filipino customs and traditions during the season.

The Philippine Christmas Stories collection is written in English, representing a few different parts of the Philippines with its tales set in the city and in provincial towns. There’s a story about the Christmas ghosts of Vigan, the Aeta Christmas baby, the Maranao sultan with the heart of stone. “The Bamboo Who Wanted to Be a Christmas Tree” that won third prize in the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature—Short Stories for Children in 1993 is also part of the anthology.

In 12 Kwentong Pamasko, Rene O. Villanueva shares a dozen of his Christmas-inspired legends, all written in Filipino. The stories are a mix of fun and funny, and the art accompanying them are a treat as well.

While these two may be a little challenging to use in storytelling sessions (mainly because of the size of the books), these two collections can bring a smile and nudge to the heart to the readers who will pick them up.

Maligayang Pasko! ☁


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