Good books I read on Philippines this trip:
A novel within a novel following a Filipino author trying to understand the death of one of his Filipino literary heroes. Told from the point of view of someone whose left the Philippines and returned, offers insights into life in modern day Manila and cultural identity of being Filipino.
Not directly related to the Philippines – in fact, the story is likely set in Pakistan, based on some descriptions (it’s kept ambiguous to accomodate a larger Asian theme) – but travelling through Manila and seeing tons of high rises and other developments going up plus whispers of a new middle class thanks to customer service centres popping up in the Philippines I was intrigued. It’s a quick read based on a young entrepreneur who chronicles the steps it takes to get up and out of poverty and join the industrial class, including how to bribe and sidestep laws. It was an interesting read.
Book I didn’t read but have on my list:
The American influence in Philippines is huge. Obama was on a visit while we were there, reinstating more of an American military presence after they had officially pulled out of all bases in the mid 90s. Interestingly, I learned from papers while I was there that many Filipinos are fine with American influence (Not all. Some were protesting Obama’s move. But on the whole, pro.)- some even admitting they wished they were an American colony. Anyhow, heard this book was a good one.