MenagerieBook recommendations from the Malate Literary Folio
Book recommendations from the Malate Literary Folio
June 17, 2014
June 17, 2014

Looking for a new book to read, new films to watch, or new music to listen to? Drop your schoolwork for a while as The Menagerie brings you recommendations from around the campus.

For this month, we ask members of DLSU’s Malate Literary Folio to tell us about the books that changed or shaped them.


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From left to right: Malate’s Francis Quintana, Josh Paradeza, Jericho Aguado, and Eunice Sanchez

Eunice Sanchez

Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet (translated by Stephen Mitchell)

A member of the photography section of the Folio, Eunice served as Malate’s Associate Editor back in AY 2012-2013. She likes anything that is related to art, history, and the Filipino culture. She also enjoys taking black and white portraits of people.

What is the book about?

The book is composed of ten letters written by Rilke. It was addressed to a young a man who was looking for critique of some of his poems and asking for advice on becoming a writer. The two never met, I think. But for several years Rilke wrote him these ten letters discussing about what it is to be an artist and a person, the creative process, the importance of solitude, and many more.

How did you come to read the book?

I’ve read this countless of times. The first time I read it was two years ago. Our Editor-in-Chief in Malate gave us a list of books we could read during the summer and this was the first one I randomly picked. This was also the time when I had a hard time creating art for Malate and for myself. I felt stuck and I tried so hard to be calm while watching other staffers grow and improve with their craft. But then this book hit me. It taught me to be patient with my progress.

Did you expect it to affect you as much as it did?

I never thought I’d be attached to it. Like I said, I’ve read this countless of times. The letters were not addressed to me but sometimes I like to pretend that they’re mine. I like to believe that Rilke also wrote it for me. I am not a poet but I create art. I love art more than I could ever prove through my works but this doesn’t stop me from doubting myself from time to time. And when in doubt I go back to this book; not to feel good about myself but to be reminded that I should be patient.


Jericho Aguado

The Folio’s current Poetry Editor (OIC), Jericho loves watching movies and reading poems on a daily basis.

It’s a Mens World by Bebang Siy

What is the book about?

The book consists of personal short stories/anecdotes from Bebang Siy. She tackles different areas of her life such as the first time she menstruated and considered herself a woman, a traumatizing experience that all came back with the death of a relative, and how she met some of the most significant people that shaped her. All of these are spiced up with her hilarious tone throughout the entire book.

How did it shape you?

It’s a book that made me appreciate the small happenings in my life even more, especially if they make me laugh, because for sure, one day, they will be worth telling to those who are willing to listen.

Did you expect it to affect you as much as it did?

I didn’t expect it to affect me at all because at first, it seemed to be written only for comical purposes, but Bebang Siy’s sincere yet sharp attack at her stories gave them more purpose. This is why I fell in love with it and managed to read it twice.


Francis Quintana

The Folio’s former Prose Editor, Francis is currently serving as its Associate Editor.

Ang Utos ng Hari at iba pang Kwento by Jun Cruz Reyes

What is the book about?

The book is a collection of short stories that are ‘kapos,’ or according to Jun Cruz Reyes, stories that aren’t whole or complete. Stories that leave you hanging. He intentionally does it, going against short story critics.

How did it shape you?

That’s where I first saw how a writer could utilize colloquial language in literature. That’s where I first learned how to draw readers closer to real life experiences. After reading this book, I strove harder to get better in writing and reading more books.


Josh Paradeza

Josh is currently the Prose Editor (OIC) of the Malate Literary Folio. He enjoys walking on the streets of Manila during midnight, looking for material that he can use to write better stories.

Ang Banal na Aklat ng mga Kumag by Allan Derain

How did you come to read the book?

A friend recommended the book to me, saying it was a Palanca award winner back in 2011. I bought it right away, and I definitely don’t regret that decision.

What did you like about it?

It’s awe-inspiring how Allan Derain collated various stories of myths, religion, and even Philippine history. The ideas and style of narration is so fresh, it’s akin to a thirst-quenching halo-halo on a sunny day.

Probably one of my favorite parts of the book is how Derain finished it, how he made his own interpretation on the origin of fireflies. Until now, the author’s message still echoes in my head: “Huwag matakot masunog ang pakpak sa dingas ng apoy.”