Book Reviews


  • 101 FILIPINO ICONS, Volumes 1 & 2


    The two volumes contain a comprehensive survey of people, places, things and events that make the Filipino unique.  All Filipinos–or those seeking to rediscover their heritage–will relate to these historical and cultural icons.   The 101 icons in each volume represent the Filipino persona, a part of Filipino history, or an aspect of Filipino culture that would make every Filipino proud.  Each of the icons are arranged historically, according to the time in history where they emerged as part of the Filipino’s consciousness.

    Since the first volume could not cover all, a second one was prepared, with the sequel following the format established in the first volume.

    Both volumes are 9 by 12 inches, fully illustrated with photographs and  appropriate graphics.  It is a good keepsake for families that want to perpetuate the Filipino culture: the icons in the book can serve as a tool to generate discussion, serve as a reference source or a device to trigger memories.

    The volumes were edited by Ani Rosa Almario and Virgilio Almario, and published by Adarna House and Bench in 2009, softcover with color illustrations and archival photographs.  Adarna House is an established publisher of Filipino children’s literature while Bench is one of the Philippines’ top retailers.  The two companies have partnered on these two volumes — as Bench noted in the introduction–“to highlight what is best about being Filipino from our creativity and resourcefulness, to our unbreakable spirit…to create a book that will be a source of hope for Filipinos…” not just for those who remained in the Philippines, but for all including those in the Filipino Diaspora. Both volumes ($21.25 each) are available at Kalamansi Books & Things (  For more  information, email <> or call 808 358-2868 or 808 239-6365 (landline).

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  • PACMAN, My Story of Hope, Resilience, and Never-Say-Never Determination I

    by Manny Pacquiao with Timothy James

    Metro Manila: Anvil Publishing, Inc., 2010. 223p with color photographs.
    Softcover $13.75; Hardcover $20.75


    This autobiography is Manny Pacquiao’s inspiring rags-to-riches story told in his own words–his personal retelling of a life lived with hope and resilience. Manny Pacquiao was born and raised in an impoverished village in the Philippines. He provided for his family of five in his pre-boxing days by selling practically anything and everything on the streets of General Santos City in Bukidonon. He peddled roasted nuts, fish, ice water, doughnuts and bread to help his family survive.Named Emmanuel Dapidran Pacquiao at birth, the young Manny dreamed of joining the Catholic priesthood to serve God. But that was just a dream since he never had the opportunity to receive a formal education.

    Today he is known around the world as a sports legend. According to the New York TImes, Manny is–pound by pound–the best fighter in the world today. He started with nothing and rose to the top through sheer willpower, determination, devotion to his family and faith in God.

    Manny and his wife Jinkee are the parents of four children: Emmanuel, Michael, Princess and Queenie.


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