Mabuhay! Of Film and Fiction

Today is the Philippines' Independence Day and if you're a long time follower of my blog, then you know that Alexa and I celebrate almost every year with a feature called MABUHAY, as a way to not only celebrate Filipinos in literature but to share a little bit of ourselves too. We started this tradition in 2014 but completely forgot last year with our busy schedules. Clearly, we weren't going to make the same mistake again! 

This is our sixth year running Mabuhay and I love how it's evolved over time. In the past we've talked about our upbringings, dined at a Filipino restaurant, connected with amazing authors and fellow bloggers, and shared some of our favorite music. This year we decided to each watch a new-to-us Filipino movie (Thanks Netflix!) and tell you what we thought. And, as always, we've each got a guest Filipino author joining us on our blogs to celebrate too. 

What I watched: All of You
I've always had a love-hate relationship with Filipino cinema. They tend to be overly dramatic or cheesy for my tastes but I did go through a phase after college where I suddenly developed an appreciation for them and found a few I really liked. Then I went back to hating them again. So it had been forever since I watched one! I asked one of my best friends for some recommendations and All of You was on her list. I picked it because I thought the premise could be fun plus the lead actor, Derek Ramsay is extremely attractive.

It's about two people, Gabby and Gab (yes, seriously) who meet on a dating app and instantly hit it off. We watch their relationship unfold throughout the years as that chance date quickly becomes something more serious. But while the chemistry between them is undeniable, so are their differences, which also catch up to them. It's a surprisingly quiet movie! It totally had its cheesy moments (especially on that first date) and it has its fair share of angst but it was actually a pretty honest look at a relationship that begins to go south. Overall, I wouldn't say I loved it but I was entertained! I think if the movie had ended in a less predictable manner, I would've liked it a lot more. If anything, this movie makes me more curious to check out the other Filipino films on Netflix!

Say hello to Rin Chupeco!
We've been so lucky to chat with authors about Filipino culture and its presence (or lack thereof) in literature. Today I have Rin Chupeco on the blog, while Alexa is featuring Janella Angeles

Rin Chupeco, the author of The Bone Witch series, Wicked as You Wish and more, did a little Q&A with us that I'm excited to share!

1. What aspects of Filipino culture would you like to see more of in the books you read?
I actually would like the opposite! I would actually like to see Filipinos being featured in books the way white characters are featured - where the book doesn’t have to be about key Filipino issues for protagonists to be Filipino. I want them to be slaying dragons and being the Chosen One without having to deal with the drug war or poverty or crimes. I want people to get used to writers writing Filipinos being protagonists simply because they want them to be Filipino. I *would* like more Filipino mythology in books, though - I want rich stories and folklore to celebrate, rather than sad, heartwrenching issues.

2. As a Filipino, what do you find special or inspirational about our culture?
I think we’re pretty much underdogs in a lot of ways. Filipinos have weathered through a lot of things that people from other countries can’t even begin to imagine. We don’t have a very good safety net financially because our government is crap, and we’ve had to fight for what most people from other countries would take for granted. And yet somehow, we’ve got a lot of damn talent. We can successfully compete globally despite having more obstacles to get through. We’re optimistic, sometimes to a fault, and no matter how rough it gets we don’t like giving up. I’m kinda proud of that!

3. What book by a Filipino author would you recommend?
Sticking mainly to fantasy - The Gilded Wolves series by Roshani Chokshi is a treasure! Also, the Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. Villoso is excellent! And then there’s the Steel Crow Saga by Paul Kreuger!

Thank you for joining our little celebration! We hope you enjoyed it.
And don't forget to head over to Alexa's blog too!

To see our posts from previous years: 
On Hello, Chelly
On Alexa Loves Books


  1. I love this feature - Rin Chupeco is such an amazing author, super excited that you got the chance to interview her! :)

    Riv @ Small Stained Pages

  2. I'm so glad we were able to make MABUHAY happen last year! It was fun to watch a Filipino film (which I hadn't done in ages) :)


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