7 Amazing Filipino Audiobooks That Are Worth The Listen

filipino-audiobooks-must-listen

What if instead of reading, we close our eyes and let the words flow straight to our ears? Audiobooks do just that, and more—their convenience, novelty and personal touch brought through a narrator’s voice have made them a popular way to read (or listen) to all kinds of books. The audiobook industry has been booming for a while now, yet Filipino audiobooks are still few and far between. To that end, we’ve picked out 7 great audiobooks made by Filipino authors, so go check them out and support them if you like their work!

1. Ang Singsing ng Dalagang Marmol

Author: Isabelo de los Reyes, Sr.

Narrated by: April Gonzales

Genre: Historical Fiction

Length: 1 hr 5 min

Where to get: LibriVox, YouTube 

Told through the perspective of a survivor of the Philippine-American war, Ang Singsing ng Dalagang Marmol bears witness to the story of Colonel Puso and Liwayway, two lovers separated by war, status and family. This audiobook was made by LibriVox, a non-profit project that gathers volunteers from around the world to make free public domain audiobooks. If you’d like to take a peek of what life was during the war, look no further than this audiobook.

2. Patron Saints of Nothing

Author: Randy Ribay

Narrated by: Ramón de Ocampo

Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Length: 9 hrs 2 min

Where to get: Audible

Filipino immigrant Jay Reguero hears news of his cousin Jun, who was murdered by Duterte’s infamous war on drugs, and travels back to his homeland to learn the truth. But truth is never simple, and oftentimes hurts more than it heals. Patron Saints of Nothing explores faith, family and familiarity (or unfamiliarity) of an immigrant to a country he feels both connected and separated to, making it a must-listen audiobook.

3. Lalani of the Distant Sea

Author: Erin Entrada Kelly

Narrated by: LuLu Lam

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure

Length: 6 hrs 34 min

Where to get: Audible

In this six-hour listen, Lalani of the Distant Sea features Lalani Sarita and her journey to secure her future. Life in the island of Sanlagita is hard, and the road to Mount Isa where bountiful riches await has taken the lives of many boys and men. Inspired by Filipino folklore, Lalani’s quest is filled with fantastic creatures, vivid scenery and perilous challenges, perfect for stimulating the imagination as you listen to LuLu Lam’s riveting narration.

4. Manila Noir

Edited by: Jessica Hagedorn

Narrated by: Tez Bois, Ramon De Ocampo

Genre: Fiction, Anthology

Length: 6 hrs 17 mins

Where to get: Audible

Noir is a genre of crime fiction characterized by cynicism and moral ambiguity, and Manila is perfect for it, as demonstrated by this award-winning noir anthology written by reputable Filipino authors. Immerse yourselves in how these authors describe and define Manila as a city of extremes, along with a dash of the supernatural and super-natural. 

5. The Groom Will Keep His Name

Author: Matt Ortile

Narrated by: Matt Ortile

Genre: LGBT, Nonfiction

Length: 9 hrs 26 mins

Where to get: Audible

The Groom Will Keep His Name is Ortile’s collection of essays about himself, tackling themes of power, sex, and the model minority myth. Both funny and informative, Ortile connects his personal experiences as a gay Filipino immigrant to the bigger picture of race, romance, queerness and colonization. The audiobook is also self-narrated, which adds a lot more personal touch to his already personal book. (Note that this book also contains sexual scenes.)

6. Phantompains

Author: Therese Estacion

Narrated by: Therese Estacion

Length: 1 hr 32 mins

Genre: Poetry

Where to get: Audible

Grim and surreal, Phantompains is Therese Estacion’s harrowing account of her battle with a rare infection that took her legs, fingers and reproductive organs. Her collection of poems incorporate visceral feelings of loss, trauma and catharsis, surrounded with monsters inspired by Filipino horror and folk tales. Narrated by Estacion herself, Phantompains brings the reader into her hospital room, making them feel her haunting, painful experiences.

7. A Portrait of Jade

Author: Justine Tajonera

Narrated by: Nana Caragay

Length: 1 hr 38 min

Genre: Contemporary, Romance

Where to get: Audiophile 

Jade Alverio embarks on a trip to Baguio for summer art camp, but gets paired with Alexander Santamaria III, who is the poster boy of bad news. But she’s already there, and home means going back to her demanding parents and annoying sister. Pinoys love their romance, and A Portrait of Jade is sure to bring the rush of “kilig” that comes with a good love story.

Filipino audiobooks are hard to come by, and when they do, they are difficult to search and catalog as they are published under different companies. Bookshelf PH’s Audiophile platform aims to create a centralized hub for Filipino audiobooks, where readers (or listeners) can choose from its growing library for audiobooks that suit their taste. You can become a member of Audiophile hereOnce you register your account, use the coupon code GETSTARTED to get a free 1-month trial to browse audiobooks at your own leisure.

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