What books are you reading? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


Angelo Comsti

Author of best-selling cookbooks, “Homemade for the Holidays,” “From Our Table to Yours,” and, most recently, “The Filipino Family Cookbook”


My books for reading have formed into a dusty pile, but with more free time this coming holiday, I’m hoping I can polish them off and finally keep them in their designated shelf space. It includes “The Third Plate” by Dan Barber; “Salt: a World History” by Mark Kurlansky; and the winter issue of Kinfolk magazine.


Because of a big project I’m working on, what I’m currently preoccupied with is “Kinilaw: A Philippine Cuisine of Freshness” by Edilberto Alegre and Doreen Fernandez. It’s quite dated (published in 1991) but is still very relevant today. It lets readers in on the history, regional varieties, intricacies and beauty of a dish we too often take for granted. The kinilaw suffers from familiarity and this book is making me realize just how important and definitive it is to our rich culinary landscape.


Rogelio Braga

Playwright, fiction writer, and faculty member at Mapúa Institute of Technology


I am reading Toer’s “Child of All Nations,” the second book from his Buru Quartet. I’m done with “This Earth of Mankind,” then next week I’ll continue with “Footsteps,” and then “House of Glass.” I have to finish reading all the four books before the semester begins in Mapúa and teaching will occupy most of my time. Buru Quartet got my interest since I am curious about how colonized people negotiate their identities. Toer’s books paint the life of Indonesia under the Dutch colonial rule, and how Minke, the main character, developed from a mere colonized mimic man to an agent of resistance against colonialism. I am looking for patterns of resistance against colonialism in Southeast Asia, and the Buru Quartet, together with Rizal’s Noli and Fili, is a must-read.


Gary Devilles

Ateneo de Manila University professor; editor of the anthology “Pasakalye: Isang Paglalayag sa Mga Panitikang Filipino” and the forthcoming “Kritikal na Espasyo ng Kulturang Popular,” with Rolando Tolentino


Both Laura Mark’s “Touch” and Jane Rendall’s “Site Writing” address the divide between sociology and writing. My work “Sensing the City” is essentially an attempt to bridge this gap as well, reading the city’s contradictions, and my ironic situations and circumstances in light of situated knowledge, touching or haptic, affective experiences. In this holiday season, it is always good to be reminded that there is a sense after all from this rigmarole.