Filipino childrens books

New Series! Filipino Kids Books

Kayang Masayang Hand

Howdy folks, how are you?

I’m sure that somewhere among my Internet channels and platforms I mentioned that I’m going to be an aunt! Truthfully, it’s so weird that I get a title as if I had any input into the matter 😅 But since I am getting it, I’m going to utilize it! It takes a village, right? Not just to help out when a baby’s born but continuing raising them and protecting, not just from physical danger but other harm.

There is a lot of push nowadays for diverse books for good reason. I’d previously never read a book with a Filipino character in it. As a child, I was desperate for this and didn’t even realize it. Maybe it wouldn’t have made any difference in something like a counting book, but as I began to read on my own, one does book reports, school projects that touch upon identity. One begins the search for the people with whom they choose to surround themselves, feel safe with and develop their worldview.

This is why I’ve decided to seek out Filipino kids books to send the new family. I don’t think that “representation” is a complete solution, so I’m not just sending whatever I find straight to them. I’m going to try to get whatever I can through my local (and not-so-local) library and review them! And then send ones that I like if I can.

Filipino childrens books

Masayang Magtanim! (Happy Planting!)

This is a very cute cardboard book by Gelai Manabat that really only has 4 pages with words. It is about what a small child needs to grow their mungo beans and is in Tagalog. The publisher is Adarna House which is in the Philippines so it may be difficult to find a copy outside. I couldn’t find one online, but my dad says searching for Adarna on eBay can help.

Kayang-kaya! (You Can Do It!)

This is another cardboard Adarna House book. It is by Alyssa Judith Reyes and about kids asking themselves if they can do various things and eventually confirming oo, kaya ko na! It even has a little shoelace on the back so readers can do one of the activities the kids do in the book. I’d actually like to get this book, but again it’s hard to acquire. Characters in both books are very light-skinned especially the dad in Kayang.

Hand Over Hand

When I had the idea for this series, I didn’t set any parameters which is how I ended up with this book by Alma Fullerton whom I don’t think is Filipino. It is about a little girl overcoming notions of what girls can/can’t do, in this case: fishing. I didn’t grow up in the Philippines, so I don’t know cultural specifics. My mom has told me her dad told her to behave in such a way, but I don’t know if there’d be such a reaction for fishing.

I’m just very defensive about a white Canadian veering into “Look how backward these little brown people are!” territory. Additionally, you end up with the little girl saying things like, “posh,” but at least the author uses “Lolo.” It almost ends up being kind of patronizing like: they literally call the girl a fisherwoman like it’s a good thing. Just say fisher!


Title Masayang Magtanim! Kayang-Kaya! Hand Over Hand
Author Gelai Manabat Alyssa Judith Reyes Alma Fullerton
Publisher Adarna House Ardana House Second Story Press
Language Tagalog Tagalog English
Level pre-school pre-school grades 2-3
Recommended if easily accessible yes! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

for the sake of me not knowing what real reading levels are, pre-school is about ages 0-5
grades 2-3 are about ages 7 – 10

Have you read any of these or have any suggestions?

maple holistics pin

Maple Holistics Silk18 Shampoo

Hello readers, what’s your quick pick-me-up?

Maple Holistics provided products in this blog.

I know we should know better than to put any worth into physical appearance, but I can see how treating oneself to something like a haircut or manicure can make one feel fancy and ready to take on the world. If you’ve got styling damage or don’t wash your hair with cold water like they say, you might be looking for a solution to dry hair.

Silk18 Shampoo

Maple Holistics was cool enough to previously let me try their Winter Blend shampoo and conditioner, and I’m excited that they’ve reached out again to let me try their Silk18 shampoo! Like the Winter Blend, Silk18 aims to strengthen hair and are paraben and sulfate-free. Silk18 is different as it contains argan and jojoba oil. It gets its name from the 18 silk amino acids which are supposed to strengthen hair follicles dryness, damage, and even split ends and fallout!

The first thing I noticed about Silk18 is the scent. It is a VERY sweet vanilla smell. You know that kind of smell, right? I actually love more sultry vanilla scents, so fortunately, that sweet scent doesn’t stay with you and you go around smelling like a cake (although I guess some might like that 🤔) !

maple holistics pin

As for the actual use, I can’t really tell if it helps with split ends. I do have less fallout at least in the shower.  I actually don’t think my hair is that dry, so it’s hard to say if it’s particularly moisturizing. But it definitely made my hair more sleek. Lately, my hair has been rather flat, so this isn’t really what I want. But perhaps this would work if you already have lots of hair and/or volume and want to make it more manageable.

Self Tanning Lotion

Self Tanning Lotion

I was also able to ask to receive this Self Tanning Lotion (bloggers, get yours! 😆). I’ve tried similar products in the past and they did not work for me. They would have a slightest color on me after the first use and then nothing. I was much more pleased with Maple Holistics!

This lotion comes out in a caramel color. Like: it literally looks like if you melted caramel. But thankfully it is not sticky at all. You must rub it into skin in a circular motion for the color to best absorb. What I’m so pleased about is that the color is noticeable, but it’s still subtle. I mostly want tanning products to even out tan lines, since I’m already kind of beige. This is perhaps why other products weren’t as noticeable on me (I needed darker shades), but not only is it noticeable, it doesn’t totally wash away after one shower.

Tanning Lotion Difference
Before & after 1 shade application. Not as dark as you’d think something called “dark shade” option would be but really helps even out my body’s overall color.

Additionally, keeping with Maple Holistics’s natural theme, it’s made with macadamia seed oil; shea butter; avocado oil; and mango, orange, and lavender extract. This is a slight citrus smell. My only problem is that is didn’t really absorb in the chest area which is a problem I’ve had with those other products and could be from my end as I didn’t really exfoliate and didn’t use a mitt.

Aside from the botanical ingredients, Maple Holistics also does not test on animals and has a recycling program for their bottles! They’ve updated their website since my Winter Blend post, so check them out!

Maple Holistics says the Silk18 should be fine for fine hair, so maybe I’ll try something different like using it to wash out a coconut oil treatment. What do you think? How can I pump up my hair!?


International Women’s Day

I was going to write this for a blogger’s event for the celebration, but I had no idea if I would actually have time and didn’t sign up. I ended up changing my mind after checking out her social media, but I still wanted to try the deadline. So even though I’m not writing for a new audience, I still felt I needed to share some info.

I am not an expert or even someone who has read a lot about the subject, but in such a heavy moment that’s involving young women, there should be more examination and clarification. Simplistic catchphrases are cute on your tote bag or coffee mug, but they shouldn’t be used as an understanding and in some cases dismissal of an entire historical movement. It seems that everyone wants the aesthetic but not the active part of learning, questioning and dismantling. They want to celebrate Malala Yousafzai (supports socialism) and IWD (created by socialists) but chant along with fascists that declare the US will never be socialist.

Feminism is not about equality. But it isn’t about “matriarchy” or special treatment. I’m not a big fan of the “choice” slogan either. These buzzwords may work for specific issues under feminism, but I have no desire to be equal to oppressors. That is not a goal or victory for women (just as patriarchy is not even working for men).

With disparity in female roles in Hollywood, movies like Captain Marvel— on a promo tour featuring the USAF– may be seen as empowering. But as films that feature military equipment receive direction from the Pentagon, always question: empowering for whom?

Privileged Western women can choose to join their militaries or become wealthy CEOs, but it doesn’t seem very “girl power” to invade, bomb, destabilize or otherwise create conditions where impoverished black and brown women are raped, murdered and/or forced into slavery. Or if the business owner doesn’t provide safe working conditions for women or pays them pennies. Or if a politician runs on and creates racist, xenophobic, homophobic, or anti-poor legislation which surprise! impact women with those identities.

“Equality” and “choice” may work as slogans for gay marriage and reproductive rights, but they’re very individual and divorce feminism as a notion of being for women collectively. I haven’t dwelt on this too much, but opponents are probably able to utilize them easier. There’s probably a very knee-jerk reaction of questioning what’s “for women” then. This is why I’m much more in favor of ideas like liberation (from oppression, perhaps you could throw in a patriarchal). This expresses that, should even a woman be a scumbag (lmao), she should not be discriminated against on the basis of her gender. Obviously, if she were a racist or championed laws like “right to work” or charter schools, she should be egged for being an asshole to poor women (as should a man, the only thing that should be equal, lol).

Additionally, while women may come to be included in positions traditionally for men, they most definitely are not treated as equal, so it’s just not true. Another point is that these boxed in phrases restrict our imagination! Some regard sex work as an empowering choice, but others aren’t in such a position. Shouldn’t we be free from that? If you are wronged does corporal punishment (which could possibly kill an innocent person) help? Wouldn’t you want what would allow you to thrive— health service, mental support, a home, some tangible proof that not just one person would be prevented from doing one crime but that we as a society were addressing that issue?

In short, it doesn’t fucking matter if you, personally, use face masks or like dresses. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t care for example, if a woman is president if they’re just going to take the “equal” route and exploit feminism to probably get rich off wars that kill foreign women, traumatize the soldiers and leave them both to fend for themselves. We must look at power and how systems and institutions impact the most vulnerable (women) and create a world that not includes women in oppressive roles but frees us from those positions.