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George Pig’s Beginner Tagalog Books

4/5

Story: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Overall: 8/10

“A poor young woman becomes a personal maid for a rich and handsome young man. The two do not get along at first, but as their lives become entangled, their relationship becomes more complicated.” 

Diary ng Panget was the second book I ever read in Tagalog. Originally a WattPad original, it was later published into a series of four novels — later made into a movie.

The book has an Anime tier Cinderella story plotline, and it makes more sense if you imagine the characters are actually in high school and not college as the book suggests. 

The book — if read as a single e-book — is over 500 pages in length. The language used is colloquial but dated. It is full of Taglish and slang that is about a decade old. As a certified boomer, I’m okay with sounding a bit out of date.

Like most Tagalog media, I wouldn’t read it for the plot. It is however a great starter book for a Tagalog learner with a firm grasp of the fundamentals who is still lacking in vocabulary.

4/5

Story: N/A
Characters: N/A
Overall: 9/10

“A horror book written as a challenge by a published author. One story a day for 100 days”

 

100 Tales of Horror is my all-time favorite book in Tagalog. The title is self-explanatory. It is a series of 100 short horror stories, some of which are interconnected.

I enjoyed this book because the stories vary in length and none are too long. As a person with ADHD-PI, I found this format very rewarding and easy to get into.

The plots and characters in the stories can vary, but one thing is consistent — the quality. Kuya Soju is an ethnic Tagalog — only about 30% of Tagalog speakers are native — and it shows. The quality of the Tagalog is consistently higher than much of what is available to us as readers.

The difficulty of the book is hard to rate because some stories are harder than others. The book is fairly recent and was written during covid. I find the covid horror stories to be an accurate analogy to what it was like to be under the world’s longest covid lockdown.

4/5

Story: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Overall: 8/10

“This is the story of an innocent girl growing up, a simple story that many of us will surely relate to. Join Remison on her quest of growing up while facing different realities of love, friendship, and adult life.”

Dalaga na si Remison has a special place in my heart. The book is one of the closest things to a graded reader we have in Tagalog.

The book tells the story of a girl. As the girl grows up so do the characters and the world around her. The difficulty of the language and topics increases as she ages in the book.

Dalaga na si Remison is an interesting way to experience the Pinoy childhood you never had. I am unsure if the book is properly a romance, but it does have romantic themes (and many others). The book is a poster child for what slice of life books for early language learners could be.

The author, Anak ni Rizal, is very prolific and writes in many genres. She also has a YouTube channel talking about books and Wattpad in Filipino.

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