The Hero Detectives

Sherlock Holmes? Hardy Boys? Nancy Drew? Detective Conan? If you’re familiar with them and you love solving puzzles and mysteries and connecting the dots then you must read this book. Aside from its eye catching book cover design and illustrations inside, this book will really get you into thinking different solutions and possibilities and will surely rattle your brain to find answers.

Detective Boys of Masangkay: Ang Mangkukulam by Bernalyn Sastrillo is about three boys, Uno, Junior and Thirdy, who dreams to be detectives. They formed a group named DBM or Detective Boys of Masangkay. Their number one goal is to solve mysteries and problems in their barangay. Problems like lost animals, clothes and even a missing person. The three of them have their own unique skills that they use in being kid detectives. All they want is to help and solve the mystery of the missing things and person in their barangay but because they are just kids, no one believed and trusted them. This didn’t stop them in helping but it made them more excited and eager to solve the problem. In the end it’s the DBM who solved the mystery in their barangay and proved the people for judging them wrong. For the adults they are just children who are playful and always curious about everything but they didn’t let other people belittle them. They showed and proved to their parents and to all the people in their barangay that they might just be kids but they can do things that adults cannot and are afraid to do.

Being a true detective is not measured by age but by how skilled and clever you are in solving problems. Sastrillo shows that kids like the DBM could save the day and be the heroes they want to be. The story is also set in the 90’s and brings back old memories where Facebook, Instagram or Twitter is not yet discovered. It’s the time where kids are happily playing in the streets with their friends. This novel is not just for kids to enjoy but also for adults who wants to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce their childhood days.

Friendship, trust and loyalty are just some of the things you can learn in this book. Every chapter is always full of clues and mystery that will really make you feel like a true detective, always searching for the missing piece in the puzzle. It’s like watching a detective movie where you can’t keep your eyes off because you might miss something.


Are Tiyanaks Real?

Have you seen a tiyanak? What if you have seen one but you just didn’t know it’s a tiyanak? Tiyanak’s are good at deceiving and fooling people. They can easily pretend to be someone else. They can be an animal or one of your family, friends or just someone you know. Sometimes they pretend to be you. Tiyanak’s can woo you into following them, bringing you into some place. They may bring you to a place where you can be safe but they can also put you into trouble. Maybe you’ll just know when you’ve come face to face with them.

In this novel by Edgar Samar, Si Janus Silang at Ang Tiyanak ng Tabon, the tiyanak (goblin) may be a symbolism of us people. Where we let ourselves be naive in the never ending cycle of deception, foolishness and stupidity. The tiyanak has a great role to play in the life of the main character, Janus, where he realizes that his life was just a big lie. He’s like a toy repeatedly being played by the tiyanak.

Edgar Samar’s young adult novel will take you to different worlds and dimensions and will make you feel different emotions. It’s a story about Janus who plays an online game, TALA. Everything seems normal at first until everyone who plays TALA dies except Janus. This incident became the turning point of Janus’ life. His whole life turned upside down and it seems that he doesn’t really know who he was. This is the start of Janus’ adventure into the world of fantastic and dangerous creatures and his discovery of his true self.

Full of adventures, mystery and sometimes scary creatures that will not let you sleep until you convince yourself it’s just a story (is it?). Once you start reading this you’ll find it hard to put it down. This novel is not just for kids but for all ages. You will not just learn about the tiyanak but also the different Filipino fantastic and unique creatures. Samar’s way of telling the story makes it more exciting and a total page-turner. Si Janus Silang at Ang Tiyanak ng Tabon is just the first book in the series so watch out for more adventures with Janus.

This is a must read book and will surely be your favorite in no time. I suggest you don’t read this book at night or when you’re alone. You never know if there’s a tiyanak at your side reading with you. Always be alert and mindful of your surroundings because life is full of deceit, dishonesty and pretension just like the tiyanak.

The Heart Wants What It Wants

Do you really know what’s in your heart? What it says, it feels, it really wants? What do you really want? What’s In Your Heart? by Ines Bautista-Yao will make you ask these questions to yourself and if you think this book will answer those questions, well you’re wrong. You’re the only one who can answer those questions but this book can help you. It can help you understand your heart and yourself more.

At first, I thought this is just a simple romance feel good story and I liked the cover design so I thought I’ll give it a try. This is not your ordinary book about love where boy meets girl and they fall in love. It tells a story of a nineteen year old girl where she finds herself lost in the middle of everything, her future, her family, friends, herself, just like every nineteen year old girl might be going through. She finds it hard to know what her real goals are and if she really has one. One can relate to Natividad, the main character, where she struggles to make a decision for her future. The interesting part of the story is how she goes through her life. Is it the way she knows best and safe for her and what other people tells her or is it what she really wants and what’s in her heart?

Aside from focusing on Natividad, the part where it became a page turner for me is when she started telling stories about her family, specifically about her grandmother and grandaunt where she and her sister got their names. Who doesn’t want to know stories about our grandparents and what mystery lies in it. Digging in the story of her grandaunt and grandmother and some old letters she found, gave Natividad something to think about and be interested in. The things Natividad discovered made her realize something about her that really helped her decide her future and what she really wants.


I can say that we can all relate to Natividad in some point of our lives where we feel lost and don’t know who we really are and what we really want. The story teaches us that if we want to pursue our dreams we should work hard for it and think what really matters and follow what’s in our hearts. This book is a real page-turner and is not cliché. It will really make you crave for more stories about Natividad’s life and her family.


Never Again

All the days we’ve been together
All the time we said forever
The moments that we never said never
Where we thought we’ll never be over

A perfect couple we used to be
A love and friendship we build for others to see
Your eyes that are just meant for me
Your love that I treasured but I set them free

We loved each other but it’s not that easy
All that I feel now is misery
The thing I did may be a little silly
But no one will ever know because it’ll be a mystery

I love you but broke your heart
A decision that made us part
Our relationship was like a work of art
But you’ve ruined it and tear it apart

Maybe in another life our love could flow
But not now, not even tomorrow
Even my love for you will not anymore glow
Never again, I can never let it show