Tahanan Books: A Celebration of Filipino Language, Culture and Arts

Tahanan Books My kids and I like reading children's books.  And we like hovering in the book section of National Bookstore or Fully Booked looking for the perfect book that we could add to our growing collection. We would read the whole book together and from there I can gauge their interest.   Most of the time we will go home with a good English Children's book but I make sure to also grow our Filipino Children's book selection.

I was so delighted, you know that warm delight discovering a good book brings, when Tahanan Books sent me a set of Filipino books bursting with Filipino lyrical rhyme and rich illustrations by top Filipino artists.   They sent me several books for review and asked me for my top 3 picks but I ended up falling in love with almost all of them.

Bahay Kubo  (Illustrated by Hermes Alegre)

Bahay Kubo Book by Hermes Alegre

We all know the song but illustrated by none other than multi-awarded artist Hermes Alegre, revisiting the song will be beautiful for both you and your child.  I always wanted a Hermes Alegre hehe but couldn't afford his paintings and I got a taste of his art through this book.   Kids will learn to appreciate the beauty of art, idyllic life in the barrios and our rich vegetation through this visually rich book.

Tagu-Taguan (Written and Illustrated by Jomike Tejido) A Counting Book in Filipino

Tagu-taguan Book by Jomike Tejido

Tagu-taguan Book by Jomike Tejido

The book takes you on a hide and seek, count down from 10 (sampu) to 1 (isa) using common insects.  Kids have a natural curiosity for those creepy crawlies and the book takes off on this interest for the count down.  My insect-loving son enjoyed it thoroughly and asked me to read it to him repeatedly (my barometer for 5 star books success:-)).   The book describes the insects in a fun, simple, lyrical rhyme so you don't only get to take out counting in Filipino but also learn a thing or two about insects.

Alpabetong Filipino (Written by Nicanor Tiongson and Illustrated by Crispin Dayao)

Alpabetong Filipino Book by Nicanor Tiongson

Go through our very own 28 letter, Alpabetong Filipino, using carefully selected objects that ruptures with Filipino culture.  A is not apple but A is for Agila, our national bird and pride... I is not insecto but Inay, ang ilaw ng tahanan.  The object selection will enrich your child's appreciation of our Filipino heritage and ethnicity.

Alpabetong Filipino by Nicanor Tiongson

Bugtong, Bugtong (Collated by Rene Villanueva and Illustrated by Daniel Tayona)

Bugtong bugtong Compiled by Rene Villanueva

One of my early childhood memories is my father throwing a bugtong (riddle) at me and my brothers as we hurry to think of the answer.  As my favorite Filipino author, Rene Villanueva, says in his foreword, discovery of the answer is always followed by smiles and most of the time, a burst of laughter.  I want my kids to experience the rich exchange  a "bugtong" brings.    A great compilation of  Filipino familiar "bugtongs."

Bugtong bugtong Compiled by Rene Villanueva _Tahanan-Bugtong-Bugtong-Inside_SF-68As with all riddles,  it asks the reader to call attention to detail and yet asks us to have an open, simple mind.  I like it that it is grouped together according to object type, example, parts of the body, animals so as to make it easier to guess. Delight in the simple beauty of "bugtong."

Aba! Ano ang Bunga? (Written by Ompong Remigio and Illustrated by Mon Pineda)

Aba! Ano ang Bunga by Ompong Remigio

Since we are into "bugtongs" the book Aba! Ano ang Bunga? is a good addition to our Bugtong book.   The author, Ompong Remigio, is a well-known Creative Director so I got what I expected --   a book plump with wit and modern poetic rhyme.  Young kids will discover that apple is not the only fruit in the world;-) In fact, there are a lot of fruits that are natural to the Philippines.

Bugtong na FilipinoBugtong na Filipino A filipino riddleOverall, the beauty of Tahanan books lies in its award winning writers and art-rich illustrations.  Each book a celebration of Filipino culture and art.

Open your child's world to the beauty of Filipino language, culture and art.  This CHRISTmas season,  won't you consider giving this lasting, heart-warming gift instead?

To know more about Tahanan Books, please call Fran Ong at 8137165 or email fran@tahananbooks.com. You may also check out their Facebook page at TahananBooks

Mabuhay ang Wikang Filipino,




P.S. Thank you to Tahanan Books for giving my kids and I this wonderful set of books.



  1. Hi!

    My friends and I are planning to conduct a story telling activity for kids, can you recommend any stories about the environment? Preferably tagalog. Thanks! 🙂

    • Hi Maine! I’m sorry for the delayed reply. I’m sorry I can’t recommend a book about the environment. Odd, that we don’t have any. Now that you have brought it up, I must look for one to add to our collection. Hope you find a good book for your story telling and do share it when you have found a good one:-)

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