Homesickness can be challenging. After all, it can be difficult to be away from your loved ones and the environment you grew up in for long periods of time.
Fortunately, there are ways to alleviate it, even if you’re miles away from home. Our previous article “Home in an Aisle” shows how even a simple visit to the local Filipino store can help you deal with homesickness. It’s a great way to access familiar products and gain a sense of comfort in foreign environments.
Yet, it’s not the only solution to homesickness. Picking up ebooks can help, too! Reading a good ebook set in the Philippines can immerse you in places you miss and help alleviate feelings of longing for home. Here’s more on how ebooks can help and the best titles you can start with:
Reading is a great way to immerse yourself in settings you haven’t visited in a while. Forbes explains that compelling stories can do this through a phenomenon called narrative transportation. With the right book, you can almost feel, see, or hear what the narrative is describing to explore the people and places you miss the most. However, the Filipino titles you want to read may not be available in your area—and if they are, they may be more expensive than usual.
That’s where ebooks can help. You can more conveniently find and download them online if you can’t find physical copies. And if you use a subscription plan, you can access multiple books you want to read for cheaper. This is exemplified by Everand’s digital library, as for less than the price of a single physical book you can access titles like Reynaldo Alejandro’s “The Food of the Philippines” and Dean Fansler’s “Filipino Popular Tales,” with genres ranging from general fiction and regional cuisine to travel. You can even take things further by using trackers like The Storygraph’s app. This offers recommendations based on what you read, making it easier for you to find more Filipino titles that can help you deal with homesickness.
If you miss the Philippines and feel ebooks can help, here are a few titles you can start with.
The best ebooks set in the Philippines
Joy by Angelo Lacuesta
If you grew up in the Philippines, consider picking up Joy, which follows the main character Lucas as he grows from boyhood to adulthood. The story picks up when an adult, Lucas, receives unexpected emails from his father, who disappeared from his life nearly three decades prior. The book oozes with nostalgia as it uncovers a series of events through slice-of-life narratives about Lucas’ experiences growing up, allowing you to re-experience the Philippines through the eyes of a boy dealing with many challenges and breakthroughs. It’s a great way to imagine you’re navigating daily life in the heart of Manila once more.
Memories of Philippine Kitchens by Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan
Nothing is more nostalgic than remembering how much you enjoyed Filipino delicacies like adobo, sinigang, and pork sisig when you were still getting the authentic articles back home. This void is what authors Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan attempt to fill in Memories of Philippine Kitchens, an encyclopedia of Philippine ingredients. The authors, who are also chefs and owners of the Michelin-recognized Purple Yam restaurant in Brooklyn, offer a heartwarming perspective on Filipino cuisine. Showcasing the food tradition of the Philippines, this book can surely make you feel as if you’re waiting for your favorite mouthwatering Filipino dishes to be served while adding to your knowledge of your gastronomic roots.
Once Upon a Sunset by Tif Marcelo
Tif Marcelo’s book encapsulates a narrative of discovering family secrets. Once Upon a Sunset tells the story of Diana Gallagher-Cary, who deals with heartbreak and grief after her grandmother’s death. When her mother, Margo, discovers through her grandfather’s love letter to her grandmother that they have surviving relatives in the Philippines, Diana embarks on a trip to connect with a family she didn’t know existed. This story invites readers to go on a heartwarming quest to discover one’s identity, coupled with a theme that showcases the Filipino trait of valuing strong family ties—perfect for readers looking to reconnect with the country they grew up in.
Reading ebooks set in the Philippines is a great way to deal with homesickness. Consider picking up these titles if you want to relive the joyful experience of growing up back home. For more helpful articles, check out The Filipino Expat Magazine’s website for updates.