I grew up seeing my father’s love for books. In fact, around my parents’ room, piles of books were stacked high, and the basement was also filled with books my dad had read. Whenever we would go abroad, dad would always look for the nearest bookstore and insist on bringing home books no matter how heavy they were.
With the generations after my Dad’s, there seems to be less enthusiasm for books, especially since the emergence of smartphones and tablets. However, no matter how fast technology is progressing, it can never replace the feeling of relaxing in our favorite corner with a good hardbound book.
Noel Manapat, stylist
1984 by George Orwell was the first book I read that made me feel like an adult. I just entered high school and there was a brewing revolution not just against our 20-year-old regime, but also against several other governments across the globe. I was too young to understand the reality of our times but the book, although a work of fiction, opened my understanding of the world — how a government can manipulate its people, how power can corrupt, and how you can choose to resist or succumb. It was an eye-opener.
Dr. Bernadette Madrid, MD, executive director, Child Protection Network Foundation, Inc.
My latest favorite book is Ego is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. It did not exactly change my life but it validated how I want to live my life. “To be or to do?” The decision one makes is whether you want to be somebody or to do something. As one of the short stories caution in the book, “If one is not careful, we can easily find ourselves corrupted by the very occupation we wish to serve.” Boyd, the air force officer, writes “duty, honor, country,” then crosses these out to write, “pride, power, greed.” This is what ego does. When making a choice, I now ask myself, “Is this about accomplishing the greater purpose, or is it about me”?
Leah Puyat, entreprenuer
The life story of St. Therese of the Child Jesus made me realize that being a saint doesn’t have to be about drama and adventure, or exotic martyrdom, but doing ordinary things with love.
Jackie Go, lifestyle blogger
One of the books that changed my life is Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. I think I read it a decade ago, when I was young and finding my way through life. It made me realize that life can be overwhelming, yet it can be pretty simple if you just stick to your core values. I like how he discussed the delicate nature of life. How essential the common things are in our lives even though we tend to forget about them especially when we’re all grown up and think we know it all. His musings on love, pain, joy, death are witty, entertaining and I can relate to them.
Atty Anton Bengzon
Stanley Karnow’s In Our Image: America’s Empire in the Philippines (1989). A compelling historical study of Philippine-US relations that provides candid analyses of the tangled role the United States has played, and continues to play, in our affairs. The book also raises uncomfortable questions about democracy in the Philippines. It changed my life by altering my views on current events, politics, foreign affairs, structures in our society, and democracy in general. Almost three decades later, Karnow’s conclusions have (unfortunately) proven to be prescient. Mr. Karnow won the Pulitzer Prize for this book.
Connie Sison, news anchor and host, GMA 7’s Unang Hirit
Clichéd as it may sound, the one book that transformed me is the Bible in 2006. I realized how it has all the practical answers to life. Even if it’s thousands of years old, it’s updated and relatable even in our generation. Truly, God’s word is constant. Many lives have been dramatically changed over time by it, including mine.
Arnold Clavio, broadcast journalist
Tuesdays with Morrie is about death. The author Mitch Albom writes about his visits to his dying mentor, Morrie Schwartz, every Tuesday of the week where he would get to know once again this person he had lost contact with during his last days. The best part of the book was when Morrie said, “The truth is, once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”
“Be compassionate,” Morrie whispered. “And take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much better a place.” He took a breath, then added his mantra: “Love each other or die.”
This book really touches me and I recommend it for the families of the victims of extra- judicial killings (EJK). It would help them understand the sudden loss of their loved ones. The book is filled with life’s greatest lessons and challenges. It would also help us overcome our greatest fear — that death is inevitable. It is important that, while we’re still alive, we do something good for others and make ourselves happy.
Sari Yap, founder and CEO, One Mega Group Inc.
The book Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch. This isn’t for everyone. And yet, it’s for everyone who is ready. This is the Universal God talking about true spirituality and the consciousness that we are all one. And the power we all have to create the life we want.
Bettina Carlos, baker
One book that impacted my life was Stormie Omartian’s Power of a Praying Woman. It was a gift from my sister three birthdays ago. The book opened my eyes to God’s truths and promises, revealed issues I needed to resolve to enable me to fully move on from my past and into the beautiful life God has for me. It greatly helped develop my prayer life as well.