8 Books on Philippine History & Myths You Can Read for Free Online

Rediscover the past of our country with these free books online!

Our country is so rich in history and culture that there’s still so much to learn after studying them for years in school. If you’re considering reading the stories of our country but the starting point got you stumped, then why not begin with books that are freely accessible online?

On this list, we’ve rounded up eight such books that cover topics from Philippine history, society, and mythology!

A Question of Heroes

by Nick Joaquin

National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin released A Question of Heroes in 1977. It is a collection of critical essays on the most well-known Filipino heroes such as José Rizal, Andres Bonifacio, Apolinario Mabini, and Gen. Antonio Luna, giving us a more humanized perspective of these historical figures. It was also a reference for the film about Gen. Gregorio Del Pilar’s life, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral.

Read ‘A Question of Heroes’ for FREE or purchase a copy from Anvil Publishing

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The Social Cancer (Noli Me Tangere)

by José Rizal, translated by Charles E. Derbyshire

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Photo: Project Gutenberg website

We’ve all read and discussed Noli Me Tangere back in high school, but Rizal’s first novel criticizing the Spanish rule here in the Philippines is always worth revisiting. Follow the sorrows of the young man Crisostomo Ibarra, as well as the other Filipinos who must face the cruelty and injustice of a society run by the Spanish parish priests.

Read ‘The Social Cancer (Noli Me Tangere)’ for FREE

The Reign of Greed (El Filibusterismo)

by José Rizal, translated by Charles E. Derbyshire

Photo: Archive.org

After depicting the tragedies Filipinos had to face under its foreign colonizer in Noli Me Tangere, Rizal followed it up with El Filibusterismo, which focuses on the Filipino resistance against its Spanish rulers. It follows an older Basilio and his classmates– a new generation of reformists, and Simoun, who represents the pain and anger of Filipinos seeking justice and revenge.

Read ‘The Reign of Greed (El Filibusterismo)’ for FREE

Anting-Anting Stories, And Other Strange Tales Of The Filipinos

by Sargent Kayme

Photo: Archive.org

First released in 1901, this book is a collection of eleven stories featuring stories on mysticism, superstitions, pirates, strange animals, and other adventures set here in the Philippines. It’s also worth noting that it was written from the western perspective of Filipinos at the time.

Read ‘Anting-Anting Stories, And Other Strange Tales Of The Filipinos’ for FREE

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Political and Historical Writings of Jose Rizal

by José Rizal

Photo: NHCP website

Aside from Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, Rizal’s other writings are also available for free reading online. In this collection of essays, articles, and other documents, the National Hero details his perspectives on politics and history that are still relevant to this day.

Read ‘José Rizal’s Political and Historical Writings’ for FREE

Filipino Popular Tales

by Dean S. Fansler

Photo: Forgotten Books website

This book is a collection of Filipino folk tales during the years gathered from 1908 to 1914. It has over eighty stories ranging from tales of heroes, myths, and the origin of things. Many of the stories are also accompanied by the author’s notes to give further context to them.

Read ‘Filipino Popular Tales’ for FREE

The Story of Our Country

by Leandro H. Fernández

Photo: Filipinas Heritage Library website

Historian Leandro Fernandez wrote The Story of Our Country to tell our country’s history to the younger readers. It begins with the how our ancestors lived before the Europeans arrived, and recounts the country’s biggest historical events leading up to the end of the Filipino-American War.

Read ‘The Story of Our Country’ for FREE

Origin Myths Among the Mountain Peoples of The Philippines

by Henry Otley Beyer

Photo: Archive.org

Renowned American anthropologist, Henry Otley Beyer, spent most of his adult life teaching the Philippine indigenous culture. In his book Origin Myths Among the Mountain Peoples of The Philippines, Otley Beyer tells of the myths and folktales from Filipinos that live in the mountains. Stories that have not been Christianized, unlike most tales shared in the urban areas.

Read ‘Origin Myths Among the Mountain Peoples of The Philippines’ for FREE


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