Three overseas Filipino women

Batangas: My Sky and Earth—A Heartfelt Memoir Celebrating Filipino Heritage Globally

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Filipino Expat’s New Memoir Provides Heartfelt Complement to Global Celebration of His Homeland’s Heritage and Culture

With the 36th-annual Month of Overseas Filipinos upon us, and with Christmas following close behind, I’m sharing news of the publication of my debut memoir, Batangas: My Sky and Earth.

As well as being a heartfelt tribute to my late brother, who succumbed to kidney cancer in 2014, the book was written to fuel pride and fond memories of Filipino and Batangueño life and culture. Indeed, many of the expat Filipinos who have read advance copies have noted that the book would serve as a wonderful accompaniment to the family gatherings, parties, and aromatic meals spanning December, the month dedicated to the 12-million-plus Filipinos living in more than 100 countries. Likewise, I’m hoping it will help ease the homesickness many of us experience during the Christmas holidays.

Renowned Filipino investigative journalist Howie Severino describes the 450-page book as “remarkable and engaging on several levels. In remembering granular details of growing up, the author evokes a time and place in the tradition of the best memoirs. This book is important not just to a close-knit family but to anyone interested in Batangas in the 1960s and 70s. Colorful descriptions such as the sounds of mahjong tiles, and how the author’s grandmother had the common, and harmful, habit of smoking cigarettes with the lit end in her mouth, add vividness to the writing. If you’re of a certain age, references like these will bathe you in nostalgia. If you’re much younger than the author and I, this book will make you regret missing that era before mobile phones and social media, when kids still gathered in kitchens listening to an elder’s stories, and teens looked at the same lyrics in a magazine while singing along to a live guitar.” (Read Severino’s full endorsement from the link below.)

Batangas: My Sky and Earth provides readers with a unique opportunity to delve into the rich culture and traditions of the Province of Batangas, my childhood home on the island of Luzon. It paints a deeply personal portrait of the people, culture, and traditions that shaped my formative years while transporting readers to a bygone era as it explores the landscapes and experiences of a child’s life unfolding in a little-known subdivision atop a hill. Through a visceral narrative, it shares the universally relatable joys, challenges, and growth of my childhood, while celebrating the inspiring love, guidance, forgiveness, and resilience of the surrounding community. It is a tale of connection, remembrance, and the power of storytelling to illuminate the rich tapestry of our shared human experience.

Through a partnership with FriesenPress, Batangas: My Sky and Earth is being distributed in hardcover, paperback, and digital editions through a global network of online booksellers. A comprehensive list is included in the press release, along with the book cover and a suggested stock photo of a multigenerational Filipino family for the press release.

For a review copy, excerpt opportunities and/or interview requests, I can be reached at +1 (604) 716-5233 or by email at You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram, and read my blog at

Kind regards,

Bong Serrano

Editor’s Note: This post was originally sent as an email pitch with the press release entitled, “Vancouver Author’s New Memoir Celebrates Filipino Roots, Heritage, and Culture,” and addressed to media outlets worldwide on November 29, 2023.





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