Discover the 29 Remarkable Books That Won the 40th National Book Awards

29 Remarkable Books National Book Awards
The National Book Awards make a grand return to the Manila Metropolitan Theater to honor the best of Philippine literature. NBDB photos.

The 40th edition of the National Book Awards (NBA) is set to make a momentous comeback with an onsite awarding ceremony – the first since the pandemic – on May 13, 2023, at the iconic Manila Metropolitan Theater.

A total of 29 winners have been chosen, representing the finest book titles written, designed, and published in the Philippines. Organized by the National Book Development Board and the Manila Critics Circle, these prestigious awards aim to incentivize and recognize the creation and publication of high-quality books that showcase local voices, topics, and themes relevant to scholars, students, and general readers alike.

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For this cycle, the National Book Awards saw a remarkable 213 title nominations across categories divided into Literary, Non-Literary, and Design, and written in English, Filipino, and Ilocano. From the pool of 100 exceptional finalists, 29 titles emerged as winners.

Notable winners include works published by esteemed institutions such as the University of the Philippines Press, Ateneo de Manila University Press, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, as well as independent publishers like Pawikan Press, Komiket, Savage Mind: Arts, Books, Cinema, Saniata Publications, Vibal Foundation, Anvil Publishing, Ige Ramos Design Studios, and Claretian Communications Foundation.


The 21 winning literary works encompass a vast array of subjects, including stories set on the idyllic island of Boracay, the lush forests and waters of Palawan, the world of social media, and an anthology of Climate Crisis poems and stories. The literary works also delve into historical themes such as US colonialism and music during the Japanese occupation.


The seven non-literary works explore intriguing topics such as Manila’s architecture, ketchup creator Maria Orosa’s recipes, water crisis, indigenous culture, human sacrifice and cannibalism, and banking.


Rounding out the list of winners is the lone book design awardee, which offers a stunning visual journey through Manila’s architectural heritage.

Don’t miss the opportunity to discover these exceptional works that truly represent the best of Philippine literature and design. Most of the works are available online.

Celebrate the 29 winners of the 40th National Book Awards at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on May 13, 2023!

Here is the full list of National Book Awards winners:

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