Author of the Month: Carla Pacis

By Conchita Olivares

Carla M. Pacis is a writer, a teacher and a former bookstore owner. She has written several books for children, a couple of novels for young adults and has won several local awards for her stories. She has also edited several books, not all for children, a print magazine and an on-line magazine, both for children.

As a writer of children and young adult books, here are some of the books she has written:


                         A Sea of Stories: Tales from Sulu

Winner, National Book Award, Children’s Book, 2000

This children’s book features five charming and sentimental stories that speak of the people and the fascinating animals living in the islands of Sulu. The book is an effort to document and preserve some of the indigenous literary genres like legends, myths, and folktales, and create short stories for both the young and old from these raw, orally transmitted tales.

O.C.W.: A Young Boy’s Search for His Mother
Cacho Publishing House, 2001

O.C.W. is about Tonyo, a young man from the quiet town of Culasi experiences first hand, the disruption to his family’s life caused by his mother’s departure to work as a domestic in Hong Kong. His father takes to drink and slowly becomes more violent to the people around him. Tonyo tries to stand up to his father, but fails to resolve the problem. Finally, he decides to bring his mother home – all the way to Hong Kong. This is where his adventures begin. From the dark ports of Manila to the busy piers of Hong Kong, he meets a whole spectrum of fascinating characters, that both threaten and broaden his understanding of the world and himself – and help us make sense of the extremes fellow Filipinos go through to preserve the integrity of their family.

Cacho Publishiing House, 2000


This story of historic adventure is filled with unexpected friends and tender insights into the plight of our wonderful but endangered animal.

           Enrique El Negro
Cacho Publishing House, 2002


  In this novel, Carla M. Pacis weaves a history and imagination   together to speculate on the controversial theory that the first person to circumnavigate the world could have come from our archipelago. She imagines just such a boy and names him Yabon. His adventures begin when he flees, together with his family and others of his island home, from their despotic datu. At sea, they are attacked by sea pirates, with Yabon being one of the few survivors. He is delivered to a slave market where his is bought by the Portuguese captain Fernando de Magalhaes whom we now call Magellan. He receives a new name, Enrique, and new lands, a life which awakens his intelligence and spirit, a life full of dangers both physical and moral. On one last voyage, the galleons of Magalhaes discover what Enrique recognizes as his birthplace : he has come full circle around the world.

The Boy with a Kite (“Stories in Art” book series)
Ayala Museum, [year?]

The Boy With a Kite,” is set in a hacienda with the protagonist Alejandro, an asthmatic boy, learning how to make a kite with the help of stable boy Ingo. While the story touches on the privileged life of mestizo Filipinos (complete with Spanish terms and phrases that are explained in a glossary), the underlying themes are of friendship and childhood joys across age and social barriers.

ilustrated by Joann A. Bereber,
There’s a Snake in the House
Adarna, 2003

This story illustrates how a child’s actions, taken as misbehavior, may also be clues to how he tries to cope with a world ruled by adults. It helps put a child’s behavior in a new light. Book Of Experience Books in this series teach the child how to become a responsible member of his family and his community.

                                            Hipon at Biya
                                            Adarna, 2004


On the white sand of a coral reef lived a shrimp and a goby fish. Although they were not of the same sort, they lived happily together. In this simple tale of friendship, find out how two different species realize how much they need each other.

                                                          Owl Friends
                                                          Cacho, 1997

Amelia and her family move to a resettlement area after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo. There she makes a new friend, an Aeta named Johnny, who knows much about herbal medicine and keeps a pet owl hidden in his hair. Her parents are prejudiced against the Aetas until one day they learn to respect the wisdom and kindness offered by Johnny and his

                           Bagets: An Anthology of Filipino Young Adult Fiction
                                  Edited by Carla Pacis with Eugene Y. Evasco

This book is a collection of short stories, written in both English and Filipino, for Filipino teenagers that discusses their issues and concerns in well-told narratives that are funny, poignant, cautionary, and even a bit risqué.

These various books written by Ms. Pacis clearly proves that she is an advocate of reading and literacy. She often conducts workshops on how to write for children and young adults and presents to parents and teachers on the power of reading.

When asked what she was like as a young reader, she said : “I was a voracious reader and read almost anything, even my father’s Time and Newsweek magazines.  My siblings and I had a constant supply of well-chosen books that kept us reading.”


Adarna House. Retrieved August 6, 2011 from Retrieved August 6, 2011 from

Carla M. Pacis. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from

Google Books. Retrieved August 10, 2011 from
Library thing. Retrieved August 10, 2011from
National Book Development Board. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from
Papertigers.Retrieved August 10, 2011 from
University of Hawai’i Press. Retrieved August 5, 2011 from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s