This Novel About Pre-Colonial Philippines Gains International Recognition


“Tuan escapes his mundane and mediocre existence when he is apprenticed to Muhen, a charming barangay wiseman. But as he delves deeper into the craft of a mambabarang, and its applications in espionage, sabotage, and assassination, the young apprentice is overcome by conflicting that cause him to question his new life,” reads the book's overview. 

Wing of the Locust is written by Filipino author Joel Donato Ching Jacob. He dedicated his opus to his mother, Lina Ching, “who waited for the cocoon and was glad for the moth.”

The story is set around the pre-colonial Tagalog region that spans today’s Quezon Province, Laguna, Manila, Batangas, and Cavite. 

Jacob’s coming-of-age fantasy novel first burst into the literary scene after clinching the winning title of the 2018 Scholastic Asian Book Awards (SABA), a flagship initiative by Scholastic Asia that recognizes excellence in Asian literary talents and inspiring stories for children.

“Winning SABA 2018 only felt real when I finally saw my mother cheering me on as I received the trophy. Being awarded Ani ng Dangal for Literature is every one of my family and friends, peers and mentors, and even complete strangers, standing there with me, winning with me,” says Jacob. 

Recently, Jacob was announced as a finalist at the prestigious Singapore Book Awards for Wing of the Locust. Organized by the Singapore Book Publishers Association, the award recognizes the outstanding published works by various authors in the local publishing industry. 

Jacob’s Wing of the Locust is a finalist along with four other titles for Best Literary Work category at the Singapore Book Awards. The announcement of winners will be made on September 24, 2021 via a livestream on the Singapore Book Publishers Association’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.


Wing of the Locust is available on Lazada

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor-at-Large
Mario Alvaro Limos is features editor-at-large at Esquire Philippines, and heads the Lifestyle and Esports content of as its section editor. Email him at [email protected] and [email protected]
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