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A Little Book of Filipino Riddles   By: (1858-1933)

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A Little Book of Filipino Riddles by Frederick Starr offers readers a delightful and enlightening dive into the rich tapestry of Filipino culture and folklore. While the title may suggest a mere collection of riddles, this book goes beyond that, providing a comprehensive overview of the traditions, values, and beliefs that underpin Filipino society.

What sets this book apart is its meticulous research and attention to detail. Starr skillfully weaves together a selection of riddles, accompanied by insightful explanations that shed light on the historical, social, and cultural context behind each puzzle. Through these riddles, readers gain valuable insights into the Filipino psyche, as well as the distinct customs and traditions that have shaped the country over centuries.

One of the book's strongest attributes is its accessibility. Starr's writing style is engaging and approachable, making it suitable for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Whether you are a curious reader looking to explore a new culture, someone with Filipino heritage seeking to reconnect with your roots, or an educator wanting to introduce students to the richness of Filipino folklore, this book caters to all.

Additionally, the book's organization is commendable. Riddles are grouped into thematic chapters, covering topics such as nature, animals, and everyday objects. This structure allows readers to navigate the book effortlessly, either by exploring a specific area of interest or by perusing the riddles sequentially.

While the content of the book is truly captivating, it is its vibrant illustrations that truly bring it to life. The inclusion of colorful and detailed artwork throughout enhances the reading experience, capturing the essence of each riddle and immersing readers in the enchanting world of Filipino folklore.

If there is one aspect that could have been improved upon, it would be the length of the book. With just under 100 pages, some readers might find themselves craving more riddles or deeper insights into Filipino culture. Nevertheless, this is a minor drawback that does not detract from the overall quality and value of the book.

In conclusion, A Little Book of Filipino Riddles by Frederick Starr is an enchanting and informative publication that celebrates the beauty and intricacy of Filipino culture. Through its engaging riddles, insightful explanations, and stunning artwork, it acts as a window into a world filled with rich traditions, captivating folklore, and a deep appreciation for the wisdom of the Filipino people. Whether you're looking for an educational resource, a source of entertainment, or simply a glimpse into a unique culture, this book will not disappoint.

First Page:

Philippine Studies I

A Little Book of Filipino Riddles

Collected and Edited by Frederick Starr

World Book Co. Yonkers, New York 1909

Copyrighted 1909 by Frederick Starr The Torch Press Cedar Rapids, Iowa

This Little Book of Filipino Riddles Is Dedicated To Gelacio Caburian Casimiro Verceles Rufino Dungan of Agoo, Union Province


Although I had already inquired for them from Ilocano boys, my first actual knowledge of Filipino riddles was due to Mr. George T. Shoens, American teacher among the Bisayans. He had made a collection of some fifty Bisayan riddles and presented a brief paper regarding them at the Anthropological Conference held at Baguio, under my direction, on May 12 14, 1908. My own collection was begun among Ilocano of Union Province from whom about two hundred examples were secured. Others were later secured from Pangasinan, Gaddang, Pampangan, Bisayan and Tagal sources... Continue reading book >>

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