This list was based on the popularity and number of bestselling works and whose works became influential to the lives of the Filipinos.


Carlo J. Caparas is a comic strip creator, writer, director and producer who became sensational known for his created local superheroes and comic book characters that are still popular to Filipinos until now. Some of his creations turned Filipino icons such as “Panday” (a Blacksmith hero) and many others. As a producer and director, Carlo J. Caparas produced box-office movies based on comics and true-to-life stories and crimes. In 2009 he received National Artist Award granted by the President of the Philippines.


Mars Ravelo is also a comic strip creator and writer who became phenomenal in the Philippines for his created superheroes such as “Darna” (a Filipino version of Wonder Woman), Dyesabel (name of the Filipino mermaid/heroine), and many others. During his time, the “Golden Age of Comics” flourished. Like Carlo J. Caparas, Mars Ravelo’s creations and writings were turned into films and became box-office hit during 1960’s to 1980’s. Ravelo was also the highest paid comic writer during his time. Until now, his creations is still influential to Philippine contemporary literature.


The youngest among the list, Louie Mar Gangcuanco published his debut novel entitled “Orosa-Nakpil, Malate” at the age of 18. The novel illustrates the pink culture in the streets of Orosa and Nakpil, which is known as the haven of gay Filipino culture. The novel became an instant hit, becoming a bestseller months after it was released. His work was featured in the top-rating TV show, Sharon, in June of the same year. In August 2006, Louie Mar was awarded the Y Idol Award (Youth Idol Award) by Studio 23’s Y Speak. Later that month, the Sentro ng Wikang Filipino conferred a Sertipiko ng Pagpapahalaga for Orosa-Nakpil, Malate. His phenomenal novel is endorsed by prominent people and institutions including the multi-awarded director, Jose Javier “Joey” Reyes, Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan (former DOH secretary) and Dr. Raul Destura of the National Institutes of Health Philippines.

After one year of circulation, Orosa-Nakpil, Malate made it to the Best Sellers List released by National Book Store in April 2007. With him in the list are authors Mitch Albom of One More Day, James Patterson and Maxine Paetro of The Fifth Horseman, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Memories of My Melancholy Whores. The book landed on the Top 8 spot, overtaking international authors Steve Berry and Kiran Desai.


Gilda Olvidado is a popular Filipino novelist and writer, known for her extraordinary love stories. She became famous during the 1970’s with her remarkable novels “Sinasamba Kita (I Worship You)”, “Babangon ako’t Dudurugin Kita (Sweet Revenge)”. She also wrote screenplays that later turned into blockbuster such as “Saan Nagtatago ang Pag-ibig? (Where is Love Hiding?)” who made her rise into popularity after the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences recognized it as the best story. Today, Gilda Olvidado’s fans are still counting, waiting the release for her next novel.


Nick Joaquín was born in Paco, Manila, one of the ten children of Leocadio, a colonel under General Emilio Aguinaldo in the 1896 Revolution, and Salome Marquez, a teacher of English and Spanish. Being read poems and stories by his mother, Joaquin taught himself by reading widely at the National Library of the Philippines and the library of his father, who by that time was a successful lawyer after the revolution. This developed further his interest in writing.

At age 17, Joaquín was first published in the literary section of the Pre-World War II Tribune under writer and editor Serafín Lanot. Before publishing in the Tribune, Joaquin worked as a proofreader of the paper.

After winning a Dominican Order-sponsored nationwide essay competition for La Naval de Manila, the University of Santo Tomas awarded Joaquín an honorary Associate in Arts (A.A.) and a scholarship to St. Albert’s Convent, the Dominican monastery in Hong Kong. Upon his return to the Philippines, he joined the Philippines Free Press, starting as a proofreader. Soon, he was noticed for his poems, stories and plays, as well as his journalism under the pen name Quijano de Manila. His journalism was markedly both intellectual and provocative, an unknown genre in the Philippines at that time, raising the level of reportage in the country.

Joaquín deeply admired José Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Joaquín paid tribute to Rizal by way of books such as The Storyteller’s New Medium – Rizal in Saga, The Complete Poems and Plays of Jose Rizal, and A Question of Heroes: Essays in Criticism on Ten Key Figures of Philippine History. He also translated the hero’s valedictory poem, in the original Spanish “Mi Ultimo Adios,” as “Land That I Love, Farewell!”

Joaquín served as a member of Motion Pictures under President Diosdado Macapagal and President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Joaquin’s first move as National Artist was to secure the release of imprisoned writer José F. Lacaba. Later, at a ceremony on Mount Makiling attended by First Lady Imelda Marcos, Joaquín delivered an invocation to Mariang Makiling, the mountain’s mythical maiden. Joaquín touched on the importance of freedom and the artist. As a result, for the remainder of the Marcos regime, Joaquín no longer received invitations to address important cultural events.


Lualhati Bautista  is one of the foremost Filipino  female novelists  in the history of contemporary Philippine Literature. Her novels include, “Dekada ’70 (Decade ’70)”, “Bata, Bata, Pa’no Ka Ginawa? (Child, Child… How were you made?”, and “‘GAPÔ (short name for Olongapo, Philippines)”.

In addition to being a novelist, Lualhati Bautista is also a movie and television screenwriter and a short story writer. Her first screenplay was Sakada (Seasonal Sugarcane Workers), a story written in 1975 that exposed the plight of Filipino peasants. Bautista has received recognition from the Philippines’ Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature and the Surian ng Wikang Pambansa in 1987. Her award-winning screenplays include Bulaklak sa City Jail (A Flower in City Jail) (1984), Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap (If The Clouds are Parted) (1984), Sex Object  (1985). For screenplay writing, she has received recognition from the Metro Manila Film Festival (best story-best screenplay), Film Academy Awards (best story-best screenplay), Star Awards (best screenplay), FAMAS (finalist for best screenplay), and URIAN awards. Two of her short stories have also won the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature, Tatlong Kuwento ng Buhay ni Julian Candelabra (Three Stories in the Life of Julian Candelabra), first prize, 1982; and Buwan, Buwan, Hulugan mo Ako ng Sundang (Moon, Moon, Drop Me a Sword), third prize, 1983. Bautista also authored the television dramas Daga sa Timba ng Tubig (The Mouse in the Bucket of Water) (1975) and Isang Kabanata sa Libro ng Buhay ni Leilani Cruzaldo (A Chapter in the Book of Life of Leilani Cruzaldo) (1987). The latter won best drama story for television from the Catholic Mass Media Awards.

Bautista was honored by the Ateneo Library of Women’s Writings on March 10, 2004 during the 8th Annual Lecture on Vernacular Literature by Women. In 2005, the Feminist Centennial Film Festival presented her with a recognition award for her outstanding achievement in screenplay writing. In 2006, she was recipient of the Diwata Award for best writer by the 16th International Women’s Film Festival of the UP Film Center.

She is also the only Filipino included in a book on foremost International Women Writers published in Japan, 1991.


F. Sionil Jose is one of the most widely-read Filipino  writers in the English language. His novels and short stories depict the social underpinnings of class struggles and colonialism  in Filipino society. José’s works – written in English – have been translated  into 22 languages, including Korean, Indonesian, Russian, Latvian, Ukrainian and Dutch.

Jose Rizal’s life and writings profoundly influenced José’s work. The five volume Rosales Saga, in particular, employs and interrogates themes and characters from Rizal’s work.

Throughout his career, Sionil José’s writings espouse social justice and change to better the lives of average Filipino families. He is one of the most critically acclaimed Filipino authors internationally, although much underrated in his own country because of his authentic Filipino English and his anti-elite views.

In 1980, Sionil Jose received Ramon Magsaysay Award (Asia’s Nobel Prize) for Literature.


Francisco Baltazar, known much more widely through his nom-de-plume Francisco Balagtas, was a prominent Filipino poet, and is widely considered as the Tagalog equivalent of William Shakespeare for his impact on Filipino literature. The famous epic, Florante at Laura, is regarded as his defining work.

Balagtas learned to write poetry from José de la Cruz (Huseng Sisiw), one of the most famous poets of Tondo. It was de la Cruz himself who personally challenged Balagtas to improve his writing. (source: Talambuhay ng mga Bayani, for Grade 5 textbook)

In 1835, Balagtas moved to Pandacan, where he met María Asunción Rivera, who would effectively serve as the muse for his future works. She is referenced in Florante at Laura as ‘Celia’ and ‘MAR’.

Balagtas’ affections for Celia were challenged by the influential Mariano Capule. Capule won the battle for Celia when he used his wealth to get Balagtas imprisoned under the accusation that he ordered a servant girl’s head be shaved. It was here that he wrote Florante at Laura—In fact, the events of this poem were meant to parallel his own situation.

He wrote his poems in Tagalog, during an age when Filipino writing was predominantly written in Spanish.

Balagtas published Florante at Laura upon his release in 1838. He moved to Balanga, Bataan in 1840 where he served as the assistant to the Justice of peace and later, in 1856, as the Major Lieutenant. He was also appointed as the translator of the court.

Balagtas is so greatly revered in the Philippines that the term for Filipino debate in extemporaneous verse is named for him: balagtasan.


Bob Ong, is the pseudonym of an anonymous Filipino contemporary author known for using conversational Filipino to create humorous and reflective depictions of life as a Filipino.

A Filipino Literary critic once commented:

” Filipinos really patronize Bob Ong’s works because, while most of his books may have an element of comedy in them, this is presented in a manner that replicates Filipino culture and traditions. This is likely the reason why his first book – and those that followed it, can be considered true Pinoy classics.”

The six books he has published thus far have surpassed a quarter of a million copies. His words of wisdom were applied by some of the Filipinos to their daily lives.


For obvious reasons, he is the most influential and the most bestselling author/writer until now.

Jose Rizal was a prolific poet, essayist, diarist, correspondent, and novelist whose most famous works were his two novels, “Noli me Tangere (Touch Me Not)” and El filibusterismo “The Filibuster”).  These are social commentaries on the Philippines  that formed the nucleus of literature that inspired dissent among peaceful reformists and spurred the militancy of armed revolutionaries against the Spanish colonial authorities.

His books are still cracking the bestselling list.


60 mga puna

  1. Ako ba sa 11? Hahaha. Padaan, Boss. Nice one. =p

  2. bakit wala si Ricky Lee?

    • pang-11po si Ricky Lee. May Top 11-20 pa po ang list…

      well, spoiler: kasama sa top 11-20 sina Amado V. Hernandez, Cirilo Bautista, Edith Tiempo, NVM Gonzalez, Gemino Abad, Martha Cecilia ng PHR…

      • weh di nga talino mo ikaw na ang may alam

  3. Galing i agree po sa list kahit hindi ko pa gaanong kilala yung iba. na-curious tuloy akong i-check yung mga naisulat nung bago.

    gusto ko si lhualhati sa list pero sa ngayon ang paborito kong nobela ay ang mga ibong mandaragit ni amado hernandez.

    sa mga achievements ng mga nasa list, kapuri-puri nga sila. sana next may sumikat na writer mula sa pagba-blog. mabuhay!

  4. galing tala ni pareng louie mar.

  5. graveh c dr. j0se rizal jud ang founder!.. ka-master!

  6. orosa-nakpil malate is the most beautiful novel i’ve ever read….
    it is about the life of a gay start in his childhood until he graduated in college as a honor student.
    he fall in love in 2 guy named celso and ross.

    and the story springs realization about the life of a gay…

    and it gaves us information how to prevent HIV aids

    pls. read the full novel.
    i am sure you will enjoy it and appreciated the essence of the story.


  7. Very Nice Article

  8. kilala niyo ba C JOsefina R. serion

  9. Is that it, it so weird they aren’t that familiar for me…

  10. bobo ong…nice to have a conversation with him!

  11. Bob Ong is Bo Sanchez in rela life. the author of Kerygma magazine.

  12. ygufg

  13. dapat di kasali si JR kasi di sya magiging best seller kung di required sa skool,

    • hindi siya best seller pero most influential, oo.

    • excuse me! pero utang po natin kay rizal ang ating kalayaan. that’s only a reminder. kung hindi dahil sa isinulat ni rizal hindi sana tayo nakawala sa panahon ng pananakop ng mga amerikano maging sa pananakop ng kastila.

      • ^ hindi tayo nakawala s pananakop ng mga amerikano nung isnulat niya yan.. s spanish regime siguro, pero please consider those who fought for our liberty na ilang beses na fail pero di sumuko. ung s american regime, that is another era.. please study the history.. 🙂

  14. oo tama tama.. bob ong foreveerrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  15. Agree ako na nasa listahan sina Joaquin, Bautista, Jose, Balagtas, Ong at Rizal, kaya lang sa tingin ko exaggerated naman na nakalagay sa list yung mga wala sa nabanggit, lalo pa’t may mga mas impluwensyal pa sa kanila, tulad nina::

    1. Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta – siya ang naging inspirasyon ng mga kabataang manunulat mula noon hanggang ngayon.
    2. Carlos P. ROmulo – unang PIlipinong nagkamit ng Pulitzer Prize.
    3. Krip Yuson
    4. Francisco Lazaro
    5. Francisco Arcellana
    6. Gregorio Brillantes
    7. Cirilo Bautista

    Bakit wala ang mga ito at kung sino-sinong piptsugin ang sa halip nakalagay? Magkaiba ang impluwensyal sa best-selling, may mga librong naging best-selling dahil nakaka-curious ang tema, pero hindi ibig sabihin noon influential sila.

    Dapat magkahiwalay ang treatment ng bestselling sa influential dahil magkaibang aspeto sila.

    • e luma na kc ung ibang writer. napagiiwanan na. sa filipino subject q lng narinig ung pangalan nila…

  16. 🙂

  17. Wala si Jessica Hagedorn???

  18. wew

  19. galing talaga ni idol BO 🙂 no.2 aha keep up the good work;))

  20. hahaha

  21. ang gaaling nag bigay tulong sa amin dito sa school… 🙂

  22. Nakakalungkot naman ang listahang ito. Rizal, Sionil Jose, Balagtas, Joaquin…panalo! Bautista, Olvidado…pwede! Wala na bang mga bagong henerasyon ng manunulat na mas naging makabuluhan ang mga kasulatan? Na nakakamulat ng kaisipan? At nakapagpapabago ng puso ng mga Pinoy? O nasaan ka, Pilipinong Manunulat? Tila nga ba ang apoy ni Jose Rizal ay di na sumaglit sa ating kamalayan. Ano na ang nagyayari sa ating mga Creative Writing schools? Puro na lang ba technique ang layong pinapaigting? Pano naman ang content? May lalim ba? May hugot? Kaya naman pala di kumikinang ang Filipiniana Section ng bawat bookshop o library dito sa bansa. Puro aklat lamang nila Rizal, Joaquin, Sionil Jose ang naroon. Ang aklat ng ibang ating magagaling na manunulat ay di nakakita ng liwanag. Madilim. Sana mas marami pang magsulat ng may lalim at taas na angkop sa ating maharlikang lahi.

  23. nice bob ong keep up the good work_….
    share some more nice qoutation”””’ 🙂

  24. gilda olvidado is the best 🙂

  25. most influential?pero naman wag nyo namang itabi ang pangalan ni carlos caparas sa pangalan ni lualhati bautista…jose rizal..sionil jose at nick juaquin…parang kasing listahan ng mga ginto tapos basura ung panghuli…
    pero in fairness kay carlos sya ang number 1 list ko sa mga basurang pinoy movies,,isama mo na si armida…wlang itulak kabigin

  26. Go Louie Mar!

  27. thanks sa page na ito. magagamit ko sa report ko.

  28. kita moh nga nman iba n tlga interest ng mga tao ngaun lalo na mga kabataan na nagbabasa ng mga librong gawa ng mga pinoy writers
    lge ko nakikita yung mga kabataan na nakasakay ko sa jeep hawak nila libro ni bob ong siguro nakakarilate sila sa mga libro nya..nakikita ko kasing nag eenjoy sila ng husto sa binabasa nila..

  29. y


  30. ‘:)galing nila,,kawawa 2loi aqng mgtaken0te dami nilang n0vels

  31. Si Benjamine Pascual wala?

  32. What about me? Ha ha. Joke!. But perhaps you’ld like to sample my book.



  35. balagtas, f. sionil jose, rizal, maybe joaquin are justifiable choices. can’t say the same for some of your other choices. And where are kerima polotan-tuvera, horacio de la costa, edgardo reyes and carlos bulosan? kung sabagay, it’s a list based on popularity and influence, not literary merit.

  36. tama kau agree akoh.

  37. Bakit hindi sinama si Jun Cruz Reyes?

    • Agree.
      Halos lahat ng Post Modern writer sa Filipino siya ang tinitingala.

  38. HIndi dapat sinama si Gilda Olvidado tsaka si Caparas. Si Caparas, walang latoy ang kuwento kung walang drawing. Si Gilda Olvidado naman, e Reyna ng garbage literature, na kapag matapos mong basahin e hindi ka manghihinayang na isalpak sa basurahan ang libro nya.

  39. over yung isa he is so young pra mkabilang sa mga famous writers

  40. napakagaling ng iyong pamuna, tilabaga iyong sinuri ng taimtim… (labo mo)

  41. ..ahaIY saLamat’nahaNap nariN kita!
    Ho0o…!sk8 ng uloqU!

  42. sadrfersdf

  43. galing ni bob ong!! idol na idol ko ang gwapong filipino author na yan!! thumbs up idol.. yung paraan kasi niya ng pagsusulat ay talagang kaaaliwan ninoman. Aish, di naman siguro masama mangarap kung mapapasama rin ako dyan balang_araw sa listahang iyan! haha. tiwala lang.

  44. may mga paborito rin akong manunulat na wala sa listahan at yung iba sa listahan hindi ko kilala. basahin ko na lang siguro libro ng mga di ko kilalang author na yan.

  45. Nice site


  47. pwede mag tanong? ung mga folktales po ba like “Juan Tamad”, “Alamat ng Pinya”, “Si Pagong at Si Matsing” etc… ay may mga author?

  48. Very interesting topic, appreciate it for putting up. afdckkkdfeeb

  49. […] up^ “TOP 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL and/or BESTSELLING FILIPINO WRITERS | Pinoy Panitikan (Mga Manunulat …. 2010-07-15. Retrieved […]


Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Mag-iwan ng Tugon

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

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s