Editor's Pick

The Playful Genius by Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz

The Playful Genius draws us into the life of the extraordinary scholar, Father Horacio de la Costa, SJ.

It takes us into his adolescent journey of self-discovery, when he decided to become a priest. This sets him on the path to becoming a brilliant history teacher and writer, and in his spare time, even a builder of model ships. Nostalgic scenes of his times come to life in ink illustrations as well as a timeline with photos shared by the Archives of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus and the Ateneo University Archives.



About the Author

Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz


Flor Marie “Neni” Sta. Romana-Cruz is chair of the National Book Development Board (NBDB). She is a children’s book reviewer, freelance journalist, and teacher. She is a regular contributor on education and literacy to the op-ed section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and a trustee of Teach for the Philippines. She is the director of Where the Write Things Are, a writing center for writers of all ages.

Sta. Romana-Cruz graduated from St. Scholastica’s College as Cum Laude and holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the Ateneo de Manila University. Before her role as chair of the NBDB, Sta. Romana-Cruz presided the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and was a board member of the “Sa Aklat Sisikat” Foundation, an organization which promotes book reading and lifelong learning.

Among her famous works are Why the Piña has a Hundred Eyes and Other Classic Philippine Folk Tales About Fruits (Tahanan Books, 1993) which won the 1993 National Book Award for Children’s Literature; a biography of Gabriela Silang which received a National Book Award citation for excellence in 1992; You Know You’re Filipino If…: A Primer (Tahanan Books, 1997) and Don’t Take a Bath on a Friday: Philippine Superstitions and Folk Beliefs (Ilaw ng Tahanan Publishing, 1996) among others.

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