UP IIS Assistant Professor Darwin J. Absari’s book “PagTuhan: The Tausug Spiritual Tradition” was selected as one of the finalists in the Best Book in Spirituality and Theology category by the Manila Critics Circle (MCC) and National Book Development Board (NBDB) during the 40th National Book Awards.
“PagTuhan” originally started as a thesis by Asst. Prof. Absari for his Master of Arts in Islamic Studies degree at the UP Institute of Islamic Studies. In 2015, it received the National Book Development Trust Fund and was subsequently transformed from a thesis into a book. The book was later published by the UP Press in 2021. Its main purpose is to introduce readers to the Tausug mystics, their identity, and the hidden knowledge they possess, which is largely unknown to non-Tausug people today.
Other finalists in the same category include “Sports in the Philippines” by Fr. Edgardo D. Alauri, OP, SThD from the University of Santo Tomas, “The Filipino Christ and the Historical Jesus: Toward a Filipino Christology” by Michael Demetrius H. Asis from the Ateneo de Manila University Press, and “Handumanan (Remembrance)” by Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR from the Claretarian Communications Foundation, Inc., who won the Best Book award this year.
The National Book Award recognizes the most significant book titles written, designed, and published in the Philippines. The 40th National Book Awards focused on titles published in 2021 and received 213 nominations across categories, including Literary, Non-Literary, and Design, in English, Filipino, and Ilocano. Out of the 100 finalists, 29 were selected as winners.