Ballesteros on My Mind

Comments from Readers
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The book is so impressive, specially the font, just right for children and adults who have poor eyesights. The illustrations are awesome and colorful, and, of course, the story itself is super and vivid, taking you back to our beautiful country, the Philippines.

Virginia Navarro
Stockton, California

Like all good children books, this illustrated memoir appeals to adults as well—perhaps even more so. Having grown up in a small landlocked town in Iloilo, I read with envy Rey de la Cruz's reminiscences about listening to programs coming from Taiwan on the transistor radio, scooping small shellfish called gakka on the beach, or hearing mermaid tales from Grandaunt Inding. I am filled with nostalgia for experiences I have not lived. Tenni Magcase's charming illustrations are so inspired they tell the story on their own. I enjoy very much the the English and Tagalog versions. I am sure the Ilocano and Spanish versions are equally a joy to read. Congratulations to Rey de la Cruz and Tenni Magcase for producing an utterly delightful book!

Angioline Loredo
New York City

What wonderful memories of childhood! I had always wondered what it would have been like growing up in the Philippines. This is a sweet book I will read to my grandchildren, to give them a small taste of their heritage. Because the book is in English, Tagalog, Ilocano, and Spanish, it would be a chance to get them started in languages. Thumbs up to Ballesteros on My Mind !

Elisa Racelis Boughner
Glenview, Ilinois

Rey de la Cruz's Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines is a wonderful children's book, particularly suitable for elementary-aged children (depending on their reading level ability). De la Cruz writes about his childhood home in the Philippines and his poignant remembrances of family and daily life.
It is a very useful book where American children can familiarize themselves with life lived in a different and unique culture. The glossary at the end is very helpful explanatory tool for readers of all ages. The illustrations by Tenni Magcase are a colorful and welcome addition.

Mary  A. Somogy
Chicago, Illinois

Amazing book! It drew me deep into the the life of the author. Lovely illustrations! Very simple but effective, making it easier for someone's imagination when reading. Talent at its best!

Morgen Chandomba
Bulawayao, Zimbabwe

Ballesteros on My Mind: My Hometown in the Philippines is my kind of book!
Ballesteros, Cagayan, is my hometown in the Philippines, and I vividly remember every sight and sound depicted in the book. Thanks for reliving my precious childhood memories!

Cielita Unite Pagador
Santa Clarita, California

I felt warmth in my hands as if I was back home in the Philippines the moment I started reading the beautiful and sincere book. Oh, the illustrations are nice! I will treasure the book, which I will read to my future children and grandchildren.

Christine Rocas
Dancer, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois


Lieve Rey de la Cruz, dank je wel voor jouw super leuk boek. Hoewel het een kinderboek is, geniet ik er als volwassene ook van. Geweldige illustraties en een leuk verhaal.

Iris Oehlers
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Naimbag nga batis ti oral history nga ma-celebrar tayo paras mataginayon.

Migs Canilao
Chicago, Illinois

Nagmayat nga basbasaen, lalo no ibasam idiay apappo. Tenni Magcase 's llustrations are simple but bright. An impressive read for young children, it is a poignant story of childhood when things, places and fun were in much simpler state. Kudos to Rey E. de la Cruz for being a delightful and magnificent storyteller!

Lani Chan
Streamwood, Illinois


Dr. de la Cruz 細數童年時光美好往事,對於人、事、物的回憶與懷念,充滿情感,令人嚮往,亦給予今日的孩童和成人,對文中所述,有深刻的瞭解與印象,值得推薦大家閱讀欣賞!
非常喜歡 Tenni Magcase 的插圖,進一步活化了文字方面的描述與傳達,而且繪出作者的緬懷情感,兩相對照,相得益彰,很成功的一次圖文並茂!

Ming-Gon John Lian, Ed.D.
Normal, Illinois

Pagbati at pasasalamat kay Rey de la Cruz sa pagsulat ng aklat na Ballesteros sa Aking Kaisipan at kay Tenni Magcase sa pagdibuho. Ito ay nagpapaalala sa atin na saanmang bansa tayo maglakbay o manirahan, mananatili pa rin ang ating pagmamahal at isipan sa lugar na itinuturing nating tahanan. O, kay sarap mabuhay sa sariling bayan. Mabuhay!

Ruben Salazar
Darien, Illinois

Rey E. de la Cruz's book is beautiful. It has nice illustrations by Tenni Magcase that visually narrate the character and the mood of the story. There is something humble about the book that leads me back to my childhood.  Of course, mine was different, but it made me recall scenes from my family when I was a child. I appreciate getting to know  de la Cruz as a person and the beautiful place Ballesteros, Cagayan.

Chito Maravilla
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

So beautiful, elegant and heartwarming!

Beverly Evko, Ph.D.
Park Ridge, Illinois

The voice of the book is true, strong and vibrant. It is informative, entertaining and authentic in sharing honest sentiments.

Cheryl E. Cage, Ed.D.
Chicago, Illinois

Hello, Mr Rey! Sekarang bukunya sudah sampe di Jakarta, Indonesia. Senang sekali baca bukunya yang masa kecil nya Mr Rey. Sambil baca bukunya saya ada imagination bagaimanna indahnya kampung desa Ballesteros. Lucu juga yang cara makannya keong dan saya ingat makanan kecil di Filipina apalagi yang tinubong. Saya impress juga dengan gambar-gambarnya yang di illustrasikan oleh Ibu Tenni Magcase. Selamat dan sukses dan mudah mudahan Mr. Rey de la Cruz meneruskan menulis buku seperti Ballesteros on My Mind yang bisa memberi pendidikan sekaligus inspirasi dan kenang kenangan manis untuk semua anak waktu masa kecil. Sucess!

Rose Marie Kartodirdjo
Jakarta, Indonesia

Maravilloso tesoro de cuentos de una infancia al lado del mar filipino, ilustrado por un reconocido y premiado artista.

Gia R. Mendoza
Seattle, Washington

I really enjoyed reading the book!  It has brought Ballesteros to both my mind and my heart.  I look forward to visiting the town someday to see the gakka eaters live and to have a taste of patupat and tinubong—which are all new to me!
The book gave me a chance to recall my own beautiful memories in the 1980s, while I was growing up in a small mining community in Cebu, Philippines.  It is a joy to be able to identify my childhood experiences in the book,  like watching the sunset; being home and praying with family at 6 o'clock; going home for lunch on a school day; playing sungka; and having the whole town as our playground.
Terima kasih for the wonderful story  from the heart!

Ma. Theresa Rose V. Loyola
Administrative Vice-Principal
Mentari International School, Bintaro-Elementary
Jakarta, Indonesia


Fiquei encantada com a riqueza de detalhes que o livro proporciona, ainda mais que são lembranças de um querido amigo que conheci em Ushuaia-Argentina no verão de 2013.

Virginia Rolim Wolffenbuttel
Cidade de Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil

I shall treasure the book forever. Because I spent my childhood in Ballesteros, Cagayan, I could relate to most of the memories and experiences in the book.

Ruby Tabora Elazegui
Palatine, Illinois

I started reading the English version to my 20-month-old grandson, Ethan,  and he was very interested in looking at the pictures. I love the illustrations, and the story brings back fond memories of my childhood similar to the stories in the book.I plan to read the Tagalog version to  Ethan soon.

Alicia Bustillo Lavisky
Clarkston, Michigan

I got the Tagalog version book for my 7-year-old great-niece who was born in the U.S., but spends Christmas and summer vacations in the Philippines.  The book is  perfect for keeping her in touch with her roots!

Therese Cruz
Bellingham, Washington

Congratulations to Rey de la Cruz for sharing his wonderful childhood memories of Ballesteros through this book. It inspired me to reminisce about my childhood memories of my own hometown of Pakil, Laguna. The descriptions are vivid, especially of the local culture, the people, the places, the food, the way of life. it also reflects well Filipino values and the importance of close family ties. It's an easy read, and the glossary at the end of the book is useful and educational. Well done, my friend!

Delia R. Barcelona, Ph.D.
Jersey City, New Jersey

The book is a heartfelt tribute to a childhood place.  It makes me want to visit and reimagine with the author, Rey de la Cruz. Tenni Magcase's  illustrations are soft and welcoming.  The book is highly recommended!

Almira Astudillo Gilles, Ph.D.
Palatine, Illinois

Ballesteros on My Mind is full of interesting things and characters from a small town in Philippines. The age of innocence, the love of family and friends, and  the sense of wonderment are well projected by the author, Rey de la Cruz, and illustrator, Tenni Magcase. Great job!

Selma Virginia Giffoni Ferreira
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Ballesteros is always on my mind because it is my hometown in the Philippines. The book is easy to read, very precise, and invigorating. I felt as if I never left Ballesteros.

Fred Hernandez Sr.
Newington, New South Wales, Australia

Nagpintas ti istorya daytoy nga libro, makaay-ayo nga basaen!

Merlita Bayuga
Chicago, Illinois

I love the book! The story is engaging, and the illustrations are fantastic!

Clarissa Banuelos Subagyo
Jakarta, Indonesia

The simplicity and effectiveness of the illustrations interweave nicely with the interesting story of a childhood that will stand the test of time.

Marlon Viloria
Chippenham, Wiltshire, United Kingdom

As a Language Other Than English (LOTE) teacher, I  highly recommended the book for language classes for all ages (primary or secondary) on either a beginning  or continuing course. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the story touches the child in everybody!

Maria Martinez
Greystanes, New South Wales, Australia

Ballesteros on My Mind  is a wonderful book. The story is accurately illustrated, capturing the story well into the drawings. As you read through the pages, it reminds you of your own happy childhood. When you are done, the book leaves you a warm feeling, making you wish you were in Ballesteros!

Grace Imperial
Arlington Heights, Illinois

The book awakened my fond memories of my hometown, Ballesteros, which will always be in my heart and soul.

Nimfa Alvarez Sta. Ana
Santa Ana, California

I spent my childhood in Ballesteros, Cagayan, and the book made me relive memories of being carefree and adventurous in a town that has interesting people and traditions.

Joe  S. Collado
Houston, Texas

The book is quarilingual, that is, it is in written in four languages: English, Tagalog, Ilocano and Spanish, and that is no mean feat! Awesome job, Rey and Tenni!

Lenore RS Lim
Manila/Vancouver/New York City

Beautiful story. This is something the young generation might not ever experience anymore.

Emma Gutierrez
Antipolo, Rizal, Philippines

I grew up in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur,  but I vacationed in Ballesteros, Cagayan, because I had relatives there. The book made me recapture the taste of the gakka, which I immensely enjoyed eating.

Octavio "Benny" Tolentino
Union, New Jersey

Ballesteros is also my hometown in the Philippines, and the book brings memories of  days gone by. Memories are great to cling to, especially in this troubled world.

Ruby Alonzo, M.D.
Frederick, Maryland

Great book, especially for Filipino-American children! It vividly captures a way of life in a small town in northern Philippines . Knowing this will enhance the children's  appreciation of our unique Philippine culture.

Lewanda Lim
Gahanna, Ohio


Edwin Josue gifted Boy Abunda, a top television host in Manila, a copy of Ballesteros on My Mind in New York City on October 10, 2016.

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