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Fil-Am author releases new book featuring Filipino folk magic and food trucks

By Ratziel San Juan Published May 16, 2023 3:53 pm

Award-winning Filipino-American author Tracy Badua has released The Takeout, a new book featuring local folk magic.

"When a celebrity chef’s new restaurant threatens Mila’s family’s food truck, she plans to expose them for the recipe thieves they are—even if that means dabbling in the Filipino folk magic she’s tried to avoid," the book's official synopsis reads.

Available since May 9, The Takeout can be purchased for $15.19 (roughly P850) through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Bookshop, IndieBound, Target, and Walmart.

Badua mentioned in a KPBS podcast that while she did not grow up doing Filipino folk magic herself, she recalled an experience that allowed her to see it in action: "Our family does not, that I know of, include many folk healers, but I do remember a trip to the Philippines where we did have a local healer come and kind of help my brother out with a little bit of a stomach issue after we went swimming in the local river."

The Filipino-Indian fusion food truck narrated in the book is even inspired directly by her Pinoy roots as well as her husband's Indian-American background.

"I very loosely based some of the potions on what albularyos use now, in terms like vinegar and garlic and just different things that they put into their tinctures. And a lot of the incantations are really just kind of made up for the purpose of the book. So I hope young readers don't try to replicate any of it. It is totally fictional, just sadly, just like the actual recipes of the dishes in the book," Badua said.

Soon, the San Diego-based author plans to release two more titles: Thea and the Mischief Makers and Airbnboo.

"I'm writing two more middle-grade books (out 2024 and 2025)! Excited to bring more fun contemporary fantasy stories out into the world!" she posted on May 10.

Badua is known for writing young adult and children's books "full of humor, magic, and young people with sunny hearts in a sometimes stormy world." The San Diego-based author's other works include We're Never Getting Home, Freddie vs. the Family Curse, This Is Not a Personal Statement, and The Really Awful Musicians.