AAPI Read: Below the Crying Mountain

Have you heard of the Tulay Mosque in the Philippines? I hadn’t either, until I read Criselda Yabes’ interracial romance/political drama Below the Crying Mountain. Growing up, the only thing I’d heard about Muslims in the Philippines was that the majority population would threaten their children with them.

Thanks to Yabes’ detailed description, I now have a beautiful image of the city Jolo on the island Sulu. Besides peaking my interest in the Muslim presence and history in Southeast Asia, I enjoyed Below the Crying Mountain’s forbidden romance and thrilling account of the 1970’s Muslim rebellion against a dictator.

Thank you Yabes for positively representing the minority Muslim population of the Philippines and thank you Penguin Random House Southeast Asia for the digital review copy of this award-winning fiction novel.


Published by shireenhakim

Shireen Hakim is a Mexican and Pakistani- American author from Los Angeles, California. Her story "Home for Eid" will be published in DOOR IS A JAR literary magazine in Summer 2023, sold at Barnes and Noble. Her award-winning refugee story "Rabbi the Rabbit" is published in the anthology OUT OF MANY, ONE: CELEBRATING DIVERSITY by Houston Writers Guild. She has written for Buzzfeed, Book Riot, and We Need Diverse Books.

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