Graphic Novel Review: Halina Filipina by Arnold Arre

Halina Filipina: A Graphic Novel by Arnold Arre. Tuttle, 2022. 9780804855440. 224pp.

Halina Filipina is a romance story full of friendship, shyness, and miscommunication. Halina is visiting Manila from New York, enjoying the city after seeing a bunch of family at a reunion. She keeps crossing paths with Cris, a film critic who loves local B movies. He also seems to want to pursue Halina though he has a hard time even asking for her number. They eventually start to hang out and everything seems to be going great (until suddenly it isn’t).

I’d recommend this graphic novel to anyone who enjoyed Terry Moore’s Strangers in Paradise, both for Arre’s black and white art and its friendly tone. My favorite side character is the hapless IƱigo, a short, dapper dude who can’t control his volume whenever he talks to Halina. Many of my favorite moments in the book involve food. (I now need to find a way to try chicken isaw without buying a plane ticket to Manila.)


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