BL has, in recent years, become relatively acceptable as reading material for young adults, in the way that books about gossiping teenagers and vampire romances have become non-taboo. As a reflection of worldwide trends, BL is slowly but surely becoming openly available in local stores, as well as being shipped in by international suppliers.
If you are a fan and would like to start a collection of books, here are five places that are sure to fix you up with titles to inspire and entertain you.
Fully Booked is a local specialty book chain that supplies fashion magazines and calculus texts, CDs and vinyl, and everything else in between. Their massive flagship store in Bonifacio High Street has an extensive manga collection stocked with titles from US and Singapore manga licencees. Hidden within these shelves are titles from Digital Manga Publishing, a US-based BL manga translation and distribution firm. Each DMP volume of BL manga can go for about PhP 800, while BL novels go for about PhP 500 each. Fully Booked offers a 20% off members-only card for every PhP 10,000 in accumulated purchases, so save those receipts for future discounts!
Comic Quest is mainly a comic book and comic book collectibles store, but they are also one of the first local stores to supply manga in English. One of their best-stocked stores is the SM Megamall branch, where you can find BL set aside in the topmost shelves of their manga racks. You can’t browse the stacks like Fully Booked, so be prepared for stares from some male patrons when you ask the sales staff for the books. Prices are similar to Fully Booked, and Comic Quest is also willing to take orders for books that are not in stock for a minimal down payment.
EBAY.PH is a surprisingly good place to score second-hand BL titles. Many come from fellow collectors who purchased them at full price, and then decided not to keep them or sell them for cash to buy more manga. The titles are varied and the books are kept in good condition, since the previous owners are typically female.
Books usually go for PhP 400-500 each, plus PhP 100 in shipping fees within Metro Manila. Paypal, bank deposits, GCASH, or SMART MONEY are usually accepted as payment. Buyers are however forewarned to check the feedback ratings of your prospective sellers to protect yourselves from scams.
If you have a strong background in the Japanese language, then you are in luck! JPQueen is an online BL bookseller based in Japan, that sells both new and second-hand Japanese-language manga and doujinshi. Products are being sold at Japanese prices as well (but quoted in US dollars) — just JPY 600 or PhP 300 per book! Paypal and credit cards are accepted via the store’s Kagi payments system.
Books are also sent fast and securely via EMS and registered airmail, which run anywhere from JPY 600 to JPY 2000 per parcel depending on the weight of the books. A quick tip though: to prevent parcels from being detained by the Bureau of Customs, try to keep your invoice total to USD 50 (about JPY 5000) or less.
Just like JPQueen, Mandarake is a Japan-based online store — they also offer an extensive range of affordable BL manga and doujinshi titles. The main difference is that Mandarake also offers media products like BL drama CDs, BL anime DVDs, and BL game installers. Prices range from just JPY 500 for Gundam 00 doujinshi, to over JPY13,000 for a sealed first-run game installer of Kichiku Megane. Mandarake accepts Paypal and credit cards, and will ship to the Philippines via SAL, Airmail, or EMS.
So those are my picks for the best places to purchase BL while in Manila, which I have personally tried, tested, and approved. If you’d like to consider these options, please keep in mind that while I have been happy with my transactions so far, I cannot personally guarantee that others will have the same experience.
Please be careful with any online transactions that you enter. Make sure that if your parents are purchasing these books for you, they are aware that sometimes they may get very explicit. Feel free to enjoy them and share them with friends, but remember to be discreet. Let’s all have happy, fun, BL-fueled times together 😀
One Comment Add yours
thank you for this. i’ll note those online stores. i dont think i can buy locally after seeing the prices even if they’re translated in english T-T i mean 800pesos per volume? do they also sell BL magazine type in volume like libre’s Pink Gold?