Ari’s entry on Resil Mojares’s wonderful-sounding new book — which he selects as pu-pu platter‘s first Book of the Month (if you were an online store, you’d be giving us all a discount!) — raises the question of why it is that a Philippine university press book costs so much money. It’s a puzzle indeed — obviously the paperbacks wouldn’t cost $25 in Manila, or otherwise UP professors won’t even be able to afford them (certainly not on UP salary). For instance, my good friend Jojo Abinales‘s book Making Mindanao costs 285 pesos at National Book Stores all over the Philippines, but is marked up to a whopping $24 by the University of Hawaii Press, not including shipping and handling! (My book, Displaying Filipinos, costs about P200 pesos in Manila, but routinely sells for about $20 — if you can find it — in the United States.)
I can only assume that the markup comes from shipping and handling, plus various taxes and whatnot? Still, I am all for more money going to Philippine presses, though this looks like a slightly sneaky way of doing it.