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Music Dance and Lyrics

Music Dance and Lyrics Tourism Writing Now

Started Pre-Pandemic and Now New Book: Love To Meet You

Hellooo first post of 2022 and first post in a while (wew). Definitely long overdue. Just like this book!

I first started writing Love To Meet You in 2019, finished the first draft quickly by October 2019, and then surprise, a pandemic. It’s been struggs city ever since, and really really slow going, but I’m surrounded by people who love to create and who choose to create despite unprecedented dark, trying times. I’m grateful for the continued push of accountability buddies (always RomanceClass!), and now we have this book.


Expectations vs. Reality

At 33, career woman Sol Trinidad wasn’t really looking for anything other than a fun evening when she attended the fan meet of hot Korean celebrity Nam Jihun. She certainly wasn’t expecting to get up close and personal with the actor—like rolling-in-the-sheets-until-dawn personal. It was just one night after all. She will never see him again and he’ll forget about her soon enough. Right?

Manila was supposed to be just one of the many cities in 30-year old Nam Jihun’s work itinerary. Just like in any other city, he was excited to greet his fans. Then he met Sol, someone who had a knack for throwing all his expectations out the window. Romance wasn’t in his schedule, but he wants to keep seeing her again, if only she and his celebrity trappings would let him.


This book is fan-meet meet cute, noona romance where noona is a Filipina chocolate sales executive and the younger man is a hot, fast-rising Korean celebrity. There’s travel and city-hopping landian across Metro Manila, Seoul, and Sydney.

I daresay you will like this book if you like Korean dramas, competence porn (women who excel!), travel, oh, and a bit of heat. This book is level 3 according to RomanceClass Heat Levels.

Cover design by Tania Arpa with background art by Miles Tan. Cover photography by Alexandra Urrea featuring Mela Serranilla and Dae Lee. Thanks to Mina V Esguerra for the cover models. Book layout by Carla De Guzman.

Edited by Layla Tanjutco, with beta reading by KB Meniado and Katt Briones.

Love To Meet You ebook is available in the following e-retailers: Amazon | Google Play | Apple Books | Barnes & Noble | Kobo| Tolino | Vivlio | Scribd

In print soon!

Consider adding the book in your Goodreads list! Love to Meet You

May I suggest a walking tour of Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon, South Korea, and a relevant HONNE song before you go 🙂




Music Dance and Lyrics Writing Now

RomanceClass Podcast Episode: The Rockstar Trope

RomanceClass Podcast is back with Season 4! Kicked off with the launch of The Tropetastic Kindness Bundle (available until April 14, 2021 here, all proceeds to charity!), and now with Episode 2: The Rockstar Trope. Alternate title: Why Are Rockstars??

Super cool to have been part of this panel because 1) I write about rockstars in romance, and 2) turns out it’s good to sit with the questions of why we are fascinated with these musician people and why and how we enjoy them, specially in our romance content.

Chatted with gig/music/writer friends Dawn Lanuza, Six de los Reyes, and Tara Frejas, with hosting by producer Mina V. Esguerra and direction from producer/the voice of god (lol) Tania Arpa.

The episode is up on RomanceClass Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. A few of my things from the discussion here, plus some stuff that came to me after, which is how the brain works sometimes.

  • Origin story. Seeing friends and classmates picking up instruments, forming bands, and performing in high school and college. Seeing how funny and cool and awkward it could be, kids trying to work together to create synchronized output, mess and art. The band dynamics that come out of the exercise. Picking up a guitar myself, to which when asked if I play, I can only answer as Lizzie Bennet said to Lady Catherine: “a little ma’am, and poorly.” Still fun though, always fascinating.
  • Influences. Sandwich, specially the dynamic of having three guitarists and the live performances. They will always be my favorite local band to see live. Alex Turner, for the words and lyrics. And for the album AM, bless him.
  • Characters inspired by real people who formed bands. Short answer is yes, they exist. Longer answer points to origin story. There is always that one cute boy in high school who got good with the guitar, then with the drums too. And maybe in college there was a cute boy who brought his acoustic guitar around and played and sang for anyone with little prodding.
  • Biggest rockstar moment. Parading into the wedding reception hall as part of the entourage, only to see Ebe Dancel performing live. Romanceclass also met Champ Lui Pio of Hale in a rockstar lecture, that was a teenage dream come true. Local gigs in the likes of Saguijo, Conspiracy, and Route 196 were chill spots for casual rockstar encounters, as were music festivals where musicians roam freely.
  • Hype and zone out songs. Submarine OST album, all songs by Alex Turner. Love Me/ Love Me Not by HONNE, on Spotify.
  • Recs for rockstars in media. Sunset Curve and Julie and the Phantoms in Julie and the Phantoms. Mido and Falasol in Hospital Playlist, on Netflix.
  • How do we like our rockstars. Six segued to our Summer Crush tagline, PEACE LOVE AND ROCK AND ROLL, which says it best. We fall for the charisma, the stage presence. Skill on instruments and with words is hot. But we want to see these things on good people having healthy relationships, which is what romance should be about

In summation, rockstars are cool, we like them a lot. Music is awesome. And I really, really, really miss live music. There’s something magical about being in a space with friends and strangers who’ve come together to soak up notes, rhythm, and words together, to receive energy and give it back. It’s a giving circuit. It’s potent joy. And even with the reach of technology, for me live streams don’t quite cut it.

I wish the pandemic is over and we are all safe and healthy and can go to gigs again. Until then, we have our rockstars in romance.

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Music Dance and Lyrics Writing Now

He Bangs! She Bangs! New Book : Songs To Your Beat

I didn’t know what to do with Nino until we decided it’s time to move on. If you’ve known him since Songs Of Our Breakup, you’d know Nino didn’t have a good run with his last relationship. Not really spoiler alert: he messed up. He did try to win a heart back and tried a do-over, a prelude to which we see in the super short narrative of him flying to Singapore on a mission in the aptly titled That Thing Called Closure.

From there I waited, I tried, I asked him how indeed can he succeed in this do-over. And it just wasn’t rolling, because it can’t. Some things are un-fixable, and maybe the fixing has to be an inward thing and that is the lesson for today, Nino-wise.

So in his book Songs To Your Beat (unofficial/really official/some kind of canon alternative title Songs You Bang To), Nino tries again. Not to revive a dead relationship, a love he lost, but to forge on, scarred heart and lessons learned and all of that. Find love and love himself again. A single tear may trickle down when I think about this, because it wasn’t easy, and this dude, Nino, well I am proud of him.

And then there’s Santana. I see her through Nino’s flirty yet 20-20 lens, and she’s tough and exhausted and she needs a hug, even though she won’t ask for it. Even when she’ll tackle Nino to the ground to give him a clue. She’s a water plant treatment engineer, inspired by the toughest woman I know.

Songs To Your Beat is out on Amazon, only $0.99 for a few more hours as of this writing. Cover design by Tania Arpa, photography by Alexandra Urrea featuring Iking Uy.

I published this book on April 18, on Dawn Lanuza‘s birthday (lol yay Aries season!), and Japanese record release date of the album Favorite Worst Nightmare by the Arctic Monkeys.

More on the book below. And a song from the album called Old Yellow Bricks. “You’re a fugitive but you don’t know what you’re running from” heh yeah lol

“I am the drummer” — It usually works for Nino, beat master of rock band Trainman and newcomer DJ, but the usual hook fell flat on gorgeous, sleepy-eyed, water treatment plant engineer Santana. Still there’s attraction even Santana can’t deny, and despite her warning that she’s not exactly in the market for a relationship, they agree to take it one sporty date, one bacon haunt, one hot night together at a time.

Nino thinks it’s going quite well. So what does it matter that his ex is back in the country? Or that he’s weighed down with guilt he hasn’t been able to shake off for too long? With his brand new attempt at happy-finally-after, none of that matters. Right?



Music Dance and Lyrics Tourism

Tokyo or Osaka: Where to Go for Summer Sonic

This is a legit question my friend Hazel and I agonized over once the decision to go to Japan’s annual music festival Summer Sonic was made. That was in 2015, and we picked Tokyo, and the following year headed on over to Osaka. Both were awesome trips, memorable weekends, stellar lineups ikidyounot, but we did come out of it with a solid winner. Read on and I hope our past summers will help you plan your future escapade. Continue Reading

Music Dance and Lyrics

April 1, 2017

I’d said ‘it’s okay, let it go, it’s not meant to be’ to this night too many times for my sister’s liking. But my sister, half in love with the band and Mr. Martin as she is, wouldn’t have any of it, so she persevered. So we found a way. From the first strains of A Head Full of Dreams, she would have had every right to holler ‘I told you so, I told you so, how dare you’ at my face. Followed by ‘how could you have thought we could miss this.’ But the music was weaving a spell. The lights, the heat that slithered and settled in the air, the beams of neon pulsating to the beat. The night was magic, from the first tick of the minute hand to 8 p.m. At one point, Chris took a moment to thank everyone who was there, including the people who flew in and endured the stress and the hassle and the traffic, both land and air. ‘And our mother,’ my sister and I muttered with a laugh. It’s always hard to explain urges like this, the need to feel music this way. But in those two hours there was no need to explain. ‘Sing! Go low, jump high,’ were all we were asked to do. And at one point we might have overdid the jump a little, because the sky and the stars seemed so close.