Writing Now

#romanceclass Lectures: Rock Stars and Journalists

#romanceclass is a community of Filipino romance authors (mostly indie, or hybrid) and readers. We organize our feelings two ways — Feels Day (live readings, etc. See here and here if you don’t know what that means) and romance writing lectures (guest speakers). This Saturday was a lecture on journalism romance. Yes, that’s a thing. Because, come on:


Google ‘sapiosexual.’ Because that would basically explain the kind of electricity that charged the room. Everyone who signed up to this lecture did so with no certain knowledge of who the speakers would be. Not until the Friday night before. And the announcement came with a warning flag that read ‘there is every possibility he might not make it.’ He, meaning Atom Araullo. But he came, he was there (early, might I add), together with Pia Arcangel. Both are seasoned and accomplished TV journalists in their own right, and they shared three hours of their precious time with us at Books and Borders Cafe, Morato answering questions that would help us write genuine journalist characters (or maybe any character based on how awesome these two are).

Key takeaways:

  1. The cameraman is your best friend (if you’re lucky heh)
  2. Sacrifices are inevitable. So you should know what your priorities are so that the sacrifices are worth it.
  3. Journalists (at least these two) like their romance private and low key.
  4. Atom looks good in a black Henley shirt, and Pia rocks em pointy heels like noone’s business.

There were more things of note of course, if you were there. If you weren’t, here’s a video recap by author Chi Yu Rodriguez, a short interview with Atom by ninjas Jothee and April, plus more pictures for your viewing pleasure.


Our first lecture though was rock star/musician romance, held last June 12 at Commune Cafe in Makati. That time, the guests were a bit of a surprise too.


We had solo artist Zsaris Mendioro, Champ Lui Pio of Hale, and Celine Fabie of the Ryan Cayabyab Singers. Awesome panel, yes? The thesis statement that time, similar to one in the journalist romance lecture, was ‘how to date a musician?’ Some key takeaways.

  1. It helps if you’re not the possessive/jealous type because yes, the fans can do more than hover and ask for pictures sometimes.
  2. ‘There is your first love, your great love, and your true love.’ – Champ
  3. Much like journalists, rock stars are not all about the grand gesture either, but prefer quiet, private, alone time with their loved ones.
  4. You can walk in not knowing these people (or in the case of Champ, knowing him but not really crushing on him) and leave totally in love with them. This happened to me.

Check out the interview post-panel done by #romanceclass ninjas Jothee and April here:

If you think I’ve been downplaying how kilig these things were, you are right. Downplaying it by a LOT. I barely slept the night after these events, but it was the good kind of restlessness. We can only live and juggle a certain number of lives at a time (corporate slave, writer, teacher, daughter/sister/friend for me. That’s my full capacity these days), so it was interesting and inspirational to hear how these people live theirs. Their honesty, their drive and passion were nothing short of magic. And being around them even for a while made me feel things, and imagine things, in a way that I know will linger and leave a mark.

Lectures, we call these. But you’ve never been to anything like these in school.

Thank you to everyone who was there. See you on the next thing (can’t tell you when yet, though) <3



Journalist romance panel organized by authors Mina V. Esguerra, Agay Llanera, Miren B. Flores.

Rock star romance panel organized by authors Mina V. Esguerra, Dawn Lanuza, Georgette Gonzales.

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