Browsing Tag

CP Santi

Writing Now

All Our Love, Promdi Heart


I don’t come from a sexy province.

That was my biggest challenge coming into this anthology of love stories set in our hometown Philippine provinces. So okay, I took that and joined it with one of the least sexy holidays to complete my setting, added one Trainman, and out came One Certain Day. By the time I typed The End, it turned out I like this origin story 😀


Alice and Son are teenagers from Hagonoy, Bulacan, neighbors and classmates in the way you can’t help to be when you are born and raised in a tiny town. One All Saint’s Day finds them on adjacent cemetery lots, stuck for the day with nothing to do but watch the candles burn down and listen in on the chatter of your aunts and your cousins you don’t really know. So they start talking. And Alice starts falling, just a little bit.

Promdi Heart features more awesome probinsya-set stories by Ines Bautista-Yao, Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi, Agay Llanera and Georgette S. Gonzales. Take a tour of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao with us? Thank you! 🙂

Take a quick tour of the Philippines with six hometown love stories.

Visit Jimenez, Misamis Occidental where a priest might just set you up with a man whose dimples are to die for.

Visit Silay, Negros Occidental and get on a horse alongside hunky, hazel-eyed Negrense royalty.

Visit Kalibo, Aklan and find yourself in the arms of a cute drummer boy who just happens to be your kuya’s BFF.

Visit Hagonoy, Bulacan and spend All Saint’s Day next to a distracting boy who promises to write you a song.

Visit Vigan, Ilocos Norte and meet the hot man you used to bully when he was a shy, scrawny boy.

Visit Pundaquit, Zambales and find love in a bronzed fisherman whose eyes hold depths you’ll want to explore.


Writing Now

#FeelsRushIn recap: Things You Missed If You Weren’t There

I felt like captioning and posting pictures of #FeelsRushIn on Instagram this way, in list form as a way of organizing my feelings. I do not know if I was able to accomplish that feat; to do any sort of rationalization of emotions (huh is this even possible?). But in any case, the list is here.

If you weren’t there, beware. You missed the following:

#romanceclass books. A lot of the #romanceclass titles are indie, which is only a cool way of saying that these are rare Pokemon that you won’t find in your neighborhood bookstores. These are available as ebooks though and in print direct from the author (see full list in here). But last Saturday these books were there, spread out in one table. All our feelings side by side, waiting and raring for you to grab them and take them home. Additional perk: most of the authors were there too, so you could have met them and grilled them a bit about their books (this doesn’t happen to just me, right? 😀 ).


Shirts, totes, stickers and magnets. Our feelings come in other forms too, such as t-shirts and tote bags created by WearDPT, stickers and tumblers care of Vinyliism, and magnets, thanks to Quote Hanger. Last Saturday, the awesome humans behind these merch spread out the goods and took some orders too.


Free #romanceclass ebook for every donation to Ayala Malls Little Free Library. The Little Free Library is a recent Ayala Malls project. Basically they install reading corners in select malls, i.e. Trinoma, Glorietta, UP Town Center, with the goal of encouraging mall goers to borrow and read books. To help these cute libraries load up their shelves, we invited people to donate books in exchange for a #romanceclass ebook of their choice. A read for a read.


Live readings. It’s not a #romanceclass Feels Day without the live readings, a.k.a. the culmination of all the feelings. We had Herv Alvarez and Salve Villarosa back. You would remember them from their YA reads last #AprilFeelsDay. This time they were joined by Migs Almendras (also known as book cover Dante, exhibit A below).


They read excerpts from When Cocoy Became Kikay by CP Santi, Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao, What About Today by Dawn Lanuza, The Bye Bye Bouquet by Chi Yu Rodriguez, and No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra.


Sounds like a lot of fun things happened, yes? Check out the video recap below done by author Chi Yu Rodriguez, if you need more proof.

If you were there, you know all of this. You felt them all. Thank you, thank you so much for being there and feeling with us. If you weren’t, again I ask, why weren’t you? And I ask that in the sweetest way possible, because we’d really love to see you there next time. So please calendar October 22, okay? We’re doing this again. See you then? Awesome.


Special thanks to Ayala Malls Trinoma and Filipino Readercon 🙂

Book Review

Review and Excerpts: Maybe This Time by C.P. Santi

I’ve always thought of C.P. Santis writing as this delicious balance of sassy, sweet, and juice-out-of-your-nose funny. She has an innate grip on the culture of both countries she calls home, and that’s something that seeps out of her work (see Be Careful What You Wish For and When Cocoy Became Kikay). She brings all of these in her new book of short stories Maybe This Time, together with a couple of new aces, as she writes about second chance romance.  Continue Reading

Writing Now

Author Interview: C.P. Santi

One of my favorite authors C.P. Santi has a new book, a collection of short stories about love and second chances aptly called Maybe This Time. Release week is currently happening, and to show my support, and also as an excuse to do some cyber-chika because I miss her, I’ve sent a few questions her way.

Read on as we talk about her new book of romantic and insightful shorts, writing about love and older characters, Arne as Alex Skargard, Barney songs as writing music, and an exciting sneak peek of her upcoming work. Continue Reading


Things to Do on a Summer Trip to Tokyo: Meiji Shrine, Harajuku, Shibuya

Day 2 was kind of Tokyo-drifting day 1 proper, that being our first full day to roam the city. Our hosts said we arrived in Tokyo at a very opportune time, just after the heat wave had come and gone (32+ degrees! Boiling heat just days before). It was cloudy and a bit dry that day, and we left the cool comfort of our air-conditioned apartment for the great outdoors.

Continue Reading

Book Review

Review: When Cocoy Became Kikay by CP Santi

Cocoy’s not-so-secret dream is to one day become a gun-toting, ass-kicking secret agent. But she has another dream—and this time, even her best friends don’t have a clue—she dreams of someone.
Problem is, she finds out that Jaime Arguelles—a.k.a. the guy she’d been secretly crushing on for years—likes girls who . . . well . . . like pink.
To Cocoy’s logical mind, there’s only one solution: it’s time to go girly. After all, how hard can it be?
With the help of her friends, Cocoy embarks on a pink-tinged journey that somehow turns her neat and orderly life upside down. But it’s all good—because in the midst of her blossoming relationship, Cocoy learns a whole lot about life, love, dreams, and friendship . . . and about the healing power of pan de sal, Chippy, and Nutella.


The title threw me off just a little, to be honest. I thought it’s a story of a young boy who wanted to physically become a girl. Turns out that while that would be a very interesting story, When Cocoy Became Kikay tells a completely different tale of a teenage girl’s transformation.

Cocoy is one of the boys, and she is happy in her skin, thank you very much. That is, until she falls in crush with the one and only Jaime Arguelles, the boy next door who prefers girls who wear pink and maybe a tiny bit of lipgloss. To get him to even see her as a girl, Cocoy felt she needed to start looking like one for a start, and thus begins her adventure.

Some of the turns in the book felt familiar, not because they were annoyingly predictable, but because Cocoy felt like someone I knew, or maybe someone I’ve been at one point in my (definitely less colorful) adolescence. Santi writes the character as if Cocoy is someone she loves, someone she roots for, and that is palpable in the narrative. The inside of Cocoy’s head is a bright, funny place, and I love being inside of it. The ending was a topic of discussion for me and my friend, but it felt right to me. It felt deserved and comforting, just like a spread of pandesal, Chippy, and Nutella on a bad day.

When Cocoy Became Kikay is available on Amazon. Print copies are available too! Just contact the author 🙂

About the Author

C.P. Santi is a Filipina writer based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer / musician / jokester and a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking and feeding people, gorging on chocolate, watching J-doramas, belting it out in the karaoke box, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.

In another life, she is also an architect and academic.

C. P. Santi blogs about writing and creative stuff at You can also view her other works in progress at