When it comes to themes for songs, poems, and stories, that four-letter word (L-O-V-E) has got every other topic beat. But in a world where media is available at the touch of your fingers, where you hear and see so much about love and affiliated states like kilig, hugot, and more, what are some of the things we need to remember about this so-called many-splendored thing?
In search of great advice, we went straight to the source of one of the most popular methods for experiencing the highs and lows of great love stories: romance novels! Better yet, we went to their authors, specifically Pinay authors of romance novels in English, to share a few things everyone should know about that many-faceted emotion, love.
Keep reading to learn what 10 Pinay romance writers had to say when asked the question, "What do you wish readers would remember about love—in stories and in real life?"
- “That we deserve to be happy! It's okay to want this. Some people may make us feel that we don't deserve love; maybe they were villains all along, and not love interests.” —Mina V. Esguerra, author of What Kind of Day
- "That love for other people, or for another person, flows from the love you have for yourself. You owe it to yourself to both voice out and answer your own needs, to make room for your dreams while loving someone else. Love is a commitment—both to yourself and your significant other." —Agay Llanera, author of Mango Summer
- "You don't have to make yourself small. Much of the stories we see in films, in books, and hear in songs tell us about how love can hurt you, about how hard you have to work for it and may still lose it—or worse, lose yourself and who you want to be. Pain, loss and compromise are very much part of it, yes. But their coexistence with love doesn't mean you have to make yourself fit into the corners of somebody else's limited dreams and stiff ideals. Love should be a room that you can fill and stretch out and build bigger." —Jay E. Tria, author of You Out of Nowhere (Flair #1) and Summer Crush (anthology with Tara Frejas and Six delos Reyes)
- "My wish for my readers is to remember that they all deserve love—in real life and in stories." —Ines Bautista-Yao, author of Only A Kiss and Swept Off My Feet
- "Like all great scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, love doesn't come easy or without heartbreak and constant doubts. There is no optimized protocol or elegant solution to solving for x. Love, like science, is a choice one makes despite all that—a chance of a lifetime for the greatest discovery of all." —Six de los Reyes, author of Project Saving Noah
- "As a Pinoy romance writer, I wish people—readers or not—would champion the people who chose to take their time when it comes to looking for love more. In the Philippines, when we were young, we were mostly told to be cautious, almost to the point of having parents not allow their daughters to date, or be in relationships before a certain age or a certain achievement. However, when we pass that certain age, all of a sudden we were expected to find love—and fast—get married, have kids, and fulfill this picture of a 'well-rounded woman,' truly forgetting that we are constantly changing and getting to know ourselves in the process. I hope people would understand that in this life, we will continue to meet people: Some of them we would grow up with, while some, we would grow out of. And through all of this, I think it'd be important for us to find someone who would choose to grow with us.
Sometimes, choosing this person would be easy, but for some people, finding that one person might take longer. It might take a couple of tries, a couple of heartbreaks or a couple of years spent alone. My hope is for people to accept this truth, and to not rush themselves in the process to please other people." —Dawn Lanuza, author of The Boyfriend Backtrack and Stay a Little Longer
- "Love is a choice. Sometimes we can't help our feelings, but when we truly love someone, we make a decision to respect them, take care of them, and be the best person you can be for them." —Ansela Corsino, author of The Billionaire's Price and Resisting Sin
- "That you, just the way you are, are worthy of love. Everyone is worthy of the kind of love you get from a romance novel, Filipinas especially. Yes, we deserve the man with the abs and a gentle smile, we deserve the kind of guy who respects our choices and never makes us feel bad about what we've achieved. We're constantly told that we’re not enough, that we have to be a particular kind of person to be 'worthy' of love, but that's not true at all. You're love-able no matter what shape, size, color or state of life you're in. I feel like we don't hear that enough!" —Carla de Guzman, author of How She Likes It and Chasing Mindy
- "Be open to new experiences and possibilities. Falling in love is all about going out of one's comfort zone. When you join a club or try a new sport, for instance, you get the chance to meet new and interesting people—and that holds potential for a future romance! But being open and going out of one's comfort zone could also mean dating people who are not normally your type. Of course, it's good to have high standards when it comes to who you date, but don't disregard a person just because of his looks or his clothes or his job. You never know when you're going to make a real connection with someone unless you give them a chance." —Angel C. Aquino, author of Love at First Run
- "Love is never simple, which is why calling it cliché is annoying. Yes, we know they will end up together. It's a romance novel, happily ever after is a requirement. I'd like the readers to appreciate the journey more than the outcome. Love is messy. Love is funny. And at the end of the day, love is the most wonderful abstract concept there is on this planet." —Kate Evangelista, author of The Boyfriend Bracket