Works by Filipino
authors such as
Martha Cecilia
(above) are
finding their way
to local
bookstores and
overseas.
All rights reserved. Filipino Globe
Real people behind the ultimate fantasy
m a i n  n e w s
filglobe.com
filipino globe online edition
Filipino authors create growing niche in OFW market

GABBY ALVARADO HONG KONG

Queens of hearts, you might call them. To millions of Pinay readers worldwide
who still believe in true love, commitment and a happy ending with Mr Right,
authors of Tagalog romantic fiction like Martha Cecilia and Eve Montelibano are
God’s precious gifts.

They are cupids with pens. Weaving sensuous, charming, inspiring,
passionate, feel-good and sometimes bittersweet stories of love in all its form
and splendor.
back to top
view pdf image
leave a comment
close this page
A woman has
an ideal man.
She wants an
ideal
relationship.  
We all dream of
an ideal job,
ideal house. So
why can’t we
work hard to
find our ideal
man?
Thanks to their creative juices, readers escape
the daily routines of life and, in the time it takes
them to finish a book, are transported into a
fantasy world where, in Eve’s words,   “people
are more passionate, more daring, more into
anything.

” When it comes to affairs of the heart, these
well-loved authors seem to know everything; or
at least enough to empathize with every
lovestruck or dreamy-eyed Pinay. They can
certainly drive up the kilig factor.

The genre of the Tagalog romance paperback
is relatively new, but Martha Cecilia, Eve and
writers of publications like Precious Hearts
Romances have quickly adapted to it.
The industry may have been inspired by successful US publications Mills and
Boon and Harlequins Romances, but it can as easily be the modern
equivalent of the Liwayway nobela and Tagalog komiks where the likes of
Gilda Olvidado, Elena Patron and Nerissa Cabral reigned supreme.

Love makes the world go round, some people say, and these creative women
make it even better reading.

“The desire to have the ideal man or relationship is not something to be
ashamed of,” says Eve, author of the best-selling “Lothario” series.

“The desire to have this fantasy man is not something that any woman should
deprive herself of. If we don’t aim for the ideal, then we would just settle for
the mediocre ... By presenting the best and the ideal, I as an author am
actually helping women achieve higher goals and not just settle for anything
less or below their standards.

“A woman has an ideal man. She wants an ideal relationship. What’s wrong
with that? We all dream of an ideal job, ideal house, ideal car, ideal vacation.
We work hard to get all that. So why can’t we work hard to find our ideal man?”

Evelyn May Guinid in real life, Eve is a fiercely independent 36-year-old interior
designer from General Santos City. “Kikay,” she says. A graduate of UP
Diliman, Eve teaches at a local university and paints oils, acrylic and mixed
media. Her influences are “mostly surreal and impressionist” painters. She is
also an active member of a local visual arts guild and theatre group. But her
greatest passion, Eve says, is writing.

“On print, I become this bold, opinionated writer more often perceived as
deviant in her views. In private, I’m quite very amiable,” Eve says. “In fact, my
friends here, when they read my stuff, often get shocked. They go: `Really?
Sinulat mo ito? I don’t believe you. Hindi ka naman romantic.’ I just laugh at
their reactions.”

Determined to chart her own creative path, Eve with the help of friends formed
the new publication Love Match and left Precious Hearts Romances, where
the prolific Martha Cecilia has become something of a legend. Martha Cecilia’
s string of bestsellers over more than a decade include the “Kristine” series,
which to date has 59 volumes.

Her real name is Babes Cajayon – “a wife and mother, first and foremost,”
she says. Martha Cecilia is actually the name of her daughter which the 52-
year-old has adopted as her pen name. This Dapitan City-born novelist is a
commerce graduate from the University of the East and a product of
Conchitina Bernardo’s Karilagan Finishing School in Sta Mesa. Martha
Cecilia, the Romance diva, was born after a chance meeting with author Olga
Medina.

“Imagine, I met a novelist, she showed me her books. Hindi ako
makapaniwala,” she says. “It was through her that I became a writer. I was so
ecstatic when my first book was published.”         

Having established a name in writing, Martha Cecilia now dreams of seeing
one of her novels – possibly “Midnight Phantom”, about a man whose face
was scarred – turned into a movie. “Ultimate dream ng lahat writer na gawing
movie ang book nila. Pero nagtitipid ata ang ibang producers. Imbes bilhin pa
ang rights sa isang book, magbabasa na lang sila at kukuha ng ideas na
puwedeng i-develop.”

Her success has brought her to places like Hong Kong, which she has now
visited at least three times to promote books and sign autographs for fans.
“Unang-una kong punta sa Hong Kong, nakita ko ang dami palang
nagbabasa diyan,” Martha Cecilia says of a Sunday signing session at World-
Wide House.
Afreight
door-to-door
Hong Kong
Duty Free
Shops
Philippines
Hesei Finance
and Credit Co
Hong Kong
Gen-Ex
Cargo
Hong Kong
Janet & Grace
Beauty Salon
Hong Kong
J&D Health
Concepts Hong
Kong
JT Hong Kong
Jumbo Tours
Hong Kong
Juno's House
Hong Kong
Golden Gate
Wine
Hong Kong
Moneygram
Money Transfer
Hong Kong
Mahmood
Transport
Hong Kong
New Mile Travel
services
Hong Kong
Orient First
Capital
Hong Kong
Prime Credit
Hong Kong
Prime Gold
Hong Kong
Stoneridge Ville
Homes, Cabuyao
Laguna
Western Union
money transfer
Hong Kong
WOW Philippines
Department of
Tourism
Yatka Travel
Services
Hong Kong
ADLINKS
Afreight
door-to-door
Hong Kong
Duty Free
Shops
Philippines
Hesei Finance
and Credit Co
Hong Kong
Gen-Ex
Cargo
Hong Kong
Janet & Grace
Beauty Salon
Hong Kong
J&D Health
Concepts Hong
Kong
JT Hong Kong
Jumbo Tours
Hong Kong
Juno's House
Hong Kong
Golden Gate
Wine
Hong Kong
Moneygram
Money Transfer
Hong Kong
Mahmood
Transport
Hong Kong
New Mile Travel
services
Hong Kong
Orient First
Capital
Hong Kong
Prime Credit
Hong Kong
Prime Gold
Hong Kong
Stoneridge Ville
Homes, Cabuyao
Laguna
Western Union
money transfer
Hong Kong
WOW Philippines
Department of
Tourism
Yatka Travel
Services
Hong Kong
ADLINKS
search this site
Currency
converter
POEA
information
services
Philippine
consulates
worldwide
Scenes
from our
Hong
Kong
launch
party
QUICK LINKS