I had been planning this series of posts for a while now, but never really gotten around starting it because these past several months have been h e c t i c. But things are beginning to wind down for me now—I finished a manuscript! But that’s a story for later!—so I wanted to get the ball rolling on this new segment: Pinoy Movie x Book Match!
So basically, it’s like this: I introduce a Filipino movie I really like (it doesn’t matter if it’s old or new), tell you a little bit about it, and recommend books that have a similar vibe to it! And because I’m a romance author, expect to see more rom-coms than any other film genre. You have been warned. v^_^v
For this first edition of Pinoy Movie x Book Match, I’m going to start with one of my most favorite 90s rom-coms ever: Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang?
Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang? is a 1998 romantic comedy that featured one of the hottest loveteams of their generation—Jolina Magdangal and Marvin Agustin. In this Star Cinema classic shot entirely in Baguio City, Jolina and Marvin play Bujoy and Ned, best friends and neighbors who have known each other all their lives. Early in the film, we see the dynamic between Bujoy and Ned and know for sure there’s no way these two don’t have any non-platonic feelings for each other. When Bujoy’s friend, Mary Ann (Vanessa del Bianco) enters the picture and Ned falls in love with her at first sight, he asks Bujoy to introduce them. At about the same time, Cenon (Gio Alvarez) joins Ned’s band and impresses the members with a cover of a popular song, unintentionally steamrolling Ned and his aspirations of playing an original song at their gigs.
Bujoy eventually gets around to introducing Mary Ann to Ned, and they hit it off well, much to her chagrin. Meanwhile, Cenon asks Ned to set him up with Bujoy, and they end up going on a couple of double dates. While spending more and more time with other people, the best friends slowly realize their feelings for each other but refuse to acknowledge them. Until of course, it’s a little too late.
Or is it?
You can watch Labs Kita, Okey Ka Lang? (again) on iWant.
(You will need a Premium membership, though. It’s P129/month I think.)
THE BOOK MATCH
Oh, yes! Kaibigan mo ako! Kaibigan mo lang ako. And that’s all I ever was to you, Ned. Your best friend. Takbuhan mo ‘pag may problema ka, taga-sunod, taga-bigay ng advice, taga-enroll, taga-gawa ng assignment! Taga-pagpatawa sa iyo kapag nalulungkot ka, taga-tanggap ng kahit na ano—
And I am so stupid to make the biggest mistake of falling in love with my best friend. Dahil kahit kailan, hindi mo naman ako makikita eh. Kahit kailan hindi mo ako kayang mahalin nang higit pa sa isang kaibigan.
—Bujoy Santillan, 1998
Looking back, I’m fairly confident I owe my love for the friends-to-lovers trope to this film. And if you’ve seen the movie and loved it, or if you’re a sucker for this trope like I am, here’s a few #romanceclass titles you need to check out:
My Imaginary Ex by Mina V. Esguerra
Zack and Jasmine never dated, but no one else knows that. That story started in college, because she was being a good friend, and he needed help with something. The friendship and affection that followed were very real, but the lie kept causing trouble.
Years later, after a falling out and real relationships with other people, the lie resurfaces to bother Jasmine one more time–when Zack’s exes ask her to stop him from marrying someone they think is totally wrong for him. She’s the only one who can help him, they say, because she’s his best friend. They also believe that Zack loved Jasmine the most—and maybe still does.
Heartstruck (#romanceclassFlicker #1) by Angeli Dumatol
Seventeen-year-old Alexa Zamora looks as if she’s always been the beautiful and graceful center of attention. If you knew her in grade school though, you’d remember a sad little girl, who had lost her parents, and spent most of her time on the martial art arnis—a rough sport, not something girls were supposed to like. If you knew her then, you might have ostracized her for it.
She learned from this mistake, and has done her best to hide all traces of her sport and skill in a new school, and now she’s New Hope Academy’s It Girl. But transfer student Theo Guevarra, who happens to be her old arnis buddy and first love, arrives and makes her question the life she’s been living. How long can she keep up appearances, before it all falls apart?
Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano
Rain De Castro has been in love with her best friend, Mark Velasco, for almost the entire time she has known him, but she’s clearly in the friend zone because he’s happily in a relationship. Or so she thought, until the news of his break-up reaches her. Now that Mark’s single again, she decides that it’s time to get out of the zone. But when her cousin Lissa comes into the picture and sets her eyes on Mark, Rain feels troubled when he gets a little too friendly with her. Rain is determined to fight for what she feels this time, but is it worth the effort if it’s a losing battle from the start? Will she back off to give way for her best friend’s happiness, even if it means losing him to someone else again?
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to.
But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?
Only a Kiss by Ines Bautista-Yao
When she was nine-years-old, Katie knew she wanted Chris to give her her first kiss. It wasn’t because she was in love with him (no way, he was her best friend! Besides, she was in love with his fourteen-year-old big brother), it was because she could make him do anything she wanted.
Besides, it didn’t really mean anything. It was only a kiss after all.
But then things started to change. They grew up. They parted ways and went to different high schools. And other girls and boys—well, just one particular boy—came into the picture, throwing their lives upside down.
Told from the alternating points of view of Katie and Chris, this love story between two best friends will tug at your heartstrings and leave you thinking how the simplest things can mean so much.
And there you have it—my first Pinoy Movie x Book Match post! <3 If you haven’t seen the movie yet, I really hope you’ll be able to soon (what’s taking Netflix so long to get the remastered version, I wonder), and if you already have…well, no harm in watching it again, right? I also hope you’ll try any of the titles listed above, and hey—maybe drop a line in the comments if you’ve decided to read any of them! Let me know what you think of my recs! ^_^
What is #romanceclass?
#romanceclass is a community of:
- Authors who attended #romanceclass, #romanceclass2016, the steamy reads, YA classes organized by Mina V. Esguerra
- Readers of the books by those authors
- Readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors
- Actors and artists who are part of the event and publishing process
We are a community of Filipino writers and readers who gather together to do what we love.
Check out our website for more books and information on where to get them: romanceclassbooks.com