Tara’s Thoughts On: 9Works Theatrical’s RENT

I was in my early 20s when I first encounted the musical RENT in its movie iteration. I’m not sure why, but it took me a bit of time warming up to it. Perhaps I felt too removed from the themes of the musical at the time, or because the music didn’t quite capture me at first listen. But the more I got into the material, the more my appreciation for it grew. However, it wasn’t until a week ago that I was actually able to see RENT on stage! My gosh, finally!

RENT is a Jonathan Larson musical about eight New Yorkers who are struggling with life in general as they are faced with challenges related to their careers, relationships, drug addiction, and AIDS. It came out in 1996 and is still one of the most enduring musical productions to date.

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Tara’s Thoughts On: SB19’s Pagtatag Finale Concert


Dear Diary,

SB19 finished their first day of the Pagtatag Finale concert today. They were soooooo cute! Sabi nila, A’Tin were so instrumental to their success, kaya lang, we’re OA. React much sa lahat ng bagay kasi eh!

Mula ngayon…

Goodbye—teka, ano’ng goodbye? *Maricel Soriano voice* WALANG MAGGU-GOODBYE!!!

We might have said our farewell to the Pagtatag era, but just like Pablo said, this is not the end. And honestly, for someone like me who’s just attended her FIRST SB19 concert, this is just the beginning.

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Download Play It By Ear for FREE!

Hello, friends and loved ones! It has (unfortunately) slipped my mind how one of my children turned five this week! FIVE! Oh my gosh, how time flies! (I’m so sorry Yihwan, it’s not you, it’s me.)

Anyway, here’s a quick weekend giveaway for everyone! Play It By Ear (Backstage Pass #2) is now FREE to download on Gumroad until Sunday, May 19!

Play It By Ear is the story of Jo Yihwan, a KPop rock band leader who reluctantly signs onto a talent-slash-reality TV show and meets a determined idol trainee who thinks this is her final chance at debuting. The book tackles the many struggles of idols and idol trainees in the KPop world, how they overcome these challenges, and sometimes, find love in little hidden corners.

Awesome, I’d LOVE a copy!

Already got/read the book? Thank you! <3 Could you spread the love and share this post to a friend or loved one who might enjoy Yihwan and Yoojung’s story? I’d really appreciate it. And if this is your first time picking up the book, I hope you enjoy reading!

Have a great weekend, everyone~!

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Love Languages: Notes from the 2024 Philippine Book Festival

After the January KOMIKET event at Market! Market! a few months ago, I wrote a blog post about Why I like hand selling books. Now, here I am again, about to share with you some nakakakilig moments of the time we hand sold #RomanceClass books at the 2024 Philippine Book Festival.

Organized by the National Book Development Board, the Philippine Book Festival is a free event that aims to showcase Filipino talent through various types of published work. Just like last year, the World Trade Center (official venue of #PBF2024) was divided into four “realms”: Booktopia (fiction and non-fiction books), Komiks (comic books, graphic novels, zines, and art), Aral Aklat (textbooks), and KidLit (children’s books). Book and publishing industry-related balks and workshops also happen throughout the day, divided among the different spaces such as the Main Stage and the Creators’ Lab.

This year we were given the chance to represent Filipino romance the #RomanceClass way at our very own booth, and boy, was it fun!

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LF: A Great Editor

It always annoys me when “literary snobs” dismiss self-published work as sub-par, or something that’s just not worth their time. Sometimes it’s really just them looking down on certain genres (*cough* romance *cough*) because they think it’s “easy to write.” And sometimes, their aversion of all self-published work stems from reading or hearing their peers talk about a handful of badly edited ones.

Sad, but true.

As a reader, I can forgive a few minor grammatical errors in the books I read, but gaping plotholes, one-dimensional characters, and problematic narratives make me cringe and wonder: Who the heck edited this?

I cannot stress this enough: To every author, self-published or not, having a great editor is IMPORTANT. A good editor can spot grammatical or typographical errors for you, but a great editor can do that AND also flag problem points in your manuscript. Great (AKA experienced, skilled, and constantly improving) editors are able to tell if a plot point or character behavior doesn’t make sense and offer constructive insight on how you can make your book better. And the more you continue working with good editors, the better author you will eventually become.

But how exactly do you know if you’re working with a great editor? Here are some qualities that I think they must have.

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