Falling for Romance: An Interview with Author Ines Bautista-Yao

by KB Meniado

Ines Bautista-Yao knows a lot about love—she’s a daughter, a wife, a mother, a teacher, and… an author and editor of romance fiction! To open the month of love ;), here she talks about writing kilig, learning from aspirations and living one’s passion.

ines bautista-yao - bookbed

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of young adult and contemporary, sweet romance books and short stories. Her first book, One Crazy Summer, was published in the Philippines by Summit Books in 2011. She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines, and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom.

Visit her blog / Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @inesbyao / Buy her books: Amazon

Hi, Ines! Happy month of love, and thanks for making time 🙂 You know kilig so well, having written, edited and published YA, NA and adult romance novels. When writing, what do you think are the most important things to keep in mind? Aaand to keep up with this month’s theme (teehee), do you have any piece of advice for the young ones falling in love for the first time?

You know, when I first seriously started writing fiction, I didn’t know if I could do kilig. It’s such a tricky thing. There are just so many elements to work with. But I think the most important thing to remember is you need to know your characters. That’s how you can make the kilig happen. You get to know them, get your readers to care about them, then use what you know about them separately and when they’re together to magic up the kilig. For example, why is it significant if he will give her a particular piece of candy at a significant moment? You can’t build a scene like that without planting all the necessary stuff beforehand. (I was originally going to use the word “information” but it sounded so boring, haha!) And when you have the ingredients all laid out that way, it does feel like magic when it happens.

And if you are young and falling in love, remember not to lose who you are. Sometimes it’s so easy to melt into someone when your entire world seems to be filled by that person. But remember that you need to be your own person, too. And that will make your love so much better.

Hear, hear! I personally loved your latest YA novel Swept Off My Feet—sports romance is right up my alley—and I can’t help wondering how this would be perfect for a TV or movie adaptation. If your book characters could appear or make a crossover to any existing YA romcoms, would you be open to that? Where would they be and why?

swept off my feet by ines bautista-yao - bookbedI’m actually watching Gilmore Girls for the first time on Netflix! And I think Lorelai and Rory would get along with Geri and her mom of Swept Off My Feet. They would fit in with the rest of the crazy town of Stars Hollow. Geri will dance in Miss Patty’s studio and maybe shoot hoops with Dean. And Rory could tutor her in math. I should stop before I start writing an entire crossover fan fic, haha!

Life’s short, Ines, SO WRITE FAST. Lol, that’s a GG reference; I mean no pressure. But I do love that show—it features a lot of strong female characters! That makes me curious now: Did you have any fictional superheroes growing up? How did they help shape who you are now?

nancy drew the clue of the leaning chimney by carolyn keene - bookbednancy drew the clue in the old stagecoach by carolyn keene - bookbedI used to read lots and lots of Nancy Drew. I loved how she would solve mysteries on her own—or with the help of her friends—and the boys were really just on the side. I also loved and still love Mulan (from the film) [MULAN! RAGING FIRE! GREAT TYPHOON!—KB]—because of how she selflessly saved China but more so for how smart and resourceful she was. You could already tell in the beginning that she was smart as a whip and she used her brain to save her father and her country.

It’s important for young girls to have strong heroines because they act as their role models, as examples of who they can aspire to be someday. They can serve as a life peg, as inspiration.

I wanted to be these women. I remember asking my parents for a mystery I could solve. Only to be disappointed they didn’t have one.

Bet now that you’re a liiitle older (a wife and a mom! And an editor and a teacher!), you have more than plenty of mysteries to solve 😂 Speaking of something that usually involves solving… you’re an indie author. What is the hardest part about it?

That you have to do (and pay for!) everything yourself! You have no team to help you. You can recruit one but it will cost a pretty penny. However, what I love about being indie pubbed is the community support. I have #romanceclass that supports me here and clean indie reads that supports me on Facebook and in other countries. I love the friends I’ve met through both groups and they have taught me so so so much about writing, about books and about life.

And I’m pretty sure you’ve got some lessons to share as well! What is one thing you’ve learned as an adult that you want to tell your past and future self about, one that can also apply to the rest of us seeking advice about love and life?

I will tell my past self not to get caught up in what may seem like a fairy-tale romance (with the conflict in full swing), and to use my head a little more even if my heart’s voice is louder.

Meanwhile, I will tell my future grandmother self that I hope she has achieved what I’ve been wanting to achieve BUT if she hasn’t, it’s okay. All she needs to do to make me proud is to be content with her life and to continue to make the most of it. And to continue writing and teaching. The two things that make my heart sing. ☁️


For His Love of Mother Tongue: Jerome Herrera on Translating ‘The Little Prince’ into Chavacano

by Nove Patangan

I spent most of my teenage years back in my hometown in Dipolog City in Zamboanga. There, I met different people who spoke different languages, of which Chavacano is one. Although I can only speak a few Chavacano words, this language speaks to me a volume of the people’s culture and identity. So when I came across of a news about the newly-released Chavacano-translated version of The Little Prince, a 1943 novella by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, I was curious of the man behind this endeavor.

jerome herrera - bookbed

Jerome Herrera is a Chavacano enthusiast from Zamboanga City, Philippines. He translated the classic novella The Little Prince into Chavacano and self-published it. He also founded the blog Bien Chavacano, which chronicles his journey of discovering the language of his hometown.

Buy El Diutay Principe (The Little Prince, Chavacano translated) here

Hi, Jerome! Why did you choose to translate The Little Prince out of all the books in the world? Do you think the story of The Little Prince is still relevant today?

el diutay principe by jerome herrera - chavacano translation of the little prince - bookbedBelieve it or not, I came across The Little Prince only in 2013, at a very timely point in my life wherein I was beginning to be too concerned about “matters of great consequences.” The book helped me see life in a very different manner than what I was used to. I hope the [translated version], El Diutay Principe, will touch people who will read it in their mother tongue as it did me.

Yes, I would say it is much more relevant today than when it first came out. We live in a world obsessed with “instant,” and humanity has lost the art of making friends. This is why with all the technology around us that is supposed to make us feel connected, many people find themselves lonely.

Why did you choose to translate it into Chavacano? How long did it take you to finish translating the book?

Chavacano is my mother tongue and it is very close to my heart. It also has a special place in the field of linguistics because it is one of only two Spanish-based creole languages in the entire world, as well as one of the oldest creole languages in the world.

I created this translation because I love the Chavacano language and I have a lot of respect for it. I did not translate just so that I can say that I did or to make my resume or my credentials look nicer. The idea to make the translation was presented to me in 2013, but I only began translating in earnest during the last quarter of 2017. This work is a true labor of love. It is priceless. Not even all the stars in the sky can compensate the amount of time and effort that has been placed in making this book a reality.

What were the challenges you faced in translating The Little Prince?

el diutay principe by jerome herrera - chavacano translation of the little prince - inside pages - bookbedThe number one challenge was definitely spelling. While the city government of Zamboanga came out with a recommendation that all Chavacano words should be spelled etymologically, they did not establish specific rules and limitations that surround that general rule. It wasn’t clear how etymologically pure or how close to the original language they wanted the spelling system to be. Thus, I decided to create a unique spelling system surrounding the general orthographic rule prescribed by the local government.

Another challenge was words which we don’t say directly or which don’t have a direct translation in Chavacano. An example is the word “digest.” I had to think of an indirect way of saying that word. Of course, the fallback is always to use the Spanish equivalent but I decided to keep this at a minimum, mostly in areas where the text is poetic or figurative. I wanted the Chavacano in the book to be a true representation of the language in this day and age and not an idealized version of it.

What were the biggest challenges you encountered in self-publishing the book?

If you decide to self-publish, you’ll have to do everything by yourself. After I finished the translation, I realized it was just half of the task. There was still the book layout, book cover, as well as editing and proofreading to be done. Since these things cost a lot of money, I decided to find out if I could do these things myself.

Fortunately, I have a lot of free time which I devoted to studying how to design book covers and book layouts. My friends and family helped me proofread and edit the book. I also had a tough time negotiating with printing presses because I didn’t know what book paper 70 meant and other technical terms like C2S. So I had to do lots and lots of research before I was able to get printing presses to take me seriously.

What does El Diutay Principe aim to accomplish?

The project began as my past time. The idea to publish the translation only came later when I felt that doing so could do a lot of good for the Chavacano language. It is my fervent hope that El Diutay Principe would become the preeminent piece of Chavacano literature, and that it would greatly aid in Chavacano becoming a standardized written language in the future. I also hope this book will create awareness about the Chavacano language in the Philippines and around the world to legitimize as well as elevate its prestige. Inshallah, it will be the start of a long list of books published in Chavacano. ☁️

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Sacred Hoops’ by Phil Jackson, Hugh Delehanty

by Bryan Meniado

sacred hoops by phil jackson and hugh delehanty - bookbedWe often hear the names ‘Michael’ and ‘Kobe’ and equate them to greatness and legends in basketball. But little do we know about the man behind their respective Hall of Fame careers—Phil Jackson. Phil Jackson’s coaching is out-of-the-box and makes the game of basketball more than just that, a game. He makes it more of a way of life and a mindset. He is a follower of psychology, spirituality and philosophy and he integrates their differing lessons towards the ultimate goal of winning. Through this provoking memoir, he shows how meditation and being mindful transcend the individual in order to achieve a collective goal. Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson and Hugh Delehanty details the evolution of his thinking that led him to become the most successful coach in professional sports. The stories of overcoming failure and achieving success against odds are truly inspirational and encouraging. Phil Jackson’s lessons go beyond basketball and can definitely be applied to our own lives—especially this new year. Happy 2019! ☁️

This is the last for our recommended books for 12 days this holiday season! See all of them here: #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Rizal Without The Overcoat’ by Ambeth Ocampo

by Bryan Meniado

rizal without the overcoat by ambeth ocampo - bookbedMany of us learned about Rizal from our history classes in school and we assume we already know him. After all, he is one of our national heroes and, maybe, the most documented and venerated among them. But how much do we really know him? Ambeth Ocampo offers a different view of Rizal from what we learned from textbooks. He seeks to put Rizal down from the pedestal and revered statues, and know him as who he really was without the overcoat: a human being. Rizal Without The Overcoat, winner of National Book Award, revisits history as if it happened yesterday. As what Ambeth Ocampo says: we can always find something new in what is old. And Rizal’s life and works will never get old, no matter the season. ☁️

We’re recommending books for 12 days this holiday season! Share your fave holiday reads with #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘The Baby-sitters Club’ series by Ann M. Martin

by KB Meniado

The Baby-sitters Club was the first book series I collected growing up, and so every reread takes me back to childhood. I rediscover Kristy Thomas’s can-do attitude and her single mom-led household; Claudia Kishi’s passion for art and her addiction to sweets; Stacey McGill’s city-girl sophistication and her daily life with diabetes; Mary Anne Spier’s thoughtfulness and stellar organizational skills; Dawn Schafer’s individualism and her healthier options to life; Mallory Pike’s writer dream and big family dynamics; Jessi Ramsey’s love for ballet and her strong determination in life. I loved them so much to the point I actually set up a BSC with my grade school barkada (which failed, lol, but it’s the thought that counts). Now there are several elements in the series I don’t subscribe to anymore, but these books are like family to me, and that in it essence is something we seek and treasure, especially during this holiday season. If you’ve read these, have fun coming home! If you haven’t, welcome to the Club!


Which BSC member were/are you? Let me know in the comments section below 🙂 ☁️

We’re recommending books for 12 days this holiday season! Share your fave holiday reads with #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Delta of Venus’ by Anaïs Nin

by Allana Luta

Aside from my graphic-novel rec here, there’s Delta of Venus by Anaïs Nin, a collection of 15 erotic short stories. This is for when I want to read an actual book but only have the energy to do so in short periods of time. The topic isn’t exactly holiday-themed but the short story format helps when you’re exhausted from interacting with nosy relatives (or the whole stuffing-one’s-self bit) and just want to take a break—or break a sweat. Just kidding. Happy holidays, everyone! ☁️

We’re recommending books for 12 days this holiday season! Share your fave holiday reads with #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Saga’ written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples

by Allana Luta

When you’ve been on an unintentional book-reading hiatus for as long as I have, getting back into the habit can be difficult. A novel that I could have finished in a single sitting now seems like an absolute chore.

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples - BookbedSo for this holiday season, to get my groove back, I’m restarting out easy. Saga, written by Brian K. Vaughan and illustrated by Fiona Staples, is a comic book series about star-crossed lovers struggling to keep their family together in the midst of an ongoing war between their races. Each chapter ends in a cliffhanger that forces you to continue reading and it’s funny despite the heavy themes the story dances around. What’s more Christmas-y than a family trying to keep it together in space?

P.S. Shout out to Cheer Reader Cake for recommending Saga in one of our #BoookbedMeets☁️

#BookbedMeets June 24 ~ Cake

Cake with her copy of Saga

We’re recommending books for 12 days this holiday season! Share your fave holiday reads with #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

12 Days of Bookbed Recs: ‘Make My Wish Come True’ by #romanceclass

by KB Meniado

Make My Wish Come True by #romanceclass - BookbedA good read anytime of the year, this anthology is 💯 made for and therefore perfect this season of love and giving. There’s a feast in every story, and not just for gastronomical purposes but, of course I dare say, romantic needs as well. Familiar tropes are aplenty, and they’re sweeter and more fun because re-imagined in Filipino Christmas style. If you ever need a solid holiday go-to, I suggest gifting a copy of this to yourself. Enjoy! ☁️

We’re recommending books for 12 days this holiday season! Share your fave holiday reads with #12DaysofBookbedRecs 🎁

5 Gifts for the Reader with Too Many Books (plus a giveaway!)

by Agnes Manalo, Allana Luta and Mikki Shiu

Dark chocolate: not too sweet and not too melty, so you’re less likely to smear it all over your book or device

A gift card for a coffee shop: for a bit of quiet time to make a dent in that book you’re having trouble getting into, or to finish that last chapter, or for you to live out your coffee shop AU dreams~

Coffee beans: for the more introverted reader, or for when you need a bit of ritual before diving into your book

A tote bag: for keeping your books near and dear, for book swaps, and for the inevitable book shopping Eye drops for tired eyes: in case of reading binges, non-leisure marathons, or if you just want to reread a favorite with fresh eyes (chos)

Our Bookbed pillows: compact and soft, perfect for supporting a heavy hardcover, for propping up a floppy graphic novel, or for squeezing and burying your face in when your book gets to be too much for your feelings


By the way, we have an ongoing giveaway for one of these pillows on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Open to PH only, until Christmas Day.

Hope this list helps 😉 Happy holidays! ☁️


All Reading Aloud: ‘You Are Here’ by Dawn Lanuza

Welcome to All Reading Aloud, in which we read excerpts out loud.

For our first book, we feature You Are Here by Dawn Lanuza, to be released February 2019. Similar to the author’s earlier work The Last Time I’ll Write About You, this one is also a collection of poetry and prose. 

Watch the video below to listen to a few poems from the ARC, which you can request for and read on Net Galley. If you enjoyed this, let us know. We also welcome requests so feel free to send titles our way! ☁

This post is not sponsored.