When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao

The reason I fell in love with Miss Ines’ first book, Only A Kiss, was because it was about best friends and a kiss. I must have read that book a dozen times, feeling better and better each time I did, and thought that she couldn’t exactly top that. At least not that easily.

I wasn’t questioning her skills to write; I was particularly pointing to the fact that I often stuck with books I deeply related to or with stories I wished happened in my lifetime. Who doesn’t, right? But then, I read When Sparks Fly, and that thought about Miss Ines not being able to catch my heart again that easily, vanished into oblivion. I now have my second favorite Ines book!


How that happened, well, When Sparks Fly is about best friends, and boyfriends, and trusting the foundations of each relationship we get ourselves into. It’s about being able to tell who you are in every friendship and every relationship, and using that to keep yourself and your mate happy. It’s about the sacrifices we make and the strength to take in the pain that comes with them. It’s about forgiveness. It’s about how your love for your best friend may just save the love you have for your man. It’s about photography and coffee and sports. It’s about you, basically. Because I found something in Regina that’s me. And so you might, too.

Another Ines Masterpiece! I literally almost forgot to breathe at the sudden story twist!

PS. I can’t believe I went through the whole book, though, thinking that one of the characters wasn’t straight! Hahaha, silly me! Now, I can’t get the thought of another book out of my head!

Keep dreaming with me on that!


Thoughts of the Lonely

I know I would think about it every minute of my life.

There are words I could not even utter,

the world would never understand.

There are dreams I could not even reveal,

my reality would not let it fit its hand.


Why do I feel your loss when you haven’t even been mine?

I speak of days that are beyond the rising of the sun.

I speak of nights that are as cold as the wind when I hum.

I speak of words you will never hear, of words I dare to shun.

I speak of these; I speak of emotions I should just push to be none.


Why do I feel like the world had turned its course and ruined,

that one single fate I dare battle the odds for and give in?


Do you feel she is worth the wait when you hold her hand?

Does she speak your words like the songs of the trumpets in a band?

Do not listen to me; I sound bitter, but I honestly think I can

give you love and joy the way I know you deserve as a man.


Why do I feel your loss when you haven’t even been mine?

I think of this every second of the day, every minute, and every time.


Kissing Another Grimaldi by KZ Riman (excerpt)

From Chapter Four: Kelsey’s Return to Her First Kiss

              He walked closer and I took a step back. My closet was small and it suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was still looking away from him. What was he doing?

Kissing Another Grimaldi by KZ Riman Cover by Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Designs

Kissing Another Grimaldi by KZ Riman
Cover by Amanda Kelsey of Razzle Dazzle Designs

“Look at me,” he whispered, as he took my chin. I yanked his hand away. “Look at me,” he said again, walking even closer. I panicked, dropping the suitcase completely, as I stopped his hands from reaching for my cheeks.

I remained unable to look as he trapped me between the wall behind and him. “What are you doing?”

“You miss him,” he whispered, as he now had his gentle hands on my cheek and my shoulder.

I shot him a glance. “Of course, I miss him! What kind of a mind game is this?”

“It’s not a mind game.” He shook his head. As if to force something he needed to say, he swallowed hard. “Use me.”

“What?” I widened my eyes at his words. What did he mean? I tried pulling his hands away from my body but they remained as they were, holding me, making me want them around me, so I could cry.

He drew me close, pulling my head to his and planted a soft kiss on my lips, making me gasp, making my eyes flutter shut. I moaned, stunned; a man who looked exactly like my first love, kissing me inside a small, warm space.

I could feel his hand tightening, travelling to my waist, as I remained still. He was slowly pressing his body against mine and my eyes leaked a tear I had held for a long time. I moved my hands to his hard chest so I could push him away, but I couldn’t do it. I felt weak. It was like his kiss, the first I had since Seth died, had drained me of all the strength I had gathered up to live alone, with a boy to carry, a boy to raise.


Watch out for my debut novel, Kissing Another Grimaldi from Eternal Press

Soon on Amazon.


An Image of a Man

I’m in love with an image of a man, whom I have yet to greet

A vision, a feeling I will not understand; something I should not seek.

For I am in love with an image of a man, whom I have yet to meet

A moment, a dream I cannot demand; something I should not feed.


I’m in love with a man whose words I believe

A life, a joke, a foolish and painful cloak

For a woman, not me (how could it not be me?)

But by heavens, I know, the fates I would provoke.


I’m in love with an image of a poet in a man

A man I know I would kiss if he gave his hand

His hand that wrote all those words in a note

In a note that sang to my heart that’s barely afloat.

I’m in love with an image of a man, whom I have yet to meet

My love is strong, and it is stronger than a million longing I should defeat.

I’m in love with an image of a man, and that is all it will ever be

For my will is strong, and it is stronger than a thousand cries of the prisoner in me.


September 20, 2013

BOY MEETS GIRL… Then What? (One of My College Days Feature Articles)

Note: I do apologize but article is in Taglish (Tagalog-English). Words in quotation marks are actual interview answers of fellow and random college students in my Alma Mater. Have fun!

Uso_pa_Ba_ang_Harana__by_MayJasmine.jpg (

Uso_pa_Ba_ang_Harana__by_MayJasmine.jpg (


Everyone knows courtship comes even after a few days of formal introductions. Mabilis ba? Sabi nila… HINDI! 

            A friend of mine was given a text mate one day. Pang-ubos nga ng load eh, pero okay lang, she was told kasi na gwapings naman daw yung guy. Naku, I doubt! I simply do not trust other people’s tastes. So ganun nga, days went on and her 30-peso load duration decreased from three days to one. I never really cared at first but when she announced that she went to the mall to actually see the face she’d been imagining for a week now, I almost freaked out!

“Trust me, expert na ako sa ganito. Siguro kung ikaw yung gagawa itatali talaga kita sa upuan!” she said. So okay, that hurt a bit but she knew she really had to go. After two more weeks, I met the guy and suddenly knew na sila na.

It was not a big deal for me since I could understand and definitely respect my friend’s decision but for other people, it was a sin. Short-term lang daw kasi yung panliligaw.

“So what? Pakialam nila! Basta masaya ako, gagawin ko!” It was as simple as that for her since she never believed in courtship anyway. Some people might call her weird in the deepest sense and even say she was fooling around in the yuckiest manner yet, “Bakit ko pa kasi patatagalin? Para suyuin niya ako? Paano mo nga susuyuin ang taong willing naman?”

“Based on my experience, short-term courtship kasi parang wala lang!” one argues. “Either I could say na easy-to-get yung girl or ‘di ko itre-treasure nang matagal yung relationship.”

Hindi ba natin pwedeng sabihin dito na dapat bago pa man manligaw ay clear na lahat ng intentions niya sa girl? The purpose of even starting is to really win the heart of the girl and if won earlier than expected, should it be a reason for the guy to just take things for granted?

“…at is pa ‘pag short-term kasi may mga instances na hindi mo maiiwasang tawagin kang easy-to-get diba?” another student reveals.

Traditional Courtship in the Philippines (

Traditional Courtship in the Philippines (

So how do people say one is EASY-TO-GET?

            “Parang sige nalang nang sige, yung walang pakialam. Parang ‘di na niya iniisip yung ginagawa niya. Madaling paikutin ba!”

Arguments started to arise that it could be concluded here that guys are just nagpapaikot when they court and eventually show who they truly are in the advent of their commitment. Though girls do that, too, especially when they see that the guy is madly in love, things are just a matter of “conscience and karma” as some would say.

“There are people whom you could call impulsive and minsan, nature ng isang tao yun. Easy-to-get? Madaling makuha diba? I won’t simply say it as that, siguro madali lang silang ma-fall. Impulsive but sure lover.”

Easy-to-get daw ang isang babae kung sa maikling panahon ng panliligaw, bibigay siya.

“Ba’t ko naman patatagalin? Kasi ako yung tipong hindi nagpapaligaw sa taong obvious naman na walang pag-asa.”

Well, wouldn’t you say that it could be unfair on the guy’s part if he’d be dumped even before trying?

Sometimes, two persons fall deeply in love at first glance.

It’s like passing through a single strand of time with this magical feeling that turns the world upside-down, breaking very single rule there is.

“Love at first sight? Ewan ko, para sa akin kasi physical attraction lang yun eh. Dahil first time mo pa lang makita yung tao, hindi mo pa siya kilala.”

Pero there are times when you know you’ve met the person from somewhere, which could bother you for so many sleepless nights. When that happens, the best solution is to probably get to know the person. Moreover, get in touch with the deeper person that lies beyond all the laughter and cries.

Dito na nga siguro dapat pumasok yung topic… courtship. The getting-to-know part of a relationship, na madalas ma-take for granted ng marami. The part where all paths lead to the intention of sharing that special dream you’ve been having during the day. The introductory part where moments are made and memories are kept.

But debates linger in the air. Short-term courtship… okay ka lang?

“Iba na kasi ang mga nagliligawan ngayon eh.”

Generation per generation nag-iiba ang trends sa ways ng panliligaw. Dati nga wala naman short-term diba? Kailangang dumalaw sa bahay na may dalang flowers and chocolates, minsan gitara na nga ang kasama o kaya karaoke.

“Yun kasi ang pinakamahirap dun eh, lalo na kapag dumadalaw sa bahay to meet the parents, yung hihintayin mong mahulog ang loob nila sa iyo.”

And you have to win the parent’s trust so by the time you would want to go out on dates, it wouldn’t be hard to ask for permission. You may even try to blurt out a joke on borrowing her dad’s car for more safety. (Seriously. Don’t.)

“I think it doesn’t matter kung ligawan ka man nang pagkatagal-tagal. ‘He who courts will always put his best foot forward’. Mas makikilala mo ang isang tao pag nakakasama mo na at dun mo rin mapapatunayan if you deserve each other.”

“Kung sandali lang ang paliligaw ko, di ko na kailangnag iharap nang matagal ang best foot ko. Madali lang niyang makikita ang tunay kong ugali so that if ayaw niya ako, madali na ring kumalas.”

And often times, people believe that in friendship, faces get unmasked the more. “Dun pa lang kasi mafee-feel niyo na if you deserve each other. If you get along well and if love niyo na nga ang isa’t isa. It’s a challenge.”

Some would naturally define challenge in courtship as waiting, “kasi mapapatunyan mo sa paghihintay ang pagiging matiyaga mo sa girl. Mapapatunayan mo rin sa sarili mo kung gusto mo talaga siya.”

“You could test the patience of the guy if he’s willing to wait for the right time, until eventually makilala mo na talaga siya nang lubusan.”

But what could be more challenging than to look at it at a point of getting into a relationship just to test the waters? “Yun kasing papasukan niyong relationship is a challenge na eh. If you’re worried about him not being serious, well dapat lang talaga na in a span of a month makikita mo na yan. Don’t say yes if you think it’s the right thing to do. Kasi if he’s seriously in love with you, even in a week marami na siyang mapapatunayan. Now even when you’re in the relationship na, don’t be too serious muna, at least kayo na. And if things didn’t work out, let it go… talagang ganun eh.”

Tampuhan-Juan Luna-1895.jpg ( Boy, how I would love to be courted the Traditional Filipino Way!

Tampuhan-Juan Luna-1895.jpg ( Boy, how I would love to be courted the Traditional Filipino Way!

What about the issue of being pakipot?

            “Minsan nga naman mamamalayan mo nalang wala na yung hinihintay mo” usually ang complaint ng mga girls lalo na ‘pag natutunan na nilang mahalin yung guy. Fear now makes the girl want to decide fast.

“If you like someone naman kasi, bakit mo pa patatagalin? You got to go for it kesa naman long-term tapos malalaman mong mawawala rin pala siya.”

“… sabi ng nila kapag mahal mo nga ang isang tao, dapat ‘di mo na siya pakawalan diba? Maya niyan ‘pag nagpakipot ka pa, kung kelan ready ka na saka pa siya mawawala, tapos iiyak-iyak ka…” sabi ng classmate ko.

To what extent is reasonable hard-to-get?

            A guy smilingly said, “Siguro ‘pag sobra-sobra na pakipot yung nililigawan ko, yung OA ba? Medyo nakakapikon na. Yes, natural ang pakipot pero not too much.” Hindi na reasonable yun.

There was supposedly the traditional way, which not everybody could hold on to. There will always be those with wild spirits trying to break free from the rules book teach. And there will always be those who would understand either way.

“There’s no such thing as long or short term in courtship. Parehas lang yun. Mapa-long or short man, it wouldn’t change the fact na magiging kayo rin if you like each other. The moment na pinakita nung guy yung motive and in-entertain or in-accept nung girl yung efforts, alam mo na dapat bagsak nun. Everything still depends on both parties. Courtship should be defined as the traditional panunuyo if winning the girl’s heart, but ever since naman I never believed that traditions would do us any good. So why bother to court someone that long? Kaplastikan? Pakitang-tao? Guys only show their better half when courting and show the other usually during the third month of the relationship. This is probably the reason why relationships that seemed perfect in the beginning end up being nightmares. So ‘pag gusto mo at gusto ka rin, kayo na! Simple diba?” as related by a guy friend.

Love blossoms in the hearts of those who believe and those who trust that nothing is greater than the treasure of being able to share a part of your heart with someone who’s right there in front of you.

Courtship is done in the midst of intention of trying to make a difference in the hearts of those who are willing to be touched. Might you be denied of the opportunity to make things last, there will always be the right time and yes, waiting makes everything perfect. But if you think what you’re waiting for is right in front of you, giving it a try shouldn’t hurt that much since it’s all about taking risks.

The WORK, February 2004 Issue

I Miss Having You Around


Gerona, Tarlac, Philippines


My husband and I never had the chance to go on a real honeymoon after we got married. Work, work, and work were always in the way. Now we stay in different countries, still without a child.

I treasure each moment I went out on dates with him. And I wait for the days we get to be with each other again… to travel the country as we have always dreamed and to go on a real honeymoon for our first kid.


While I wait for you, I will

see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil.


Never surround yourself with attractive women! You know I get jealous a lot!


Yuuummmmm! Cholesterole. Haha


Aren’t my lips sexy?

I’ll wait for you my darling, hubby.



The restaurant is about a hectare (or more now that they’re renovating) big with lineups of countless nipa huts where customers dine.

215125_217510461598524_2359792_n  216517_217512288265008_2381475_n216265_217512201598350_6559146_n