My Clerical Romance (Rising Action)
Checking In at the Library of Love

It just dawned on me that Valentine’s this year falls on the second day of Lent. What great timing for it to occur on the feast day of a Christian martyr… let us commemorate with more heart-shaped indulgence.

Hello and Happy V-Day once again!

I trust you’re comfy? Perhaps feeling a bit excited after our earlier foray into Filipino romance novels? Well, good news and bad news. The bad news is that we already exhausted our stash of My Special Valentine. The bad news, on the other hand, is that we have a fresh batch of pocketbooks.

Precious Pages has been around for some twenty years, a pioneer in the local romance scene. Aside from winning a handful of awards, the company is notable for the fact that it releases around fifty(!) titles per month, which are distributed the world over. One can only be impressed, really (and at the industry, too). Precious Pages’ flagship series is none other than the acclaimed ‘Precious Hearts Romances’. It has even crossed over into television. Oh, what’s this?


The Stallion Series’ is one of PHR’s most popular ones, later spun off into ‘Stallion Island’. I instantly gravitated to these books because of the title – ‘stallion’! It’s strong and manly and simply demands pornification. It is my regret to inform you, however, that the authors are much more decent people compared to this bloggist, and that horseplay in the books is confined mostly to actual equestrian pursuits. Aww. In fact, the series is named for an island off Palawan that is home to the exclusive Stallion Riding Club. So, yes: Stallion members do ride horses more than they do any other kind of horsing around. Tsk.


Misha Santoros by Sofia

Or is this ‘Sofia’ by Misha Santoros. I’m confused. You have to realize that printing ‘Stallion Island’ on the cover makes every other piece of text moot. Who’s the author? The mysteriously mononymous Sofia? Is Misha the lead character, then? Judging by the cover dude with the sexy stare, he is. He’s also his own book’s title, then? Like a biography? I’m glad we cleared that up, because I was starting to think that this title was written by a Hungarian-born conductor based in Cincinnati (but plural).

Misha Santoros’ (the book) follows Misha Santoros (the dude) and Rahya, an ad executive. Both their families own the advertising agency that Misha is currently boss of. Although this is cute enough as it is, we learn that Misha is actually engaged to Rahya’s cousin, Rome. While Misha and Rome are experiencing difficulties in their pre-arranged relationship, it’s up to Rahya to train the workaholic Misha on how to be a better boyfriend to her entitled bitch of a cousin – this while ensuring that they close the account for the Stallion Riding Club’s hit shampoo, wonderfully called Stallion Shampoo. I suppose that this is like those mane-and-tail shampoos that were all the rage a while back, except it’s better suited for that sexily rugged, tossed mane look. Misha even manages a come hither look on the cover that in less attractive men would translate as ‘come hit-him’.

The story involves a royal visit, corporate espionage, and frequent visits to Stallion Island – a place so exclusive that it’s only accessible by helicopter (it’s basically their shuttle service). We also become witness to certain hijinks, particularly with the long-term repercussions of a – gasp – kiss…

Ang plano niya ay simpleng halik lang ang ibigay rito. Just a kiss of gratitude. Hindi niya alam kung bakit nang maglapat ang mga labi nila ay hindi na niya alam kung paano lumayo… Hindi niya inaasahan nang gumalaw ang labi ni Misha para palalimin ang halik. He was an expert kisser. Hell! Kahit siguro hindi siya pakitaan ng pagiging expert nito ay sapat na para manginig ang mga tuhod niya.

Despite a textbook love affair (but involving a harpy cousin), the two still needed to work hard for their happy ending, although that is a matter of opinion – they didn’t even get to have a sex scene!


Jakob Dylan Arenaz by Sonia Francesca

Because the original ‘Stallion’ series proved to be very successful, we got the ‘Stallion Series Revisited’. It was difficult for me to read this and the previous title because I sort of get the feeling that there’s a larger continuity that I am missing out on. It’s like jumping onto this year’s big comic crossover event with no prior knowledge. The Stallion Boys are like Green Lanterns except they inspire less homoerotic fan devotion.

On this book, ‘Jakob Dylan Arenaz’ (reprinted due to insistent public demand!), we find the titular heartthrob on the cover smiling casually. Compared to the vaguely European hunk that was Misha, Jakob Dylan is more of a boy-next-door type (assuming you’re neighbors with Super Junior). With his Oriental good looks, you can bet that he is no wallflower… oh, wait… he totally is (Is his dad Bob Dylan Arenaz?).

Jakob and Yelena are surprisingly not gypsies. They meet, two brokenhearted and attractive people, and find love in the most unusual places (mainly a remote island with purebred members and inbred horses). Yelena is a feisty one, as an encounter with a perv in a police precinct early in the story illustrates:

“Hi Miss Byutipul. Mukhang lamig na lamig ka na, ah. Kung gusto mo, paiinitin kita. Kahit walang bayad, tutal, maganda ka naman. Ang sexy mo pa. Mga katulad mo ang tipo kong babae, eh. ‘Yong… basing-basa sa ulan

“Touch me and you’re dead,” wika niya nang hindi ito nililingon.

“At magaling ka rin mag-Ingles. Lalo tuloy akong nanggigigil sa iyo. Ang bangu-bango mo pa. Ang sarap mong singhut-singhutin – ”

And Yelena interrupts by introducing karate to his pervy face. Sassy! Much later in the story, a smitten Jakob finds himself waxing poetic…

“Ngayon lang ako nakatagpo ng isang babaeng kasintigas ng frozen chicken leg na ito. You just amazed me with your guts.”

Did he just… give her a compliment?

Despite the feel-good vibes, the ‘Stallion’ novels also manage to enlighten readers about the realities of high society. It kinda sucks to be rich, coño problems notwithstanding. They live in a little universe all their own where they deal with inter-family politics, expired club memberships, and the incapacity to marry someone of their own choosing. They also need to address each other by their complete names. The Stallion Riding Club is so exclusive that, during conversations, members need to mention all the exotically spelled proper nouns on their birth certificates. It’s like a code, I guess.

Did we just spend that much time on horses? And without any sex scenes to show for it? Please don’t disappoint us, PHR, and put out some! We want our reads lecherous!

 


Hello, ‘Hot Intruder’ series… I need you to intrude on my consumption of literature! Hot Intruder? Is this series about firefighters? The premise seems scary to me, sort of like finding live CCTV footage of the Akyat-Bahay Gang in my living room – and discovering that they’re all panti-meltingly photogenic. Do I scream for help? Or do I relish the rare moment of sweet vulnerability by watching Adonises cart away my heirloom Betamax player? I don’t know… but I hate you! I hate you for intruding on my consumption of literature!


Clint, Wild Encounter by Mandie Lee

Clint, Wild Encounter’ details a wild encounter with someone named Clint. ‘Clint, Wild Encounter’, however, also doubles as our leading man’s business card. You need only see him on the cover, trying to sex your eyes through his exposed chest, to realize that the book title is actually his job description. He’s like a fertility god. Somewhere, there is a group of transsexuals who synchronize their periods to this cover. It’s so potent. If the essence of this image were distilled and bottled up, it would be sold by old women in Quiapo.

In the story, Clint is in fact an intruder – he enters the beach cottage of one Tasha, who then attacks him in panic. This was a mistake, however, because Clint was intending to intrude on Peggy, Tasha’s friend next door for whom he has the hots. Too late, though! This abrupt introduction sets the ball rolling for this unlikely couple, such that we get awarded a sex scene before page 100:

“I want you right now, Tasha,” he said his, breathing ragged and his voice raspy. “Crazy but I really, really do. And I have never ever felt this intense longing – desire before.”

I mean, who hasn’t been there? We’ve all wanted something so bad that we misplace our breathing commas and start sounding like Rod Stewart. It’s not crazy, but anyway…

Inililis ni Clint ang pang-itaas niya at tinulungan pa niya itong kalasin ang back closure ng kanyang bra. She wanted him to see her body, her soul… and everything else.

At least we know that the author really is female… she knows that dudes need help in unclasping a bra. Bravo for brutal honesty!

The steamy sex scene – excuse me, love scene – occurs over six pages (with one page devoted entirely to second base). It is quite generous, that it should be immortalized in the Library of Sexual Congress. There are publicly stoned adulteresses who would consider this book unclean. This only means that IT IS AWESOME! Wait, it gets hotter…

Tasha kissed his fingers and watched them as he trailed them down to her breasts where he gently pulled and rolled one peak.

Hold on a sec… how did this suddenly become Play Doh? It was going so well, too, before we described our kulangot making skills! Are we sure about the author’s gender? Maybe it’s a dude, after all, only he’s brave enough to admit that he doesn’t know how to unclasp a bra? Never the mind, because the ending is one to be really exuberant about. Clint even falls off a carabao!

When I finally put the book down, I felt like curling up in bed and lighting a cigarette. I also felt the sudden urge to roll kulangot. Most of the crucial parts in the novel take place at a beach resort – it certainly is no Stallion Island. It’s probably not even an exclusive resort, pfsh! Wait, if you think Stallion Island is exclusive, then you will like…

 


Welcome to ‘Calle Pogi’. It doesn’t get more exclusive than this. Wait, how do you get a Calle Pogi address? Do you audition? Is there panel of pogi experts to screen you?


Sage by Keene Alicante

Calle Pogi continues with the PHR tradition of using first names as titles. And here we have –

Akala niyo si Freddie Prinze, Jr. circa 2001, ‘no?
Hindeee, si Sage lang ‘to!

Oh, shut up! This is the problem with Calle Pogi, I think. I wouldn’t be surprised if the standard greeting for Calle Pogi residents is the pogi pose.


“Good morning! How do you do?” [thanks, Bieb]

Sage is a budding baker with the best bakeshop along Calle Pogi. He finds his foil in dressmaker Alodia (slash cosplayer?), who makes her way into Calle Pogi from Laguna to look for a stray pet. She ‘hates everything sweet and romantic’… in which case, how would she then fare against Sage, whose expertise lies in all things sweet? Not very well…

Her eyes roamed a little lower… and lower still, down to his butt. Nice, she thought. She had no doubt it was one of his best assets.

The author just missed a good punning opportunity, but I digress. The great thing about the ‘Calle Pogi’ series, like the ‘Stallion’ series, is that it all takes place in one extended universe (of pogi). The residents come and go but always remain familiar. In fact, Sage even appears in subsequent volumes, like this one…


Drei by Keene Alicante

Akala niyo si Leonardo di Caprio circa 1999, ‘no?
Hindeee, si Drei lang ‘to!

Just shut up! ‘Drei’ the book is about Amaya, an aspiring children’s book illustrator who escapes to Calle Pogi to run away from her family. To her dismay, Drei, a cocky acquaintance from her past, follows her there. He arguably has the most memorable entrance in the book…

“Goodness gracious! Great balls of fire! What a hunk! Tingnan mo naman, muscles pa lang ay pwede nang gawing ulam!”

Not only does he go well with rice, Drei also inspires impromptu renditions of Jerry Lee Lewis’ signature tune.

OK, I get it that Calle Pogi denizens are the best specimens of manliness. It doesn’t need to get rubbed in my face. Would I want to live here? Uh, no. It’s kind of presumptuous to do that, isn’t it? That’s an instant douche upgrade. Seriously, holding an address on Calle Pogi is license enough to get punched in the face. How dare you call yourself pogi?

Not to say that it isn’t a happy place, of course. This is where sensitive rock-based musicians invented an earnest post-grunge-love-song musical genre, after all (unfortunately now called ‘alternatives’). I’m also sure Calle Pogi is where every Eskinol Master ad was ever shot. Washing your face enough times in Calle Pogi (with Vaseline) can make you look like Jericho Rosales – what’s so bad about that? And who wouldn’t find being neighbors with The Hunks or The Masculados exciting? The Guapings? It’s hotbed of activity. I’m sure Calle Pogi even shares a major intersection with Becky Blvd. Just look at the sign over there – it’s like Sesame Street but WITH MORE POGI! I can imagine Sesame Bob walking down Calle Pogi and bursting into “Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood?” Of course, it would be the shortest rendition of that song ever because everyone knows there’s only one type of person in the Calle Pogi neighborhood: The Pogi.

Yes, the pogi is a person in your neighborhood
In your neighorhood
In your neighborhooood
The pogi is a person in your neighborhood
A person that you meet each day

Oh, the pogi has the pogi moves
And his pogi doesn’t need no lubes
He induces heaving in your boobs
He will melt both your fallopian tubes

I know what you’re thinking… what sexist lyrics! Sorry, I should have been clearer: the lyrics were done with men in mind. Here, let me show you:

Oh, the pogi has a pogi face
All the women like to give him chase
He puts all men in a conflicted place
Because his pogi turns them into gays

I am mistaken. This would easily be the longest ever version of this song – because all the pogi in the neighborhood need to be called out…

Oh, the pogi has the pogi styles
Please protect yourself against his wiles
And be careful every time he smiles
You’re impregnated all within ten miles

Despite lacking in love scenes, Calle Pogi is awesome. It’s so awesome that our lovely model, even with her professional track record, hyperventilated at our photoshoot. As you may have noted, this necessitated a quick change-up. Eh? What’s that? Whatever.

Oh, the pogi has the pogi bones
He has concentrated pheromones
With his surplus of testosterones
He gets more groupies than the Rolling Stones

Suddenly, I feel inadequate. Luckily, though, I know that nothing can hurt me anymore – not after that incident with ‘The Man I Desire’. Your leering judgment, you see, only makes me stronger.

Oh, the pogi has the pogi looks
And your panti is on tenterhooks
You will be helpless as it overcooks
‘Cause he’s immortalized in pocketbooks

 


Thanks to Roget and the team for the photo assist.

Verb.Anything.ph is not associated with Precious Pages (but is also now a fan). Follow them on Facebook.

Categories: [books], [dickery], [pornography]

[2] Comments

2 Comments »

  • JoQ says:
    February 15, 2013 A.D. at 9:51 AM

    Hwaw! Ang pogi naman ng bloggist. Macho. Rawr.

    [Reply]
    • Ronan says:
      February 15, 2013 A.D. at 4:03 PM

      Away with you, woman!

      [Reply]

 

Leave a Reply to Ronan