#romanceclass books as Filipino paintings

3:38 PM

For those who follow me on Twitter, you've probably seen me mention #romanceclass books before. If this is the first time you're hearing about #romanceclass, though, this Twitter thread by Mina V. Esguerra is a great starting point for learning about the community and its events. 😉

When I found out that August is #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy, I knew immediately that I wanted to write a post about #romanceclass. I considered doing interviews, making soundtracks, etc., but I really wanted to try something different. Finally, I came up with the perfect idea: #romanceclass books as paintings by Filipino artists. This way, not only could I feature books by Filipino authors, but I could also feature masterpieces by Filipino painters.

I was hoping to feature ten books, but I completely underestimated the time it would take to find the perfect painting. So right now, I only have five, but I do plan on making this into a series. Hopefully, it won't take me too long to write the next post.

Without further ado, here are my first five #romanceclass books as Filipino paintings.


Princess Urduja by Carlos "Botong Francisco

Book Summary: 
There are only two reasons why Nina would come back home to Cincamarre–one, if Auntie Delia promises to stop butting into her business, two, if her father died and she was made to ascend the throne to be queen.

Unfortunately for her, it was the second thing that brought her home.

As a princess who's sunk a yacht and been caught kissing popstars, it's easy for her aunt, the regent, to think she's ill prepared for the throne. But Nina doesn't think that having to fake date Felipe, the handsome, squeaky clean Prince of Concordia was the best solution for that.

Nina's ready to learn the ropes of her new role and make it hers, and reconnecting with Felipe only makes her want to be a better queen. But is the monarchy ready for a queen like Nina?

Two strong women and great leaders. 'Nuff said.

Get the Book (Amazon Kindle):


El Ciego (The Blind Man) by Fernando Amorsolo
Oil on panel

Book Summary:
It's harder to get over someone who was never really yours.

They say rock stars get all the girls. But Miki knows that's not always true. He, for one, though the guitarist of popular indie band Trainman, just can't seem to get the girl. It's kind of his fault, really. No one told him to fall in love with Jill. No one told him to stand still and watch as she moved on from a terrible breakup into the arms of another guy—a Japanese celebrity with the face of an angel and the body of a god.
So when someone else comes along, someone who finds him cute, smart, and funny (sometimes in the haha sort of way), will Miki finally move on? Or will he continue to pine for Jill?

I was actually torn between El Ciego and a painting by Nell Campos, but I felt like the style and colors of Fernando Amorsolo's painting was a better fit (especially with the more heart-wrenching moments of the novel). Also, while Miki isn't literally blind, the title still kind of fits him in a way. You'll have to read the book to find out why. 😁

Get the Book: 
Print (via romanceclassbooks.com)
Amazon Kindle


The Palay Maiden by Fernando Amorsolo
Oil on canvas
Painting information from: Fernando Amorsolo

Book Summary:
Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That's why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn't good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who's the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)

I really wanted the paintings I chose to be related as close as possible to the characters/plot. However, most of the paintings I found that were about weddings just didn't seem to fit well. Thus, I decided to go with Plan B, which was matching the cover. Fernando Amorsolo's The Palay Maiden had the same radiant smile as Daphne, and to be honest, the more I stared at the painting and the cover, the more they started to look alike. What do you think?

Get the Book:
Amazon Kindle


Love by Marcel Antonio
Oil and acrylic on canvas laid on board
23.6 x 30.1 in.
Image from: Artnet

Book Summary:
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?

There's an almost theatrical feel to this piece, which I thought was pretty appropriate given that Erin, Ramon and Pio are all (theater) actors. Like Erin, the woman in the painting is caught in a love triangle that plays out a little bit like the painting, actually.

I actually considered a couple of other paintings before choosing Love. Namely, this painting by Romel de la Torre and Dance by BenCab.

Get the Book:
Print (via romanceclassbooks.com)
Amazon Kindle


Beyond the Sea by Nona Garcia
Oil on canvas
6x20 feet

Book Summary:
It’s not just a weekend for Lux Castelo. She has a plan, of course.

Phase One: Escape to the beach for a music festival.
Phase Two: Deal with what she can’t control.
Phase Three: Return to reality whole and ready.

Nowhere in that plan is Micah Jacinto, self-proclaimed adventurer and the kind of boy with his head stuck in the clouds and the moon inked on his arm—everything her rational sense tells her to stay away from. And yet Lux finds herself welcoming the distraction. As they spend the entire weekend together, Micah leads her to rediscover the lost pieces of herself amidst the excitement and the confusion of a raving mosh pit.

But all weekends come to an end and Lux needs to return to the dreaded reality she’s running away from. Does being brave enough to leave summer behind mean being brave enough to ask Micah to stay?

I imagine that this is a view that Lux would have seen at some point. The gray tones used in the painting, with just a hint of light (that becomes more prominent thanks to the lighting used), are very apt too. 

Get the Book:
Amazon Kindle

What do you think? Are there any other paintings by Filipino artists that remind you of #romanceclass books? Let me know in the comments below.

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