Of romance and bees

By Marie Katherine Villalon

Would you tell the woman you love a secret that would probably tear your relationship apart, maybe, forever?

Jaime did and Nica left him. But in their separation, they were able to realize their dreams. And when they were ready, fate brought them back together.
Two decades past since a romance novel was read, but an encounter with Anvil Publishing Incorporated's Tagalog Romance stories caused feelings of puppy love to surge again. Surprisingly, Jaime and Nica's story made me cry.

Anyway, thanks to UP High schoolmate Niel Palabrica for introducing four titles.
"Riding in Tandem" (the story of Jaime and Nica) written by Nina Tolentino tells of giving love a second chance.

"FB Friend of Mine" written by Ginafel Villanueva tells the story of a playboy who got snagged by a girl through a Facebook project.

Carlyn Lanuza's "Wrong Send" talks about friends who found love in each other, her "I Like You To Love Me" says that falling in love with the person you dislike is possible and “A Song For You” which I have yet to read.

Janine Kilayko, a student who also borrowed the books, found the topics "cute".
"They are intended for teenagers and even for mid-oldies. Every character is exciting and how they end up together in the end," she said.

The idea of Tagalog romance paperbacks was inspired by the famous Mills & Boon books.

Anvil came out with their version through Pinoy Suspense in paperback for the male market in 1990. Months later, they launched Tagalog romance novels for the female market.

Anvil has published 2,000 books, 136 of which have national awards.
The books are found in major bookstores in the country.


A beekeeper, Cleo, explained that bees are very organized.

Heading them is the Queen Bee who gives orders to worker bees, housekeeper bees and soldiers, among others.

They gather pollen, clean the Queen Bee’s nesting place (she produces more than a thousand eggs a day), secure their “kingdom” and make honey day in and day out.
When asked if the Queen Bee gets to be replaced, Cleo said “Yes” mostly by the female bees that she herself bred. The worker bees feed these “babies” royal jelly and when they mature, these females battle each other for supremacy. They kill each other and the last one standing becomes the new Queen Bee.

Cleo explained that the old Queen Bee is usually killed, too. But, luck is on her side if: (1) her daughter decides not to kill her mother, (2) when the old Queen Bee’s soldiers stand by her side to protect her and together, they find a new place to live in.

Humans can learn something from bees like teamwork and loyalty.

They know their jobs and are happily doing them in order to make honey which tremendously benefits human health. Then, there’s standing by someone and facing life’s challenges together.* (TNT Libre, June 7, 2013)

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