#RomanceClass Podcast Season 5, Episode 3 - Writing Heat Level 3

Writing Heat Level 3 When You’re Filipino


(Please note this transcript is incomplete and will continue to be updated until it’s finished.)

Chi  00:00

We know you’re uncomfortable about what you’re writing. Parang you may think it doesn’t, you know, it doesn’t come out. It does. The reader will know na you were not comfortable in writing that.

Layla  00:11

Even me as an editor, I’ll know.

Mina  00:15

Hello, everyone and welcome to the #RomanceClass podcast. #RomanceClass is a community of Filipino authors of romance in English, the readers of the books, and fellow creatives who help us make the stories that we love. This is the podcast’s fifth season and we will continue to talk about romance themes, tropes, media with authors, readers, and fellow creatives. This season we will be exploring topics that influence what we consume, and what we create as Filipinos. On every platform, Filipinos are a huge segment of romance media on the consumer and creator side. But who thinks of us and what we need as creators and the audience? Tayo-tayo rin lang, friends. The #RomanceClass podcast is produced by Tania Arpa and Mina V. Esguerra.

Mina  01:10

Before we start, we would like to remind everyone to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, head over to kilig.pub/youtube Hit the subscribe button and also click on the bell to be notified when a new video is coming up. My name is Mina V. Esguerra. My pronouns are she/her and I’m hosting the episode today.

Mina  01:27

This episode is called Writing Heat Level Three or Writing On-page Sex When You’re Filipino. On the panel and contributing to this episode, are romance class authors who are Filipino romance authors who have written and or edited sex scenes in romance books. Yes, Filipino authors write romance novels with sex scenes. It’s not just our community that does this. But there are published Tagalog romance novels and erotic fiction imprints that have been doing this for years. If you expand your definition of Filipino romance to serial fiction and fan fiction, there would be even more. But there’s a persistent misconception among readers, writers and the academe that we don’t read sex and you can tell right away who isn’t reading romance when you hear them say that. We write it, it’s in published work. But the publishers don’t talk about it or market it because even if they’re willingly making money from it, maybe they’re not always ready to defend it. What we end up with is knowledge about writing sex scenes in romance that pretty much stays within writing communities and is difficult to then react to and learn from, and also difficult to find what’s excellent if this is the kind of thing you actually want to read. So in romance class, we as a community decided that the romance book was going to have certain elements but sex would not be a required element. We have a heat level scale that ranges from zero which means no sex on or off the page to four, which is erotic romance and only one author has actually written heat level four. We’ve found it helpful as authors and readers to determine where in the scale our book is, and marketing and selling it accordingly. Today, we will be talking to authors who write heat level three, ask them about how they feel about writing it and how readers have responded to their work. Please welcome to the episode Layla Tanjutco, Chi Yu Rodriguez, and Carla de Guzman. Hello, friends.

Mina  03:29

Nice seeing everyone again at this time .

Layla  03:32


Mina  03:36

Parang, yeah, so yeah, we kind of look a bit formal today. But anyway… 

Mina  03:45

So we are… So that’s the topic for this episode, but also, I invited #romanceclass author Brianna Ocampo to also provide her answers to the prepared questions that we have for the program. Brianna Ocampo is writing under a pen name and will not be appearing on the panel, but has sent her answers through email and I will be reading her answers to the questions. So just to say that I am not Brianna Ocampo and I

Chi  04:20


Mina  04:22

Just a disclaimer, that I am not Brianna, and I am reading Brianna’s answers for each question. So welcome to everyone and first off, is I will ask each author to introduce themselves and mention at least one book that they’ve written that has high heat and

Mina  04:45

Hello to the people pala in the chat. Hello, Paulo.

??: 04:51

No, we have no idea. 

Layla  04:53

We have no idea.

Mina  04:54

May question kaagad. I’m just saying it’s not me, but…

Layla  04:59

If you claim that, that does not help your case.

Mina  05:02

This is … And another thing that I’ll mention is one of our panelists Layla Tanjutco is not just an author, but is also an editor of books with high heat. So occasionally she might switch different hats when answering the questions as editor or as author. So we would love her perspective as well with those different hats, so… 

Chi  05:23

Number one proponent of heat level.

Mina  05:25

So let’s start so please introduce yourself and mention a book of yours or a story that you’ve written with high heat. Let’s start with Layla.

Layla  05:35

Hello, everyone. Thank you for joining the stream today. Actually, mas author ako ng high heat #RomanceClass stories, but I’ve also written a short story under the Tropetastic 2 anthology— “The Key to You”— and it’s, ano, it’s heat level three. So yun.

Mina  05:59

Thank you, Layla. Next up, Chi.

Chi  06:02


Chi  06:04

Hi, I’m Chi Yu Rodriguez. I actually only have one book na heat level three which is “No Two Ways”. Has a bisexual MC and lesbian LI. Baby pa ako. Isa pa lang book ko na Level 3. Bait ako, eh. Char!

Mina  06:19


Layla  06:29

Sex sa first page. 

Carla  06:31

It’s lies, all lies. You’re being called out.

Mina  06:42

Our friends in the comments are commenting on them. 

Layla  06:46

Talaga, demure? Ikaw?

Mina  06:47

How people are introducing themselves 

Chi  06:49

Commenting on my life. 

Mina  06:51

Thank you chi. How about you Carla?

Carla  06:54


Carla  06:55

Welcome to the podcast and stream. My name is Carla de Guzman. And almost everything that I write is Heat Level Three. And I will say it’s Layla’s fault.

Chi  07:07

Layla talaga. 

Layla  07:09

Yes, I take 50% responsibility. 

Carla  07:13

Yeah, good.

Layla  07:14

Because 50% sa iyo.

Carla  07:14

As you should.

Mina  07:19

Thank you, Carla. So we’ll have links to their books in the show notes. If you are curious about what they’re talking about, once they start talking about their answers to the questions. And well, I’m not going to be answering… I will answer if I can, if there’s time and if I can, but I’m Mina, and I also write Heat Level Three. But I guess lately, I’ve been writing heat level three. I didn’t start out writing heat level three, it was something I kind of evolved into at some point. 

Layla  07:52

You grew into it.

Mina  07:52

Yeah, I grew into it. But actually, the idea of… the idea of sort of growing into it or that you can shift to heat levels back and forth. The most recent short story I actually wrote was heat level zero. So you know, sometimes the story just calls for whatever heat level it calls for, even if sanay ka na sa three or whatever else. So yeah, okay, so we have an invitation in the comments to share your favorite heat level three #RomanceClass books in the chat. Okay, so let’s start with our questions. Our first question is “When did you start writing Heat Level Three or on-page sex for other others to read?” So I phrased the question like this because usually maybe as writers we did… we started writing this or experimenting with the writing of this knowing that no one else will read it or not letting anyone else read it. But when was the point when you were okay with other people reading a sex scene. Ano ba ito sa comments.  

Mina  09:04

Ano ba itong kaguluhan na ito. 

Layla  09:05

Live reading!

Chi  09:13

Feels so Prom ulit.

Mina  09:16

Layla how about you? Can… How about let’s start with you? Yes.

Layla  09:26

Well, sige. As an author yun nga, ito lang ito lang yung talagang pinublish ko na with on-page sex scene, with my Tropetastic 2 story. But as for editing, medyo matagal tagal na rin. Ano ba yung first. Hindi ko na maalala yung first na book. The #RomanceClass book na may heat level three. But as Carla mentioned, mahilig ako mag push gently. Ng authors 

Chi  10:03

Why gently?

Layla  10:06

With consent! Na magsulat ng heat level three like if I if I see this story and I feel like it needs a push… yun, I encourage them strongly to go the extra mile. Yun.

Mina  10:30

So siguro as background, the the first class that we did where on-page sex scenes were required was in 2014. Yung… 2014 pala yun. So I looked up… I looked up our… I looked up our history.

Layla  10:46

Oh my God. 

Mina  10:48

I looked up our history of writing sex scenes. So we did the class with Buqo in 2014 and then we required heat level three. Or we didn’t call it heat level three then or… basta it was on-page sex scenes. So yeah, 2014. What’s time?

Layla  11:05

Yung Camilla Cisco ba ito? Tama ba?

Mina  11:11

Same. That was the same year. That was the same year but that was a later batch kasi yung sports romance eh. So that was the second… the second class na that we did where we required… So yeah, so the first ones from the community would have shown up as manuscripts for you to be edited in in 2014, parang ganoon. So… So yeah, that’s what…

Chi  11:36

We were… When we were minors. 

Chi  11:45

We were minors in 2014.

(To be continued.)

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