Literature in the Philippines was nearly non-existent. That’s because Filipinos don’t like reading on their spare time and preferred to glue their eyes in front of the television instead. Nowadays, thanks to Wattpad, teenagers are now into reading for pleasure. In my opinion, that’s great. At least they’re reading but I have a problem with what they’re reading. I’m glad that there are Filipino authors who are getting exposure and Wattpad is getting people to read again.
Just like with songwriting, Filipinos are only into romance. Diary ng Panget and She’s Dating the Gangster were originally published on Wattpad but turned into books. My Facebook friend told me that the reason they turn Wattpad stories into books so that people without a Wattpad account have access to them.
I didn’t know that Diary ng Panget was based on a book at that time of my discovery. When I was looking for a movie to watch, I stumbled on the movie adaptation of Diary ng Panget and did further research on it. I haven’t read the book but I’ve heard the summary of the story. It’s so uncreative and full of cliches. The story is rather forgettable and it doesn’t bring anything new to the table. It’s about an “ugly” girl (I use that term very loosely) who falls in love with a rich and handsome bad boy. Where have I heard of that before? Eya, the main protagonist, is Cross’ maid who isn’t even ugly, she just has plenty of zits on her face. Diary ng Panget is very predictable. I saw the movie for free on YouTube just to check out what the hype is all about. The movie doesn’t even have a plot and felt more like a series of events happening too fast. There’s no character development and I found Eya, Cross, Lori, and Chad to be bland. Cross and Lori doesn’t have any screentime together and yet, Lori likes him. Chad likes Lori but they barely interact in the movie. I’m not sure if that’s what happened in the book.
The book cover looks bland and why use the author’s username instead of her (she’s called Denny) real name? The publishers should’ve at least used a pseudonym. It looks unprofessional.
There’s 4 books in total and each have 128 pages each. Why divide it into 4 books? They could’ve just merged it into one book. Maybe it’s their way of making money or the readers don’t want to read a book with 300+ pages.
She’s Dating the Gangster is going to have it’s movie adaptation coming soon with Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla as the lead couple. I haven’t read the book and frankly, I don’t want to waste my money on it. From what I know, the book costs around 150 Pesos. I would rather waste that money on food. 150 Pesos is too much for a poorly written book. I read the preview of the book because it’s still on Wattpad and it looked like it was written by an amateur. The book is riddled with errors; the author abused the caps lock too much.
Here’s an excerpt on Wattpad:
“To Sara Jung: Where are you1!? I NEED TO EXPERIENCE SUMMER ROMANCE! NOW.”
First off, who talks like this? I’ve never heard any teenager who speak that way. When I was a teenager, I never said any of these things.
“I sighed on what I just sent her. I sounded so desperate. Well, I am being desperate.”
No shit, Sherlock. You didn’t need to say it again because you just said that you’re being desperate.
It’s not original either and it’s about… you guess it, a good girl falling in love with a bad boy. Athena Dizon pretended to be Kenji’s girlfriend to make his ex-girlfriend Abigail jealous. There’s a surprise, Kenji and Athena fall for each other for real. Cliches aren’t a bad thing as long as you add your own tweaks to it but if your story is nothing but cliches, then your story is just like every other romance novels. According to Goodreads reviewers, “It has a resemblance and a mixture of two Korean films titled “100 days with Mr. Arrogant” and “He was Cool.”
“…Yeah sure you can die anytime.”
And Abigail says “Forget it Kenji… You won’t see me again. Ever.”
Didn’t he use Athena to make Abigail jealous? This makes no sense. So he’s just gonna let his ex-girlfriend die?
“I rushed to his side. Kenji was all wrapped in a blanket and shaking violently.”
How can one shake violently? Also, remove the word all and it’ll look like this, “Kenji was wrapped in a blanket and shaking violently.”
One reviewer on Goodreads said, “And by emoticons, I do not mean the simple emoticons. (e.g. “:)” “:(” “:D”) In almost every page, there were different smileys/symbols that were too childish and unfitting. (e.g. “^___^V” ) It really annoys me that there were too many languages used. Some sentence were in Tagalog then the next was in English then later some Korean expression will be inserted”
This book cover is just as bland but at least they used the author’s name.
I wouldn’t consider any books that were originally published from Wattpad to be literature because they’re not. Those books are rubbish and yet, these are what the Filipinos are into. It’s just like those teleserye that they watch on GMA and ABS-CBN except it’s in book form. If this is what’s getting them to read, then they have bad taste in literature. I just hope they don’t make students read these books in English class or Tagalog class because if they do, the new generation will believe that it’s how you’re supposed to write a book.
Look, I have no problem with writing romance. I write them myself from time to time but I write in other genres aside from it. I write some science fiction and sometimes fantasy. I don’t have anything against Denny (haveyouseenthisgirl) and Bianca. Both authors deserve credit for writing a story from scratch and they’re doing what they love. The books they write are just like every other romance novels like Nicholas Sparks’ stories.
This gives me hope that my works will get published because if they can get published, then so can I. All it takes is to upload my story on Wattpad, hopefully get some views, and once it has enough views, then they’ll publish it and turn it into an actual book. Filipinos have low standards when it comes to literature. Diary ng Panget, She’s Dating the Gangster and every Wattpad stories turned books are entertaining but lack substance. I hope that the publishers in the Philippines would produce more quality books but sadly, this is all we’re gonna get.Published in