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Koreanovelas Inspire Bianca Bernardino To Write Fiction |

Koreanovelas Inspire Bianca Bernardino To Write Fiction
Caption 2: Book cover of the hard copy of "She's Dating the Gangster" flipped to her favorite chapter.
Jaycon Yaneza

Young Filipina professional Bianca Bernardino, a 26-year-old B.S. Psychology graduate, took her angsts on to blogging site Wattpad and produced the internet novels My Girl and I (1&2), She’s Dating the Gangster, Lie About Us, and She’s Dating The Gangster, Too (a sequel). For her hit online fiction work She’s Dating the Gangster, Bernardino, based in Manila, spruced it up with her romantic perceptions, influenced by her being an avid fan of Korean soap operas. Before she knew it, she was doing a romance fiction series online that ended into 19 chapters.  She’s Dating the Gangster, a tale about campus puppy love, went viral. Bernardino’s popularity soared.  An Indie film has since been produced, with the same title, starring matinee idols Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.

The popular fiction tagged as “The online fan fiction that swept the Pinoy K Generation,” was such a hit that it caught the attention of Philippine publisher Summit Books (under Summit Media) that signed Bernardino to its roster of book authors.

She’s Dating The Gangster is about youth, innocence, love and all those animated bubblegum inspirations from popular teen romance series from South Korea. The female characters are a bit conservative, yet modern and feisty in their own ways. They are ambivalent and unsure of who they love, but then so do the guys in the novel.

Bianca had the opportunity to speak with Bernardino on her insights on life, her book and writings, and how she perceives the image of the Filipina today.

What drove you to write “She’s Dating The Gangster” on Wattpad?

I was bored and wanted to try something new. I was brainstorming with a friend then I started writing She’s Dating the Gangster. It started on 

How long did it take before it became an online hit and what’s the best record hit that it received so far?

I honestly do not know. After the story ended I lost track of it kaya I didn’t know that it was viral na pala.

When did Summit Books take notice of your manuscript and decided to publish it in book form?

October 2013.

How has being a published author changed you? Do you know that your book can now also be seen in 7-Eleven?

Yeah, copies are distributed at every Summit magazine stalls. Hmm… siguro I became sort of a public figure, haha! Kidding. Nothing really changed, I guess.

Who is Bianca Bernardino when she’s not writing?

A laid-back person—I tend to be really serious kasi when I write and medyo pressured. Pero pag hindi naka-open ang Google docs, tamad na.

How have Koreans influenced your writing?

Koreans were mainstream during the time of my writing the novel. Koreanovelas were everywhere and I fell in love with K-dramas!

How did you learn Korean? Are you Korean, half Korean, or an English teacher to Koreans?

I self-studied so when I watched K-dramas I was able to understand what they were saying without reading subtitles. Also, I used to teach Koreans.

What is the importance of Athena that you named two characters after her in the same book?

I got the name of Athena from a close childhood friend.

What kind of Filipina do you depict in your fiction in general?

Now, I want it to be more realistic. Ang mga Filipina ngayon kasi palaban. Open din sila sa feelings nila, pero of course medyo Maria Clara pa rin. (The Filipinas today are more open. They are open with their feelings but of course they still have Maria Clara in them.)

What other stories on Wattpad or in print can your followers expect from you?

I’m currently writing She’s Dating the Gangster, Too.  Lie About Us is still being edited—by me. I’m not sure if they will be published soon. So for now, they can read it on Wattpad.

Jaycon Yaneza

Jaycon Yaneza is an AB Literature graduate of UST. He is an Ustetika winner and conceptualized one of the pioneer teleseryes on Philippine television. He has written for Manila Bulletin and Icon magazine. Currently a Language Education student at JRU Graduate School, he works full time in the BPO industry in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.

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  1. Thank you to Bianca Bernardino for being featured at and to Jaycon for another great feature.

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