Katrina Mae Santos doesn’t like her name. She thinks “Katrina,” “Mae,” and “Santos” are all far too common, like “Cruz” and “Lovely” and “Jane.” Just ask Lord Google. Run a search for “Katrina Mae Santos,” and you’ll see she’s hardly among the top results. She harbors a special hatred for “Mae.”
There are other things Katrina Mae Santos doesn’t like. The way she seldom speaks up in class, for example, for fear of saying something dumb. The way it takes her forever to finish writing her novels-in-progress. The way she can’t squeeze into those damn 24-inch jeans. The way she doesn’t seem to attract boyfriend material. The way she can’t afford to fly to Japan and meet the love of her life. Katrina Mae Santos doesn’t like what all these, and more, make her feel—that is, mediocre… and average… and, uh, fuck! Where the hell is that fucking thesaurus?!
Well, you get the picture.
So Katrina Mae Santos goes by other names, names that conjure a falling star and a sunset in a bottle, or a dinosaur in ninja gear. And when she writes, her protagonists are often ordinary girls, not too pretty and not very smart, often stupid really, their only merit their perseverance despite their awkwardness, their in-your-face, foot-in-mouth attitude to drawbacks and shame.
Often, Katrina Mae Santos finds herself wishing that she were smart, wishing that she were a good writer, that she were beautiful, and rich, and loved. See, Katrina Mae Santos just wants to be special. But what she actually is, is a weirdo. Because what Katrina Mae Santos doesn’t seem to realize is that she already is all these—except maybe for the “rich” part, but hey at least she’s got an iPhone.
Katrina Mae Santos may not be at the top of her class, but she can argue about gender and discourse, the politics of privilege, and the marginalization of the Third World, which is beyond some die-hard GCs out there. She writes stories that make people weep and laugh and sigh and see, again and again, the beauty in the pain of falling in love. Katrina Mae Santos has a face that would put a Super Dollfie ball-jointed doll to shame and a voice that could sing it to life. And she has friends that see all these about her, as well as her flaws, her insecurities, and still love her, and love her well.
Because, you see, Katrina Mae Santos may say she’s just an average, ordinary girl, and write about other average, ordinary girls, but one soon realizes that she, like her characters, sparks with life and dreams and so much love. Katrina Mae Santos may have a name common to so many else, but this Katrina Mae Santos? She is one very special cookie.
Katrina Mae Santos dropped the “Mae” and cut the last two syllables off “Katrina,” and wrote a bestselling romance novel, Home:
When 23-year-old Maya got herself a one-way ticket to Japan, she had only one thought in mind: Gemini. Never mind her family’s disapproval, the low-paying job she had just accepted, the cramped apartment she was going to live in, all the bowls of instant ramen she would subsist on; she had to meet her favorite band, see them play live. Most of all, she wanted to see him. The lead guitarist. Shin.
Three months later, she is penniless, still friendless, and haunted by the comforts of home. Then she meets him, swathed in the smoke of his menthol Luckies, thrumming an imaginary guitar. In the empty parking lot of a little club in Shibuya—this is where the aftermath of a dream begins.
Home may be purchased in the following e-bookstores: