The purpose of Philippine chick literature is to give readers cheap romantic thrills (“kilig”), and this is what Andrea Pasion’s “Have Baby, Will Date” practically does. The book brings you to the conio girl world of Denise, a hot and pretty (surprise!) freelance photographer purely surrounded by beautiful men. The story opens with Denise lying in a hospital bed, having just given birth to a baby girl she named Simone. The delivery is a result of a one-night encounter with a guy named Coby who, based on the book’s initial description alone, is destined to become the protagonist’s ever-after guy.
The book plays on formulaic plots with enthusiasm that you have to give it credit. Supposedly representing the empowered modern city girl, Denise initially declines Coby’s offer of marriage because, well, it’s just plain sex. The protagonist’s best friend/sidekick Joanne does a consistent job in the book: she’s a mother who gives motherly statements. Joanne hates Coby at first, and as expected this will change as the guy turns out to be a keeper.
So after a period of maternal rest, Denise wants to return to her normal life . But then there’s the baby to take care of, so she soon realizes the need for a nanny. Unfortunately (whoa!), all the nannies have issues, and so the single mom is compelled to call Coby for help. The succeeding chapters show the two discovering the joys of parenthood. And then that scene: after a stressful day that ends with the couple pacifying a wailing child through breastfeeding, Denise finds herself in another lovemaking session with the dad.
And oh, it’s almost forgettable that in between the Coby-Denise moments, there are a couple of chapters featuring another guy, Joanne’s hunk-lawyer friend named Martin. The way this Martin-Denise angle is treated alone gives away the fact that the author just uses a ploy to insert an element of jealousy.
The problem with “Have Baby, Will Date” is its clean treatment of Denise’s situation. Narratively, the new mom is not confronted by challenges of newfound parenthood. Her most pressing concern after giving birth is to lose weight, tone her abs, and meet a new handsome guy. Which I think has something to say about how the Pinay Cosmo girl is branded.