In the interest of allowing you to get to know the characters of the story better, I’ve decided to share some of their character profiles with you ;-) What kind of stuff do you have in common with them?
Name: Maria Juana Madrigal
Birthday: 25 March 1977
Zodiac sign: Aries
Height: 165 cm
Color: Used to like blacks, browns, and navy blues, but now prefers a more colorful palette. For example, her latest acquisition is a pair of purple patent heels (see chapter 10) ;-)
Eyes and hair: Chocolate brown. Hair used to really long (until the middle of her back and usually clubbed back in a ponytail), but now is jaw-length and has light brown streaks (Thanks to Taki---see Chapter 8).
Body type: Athletic, lean, and rangy (but she hates doing any sort of physical activity)
Food: Pork shogayaki, Indian food (the spicier the better), green mango shakes, taho and fishballs at UP, ebi sushi
Occupation: Researcher (field: Physics, in particular Condensed Matter Theory and Correlated Quantum Matter); currently employed by a private research institute
Education: Undergrad at UP Diliman, MS at University of Texas in Austin, Phd. at the University of Tokyo
Interests: Has a secret addiction to romance novels and Pinoy teleseryes; loves Piolo Pascual!
Dislikes: Natto (Japanese fermented beans), alcohol (she gets drunk easily), the smell of cigarettes
Antonio and Lucia (parents); Jorge (older brother), married to Lynne (Ana’s college buddy---See chapter 1 and 15); and Miguel (younger brother), married to Felicia (a prominent Cebu socialite); 4 nephews (Antonio Jr. and Jacobo, Miguel and Felicia’s kids, Javier and Lucas, Tanya's younger brothers); 1 niece (Tanya, Jorge and Lynne’s daughter---see chapter 15); Family is based in Cebu and runs a shipping business
Inspiration behind Ana’s character:
Ana’s character was inspired by the impressed ramblings of D., a Pinoy physics scholar from Kyoto University. He attended a conference and one of the speakers was a Filipina physicist from the University of Texas. D was particularly impressed by how she handled herself in the panel presentation, according to him, pang-Ms.Universe ang mga sagot! He also told me about that not too many women are into his field, and that competition can get really tough at times.
Ana’s character is an intriguing blend of strength and vulnerability. As a typical Aries, she is used to getting her way. She’s tough yet compassionate—she hates being treated with kid gloves just because she’s a woman, but at the same time, she love babying the people around her. She can be amazingly single-minded at times too. For example, when she made her mind up to pursue the study of physics, she put all her energy behind it. She’s also a secret romantic, but this wars with her orderly, scientific mind so she does her best to keep it at bay. She can be outspoken about her research, but can also be shy and close-mouthed when it comes to things of a personal and romantic nature, of which she has hardly any experience.
Ana’s appearance is inspired by A., the daughter of a Pinoy musician to whom I am supposed to be (very) distantly related. Her curly locks and her pride in them is exactly the kind of image I was looking for. Ana isn't drop-dead gorgeous, she had a kind of comfortable, old-world beauty that one appreciates over time. Partly due to her single-minded devotion to her profession, Ana really wasn’t concerned with physical appearances. I try to develop that awareness throughout the book—the slow re-awakening of her womanhood (naks!).