Friday, July 14, 2023

My Ever Organics Product Review

One thing that I have always been particular about is my skincare routine. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I tend to have my tried and tested products, but I do switch them up when I feel the need to. It was during one of these switch-ups that I discovered Ever Organics. 


Thursday, July 13, 2023

Kill Boksoon: A Thrilling Korean Movie on Netflix

I must be honest: the reason I decided to watch Kill Boksoon on Netflix was because I saw the Netflix ad on this starring Ruffa Mae Quinto. I was laughing so hard watching it and I was so amused by her take on the lead character that I became curious about the show. One weekend I was trying to lull myself to sleep with some videos on TV and thought I’d try this movie. I ended up NOT falling asleep but getting hooked to this one from start to finish.


Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen: A Review

Very few people probably know that Chrissy Teigen, model, TV celebrity, wife of John Legend, and the person behind the website Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, used to have a food blog on WordPress. I think that the first time I learned about her was not that she was John Legend’s wife or that she was a model, but that she was a food blogger. I loved reading about the food that she blogged about and the recipes that she shared. 


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

NCIS: An Old Favorite on Disney Plus

As I have mentioned in a couple of earlier posts on this blog, I am a fan of NCIS. I have watched it since it started but I have missed out on some seasons because they were no longer available on our cable TV service.  It was a good thing that I had signed up for Disney+ because the seasons I missed were all there. 


Monday, July 10, 2023

Sleep Habits: Tips and Tricks for Better Rest

Sleep. I have a love-hate relationship with it. For a time, I had difficulty going to sleep, and it had gotten to the point where I had to ask my doctor for a prescription so that I could get enough sleep. These days though, it has been easy for me to fall asleep. It’s been staying asleep that I have a problem with.


Sunday, July 9, 2023

Exploring the Relevance of Royalty Today

My social media timeline will almost always have some sort of post or update from some of the people I follow about royals. Particularly, about the British royals. I think that while there was already a lot of news about them in the past, it seems that there have been even more after Queen Elizabeth passed away. It’s like her death made everyone else go nuts with the whole publicity thing, like she was the one reigning everyone in all along and now that she’s gone, it’s a free for all on their attempts to be in the news and relevant. The question is, how relevant is royalty nowadays?


Saturday, July 8, 2023

Memorable Celebrity Encounters: My Personal Stories

In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast, Judith and I shared some of the memorable celebrity encounters that we had in the past. When I look back, I think that I have had a reasonably fair share of celebrity encounters compared to most. It’s not that I plan on them, some things just happened naturally. 


Friday, July 7, 2023

Scandal on Disney Plus: A Series Review

White hat. Gladiators. Command. These are the words that come to mind when the TV show Scandal starring Kerry Washington is mentioned to me. I remember being a fan of this show when it was on TV, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was available to stream on Disney+.


Thursday, July 6, 2023

Books That Deserve Movie or TV Adaptations

Books have been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I’ve loved reading all my life. There are times when I tend to be on a reader’s block and I can’t get myself to read anything (like these past few months/years, I blame the pandemic), but I still enjoy the magic of reading and having all these people and places come to life in my imagination. It’s such a welcome concept for me to have a book adapted for the screen (both big and small), but I think that it is an idea that is not always a win for book lovers like me. 


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Love to Hate You: A Netflix K-Drama Review

Take a top romance actor who hates women and a woman who goes after cheating men to turn the tables on them and show them what they’ve been doing to other women and what do you get? Romance? You’d probably say no, but YES, for the Korean series on Netflix called Love to Hate You, that is EXACTLY what happened. 

Yeo Miran is a new lawyer for an entertainment company and Nam Kang Ho is a top drama/romance actor who meets at a party thrown by the law firm for their clients. Miran is convinced that Kangho is a bad guy who takes advantage of women and is determined to find out how she can out him, making the extra effort to get closer to him to do so. Kangho, on the other hand, takes Miran on as a fight instructor for his movie after discovering her street-smart fighting skills, using the fact that she is also a lawyer assigned to him to his advantage. In the process, the two learn more about each other and eventually fall in love. 

Looking back on this series, I don’t think that it made that much sense to me how these two fell in love. I don’t think that they put in enough scenes to justify exactly how it happened. It seemed like with Kangho being a woman hater to the point that he can’t stand even touching them, it was enough to say he fell in love just because he can touch her. That was so weird for me. If a man told me that he fell in love with me because he realized he could touch me without feeling like he would throw up, I would be running in the opposite direction. Wouldn’t you?

Then, of course, there was Miran, who hated the guy so much because of what she assumed of him. Then suddenly, once she found out she was wrong, she was in love(?). Again, so weird! Despite all that, however, I did like seeing these two when they were already in the relationship phase. I think that the writers did better with that part, to be fair. 

As with any drama, this romance needed some complications. Kangho was starring in a movie with his ex-girlfriend. The press found out that Miran had been with a lot of men before Kangho, and it affected both their careers. He wanted to marry her, but she didn’t want to get married. It caused a strain in their relationship. Not to worry though, as with most dramas, everything worked out for everyone in the end. 

I found some good supporting characters for this show and some back stories interesting. I wish they could have tackled the part about Miran’s parents more because it seems there was more to that story that made her the kind of woman that she was. That whole dynamic with her father is very telling about her opinion of men in general. It would have also been good to see more about the romance between Miran’s best friend and Kangho’s manager/best friend. I felt that this happened a little too late in the show so there wasn’t much about them to see because the show was already ending by that time. If the series had more than ten episodes, they probably could have done that.

Love to Hate You was a good enough drama to watch if you were just passing the time doing something else. It’s not as good as some of the romantic comedies (or dramas) I’ve seen so far but it’s not that bad either. I thought it was cute, casting-wise, that Kangho’s best friend/manager was played by Kim Jihoon while Kangho’s ex was played by Lee Joobin. Both actors worked together on another Netflix series: Money Heist Korea. I recognized both right away and I thought it was amusing to see them in this show together in roles very far from the ones they had in Money Heist. 

This series is cute and entertaining, but don’t expect too much from it when you start watching. It was nice, even if it did not give me the kilig feels that I wanted in a rom-com. It did, however, give me the inspiration to start watching rom-com Korean dramas again, which I’ve given up on lately. So, if only for that, this is an OK show to watch!


Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Bridgerton Soundtrack Covers: A Review

The Bridgerton series is one of the shows that I have followed through the years since it came on Netflix. It’s not a favorite, but there are certain elements about the concept that I have enjoyed watching so far. One of those favorite elements for me has been the soundtrack, where they make use of pop music that is given a classic twist using instrumental music that fits the period of the show.

The first time I heard the songs in the show I was amused not only by how the songs were transformed to fit the era that the show is set in but also by how the themes of these songs fit into the scenes that they were placed into. I think it helps that the songs that were chosen have lyrics that are familiar to a lot of people that you don’t need to hear them to recognize the message they were giving a scene when the song is played.


Monday, July 3, 2023

Childhood Games: A Nostalgic Look Back

Kids these days have a different childhood from what we had when I was younger. With technology these days, play time with kids is not what it used to be. When I see kids today “playing,” it usually involves some sort of electronic device and not being physically active at all. It’s sad because there is something to be said about being actively playing instead of sitting somewhere with a gadget in your hands. 

Image by Freepik


Sunday, July 2, 2023

My Personal Shopping Style

In an off-season episode of the Fandesals Podcast, my friend and co-host Judith took our viewers on a day of walking and window-shopping. It got me thinking about what my personal preferences are when it comes to shopping, something that I decided to share in this post.

Image by gonghuimin468 from Pixabay

From what I’ve been able to tell from how my friends do their shopping, I am not as “girly” of a shopper. In fact, I think that my shopping style is more like that of my male friends or relatives. 


Saturday, July 1, 2023

My Personal Journey with Healthcare in the Philippines

One of the recent videos that I’ve seen on TikTok was about people in England (if I’m not mistaken) being asked how much they think it costs for medical assistance/attention in the United States. It blew my mind to see how surprised they were about how expensive everything was and how apparently, they were enjoying a lot of free medical services as part of their healthcare system. It seemed that they had it better than the US in that department. Obviously, they are miles away different from our situation in the Philippines as well. Plus, a lot of services for them are free!

As much as I would like to praise our country in terms of health care, I just can’t. There is still a lot of room for improvement. As someone who deals with health care in a rural part of our province, I can’t help but wonder if things are any better in the city (probably). I once had to go to the ER for difficulty breathing and the doctor just snapped the band of my bra, brushing me off by saying I was just wearing it too tight. Another time I needed to get blood tests done to figure out what was happening to me – but it was already early evening, and the lab was closed. Plus, some lab tests cannot be conducted there. My sample would have to be taken somewhere else so the results would be days later. I guess this is why when what is happening to them is a serious emergency, most people I know would rather travel to the city to get medical attention. 

Image by Tung Nguyen from Pixabay


Sunday, June 25, 2023

SIM Card Registration in the Philippines: My Thoughts

To readers from the Philippines, have you registered your SIM card yet? As we all know, July 25th is the deadline for registration of your SIM cards in compliance with the SIM Registration Act. This is the Philippine government’s way of attempting to curb cybercrime in the country and address issues regarding hate speech, disinformation, and abuse that use mobile phones. I guess the idea is that if people can be easily identified by their mobile numbers it would be harder for them to scam or troll people. 


Saturday, June 24, 2023

Trader Joe’s and Grocery Shopping

On an off-season episode of the Fandesals Podcast, my co-host and friend Judith took everyone along with her on a trip to Trader Joe’s. For the unfamiliar, this is a brand of a grocery store chain that has branches all over the United States and sells products under its own name.


Friday, June 23, 2023

Criminal Minds on Disney Plus: A Review

Disney+ has many shows I enjoyed in the past that I wanted to revisit. Sometimes it takes me a while since most of my favorites usually lasted more than half a decade at least and with around twenty or more episodes per season, it is a lot of episodes to go through. There are shows I sometimes avoid watching again because they would be just too much to see. Fortunately, I’ve had this habit of letting shows play on TV while I work out, so I have been able to start and finish all 16 seasons of Criminal Minds, the revival season included.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Game Shows: A Nostalgic Look Back

When I was younger, one type of TV show that I enjoyed watching were game shows. I loved seeing people try to beat the odds to win some sort of prize, be it a dream vacation or just a little cash. In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast, we discussed some of these game shows at length and it made me miss seeing these shows from back in the day.


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Queen Charlotte on Netflix: A Royal Review

The Bridgerton series is one of the popular shows on Netflix, mostly because it already has a built-in market from the books and because that first season was a big hit with everyone (and made Rege Jean Page a very popular actor). I’ve seen the first two seasons and while I am not really a fan, I did enjoy watching the show. I was more of a fan of the first season than the second though. I wasn’t sure that I would want to watch the spin-off show Queen Charlotte, but Netflix has this thing where it suggests new shows to watch after you’re done with another. Netflix auto-plays the show when you don’t cancel it. When I was finishing with one show that was playing while I was working out, Netflix played Queen Charlotte and I started watching it.


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

BTS Chapter 2 Collaborations: A Recap

In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast, my friend Judith and I go on an update about BTS. We had done an episode on the group during our first season and we felt it would be great to do an update now that we are also on video. 

Our episode discussed a lot of things about BTS during our episode, but I thought it would be great to give an update on something specific about them during what is referred to as Chapter 2. For this post, I want to share the collaborations the members of BTS have done so far. These are songs that they have recorded with other artists that are not included in their albums. In case anyone asks, I did not include Jin’s The Astronaut in this list because even if he had an assist from Coldplay on the track, it wasn’t an official collaboration since Chris Martin only did backing vocals. 

As far as I am aware (feel free to correct me if I’m missing anything), these are the collaborations that they have done so far:

That That – PSY (featuring SUGA)

This is a very fun track, reminiscent of PSY’s older hits Gangnam Style and Gentleman. SUGA co-wrote and co-produced the track for PSY. To know how much of a hit this song was, check out the reaction of people to the song during a live performance!

Bad Decisions – Benny Blanco and Snoop Dogg (featuring Jungkook, Jimin, V, and Jin)

This was a cute pop track but felt like a typical American pop tune. The only thing special about it was that it featured the vocal line of BTS. They could have at least featured the guys in the music video to make it interesting!

Sexy Nukim – Balming Tiger (featuring RM)

This is a song that keeps on giving. It’s such a good track and RM sounds so different here compared to his solo songs and on BTS. There is a certain confidence and sexy side to RM that came out because of this track. 

Rush Hour – Crush (featuring J-Hope)

I enjoyed this song so much and loved the dance that came with it. I probably would not have known this song without J-Hope’s involvement, so I’m glad he was on it!

Left and Right – Charlie Puth (featuring Jungkook)

This song was a major earworm for me. Once I heard it, the lyrics were so hard to get out of my head! It was a funny video too, kudos to Charlie Puth for putting humor into the concept of the video. 

Vibe – Taeyang (featuring Jimin)

Seeing Jimin dancing with someone else other than the rest of the members of BTS was strange, but it was a great intro to him dancing solo when he eventually came out with his own album. It’s a cool song, I’m glad he did this with Taeyang.

On the Street – J-Hope with J. Cole

Seeing J-Hope do this song with J. Cole, someone he had admired for a long time, was a bit moving for me. BTS did a version of J.Cole’s song Born Sinner in their early years, with the track Born Singer. Seeing them together in the music video reaffirmed that this is indeed a new chapter for them, going full circle by doing this track with J. Cole.

Smoke Sprite – So Yoon (featuring RM)

I am a big fan of all of RM’s collaborations, but because this one has English lyrics, this is the one that I sing along to the most. They sound so good together on this song, I would love it if they did another one!

Angel Pt. 1 – Muni Long, JVKE, NLE Choppa, Kodak Black (featuring JIMIN)

As someone who has seen all the Fast and the Furious movies, finding out that Jimin was going to be on the soundtrack was very exciting for me. It’s not that big a part since there were many artists on the song, but I’m still happy that Jimin is a part of it. 

Don’t Ever Say Love Me – Colde (featuring RM)

This was such a big song. Big in the sense that I could sense the big feelings that the songs wanted to convey, even when I did not understand the lyrics the first time that I heard them. It’s such a good song, and the music video is equally as good (and as deep).

Lilith – Halsey (featuring SUGA)

Halsey and SUGA work so well together. SUGA’s Interlude is probably the first BTS collab that I became such a huge fan of, and I sing their song a lot on karaoke when I can. I am a fan of this song because SUGA does not only rap but he also sings in this song. Again, since this is in English, I often sing along to this one. 

I have the feeling that they have all prepared so much for their fans because they know they would be gone when they are enlisted in the military. I wouldn’t be surprised if more songs would still be released between now and 2025. I’m here for it. All of it!

I am sharing the episode here for more on the Fandesals catch-up on BTS. Enjoy!


Monday, June 19, 2023

SUGA on IU’s Palette: A Review

A couple of months ago SUGA from BTS came out with his new album as Agust D, with the first single being a song called People Pt. 2, which features Korean singer IU. As most fans know, SUGA had previously co-written and produced a track for IU called Eight. This time she returns the favor by being on his song. As part of the album’s promotions, she also had him on her online show called IU’s Palette on YouTube.


Sunday, June 18, 2023

My Thoughts on the Dalai Lama

About a month ago I read something about the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, on Twitter about his inappropriate behavior toward a child in India. According to various news sources, the spiritual leader had hugged a young boy and kissed him and he stuck out his tongue, telling the boy to suck it. Of course, the internet exploded with that news, with many canceling him and calling him a pedophile. 

It was very heartbreaking for me to read about this and to see the reactions of people online. I read as much about it as I could and I tried to learn more about what happened before passing judgment. After all, this was a man whose work I am a fan of. His book The Path to Tranquility is one of my favorites. 


Saturday, June 17, 2023

Pandora: Beneath the Paradise - A Disney+ KDrama Review

These days I have been attracted to shows and movies that feature strong female characters, sometimes to the point that they are of the action(ish) genre. One of the shows that pulled me in because of that is the series Pandora: Beneath the Paradise on Disney+.


Friday, June 16, 2023

Road to D-Day on Disney+: A Documentary Review

As part of the promotion for his latest album, BTS member Min Yoongi/SUGA, also known as Agust D, released a documentary on Disney+ called Road to D-Day. The one hour and twenty minutes long film shares his journey as he makes the last album for his Agust D trilogy. 


Thursday, June 15, 2023

Watery Lotion: What to Do

Lotions. I have a love-hate relationship with them. I love how it makes my skin soft, but I hate putting it on in the country's insanely hot and humid weather. Plus, I get a lot of lotions as gifts that seeing all of them sometimes makes me even more lazy to use them. It’s like I’m overwhelmed at the sight of them. At one point I had about fifteen to twenty types of body lotion on my dresser. I gave a lot of them away but there was still a lot tucked away at the back of everything.


Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Mother: Is This Netflix Movie Worth Watching?

Growing up I remember my father taking me to the movies to see Jacky Chan movies. This was where I first saw Cynthia Rothrock, who was probably the first female action hero I had seen in my life. These days, there are a lot of action roles for women in cinema and on TV. I recently discovered that Jennifer Lopez had taken on an action role on Netflix in the movie The Mother.


Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Agust D's D-Day: An Album Review

The album D-Day by Agust D (aka Min Yoongi, aka BTS’ SUGA) was released last April, in time for the start of his tour of the US and parts of Asia. Made up of 10 tracks, the album marks the end of the Agust D trilogy that started with the album Agust D and D-2.


Monday, June 12, 2023

Amygdala by Agust D: A Song Review

With Agust D’s latest album D-Day releasing a single before the album release and another during the release day of the album itself, it felt like such a gift to a fan like me that he released yet another single with a music video after the album was out. After People Pt. 2 and Haegum, the next single that came out was this very personal and moving song called Amygdala. 


Sunday, June 11, 2023

Exploring Art and History through YouTube Videos

Does anyone still watch TV? I mean the actual broadcasts from TV stations? I just realized that I haven’t done that in a long time. With the emergence of streaming services and these TV stations having most of their videos online (sometimes even live for news programs), I have not had the need to watch broadcast TV. Most of the time my TV has been used for watching streaming sites and TV programs that are shared on YouTube. More often than not, the shows on YouTube that I have been focusing on have been documentaries that are on the subjects of art and history. I often fall asleep to these videos playing on my TV. I am not watching informative and educational shows on purpose, it just turned out that way. 


Saturday, June 10, 2023

Haegum by Agust D: A Song Review

BTS’ Chapter 2 is going strong with the release of Agust D’s new album, D-Day. One of the singles that was released with a music video from this album is the song Haegum. As usual, Min Yoongi (aka SUGA aka Agust D) has shown that he is a genius songwriter and producer with this track.


Friday, June 9, 2023

Not Dead Yet: A Review of the Disney Show

One of the writers that I am a fan of is Alexandra Potter, who wrote some of my favorites like Be Careful What You Wish For, Calling Romeo, Don’t You Forget About Me and You’re the One That I Don’t Want. I was also a fan of the series Jane the Virgin which starred Gina Rodriguez. Given those facts, I was so excited to find out that Gina was doing a show based off of one of Alexandra’s books, Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up. This show is called Not Dead Yet, which is on Disney+.


Thursday, June 8, 2023

Bioten Skincare Products: My Honest Review

On one of the rare occasions that I was at the mall, I decided to look for the skincare brand that I have been using. I was about to use up what I had at home and decided it was time for a new set. The salesperson at Watson’s, however, had other ideas. She managed to convince me to try something new and buy skin care products from a different brand, which she assured me would be perfect for my skin. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to try something new but since the brand that I was going for didn’t have the exact items I wanted, I gave in and bought a toner, day and night cream, and serum from Bioten.


Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Queenmaker: My Review on the Netflix KDrama

Most of the Korean dramas I have seen have been romantic comedies, so lately I have been trying to get myself to see more drama-type shows. One of those shows I decided to check out is Queenmaker on Netflix.


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Jinny’s Kitchen: A Review of the Korean Show

During the pandemic, my cousin introduced me to Park Seojoon. This led me to a rabbit hole filled with his shows and eventually to clips of the show Youn’s Kitchen on YouTube. This led to even more clips of Youn’s Stay (which also introduced me to Choi Wooshik). I wanted to watch more but I didn’t know where I could view them. I guess that Amazon finally got the memo and decided that the latest spin-off, Jinny’s Kitchen, would be on their streaming service.


Monday, June 5, 2023

My Review of the Actto Bluetooth Keyboard

One of the things I use the most for work (and other interests) is my laptop. My work involves a lot of writing and I also love to write creatively in my spare time. My laptop is a great and convenient tool for me to be able to write for this blog (and for the Fandesals Podcast). For the past couple of years, however, I found it less distracting to simply use my tablet with a Bluetooth keyboard. I’m less tempted to do other things and I can concentrate on writing that way. I’ve tried several wireless keyboards in the past but my recent purchase, the Actto Bluetooth Keyboard, is my favorite so far.


Sunday, June 4, 2023

Iced Americano: My New Love

If there is anything that people close to me can attest to, it’s that I love coffee. I love caffeine in general, but coffee is my go-to for that fix. I’ve been drinking black coffee since I was in grade school because of my grandmother, and I have loved it that way ever since. I remember being a kid and my father’s friend was telling me he was so surprised to see me drinking black coffee in the morning. I’m aware now that it was unusual for a kid to do that, but back then it was what I knew as normal. I always liked my coffee black, and it always had to be hot. That is until I discovered the iced Americano. 


Saturday, June 3, 2023

The Story Behind My Attachment to BTS’ Suga’s Necklace

Do any of you have something that you keep with you that helps to keep you sane? Something that helps you to feel better when things aren’t always going right? Something that gives you comfort that not having it around sometimes makes you feel like you’re naked? I have something like that. It’s my version of Linus’ (from The Peanuts) security blanket. I’ve had it for about a year now. It’s my guitar pick necklace designed by BTS member SUGA, aka Min Yoongi. It’s my good luck charm and comfort space all in one. 


Friday, June 2, 2023

Only Murders in the Building Review: A Whodunnit Worth Watching on Disney+

There are several genres of TV/streaming series that I enjoy watching. Crime-solving shows are one of them. Comedies are another (although I tend to lean towards rom coms than straight-out comedies). I think that Only Murders in the Building is the first show that I have seen that combines both genres – and it does it so well! I started off watching the pilot of season 1 on Disney+ and I was hooked! I ended up finishing seasons 1 and 2 in one weekend! I have heard of the show before and I know people who have raved about it in the past, but I had refused to watch it because I was worried that I would get disappointed after all the hype. Luckily for me, it was as good as people said it would be.


Thursday, June 1, 2023

EcoBar Review: Is It Worth the Buy?

We’re all living in a day and age where we experience the harsh effects of climate change. There is a lot of talk about how we can each do little things here and there to make sure that we reduce our contribution to making the situation worse. One example of helping to reduce our carbon footprint is trading in our liquid soaps and shampoos with bar soaps that function as shampoos and conditioners. They say that by using bars, usually just wrapped in paper or in light cardboard boxes, we avoid the plastic packaging that comes with using liquid soaps and shampoos. Some have also said that the production of liquid shampoos and conditioners also uses up more water compared to bar soaps (which makes sense since they are liquid). It may not seem like much, but as they say, a little bit goes a long way. Because of that, I decided to give the concept a try by buying products from Ecobar PH (which you can opt to buy in a box or simply wrapped in paper). 


Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Have Dinner With Me?

One of the recent episodes that we had on the Fandesals Podcast was about our list of celebrities we would like to have dinner with. We each chose five people to put on our list and we shared why we wanted to have dinner with these people (episode embedded at the end of this post). To be honest, I don’t know why we chose dinner…I think it’s a common question during interviews that we picked up? It’s weird that we talked about dinner when I have not had dinner in a long time. I guess it doesn’t necessarily have to be dinner, but some sit-down meal together somewhere. You get what we mean right?

It was interesting how when we came up with our lists, we realized that while we were fans of a lot of people, we found ourselves not wanting to have dinner with some of them. I must admit that one of those reasons was that as a fan, I also know that some of the great actors or musicians I have admired for their talent have also been known to be not-so-nice people in real life, so it was a hard pass for those people. Then there are those people whom I like so much but for me, it would be ruining the fantasy of how I see them versus how they would be if I met them in real life.


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Music Review: People Pt. 2

Before the release of his debut album D-Day under the name Agust D, SUGA of BTS released the song People Pt. 2. This song is a duet with IU, an artist he had previously worked with on the hit song Eight.

According to Yoongi in his interview with Billboard, the title was supposed to be 사라 (Sara), and depending on the consonant added in the end it could be ‘사람 (saram or people in Korean)’ or ‘사랑 (sarang, which is love in Korean).’ It would be up to the listener to decide. Because there were concerns of misinterpretation by leaving it in the original form, they chose to call it People Pt. 2. I liked that there was originally an ambiguity in the title, it was very clever. But I also understand why they had to change it.


Monday, April 24, 2023

YouTube Show Review: Suchwita

One of the things that I heard that SUGA of BTS had thought he would become if he did not end up in BTS was to be a radio DJ or a TV host. He had been fulfilling part of that dream by often becoming the host of their variety show Run BTS and during some of their special lives together as a group, as well as with lives he had done himself using the program name KKUL 0613FM.

Last December 2022, SUGA took this dream one step further by coming out with an online variety/talk show called Suchwita (Time to Drink with SUGA) on the BTS official YouTube channel. Initially conceptualized as a way for Yoongi to support the rest of the members of BTS in their solo efforts by giving them a platform to promote their work, it has now evolved to include interviews with other music artists as well as comedians and actors. It’s just too bad that he had not been able to include Jin and J-Hope in the show since their projects came out before the show started. 


Sunday, April 23, 2023

Music Review: That That

Sometime last year, teasers started coming out about a collaboration between the singer PSY and BTS’ SUGA. This collaboration turned out to be That That, which Min Yoongi (aka SUGA) helped to write and produce. 

Initially, the song was just supposed to be given by Yoongi to PSY for the latter to use for his comeback album. According to PSY, their discussions went from Yoongi offering the track/beat, then writing and producing the song, to him performing on the track and then appearing in the music video. It was an outcome that Yoongi himself didn’t expect to happen, but I am very grateful that it did!


Saturday, April 22, 2023

Confession: I am a People-Watcher

Maybe it comes from being a writer, maybe it comes from being cautious, but I am what you would call a people watcher. I have this tendency to watch and observe people: to see how they relate to other people/each other, what kind of story is happening behind what they are doing, what kind of people they are…things like that. 

Image by Jerzy Górecki from Pixabay

It’s not something that I do all the time, but I often do this when I am in one place for a long period without much to do. Mostly this happens when I’m in line for something or I’m stuck in traffic or something similar to that. It gives me time to pause, to look around and things tend to go from there.


Friday, April 21, 2023

Netflix Picks: Shadow and Bone Season 2

Netflix has recently released season 2 of the show Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse series of books. As with the first season, this new one has again combined the stories from the original set of books and its Six of Crows spinoff. 

The series continues from where it left off in season 1, with Alina and Mal in hiding as they try to find the other amplifiers to help her to be stronger to destroy the fold. On the other hand, the crows have their troubles to solve as they arrive home. Compared to season one where their stories are connected for most of the episodes, their stories only fully come together at the end of the season. This meant having both stories unfold from both sets of books in the eight episodes of the season. 


Thursday, April 20, 2023

Disney+ Review: The Princess

One of the habits I’ve developed lately has been to stream movies or series online as I do my daily morning workouts. I’ve been able to watch a lot of shows and movies that way but it’s not always advisable if the show or movie is good and you want to take it all in. But since not all these streaming videos are made equal, I’ve had my share of those that I can watch without concentrating on them. The movie The Princess is one of those movies.

Sharing the plot won’t be much of a spoiler since there isn’t much to take in: it’s about a princess being forced to marry a man who has taken over their castle and has taken everyone hostage to witness the wedding. This guy, who is obviously not royal since he wants to marry the princess to become a king, was initially promised that the princess would marry him, but she changed her mind, which led to the takeover and the forced marriage they were preparing for during the movie. 


Wednesday, April 19, 2023

My Book Lover Story Pt. 2

A few days ago I was talking to my friend about how I grew up with a lot of books at home. My parents made it a point to have a lot of children’s books and educational books that were on shelves in the bedroom and in the living room that my sisters and I could read anytime we wanted. I also had a doting cousin who would buy me books that she would get at their school bookstore so that I could have more to read for entertainment and not just for educational purposes.

Looking back on that I can’t help but think about how much my relationship with books has changed through the years. The books that my parents provided and the books that I could find in my grandmother’s house gave me an interest in reading. Books given to me as a gift or books borrowed from friends helped me to develop my interest in different genres of books. Now as an adult, with access to the rest of the world’s reviews and recommendations, I get to explore more books than I have ever imagined that I would as a child. Not only do I get to read more, but I can also read without all these books cluttering my home in the process.


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Music Review: On The Street by J-Hope and J.Cole

As most fans of BTS know, J-Hope is the second of the members to enlist in the South Korean military. He actually entered the service today. It's a big blow to fans like me. I don’t think anyone expected him to be the next one to go and serve. Everyone knew that someone would be going next eventually, but no one expected it to be him until it was announced.

Just like Jin who entered the military before him, J-Hope decided to release a song for the fans as a way to say goodbye for now. Not only did he also release a song just like Jin, but he also did it in collaboration with someone he admired in the music industry. If Jin had Coldplay, J-Hope had J. Cole. 

I enjoyed listening to On the Street. It had a lighter tone compared to J-Hope’s other songs from his recent album and I thought it had a feel-good, comforting vibe which was perfect considering the intentions of the song. 


Monday, April 17, 2023

Karaoke, Anyone?

Filipinos love to sing. A lot of Filipinos can sing. And of those who can, most of those people can sing really well. You can ask any artist who has ever had a concert in the Philippines, most if not all will probably tell you that the crowds sing along to their songs while they perform every single time. So many Filipino singers are recognized for their talent overseas, further proving that this singing culture is something that is natural to the country. There are even memes and viral videos about how singing with Filipinos means having to follow or sing along to someone who sings at concert-level every time. 

Image by wirestock on Freepik

The love for singing is so big that karaoke is a popular thing that Filipinos do to entertain themselves. Sometimes it can just be a simple sing-along over some alcohol and food, but more often than not it can be like a mini-concert in itself with every person singing like they are performing for their life. Then there are, of course, who sing just for the sake of singing, it doesn’t matter if they can carry a tune or not.


Sunday, April 16, 2023

KDrama Review: Missing: The Other Side

KDramas are shows that I enjoy watching. I’ve been a fan of Korean shows since the early 2000s when we were exposed to them on TV. I couldn’t help but enjoy watching because they often have different storylines compared to the ones I see from American shows and from local TV. Missing: The Other Side is one of those shows. 

Missing: The Other Side is a drama about a young man who can, as one movie line goes, “see dead people.” The catch is that the people he sees are not just dead people, but those who have been missing. With the help of a man whose own young daughter is missing, he discovers a village where the spirits of dead people who have been missing live. It is only when their bodies are found that they finally leave the village to find peace in the afterlife. 


Saturday, February 25, 2023

My Writer Dream

In an episode of the Fandesals Podcast (episode embedded at the end of this post), we talked about some of the jobs that we dreamed of having when we were younger. One of the jobs that I mentioned I wanted to have back then that I still want to do now is to be a writer. Specifically, to be a published author of novels that people would love.
Image by Yerson Retamal from Pixabay

I have always had a love of reading books and getting into the worlds that the written word can take me. You can go on different adventures and visit different places while reading books. You can dive into a variety of emotions and learn so much about so many things when you read. It was that love and appreciation for books that inspired me to want to become a writer myself so that I could take people into the stories of the characters I have created in my imagination.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Disney+ Rewind: Romeo and Juliet

After watching the movie Elvis recently, I decided that it was time to do a re-watch of another Baz Luhrmann movie, the modern-day retelling of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet starring Leonardo Di Caprio and Claire Danes.

This is probably the first movie from Baz Luhrmann that I had seen, and I loved every minute of it. During the time that it was shown in cinemas, I was actually in my Shakespeare phase: I had read some of his work and was so fascinated with the stories he had written so it was exciting for me to see it on the big screen. I had already seen the 1968 movie starring Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting and was already curious about this modern-day interpretation of it. 


Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Disney+ Rewind: Sleepy Hollow

One of the shows I used to watch on TV that I recently found available on Disney+ was the supernatural show called Sleepy Hollow. It’s a story that is loosely based on the short story of the same name and is set in modern times. In the show, the main character of the story, Ichabod Crane, died after killing/chopping off the head of a soldier in the war and woke up from his grave in Sleepy Hollow in the present time, where the soldier he killed became the headless horseman and the Horseman of Death.

The show lasted only four seasons, with the last season oddly set outside of Sleepy Hollow and without one of its main/lead characters, who was killed off in the previous season. For the most part, the show was about Ichabod Crane and Detective (and future FBI agent) Abby Mills fighting supernatural beings who want to bring the end of days into the world, all while discovering that certain historical figures from the time of George Washington had known about this and had been fighting off the same in their time. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Netflix Picks: Little Women

The Korean drama Little Women first got on my radar when I saw BTS’ RM post about it on his Instagram Stories. Of course, with that familiar title, I had to look it up and check it out to see if it would be something that I would like.

First off, I learned that the title is a bit misleading. It has the same title as the Louisa May Alcott novel, but it is very different from it. The show is described as a modern-day retelling that is loosely based on the novel, but I thought that while it had some slight similarities to the book, the entire series turned out to be very different.


Monday, February 20, 2023

Filipino Food The World Needs to Know

These days there are a lot of cooking shows popping up everywhere. Some are competitions, and some are documentaries. I remember back in the day the most popular shows were the ones where they teach you how to cook certain dishes. I don’t think I’ve seen those types of shows anymore. I’d love to be able to learn from shows like that.

Photo by SJ 📸 on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve seen that there are a lot of shows that have featured more Asian dishes, with some of them even featuring Filipino food. I’ve seen these shows feature balut, sisig, and adobo so far and I was very excited to see other people from other cultures try the types of food I grew up loving.


Sunday, February 19, 2023

Filipinos and Food

Food seems to be a particularly important part of Filipino culture. Whenever there is something to celebrate, this is done with a lot of food. When you want to comfort someone, you try to give them something to eat. It is a very Filipino trait to have food around for anything and everything. When I say anything and everything, I mean it: I’ve grown up accustomed to people bringing food even when they visit someone at the hospital.

Image by Freepik

I remember that I had a friend whose love language was asking someone if they’d already had something to eat and if not, she would offer to join that person for a meal. I would like to think that we Filipinos may have different approaches to it, but most of us have food involved in our love language.


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Sharing on Social Media

We all live in the age of social media. These days we share things online and with the rest of the world that we normally would not have done in the past. We document our lives in a way that we never have in the past. 

Image by Marie from Pixabay


Friday, February 17, 2023

Disney+ Review: Paper Man

Short and sweet. That was what the Disney Short Film Paperman was for me. It is a seven-minute movie that is in black and white (mostly). There is no dialogue, just music and other background sounds here and there. There is no script and this is a story told through animation but it still made me feel the emotions that were in the story. 

The story starts with a meet-cute where a young man and a young woman encounter each other while waiting for the train. The girl leaves ahead of the guy and he thought the moment had passed and he would never see her again. While he is at work, he looks out the window and sees her by the window of another building across the street. He then makes paper airplanes and tries to fly each one to her to get her attention. Even after finishing a pile of paper, he fails to get her attention and by the time he runs out, she is already leaving the building. 


Thursday, February 16, 2023

On SOGIE and Pinoy Drag

News about the Sexual Orientations and Gender Identity Expression Equality (SOGIE) bill in the Philippines was recently all over my social media due to the appeal of a Senator to dismiss this on basis of religion. He also said that what the bill is really about is same-sex marriage, which he is against. 

I don’t want to be too political about this but I don’t see a reason for not having this law passed if it is truly only for providing equal rights for and to prohibit discrimination of people of different sexual orientations and gender identities. I don’t agree on dismissing this on basis of religion when not all of us have the same religion. If we all have the right to different kinds of faith, we cannot lock in our laws based on just one of them. You can also say that there are only two genders but we cannot deny that there are other people who identify or express themselves in another way. I believe this bill is simply asking that we respect each other’s preferences and give them room to be themselves. It is not about insisting that we become like them but that we allow them to live their lives in the way that they are comfortable with. As long as they are not hurting other people I don’t see the reason why we cannot give them the freedom to be themselves.


Wednesday, February 15, 2023

The Elvis Effect

One of the celebrities that I became a fan of first from my childhood was Elvis Presley. I remember watching a TV special on his death anniversary when I was younger that made me interested in the man. 

Back in the days of no internet I only got to know Elvis from what was available. I found a book at my grandmother’s house about Elvis and his ex-wife Priscilla called Elvis and Me and I read that when I was in grade school. Whenever I saw an Elvis movie pop up on TV or when we could rent out his movies, I would watch them and just be in awe of not just Elvis the actor, but Elvis the singer/performer. 

Now that the wonders of the internet have given me access to all things Elvis, I have become an even bigger fan of the guy as a performer. Can’t say the same for him as a person as much since I find it problematic how he was a 24-year-old who got into a relationship with his future wife when she was only 14. Then there are all the allegations of abuse of the women in his life and drug abuse that led to his death. It was like he was an amazing and bright light as a performer but he had such a sad and dark life as a person. I preferred seeing the performer as separate from the person that he was.


Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Disney+ Review: Snowdrop

One of the KDramas that is on Disney+ that I have heard a lot about is the show Snowdrop, which stars Blackpink member Jisoo. I was not sure at first if I wanted to watch the series because I thought it was a period drama. I can’t explain it, but period dramas, specifically dramas where characters are in costume in KDramas, is one sub-category that I cannot find much interest in. I’ve tried to start a couple, but I never finish them. I later found out that the drama was set in the 80s, and I realized it was not as period-ish as I thought so I went ahead and started watching it.

The show is set in 1987, with Jisoo’s character Yeongro as a college student living in an all-female dorm. She meets and falls in love with Sooho (played by Jung Haein), someone she met on a group blind date. One night, she finds him lying in her dorm room covered with blood and she assumes that he is a pro-democracy protester like her dorm mate and decides that she must help him and hide him from the authorities. She later finds out that not only is he NOT a protester, but he is a North Korean spy who was sent by their government to help certain South Korean officials to rig the elections in their favor in exchange for money. Finding himself trapped in her dorm with the other spies, Soohoo is left with no other choice but to take everyone hostage until they can find a way to escape back to North Korea.


Monday, February 13, 2023


Black cats crossing your path are bad news. Never walk under a ladder. Doing this and that brings good luck. Doing the opposite, bad luck. There are so many superstitions all around the world, with some becoming traditions that people keep doing not because they completely believe in them, but more because it is something that they have become accustomed to. Like when you knock on wood to avoid bad luck or when you have noodles during birthdays to wish for long life. Or when you choke on your food and people believe it is because someone is thinking of you. 

Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay


Sunday, February 12, 2023

Some Thoughts on Beauty Standards

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Just what makes a person beautiful? What traits, qualities, and characteristics does a person have to possess to be called beautiful? While I agree that it depends on the person looking to define what is beautiful to him or her, we cannot deny that these days, there is such a thing as “beauty standards” that we must take into consideration.

Image by sym from Pixabay

These beauty standards, what the majority think or agree to be beautiful, are things that I wonder about sometimes. Is it truly what the majority thinks? Or is it something dictated by the powers that be, by the so-called people of influence, that we the public have come to learn to be that standard to follow?

Could it be a cultural thing? Could it be something that depends on the history of a country or a community that molds what people think is beautiful? Is it truly made up of just physical characteristics or do other factors come into play that affects what we think is beautiful?


Saturday, February 11, 2023

Fish and Chips Time!

Fish and Chips. I’ve always liked that combination. Fish fillets fried in batter with fries (or chips, or potato wedges, doesn’t matter which one) was a favorite of mine when I was younger. I remember back in college one of my favorite things to eat on the McDonald’s menu was the Fillet O’Fish, because it had the same style/flavor as fish and chips (especially if you order it with a side of fries of course). It’s too bad that they stopped selling that years ago because that was the only thing I used to order at McDonald’s back then.

I’ve always wanted to try and cook this, but I have never been confident about making something that was cooked/deep-fried with batter. I know it’s supposed to be crispy, and I’ve had my doubts about whether I could make that happen. I have probably collected around five different recipes for fish and chips through the years because of how much I’ve wanted to make them. I finally decided to choose one recipe from the site Recipe Tin Eats and made it for my family one weekend. Luckily for me, it was a big success!


Friday, February 10, 2023

Disney+ Rewind: Ever After

My sister is a fan of Drew Barrymore. I remember that one of the reasons that I got to watch the movie Ever After before was because she was a fan. I may not have been that big of a fan of Drew, but I did love this take on the whole Cinderella story.

Ever After is a live-action interpretation of the fairy tale of Cinderella. The basic story is the same but not patterned after the Disney animation. There is nothing supernatural that happens in this movie. No talking mice, no singing, no fairy godmother with a carriage that turns into a pumpkin at midnight. The story is presented as being told to the Grimm Brothers, the men who wrote down folk tales like Cinderella that helped it become immortalized into the stories that we know today.


Thursday, February 9, 2023

Netflix Picks: Vatican Girl

Back in 2019, I remember reading something in the news about two tombs being opened in one of the cemeteries in the Vatican. This was supposed to find the bones of a missing girl from the 1980s. Apparently, there were speculations that the girl’s body was hidden in one of those tombs but unfortunately, they did not find anything, not even the bones of the people who were supposed to be in those tombs (said to be two unnamed German princesses). 

That piece of news was the first time that I had heard the story of the missing girl who lived in the Vatican. Years later, I found myself watching the Netflix documentary series called Vatican Girl which explored the story of Emmanuela Orlandi’s disappearance and the clues about what happened to her.


Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Tips on Buying KPop Merch Online

Being a KPop fan, specifically a BTS one, is not easy on the wallet if you easily get tempted by the merchandise that comes out to promote the group. Now that they are taking time apart to do solo projects (and enlist in the military), there is more merch being promoted and sold because promotions are now individually done and not as a group.


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

KDrama Review: Love is For Suckers

Long before I became a fan of BTS, I was also a fan of the K-Pop boy band Super Junior. Specifically, I was a fan of one of the members, Siwon Choi, who is also an actor. I’ve seen him in a couple of K-Dramas, and I was a fan of his role in the show She Was Pretty. He wasn’t the lead in that one, but I think he stood out so well that I was rooting for his character to get the girl in the end. I know he had other shows where he eventually became the lead (and got the girl) but Love is for Suckers is the first time that I watched him in a lead role.

Love is for Suckers has a common trope: best friends who should be more, and could be more, if only they both did not hold back at that one moment when the timing was right. It’s about them dancing around the situation until they, as expected in any rom-com, finally get together in the end. I hope that doesn’t spoil the show for anyone, not that anyone expects anything other than a happy-ever-after for a romance like this. I’ll try my best not to go into too much detail to avoid spoiling it for those interested in watching it.


Monday, February 6, 2023

The Magic of TV

One thing that I would say played a big role in my life growing up was watching TV. Yes, I am not ashamed to say that I am a TV baby. Whenever my parents allowed me to as a child, I watched TV and followed the shows I liked. I’d like to think that my childhood watching TV shows in English helped me learn the language apart from school. I love TV because, like books, they introduce you to a new world, a new set of people, new stories, and new adventures that you can be entertained with.

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Something that kids today may not have an appreciation for is watching TV shows in a non-binge way. Back then without the internet, shows would have episodes once a week so you would have to wait to find out what happens next in your favorite show.  Plus, in this age of streaming where shows get axed if people don’t binge-watch the show on its first week (or so they say), it is now rare to have a series that you can enjoy for years before it gets canceled. 

I was going through my watch list on Disney+ and realized that a lot of it was series that I used to watch on TV back when streaming was not yet a thing. These were shows I would wait for every week on cable. Most of these shows lasted more than five years, some even lasting more than a decade! One of the shows is still going strong today!


Sunday, February 5, 2023

Get Ready With Me

My relationship with makeup is a love-hate thing. There are times when I love it, and there are times when I hate it. I love putting on makeup and being all girly about the entire process, but at the same time, I hate that it is too much work. I like to think of myself as low maintenance, so putting makeup on for me is usually more out of necessity than anything else. I will skip if I feel I can get away with not having any on. But I will wear makeup if I have to. 

Makeup is not easy for me. In all my years of wearing makeup, I still don’t know the right way to do things. I watch a lot of beauty vloggers to learn their tips and tricks but doing them myself is not as easy as it looks. I try, but it does not always work out the way I see it online. I think the process is something that you get good at with practice, but since I don’t wear makeup all the time, I don’t get the necessary practice I need to be good at it. Then the pandemic happened and with people wearing masks, there was less and less need for me to put makeup on. Now that there are places where people can take off masks, makeup is something that I need to do again. I’m not sure if I remember how to do it right anymore.


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Happy Anniversary Fandesals Podcast!

It has been one year since the first episode of the Fandesals Podcast was published online. Back then, this podcast that I have been doing with my friend Judith was audio-only. We recorded it together online and put it out to the world via Anchor, which automatically places it on Spotify, Apple, and other podcast service providers. 

When the opportunity to record together happened, we decided to start recording on video so the last episode of the first season was a surprise audio episode before we fully transitioned to video in season 2. Since then, Spotify has made video podcasts available on their service, so the Fandesals Podcast is also available as video episodes there as well. 


Friday, February 3, 2023

TV Throwback: Bones

Disney+ has so many of my old favorites, I didn’t know where to start when I first subscribed. I was a bit hesitant to re-watch this old series again after all this time because it lasted for 13 seasons, with most seasons having 22 episodes each. But, as someone who loved this enough to have a DVD collection of it, I eventually gave in and watched Bones again from start to finish.

It took a while for me to be able to watch the entire series again considering how long it was but since I usually watch my shows when I work out in the mornings, I was able to carve out time to see the show. It felt good to be reintroduced to my favorite characters and relive some of the best moments from this series and by the series finale, I was again sad to see everyone go.

For the uninitiated, Bones is loosely based on the books by Kathy Reichs about a forensic anthropologist who teams up with an FBI agent to solve crime. It is interesting to note that in the series, Temperance Brennan, the lead character, also writes crime novels, where the lead character is named Kathy Reichs. It is a good nod to the link between the series and the novels. 

I’ve tried to read a few of the Brennan books and while I am a fan of the show, the books were a bit hard to wrap my head around since I had already developed an image of the characters based on how they were on TV. I decided to stop reading the books and stick to the show instead.


Thursday, February 2, 2023

Four Eyes Part 2: Can't Live Without Glasses

A year ago I was recording an episode of the Fandesals Podcast with my friend Judith and we talked about the things that we can’t live without. One of the things that I mentioned in the podcast (episode embedded below) was that I could not live without my glasses. Now that I think about it, I think that I have been wearing glasses practically all my life!

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

I was in elementary school when I started wearing glasses. It was embarrassing, to be honest. I had to wear thick ones that reminded people of the bottoms of Coca-Cola bottles. I was told that I had astigmatism and that I was near-sighted, something that I remember my paternal grandmother and my mother blamed on my habit of reading too much even when it was already too dark to do so. 

As I got older, I think I went through the stage where I would have glasses, but I would only wear them when they were necessary. I felt that wearing them made me look nerdy and unattractive so I tried to find ways to work around the situation. I asked my doctor if I could wear contacts, but that idea was shut down by my doctor because I was told that they were not good for people with astigmatism. 

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