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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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.


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.


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. 


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. 


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. 


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.


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.


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.


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!


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. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2023

My Vitamins and Supplements Story

Back when I was a young girl, I remember vacationing in my cousin’s house and every morning, they would give us vitamins to take after breakfast. I think that was my introduction to the whole taking of vitamins and supplements lifestyle. As I grew older, I started reading more about the vitamins and supplements that people could take to make themselves healthier. Honestly, there are way too many that I became overwhelmed with the idea. I would take a multivitamin then try a supplement or two that I saw ads for to see if they worked. If they didn’t I’d stop taking them and move on to the next. It was a bad idea. At one point I had a health scare that was caused by the supplements (and diet teas) I was taking to lose weight which caused issues with my digestive system. The resulting issues from it are something that I have to deal with today.

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

Later, I had a doctor who advised me to stop taking all these supplements and just limited me to vitamin C, calcium, and fish oil along with my maintenance meds (which I take due to other pre-existing medical conditions that I've had since childhood). He told me that we can get most vitamins and minerals from the food we eat as long as we have the right kind of diet and that any excess vitamins we take in are disposed of by the body anyway so taking too many supplements wouldn’t be much help and a waste of money.


Tuesday, January 31, 2023

My Book Lover Story

On one of the off-season episodes of the Fandesals Podcast (episode embedded below), my co-host Judith shared her book lover origin story. As someone who loves to read books myself, I thought it would be great to share my journey with books. I hope people can relate to it and remind them of their book-lover stories too. 

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It was my parents who started my love for books. I remember growing up with shelves of children’s books that they encouraged me to read: Disney books, Dr. Seuss, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. I regret not being able to keep those books when we moved because they were significant parts of my childhood.


Sunday, January 29, 2023

My Favorite BTS Performances

In one of my solo episodes on the Fandesals Podcast, I talked about my favorite live performances of BTS. I had limited time to share more performances on our YouTube channel, so I am sharing more about them in this post.

As I have repeatedly mentioned on our YouTube episodes, with BTS, you will always, ALWAYS get high-quality live performances. This is a group that will never half-ass anything, be it with dancing or with singing and rapping. The production level will always be of high quality, with each performance looking concert-level in terms of staging and backing performers.


Friday, January 27, 2023

Disney+ Review: Bao

Last month, I spent time babysitting my one-year-old niece and one of the things that kept her entertained was watching short films from Disney+. Out of all the shorts that we watched, the one that touched me the most was Bao. I had heard about it before but watching it with my niece was the first time that I got to see it…and I am glad I did.

The short starts with a Chinese woman preparing steamed buns while her husband watches TV. One of the buns comes to life, and she starts treating the little bun like it was her child. She takes care of, spends time with, feeds, and clothes the little bun as he grows up. In time, the little bun starts wanting to spend time with other kids and wants to spend time doing things away from the woman. This causes conflict between the little bun and the woman until it reaches the point where the bun decides to leave home to be with his girlfriend. The woman tries to stop the bun from leaving and when she realizes she cannot convince it to stay, she grabs the bun and swallows it whole. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Books I Love

As any book lover would understand, it is difficult to say what book is your favorite. Our interests in books in terms of genres, storylines, and other categories tend to change through time. As we grow older, as we get exposed to more things, what we thought to be our favorite book or genre gets overshadowed by another. What may seem to be a favorite now may be a book you do not even remember later. 

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Plus, it is hard to say that there is just one book that you would call a favorite. There are bound to be plenty of books that you could say that you love. Choosing just one out of many that have made a mark would be difficult to do. 


Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Netflix Picks: Tomorrow

A little warning before starting this post: this show that I recently watched deals with sensitive topics so if you find yourself emotionally triggered by topics of death, depression, and other related issues, it might be best to skip this post.

Tomorrow is one of the K-Drama series that I watched last year on Netflix. I was not actively blogging back then, so I was not able to post a review, but I did share a bit about this show on the Fandesals Podcast on YouTube. It was just a brief review back on the show, so I decided to write a blog post to add to what I had previously shared on the vlog.


Saturday, January 21, 2023

Cooking Time: Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Noodles

Chrissy Teigen, the wife of singer John Legend, is someone that I have been following on Twitter for a while now. I’m not sure which came first: following her on Twitter or reading her then-blog, which was focused on food and called Cravings. After a while, that whole concept blew up and Cravings not only became a website for her, but also a personal brand. She has since launched two cookbooks and a line of cookware. If I’m not mistaken, she also has baking items out in the market too.

I’m in a bit of a cooking mood lately, trying out recipes from books and online and I decided that it was time to try out another Chrissy Teigen recipe. I’ve tried a couple of recipes from her Cravings cookbooks in the past, so this time around I thought I’d try one from her website. As with other recipes I’ve tried, I had to adjust the ingredient instructions to increase the number of people I can serve the dish to, plus there are ingredients that were not readily available at the time of cooking so I had to make do with what I had.  The recipe that I tried and that I’m sharing on this post is her Creamy Garlic Chicken and Mushroom Noodles. 

At first, I thought I was making a pasta dish, but as it turns out this one calls for egg noodles, so this is something new for me to cook and eat. I don’t think I've tried egg noodles with cream before so I was both excited and nervous to try making this dish. 


Friday, January 20, 2023

Disney+ Rewind: Lie to Me

With Disney+ finally in the Philippines, I finally got to see what all the buzz was about. I signed up for an annual subscription package and as soon as I checked the shows and movies in there, I knew that I got my money’s worth with it.

I discovered that there were old shows that I loved in the past that were on Disney+. Shows that I used to wait for on cable TV once a week for years. This time, I could binge-watch all the seasons as often as I wanted. There were so many to choose from that I did not know where to start! I eventually picked a show that only had three seasons, the 2009 crime drama called Lie to Me starring Tim Roth.


Thursday, January 19, 2023

Book Review: Vanessa Yu's Magical Paris Tea Shop

What would you do if you had the gift of seeing into the future? Would you embrace it, or would you run away from it? In the book Vanessa Yu’s Magical Paris Tea Shop, the lead character decided to do the latter, with disastrous results.

Image Credit: Penguin Random House


Saturday, January 14, 2023

My Version of Galbijjim

After my too-spicy attempt at Budaejjigae from the BTS Recipe Book, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to try another recipe from it. I realized that there were recipes that did not require anything too spicy so I decided it would be best to wean myself back into it by choosing a non-spicy recipe. This time around I tried Galbijjim. 

Galbijjim is braised beef short ribs and, according to Korean Bapsang, is served on traditional holidays and special occasions in Korea. I am not used to cooking beef, so this was a first for me. I had to ask my sister for advice when I was making this because I wasn’t sure if it was going to turn out right.

As with my previous recipe, I had to multiply by 2 the amounts in the recipe from the book because I was serving it for more people than what was indicated. Here is the recipe based on what I had used since some ingredients were (again) not available to me at the time of cooking:


Friday, January 13, 2023

Disney+ Review: In the Soop Friendcation

In the Soop means a lot to me. My friend shared the first season of the show during one of my low points in the pandemic and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up watching the second season as well. While I did not watch the season that featured the K-Pop band Seventeen, I did take the time to watch the one that featured BTS’ V and his friends, In the Soop: Friendcation.

This four-episode special was the idea of V aka Kim Taehyung. He wanted to go on a trip with his celebrity friends with cameras in tow. The Wooga Squad, as his friend group is popularly known, is Park Seojoon (actor - What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, Hwarang), Choi Wooshik (actor -Parasite, Train to Busan), Park Hyungsik (actor - Hwarang, Strong Girl Bong Soon), Peakboy (singer), and V (singer - BTS, actor - Hwarang). I have always been curious about the Wooga Squad because they are a close-knit group, and this show was on my list of Disney+ shows to watch. 


Thursday, January 12, 2023

Book Review: Almond

The recent Christmas holiday gave me a chance to read the books on my TBR pile. One of those books is Almond by Sohn Wonpyung. I only knew of this book from watching the first season of BTS’ In the Soop. RM and SUGA read this book in the show, with the latter seeming to highlight lines from the book so many times. I was curious about what it was all about, so I had to get my copy. 

Image Credit: Harper Collins

The book is from the point of view of the main character, Yunjae, who was born with a brain condition that prevents him from feeling emotions. Growing up, he had his mother and grandmother to support him, guiding him through the emotions that he cannot feel or understand in the hopes that he would be able to live and relate to others despite his condition. Sadly, on his birthday, both of his guardians become victims of a violent attack that kills his grandmother and leaves his mother in a coma, leaving him to learn for himself how to live in a world that does not understand his condition.


Saturday, January 7, 2023

An Attempt at Budaejjigae

Years back I was out on the road at night with people from work. We were still a long way from home and the weather was so bad and there was zero visibility on the road, so we decided to stop somewhere to wait for things to clear up. We have not had dinner yet so we went into the nearest restaurant we could find and wound up in a small Korean place where I had Budaejjigae. It was so good that I promised myself that I would try to make this dish one day and this month, I finally did with the help of a recipe from the BTS Recipe Book!

Budaejjigae, also known as army stew, because (according to My Korean Kitchen) it incorporates American-style processed food into the stew (jjigae). Budae means military base, which was where Koreans sourced the surplus American food for this back in the 50s. 

I remember watching In the Soop and SUGA made this for everyone, commenting that preparing food for a large group of people was hard. I agree. The recipe book listed the ingredients as good for three people, so I had to adjust mine since more of us were supposed to eat it. I decided to multiply everything by two to make enough for my family.


Friday, January 6, 2023

Disney+ Review: Disenchanted

Enchanted was one of those Disney movies that I enjoyed watching back when it first came out in cinemas. Having a story where a fairy tale/animated character transitions to the real world (and vice versa) was cute. It was exciting to hear that it was going to have a sequel so when we finally had Disney+ here in the Philippines, my family and I sat down together to watch this (warning: spoilers ahead!).

Image Credit: Disney+

In this movie, they said that in the real world, the story does not end with happily ever after. In the case of the family of Robert, Giselle, and Morgan, it meant more things can happen after the couple ended up together. Real life happens. Morgan grows up and becomes a teenager with an awkward relationship with Giselle (who is still as insanely optimistic, naïve, and bubbly as ever) and there is also a new addition to the family, a baby girl named Sofia. The now larger family moves to suburbia, to the town of Monroeville, where the growing gap between mother and daughter gets worse. 


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo

Reading is an activity that I have always loved. Being able to finish reading fifty books in a year used to be a normal thing for me. However, at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I stopped. I could not bring myself to pick up a book. I read one short romance novel last year but at the end of it, I did not feel the satisfaction that I normally felt from reading. 

Image Credit: Penguin Random House

I decided that it was time to go back to my reading roots. Mystery books, particularly the Nancy Drew series, were my category of choice back when I was a kid. I looked around for current and highly-rated mystery books and found myself getting the book Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala. It is a Nominee for Goodreads Best Mystery and Thriller in 2021. 

A mystery book featuring a Filipino family? It was just the right book for me to dive into to get out of my reader’s block. 


Sunday, January 1, 2023

Blanket Lady

If someone asked me what I wanted as a gift right now, I would answer one thing: blankets. I know it is weird because I live in a tropical country, and it is too hot to use a blanket, but I love them. I would like to try a weighted blanket or at least something close to it. A heavy blanket or a duvet…something heavier than a regular blanket but not as heavy as the weighted ones out in the market. I would need to turn on the air conditioning to use it though. 

Image by Myléne from Pixabay

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