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. 


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.

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