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). 

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