Batch 2021

Your girl just graduated! READ MORE

I first started entered post-secondary in 2013, at Xavier University- Ateneo de Cagayan with the program BS in Nursing. Now, this program was not my choice, it was parents’ choice. The only choice that I get to pick was the school that I go to. Since I already went to XU High School, it made sense to me to stay in the same university. Honestly, it was hell for me. I tried to make the most out of it despite on how unhappy I felt all throughout. There were many times that I’ve thought to myself, when I’m 40, will I be happy with this job? But I had no choice, it was either this or no school at all. I did the bare minimum. I barely passed my classes. I know I could do better but I also didn’t want to give my parents the satisfaction of me getting good grades. I think this was the start of my life-long battle with anxiety. I hated Nursing, I didn’t want to take care of other people. It takes a special person to be a good Nurse and I wasn’t going to be a good one. I was just glad that I got the chance to migrate to Canada after my second year and didn’t have to finish the whole program.

I went to Grande Prairie Regional College for my first two years of supposed BS in Biology degree. However, I think I forced myself to early to actually graduate so I can catch up on my high school batchmates who have already graduated. This was a big mistake on my part and something that I paid dearly on my grades. You see, I took out student loans to pay for my education since my parents couldn’t be bothered anymore to pay for it. But I was young and stupid and failed a lot of my classes. It did not help that my anxiety got worse and my therapist suggests that I was showing signs of deep depression (really never went to the Psychiatrist to be officially diagnosed). For those 2 years, I did really badly to the point that I only passed half of my courses for the last semester. I wasn’t able to transfer to the university that I wanted as a normal student so I applied as an open studies student (got in still though).

MacEwan was the university that I kinda wanted to get in. Of course, my first option was University of Alberta but I was turned off by the large class sizes that they have and MacEwan had smaller class sizes. I enjoyed the time I spent there but had to drop midway my second semester due to some family emergency. In hindsight, I think I just forced myself to go there to because I was in a hurry to graduate. I took the next school year off to think about what I really wanted to do. Looked into different schools and different programs and settled with NAIT. My first option was their Biomedical Engineering Technology and the second was the Laboratory Research and Biotechnology program.

I got into the Laboratory Research and Biotechnology program at NAIT and I couldn’t be any happier. I was just happy that I get to do something that I have been hoping to do since I was in high school. The idea of me working in a laboratory has never left my mind and I’m glad that this is something that I can finally do in the near future. Every time we had labs, I felt happy to just be there and learn the different techniques. The one thing that surprised me the most that I actually got invested in was laboratory animal surgery. Now, I don’t condone the unnecessary use of animals in testing. But sometimes, especially for medicine and health research, the use of an animal model is needed unless we can find a way to get a more accurate model. I am now hoping to get a job in a research facility that deals with laboratory animals so I can help take care o them. I think I know that I can be a good researcher and animal handler. Of course I’m not happy when it comes to killing these animals, but if I can make it less painful and traumatic for them, that would be okay-er.

Anyway, your girl just graduated!

On SB19’s MAPA

SB19 had recently released a song titled ‘MAPA’. This is a love letter to parents, to thank them for all their hard work and sacrifices. MAPA is a play on ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’, and can also mean a map (which was also referenced in the song). This song made me ugly cry as emotions I’ve thought I’ve buried already started to resurface. READ MORE

SB19 had recently released a song titled ‘MAPA’. This is a love letter to parents, to thank them for all their hard work and sacrifices. MAPA is a play on ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’, and can also mean a map (which was also referenced in the song). This song made me ugly cry as emotions I’ve thought I’ve buried already started to resurface.

For me, MAPA is a sad song. I know that this was an ode to the parents but for me, this was an ode to my Nanay, my grandma. Ever since I was a little over a year old up until I was 17, my Nanay was the one who raised. She was the one that stayed up all night every time I was sick and she was the one person who comforted me when my parents forced me in a program I hated. She was the one person I held on to during the darkest moments in my life.

Ever since I started working, one my greatest dreams was to visit home and take her places she had never been. I wanted her to see experience going to other countries, enjoy fancy hotels and see nice sights. I wanted to take her to nice restaurants and have her try everything she wants. But life got busy on my end but I was still holding on to that dream, even though it was less intense now. I always told her, “Next year I’m coming home” and she would always say, “I’ll be here to wait for you”. I left the country in 2013 and finally in the last week of January 2018, I finally booked a flight to come visit home. I got busy with school that I kept telling myself, “I’ll call her later to tell her I already booked my flight”. On February 2, 2018, days after I booked my flight, she passed away. I never got to tell her that I was coming home and this will always be my biggest regret in life.

The words of this song were the words that I wanted to say to my Nanay. The first time I was able to give her money from my own hard work (it was prize money for a writing competition), I saw how happy she was. I loved that look on her and wanted to see that more. Now, I won’t be able to give her all the good things in life anymore. But I really hope she knows how much I love and miss her. In everything I do, I always think, “Will she be proud of me?”.

Don’t get me wrong though, I love my parents. I’m also working hard to ensure that my future includes our whole family to not have any financial problems and that my parents can retire with no problem. They have sacrificed so much for me. My mom had to work abroad as nurse then care aide since I was 9 years old and my dad had to work late nights as a police officer. I also want to one day say, “You don’t have to work anymore”.

MAPA will have a special place in my heart but it’s the song that I can’t listen to too often. It evokes too much sadness from within me. Maybe in time, I can listen to it and not be sad anymore but that day is still uncertain.

To Stan: Matt Summer TV

Matt Summer TV is a Youtube channel which features three friends: Blake, Harry and Matt. They gained increased popularity after reacting to SB19 videos and charmed viewers (and A’Tins!) with their wit and humor. READ MORE

Matt Summer TV is a Youtube channel which features three friends: Blake, Harry and Matt. They gained increased popularity after reacting to SB19 videos and charmed viewers (and A’Tins!) with their wit and humor. I stumbled upon them after they were recommended to me by Youtube, possibly because they reacted to “Hanggang sa Huli” which was Gameboys Season 2’s main song in their trailer. I replayed the trailer so much I got recommended different reaction videos that were related to Gameboys.

The first video that I’ve watched from this channel was “First time reacting to “Hanggang sa Huli” and “Tilaluha” by SB19″. I was already a fan of SB19 before this and was also a fan of well-made reaction videos. “Hanngang sa Huli” is also my current favorite song from SB19 and was curious how they would comment about it. You know how reaction videos are usually 20 mins max? This video was 30 minutes and it didn’t feel like it. I laughed and enjoyed all their comments. It was refreshing to see a reaction video where it was obvious that they weren’t doing it to appease and appeal to people. Of course they were respectful, but they were also honest and blunt about what they liked and didn’t like. After this one video, I became hooked and watched their other SB19-related videos.

My favorite video of them has got to be “SB19 REACTION PART 8 | SB19 Proved Haters Wrong”. During the part where the boys had a press conference for Go Up and the reporters were just rude af, I love how all three of them defended the group. Also, they gave so many good points and insights on how this press-con could have been handled and improved. After watching this video, I loved SB19 more and became a big fan of the channel.

The trio is also active on Twitter and regularly interacted with their fans. They also have live shows every Friday morning (Canada time) named Controoowl Room where they react to various videos requested by fans and had recently added a portion where an A’Tin gets to play an SB19-themed Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?. On top of all these fan services that they do, they also have podcast called the Friendster Generation which I also listen to. I have been on the hunt for good Filipino/Bisaya podcasts since most podcasts I listen to are in English and it honestly gets tiring listening to English at work and at home. I like their podcast so much since I can relate a lot to their stories and it helps that we’re also close in age and I’ve experienced something similar to what they have experienced.

This channel had become my guilty pleasure. From their regular uploaded videos to live shows, they never failed to make me laugh. I always enjoy their banters since it shows their great friendship. Their comments and opinions about SB19 and are always welcome. They definitely made me love SB19 more.

SB19 ‘What?’ Lyrics Explained

SB19 is finally back with What?. They are now more angas but still the same guys we love. The lyrics though may be confusing to some people here’s me explaining what this song is all about. READ MORE

The whole song is basically an ode to their trials, beginning and success. SB19 is not the first Filipino boy group but they are the first group to successfully push the OPM subgenre of P-Pop. Their debut with ‘Tilaluha’ was not very successful but it was ‘Go Up’ that pushed them to the top. ‘Go Up’ talked about how they would work hard to reach for their dreams and ‘What?’ talked about them finally reaching their dreams.

When the teaser came out, I was fully expecting an English song. I mean, the title itself is in English, ‘What?’. But oh boy was I wrong. This song sounded different from their previous releases. This is definitely a start of a new era, not just with SB19, but in P-Pop in general.

‘What?’ sounded like a mash of three songs due to its different tempo and unexpected drops in between songs. This kind of song is not very popular in OPM as we are more familiar with songs that have uniform tempo and expected highs and lows. However, if you’ve listened to K-pop songs like EXO’s Tempo and SNSD’s I Got A Boy, you’ll know that this had been popular for a while now and sounds amazing if done right. And SB19 did it right.

The song is more angas than their previous release. I think they want to show us more hardened and bold visuals this time and I’m not complaining. But behind the angas, the lyrics itself is full of wisdom and story. It actually reminded me on how Gloc-9 used rapping as his way of story telling.

[Verse: Pablo]
Nagsimula lang pero wala na ‘kong balak na tapusin
‘Di ibig sabihin ‘pag ‘di tinapos, ako’y hihinto na rin
Alam ko naman na ‘di ako pinaka-ano, magaling
Got no biz with all of you, please, destiny’s I’ll be better and…

[Refrain: Ken]
Lahat ng aking basura ay pupulutin
Laging dala kahit sa’n pa ‘ko mapunta
Lapat sa lupa aking mga paa

[Pre-Chorus: Justin, Stell]
Mahiwaga, bawat nakasarang bintana sa ‘kin dati
Lahat ngayo’y nagbubukas (oh-whoa-oh-oh)
Daming sakuna, ‘di ko ininda
Andito na ako sa wakas (what?)

There was once an interview where they talked about how half of them had already left the group and just came back to continue their dreams. Just because they left didn’t mean their journey was over. Ken’s part talked about carrying their trash everywhere which can allude to them not forgetting where they started from. By not forgetting their struggles, this keeps them humble (lapat sa lupa aking mga paa). As I mentioned before, their debut was not very successful but they have steadily gained their place to the top. Now, the things they dreamed of before are now within their reach. They now have more opportunities to show who they really are as a group.

[Chorus: Ken, PabloStell]
‘Di na bala para iangat ang bandera
Bara na sa puso n’yo na ang tatama (bang)
Ama, salamat at ikaw ang agimat
Bawat banat, iwagayway mo’ng watawat

[Hook: Josh, Justin]
Wo-wo-wo-wo-wo, watawat
Wo-wo-wo-wo-wo, watawat
‘Di na magpa-pa-paawat (what?)
Iwawagayway ang watawat

Agimat is a charm or an amulet which some would say would protect you from any danger. Ama in this context is God (or god, depends on you) and God is their agimat that protected them from whatever misfortunes and danger. Iwagayway ang watawat can be literally translated to wave your flag or can also be raise your flag. The last lines means they cannot be stopped anymore. And waving/raising your flag can mean get up and be proud as this watawat can mean SB19’s own flag or the Philippine flag itself (as Pilipinas is mentioned in the last verse).

[Verse: Josh]
Pare-parehas lang tayong may pagkakaiba
‘Di ba? Ika nila, ibang mundo nakikita niya
Mabuting iba, ‘di gaya nila
Pikit ang mata, ang tama, wala, ha

[Verse: Josh]
20-20, paulit-ulit
Intelihente subali’t nguni’t
Basag ang lente, pinunit-punit
Hinubog ng dalagang bakal, sirit (tsss)

Josh’s verse here most likely talks about difference in social status of the rich and the poor. Different people in different eco-socio class see things differently. Those in the upper class sees the world in a different light, like they know they can achieve anything. But those in the lower classes have to work harder and does not see the easy life that those in the upper class do.

[Refrain: Ken]
Lahat ng aking basura ay pupulutin
Laging dala kahit sa’n pa ‘ko mapunta
Lapat sa lupa aking, alam mo na

[Pre-Chorus: Stell, Justin]
Maniwala, darating ang mga biyaya
Higit pa sa lahat-lahat ng nawala (oh-whoa-oh-oh)
Daming sakuna, ‘di ko ininda
‘Di titigil hanggang sa wakas (what?)

This second pre-chorus has shown their strong will to succeed in their craft. During their journey, they had to sacrifice many things and endure many hardships. But throughout that journey, they had also received many gifts and blessings from the people around them. They’re telling us that they are moving forward until the end.

[Bridge: Justin, PabloKen]
‘Wag n’yong sabihin sa ‘kin kung ano’ng aking dapat gawin
‘Di naman kayo natutong makinig (oh-whoa-oh-oh)
Sa’n man dalhin ng hangin, ang aking yagit, suot pa rin
‘Di magpapanggap na ako pero hindi (oh-whoa-oh-oh)
Daming sakuna, ‘di ko ininda
Andito na ako sa wakas

[Interlude: Pablo]
‘Di na bala para iangat ang bandera
Bara na sa puso n’yo na ang tatama

These final verses just hit home. I really think that these final lines are what really welcomes us to the second era. These boys ain’t playing anymore. This is a shoutout to all their haters, to all those who doubted them. This is a throwback to their rocky start and journey. They are currently at the top of their game and is still going. They’ve been through a lot but they are finally in a place where they want to be.

This whole song is a masterpiece made by our pinuno, Pablo. He definitely has a way with his words and he had encapsulated their whole journey into this one song. This can also be an anthem to everyone that listens to is as the song helps you realize that the journey may be difficult but you’ll get there at one point. Haters gonna hate but you just gotta keep on moving.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to feel with the whole song the first time I saw it. There were so many things going on most especially with the visual and tempo change. I wasn’t used to this in OPM and never thought this would be in PPop. But here we are, SB19 bringing their A-game and change in the Philippine music industry.

Note: These are my opinion and my interpretation of the song. If you disagree, let’s have a healthy discussion.

Lyrics: SB19 – What? Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

Filipino Youtubers I Stanned in 2020

2020 was stressful so I binged a lot of light-hearted videos on Youtube. I’ve also discovered a lot of Filipino Youtubers who’ve helped me get through the lockdowns and stress. READ MORE

I’ve been avid followers of a few Youtubers for the past few years but for some reason, I’ve never really been into Filipino Youtubers. I’ve followed mainly the Just Kidding Films crew and art channels like Jazza and SuperRaeDrizzle. I’ve never really got interested in Filipino Youtubers for no good reason at all. The only Filipino Youtube channel I followed was ABS-CBN. Then 2020 happened and my city went into lockdown and I can only binge stuff on Netflix for so much. Youtube came through though and recommended me a bunch of random channels and one of them was Oliver Austria’s “Architect React to Big Brain Workers”. After that, I started getting more recommendations on more Filipino Youtubers to check out.


The one who started them all. As I’ve mentioned, the first video I’ve seen of his was “Architect React to Big Brain Workers”. His channel felt refreshing as he was teaching us things without sounding to nerdy. I actually enjoyed the little snippets of knowledge that he inserts on his commentaries. It doesn’t help that I’m low-key a fan of dad jokes, or sabaw jokes, which he utilizes a lot. I’m not an architecture student nor going to that profession ever but I binged his tips and trick for architecture students which was pretty interesting. He has two accounts, Llyan Austria and Oliver Austria.


Kirby Araullo is a recent find of mine. I’ve always been interested in ancient history and I’m pretty bummed out that Philippines’ pre-colonial history is not very preserved. Kirby Araullo is a great resource for people trying to find some info about Philippines’ history. A note though, he mainly talks about history from Luzon especially Kapampangan-related (I believe he is Kampampangan). I’ve binged a lot of his videos during this Christmas break and a lot of his topics were things that were never talked about in History class!


I’ve been a fan of many art channels and am glad that Genelyn Sandaya was recommended to me by Youtube. She does art product reviews and tutorials. Her charcoal arts are amazing and I binged most of them already and just amazed by the process as well as the finished product. She is very likeable and gives thorough review of the products she’s reviewing.


These are the aunties you wish you have. This channel features three successful lawyers, Atty. Faye, Atty. Vivian and Atty. Camille, who gives us humorous videos about their lawyer-ing lives as well as their daily lives. None of their videos is ever boring to me and I look forward to their banters with each other. Even when they’re only talking virtually, it still does not diminish the humour and chemistry that these three have. I’m not even remotely considering being a lawyer but watching them made me rethink my decisions (still no though).


Of all the channels I’ve mentioned, Digos Good Vibes is the only one that is mainly in Bisaya. This channel features a group of friends where they produce a skit every upload. This channel is literally just good vibes all over. Ever since I moved to Canada, there is not a lot of chance for me to hear Bisaya unless I talk with family (which is not often). Digos Good Vibes gives me that kind of craving of the Bisaya language and there would be some words that they say where I think to myself, “Huh, haven’t heard that in a while”. Their kind of humour jives with me and I’ve enjoyed all of their skits especially Chismosang Silingan.


Slater Young does speak Bisaya as well but he mostly speaks in Tagalog/Filipino and English on his videos. He is an engineer and was a former PBB housemate. His wife, Kryz Uy (also one of the most popular vloggers in the Philippines), and him had built his house which they call the Skypod. I’ve actually learnt about this Skypod through Llyan Austria’s commentary to it and just fell in love with their house (dream house, anyone?). Also, he looks like that one cool uncle who always gives you money every time you see them. As an engineer, his main topics are his house, tools and his online friendship with our fave architecht Llyan Austria (collab please!). Also, check out Kryz Uy’s channel!

Did I miss anyone? I know that Philippines has a lot of Youtubers but these are the main ones that I’ve consistently watched for the past few months. Give me some more recommendations on who to check out next!

Where Are They Now? I.O.I

From disbanded groups to successful soloists, how are the members of IOI faring now? READ MORE

Produce 101 was a reality survival show that ended in 2016. The top 11 girls of the show formed IOI and was active for a little over a year. These are Somi, Sejeong, Yoojung, Chungha, Sohye, Kyulkyung, Chaeyeon, Doyeon, Mina, Nayoung and Yeonjung. As a group, IOI was pretty successful and can be considered as one of the most popular girl group at that time. They had a lot of collaborations and guesting in many variety shows that solidified their status as a top girl group.

Halfway through their promotion, some of the IOI members had returned or debuted with their own groups. IOI was only a temporary group so it made sense that the companies would capitalize on the members’ fame and promote their own groups with some IOI members. Chaeyeon promoted with DIA, Sejeong and Mina debuted with Gugudan and Yeonjung was added to WSJN. Somi, Doyeon and Yoojung where in a lot of variety shows and Sohye was starting to dabble on hosting and acting. Remember, these were all when they were still promoting as IOI.

Fast forward to 2017 and IOI had to disband. Now, the girls can focus on their own groups and their music. Chungha, IOI’s main dancer, was announced to debut as solo and many people were kinda iffy about it since she wasn’t exactly one of the most popular members but boy did she slay (Did someone say one of Korea’s top soloist?). Kyulkyung and Nayoung debuted with Pristin and Yoojung and Doyeon debuted with Weki-Meki. Sohye had focused more on hosting and acting.

As I mentioned before, IOI was a pretty popular group and with members active in many different places. You would think that each member would carry this popularity back to their group and boost their group’s status. That’s what I thought so especially when Pristin debuted.



Pristin’s debut was just amazing. More than half of their members appeared on Produce 101 and two of them were from IOI. From the beginning, they were already on the road to success. Their debut song Wee Woo was polished and their stage presence just oozed with charisma. They were doing girl crush without overdoing the concept. Their song Black Widow was probably one of my fave songs and listened to that for a whole month. Their last comeback was We Like which was also kinda popular but did not really chart that high up. But hey, Pristin had so much potential to be a top girl group as their performances were always topnotch. Then I forgot that this was Pledis we’re talking about, the exact same company that effed over After School. Well, with some mismanagement and unsure future, Pristin disbanded in 2019. I will never not be salty about this.


Gugudan debuted when IOI was still a thing with members including Sejeong and Mina. Sejeong had always been one of IOI’s most popular member so a lot of people were looking forward to this group. During their run, Gugudan was pretty okay. Their highest charting song was Wonderland which was at 35. Their song that I liked the best was Not That Type which was also their last single that was released. With no recent comebacks, Gugudan had slowly moved to the shadows. Mina and Sejeong had always been pushed to the front and they really are the most popular members. Sejeong had released many drama OSTs and both had been in many dramas as well.



DIA had already debuted when Chaeyeon joined Produce 101. They have had some member changes throughout their run. “Mr. Potter” is probably my fave song out of all their releases. DIA had consistently released songs and had multiple comebacks but they still remain in the shadows. They don’t have that one song yet to give them an oomph to push them to higher heights.


Yeonjung was added to Cosmic Girls which had already debuted. Her vocals was already considered one of the best from Produce 101 so she became mostly the center and main vocal for the group. Cosmic Girls are actually pretty active at the moment. They had concerts, variety show appearances and comebacks. Two of their members were in Rocket Girls 101 (formed from China’s Produce 101) so that made them more famous in China (which we all know is a pretty good market for K-Pop). Really though, if they keep this momentum up, they could be one of the top girl groups for 2021.


Weki Meki debuted in 2017 with IOI members Yoojung and Doyeon. I actually liked their debut song “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” and played that for a whole week when it was released. So far, Yoojung and Doyeon had consistently been the most popular members out of all the members as they usually are guests in many variety shows. They have recently gained more following after releasing Oopsy (which is a bop ngl). Oopsy shows a more mature version of them and slightly deviates from the common genre right now of girl crush. They had consistently released songs and multiple comebacks which we know is how you keep a group afloat.



Sohye has been more involved in acting and hosting rather than in music. Makes sense though considering that she was training to be an actress and not as an idol when she joined Produce 101. She had been nominated and won some acting awards which includes Best New Actress (21st Busan Film Critics Awards) for Moonlit Winter.


Somi was the number 1 trainee and became the center for the IOI. She was probably the most popular even during the first episode since she competed on Sixteen (where the winners became the members of TWICE). I only stanned IOI when they were almost disbanding but before that, I’ve always seen Somi on the couple Korean shows that I followed. After IOI, we all thought she was finally be debuting on JYP’s new group but then she moved to YG and became a soloist. Her debut was good, but I thought that she does belong better in a group rather than a soloist. Her next single “What You Waiting For” gave us Somi that is now more confident as a soloist and her stages were more enjoyable to watch than that of “Birthday”.


Chungha. Undoubtedly currently the most successful member of IOI. When it was announced that she was gonna debut as a soloist, I know a lot of people were pretty doubtful about her success. Her dance skills had always been acknowledged even before Produce 101 but to be a soloist? She gave us “Why Don’t You Know” and we’ve been hooked ever since. All her songs so far had been bops with wicked choreography. The thing about Chungha is that she can also sing well while performing. She is tiny but her stage presence is enough to command everyone watching. She had always explored a lot of different sounds like Stay Tonight and Play.

Possible Reunion?

It had been announced around 2019 that IOI was gonna have some sort of reunion. Everyone was excited but it was ultimately cancelled. The members just had too much conflicting schedules. Also, the whole Produce series had been in hot water due to the vote manipulation scandal so having a reunion may not have been a pretty good idea then.

My Top Korean Dramas for 2020

2020 had given us a lot of memorable dramas that made the bleak year a bit brighter. Here are the dramas that I’ve enjoyed this year. READ MORE

For the past few days, I had been voting for a couple of drama awards on Facebook and Reddit. This made me realize just how much drama I had been bingeing on for the past few months. There were a few that I had dropped halfway and might pick up later and some that I had just given up on.

This list is in the order of when they were released. There may be some spoilers but I tried to not put it as much as I can. Enjoy!

Doctor Romantic 2

  • I was a big fan of Doctor Romantic 1 so when they announced this sequel, I was so hyped up.
  • Lee Sung Kyung was convincing in her role as a doctor which I really didn’t have high expectation on since I’ve only seen her on Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo and Cheese in the Trap.
  • I’ve never seen Ahn Hyo Seop before so I didn’t know what to expect but boy did he make me tear up.
  • Kim Min Jae and So Ju Hyeon’s love line was just refreshing.
  • Han Seok Kyu and Kim Joo Heon’s scenes was always intense and I always looked forward to it.


  • It’s a short web drama that I binged in half a day.
  • Hani’s acting was good and really suited her although she had some awkward moments.
  • Bae In Hyuk as Danny makes me want him as my bestfriend too.
  • The way Hani and Hwang Seung Eon teamed up to bring down that shitty ex. *chef’s kiss*

Hi Bye, Mama!

  • Literally started watching this because of Lee Kyu Hung whom I loved as Loony on Prison Playbook.
  • Just tears on many of its episodes especially for Kim Tae Hee and daughter.
  • The friendship that blossomed between Kim Tae Hee, Go Bo Gyeol and Shin Dong Mi was both heartwarming and painful to watch as Go Bo Gyeol didn’t have any idea who Kim Tae Hee really was until later.
  • Go Bo Gyeol’s character deserved better. She was nice but very aloof so people assumed her to be mean and truly loves the husband and the kid.

Hospital Playlist

  • Director also directed Prison Playbook so that was enough motivation for me to watch.
  • The songs are so calming that I still listen to the whole OST album when I want to calm down and rest.
  • No villains, no intense drama. Just light-hearted drama surrounding five friends and their lives.
  • Really rooted for Moon Tae Yu and Ha Yoon Kyung’s (Yong Suk Min and Heo Sun Bin) love line.
  • Yoo Yeon Seok and Shin Hyun Bin’s final scene thought. :*

Kingdom Season 2

  • The build-up of the first season was slower during the first half but this season was just action all throughout. Also, just six episodes you can binge in a day.
  • Bae Doo Na and Jun Suk Ho’s budding romance (?)
  • The mf queen died and that’s good.
  • Jun Ji Hyun’s unexpected cameo at the end of the last episode which means Season 3 about to be lit.
  • Ju Ji Hoon being a more regal and tough prince than he was in the first season.


  • Choi Jin Hyuk and Jo Dong Hyuk in one frame is just gorgeous. Add Park Sun Ho and it’s just perfection.
  • The action sequence was well executed and never boring.
  • Jung Hye In being the bad-ass that she is.
  • Kim Min Sang though. Insert Tyra’s gif of “I rooted for you. We all rooted for you!”

Mystic Pop-Up Bar

  • Hwang Jung Eum is just a genius when it comes to comedy, moreso with romance added to it.
  • Yook Sung Jae acting like a dork and Jung Da Eum acting tough is a comedy in itself. Also, add the chemistry between these two and I just fell in love with their pairing.
  • Choi Won Young cool action scenes plus his not-so-subtle longing look to Hwang Jung Eum.
  • Just Choi Won Young doting on Hwang Jung Eum and Hwang Jung Eum hating her ex.
  • The things they have to do to resolve a problem especially the infertility one.

Was It Love

  • This started my ongoing love for Son Ho Jun and his crying scenes.
  • Song Ji Hyo showing us a strong, independent woman who needs no man.
  • Going on a journey together with Uhm Chae Young to figure who her real daddy is (legit thought it was gonna be Koo Ja Sung at one point).
  • Kim Min Joon and Yoon Sung Woo’s blossoming relationship as father and son.

18 Again

  • Lee Do Hyun acting as a 40-something trapped in an 18-year old body is such a trip. The fact that he did it so well that I would see him being all “Dad mode” to his kids and I’m like, “Yep, that’s fair”.
  • Kim Kang Hyun’s outrageous outfits and the many attempts he had to do in order for Kim Yoo Ri to finally accept him.
  • Lee Mi Do is just friendship and role-model goal here as she is just not a true friend, she’s also a strong, independent woman who takes no shit from anyone.
  • Kim Kang Hyun and Lee Mi Do’s friendship that did not take a romantic turn and instead, supported each other throughout the show (amidst a lot of bickering).

Tale of the Nine-Tailed

  • Jo Bo Ah not being your typical damsel in distress and not clueless throughout the run of the show.
  • Kim Bum’s growth throughout the show and the fact that he finally found home with Kim Yung Ji, Hwang Hee and Jung Shi Yeol.
  • I enjoyed learning a couple of Korean mythologies like the Snail Bride.
  • I really rooted for Kim Yung Ji and Hwang Hee from the beginning even though a lot of people wanted her to be with Kim Bum instead.
  • Kim Bum caring for Kim Yung Ji like a big brother to his little sister and the fact that she was the last person whom he saw before being taken away.
  • Kim Bum and Lee Dong Wok’s complicated brotherly relationship but it really showed how much they both loved each other.


  • Team Good Boy all the way. Just him, not with Dal Mi though. Kim Seon Ho’s Han Ji Pyeong deserves someone who loves him.
  • Kang Han Na being the bad-ass b* that she is, leaving her step-dad’s company and starting from scratch to build her own.
  • Suzy realizing she cannot mope around when Samsan Tech boys left and decided to join her sister and thrived.
  • Kim Hae Sook (Halmeoni) just loving and caring for Kim Seon Ho since he was a kid.
  • Kim Seon Ho and Kim Hae Sook’s loving relationship which is very warm and just what Kim Seon Ho’s character needed.
  • Samsan Tech started from insecure guys who talked highly about the twins’ abilities to successful men who are now so much better and talented than the twins.
  • Was hoping for more Kim Seon Ho and Kang Han Na moments together.
  • Stephanie Lee and the moment she realized she also liked Kim Soo Bin back plus their cute moments together.

Sweet Home

  • Loved the webtoon so much and was so excited for this.
  • Song Kang acting as a timid teenager is spot on.
  • Alternate Song Kang with black eyes was creepy af and gave me chills.
  • Lee Si Young being a bad-ass woman and just kicking butts.
  • The fact that the story deviated so much from the webtoon makes me think on how they’ll actually have to do Season 2.

Being a Second Gen K-Pop Fan Experience

I started being a K-pop fan after I watched Super Junior’s Sorry Sorry (2009). It started as me watching the music video then watching their variety shows then moving on to watching other groups’ music videos. It was the golden era of K-pop and I’m glad that I was part of it, both in the good and bad parts.

The best part about being a fan in that era was watching a lot of second generation groups debut and grow. Second generation groups are those that had debuted around mid-2000’s (~2004) to late 2000’s (or maybe until 2011). There were many groups that had debuted around these time that are already considered legends in their own rights including Super Junior, Big Bang, TVXQ, 2ne1, SS501. Wonder Girls, Kara, T-Ara and SNSD. APink was probably the last of the second gen groups that had debuted.

It was a fun time since it was the start of the globalization of K-Pop. I was an admin of many Super Junior fanpage and was part of the countdown towards their fourth album, Bonamana. There were a lot of experimentation and a lot of excitement going on around that time. We looked forward to the groups that were debuting and this was the start of streaming wars towards music videos. It wasn’t as bad as today but all fans were definitely encouraged to stream the music videos (we had guidelines on the proper way of streaming). Some of the things that I have here were my own experience.

1. Downloading Videos and the 240p Quality

When I first got into K-pop, I wanted to watch a lot of things concerning Super Junior. Two of their most popular shows at that time was Intimate Note and Explorations of the Human Body. One episode of Intimate Note had 11 parts and each episode of Explorations of the Human Body had four parts. Imagine watching those shows and realize that part 3 is missing. Ouch.

Youtube was still starting to get popular at that time and not a lot of people uploaded on the site. There were a couple websites though that handled the streaming of some subbed shows. If you stan a popular group, there was a higher chance that the video you want is gonna get uploaded as soon as possible (like atleast two weeks) or if they’re the ones with the smaller fan base, good luck getting a subbed video. But why download though? Because the internet at that time was shit and it was faster to watch one part of the episode while the other parts are getting downloaded. By the time you’re done watching one part, just hope the next part is done.

Also, 360p was a rare find. Most videos are usually 240p quality or less. I suffered through this. I can’t even identify who is who here.

2. Hard Sub vs Soft Sub (in K-Pop terms)

This is not much of a problem anymore since there are already a lot of translators who are doing an amazing job immediately translating a show the moment they are released. Also, most of the major stations are now uploading the full episodes with English subs.

Ten years ago, if you wanted to watch a video, you have to check first if it was hard or soft subbed. A hard subbed video was what you wanted. It meant that the whole video was 100% subbed and was embed on the video. The translation was also top notch and if there were some references that international fans may not understand, there is always that trusty ‘t/n’ at the top of the video to explain what it was. Soft subbed videos were those that were partially subbed and the translations are not always embed on the video. The translations can be quite sketchy as some even includes ‘<I can’t hear what they’re saying>’. Many of the early variety shows from second generation idols were on soft-subs when I first got into K-pop and it was a pain trying to understand what the subs even meant.

3. International Fans Who?

This was the time when Facebook was only started gaining its fame all around the world and the best quality we can get from Youtube was 360p. There was not a chance for idols and their international fans to interact unlike now where you can tweet them and there’s a chance that they will reply to you. I remember trying to get into Cyworld just so I can follow my faves. It was all in Korean so I had to follow a tutorial from a website that basically just tells me to click this and that. I would try and read the ‘minihompy’ (all in Korean but I can’t even understand Korean) so I wait for translation teams to do their thing.

Presently, many social media have translation capabilities. You can go to Instagram and translate your fave’s tweet from Korean to your language in an instant.


This was a thing and I remember being part of one against the SONES (I AM SO SORRY I LOVE SNSD NOW AND I WAS HELLA IMMATURE BACK THEN). I am an ELF and back then, for some reason, it was ELFs against the Sones. It was a part of my K-pop journey that I did not want to remember because I was cringy and I am disgusted of my past self.

The fanwars became more prominent during music shows and the Dream Concert. SNSD’s black ocean was the worst one since multiple fandoms literally turned off their lights so you can only see the pink lights clustered together against the black ocean. Of course, SNSD managed to shut their haters up as they rose to be the top girl group.

There were a lot of black propaganda against many groups in order to pit fans against fans. It was the time when whatever on the internet was supposed to be the truth and many people had decided to spread lies in order to fan the flames.

5. Collabs between groups

Although the fans were too busy fighting against each other, their faves are hanging out with each other. There were a lot of stage specials wherein a girl group and boy group would team up and do a performance. The most popular were WonderBang (Wonder Girls and Big Bang) and Super Generation (Super Junior and Girls’ Generation).

K-Pop is bigger now more than it ever was. It had reached many parts of the world already. There had been a lot of gatekeeping when it came to who to stan or how to stan or when to stan. I see a lot of ‘Well, you’re not a true K-pop fan because you only listen to BTS” or “You should know who this and this to become a true fan”. If you only listen to BTS, go for it. If you doesn’t know who U-Kiss or SS501 is, that’s okay. There’s always gonna be toxic people around here so why not just ignore them and enjoy yourself. A lot of 1st and 2nd Gen fans are unbothered by the ongoing negativity that new gen fans are experiencing because we’ve all been there. Just enjoy K-Pop. We have kimchi and bibimbap.

What To Do in Your First Week in Canada

Moving to Canada can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you adjust easier. READ MORE

I landed in British Columbia as a landed immigrant. I was automatically given the permanent resident status so there may be extra steps for people that are TFWs or on student visa.

1. Get you SIN or Social Insurance Number – during the first week, you must have this already. This is very important especially if you want to apply for a job. So before anything else, get your SIN. More info:

2. Enrol children 16 and below to school– this is very important. Each province has their own age limit so check that one out. The school year starts in September and ends in June. Even if you’ve arrived here during the middle part, you are still expected to enrol the child. If you’ve arrived around April, I don’t think the child can still catch up with the lessons. Talk to the school counselor on what you should do. There are times when sitting-in in class is okay. 

3. Get a phone– I got mine during my fourth week but I guess it was fine. However, it was a pain everytime I apply for a job because I’d have to use my mom’s number for the resume. It’s better if you have your own phone so in that way you can easily call the employer and they can easily have a hold on you. 

4. Find a job– Finding a job is not easy if you’re looking for a very high-paying job. If you go to supermarkets, they actually are looking for some workers. What you need is a connection and finding an entry-level job can help you with that. And of course, you want money. 

5. Look for support offices in your place– In Fort St. John, they have S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and they actually helped us start with something here in Canada. They were the ones who referred me to NLC for English as Second Language course and referred my dad to employment connections and other offices which offers lots of opportunities to find a job. Each place has their own offices like these so take time to ask some people about it. 

6. If you’re planning to proceed directly to university/college, call and email colleges and ask for requirements and such to be able to enrol– like for me, I was planning on taking up Practical Nursing so I have to take the SLEP exam and get a grade of 64 to be able to be accepted. Each school and program has their own requirements so it’s better to ask them what you need and if you need to take up ESL. 

7. Walk around the area you’re currently living and be familiar with it– This is for you to be well acquainted with the area you’re currently living. Also, memorize your address because this is very important including the postal code. If you’re city is small,  like mine, walk anywhere and remember the important land marks and bus stops. 

8. Be familiar with the Public Transit/Bus– if you’re from the Philippines like me, then expect that the public transit is very much different. They follow the bus stop rules and they have bells to ring. This is also needed if you don’t have a car and wants to go anywhere. Also, the bus can also help you be more familiar with the place. Here in FSJ, the bus usually changes number so I get to ride just one bus but different routes and I took that as my way to tour the city. 

9. If you’re 19+ above, get your driver’s license– I think the minimum age depends on the province so check it out. If you’ll start from the L (learner’s), you basically have to wait for 2-3 years before getting you Class 5 license which means that you can now drive alone. For those who’ll have to get a Learner’s license, you still have to take the knowledge exam then wait for 12 mos to take the road test for the Novice  License then 24 mos for the Class 5. For 19 y/o and below, there are more things that you have to do because you’re still a minor like having a professional sign a form. I know cause I’m still below 19. Check your province’s laws about this. 

10. Make connections– they can help you in finding a job. Just tell them in a casual way that you need a job and at times, they can refer you to a job opening in their work. But don’t just rely on them for the job, do your research too. 

I landed back in 2013 but these tips are still relevant. These are just some of the basic things that you have to do the soonest after you’ve landed. Of course, read up on your province’s requirements for more information. Welcome to Canada!

Originally posted at underscoreamerl.