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

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.

Spotify: May 2020 Top 5

I always love watching my stats on many things that I do. I had recently looked at my Netflix history and didn’t realize that I had watched that many movies and series since quarantine had started. I got curious if there is a way of knowing what my top 5 songs are on Spotify since I use this app every day and listen to many playlists and songs. And guess what, Spotify made a website where my curiosity is quenched: https://www.statsforspotify.com/ .

1. Ticky Tocky – Super Junior

I’ve been a ELF for over ten years now and always support Super Junior on their many releases and projects (even paid for the virtual concert). Although 2Yaoyao is a bop, Ticky Tocky just hit differently. I love listening to this song every time I have to prepare for work.

2. Stay Tonight – Chung Ha

This lady does not know how to produce bad songs. I’ve loved her ever since she did her impromptu dance on Produce 101. I remember watching the music video for Stay Tonight and was just in awe the whole time and literally screamed when I realized that she had incorporated voguing for this release. I have watched way too much dance practice, choreography and any videos related to this song. And this is just a pre-release and I cannot wait to see what she have for her official release.

3. Stay With Me – Super Junior

I’ve always loved Super Junior’s B-side songs. They always promise easy listening and I feel like I’m walking on the sidewalk with just my headphones and the sound of traffic behind me. Also, SuJu had produced a dance video for this for their Beyond Live concert and that completed the whole concert for me as this is my favorite song in the whole album.

4. No Drama – Super Junior

Another one from the new album of Super Junior. I love listening to this song close to my bedtime or when I’m prepping for dinner. It such a fun song to listen to.

5. Baga Ka’g Face – Malaya Macaraeg

Yes! This is a Bisaya song that I love so much. It’s an upbeat song that I can’t help but sing to. Every time I hear thing song, I feel like my boyfriend cheated on me and I’m singing this song to him (I don’t even have a boyfriend). It’s a song where the girl knows what she wants and she refuse to be with a guy who is two-timing her.

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