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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
4. FAN WARS
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.