Reasons Why You Should Stan SB19

Wait, I thought there would be no Kpop posts on this blog?

Yes. No Kpop posts.

But why SB19? Isn’t that a boygroup? Yes. They are… but they aren’t kpop. They’re ppop.

But I thought this blog is for anything Korea-related? Yes! Because, although they are from the Philippines, their company is Korean – and they are trained under the same strict Korean training system.

What’s the catch? Nothing. You’ll fall in love with them.

To give a little bit of introduction; SB19 is a five-member Filipino boy band that consists of members Sejun, Josh, Stell, Ken, and Justin.

sb19-almost-split-1576827724Left to Right: Sejun, Ken, Justin, Stell, Josh

These 5 good-looking and authentically talented men have more to offer than what they seem like. Sometimes I think they’re too humble for their own good.  They have awesome personalities making it extremely difficult to resist their charms.

Reason 1: SEJUN

sejun

Sejun is the leader of this group and rightly so as he is the main brain behind their songs. A composer and musician, Sejun humbly brings his Bachelor of Arts in English to the table from one of the country’s best state universities. I personally think he has the clearest and most polished vocals amongst them 5. If you want to be convinced with his crystal voice, you can listen to their LIVE performance here: https://youtu.be/wMhK7_7N5aU

Reason 2: JOSH

tenor

Looks can be deceiving indeed as he may look like he’s the youngest but he’s actually the oldest. But then again, age doesn’t matter when he showcases his talent as a lead rapper. He has the high tone rap position which he executes with that natural swag.  Josh also is the link amongst them 5.  Somehow, they were introduced to each other and encouraged the members (individually) to join ShowBT Philippines. He may have had a difficult life but he proved to be a gem as he overcomes problems and become who he is now.  Watch him bring that swag live here: https://youtu.be/SS3Z2A5Ggj0

Reason 3: STELL

STELL

Stell dubbed as the heavenly voice; truly brings you to heaven not just with his voice but with his smile.  This very emotional man will pierce through your soul when he sings. Not only is he the main vocal, he also contributed a lot with their choreography. This soprano choir boy also has a degree in hospitality (Hotel and Restaurant Management). *Ahem* yes please, watch him serve those tables “swallow the CD” live with his high-notes here: https://youtu.be/aN_kkamIgmM

Reason 4: KEN

ken

Ken, the shy guy, tsundere type has one of the huskiest and unique voices amongst them.  His quirky personality changes once he’s on stage as he turns into that dancing machine; hence his position as Main Dancer. He also plays the guitar which makes him the ultimate bias-wrecker. Watch him bring on those runs live here: https://youtu.be/43IuU9X_WSk

Reason 5: JUSTIN

JUSTIN

Just look at that sweet and innocent smile! How can you not fall for the youngest member, Justin? At his age, he has a degree in Multimedia Arts from one of the prestigious universities in the country with honours! Justin may have the position as the visual and the “bunso”/막내 but he’s got the voice too. Watch this “trickster” drag you into his world here: https://youtu.be/-tWuVqZnoL4

As of date, SB19 has become a mainstay in the Billboard charts entering the SOCIAL 50, EMERGING ARTIST, and NEXT BIG SOUND respectively.  See the current rankings on the official site: https://www.billboard.com/music/sb19

IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE BOYS, YOU CAN GO TO https://kprofiles.com/sb19-members-profile/  You can also have a vote as to who your bias is on that website. 🙂  Or leave a comment below so that you can satisfy my curious soul if I have successfully introduced you to the colourful world of SB19.

Reasons Why You Should Watch South Korean Series/Movies

Something went trending on Twitter today.

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A not-so-famous director gave his unsolicited opinion shaming Kdramas as ‘faux Cinderella stories’ with emojis signifying disgust about “love in the midst of this pandemic” and that because of this, the future of movies and TV is doomed.

Of course, the internet went crazy.

A huge percent of the world is insane about Korean shows.  Netflix, for example, (Australia specifically) has heaps of Korean shows and it’s literally always on the Hot Lists/ Trending Lists.  There are also a lot sites that offer Korean dramas/series/movies for a low price; and others free (internet’s little secret).  I’m fairly sure that you have at least heard about one Korean movie/drama (unless, of course, you live under a rock).  Recently, Parasite 기생충,  have received multiple nominations and multiple awards.

parasite_282019_film29

*coughs* Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival with a unanimous vote! *cough*

[For a full list of accolades it has received, please Google it. Thanks]

Fair enough, there are a LOTTTT of Korean dramas that base their theme on love. But then, again, that’s what the audience wants! Love is a universal language. It is something that we all experience as humans. It is what makes us different from animals. It is unique to us and yet we can all relate. Which is why it baffles me that a director complains about love as a theme in the pandemic! I mean, love isn’t just “romance”. There are so many different kinds of love!!! Family, friends, God, son, daughter, relatives, literally any kind of relationship. And to be honest, it is what we need in the midst of this pandemic! Love.  If our nurses/doctors doesn’t love what they do, they wouldn’t be trying to save our lives wouldn’t they?  I could go on with heaps more “ifs” questions. Essentially, what I’m trying to say is that we need love to heal and in the middle of this crisis, we need love in order for the world to heal.

I also find it amusing that he thinks the future of TV and movies is doomed because of this. I don’t know. To be honest, I do watch a fair amount of k-dramas (but I am not head-over-heels obsessed with it).  I also watch j-dramas, tw-dramas, thai-series, filo-films, hk-dramas, chi-dramas, French, Italian, Netherlands, American, English, Australian, and so much more!  And, as a regular person who loves to watch, I say there is beauty in diversity.  The more you see the world, the better person you’ll be.  The more you know about other cultures, the better you think; and if you’re a director, I’m sure you’ll be more creative. I just don’t understand why you would pass a judgement easily because you’ve just seen, perhaps, one episode??? (Or, maybe, haven’t even seen one at all).

Now, we are all entitled to have our own opinions but I just don’t follow his logic at all when he has given us shows that are copy-cats (copy-spiders) of something else anyway. Like, where was the creativity in that?

gagamboy

Ohh, I wonder what inspired this film? lol

To be fair, he has a couple movies that has won awards as well.  Because, it wouldn’t be fair to say that all his films are bad because I just watched this one bad film he made. In the same way, he should have had a look at his own backyard before he started barking.

There must be a reason why the world is crazy for k-dramas, right?  Although most themes are based on love, the plots and twists are most of the time, out-of-the-box.  I must warn you that some of it may be overly romantic it’s cringey (for my taste anyway).  But there are always these small details that would keep you hooked; it’s basically like an advert everytime an episode ends, they leave you with a cliff-hanger so that you’ll be excited to know what will happen NEXT WEEK. Oh, the waiting time can be unbearable sometimes but that’s what makes people go ga-ga for it. It’s a classic marketing strategy imo. Bait and hook.

So why should you dive into the world of Korean shows?

  1. Because being in isolation/quarantine makes you slightly mad. You need to have a breather out of all the “darkness/heaviness” of the pandemic situation. And one good way to excrete all those happy hormones back into your system is by feeling those feelings you once felt as a giddy teenager.
  2. Because you will experience another world.  You will see and experience another culture on the other side of the world; not just your own box (yes, you, living under a rock; I’m talking to you).  And maybe, just maybe, you’ll become more culturally aware and educated (not that k-dramas are the be-all of Korean culture but it’s a good start).
  3. Because everyone is an eye-candy.  This may be a personal preference, but I swear, the actresses and yes, actors are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L.  But then again, everyone is beautiful in their own rights; so yes, admittedly an arguable point.  Having said so, your preferences with beauty might actually diversify once you start to watch these series.
  4. Because if you’re a guy, you can learn pick-up lines; know how to treat your woman right. And if you’re a gal, you would also learn how to keep your man and treat him right.  As mentioned earlier, a lot of the drama themes are based on love. Pick any random romance themed drama, I’m sure you’ll learn a thing or two. (*disclaimer: NOT ALL KOREAN MEN/WOMEN ARE ROMANTIC. IT’S A DRAMA FOR A REASON)
  5. Because not all Korean shows are about romantic love.  There are a lot of excellent Korean films or dramas that I can recommend that talks more about politics, society, family, supernatural, action, all the other genres you can think of.  Their entertainment industry is heavily supported and funded by the government as a means to promote their country.  They know the significance of media-reach and, obviously it has been working. So, just like any other country, they also have different genres available. Please leave a comment below if you want to know what dramas are good to watch (if you’re one who is NOT overly romantic like me).
  6. Because you can.  Why not?  They always say, there’s nothing wrong in trying.  Just give it a shot. In this day and age where everything is accessibly, why would you limit yourself?

With all that’s been said, I don’t think I have given you enough reason to be persuaded to watch South Korean dramas and/or movies.

To see is to believe.

Try it and see for yourself. 🙂

If you have seen one, two, or more, what made you love Korean shows?  Which series or movies would you recommend?

Reasons Why I’m Not In Quarantine

Quarantine? Isolation? Sounds extreme???

Well kids, if you happen to stumble on my blog 20-30 years after this date, I would like you to think and be grateful you have the freedom to roam around and enjoy travelling.

11th April 2020.

I am supposedly in my home country by now but my flight has been cancelled. In fact, no one is allowed to leave Australia now (unless it’s a one way ticket). Australia has also closed it’s borders (due to COVID19); blocked multiple countries to enter: including Korea. If you have read my previous posts, you would know by now that I’m married to a Korean national and he is at the moment in Korea. *insert sad face* I don’t know how long would I be separated from him…

A few days ago, it was my dad’s birthday *insert double sad face*. Need I explain more why I couldn’t go and see him? Well, as you have guessed, it is again due to the virus.

So, the Australian government (like many other countries now) have restricted travelling to only essentials and thankfully, everyone has been cooperating (you’re insane if you’re happy to pay $10,000 fine).

However, I am still not fully isolating. I still leave the house almost everyday.
Why? I’m a Registered Nurse.

I feel a lot more depressed these days because of how everything in life is not falling in place; more so, the pressure from work, from society, from patients, from the patient’s families/friends…

They say that we are heroes in this “war”. And of course, I appreciate people commending healthcare professionals (and other frontliners) but honestly, we all play a crucial role in the control of the spread of this virus. It just happened to be that we have no choice but to be “heroes” as we are the most at-risk group into acquiring the virus due to our high exposure to different people.

It is tough.

I cannot emphasise more on how difficult it is; biopsychosocial. I think this has been the most stressed I have ever been in my life.

You most probably don’t know but I’m a huge Marvel fan!
I always love how the characters are ready to take on challenges despite impossible circumstances. Now, I’m thinking to myself, did they ever feel scared? But yes! As far as I remember, there were times that they did. Usually, it involves someone precious to them.
See, they don’t care too much if they die. But if their family or their loved-one/s dies, then that’s makes them scared. Scared to lose someone.
I’m not saying that I am indeed a hero equivalent to The Avengers. Nor am I saying I’m a hero at all. I am just saying that even heroes feel scared, tired, exhausted, and sometimes feel like giving up because after all, we are people with emotions; fragile. I am scared of losing my family and my husband, my friends and the people around me. It is something I deal with everyday. And although death is familiar to me, it doesn’t make it any easier.

Nonetheless, it is the path I have chosen since the first day I entered university on 2005. I have always wanted to help. For some reason, I have been called to do so. I just pray that God will uphold me in this profession; continually encouraging me that there is a purpose as to why I am here.

So let me just end this by encouraging myself (and possibly you if you have read through everything…) As the famous Avengers have said:

As we have been given the “powers” in this world, let us continue pressing forward on the path that we have chosen. And someday, we will reap our reward. Thank you, heroes! May your life be blessed.

Reasons Why I Love The Rain

2nd of April.

As per usual, I am stuck at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic situation. I did my “usual” routine; slept late last night/early morning at 3AM and woke up at around 8ish. I watched a little bit of Japanese dramas/movie randomly until I felt hungry and decided to cook something.

I had my morning meal of miso, nori, rice, and a little bit of meat. I then started to play the piano whilst looking after a 10 month old cutie. Trust me, it is a hard task to keep on playing without her attempting to play together with me. I watched something online and went browsing on with the social media. I tell you, it is FIRE. Social media is such a toxic way to poison my day – too much politics; left and right, even within the home. I say this because my dad has a different opinion with the rest of us in the family and it has admittedly caused a little bit of friction. I started thinking about my home country. I is both a privilege and a curse to be staying here in this pandemic. Privilege – because I have a job that can help me sustain through but a curse because my home country is suffering a political crisis in the midst of a pandemic whilst being away from my family. It is tough to be living alone overseas! All you can do is think about things. And no matter how much you want to act and do something about things, you just can’t help it. You are helpless because of the distance.

And so, I was grateful when the rain started pouring. It interrupted my thoughts; at the same time, released my frustrations. It sounded like my heart and brain were syncing to the sound of the raindrops as each precious droplet fell to the ground. My heart silently cried but the rain expressed it; little did I know, my eyes started to cry too. Everything was just too painful. I was then reminded of God’s grace towards me even in this unprecedented times – just like Noah. He gave us a rainbow as a reminder of God’s promises being kept until they were safely sent to dry land.

This crisis is a reminder to us that we should be clinging on to God’s promises as His promises are true.

Smile. There’s a rainbow always after the rain.

Reasons Why Koreans Are Loveable

If you think this post is about K-pop, you’re wrong. Admittedly, K-pop has taken the world by storm and has indeed placed South Korea on the spotlight. But it is not only music that made me fall in-love with Korea/Koreans (well, technically I fell in-love with my Korean man lol) but their culture is very endearing.

Culture: ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a society.

As i have mentioned in my previous blog, Koreans are a tight-knit society and is quite hard to penetrate through/ or to be acknowledged as “one of their own”. Once they do, however, they will love you for life and consider you as a family.

Growing up in a semi-Asian-Western cultural background, I always thought it was to my advantage to experience both worlds. I wouldn’t deny my upbringing but I guess I wasn’t also able to immerse myself fully on either ‘worlds’ – as I was more like swinging on both sides. During my entire Australia experience (until the present), I have been living with Koreans and I always appreciated how everyone had a “mind-your-own-business” attitude. Little did I know, that culturally, they are not like that. I guess it would be safe to say that I was the one that distanced myself towards them (my housemates) due to my own insecurities; constantly battling with my weight and skin issues.

Last time I wrote was 2017. It is now 2020 – in the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic; and the State of Victoria is on stage 3 ‘lockdown’. This has revived my love for writing as, well, there’s really nothing much to do to be honest. Year 2019 was tough for me. It was a year filled with uncertainties; my husband had to go back to Korea in the middle of the year (personal and business issues) and I am left here in Australia by myself. Thankfully, he has supported me in numerous ways despite the distance; reconnected with God – and I started attending the local church. Ironically, the church’s pastor is Korean and a huge percent of the population are Koreans. To cut the long story short (leave in the comments if you want to hear another story about this specifically), I was able to live again in a home with people I now consider as family.

Despite my ethnicity, they have welcomed me as one of their own. They have cared for me during my toughest times, including the times that I felt so vulnerable due to the crimes in the area that I personally experienced. One of my friends let me sleep in their home; offered their own en-suite bedroom whilst they slept in their lounge area in a tent. They took turns in sending me home and picking me up. They constantly called on me to check how I was doing. They were also instrumental in my moving to my current home. Even when I was alone, I was not.

As I am now interacting a lot more with Koreans, my vocabulary and learning the language has sky-rocketed. I, myself, am surprised with this growth. Funnily enough, they sometimes forget that I am not Korean.

Back to my recent touching-experience. Recently, I was suspected of having the dreaded COVID-19. My Korean family took care of me – observed proper isolation methods. They cooked for me, and left in in the door for me. Prayed for my results to be negative. Some of my friends dropped by to give some fruits and my favourite food (of course, they weren’t able to see me as I was stuck in my room). I am blessed to immerse in this culture. I remembered; there was a time I watched a Korean variety show – ROOMMATE. One of the actors was Japanese and he said that the biggest strength of Koreans is how they sincerely care about others. I’m not sure if you know but Korea and Japan have a dark past and so, it was amazing for me that they have embraced him being a Japanese (but this is another content that I am happy to divulge with my limited resources I have read; again you can leave a comment if you want me to write about this too).

I have experienced that caring attitude first-hand. Despite my ethnicity, despite my weight, despite my skin, I am loved. It was all in my head. I have created my own monster of negativity and let myself swim in it’s depths without knowing that it wasn’t a dark ocean after all.

So, with all my blabbery, I hope I haven’t made you a Korean weeb. Cos weeaboos deny their own culture and embrace others as their own. If you do, I say, stop it. This doesn’t only speak about Koreans being loveable. My take away is, love yourself first. Embrace your own culture. Appreciate diversity. Culture is beautiful.

5 Reasons Why You Should Create a Blog

Although most people would think that blogs are for business and earning those dollars, there are also *clears throat* most people like us who post about everyday life.

To you it might be just another blog post but with the internet being open to sharing each others ideas and experiences, this will be another way to gain new knowledge. So, why did I create a blog and why do I think you should create a blog?

  • Number 1: Opens a new window to things your readers haven’t seen or heard.

Have you ever heard of diversity? The funny thing is that, our most common thing as a human race is that each of us has his/her own individuality. As you are our unique in our own way, so are the other people around you. The things that you have seen might be something new to people’s eyes, at the same time, as you read other bloggers’ works, you come to know that the world might be a bigger place than you have known.  So let your readers learn about culture, music, ideas, opinions, or even life-hacks.

  • Number 2: Encourages you to be open-minded.

Let’s admit it, every time you read a blog, you find yourself nodding your head or smiling in agreement to it.  Or sometimes, it can also make your wrinkles in the forehead grow as you read in confusion. Blogging is like a journey and you know what that means, it makes you think. When you are travelling, you don’t just jump into something you are clueless about! You take your time to learn, to be open-minded, being cautious of stating more of biased opinions rather than factual information.  Not only do you let your leaders learn, you are growing as a thinking person as well.

  • Number 3: Discipline.

Instead of spending most of your time browsing through Facebook or Twitter, wasting that energy, stressing your eyes, and at times becomes stressed with your friend’s post, why don’t you invest your time with blogging. You have to take note that it isn’t as easy as you think.  That’s why it teaches you to be more disciplined.  Manage your own time, organising your schedule and dedicating yourself to regularly blog requires self-discipline.

  • Number 4: Making new friends!

Introverts like me would understand how difficult it is to communicate with most of the population who are extroverts (research says that 50-74% of the population are extroverts). This is a wonderful place to meet new people, very supportive, friendly, and encouraging! Expect the occasional trolls.

  • Number 5: Your life is there for others to see or read.

“Wait! So you mean to say everyone gets to read my journal?”  Yes. In fact, your blog shows a lot about your thoughts and whether you like it or not, people will get to know you.  But it doesn’t end there.  Remember the time when you were young and writing down the events that happen everyday?  It helped you take note of important events and significant changes that occurred in your life.  As much as we want to remember everything, our brain just forgets about it. In fact, writing helps retain information not just on paper/blog but even in our memory.  There will come a time that you will have to remember that embarrassing time you confessed your love for someone only to be rejected.  This becomes a learning process for you and your readers.

There are a lot more to enumerate but I leave that to you as you can read a similar blog elsewhere.  So why did I create a new blog?  Aside from those enlisted above, I want to be an inspiration.  Being a wife of a South Korean as a foreigner is a struggle.  The amount of racism and expectation/s is overwhelming.  South Korea is a very close-knit community and is most specially difficult because I am too brown-skinned or too fat to blend in. Even if I have married a korean, I will never be “korean”. I will always be “the foreign wife”.  And as much as my husband listens to my pains and worries, that’s the most he can do.  In a society where racism and stereotypes is a norm, I am forced to be mentally and emotionally strong. You see, I may be a part of the minority but I have a voice. You too, have a voice. You may not be a wife of a Korean but you also have your struggles as I have mine.  You might have been called fat or too skinny once in your life and might be constantly struggling to fit in. But guess what, you are who you are. Embrace it. I hope that the struggles you face doesn’t discourage you but would make you a better person. Stronger. Kinder. Wiser.

Cheers to a new chapter in life!