Friday, December 29, 2023

SBS Drama Awards 2023 Winners

The SBS Drama Awards 2023 has come to an end. Without a doubt, 2023 was a great year for KDramas with a wide variety of genres that ensured everyone's tastes were met.

A lot of these dramas were aired in Korea on SBS (Seoul Broadcasting System) and this annual awards ceremony showcased some of the outstanding achievements in their Korean dramas.

SBS Drama Awards 2023 Winners

Best New Actor: Kang You-seok for Payback, Kwon Ah-reum for The Killing Vote, Kim Do-hoon for The Escape of the Seven, Yang Hye-ji for Revenant, Lee Shin-young for Dr. Romantic 3, Lee Hong-nae for Dr. Romantic 3, and Jung Soo-bin for Trolley

Best Child Actor: Choi Hyun-jin for The Killing Vote, Han Ji-an for Dr. Romantic 3, Park So-yi for Revenant, and Ahn Chae-heum for Taxi Driver 2

Scene Stealer: Go Sang-ho and Byun Joong-hee for Taxi Driver 2 and Dr. Romantic 3

Best Supporting Actor (Specialized Genre): Kim Won-hae for Revenant

Best Supporting Actor (Rom-Com): Jung Soon-won and Seo Jung-yeon for My Demon and Trolley

Best Supporting Actor (Multi-Season Series): Son Ji-yoon for The First Responders 2, and Bae Yoo-ram and Jang Hyuk-jin for Taxi Driver 2

Best Teamwork: Dr. Romantic 3

Best Performance: Jin Sun-kyu for Revenant

Excellence Award (Action): Hong Kung for Payback, and Lee Joon and Lee Yoo-bi for The Escape of the Seven

Excellence Award (Rom-Com): Ryeoun and Shin Ye-eun for The Secret Romantic Guesthouse

Excellence Award (Multi-Season Series): Shin Jae-ha and Pyo Ye-jin for Taxi Driver 2

Netizen's Best 2023 SBS Drama: Taxi Driver 2

Top Excellence Award (Action): Park Sung-woong for The Killing Vote and Moon Chae-won for Payback

Top Excellence Award (Rom-Com) and Best Couple: Song Kang and Kim Yoo-jung for My Demon

Top Excellence Award (Multi-Season Series): Ahn Hyo-seop and Lee Sung-kyung for Dr. Romantic 3

Daesang (Grand Prize): Lee Je-hoon for Taxi Driver 2 and Kim Tae-ri for Revenant

What was your favorite SBS Drama this 2023?

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

What to Do in El Nido, Palawan

This wasn't my first trip to El Nido, Palawan. Let's start with that.

However, the first time I went, we were subjected to an intense food trip where we ate at almost 20 restaurants in the span of a few days. We didn't get to see any islands. Heck, we hardly had time to sleep.

Don't get me wrong. I loved that trip to no other. But when people asked me about what to do in El Nido; I literally never knew what to say.

So when the opportunity presented itself to visit El Nido, Palawan again - if even just overnight lol - I jumped at it when I saw that island-hopping was finally on the menu. Here are some of the highlights of our trip.

What to Do in El Nido, Palawan

Fly via AirSWIFT

First and foremost - and I believe this is très important if you want a hassle-free experience: fly via AirSWIFT. This will save you a lot of time as the plane will drop you off directly at El Nido, Palawan in less than 1.5 hours.

Stay at Seda Lio

As for where to stay, I'd recommend Seda Lio El Nido. And make sure to get a room on the ground floor with a pool view. Seda Lio is pretty big and having this particular room made my life as a sun-loving girl so much easier because I could literally just open the glass doors and walk out onto the pool.

The beach was also just a minute walk away from my room - so perfectly convenient!

Visit Kalye Artisano

One of my favorite places in El Nido, Palawan is Kalye Artisano. I love the overall vibe of the place.

It's a great place to chill, eat, shop, and learn a new hobby, such as pottery and weaving. I also heard they have a B&B there now so you can actually stay at Kalye Artisano if you'd like. There are plenty of pictureque areas that are perfect for the 'gram as well.

Enjoy a Boodle Fight by the Beach

What better way to really feel like you're on a beach vacay than by having a boodle fight with fresh seafood and lots of meat by the beach? They even have halo-halo to cap things off, and we even got to meet a craftsman who made cute crafts for us while we ate.

Have Cocktails on a Yacht

The best way to enjoy an El Nido sunset is by far on a yacht.

Get your friends together and spend the afternoon sipping cocktails on a yacht with a musician serenading you. It's definitely worth experiencing at least once in your life!

Go Island-Hopping

And of course, what I came here for in the first place: island-hopping!!! The islands in El Nido, Palawan are all picturesque; and the waters are so blue, it was easy to get lost in them. You can choose to snorkel too. Unfortunately, I have dyed hair, so I couldn't do that this time around.

The Big Lagoon is definitely a must-visit. While there were a lot of people there, I took the opportunity to kayak to a more secluded area where I lied down on my kayak and sang at the top of my lungs, and just soaked everything in.

I honestly didn't realize how much I needed this getaway before I found myself amidst the greatness of that gorgeous lagoon.

As a certified sun lover, I always take the opportunity to head to the beach, no matter how short of a time I get to go there. In some cases, the time simply isn't enough but I can say that even if I only have a night to spare; El Nido, Palawan would be a great getaway because there is so much beauty to see.

I will definitely be going back - hopefully when I have more time. <3 Thank you for the unforgettable memories!

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Sweet Home Season 2 Review

Sweet Home Season 2 is finally out on Netflix, and although I know I'm supposed to be talking about the show as a whole, honestly, the highlight of this season for me was all of the booties I got to see. #sorrynotsorry

As a booty-loving girl, I spent a lot of time rewinding and pausing because, well, I've been single for so long. And also, I mean... they showed their butts so we could appreciate them, right? They worked hard for that, so they deserve all of the love. Okay, I'm done justifying it. (And yes, I have confirmed that they didn't use butt doubles.)

Anyway, as far as the series goes as a whole, I didn't love it as much as I loved Season 1, but I'd still say that it was good. I didn't find myself binge-watching it in one go, but I also didn't hate it as much as other people seem to.

In fact, the first few episodes were pretty great because, since the first season, I've seen so many other dramas of the cast members that I've felt a little more attached to them this time around. The deaths were heartbreaking. That scene of Lee Si-young on the ice (and actually, a lot of scenes in this season) was so darned beautiful.

Truly, if I dissect it bit by bit, there is a lot to love about Sweet Home Season 2.

The problem is that I wasn't invested in each character equally the way that I was in Season 1. Add to that the fact that Song Kang's My Demon was released only a week or so prior to this, and is so light and entertaining (read: perfect for the chill holiday season) that watching something this dark didn't feel right.

Song Kang does showcase his acting prowess in this, though, proving once and for all that he is more than just a pretty face. We also have the addition of Jung Jin-young to the cast who plays his role perfectly. And Si-young, as always, steals the show. Acting-wise, this season is definitely top-notch. I just wish that I cared more.

But obviously, with that ending, they've done nothing but made us long for more. The good news is that we won't have to wait three whole years for the next season as it is slated to be released in 2024.

Friday, November 24, 2023

This 2024 BTS planner is a must-have for ARMYs.

I finally got my 2024 BTS planner!

For the past few years, I've been getting my annual planners from The Purple Press - and for good reason: they're BTS-themed!

I love how, every time I use it, it puts a smile on my face because it's filled with BTS, BTS, and BTS!

2024 BTS Planner Features

The 2024 BTS planner from The Purple Press takes things up a notch this year as it is black, and it is spineless! That means that it won't close whenever you journal or whenever you have to step away to get glue or other materials. It sounds like such a minor thing, but it's a game-changer!

Other things I love about this 2024 BTS planner?

Prompts for ARMYs

One of the things I love about this 2024 BTS planner is the prompts for ARMYs that allow you to reminisce about your ARMY journey and remember what you love about BTS. Since they've all enlisted into the military now, this has added an extra twinge in my chest. Huhu.

BTS Birthdays

If you're an ARMY, you prolly already have each member's birthday memorized, but it's cute to see them colorfully plotted in this 2024 BTS planner anyway.

BTS Artwork

This 2024 BTS planner is also filled with amazing BTS artwork that will put a smile on your face every time you see it.

Discounts for BTS Merch

If, like me, you love discovering BTS merch from local brands and stocking up on them, this 2024 BTS planner has a ton of discounts for you to take advantage of. I've already used a few of them, and I'm super happy to be discovering such creative local brands with the same love and passion for BTS as me.

Blank Space Galore

When it comes to planners, I love having blank space more than anything because I get to decorate it as I please. I'm all about sticking photos and mementos in my planners so having the freedom to do so is so important for me.

The Purple Press also has these BTS bias notebooks available for all of your other note-taking needs.

I think I already have five of these so far, and they come in handy for practically anything. Collect all 7 or create a collection of your bias alone. Either way, you'll love using them, I promise.

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Everyone has bad days.

I had one of the most disappointing experiences in my work life this week, and that's saying something because I genuinely, truly love my job.

If you've known me for a while now, you probably know that I was never a level-headed person. In fact, a lot of people would've called me a straight-up bitch. I was quick to get annoyed, to get angry, and to release my frustrations without thinking about how other people would feel.

As I've gotten older, however, I'd like to think that I've learned a few lessons along the way. Syrena played a pivotal role in that. In fact, he's the reason why I am who I am today.

Syrena has taught me the importance of patience. He helped me understand that people are simply... all built differently. You can't expect everyone to act the way you want them to nor can you control every single thing in your life.

While it is understandable that everybody has bad days, though, that doesn't give you the right to be an asshole to everybody all the time. It is also completely alright to be pissed at one person or even several people at once, but that doesn't mean that everyone else around you should be implicated, especially those who have no idea what pissed you off in the first place.

It takes a lot for me to get pissed to the point where I feel the need to scream nowadays, but that's how I felt this week. I bottled it up as much as I could and put on a professional face all throughout, even working extra hard to turn the tables and hopefully bring everyone's spirits back up. The minute I walked through the door at home, though, I screamed the loudest Hulk-screams I could muster.

Because that's what you do. If you come across a lot of people in your line of work, you should still get the job done and then just wait to release whatever emotions you feel when eyes are no longer on you. I do that in my home life too. When I feel down or pissed, and Syrena is home; I go to the bathroom to let those tears out.

Maybe it's just the me of today, but I believe that selfishness shouldn't have a place at work or in life, in general. Why should other people be affected by my sour mood? Why should I bring others down with me? Why should I ruin other people's days just because I'm having a bad day?

It takes rationality and a lot of effort to get into that mindset, sure, but I hope everyone learns to start thinking more about other people's feelings before they act or speak - or at the very least, learns to apologize when they've hurt someone. Let's all strive to be better people, please.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Echo on Disney Plus arrives just in time as I rekindle my love for Marvel.

Echo on Disney Plus was recently announced, and I'm so excited!

That might be surprising to hear, seeing as my love for Marvel has died down in recent years. I don't really remember when it started anymore; but at some point, I just stopped watching Marvel anythings.

I mean, as Wonder Woman, it should be clear that DC has always had my heart; but I actually used to enjoy Marvel movies a lot. I even had whole toy collections of my favorite Marvel characters. That died at some point, and was only recently rekindled by the Loki series.

So, now that another Marvel series has been announced, I am absolutely stoked. And what's great about Echo is that you don't actually have to watch any previous Marvel movies or series to get into it.

Echo on Disney Plus stars Alaqua Cox as Maya "Echo" Lopez, a deaf Native American who was once a member of The Kingpin's criminal empire.

Despite not being able to hear, Echo has photographic reflexes that allow her to copy moves and attacks while fighting. Add to that the fact that she has training in martial arts and firearms, and you can be sure that this series will be as bad-assly action-packed as you can imagine. It actually reminds me of Daredevil... but better coz she's female. :p

Echo on Disney Plus is the first series under the Marvel Spotlight, which aims to feature new and grounded MCU character-driven stories outside of the massive MCU that we all know. Really crossing my fingers that this'll be a good one!

Bonus: unlike former Marvel series, all 5 episodes will drop all at once, so no waiting for a whole week to catch the next episode!

Echo on Disney Plus launches on January 10, 2024.

Watch the Echo trailer here.

Saturday, November 4, 2023

The Toy Warehouse Sale in SM Megamall is totally worth it!

Wow. The Toy Warehouse sale in SM Megamall is totally worth it!!!

Y'all know that I'm a child at heart and that I have a child that I always use as an excuse to stock up on toys lol, but I didn't expect the both of us to have this much fun at the Toy Warehouse sale in SM Megamall.

To be honest, it's pretty normal for us to splurge on toys. I'd like to blame my childhood on this, but I think I just never really grew out of being a child either.

The minute we entered and saw how huge the venue was, we already knew what was going to go down. So, we grabbed a cart right away and made our way methodically through the area. Yes, we planned out how we would go through it beforehand because we didn't want to miss a single thing.

Our Top Picks at the Toy Warehouse sale in SM Megamall

Sy is a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they have a ton of different figures on sale at 70% off!

Super cute (and hella soft) unicorn plushies for the unicorn lovers like me.

All of those cool Harry Potter items you see at Toy Kingdom are on sale at the Toy Warehouse sale in SM Megamall as well. This is actually the area I went totally nuts in. I literally bought almost everything I saw.


And Pokemon tech accessories!

Super cute fluffy Star Wars slippers for only 200 pesos!

I actually only took this pic because I know a kid who loves Blippi; but a lot of people messaged me on Instagram after seeing my story, so here you go. Here's where you can get a ton of Blippi toys - ON SALE!

A wide array of Funko Pops! And can I just say that the selections are amazing? You know how usually, when there's a Funko sale, it's for the Pops that no one really wants? I wanted so many of the ones I saw here. My goodness.

Due to my current obsession with Loki on Disney+, it shouldn't be surprising that I felt like I simply had to buy this. Huhu. Too cute!

They have all of the BTS Funko Pops too!

Adorable Sanrio pillows, including Gudetama, which is usually so hard to find here in the Philippines.

They also have the Hello Kitty rollerskates I was once eyeing. Huhu.

They even have books, including these workbooks on how to create manga characters - perfect for Sy's current pastime.

Paint-by-numbers but make it BTS!

Sy recently found my old rainbow loom set and has been making bracelets for his friends for it, so I thought an upgrade was an order.

Miniso is also at the sale!!! I'm telling you: the options are wild!

Havaianas is also available at the Toy Warehouse sale in SM Megamall. Really wanted these Wonder Woman flip flops but they didn't have them in my (super generic) size.

They also have a bunch of Netflix-themed Havaianas, like Stranger Things and Money Heist!

They also have a bunch of dog food and dog treats on sale - a dream come true for furparents. They have stuff for cats too.

Cloud's food is on sale at 50% off, so obviously, I hoarded na.

Was so lucky to be able to cop the last pink one of this bunch. I had been eyeing this at Pet Express for days now, and I am happy to announce that Athena is absolutely in love with it!

Also got these cute Christmas outfits for the pups along with more doggo outfits that were on sale. My dogs are the real winners from this shopping spree, tbh. :p

I almost got a dog stroller too coz I've been wanting one for ages. The thing is: we had another stop after this and already had a ton of bags to carry, so I had to pass for now. Sigh.

Our final haul!

Before heading to the counters, Sy and I went through our usual, "Do we really need it?" "How badly do we want it?" "Do we deserve it?" questions, and we ended up with all of this for around Php7,200.

My arms weren't happy, but our hearts definitely were.

Whether you have kids or inaanaks, are a kid-at-heart, or have furbabies; make sure to visit the Toy Warehouse sale at SM Megamall! It's the last day (November 5, 2023), so make sure you don't miss out!!!

Monday, October 30, 2023

I was never a Hamilton fan.

Our Hamilton Manila Experience

I was never a Hamilton fan, and I still do not consider myself as one. Sy, however, is a huge Hamilton fan. Humongous. He actually sat me down and forced me to watch it on Disney+ before (100% against my will lol). So, when I heard that the musical was coming to Manila, I made sure to book tickets for him right away.

To be honest, though, I actually tried to get out of it - all the way to the day of. I asked Sy if he could maybe watch with my mom instead, but he wasn't having it.

And so, with a heavy heart (wow drama), we headed to The Theatre at Solaire to watch the show. The upside in my head was that I'd get to watch David Park as Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson. Spoiler: as my luck goes, he ended up not being there on the night we watched. Lol.

Fast forward to us sitting in the Grab. As we were on the way to Solaire, Sy mentioned how excited he was to watch Lin Manuel Miranda... and I panicked. I don't know why I assumed Sy knew that musicals don't work that way; but well, he didn't know. I had to explain that we weren't, in fact, on the way to watch Lin Manuel Miranda; and in true single-mom fashion, I felt like a failure.

When we got to Solaire, however, I knew that I had worried for nothing. Sy started taking photos of literally everything (something he never does): the signs, the merch, heck, even the escalators.

And when we got to the merch store, he was like a kid in a candy store. Let's be honest: musical merch is never cheap, so I was set on buying him the cheapest thing there.

But then he mentioned that his friend was flaunting a
Hamilton keychain at school; so obviously, I felt the need to one-up that kid's parents (even though I have no idea who they are lol) and got him a hoodie. Money well spent, though, because Sy wouldn't shut up about how comfy it was (he wore it right away during the show).

And the minute we entered the theater? My goodness. His face lit up like no other!

Now, it has to be said that, as a self-proclaimed non-fan, I warned Sy that I might fall asleep coz I was hella tired and even asked him not to wake me up in the event that I do... but by the end of Act I, I. Was. In. Tears. Like, bawling-my-ass-out type of tears.

And that's when I remembered why I'm not a fan of Hamilton. While it's true that I don't listen to rap, the main reason why I can't love Hamilton is because of how close it hits home. I hate how I see myself in Eliza (and sometimes even in Alexander Hamilton). I hate how the lyrics of Eliza's songs hit me in a way I can't even describe. And mygahd, do I hate Alexander Hamilton!

By the end of the show, my eyes were so red and puffy, we had to go to the restroom so I could freshen up and get myself together.

The thing is: I had been having trouble crying lately. In fact, the last time I cried was when I was in Europe, so even Sy was a bit surprised. I know I cry a lot when I watch musicals, but Hamilton is different. Hamilton fills my heart with anger and hate, which I guess you could say is the mark of a great musical, but I could never watch it or listen to it of my own accord.

Anyway, after the show, I pretended our Grab was waiting so that Sy would run with me to the parking lot. Naturally, I had to give him the full musical experience; and there, he got to get autographs and take pictures with the cast members. He wasn't expecting it, so the experience was extra special for him. I had honestly never seen him so happy and it made me wish I could go back to a time where I felt the same way when meeting celebs.

In the end, I was more than happy that I went. I got to witness pure bliss on my kid's face. I got to release tears that had been pent-up for months. And the show ignited a fire in Sy that I wish had been ignited before. For the first time ever, he has asked me to take him to more musicals. And as a girl who grew up with an aunt in West End, you can only imagine how esctatic I am to be sharing this beautiful world with him. Here's to more musical experiences with you, my not-so-mini me. I love you!