The Taxi Driver (K-movie) -2017

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In May 1980, German reporter Peter (Thomas Kretschmann) works on an assignment in Tokyo, but the news is slow there. He hears from a colleague that something ominous is occurring in Gwangju, South Korea. The phone lines have been completely cut off to the city. Peter decides to go there.

In Seoul, South Korea, Kim Man-Seob (Song Kang-Ho) struggles to make ends meet as a taxi driver, while also taking care of his daughter. He needs money to pay his rent. At a restaurant, Kim Man-Seob overhears that a foreigner is offering to pay a lot of money to be driven to Gwangju. The drive would cover Kim Man-Seob’s rent. He dashes out of the restaurant to pick up the foreigner.

Soon, Peter and Kim Man-Seob head for Gwangju from Seoul. They don’t know what is going on there or the countless lives that will soon be lost.

This film shows the underline brutality inflicted on the people of Gwangju where the highly trained military troops firing the bullets to their own people instead of protecting them. It impressed me the moment when Kim Man-Seob struggled to follow his conscience or not, further, the breathless escape which packed with a bang shouldn’t be missed.

Without a second thought, Taxi Driver is one of the best South Korean films I have seen to date. From the narration, presentation, and execution, everything is almost perfect. Thanks to Kim Man-Seob (Song Kang-Ho) who connects our emotions through his versatility as the film progresses. And of course, bravo to the rest of the supporting cast, who spices the story into a more memorable experience.

Verdict: 10/10

ALL BY YOURSELF

“And I realized that some things just don’t work that way. Life isn’t a fairy tale. And the person you fall in love with doesn’t always love you back. But that’s ok because at the very least it makes you stronger and brings you to a place where you can fall in love with yourself.

And that to me is more important than finding someone that only makes you complete when they are around, it’s really about finding the person that will teach you ALL the lessons you need to know so that you feel complete all by yourself. ”

Image credit to Tzardy

PARK OF LAUGHTER

Goodbye summer. Hello, winter.

Al Mamzar Park is my favorite beach park here in Dubai.  They have all the facilities you needed for; beach amenities,  barbeque areas, swimming pools, children game areas and etc. Entrance fees are reasonable for AED 5 per person, AED 30 per car and free for people with special needs and kids below 2 years old.

If you don’t want to mingle with the big crowd, it is better to go on weekdays (Sunday-Thursday) and Saturday.  Friday is too crowded since it’s a weekend here in Dubai.

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Let’s enjoy the beach! the weather is kinda super nice.

Meet the future LIFEGUARD.

Sea Food Fiesta!

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Share the blessings with anyone!

“After nourishment, shelter, and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”

Let’s enjoy life, eat well and laugh often!

BECAUSE I LOVE YOU (K-movie 2017)

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On the way to meet his girlfriend, Lee Hyung(Cha Tae-Hyun) gets into a car accident. He wakes up to find himself in a different body and with no memory of his life.  He then met Scully(Kim You-Jung), a high school student, who helped him when his spirit has been switching into the body of random strangers: a high-school pregnant girl, a middle-aged busy detective, a grandmother who has dementia, a lonely teacher, and a music producer. Well, I found the story with the elderly people the most moving and heartfelt. (spoiler)

In short, our protagonist plays Cupid in this fantasy drama.  Each of his encounters gives him the experiences to love at all ages. He supports comfort and redemption to love for each character which made this movie interesting, heartwarming and sweet.

The plot is quite unusual in a good sense and even though it was a slow-paced movie, I still appreciate it even with their limited time because it was played relatably for pleasure. The actors were great though I have seen some new faces, acting was not too bad and the music was so cool.

I will recommend this movie because they presented it in a very beautiful manner. Enjoy!

Verdict: 8/10

CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Please tell me the truth.

I want the answer.

The truth will set you free.

We are always looking for the truth, whether we like it or not.  We think that this will eradicate our suspicions, our troubled mind, jumbled feelings, to the point that we believed the truth will straighten out everything to rightness.

The question is, can you handle the truth, the circumstances after knowing the truth? Can you accept it? Like it will strip all the lies you believed in and clean out all intoxicated madness you are feeling?  Are you ready to believe it and never be confused again? Are you going to forgive?

Let us be reminded,  to know the truth is not always to put you in a situation where you can acknowledge everything in one time.  It’s more than widening your mind and heart.  But when you attain it, then it will set you free or else you will be wrecked into pieces-again.

Here’s my favorite scene from my favorite movie “A few good men.”

Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): I think I’m entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can’t handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty…we use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use ’em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I’d rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: (quietly) I did the job you sent me to do.
Kaffee: Did you order the code red?
Jessep: You’re goddamn right I did!!

The Battleship (K-movie) 2017

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During the Japanese colonial era, roughly 400 Korean people, who were forced onto Battleship Island to mine for coal, attempt to escape.

I’ll be straight,  the film was breathtaking. It was very engaging and I was speechless until it ends.  Honestly, I don’t know anything about Hashima Island and the coal mines that were operated by the Japanese during the 1940s, but I wasn’t surprised of the brutality shown during this occupational era.  Throughout the show, you can see the distressing situation of many Koreans ended up in a forced labor camp where men do hard toil in the mines while the women end up as comfort women for the Japanese.

I define this movie in the sense of power against the weak and poor, the betrayal and patriotism.  The hopelessness of people and the struggle for survival. This film gives us the image of what a devastating and triumphant escape looks like by those Korean workers who just wanted to be released and set home.

Admirable performances were delivered by Hwang Jung-Min, So Ji-Sub and Song Joong-Ki. They have played their roles perfectly. The most memorable part of the story is the father-daughter relationship between a bandleader (Hwang Jung Min) and his daughter (Kim Soo An). 

Battleship Island has some plot points that impossible to believe, but this film still an exceptional. The cinematography is stunning coupled with a solid and talented cast. You shouldn’t miss it.

Verdict 10/10

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REAL PLAY

“Look at children. Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do.

Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside?

Children don’t usually act in such a manner. If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished. They can still play with that person the following day.”

May we always have the sense into our inner child’s heart.

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DON’T CALL IT QUITS

I think I have learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. True friendship reveals itself through adversity.

 

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Mood of the Day (K-movie 2016)

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By chance, a man and a woman meet on the KTX train and spend 24 hours in the unfamiliar city of Busan, South Korea.

One night stand is a typical story used in many dramas or movies, but in reality it will never serve a good baseline for any romantic relationship. That’s kind of the whole point. But in Mood of the Day, it drives you right into the actual scenes of the story, no confusion and no major complications.

The characters of our main cast and their relationships are developed at a great pace. I would say they’re very well much in their role. Though there are minor elements resulted in some cliché, I decided not to mind them because there’s a heartwarming scenes for all those who yearn for a bit of romance and love.

Aside from that, sceneries in this movie are no joke, it was all breathtaking. They captured the beauty of autumn perfectly in Busan. And take note, Yoo Yeon Seok is one of the best and hottest kissers among Korean actors. You will definitely enjoy seeing him kissing to Moon Chae-Won.

I recommend this movie for those who have no issue in life and just want to have a good mood for the day.

Verdict: 8/10

 

 

 

COLOR ME

Coloring allows me to switch off my brains from unnecessary thoughts. It also helps me focus only on the moment of alleviating my anxiety.  When I color, it reminds me of my younger days where life was simple and happiness was just ordinary.

Here’s my imperfect and unfinished coloring work for the past few months. Honestly, I was able to calm my anxiety.  The patterns of my negative thinking restored to positive ones. I know, I might need it again for the coming days and I have lots of them waiting to paint and ease my angst.

You can try it too. Calm your stress with beautiful colors.

 

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YEARS OF LOVE

That’s my mom and my paps.  Today is their 39th wedding anniversary.

I would say that their marriage is not perfect at all. Just like the other couples, they have lived in the joyous moment and painful times.  They don’t claim always that they are madly in love with other, but obviously, they can’t live without each other.

Their opposite character made them weary fitfully, but they have shown that unlimited sense of understanding and accepting each other are really necessary for any relationship.

Marriage with them is no fairytale.  All my life I have witnessed them grow old together and closer with each passing year. They’ve been in a ride of turbulence and how they managed to land safely is such a blessings.

Sometimes, I still heard them complaining about each other, but never lost their sight to what they have promised 39 years ago, for better or worse.

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful Parents. Your togetherness in good and bad times has taught us teamwork. Your tolerance for each other’s habits has taught us patience. Your support during each other’s crises has taught us solidarity. Your lives as our parents have taught us how to live.

Lots of love.

 

 

MANHOLE (K-drama 2017)

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Tells the story of Bong Pil, an unemployed man who mooches off his parents while pretending to study for the civil service exam. Bong Pil time travels into the past through a manhole in an effort to stop the wedding of his lifelong crush, Soo Jin set to happen one week into the future.

I thought the concept of this drama will be exceptional, but sad to say, it wasn’t.  I became so frustrated with its direction, the repetitive and unnecessary scenarios. The plot has so many holes, It never captured the essence of the time travel ideas. I cannot appreciate the bottomless of his adventure, it seems shallow and dry.

The protagonist character is trying to be comical, but they miss to develop his charm. I feel the rest of the characters are obnoxious and hypocritical especially his closest friends, they are kinda exasperating.

You know, I can hardly believe that I finished this show. Honestly, I just want to know how the finale ends. Well, I got the last scene smiling and I think I’m okay with it.  Of course, I will not rewatch this drama and if you want a story with excitement and sensibility, I will not recommend this one.

Verdict: 7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOT A LITTLE GIRL TOO.

“It’s really special to have a niece because I have a son, so I get to have a little girl, too.”

 

Avery Edquilang – 8 months old

“Not all women are blessed with a daughter, but those who don’t have daughters can comfort themselves with the love of their niece.”

THE COURAGE TO BE ME.

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Recently, I have to ask myself what kind of person I have been presenting to this world. Why I feel that I’ve been completely misjudged?  Have I failed to show the real me? Have they found out that I am holding on to each little atom in my system to appear the world that I am tough, that they can’t break me? and for that reason, have they thought of me like raindrops dripping on a stone that eventually dries up?

But I am not always like that. See, I have my high and low moment.

You might think at every turn I am strong, but I have been quite vulnerable.

I cannot stop to believe, that the world I live in only cares about what it can get from me.

I function like I am fighting on, but there were instances that I want to leave off.

Sometimes, I hate the sound of time and responsibility, it wears me down.

I always laugh and smile, but in a grey, cold day, I cried a lot.

While surrounded with people, I still find some empty faces that I couldn’t trust.

I ruled my mind of being okay to be alone, but deep inside, I despise the winding lanes of desolation, afraid where the future can take me.

I never followed all my dreams, never leads the way, and here I am pretending as an example whom you aim to be.

Look, never assume that I can accept everything you implied because now and then I can be close-minded, intolerant, impatient, selfish and plainly insensible.

Don’t be blind for what you see on me because I have so many names and at the mercy of the whim you will never understand me.

I am telling you this with sincerity, I have no time to play your silly games and just wouldn’t dance with your pretense.  I can be your friend today and might be your enemy someday. I cannot promise to stay forever because I know myself I have the tendency to walk away. But if you hold on to me, I will do the same.

Every day, I am literally trying to hold on, to what it means. I have all the courage in this word to be me, so don’t judge me easily, you might just know my name, but not my whole story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STRANGER (Secret Forest) K-drama 2017

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A brain surgery during childhood caused prosecutor Hwang Shi Mok to lack emotion, even though he is rational. Cold and lonely, he’s one of the only prosecutors not involved in corruption. He then meets Police Lieutenant Han Yeo Jin at an odd murder crime scene, and they work together to uncover a tangled web of corruption that spirals far beyond the case.

This drama keeps your attention in full in every episode until the last minute. I would say to upcoming crime and legal dramas, they should aim to be like this; mind bugling, no unnecessary fights, a smooth pace of progression, complex strategy without replications, complicated characters with passion and motives crashes, every dialogue, scenes are well executed and there are no rushed settings to the finale.

Hands down to one of the best classy legal dramas I’ve ever seen. The script was amazingly written that I couldn’t even find a single plot hole. Instead, it has twists and turns that were completely unexpected. Watch out, it will hit you curve ball out of nowhere. The cast delivers top-notch acting talent with clear role functions and even the minor characters are indispensable to the every episode.

I’m glad that I marathoned this drama and jiggled my brain.

It was confirmed that this “series was a hit with both domestic and international viewers, and gained favorable reviews for its tight plot, gripping sequences, and strong performances.”

Verdict: 10/10

 

 

 

CRIMINAL MINDS (K-drama 2017)

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The drama follows a group of highly trained profilers in the fictional National Criminal Investigation (NCI) team who track down criminals to solve cases. The drama is based on the American television series Criminal Minds.

While some of the viewers couldn’t stop comparing this drama from the original series, I have had no expectations at all. Honestly, this show has never been able to give the suspense and action that I have been looking for.  Yes, the team are quite competitive, the cases were interesting and the discussions about the minds and characters of all the involved criminals were appealing, but then I felt something was missing.

I think this drama lacks of emotions, their dialogues, the tone, it was all cold. The execution was totally sluggish and the character development was too flat maybe the reasons why I couldn’t get the hype of the story at all.

And I hate the Reaper episodes. He was a multi-talented murderer who uses both knives and guns, a wise hacker, a photographer who perfectly plans his crime. They emphasized an extraordinary criminal who is not easy to catch, but still, I just don’t buy it.

Only Lee Joon Gi made me stay. Even so, I have no regret that I finished the 20 episodes, I just didn’t enjoy it.

Verdict: 7/10

 

 

 

 

GOOD FOOD, GOOD MOOD

I am not good at cooking.  When someone says that I lose weight, I always tell them to eat what I cooked, then you can understand.  If you want to visit my place, I would ask you to bring something to eat or expect I will just call for delivery.  I can cook, but have no confidence to serve it to other people with my limited skills as if I have one.

I recall, when my family criticized my cooking, I got mad and pledge not to make food anymore.  Eventually, their criticism doesn’t affect me anymore, I have learned to take it. And of course, they accepted and devoured my own taste and style of cooking in their system. In short, they just have no choice. Seldom, I got compliments too, it’s called improvement.

Actually, I’m feeling starving today and there’s nothing special in the fridge to cook. I just have eggs and Paratha.  While scrolling my photo gallery, I saw all this mouthwatering food that instantly I wanted to eat. But hey, I didn’t cook all these, my friends do.

This is BULALO. It’s a dish with a light colored soup that is made by cooking beef shanks and marrow bones until the collagen and fat have melted into the clear broth. This is best on cool nights or on rainy days.

 

GRAB the CRAB. Steamed, baked or with oyster sauce, it’s all the same; tasty and delicious. They said this seafood supplies key vitamins and minerals that support good health, but of course, there should be only an amount of serving. Too much love will kill you.

 

Oh, my KINILAW! as one of my favorites. This a raw fish dish of (Tuna/Marlin). It is prepared to make raw cubed fish mixed with vinegar along with a calamansi or lime. It is flavored with salt and spices like black pepper, ginger, onions, and chili peppers commonly siling labuyo along with cucumber. I’m always feeling hyped when this is the food on the table. Also, it is best served along with cold beer.

 

I choose PANCIT or NOODLES over spaghetti. Yes, I can eat it any time of the day- lunch, dinner, snacks and even for breakfast.  This dish is always present in any celebrations I have. It is also believed that eating noodles will bless us with a long lasting life ahead. Well, without any reason, I just love this dish.

 

FRIED CALAMARI. My friends don’t want to make this food regularly because they said, it takes too much of their time preparing. You have to clean it,  sliced into rings, dredge the squid in flour then dip in beaten egg, etc etc. I usually cook it in adobo style which is easier for me.

 

PAKSIW NA ISDA. I hated this dish when I was young, maybe because I don’t like the taste from the vinegar, salt, garlic, and ginger.  There’s a joke that this food is common for poor Filipinos which is not really true. Paksiw Na Isda is very tasty especially if you will cook it with eggplant.

 

TANDOORI CHICKEN. This dish is very popular for Indians, but as a Pinoy, I till love this food especially if it is grilled to perfection.

 

I should stop this. I need to eat at least one of this dishes today. Happy eating everyone! Always remember GOOD FOOD, GOOD MOOD.