REPLY 1988 (K-drama) 2015

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Five childhood friends, who all live in the same Ssangmundong neighborhood of Seoul, lean on each other to survive their challenging teen years and set a path for their futures.

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Sung Deok Sun (Hyeri) struggles for attention as the middle child in her poor family while also carrying the burden of her 989th ranking in school. She is everyone’s trusted gal who shares her bright personality to all and shows her caring nature.

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Jung-Hwan (Ryoo Joon-Yeol) is the second son of the Kim family. His brother Jung Bong was born with a weak heart, so he decided to help him fulfill his dream, whatever that might be. As a typical teen, he grumbles and complains a lot, and it will take time to convinced him to say yes. He can’t seem to empathize and is always blunt with his words, but he has a good heart and always loyal to his family and friends.

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Sun-Woo(Ko Gyung-Pyo)is a model student at the school, good son and good brother at home. Sun-Woo’s mother has raised him and his younger sister alone after his father passed away.  Became a man of his house, he’s quite dependable, mature and responsible among his friends. He always tries to do right by everyone. He is considered as the ideal son of the neighborhood.

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Ryu Dong Ryong(Lee Dong-Hwi)is a geek who knows more about girls and life than the rest of his friends, but his poor academic score prevents him from being able to go to college. Though he is not an achiever academically, he is the wisest of all.  He’s the neighborhood counselor and the joker of the group.

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Choi Taek (Park Bo-Gum) is a famous BADUK player known as Master Choi, god to the world. But for his friends, he is simply as an idiot in Ssangmundong. Since he dropped out of school, Duk-Sun, Jung-Hwan, Sun-Woo and Dong-Ryong are his only friends.  They protected him as their National Treasure. They always shield him as the youngest one, the baby, and no one could touch and hurt him.

“That might be why youth is beautiful. Because it shines, blindingly bright at a brilliant short moment. But you can never go back to it.”

Certainly, we couldn’t return to our youth because everything just passes by and ages. And this drama makes you remember everything. It has this certain charm where you can always feel that you are part of their family household, that their parents are yours. You grew up with them lurking with memories of good and bad times. In that neighborhood, you waited for your secret crush to pass by,  dreaming of your first love, the walls that witness your first hug, first kiss, and even your first heartbreak.

In this drama, I have cried, laughed and fell in love instantly. I missed my family, my childhood friends, my all old memories.  Though I can still go back to my street where I grew up old, I cannot find the same faces, the familiar laughter, the nooks and corner where we used to play and the arguments we have solved. What has just left in that old street is the warm feeling of nostalgia, the sense of belongingness and the image of my precious child and youth memories.

Reply 1988 is a perfect drama for me. It tackles not only about the journey of their friendship but it showed problems of their families facing every day, the ups and downs of their lives. They truly emphasized the relationship between the parents and children and every emotion was raw and genuine.

Characters are perfect in this drama, truly are the heart of the entire show. Each of them is written well with so much thought.  They all have distinct personalities that are real and allows you to relate.

The Plot is uniquely presented in one setting and yet the development is spontaneous.  It does not become boring or trite, it’s not draggy at all. It was just so enjoyable to watch slowly while savoring each of their laughter and tears.

If you’d love to watch a drama about family and friendship, this surely is for you.  I recommend it with a full blast of assurance that you will totally get a whipped of laughter, tears and bittersweet aftertaste.

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“The reason I miss that time and that street is not only because I miss my younger self. It is because my parents’ youth, my friends’ youth – the youth of everything I loved was in that place. I regret not bidding a final farewell to the surrounding of my youth that can never be brought back together again. To the things that have already gone, to the time I can’t return to… I bid my belated farewell. Goodbye, my youth. Goodbye, Ssangmun-dong” – Deok Sun

Verdict: 10/10

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.”

PERFECTLY IMPERFECT

“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is,

I think, to have a happy childhood.”

That is me. I had a happy childhood which I always look back to with fond memories.

Even though I was fully aware of our financial struggles at that time, with our parent’s disagreements, siblings arguments and when I couldn’t have the things I wanted, this sort of things never stops me from becoming a normal happy person. Why? because my parents allowed me to fill my childhood memories with excitement, adventure, challenges and a lot of time to play despite their shortcomings and lapses.

I have so many precious memories of my childhood; outdoors in the dark with moonlight seeing, climbing high up the trees, riding bikes in the streets, making wood guns, street games, hide and seek with friends, digging holes at the beach, jumping in the waves, summer spent in the countryside, reading pocket novels, infatuation, and some church activities. In those years, a lot to said about how good life was.

And now getting old makes me yearn for the simplicity of life. I want to feel that every new day is more interesting than the last. I want to turn back time as a child when I have only to believed that nothing was impossible, that small things seem big of importance. When all my fears just fade away, and only the cuts from my knees getting me pain.  I want to remember the joy with which my mother’s touch gave me tranquility or my father’s beautiful kiss on my cheek.

I wish “I could take a single childhood memory and blow it up into a bubble and live inside it forever.”

 

 

KICK THE GAME OF LIFE.

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When my son asked my permission to join the Taekwondo team which I ranted from my previous post. Never as I insisted, but well, that’s not what had happened.

One of our fellow bloggers mentioned that it’s better for him to get hurt in a tournament rather than in a street brawl, I couldn’t agree more. So here he comes, he was included in the school match and you know what? he got the bronze!

I don’t have any expectation from him since it was his first match. I just kept on reminding him to be strong, competitive and be a good sport. When he told me he got only the third place, I assured him that he was good enough. Not all the first timer will achieve something like that. In response, he wants to practice more, and I agreed. 

Of course, I am proud of him and I love his spirit. I love the way he insisted to do what he likes, something that I didn’t do when I was at his age. But then, not everything he wants will be in front of him; not all the games he can win and not all the time, he can lose.

I know both of us have a long way to go.  Parenting is an endless job for me and he still has to learn how to play the game of life. 

Congratulations on your first kick son. The full support is in me now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eid al-Adha Celebration

It’s holiday!

We will leave the busy and hustle street in Dubai right now in celebration with our Muslim’s festival, the Eid al-Adha.  We are heading to one of the seven Emirates States of the UAE, Ajman.  I might share something about it after my returns.

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What is Eid al-Adha? 

“It is called the “Sacrifice Feast” where it honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before he sacrificed his son God intervened by sending his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel), who then put a sheep in his son’s place. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: the family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy”

I haven’t celebrated this festivity with a Muslim friend so I cannot share anything about it. But I would like to greet our fellow friends to have a wonderful celebration and may all our prayers be answered with Allah.

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MOTHER OF THE YEAR

They said grandparents have the tendency to spoil their grandchildren, their love becomes twice and they will love you more than anyone else.  But for my Lola (grandmother), she does the opposite and has her own ways of showing her love by imposing strict discipline.

She taught me how to pray, not my mom, but her. We prayed the holy rosary every night and sometimes at dawn which I really hated. There was no Sunday too that we didn’t go to church, whether you like it or not.

It was a struggle also that I am not allowed to wake up after 6:00 am.  She gave me the responsibility to prepare for breakfast, clean the house, do the laundry and water the plants.

I can have friends, but they were not allowed to visit at home without her permission. She has to check first their background before saying yes, and of course no boys obviously.

I had all these memories when I live with her for more than a year and during summer vacations.

My Lola was a woman of discipline because she was raised and influenced by Spanish upbringing which we called Kastila style. She has dominating character and very authoritarian. More over, my grandfather was intimated with her intellectual and cleverness, even her five children feared her to the most.

But I know, despite, she has the greatest love for all. She always thinks of her children’s wellness. She worked hard to support their education and chased them to graduate. She always reminded them to live a decent life and be released from poverty.  Simply she doesn’t want the children to be like her; unschooled and deprived.

When my Lola died, everyone was settled and lead a good life. They even bought her a house which she really desired. When she got sick and became more grumpy due to her goiter illness, still everyone braced her not for the reason they were afraid, but because she was a good mother.

I think I am her favorite granddaughter because she always appears in my dreams. She still there asking me to clean her house, water the plants and for no reason, lectured me which I rarely remember why.

Today is my Lola’s birthday. May she has the happiest party in heaven.

 

She was awarded “A MODEL MOTHER OF THE YEAR 1997” in the town of Bacuag Surigao Del Norte. A lifetime achievement, perhaps, one in a million mothers could achieve. – VJE

 

 

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My brother from the left, grandma, grandpa and myself.

 

THE BEST HIT (K-drama 2017)

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Sad to say, the best hit has never had the chance to get a high rate till the show has ended. But why did I completed the 16 series? Since it was very light and cute, I found myself enjoying it without expecting lavish and never made a complaint.  I just went with the flow.

Honestly, there is a big potential in this drama if it was just presented with direction, surprising twist and turns and more discoveries to our leads.  Though this drama has the concept of time travel, the lack of story development has been scored.  Few questions left unanswered and it’s up to you to analyze the whole thing or you can just go on with your life.

What I enjoyed most in this drama are all the fresh faces of the whole cast. Music was very best too. Love theme? Nah I don’t buy it. Friendship bonding? a big yes. Family relationship? a plus-plus.

So if you want to watch this drama, go on and enjoy. Just don’t expect too much because you might not get the best hit.

Verdict: 8/10

 

 

 

TO MY ONE & ONLY

To my one and only,

I Appreciate you being a sport minded person. From wrestling and boxing as your passing hobbies, then basketball, which we both liked and you enjoyed most.

This time, I allowed you to join the Taekwondo training thinking it would only be a past time for you, but when you asked my permission to join the school tournament as a representative of your level, I never say YES. We argued about it and you are mad at me.

I don’t care if you’d think I never supported you. How can I allow my one and only to get hurt with kicks and punches and who knows what will happen out there? Call me selfish, but I just love you that I couldn’t even bear to think you would be physically hurt. You knew my reasons, and it will never change.

As a Parent, we encourage our kids to do the things they truly enjoyed and promise them to support in any ways we can, but what if we don’t agree in the dreams they have chosen? and they thought we are the one who’s blocking their path to success?

Truly, it is a challenge to guide them while being objective about our own feelings as a Parent.

YOU WILL MISS THEM

I know one day, you will miss them.

You’re going to miss their deafening loudness and innocence hassles and the peak of their dirty shirts and countless toys.

You will miss them in your room while hanging out, watching you dress and crying out loud.

Soon you will miss them when they grow up and you get the break you want.

You will miss them needing you all the time because they’ll find comforts with friends or other people whom they liked.

You’re going to miss everything because when they own their freedom, you didn’t own their time.

So while still possible, enjoy their childhood and bear the hardship. Never say “hope you will grow up fast” because surely, one day, you will miss them, you will miss your little ones.

 

 

 

ODE TO MY FATHER – K-movie

 

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Cast: Hwang Jung-Min / Kim Yunjin / Oh Dal-Su

This movie became my favorite instantly, it’s perfect.

The cinematography is absolutely stunning. The plot is flawlessly well written. The transition between the present and the past is executed purely.  It takes you to some of the big parts of Korean history.

I think I cried for an hour and my heart tugs at my heartstrings.  I was into this man’s extraordinary life throughout scenes of laughing and weeping.

This movie is truly an epic.Beautiful.

Verdict: 10/10

 

PAYING THE PRICE.

Do you have kids who drastically change their behavior when they become teenagers?

My son’s behavior becomes a problem after he reached the age of 14. Sometimes it confused me if his manner is appropriate to his age or just because he’s in the process of development. I am baffled between ignoring him or punishing him. Remaining calm and telling him what is right seems to give him an extra tantrum too.  He appears to be controlling, and just wanted us to ignore him all the time.

When we tried to correct him or made some remarks when he did something bad, he usually does the smart mouth talking which is really, really annoying. He has no control of his anger at all.  He says what he wants to say even though it shows disrespectful and rudeness.

I really wanted to lock him in the box and just release him when he’s at the age of maturity or place him back on my tummy. You can’t stop thinking about silly things, especially when you expect him to give you strength instead of draining your remaining kindness and putting you to the limits.

How hard is it to become a Parent?  I know it’s more than words to explain. I realized and imagine how my Mom and Pops suffered too when I was in my age of rebellion. I think I am paying the price now.

With prayer, I am hoping that he will settle better than me, that he will discover more good things about people, that time will take his side to mold him into a better, kinder, respectful and considerate man I am praying him to be.

Goodluck.

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DEFENDANT (K-drama)

“I’m Seoul Special Unit Prosecutor Park Jung-woo.”

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Ji Sung.  My favorite Korean actor.  He is excellent, versatile and his skills is a top notch.  Why Am I saying this? because, in this drama, he will grab your attention from episode 1 to the finale with his detailed acting abilities. He was superb! He sent chills down on my spine and leave me speechless.

Defendant was truly an enjoyable ride. It’s not a surprise they got the impressive ratings that broke its own record.  The story depicted not only about corruption, violence, and prejudice, but it’s all about love.  A kind of love that you would fight to attain truth and justice, a love that was never returned and lead you to become a twisted person, a love that will give you endless strength to fight.

I would say that this drama upped not only because of the strong plot presented, the acting was astounding too.  The cast is actually quite large, but despite, everyone’s character played a significant role to their best (especially the villain) which help the show become more thrilling and remarkable.

If you want to be desperate, lunatic and emotional, this drama is for you.

Verdict: 10/10

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RIGHTS TO DO IT.

I always told myself that I can do everything in my power to be a successful person and a supportive single parent to my son. I have no remorse of these two responsibilities in my hand; to be a mom and at the same time to be a dad.  Yes, I do complain occasionally when colors turned out dark, but most of the time, it’s a feeling of accomplishment and somewhat I am always proud of.

Honestly, for the past long years, my son and I never have received the rights for financial support from my x-husband. It was clearly stated in the Philippine Constitution the anti-violence against women and their children, that we should be protected. I am fully aware of this law, but have never used it properly to protect my son. I became the slave of my own hard work and reputation.

Then, I woke up one day realizing that I shouldn’t carry this load alone. I must teach someone how to handle responsibility and not just to live a life of ease. So, while I was in the Philippines, I went to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office with my son and made a complaint address to his father, who is working now in Italy, with a demand of financial support monthly, or else, he will be blacklisted to work abroad and will be deported back to his hometown. Honestly, I really don’t want to create drama, but for now, it really works.

So, just last month, my son received his allowance in complete amounts stated from the agreement. It was our little feat shared of what we have fought for our rights.

To all the women out there that suffered this kind of issue or more than that, we should never feel disgrace or to be embarrassed to contest our rights as a woman and for our children. We might feel a little hesitant as every beginning is hard, but being fearful or ashamed of our situation leads us to hardiest life.

So,  be brave and have a little faith in yourself.

I believe I can do it, you can do it, we can do it!

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#BeBoldForChange

OLD FRIENDS

They are my childhood friends (except for the kids of course 🙂

I can still remember playing, fighting and being friends with them again. Those happy memories seem like it was just yesterday, but actually, it has been long years to count. To be honest, it was amazing that I have friends in my life for over 30 years, I am quite thankful for that. Though we just meet once in a year (because of my work),  we never missed any chances to be reunited when time is certain for all of us.

As the saying goes; Beautiful memories are like old friends. They may not always be on your mind, but they are forever in your heart.

I ❤❤❤ YOU

My last vacation in the Philippines was quite peaceful and sweet.  Most of the time, I stayed only at home and hanging out with my son. It was not really an extravagant vacation as what other people expected. In fact, It was really my plan to spend my 35 days with my family especially with my kid.

During my entire break, I have seen some changes with my son. He is no longer my baby, but not quite a teenager too. He doesn’t want to be kissed and hugged in the public. We don’t walk together holding hands, but he just put his arms around me. He keeps on checking with my schedules when he was at school and never skip a day without following me around.

We both still love watching movies and do some food trips. He never has the patience to wait for me when I do shop. He’s not a branded person, to buy a casing for his cell phone is a major spending for him. Still, he doesn’t want me to wear shorts and sexy dresses. When I put some dark eyebrow makeup, he said ew, that I don’t look good at all. He just wanted me to be simple and unnoticed.

We never stop talking about this and that. He still sleeps in my room. I always reprimanded him for being lazy and giving too much attention to his mobile and play station. I am happy that he has good friends around, who helped him to improve his personality from being a killjoy to cool guy. See, he talks with my friends now, unlike before. Yes, still he has his mood swings, but it becomes irregular now.

We still argue and fight, but we knew we always have each other.

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If I am still in the Philippines today, he would be my pretty date.

Who says Valentine’s Day is exclusive only for lovers?  We can date anyone!

Happy ❤❤❤ day to all 🙂