Taking Pride on Being a KPOP Fangirl

My interest on KPOP music is usually misunderstood. I must admit that there are moments when all unsolicited criticisms of my preferences are getting into me and I just want to burst out and retaliate. Yet at the end of each day, I always realize that I need to be the bigger person and arguing against stereotypes overwhelmed by insecurity and envy will bring me nowhere.

But how long should I just take it all in?

Korean music is just like anything else. It's music. it has beats. It has tunes. It has lyrics. Yes, lyrics - which I believe is where everything roots. Some people are just crazy enough to assume that any other language aside from English and Filipino are not languages which are meant to be understood. They think that others aside from the two are of aliens. Okay, I'm exaggerating but I think you're getting the point.

That, for me, is just plain stupid. I can't understand why they generalize. Do they really think that just because THEY can't understand Korean means we can't as well? I don't know with you, but to me who is working hard on getting fluent with Hangugo, that's a complete insult. I refuse to associate myself with such definition of intelligence. 

And granting that some fans really do not know the Korean language, we have translators who wholeheartedly translate everything into a language we will all understand. Now, isn't constant stereotyping an insult to their multi-lingual abilities, too?

Another thing that always gets to my nerve is when people tell me that liking KPOP is turning your back against OPM. WOW! JUST WOW! I've heard this accusation a lot of times already and it really never fails to irk me - especially when I heard it coming from a band who I looked up to in the past, a band who I think is just putting the blame on the KPOP industry for their failure to dominate the mainstream industry again.

There are two basic justifications why OPM is 'dying'. First, OPM stands for 'Original Pilipino Music'. Keyword is 'original'. But who wouldn't notice the influx of revivals? Most artists just pick up old solds, put their own renditions, and sell it to the market like it's theirs. They say they just want to pay tribute to older musicians but I think that's just a lame excuse for being lazy to produce their own.

Second, isn't it obvious that we're running around in circles here? The OPM industry obviously need fresh ideas, fresh concepts, and fresh treatments. And I don't limit it on music as well. KPOP is widely accepted because of how it's presented to the public. OPM should think of doing that too. I am now being particular with music shows in the Philippines. You see, the KPOP fans aren't stupid. We know when something is copied; and that is the reason why many lose interest in the local industry. 

The thing about KPOP is that it always present new concepts to the public. It always satiates our cravings for something new. It always set trends - something which OPM barely manages to do now. To be honest, I really would prefer the days when Jolina Magdangal would still wear all those trinkets. At least, she represented an all-original craze. 

I know I sound so defensive, but will it be convincing if I say that there are still lots of KPOP fans like me who still finds OPM as their home? At the end of each day, it is still where we're going home to. Because no matter how many times we say that we are KPOP fans, we are still Filipinos and OPM is still imbued in our very souls. But that doesn't mean we accept everything. You see, we still have preferences. We are still entitled to choices. Just because we don't like the music of one band doesn't mean we don't like everything else. Always bear that in mind.

Moving on, another ridiculous accusation about my interest in KPOP is that this makes me turn back against my nationality. This is just that same as the OPM thing but is certainly more insane and hypocritical. I mean it! People who are constantly saying this should at least try to get themselves involved, and they will see how much Filipino KPOP fans take pride on their being Filipinos - how they get flattered when their favorite artists mention Philippines, how they work hard to get the Philippines noticed, how they try to uplift the country just so international fans would come here for concerts (and eventually lead to more tourism for the government). 

With this in mind, I suddenly remember an argument I had with an 'OPM fan' on Youtube years ago. He said KPOP fans are stupid because they live like Koreans when they don't understand a thing. With an insulted pride, I countered attack by telling him that it's just the same thing with American music fans who prefer living the 'American life' here in the Philippines when they don't really understand the meaning of their English songs as well. After some exchange of arguments, he eventually dropped his case and told me that I clearly know what he's saying - when in fact, I DON'T. He was merely trying to find the easiest way out of the conversation, I supposed.

Tell me, is there any modern person in the Philippines who doesn't listen to foreign music? I know fashioning ourselves like how Koreans do always sparks an issue among non-KPOP fans; but have they ever seen themselves in the mirror? Don't they look like their favorite western artists too? Geez. People should really know how to walk their talk!

Then, there's the issue of good looks too. I have been told a lot of times that I like KPOP because the artists are utterly good-looking. LIKE HELL WOULD I DENY THAT! OF COURSE, I LIKE THEM FOR THEIR LOOKS! But that doesn't end there. That never end there. 

Sure, good looks are important but that is just the first step to popularity. In the KPOP industry, no one stays with good looks alone; because good looks - as well know - fades. But talent never ceases. If anything, it improves - and that's basically what makes us stick around.

What non-KPOP fans should understand is that artists go through rigid sets of training just to debut. If unlucky, the years they spent practicing will go to waste simply because they aren't good enough. Then, there is a high standard set in the Korean entertainment industry which artists should always meet. That is why they constantly strive for improvement, for perfection. 

How can we not admire them for that?

KPOP music is basically an inspiration. Like I said, artists train hard to get to the spotlight. No one is given the chance to act like spoiled brat royalties. Well, okay, some of them could be; but never have I encountered anyone from the Korean industry who went past his/her limitations in front of the public. Korean artists uphold their reputations fairly well and I can say that they try their best to not ruin their names. They mind what they do - something which I honestly don't usually find on local artists (particularly band members who never hesitate to diss other artists on national TV, live performances, and SNS just to be tagged as 'cool').

I know the points I've raised here are way too ordinary already; but stating the truth in defense of an interest which stupid people use as basis to ridicule you will never get old. KPOP is music; and music aims to unite everyone. So I wish - and I pray - that people will just stop using it as an excuse to get divided. 

There's just no point on that.

KEEP IT CHEAP: Surviving KPOP Fashion 101

I have been a writer for Coordinuna for quite some time now and it exposed me to how much influence KPOP idols have on fashion today. Flaunting unique styles and concepts, each artist set trends which fans naturally follow. However, the problem here is that artists do not have 'normal' preferences when it comes to their attires. They prefer MCM, Gucci, Burberry, Christian Louboutin, Guiseppe Zanotti, and many other designer brands which are too expensive for ordinary fans to buy. This is where it gets depressing. It makes people ask: "How can I survive KPOP fashion without breaking into the bank?"

1. Find an artist who suits your style.
I mean, look for a model. It helps to find someone who has the same body frame as yours. Study their style. Figure out their preferences. Decide on whether you can rock their outfits when you wear them. The first step to following the trend is to have a model. It could be crucial, yet will make everything easier.

2. Look for similar items.
When you've decided on which ensemble to wear, find apparels similar to it. Depend on the design, color, and print. I, for example, brought a jacket from Oxygen (1,800php 299php) similar to this. One thing to remember is that sensible people will not judge you for wearing non-branded items similar to your favorite KPOP artist's. However, you should be wary because similar is different to piracy and imitation - which is normally frowned upon anywhere.

3. Never get tired of shopping.
I don't suggest overspending. What I meant was you should not get tired of finding similar items from cheaper malls and stores. In the Philippines, I normally go to Divisoria or Tutuban; but since I stay away from huge crowds these days, I go to malls for the sale. Find and compare prices and quality. Chances are there are cheaper items you can find. As much as possible, do not do impulsive buying.

4. Shop online for accessories. 
Here's a confession: I am not an accessory person; but I am planning to buy accessories exactly similar to my favorite artists to fulfill this ridiculous fantasy of sharing couple items with them. And I usually find them on online stores. Try GMarket and Yesasia. If you don't prefer this, you can settle for ordinary accessory items in streets and find cute stuffs there... or maybe, if you have friends coming to Korea, bribe them with other stuff and ask them to go to Myungdong where there are lots of stalls selling nice accessories.

5. Get your hair style changed.
The most basic thing to KPOP-ize your fashion sense is to change your hair style. You can color it, or have it permed, or cut it anyway you like! Sometimes, when your hair is stylish, you can go for simple and cheaper outfits; because naturally, your crowning glory will do all the talking. I suggest that you invest on this and find a nice salon where your hair is sure to be treated well.

6. Wear make-up.
You don't need to put a lot of colors on your face when going out. BB cream, simple eye colors/liner, lipstick, and mascara will do. The basic technique here is to make yourself look like you're not wearing make-up at all! Go for nude colors.

7. Be confident.
The most important technique in surviving KPOP fashion is to be confident. Once you've found the right clothes for you and you know you look good on it, be confident and carry yourself elegantly! Good ensembles do not really make sense if the one wearing it doesn't believe so. Believe that you are beautiful, and see how it makes you radiate.

To be honest, I am not a fashion guru; but since I am a simple young adult who believes that fashion needs not to be expensive, I've given you the abovementioned suggestions. I hope you pick something nice from it.

You? What do you do to survive KPOP fashion and keep it cheap?

"내 짝사랑... 끝."

A lot of people fear the idea of confession – especially girls. As Filipinos take pride on having a rather conservative culture, we were made to believe that the confession part is done only by the boys. Anything that would go beyond that norm is considered unethical. Sad but true. For the numerous times that I’ve come across love, I’ve followed that. The result? Regrets.

Keeping everything bottled inside is really tiring and frustrating. I know. During the times I’m keeping it all in, I just feel like I’m going to burst anytime. I feel so fragile. I feel so sensitive. And the most painful thing is that I know I don’t have any rights to be like that. So I kept everything to myself. I feared that love will fly away when I admitted it.

But then, emotions are most obvious when it is hidden. My actions spoke for myself and it eventually led to what I feared the most. That’s when I knew that the result would be the same, either way I choose.
To cut the story short, something big had happened recently. Words were said. Actions were done. Heart has been broken, and reality has begun.

But do I have any regrets? None.

This may be funny to some but I have actually expected this pain to come. I have asked for it when I did those things and I guess it really was my intention to let the truth come out from him. Somehow, I had to let out my unrequited love so my mind would be at peace.

And I’m thankful that I found the courage to do that. Really.

Because for the first time in my life, I feel contented. I know that even though it ended like this, I have managed to do everything my heart told me to. I have expressed my emotions fairly well and let all thoughts out. There were no bits of hesitation in accepting reality because there were no chances wasted.

I did it. I take pride on that.

At the moment, I still need distractions. The pain is still there, but it’s manageable. I even doubt it’s gonna leave soon. But look! I’m getting by! If I am the person I was before, I wouldn’t have been able to finish even this simple account. I wouldn’t have been able to meet deadlines. I wouldn’t have been able to laugh and still be happy. I wouldn’t have taken it casually.

Really, having no regrets and facing everything with all honesty make a great difference.

Some friends are actually being cautious with me. To them, it’s a surprise that I wouldn’t talk about what happened and all things I plan to do. Well, I hope they would just understand. Perhaps, I’m working hard towards maturity? Or I just don’t want to dwell on the depression. I no longer want people to pity me just because I got my heart broken. I’m way past that stage already.

I’ve chosen to be happy.

Yes, everything’s a matter of choice. It is part of human life to get hurt and disappointed. Crying is always a favorable option; but at the end of each day, it’s not proper to harbor the pain. And I don’t want that to happen. The love that has left has taught me a lot of things and that man is an indispensable part of me. I don’t want to ruin our relationship further by being bitter. I’ve caused myself enough pain for a lifetime. I no longer desire any addition to that.

As a human being, I am designed to be happy. And no one can do that for me. If I live regretting everything I did, what would that make me then? Love is an important aspect of our being a person, but happiness does not always depend on romance. I’ve got a lot of other people and things to focus on.

I wouldn’t let the pain of a failed confession ruin my better outlook in life.

HABEMUS PAPAM: A New Chapter of Faith

Awaken by the consistent mosquito bites I was getting this morning, I checked my phone for messages at around 4:30AM. That's when I learned from Luwi that white smoke had emitted out from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel, which means a new pope had just been elected.

Knowing that I'm late on the news, I still jumped out of my bed and immediately ran to the TV set. There, I saw the 266th successor of Peter and the newest leader of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Francis.

Meycauayan Spot: Chef Ram's


Straying away from the idea of a typical carinderia (eatery), Chef Ram's is indeed a breather to me. Instead of going to SM Marilao for some sizzling specials, I just have to ride a tricycle from the parish to this little space and I'm in for some terrific meal.

Chef Ram's Sizzling Hub is located in Saluysoy, Meycauayan City. It is in a quite shabby location but that doesn't stop people from really standing outside, waiting for diners to finish and leave so they can get their turn to eat. I, myself, have waited already - and it is always worth it.

What Time Is It? 2PM : An Unexpected Date

It wasn't in my plan to watch. I am not a fan and I don't have the money to buy myself a concert ticket. MOA Arena isn't that near to my house and I do not exactly take interest on the group. 

But things went different when Desiree called me. She said she got VIP tickets to the concert courtesy of Globe and asked if I would like to come. After a few seconds of hesitation, I decided to give it a try. My reason? I want to try the Premiere Lounge of MOA Arena.

Des and I met at Trinoma at around 4:30PM. Ate Yan and Ate Zhill were with us too; and together, we went to the concert venue where we met up with Ate Andhie, Ate Mitzi, Ate Katz, and Ate Tere. Excitedly, we headed to the VIP lounge of Globe and were immediately astounded with the luxury. It was luxury at its best! It was so nice I knew I'll have to dedicate a separate blog about it!

Before the concert started, we were really worried. There were literally LOTS of vacant seats. Apparently, the show wasn't sold out and as I am used to a jam-packed venue (Super Shows), I felt quite sad that 2PM will hold a concert with such low attendance. Even though I'm not a fan, I fear that the boys' mood will go down. They're still artists who value their concerts, after all.

Nonetheless, the concert began; and I tell you, it was far from what I expected. 

CNBLUE Live in Manila at June 15, 2013!

After three years of stanning one of the best bands in South Korea, I will finally get to see them. Earlier this year, it has been announced that Manila is one of the stops for CNBLUE's world tour. And today, it's confirmed. 

CNBLUE will be having a concert on June 15, 2013 at (much to my glee!) Araneta Coliseum.

We have waited for so long for this; and at last, it's happening. There's no stopping now. I have especially intended a part of my loan for this band and I'm not gonna let anybody hinder my plans. I'll be seeing them as a birthday gift for myself, and I'm gonna have fun!

Now, now... I was often asked in the past why I like the group. Well, first of all, they are a band; and their existence brought me back to my first love - ROCK MUSIC. I see them as the fulfillment of my two interests (ROCK and KPOP) and any argument is invalid. I know, they're once again caught between back-to-back issues of plagiarism and copyright infringements but being a fan for three years, I know them enough to say that if there are groups in KPOP who knows music like the back of their hands, CNBLUE is certainly one of them.

That leads us to my second reason. I like CNBLUE because they do their own music. They are not entirely dependent on others for their hits. Sure, they released songs which are not theirs; but everybody knows that they have gotten past that stage - which they never liked, by the way - and is now proving themselves as real musicians.

Lastly, the CNBLUE members know what they're in the industry for; and they keep their feet planted on the ground. I believe in my instincts. Fan accounts would prove that claim. Humility is the main characteristic of the band, and I guess there's no better thing than that.

Now that the confirmation is announced, I can't help but feel very excited. Finally, the light stick I bought on Singapore last year will be put to use. But what's more exciting is that in a few months, I'll get to hear how better they are in live performances.

I seriously can't wait.

And I really want to thank PULP because they have insisted that the concert be held at the Araneta Coliseum. Being the dome that it is, the sound quality will surely be great. I can then rest assured that the boys will appreciate their experience, when it comes to their stage performances.

There, there, self. Go figure out how you can keep calm.


In connection with my January, I have named March as 'Service'. It is quite timely, considering that I am a Catholic and March falls under the Lenten Season this year; so I'm pretty certain that I'm gonna be able to do some worthwhile service for the church. 

I named March so because I realized that I need to give back to my faith. A lot of blessings had been rewarded to me since the start of the year. I am really grateful, despite the several unexpected events which turned out last month. So I really want to offer this month to Him and Him alone.

A lot of things needed to be done at the Church, particularly within my commission; but 'service' isn't limited to that. I need to serve others, too - especially my family. I need to work for the betterment of my relationships with them. I need to make them feel special, particularly my father who had been quite a butthurt dad these days. hihi.

Anyway, I wish March will start off greater than the past two months. I can't believe how fast time flies, really. But so far, I'm happy with it.