What to do when your bias is in the military?


Your ultimate bias being in the military might be the most painful (or boring) phase of any fan’s life. With no one to spazz on and no album to anticipate for. It feels like that in those two years, life is… incomplete.

During those moments, you can pass the dreaded two years with these… “hopefully…” while keeping your sanity intact:


1.  Focus on other bias groups

One of the common dilemmas an international fan have is having too many group biases. With your ultimate bias out of the way, you can freely allot more time to your number 2.

“I love you, but I gotta pass the time with other gorgeous people!”

Won’t ultimate bias be jealous of this arrangement? Of course not! He’s in the military! Buwaaahahahahahaha!!!


2. Recuperate savings

Okay! So you’ve been to so many concerts of your bias from the time they debuted until their goodbye concert including those that are outside of your country.



It might have come to the point that you’ve almost sold an internal organ just to see them regularly, or have collected mounds of debt in doing so. The two-year hiatus is the perfect time to save up again.


“And hopefully be rich enough to go to their comeback concert.”

…Or alternatively, make yourself even poorer with…


3. Backtrack on lost time

Bias is appearing on shows left and right, and almost every month they release another version of their album.


tonecovers“I mean, COME ON!!!”

With no new album coming in for the next two years, you can finally complete your collection.


“Even the ones that costs more than a concert ticket!”

There are also tons of unwatched shows floating around the internet that you haven’t watched after all theses years.

“Years of good stuff here.”

But then again, your loved ones may be wondering why you haven’t been outside for a long time. This might be the perfect time also to…


4. Focus on other hobbies

For sure you have other interests besides oppa, right?




“Stalking him on SNS is not considered another hobby.”

Your schedule now is a blank slate, you can finally focus on other things such as your studies and the things you cannot do because you have to wait for oppa’s new  MV to be uploaded on their official channel.


“Or you can try climbing a mountain?”


5. Travel the world (other than Korea and Japan)

For the longest time, there are just two countries in your mind: South Korea, and Japan. During their service, why not try seeing other places that are not tied to your bias?


“Like Prague? Still connected?”


6. Spend time (and money) on other things

Supporting all of their activities made you sacrifice some finer things in life, like a new wardrobe, or a food trip to an interesting place…


“Or Legos!”

No activities meant you can have enough money to indulge yourself of things you never get to enjoy because oppa has been hogging up your hard-earned cash.


7. Go for higher goals than KGoals

For the longest time, it’s all about your bias, your goals consists of seeing bias live, or having an encounter with bias, but now that oppa is serving his country, those goals can wait and you can pursue what you want without your hands tied to KPop.

In my case, this item became true. I set a deadline to myself that I am going to pursue working for a studio or seek for a higher career ladder when Dong Bang goes to the military.

As soon as Yunho stepped inside the barracks, my resignation letter was on my editor’s desk that morning.

I used to be a web graphic artist for a reputed news website in the country and have done several coverages on Korean culture and KPop, but then again, my burning passion was on comics and animation.

I have no qualms or complaints with my former job, in fact, sometimes I miss the adrenaline of seeing dignitaries and Korean stars up close and personal, but on the other hand, I was very lucky to land where I wanted to be. The road in getting there was very hard, in fact, I really miss those Cassies who helped me during those years.

In some ways I regret that decision, but the satisfaction I feel that finally I am where I wanted to be is rewarding.

I am not saying that you follow my footsteps because in this economy, my move is considered as suicide.

What I am trying to say is that now you have more spare time to do more things you always wanted to do, however I do discourage you from leaving your job. Maybe you got other hobbies like knitting or something, or drawing stuff, you have more time to focus on those things now.

“Maybe publishing a comic?”

Or you can follow oppa’s footsteps and be a…


8. Follow on their footsteps (be a product endorser)


This is Tintin, she is a bonafide Cassiopeia. Since Yunho is in the military, she decided to join a model search contest for a department store here in the Philippines.

After much deliberation, she… became an endorser for SM Department Store’s Accessories!


“Not connected with SM Entertainment in Korea but I’m pretty sure she wishes it did.”

— In those two years, even Changmin is unsure that fans might still be waiting because two years is such a long time. During those moments we might have moved on and those memories might just be a part of a phase in our lives. He knew that it is an accepted fact that we may move forward, and for sure they will too. But the most important thing is… we had a such a great time and for some, fandom became a bridge or a window of opportunity just as it did to me and to the other Cassiopeias I knew.

Some of them worked in Korean institutions because they were inspired by their bias, and some of them had a goal to pursue in their careers because they were inspired.

But some of them took it a level higher!


“Kudos to ‘yah! And you may endorse products with Yunho in the future.”

I might sound as if I am bidding my farewell to Dong Bang but don’t worry, I am not.

I am waiting for their return.

REVIEW: Before they go with TVXQ’s “Rise as One” and “Champagne”

Enlistment is probably the scariest word to hear when you are a KPop fan. It is expected but when the day comes, it still surprises you. In two years, oppa (or dongsaeng in my case) will be nowhere in sight, and what remains are just a bunch of unwatched DVD’s and retrospecting Youtube videos to occupy your time.

BUT, as any pop star who faces uncertainty, they’ve left something to get us by — at least for the next three months.

It looks cool, funky, hipster, existential, okay… maybe not the last two, but it got my hopes up that they’ll do one last comeback before Yunho goes into career hibernation mode. You can clearly sense that these would be entirely two different singles.

tvxq-food-hibernationNot that kind of hibernation!

Unfortunately, some wishes don’t come true no matter how perfect your “Cassiopeia Constellation” dancing wish ritual is.

IMG_0443Neon naege ppajyeo~~~ (utulsa.edu)

First stop is my ultimate bias’s hibernation single “Rise As One”

The song is a power-ballad from resident belter Shim Changmin. It starts out slow and it gradually peaks to that EDM drop in the middle. I am sensing that for the last two years, SME is having it’s current EDM episode now, and the apparent drug use of the producers are more and more evident.

Drugs are so~ooo bad!!!


Considering that this is a carrier single, it was an “okay” song. There were much better songs in the album that I see more fitting to be a carrier single or has more emotion to it compared to this one. If for Changmin’s solo, I’d prefer “Apology” over this, because that song has more intensity to it.

You can say whatever you want about pop songs sounding crappier and crappier each day, but usually pop songs should be light, easy to digest, and can be played in so many occasions such as shopping malls, festivals, children’s birthday parties… okay, maybe not always the last one, but Rise As One’s melody is more of a singing contest piece given it’s amazing vocals. The overall sound is more suited for driving to the countryside soundtracks.

shim-speedingWhere speed limits are just numbers written in paint.

The music video looks like a love-child of Taylor Swift’s “Safe and Sound” and EXO’s “Love Me Right” which we are back again with SME’s notorious recycling of sets and props!

Remember the room wherein Xiumin and Chen got high in pink plumes and spent several days stoned in a bed of “grass?”

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h02m05s121 Looks like Xiumin and Chen left some “herbs” for their sunbaes.

This… but… with grayish addicting mist, and more “grass” because sunbaes can afford more of it.

vlcsnap-2015-08-24-23h45m21s63They can afford an entire Mary Jane plantation if they wanted too, but, how would the whole highlands fit inside their teensy-weensy Cheongdam-dong condos?

While we’re on the topic, there are two ways to look at this music video — the creative way, and the realistic view of things, because, a sensitive soul and overly sentimental fan like me cannot resist finding metaphors in so many ways than one.

In the beginning of the video, two kids are roaming around a dilapidated property in the middle of the forest, foraging for TV’s. The two are in a suspended animation state which might be telling of their impending enlistment and inactivity for two years, and whatever’s happening to the real person, seems to happen to the kids like a butterfly rests in Changmin’s nose and consequently a butterfly also sits on the kid’s nose. The kids might be the representation of the two.



The obvious explanation for this is that the kids represent the sentimental entities of the two. Though I have a slight peeve with the choice of models here. You see, if I would bring in my creative experience here, take note of the word “creative experience” here, (totally different from being a racist) would it be more fitting if the kids had some resemblance with the two? You know, Asian looking?

Or, in a more practical sense, did SME have a contract with the modelling agency that mostly supplied Caucasian models instead of Asians, you know, from “Something?”

Bc8a_jpCAAA6I07SME: “DAMN IT! Why did I offer this agency a 13-year contract like my artists!”

If these pair are representing the two, then popular culture automatically makes the kid in white with deep eyes holding a teddy bear as Changmin… which we all know…





…far from…




Aside from the obvious explanation that virtual reality characters don’t need actual people food, the tellies might be the years they’ve spent building their own brand and in the more sentimental sense — building their relationship with the fans.

The shanty living might be telling of their “started from the bottom” story, and the tellies are the musical kingdom they have built for more than ten years.

In the middle of the virtual plantation… I mean, forest, a pretty white lady dances, which kinda reminded me of that sexually frustrated red lady in Mirotic. Though this time, she’s not chasing them anymore, but she’s calm and happy, and her movements are more refined, just like what happens after your hormones stop firing randomly… you know… puberty.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h09m13s0Or it’s just the “herbs” working.

After several hours of foraging for tellies (instead of food), the kids decided to burn the tellies. Now this is turning more “Battle Royale” than a Dong Bang hibernation music video! Having those kids pillage for old tech in the forest in hopes of hacking the system.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h10m31s63Lay off the drugs!

But if you didn’t watch “Battle Royale,” and wasn’t going off course here, the burning tower is more of uncertainty in the future.


But still, kids… wandering in the forest… collecting old tech in an old warehouse, burns it to the ground — it all checks out!

The video ends with the kids staring at the ocean — the usual scene in every Dong Bang live performance after finishing it and it’s time to say goodbye.


They are going to serve their duties to the country for two years, and as Changmin puts it, it’s “hubris” to think that everything will be the same even in a short period of time. Maybe some will move on to build a family, move on with their careers, but nonetheless they can be thankful that in those years, they’ve enjoyed the fruits of their labor and had given them dividends. The hibernation in the video might mean that, they are never gone.

But if there are no more “herbs” or invisible onion-chopping ninjas involved, I’d say that the producers thought of this treatment because… after painstakingly thinking of possible symbolism and angle for this video, I’ve come to the conclusion that the use of the color, filters, slow-motion cameras, controlled lighting, and seemingly marijuana plantation hibernation chamber — IT LOOKS HIPSTER AS SHT!!!

Rise as One is just a staple bizarre EDM music videos that is played on MTV during the wee hours.



It’s not that I hate it but it’s so common. There was nothing exciting and surprising about it, unlike their other music videos “Something” and “Suri-Suri.” It felt more like a filler video by SME so that they can make time for the simultaneous release of two singles on time.

Plus, the duo or even Changmin’s presence wasn’t there, and the Caucasian models didn’t do. It’s not that TVXQ should be all over the place in this because of practical reasons but the models didn’t exactly fill the absence of the two.

Another thing is that, in this video, it doesn’t feel like Changmin owns the video or fully highlights his individuality.

Moving on.

Champagne is Yunho’s carrier single from the album. The song is a standard smooth, classy RnB song that you can easily develop an ear worm from. It is the sound that you’ll usually expect from TVXQ.



Unlike Rise As One this song is is easier to listen too, easier to remember and to sing too even if you don’t understand Korean, especially the line: “Girl I only want you tonight.” I’d imagine this song being played everywhere from retail stores, to boutiques in Gangnam to childre… okay, still not in children’s parties.


You know that this music video will be a vomiting different spectrum of the rainbow when you see that the intro is Yunho wearing a… I don’t even know what that shade of green is against a classy Marsala backdrop.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h27m32s39 Regurgitated Mountain Dew, bubblegum, vodka cocktail?

Proving that he is the “dance leader,” the video is riddled with dance breaks. For the fans, it’s a treat of everything Yunho, but for those who can look deeper, it’s a tongue in cheek play of an opulent, fast-riding, partying lifestyle of the rich and famous.

At first, the skit looks like just another comedy special from Ho, or even present different sides of Ho, but for someone who spends some time in clubs, they look like different people in clubs that you have to deal with:

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m05s205The rich d**che who acts like a baby around his trophy girlfriend.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h28m54s94The full of hot air swagger.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m46s107The rock star who usually trashes the place or is the life of the party until somebody calls the cops or…

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h30m09s76…the bouncers kick him out of the premises.

vlcsnap-2015-08-25-00h29m34s245And the “I’m just here for the drinks” guy.

Preparing himself to look fly…


…or actually everybody recognizing him after a closer look.


The only color-coordinated part of the video is the classy night club.



In “The Celebrity’s 85th line,” it’s been told that Yunho really likes to party with his friends and this video is no different from that. As you can notice, most of the dancers and models… even though employed by SME, have been in other TVXQ videos as well. The BTS (not the boy band) clip in the end even strengthens the idea that these people not only his co-workers including the staff but his friends in real life.



The music video was totally entertaining and the scenes just keeps on getting fresh (and sparkly like Champagne. AH! CRAP! I just didn’t say that!) as the video goes on. What I really like about the video is that, even though it’s not unique, you can see that it’s all Yunho and it totally showcases his personality and experience when he’s behind the camera.

You can also sense that the producer got what Yunho wanted in a solo video. A stark contrast to Rise As One’s safe approach.


Both MVs clearly displays what kind of political power each hold. Min has that “MEH” hold in SME and I feel that his personality is more passive, sensitive, and just agrees to whatever other people are saying, while Yunho  is more assertive and he really knows what he wants and knows how to get it. Given the two gentlemen’s different life backgrounds.

It seems that Changmin’s solo aims to be more sentimental and personal for the audience because this is their last chance to entertain such a large fan-base while Champagne aims to pass on a legacy. The presence of an SM Rookies kid there will take you back to Yunho’s “Diamond” days, maybe he’s paying it forward.

HO-ROOKIESCan you imagine this kid going to variety shows saying “I use to dance in Yunho-sunbae’s music video,” and his members regretting his presence?

Their seamless partnership on stage  feels like an entire contrast to their personalities behind the scenes and these singles really reflect that.

Overall, the only disappointment was them not being able to perform this live as a comeback in music shows.

We’ll just wait after two years for that comeback.



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CATCH UP MAX!: MNet Drama MIMI (미미) Review

Thank you for landing on this post (or given this blog’s SEO fail, you have no choice but to land here.) Let me warn you that this is a lengthy post because the concept of brevity is very alien to me and a short post will not suffice explaining myself without sounding like a Dong Bang Shin Ki anti-fan.

Seriously, I’ve even followed them in Taipei to watch their concert and acquired this illegal fancam!



I’ve removed my previous entries regarding this drama because, I’ve read the post over and over again and the more I read it, the more embarrassing flaws and seemingly anti-fan sentiments came up, AND it wasn’t loooong enough to explain everything.

 If you don’t like long posts, then you can read this review instead.

 In this post, I’ll be comparing the original avant-garde movie “M” to its TV counterpart to Littlewood’s Law.


 Are you sure about this?

 Then, read on.

 TV VERSION: In a nutshell

 Minwoo is a 28-year old webtoon author of a famous web series “December 8th,” it was all fine and dandy until a commenter under the username “Fire Warrior” wrote “This is based on real events.”

mimi-01Y U DO DIS?

 Like any overly sensitive creator on the face of the internet, he suddenly suffers writer’s block and harasses his manager to hunt down his troll

mimi-02I don’t remember you, but I will find you, and when I find you, I will kill you.

 Only to find out that his troll just lives across his apartment and it was his a-hole bully classmate in high school.

mimi-03Just like old times.

 Fire Warrior only has to say one thing to make him go on a wild goose chase with his past ghost.


 Hopeful that the chase will answer how in the heck three months of his 18-year old life was gone and get back his mojo.

mimi-04No seriously, HOW? I want to forget it too!

 After several road trips, “cleansing sessions,” suicide attempts, smoke inhalation from lighting several matchsticks, bad hangovers, purgatory-zoning his pretty editor who’s clearly into him, a lunar eclipse, and a breakdown on his friend’s wedding, he finally concludes that the “December 8th” comic was the three months of his life that disappeared ten years ago that keeps on creeping back in his subconscious mind. That, the very reason for his amnesia (and unexplained depression) was Mimi’s ghost striking a deal with the Angel of Death to exchange her life over Minwoo’s in an agreement that he must never remember her to make things easier for him, since — in Minwoo’s world, everyone he makes a connection with, DIES!

mimi-05Why does everyone I talk to DIES!

 Big screen to small screen


 The drama was adapted from the movie “M” starring Kang Dongwon as the original Han Minwoo and Lee Yeonhee as Mimi. It is an experimental avant-garde psychological thriller that leaves a bittersweet taste and is a must-see movie for every visual arts student out there. Director Lee Myungse refrained from using computer graphics but instead focused on using lighting techniques to achieve a dreamlike scenery.


 As an artists myself that thinks of nothing but rainbows and dragon unicorns, the richness of color and representation coupled with deep heart-wrenching quotes landed a spot as one of my memorable movies I’ve watched.


 The drama version has promised to keep it’s experimental charms and avant-garde(ness) but will be changing some of the plot to make it suitable for television. This time, Han Minwoo is played by Shim Changmin and Mimi by upcoming actress Moon Gayoung.

 You can watch the movie “M” here, and the whole set of the drama here. Or, if those links are not working anymore — Google is friend.

 Consistencies and Changes

 If my memory is correct, the original Minwoo was a novelist suffering from writer’s block, while the TV version made him into an online webtoon writer. Movie Mimi is a vibrant 18-year old slow-witted high school student, while TV Mimi is a smart home-schooled sickly 18-year old girl who has psychic abilities.


 The symbolisms and famous lines remained but was diluted to make it more friendly to Cassiopeias or younger audiences — which, if it was the first one, I wouldn’t get it since our average ages range from very late teens to early 30’s. I wouldn’t know if their intention is to recruit younger fans, but at first glance, the adaptation wasn’t really my cup of tea, or if it was, maybe if I was 13?

 The addition of the match box is likely inspired by the fairy tale “The Little Match Girl” wherein the girl lights up a match to see the soul of her deceased grandmother in heaven. On this one, Minwoo lights up a match to see Mimi’s ghost and asks away.

 Umbrella man’s role was turned multifunctional. In the movie, he’s just a novel stalker following Mimi around, while on this one, he plays both the stalker, the Lupin bartender, and… SPOILER ALERT — Angel of Death.

 In terms of screenplay, it is a combination of Ghost Whisperer’s Love Never Dies and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In Love Never Dies, the older sister trades her life in exchange for her brother’s, and Eternal Sunshine’s Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey having messed-up memories as a side effect of a new neurological procedure that deletes painful memories.

What they’ve also changed is the plot of the story, instead of the entire series pondering on Mimi’s death, they’ve also added some generic time travel “save your bae in the past” thing.


In this version, Minwoo can be pro-active with whether Mimi is gone forever, or will she return again?

mimi-15But… I’m too EMO to actually do anything.

 It’s unique point of being a feast in the eyes was kept in both versions. The movie has it’s beautiful visual typography and contrasts that makes the color burn through the screen, while it’s counterpart experimented on how a parallax webtoon works when a user scrolls down and the clean crisp color treatment on the final film. Though, Kang Dongwon’s Minwoo is much more gritty, violent, and disgruntled than Shim’s sappy, suicidal, emo rendition of Minwoo.

mimi-05“When I’m sad, I go cross-country hunting down the ghost of my past because, EMOYOLO!!!”

 Which brings us to the low points of the drama…

 The Bad

 M’s simple, yet bittersweetly heart-wrenching story is a promising material for any adaptation. It’s story gives a lot of room for creative experimentation of visuals and non-linear storytelling. However, the producers’ attempt to maintain it’s avant-garde charms didn’t blend well with their goal to make it digestible for an ordinary TV audience. The first two episodes abused too much foreshadowing causing too many threads to follow. If the aim was to simulate a man’s really messed-up memory, well, it really messed up the story thread. Some of the clues to Minwoo’s memory were either too much giveaway or was introduced all at the same time without giving much needed processing time for the audience.

 Second is the editing, there are some scenes that could have been better if some of them were clipped or was added on later episodes. Making the actor’s performance suffer or look like they are working too little or too much.

 It seems like the drama was made for young Cassiopeia fan-service, or… in my case… a fulfillment of my fantasy of seeing Shim as a comic artist.

tumblr_n3ts39ugru1so42meo1_500MY KIND OF FAN-SERVICE

 Third, Mimi’s character was turned into an stereotypical Korean tragic love story, which in my opinion, they should have kept her healthy. It might bear more weight since Minwoo’s character who is already a lethargic emo kid. It will have more impact if Mimi was bouncing off walls smiling like Joker without holding her chest than both of them having a scenic pity party on each other’s loss. Besides, the young lady will die from a car crash, not from heart failure.

tumblr_nem2b437VQ1qd6es4o1_500Why so serious? — BEST. PICK-UP. LINE. TO A GUY. EVER.

Fourth, it seems that this is like a big SM Town billboard, only promoting their ballads and their newest rookie singer Wendy of Red Velvet. The soundtrack is nice and all, but it didn’t have the same haunting effect as BoA’s “Mist” which was used on the original.

 I am aware that both soundtracks (the one that Shim performs on a guitar that can be heard all over the drama) were remakes, but something tells me that one of the producers was from Reply 1994.

 The flashback montages are big music videos which has nothing to do with the story, but it still occupied the majority of the drama, leaving me as confused as Minwoo.

 mimi-crossdissolveDoes the forever cross-dissolve and panning a part of the story? I’m confused.

 You see, even though I laud SME for developing memorable groups, I agree with Heechul’s remark of SME is bad with dramas.


 Which also makes me think that part of the reason the three left the company is because of sh*tty drama projects!

roof-park-yoochun-true-actor“If I didn’t leave SME, I wouldn’t be able to turn into a Choseon Prince that you all love!”

 Shim is perfect for the role, his statuesque physique coupled with his school boy looks that can turn dark in any moment is a manhwa fan’s dream. However, it wasn’t the acting — it was poor directing.


 If I were to compare his role as Momo to this, he has potential to play such disturbing characters, but the director wasn’t able to realize this potential.

tumblr_mkkzgzCMeh1qzyjtyo2_250In the hands of a good director, Momoko is an Osaka seductress.



Not against Shim here or any of the actors and actresses but the writing was so poor and the revelations were hurriedly incorporated to fit four episodes. Minwoo’s character doesn’t have anything to redeem himself to prove that he’s more than just a sappy emo troubled guy, and what disturbs me the most is in reality, a person who exhibits Han Minwoo’s behavior is likely suffering from mental illness, I don’t know how serious given I only have four years of Fine Arts education but this may look severe! There was nothing the actors can do to save this poorly written fan-service drama even if they try.

Watch this drama if you are a really, really, undying fan of Changmin that you love the guy so much you’d be willing to jump off a tall building in a jiffy if he tells you to.


Like me!

The Good

 Honestly, the first two episodes were so confusing, even several bottles of beer and coke rum didn’t help my brain to appreciate it.

mimi-beerThe struggle is real!

 But, I won’t be writing this entry if I didn’t give it another chance.

mimi-05“Thank you noona!”

 I mean… this is part of my love-hate relationship with Shim.

mimi-05“Wait, whut?!”

 Aside from the pilot’s web-toon treatment, the good thing about the drama is it’s richness in sappy emo quotes. The kind of stuff that you see on internet memes.

mimi-08Not… exactly.

 As I mentioned before, if the soundtrack was judged as an SME album, then it sounds pretty nice.

 Changing also the plot twist gives a different spin from the movie. I wouldn’t mention which, ‘cos that will take out the fun from the original.

 Lastly is their depiction of a visual artist at work. It took the liberty of showing what it’s really like to be a present day artist:

 Glossing over Wacoms.


 Spending relatively sleepless nights and foregoing personal hygiene.


Replacing food, water, and medicine with coffee.

mimi-10Worse? Sloshing down one year expired concentrated pressed coffee!

Being harassed by editors when deadlines are looming!


 I mean, I could look at that Creative Suite on that Cintiq with a touch-free glove for days. Ahhh~


 I kinda felt sad that I’d always tell people I originally dream to be a comic artist while I was in college. I trained for about two years just to get it right, but several years of hand dormancy has significantly diminished what I’ve learned before. It wasn’t because of lack of opportunity in my country, but because I couldn’t find the time and courage to do so.

 Why? Here is when I somehow realize that I am looking at a part of me on the screen.

 It gets creepy… real creepy.

 First Love

 During Mimi’s press conference, Shim says that “it will remind you of your first love.” I’ve seen that theme in almost every Korean mainstream material there is, which, if you ask me…

fx+rum+pum+pum+teaser_2I don’t…


shinhwa-firstlove… their fixation…

 Reply-1997-Poster-2… over their first…

… love at all!

 What could possibly be so nerve-rackingly different about this?

 Seriously, I don’t get it at all. Call me bitter but, I’ve never seen (or at least within my circle) whose fixated over the guy / girl they’ve dated during their teens. Hormone-fueled decisions should be forgotten for LIFE!!!

I’m waiting for you to regret this decision three years from now.
 And seriously, it’s like 2005 all over again.

BOMIThat time when Shim first discovered tragic love story drama.

 I mean… what could you possibly want to remember when you were…

 18 years old… WAIT!mimi-16

 Raining… WAIT!mimi-17What he said!

 Car accident, and it was raining… WAIT!mimi-caraccident

 Something that happened during the 8th… WAIT!mimi-25

 A calendar… WAIT!mimi-18

 And a fine arts school… HORY SHET!!!mimi-19

 My hands started to get clammy, my heart begins to sink, and my lips suddenly craved for more alcohol. I started to suspect that SM Entertainment has planted a bug on me since 2005. Why in the world would my ultimate bias do that? WHY?! JUST, WHY?!?!?!!!

 Let’s just say, while I was in fine arts, getting all obsessed with becoming a comic artist, I was 18, I met this really tall guy who’s kinda emotionally troubled, and during the 8th of September, got into a car accident, made a legendary calendar and comic book, and was in it for another two and a half years.

CM-kabayohissingAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! *throws beer bottle*

 I wish I was lying about this. But the good thing is… NOBODY DIED — TWICE!

mimi-20Yep! ‘Cos that will haunt me forever.

 I mean, I’m not gonna deny nor confirm the accuracy of this drama of my 18 year-old self.

mimi-24You know, there was this room at the 5th floor of the fine arts building wherein we stack all our paintings and… AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! SHIM, STAHP, DIVULGING, MORE DETAILS!!! YOU’RE CREEPING NOONA OUT!!!

 In Watase Yuu’s Tohoshinki fan account, she shared that one of the reasons why most of her colleagues were Changmin-biased is because if they were reborn as male, they wanted to be him. In my case, part of the reason was every time I was doing generic flower boy guys and it kinda looked like Shim. It’s like seeing my imagination come to life. I didn’t give it much thought back then and totally forgot about it.

 In 2005 (06) – the year I started training to draw comics, we saw the Samsung Yepp CF set playing at the college auditorium, and it seems that the guy I was dating then remarked it’s good to see a spunky girl that can keep up with the other guys — only to find out years later that the spunky girl, was indeed — a spunky guy!

TVXQ-hero-jae-joong-6727532-800-1200With nice racks!

 I wouldn’t say much about the eerie coincidences because that will make me sound like a crazy fan, but there is this thing that we call Littlewood’s Law which is a concept that if you think an event is so extraordinary, there is a big chance of it happening in an average of every 35 days.

 For example… I’d never think that Shim will go running around as a centaur to greet the year of the horse…


 …until I retreated back on my computer chair and say “I stand corrected.”

 And after that, I’d never thought Shim would dress up as a girl again until…


 I… stand corrected.

 Coincidences, according to Michael of VSauce is our mechanism to find a sense of connection. The eerie coincidences just keep on flowing until I had it, paused the video to go to the bathroom walking like an angry zombie, returned to my chair and plays at this, exact, moment.


 Even though it was creepily similar, the good thing is… I’m not Minwoo or Mimi after ten years.

 “They are first, because it is imperfect”

 I am quoting the original movie here because this is my more accurate opinion about the topic. Even if the drama was basically a role play of what happened to me ten years ago including the ghosts and psychic dreams. I’d completely forgot about it years ago. My Minwoo already have his Eunhye, while I just have gone Mimi’s path to freedom.

 Although I am not wishing to meet the person again, the last part of the drama did really hit the spot. When you were foolish, the only thing you wanted to say is sorry and make sure numerous times that they are doing okay. The damage was done and there’s nothing you can do about it even if the universe gave you the chance to go back in time.

 Maybe I was so creeped-out that my eyes started to well-up during the last bar scene.


 But you know what, this is one accurate depiction of what the first is, it’s imperfect, you’re kinda hormonal about it, so you mess up really bad, but that’s okay, it’s meant to be like that. Because, it paves a way to the next one.


 As for me, well… I don’t want to follow Minwoo who wants to find happiness in being with another person.



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I HOARD FOOD: Star Wars Japan Pocky


In a KPop Convention far, far, away.

A snack that comes once in a lifetime has landed.

Baffled, the gatherer acquired the treasure…

…and the cut-out young Skywalker has fallen from grace.

starwarspocky07“I mean this standee.”

Yes, the standee keeps on falling as if it’s throwing a tantrum. A CassPH admin tries to keep him on his feet, but the mere sight of his two loves being out of his hands has proven too much to bear.

starwarspocky07“I wish I was kidding, but it’s true. In the end, we just have to leave him behind.”

In 2013, Lucasfilms and Glico teamed-up to create this limited edition snack. It is available in two variants, the one that has Darth Vader’s box and the one with Luke Skywalker’s ‘dreamy’ photo.

starwarspocky02“Those eyes.”

Inside are six giant Pocky lightsabers coming in three flavors. If the internet is to be believed, each flavor correspond to a character: green tea as Yoda, grape as Luke Skywalker, and strawberry as Darth Vader. But if I were to thrown in my own theories, I’d say it’s the color of the prominent lightsabers in the series.




Each giant Pocky is individually wrapped, but given that these lightsabers came from a peninsula far, far, away, some of them are quite melted or worse… broken.

The only piece that’s intact was this green tea and one strawberry stick.


Intergalactic taste?

Not exactly. If these sticks were judged according to their taste, well you’ll be disappointed. These are just ordinary flavored Pocky sticks. The grape one even tastes bizarre. And this is me talking — a person who has an acquired taste of bizarre stuff.

What you’ll mostly go for is the novelty of this item which can be considered as a merchandise. Though I’m not sure what is counted as an official merchandise.


Each packet has a lightsaber design on it. And given that the snack has an uncoated tip, that serves as the handle of the lightsaber.

Giant Pocky pieces are approximately 10 to 12 inches. Which is nice for sharing… and that I did.

I am not a full-fledged Star Wars fans so I gave the rest to my geek colleagues. Including the box. As one of my colleague puts it, “these are the lightsabers that you can actually eat.”

starwarspocky-CM“Though, Darth Shim can’t have any… for now.”

 In case you’re wondering, I got these from the Panda Love Shop. They have more Japanese snacks available in their Facebook page. Although, not sure if they cater outside the Philippines. Here’s my post on Shim in their page.


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FANCAM: CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014


CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014 was so good that it will make you guilty to post on SNS everything great about it.

For starters, this was the crowd inside the Araneta Coliseum.


But before you go into conclusions why this happened, let me explain to you what happened on that fateful day.

September 19 was supposed to be CNBlue’s 2nd concert in the country, however tropical storm Mario drenched almost all of Luzon including Metro Manila and it’s surrounding provinces. CNBlue Can’t Stop Manila 2014 was announced a few months prior, and the BOICES were ready for their arrival. The Philippines is not as sunshine-y as you think. The country is plagued by relentless rains for almost 8 months every year and what the postcards always depict is the perfect blue skies of summer… which, can make you skin boil both literally and figuratively.

Hours before CNBlue, fans affected by floods are petitioning the promoter to cancel the show since most of the events that were set that day was postponed for tomorrow. In spite of all the crying fans on facebook, the promoter and FNC went on to the show. There have been so many complaints from the fans who didn’t make it, but for someone who doesn’t know or too young to understand how these all works, the promoter’s decision to went on the show was the best decision that day. It is not all about money, but businesses also operate on good decision making that will benefit at least the majority of the players, and when we say major players, it’s CNBlue and FNC.

The biggest factor of all why foreign acts are difficult to cancel or postpone compared to local acts because of their international schedule. As you’ve known by now, KPop labels jam-pack their idols’ schedule to the max. If the concert gets cancelled or postponed to Saturday, then Yonghwa’s Japan fan-meeting would be affected and the whole chain will follow suit. That could also lead to more dramatic repercussions like delayed comebacks, delayed filming and more.

However, when the storm clouds clear, a glimmer of sunshine follows.

The promoter announced that they’ll come-up with a compromise to those fans who didn’t make it. Staying true to their model that fans will get more than what they paid for. And believe me, no other promoter does this move, ever!


Moving on…

Forgive my eventual chants about Jonghyun being a member of Gyuline and how Changmin has such great taste on men.

tumblr_mbkzhfdRHc1r9t2vxo7_250“Such good taste on men.”

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From the fancams, even though the crowd was small, their gratitude floods the dome. In the end, Yonghwa promises Manila that they’ll be back, and hopefully the weather will be better.


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I HOARD FOOD: Kitkat Japan Western Assortments


Every year, our company sends two representatives to Sakai, Japan to write about the place. Two years ago, it was me and one senior reporter. I just remembered to post about the other KitKat assortment from Western Japan since my colleagues will be going there (and probably would harass them to buy me my sweet fix.)

These set however didn’t time travel from 2012, they were bought last year at the KPop Convention. I’ve consumed these bars last April to May because the whole thing will expire in July 2014.

Given Manila’s extreme heat and humidity during those months, I’ve decided to preserve them – Captain America style!

Capsicle-Avengers01“Still tastes like 2013!” (disney.wikia.com)

Although this is just based from experience (and being CAPTAIN OBVIOUS.) The Western Kitkats are flavors that are mostly available in Western Japan like Kansai, Osaka, etc. WOW!!! WHAT A SHOCKER!!! THE WHOLE WORLD WOULDN’T HAVE THOUGHT OF THAT!

Capsicle-Avengers01“Go back in the freezer Captain obvious!” (disney.wikia.com)

The box is similar with the Eastern Assorts.

western kitkats box03

Under the lid is the map of Western Japan… I assume.

western kitkats box02

western kitkats box01“Oh yeah! Look at the colors!”

The flavors are as follows:


Purple Sweet Potato

western kitkats purple sweet potato 01

Although websites says this is Purple Sweet Potato, in true Asian fashion… it’s just purple yams.

Yams are widely planted in most Asian countries that most locals will say that this is one of their favorite native desserts. I even grew up grinding some yams for yam jams. Hehe~ Yam jams!

western kitkats purple sweet potato 02

The Purple yam tastes very home-y, very local, and very familiar. If the Philippines would introduce a special KitKat blend, then Purple yams will surely sell like halo-halo!

Citrus Golden Blend

western kitkats citrus golden blend 01

Based on the photo, the citrus golden blend is a combination of orange, lime, and lemon. Honestly, I am not that excited with this flavor since cream and chocolate don’t yield spectacular results. Although in right conditions, they might work.

western kitkats citrus golden blend 02

I don’t know if I’ve shared the same childhood of putting powdered orange juice on everything… when I say everything, it’s EVERYTHING. I use to combine coffee and orange juice powder, and pretty much learned my lesson from then on.

This bar taste like OJ powder sprinkled on milk bars. As strange as it seems, it barely passes my acquired taste of everything weird tasting. Still delicious, but not very spectacular. Although, sniffing the strong citrus smell will help improve the experience. So sniff your KitKats before chomping on them!


“Most certainly not the best way to do it!” (kick-addiction.com)


western kitkats cinnamon

I’ll always say that these are Churros flavor because of it’s cinnamon-churros taste, h0wever websites label this bar as Cinnamon Flavor only.

western kitkats cinnamon 01

Like OJ powder, I love everything cinnamon! The KitKat version is one of my favorite. It doesn’t have the strong smell like the Citrus Blend but the creamy coating has some frosted cinnamon bits on it.

Macha Green Tea

western kitkats green macha

For someone who is addicted to Korean and Japanese snacks, impressing us with a KitKat Macha Green Tea is not the perfect to the phrase “SURPRISE ME!” Green tea is your staple Japan KitKat flavor and still is a yummy treat.

Amaou Strawberry

western kitkats strwberry 01

Ahh~ Yes! The sweet, sweet smell of ichigo.

Once had a taste in the city of Sakai, Osaka.

The powdered sugar embracing the ichigo of Fukuoka…

…has left an aroma on it’s shell.

western kitkats strawberry 02

Why do fruity KitKats have strong scents? The Shinshu Apple flavor smells like car fresheners, and this! Luckily I love the scent of strawberries. The taste was just common strawberry, but the smell… yes, the essence of ichigo is very strong!


“Using the strawberry wrapper? Why not?” (kick-addiction.com)

When I was walking the streets of Sakai, I stopped by Lawson’s and ate this gem. Several minutes and trash cans have passed… I was really hesitant to throw the wrapper because of the strawberry scent. So… there you have it… STRAWBERRY KITKATS = INSTANT STRAWBERRY HIGH!

“Just remember not to sniff too much.”


Hochija Tea

western kitkats hochija

While my colleague whose going to Sakai is asking me what’s my favorite KitKat flavor, I said Hochija. Given my thick Tagalog accent, I’m not sure if she caught the word.

For starters, Hojicha is a unique kind of green tea because it is roasted over charcoal rather than being steamed. The real Hojicha tea has a strong flavor because of how it was prepared.

western kitkats hochija 01

The candy bar is not too sweet, and still retains that Hochija rich deep taste. A tea-loving person would go for the rich taste, rather than the usual aesthetics of sweetness. This is why the Hochija bar is my favorite.

I love these bars so much that I’ve decided to take a photo of it with my favorite pillow in the world.

western kitkats WTF“DON’T. JUDGE. ME.”


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FANCAMS: Road trip in Manila with B1A4



B1A4’s Road Trip to Manila 2014 was proven to be one heck of a fun ride! To capture every moment, I’ve used my phone camera (except on the intro), but actually this also served as my first trial of what the advertised 41MP Nokia Lumia phone can do.

Unlike my previous TVXQ fancam before, I’ve learned my lesson. Although, please forgive my shakyness. That’s just my hand.

One more thing, you can download and re-upload the fancams on your own channel. I didn’t used Youtube on these babies ‘cos… they always prompt me that the video contains copyrighted music. O_O~

Just don’t forget to link back to this page for attribution.

I don’t know all B1A4 songs except for the famous ones like Baby Goodnight and Solo Day. Maybe hardcore BANAs can name the songs in the comments section?

Part 1: (shot with Canon 600D and compressed according to Dailymotion’s limit)

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During “Chu, Chu, Chu” a random fan was called through a manager’s mobile phone by Sandeul to come up to the stage. Judging ate’s behavior, she was very behaved as a fan even though the boys are offering her to hug them or to “kiss” them. However, if that was Shim Changmin, I would probably latch on that lad’s leg while chanting ‘suri suri masuri susuri saba’ for more than an hour, or until Yunho, Beat Burger dancers, managers, and the rest of the staff would rent the “jaws of life” and collectively tug me away from THE Shim!

Part 9:

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This is the part where everything gets messed-up. You see, I’ve scattered my links through Vimeo and Dailymotion and completely forgot where I placed them at the first place. In part 12 and 13, B1A4 is wearing white suits, which must be one of the first or second sets of the concert.

Part 12:

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When idol groups come visit the Philippines, usually what they’ll play are canned mp3’s of their songs. As if the promoters invited them in short notice. Rarely would these group would make the effort and bring their own band. So far, the idol groups that I’ve seen dancing in the tune of their own band is BIGBANG, Infinite, and this – B1A4! Not only did B1A4’s songs sounded nicer in live but it introduced a different flavor in their music besides bubblegum.

Now that I think of it, B1A4 materials are plastered in the billboards of Bangkok and Tower Records of Osaka, but I’ve never seen a tint of appreciation for the band elsewhere even in their motherland. With so many talented idol groups debuting in Korea almost every week, it is a shame that many talented idol groups are still under-appreciated or underrated even though they’ve been in the industry for quite some time now.


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First Quiz Night at CALI Burger Timog


I’ve been a fan of quiz shows since forever.

CM-GOV04“The most feels I had since I started ogling over this dude!”

Even during my student days, I would join quiz bees, because I feel like it! Unfortunately, due to my stage fright, I never won one.  During the 90’s, a local show called “Battle of the Brains” was part of my childhood afternoon — if I remembered it correctly.

 When most children dream to be singers and actors, I dream to be able to join such contest… because, yeah! I was nerdy like that.

bully425“The other kids made sure to complete my experience.” (dailymash.co.uk)

However, when I was old enough to join, the show was cancelled and my interest waned with it.

G018tFt“My attention was diverted into other things, clearly depicted by everything in this picture!”

It was when I stepped into the workforce that quizzes appealed to me again.

CM-GOV04“And the fandom just stroked the fire further.”

Although I don’t have the same knack for studying as I was when I was a student, or a Walking Wikipedia of sorts, I still like these activities, but winning is just another thing.

When Cali Burger Timog started it’s first Quiz Night, for the sake of curiosity, I joined my officemates for my first quiz night. Our team was called “One-Liners,” only two were experts on these and the rest of us are newbies.


My first impression was — would the questions be highly academic? It turns out that the questions were general knowledge and pop culture. Ranging from old Manila street names to Robin Williams’ works.

 WP_20140820_21_49_34_Pro“And they threw some Korea-related stuff. Hehehe~”

However, I’ve learned that if you really want to win these quiz bonanzas, gather players that have at least more than three topics that they are really good at. In my case, I am very knowledgeable with Korean stuff and Adventure Time.

Tumblr-adventure-time-hd-wallpaper“Even fan theories, OH BOY!!!”

Just like the movie Slumdog Millionaire, if the questions are right, the night is yours.

My takeaway on this experience is that I like learning new things than answering questions. I wasn’t much help on most stuff, but hey! At least I knew who’s that lizard from the movie “Tangled.”

pascal_1900x1200“Pascal — NO! I haven’t seen the movie.”

We didn’t do that bad either.



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