I HATE SUMMER!

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IT’S SUMMER!!!

For most earthlings, summer is the season of vacation, fun-fun-fun in the beach, overly-saturated colors and everything attached to it.

ocean-booobs“Everything.”

Alas! I live in a tropical country where summer is just a marketing term and almost 365 days of the year is just heat, even in the monsoon. The tropics only have Dry Season as opposed to temperate countries which really has four seasons to enjoy. During March to May, temperatures here can climb up to 40 degrees Celsius. If winter claim victims through hypothermia, the frying heat claim lives through heat stroke and dehydration. That’s why the usual 2-liters a day rule can turn into 3 liters depending on your activity or if you go out often.

Too much heat drains my soul dry and let me cite the reasons:

1. The extreme heat drains my energy

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Normally I would drink approximately 2 liters a day, but even if I don’t do much that day, my water consumption reaches to 3 liters. It’s like an equivalent of how much water I take when I do heavy training. If I were to do anything significant, I should prepare myself for several crashes, much like how finishing this entry is such a struggle doing this in a 33-degree Celsius room. If most people can’t get up because of the cold, I however can’t pick up myself out of bed… even if the mattress is frying my skin.

2. My skin is at its worst!

skin(sxc.hu)

Just when the earlier cool of February blesses my skin with flawlessness, in the coming weeks my pores will be curse with rashes-like whiteheads and excruciatingly painful acne! Oh god! Just, kill me now… and wake me up when September ends. No, seriously, it starts to cool down after September.

3. Summer is my sick season

pills(sxc.hu)

Unlike winter countries, when the outside temperature resembles an ice cream storage  fridge, getting inside offers comfort and eventually melts all your frozen bits. But unlike in the tropics, air-conditioners needed freons and they work overtime to cool down the whole building as opposed to fireplaces or ondols in South Korea. Resulting in an unnatural or temperature shock the body experiences once inside the building. Plus the sweat acts as a conductor, thus exacerbating cold. Then the cycle continues once you step out of the structure. The result is a bad flu that happens even if it’s not flu season.

4. It makes commuting more difficult

Manila-Traffic(liveinthephilippines.com)

Filipinos get a bad reputation or a stereotype that we bathe too much. There are some historical theories that can be tied to it, but for the sake of our fellow countrymen, we do shower! If food easily turns rancid within a few hours of not refrigerating it, imagine people sweating profusely in intense heat! Our genetics in general do not resemble those in East Asia, so bathing and deodorizing is a necessity. Unlike in more developed or systematic countries, in order for you to get a ride on a bus or a jeepney is by tagging them in any place of the road. But the problem starts when it’s rush hour, when everybody is fighting for a ride. Miss the last jeepney then you have to wait again under the sun. Plus, civil engineers don’t really design good infrastructures for pedestrians, turning a simple 20 second-cross to the other side into a minute of uphill despair and existential soliloquy.

manilaoverpass“Why am I here?”

5. National Problems

Aside from my personal problems, dry season lowers the water level in major dams and irrigation stations. When we get that, water disruptions and lower production of crops ensues. Not to mention the deaths from dehydration and heat stroke. So organizing some sort of summer olympics here would just result to a Death March like scenario.

6. The heat causes fluctuation of my mood

depresseddoge

I don’t know if it is the same with Christmas depression or IT’S JUST THE F*CKIN’ HEAT REDUCING MY HORMONES INTO SWEAT! But I have several theories. Maybe a mixture of everything I hate about the season?

So, in my world… SUMMER IS THE BEST SEASON TO STAY INDOORS!

No matter how many summer singles by Tohoshinki encouraging everyone to get out there and have some fun.


Sorry guys.

And if somebody tells me to go to the beach, the answer is NO. Even if the Philippines has a lot of beautiful beaches, I am not the sort of person who enjoys that kind of thing. Besides, I can’t swim.

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MY BESTFRIEND IS A FANGIRL Ep.14 – Fangirl Photography Association

Sa ika-labing apat na kabanata ng My Bestfriend Is a Fangirl, tuklasin natin ang kahalagahan ng Photography sa mundo ng KPop. *wink, wink*

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DISCLAIMER: The events on this comic is 99% Fiction, 1% Reality and 200% Exaggeration! But yes, I have to admit, some sasaeng photos or fan photos are better than those of the professional photographer’s. And from experience, they often have better lens or camera unit than the real photographers. T_T

Here are some examples:

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Photo credits are in the watermark.

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I HOARD JK FOOD: Eastern Japan KitKat Assortments

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Last year, I was able to control myself from buying any KPop albums in this very tempting, eardrum-busting event called KPop Convention.

IMG_1360“Not even that seemingly following eyes of Changmin will tempt me to buy his merchandise!”

But when I walked into this certain Japanese snacks stall, a part of my paycheck disappeared and I suddenly have boxes of rare Japanese KitKats and Giant Pocky in my bag without me knowing it.

magicmeme“GONE! Like magic!”

Buying Japanese or any kind of foreign snacks outside that country almost doubles the price of the original. When I was in Sakai Japan, a normal 12’s pack of Matcha KitKat costs around 180 to 200 Philippine pesos ($4 to $5) but when sold here, it climbs up to 250 to 350 Philippine Pesos ($5.5 to $6). And that’s just the standard Japanese Kitkat Matcha! The more rare the flavor is, the more expensive it is… so imagine the moolah I lost in this single box!

IMG_6062“Life is like a box of Chocolates — drains the f*ck out of you!”

I got this from the KPop Convention in a staggering price of P580 ($12.9)!!!

For those who earn US dollars, $12 is a big deal here in the Philippines. It can already buy a month’s supply of shampoo and conditioner! Or eat a meal for one in a fancy restaurant!

AND YES… there’s that “I’m an incredibly cheap person!”

“I empathize with this cartoon character every time he loses a dime!”

All I could recognize from the box is the Kanji for the word “East” which is a very common Kanji / Chinese character used in the country.

tohoshinki“I cannot read kanji, but when I do, it is either a name of a South Korean boyband which characters are usually seen in the word ‘Tokyo’, shrines, and road signs.” 

There’s information at the back of the box that points to where some of the flavors came from, but unfortunately, I can’t read them. I can assume that it also includes the Western Japan Assortments too.

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The flavors inside the box are as follows:

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Since I can’t read Japanese, I asked Google for some answers.

1. Nagoya Red Bean Sandwich

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 I made Bungeoppang (taiyaki in Japan) before so I have an idea what this may taste like — RED BEANS.

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The smell of red bean greets you upon tearing up the aluminum foil. You can definitely taste red beans  in this chocolate! Yes, I know it’s a bit strange, but somehow they made it work.

2. Shinshu Apple

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Upon tasting the Red Bean KitKat, I am expecting a lot from the Apple flavor. Because usually, watery fruits doesn’t usually mix with chocolate. I am curious how our Japanese dessert artisans would turn this around.

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The thing with Japanese Kitkats is that they somehow knew how the sense of taste works. It is not solely our tongues  distinguishes flavor but also our noses. The apple scent is very strong, almost like your standard apple air freshener, but when you take a bite, it is dominantly chocolate. The apple flavor mostly comes from the smell.

3. Wasabi

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So… Shizuoka is in Eastern Japan?

I already tried a whole box of KitKat Wasabi’s and wrote an entry about it here.

4. Yawataya Togashi (chili)

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So? How will a Spicy KitKat fare with the common spicy chocolate? Will it leave me disappointed like the Wasabi flavor?

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At first, it tastes like ordinary chocolate, but as Choi Siwon said, the spice comes after. The spiciness arrives like how the hit from vodka does, leaving a weird spicy aftertaste in your mouth.

5. Yokohoma Strawberry Cheesecake

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Strawberry cheesecake is one of the sought after desserts in whatever method it is prepared. The company already produced an another cheesecake variety in Blueberry flavor.

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If you are a fan of cheesecakes then you won’t be disappointed by this Kitkat form. Like the Blueberry variant, it really does leave a cheesecake sensation. Of course, sans the texture of cream cheese.

6. Edamame (Zunda)

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There’s been cheers about the Zunda flavor on Rocket News 24 and it even says that the Zunda flavor will leave you wanting for more. That’s why I placed this at the end of this post.

IMG_5902“I got too excited, so I didn’t wait for it to warm up a little.”

I never knew what Edamame tastes like because we don’t grow it here. Before I knew this was a certain green bean, I first thought that it resembles more like the local flavor additive “pandan”, but it is impossible to assume it is pandan because the grass thrives only in tropical climate like the Philippines, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.

Although, a tip from the website greatly helped my connoisseur experience with this Japanese snack. Pair it with coffee and it enhances the flavor.

Most of the bars, when I tried it, was not paired with coffee, what happens is that the initial taste of milk chocolate or ice cream comes first, but give it a few minutes, that weird aftertaste lingers in your mouth.

After I have compiled this post, I tried the Orange Kitkat from the Western Japanese Assortments, paired it with black coffee, and the flavor was not just an aftertaste, but it merged with the chocolate and enhanced the flavor, not just through smell. You can really taste whatever the packet is saying.

“Coffee is friend!” (sxc.hu)

But my review for the Western Assortments is reserved for another post.

Judging from the map behind the flap and the little knowledge about it, Nestle Japan produces these variants to entice young Japanese in buying these and to add a touch of uniqueness since they are marketed as gifts and souvenirs. Every area has their own unique Kitkat, whether a specialty of that region or to simply have young travelers something different to take home with them.

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I really do enjoy unique snacks, and when I get distracted or had that itch for impulse buying, I don’t go for the typical girly craving for clothes, but with these. I buy a box or a pack whenever I see them, but given how expensive each one of these are, I am suddenly paralyzed and become emotionally attached to it that I can’t eat them all by myself. Believe it or not, I only eat just a piece of each flavor or a half bar only, and the rest, I share it to others. So they could try it too, especially when the addiction and love for Kitkats run deep in our genes.

And it’s not good for my health or waistline either.

Now some of my friends would ask why they can’t have any? AGAIN… the KitKat addiction is in our genes, before it goes outside our house, it has probably been consumed by my siblings!

Oh, and… my personal favorite of all six is the Red Bean Sandwich. That’s the one I’ll be craving… for a very long time!

IMG_3151“Maybe because… Asian?”

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THROWBACK: Taking the judge’s seat at KNation 2013

It started with a special invitation from the founder / organizer of Jjang Events (KPop Culture and Fest) Mr. JP dela Cruz — would I like to take part as a judge for the Dance Cover? I may not be a dancer myself, but I can totally say that I am a veteran of these events, having attended and joined numerous KPop events and contest in the past five years of fandom.

I even joined the first KFest Cosplay event back in 2010.

ojbh-attempt“Shout out to my Yunho bias friend over there!”

Sorry for the inaccuracy but… this is apparently my measly attempt in feminizing Changmin’s O Jung Ban Hap costume, but only ended up looking like a bar waitress. O_O~

3RD-ALBUM-O-MAX4“Forgive my insolence, Oh Lord Voldemin!” *grovels*

My original intention was to do a write-up about Xander’s arrival here in the Philipines, but from simply being an observer, I was upgraded to being part of the show, with a possibility of crushing some of my fellow KPopers’ heart. Take it from me, I never won a KNation or a KPop Cosplay contest in my life and some KPop fans (especially the younger ones), the feeling of defeat did not sit well with them.

I wasn’t able to take much photos of cover groups and cosplayers because I was busy from thinking what I could submit my editors the next day and writing down the scores of cover groups, but I did capture some adorable and amazing moments that are too hard to pass up.

Like how this Crayon Pop’s cover group member looked like a character from an anime in that pose.

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The extra effort this BIGBANG cosplayer group did on their costumes and ooooh~ props! Nicely done!

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One of the several EXO cosplayers… seriously, so~ooo many EXOs.

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Amongst all the EXOs, a random Jaejoong cosplayer appears!

IMG_0185“PFFT! Cassiopeias and their eagle eyes!”

And a surprise from “Hello Venus” cosplayers.

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This event has also brought out some characteristics that cannot be seen easily from all the screaming and loudspeakers, like:

How a K-Idol contestant was inspired by EXO’s Sehun to keep going on in his life.

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How a KPop event defined how strong their bromance friendship really is.

IMG_0423“Pare, I’m shy!”

IMG_0453“I assure you, these dudes are 100% TNL (real men)! They’ve done what no man, or boy would ever dare to do — eat Pepero, Couple Style with your bro.”

How a young fangirl can’t contain her feels! Even if she was only imagining a scenario of dating Xander Eusebio.

IMG_0491“POWERFUL IMAGINATION! Give it a few more years and you’ll be like me! A CRAY-CRAY DELULU~ NOONA! Bwaaaahahahahahahaaa!!!”

I have seen U-KISS perform before, but I wasn’t assigned to cover these events when they came here. I could only recognize Xander from U-KISS because in Twitter he is one of the most active and lovable of KPop celebs. Philippines is one of his most mentioned countries in his tweets, and when the strongest Super Typhoon of 2013 Haiyan (Yolanda) struck parts of Visayas, his second arrival of the year had a purpose of helping out our Kababayans, not just perform in front of his fans.

IMG_0599“D~Awwww…♥”

But to someone, Xander means a whole lot more. What is supposedly a day for KPop fun took a more serious tone.

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I did chose this shot of her with her hair covering her face, because I don’t like having someone’s face plastered all over the internet with this following story. Yes, I do get sarcastic and creepy most of the time but I don’t want someone or a future employer of her searching Google and find out her young past self with this story… or worse, could be a subject for online bullying.

The contest “KPop Star and I” promises a chance to be up close and personal with Xander. But one contestant confessed that before he got into this fandom, she was so depressed and attempted to kill herself at some point but failed. Even if the contestant didn’t win the contest, I think the simple gesture of Xander putting his shoulders on her is a lingering reminder that her idol told her to keep moving on no matter how tough life is, and if no mortal could give a shoulder for her to cry on, the Holy Immortal one will.

Now, if there’s a chance that she’s reading this, take cray-cray noona’s word on this, our brains were never developed emotionally and logically until we are 21 years old. Due to hormonal changes, we do crazy things when we are that age. In my case, wisdom came first, but maturity came last. There is no guarantee that things will be better in the future, but if you were hurt by someone, try to think why they are doing this to you and you’ll see that they got it worse than you. In case of sadness, I am glad that you found this hobby as an inspiration, as someone who suffered depression as a kid to my late teens, I know how it feels to have a black dog walking around beside you all the time, I assure you, once the hormones pass, try to find what true optimism is and you’ll never go down that road again. Also, if your friends are giving you trouble, or an obnoxious boyfriend — i-dispatsa mo na sila day! Hindi sila worth it! ‘Di bale nang walang mga kaibigan kaysa maraming kaibigang pabigat! Losing people is a part of the growing up process. If it’s family, you are your own person, you can change to be different from the tree, kasi pag-sinisi mo ang lahat ng BS na nangyayari sa buhay mo, sa iyo rin babalik iyan! Kung pera, hindi kita matutulungan diyan. If this was something else, I don’t have anything to add, uhm… eat healthy? More Sun? More KPop?

Whew! That was heavy! Here! Look at this adorable photo of Xander!

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For the lucky winner, she receives an autographed book. KYA~AAAA!!!♥

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And get to smell a real KPop Star! DOUBLE KYA~AAA!!! ♥♥

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I mean… if that was me, and Shim Changmin, KNation will stop when I turn into this!

changminshock“And have the organizers call a priest or an albularyo, whichever is more applicable and available. I mean, Baclaran Church is near that place.”

Back to judging, believe me… it was brain-racking and emotionally confusing. Because, you have several youngster and young professionals allotting their free time whether existent or not, to practice the difficult moves of their idols, including also the price of making costumes. Like, their hopes and efforts are in your hands!

I have seen judges or the event organizers being questioned by cover groups because of their decision but believe me, when you’re there, it’s harder that it looks. That’s why I don’t have much good photos of cover groups performing because judging takes all your attention and focus and when you blink, you might be writing the wrong decision. I don’t know any of these cover groups personally, as you can see from my tagging in my previous posts. I name them according to the artists that they cover most of the time and explains why I can’t even name their groups properly.

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As someone who joins these contests before and kept on losing, the most important thing to remember is you are there to have fun and celebrate with your fellow fangirls or fanboys. Winning is just an extra reward, and when you let go of the mentality of winning the prize, you’ll see that it will take you farther in places you’ll never expect to be.

195927_10150132988753800_309114493799_6840737_5022983_n“To my co-workers, colleagues, and bosses… I was young. And stupid. Also, that vest is totally made of the same thing as your typical sampayan.”

If dancing or cosplaying is really your thing, be terrible anyways, you’ll get better and more resourceful with experience. Did you think Alodia Gosiengfiao got it the first time she tried?

Keep on FIGHTING and eventually, you’ll get it right.

 Buyoung“After two (or three) years of joining contests, I finally won 2nd place for drama cosplay competition as the past life Bu Young – the leading lady of Micky Yoochun which is totally TVXQ / JYJ related person in Rooftop Prince. But again… to my colleagues, I WAS YOUNG… AND STUPID.”

In case you missed it, here’s my write-up about Xander and Bebots.

Meanwhile, totally unrelated… Ma Boy was playing at the other SMX Hall in a very manly-man event full of muscle cars!

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DIY: KISSING TVXQ! – Missha Limited Edition Kiss Lip balm

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It’s Women’s month all over the world and here in the Philippines it means sale for fashion and beauty products!

changmin-dance-to-kara-o“YAY!”

During Women’s Month is when I take advantage of those uber-expensive make-up products that I am not ready to splurge on for the sake of beauty, which I rather spend that money on food and TVXQ merchandises.

In KPopverse, TVXQ is considered as one of the top artists and sunbaes of the industry having just celebrated their 10th year anniversary last December 26, 2013, yes I know, I may not remember your birthdates but I’m really good in history! Fit to their image and aging fanbase  the band was chosen to endorse Missha, which in my opinion has a classier or more high-end feel than those of it’s KPop endorsed counterparts such as Nature Republic and Tony Moly.

Which makes their prices, MORE EXPENSIVE! Buwaaaahahahahaaa!!!

I only discovered Missha when TVXQ endorsed it back in 2011, at that time, I was having a dilemma with most BB cremes, because I always ended up like a floating geisha head. Even if most Korean products are really good in holding up to the test of humidity and heat, finding the perfect shade for my sun-kissed skin requires a lot of on-location research. I was surprised to see a dark shade BB Creme by just pointing at his standee.

Changmin snail cream standee missha“No offense dude.”

But my BB Creme story is reserved for a separate post.

As a certified cray-cray Cassiopeia, I have already bought the ‘L’EAU DE MISSHA which burnt a whole in my concert funds, and I really like the… well, I would like to call the SCENT OF CHANGMIN ‘cos it has his name on the bottle. It has a sweeter scent compared to Yunho’s, which I think is more suitable for a temperate country.

anabanana eating snow“LIKE SOUTH KOREA!!!”

Okay, back to the pricey lip balms!

So earlier, I went to visit Missha at SM North EDSA to check out how much discount I could get for the Missha TVXQ Kiss Lipbalm. Since I already have the TVXQ tumbler, photobook, calendar, and paperbag, I opted for the posters.

misshatvxqlipbalm-wholepackage“I love you guys so much that I am willing to make you richer!”

The envelope where the posters are has a film emboss which is tasteful for an older fandom, it has this royalty feel on it, yet minimalistic.

Goodies are encased in a so-not-totally-kpop box. I can’t help but have thoughts in my mind of how this box was printed since part of my job before was to check the quality of print products in a printing press.

misshatvxqlipbalm-openbox“C2S vellum board, heavy gsm, glossy, satin finish, 5th ink emboss gold, semi-film emboss on the photo, and glossy cold lamination on the sides. — only QC’s will understand, terminologies varies from print shop to another.”

The whole set comes in two tubs. And for a lipbalm, they sure are BIG TUBS!

misshatvxqlipbalm-openlids

U-Know Kiss is strawberry scented, while the Max Kiss is Citrus… well that’s what the PR says, but from tasting it… take note, TASTING IT, Max Kiss is a mix of Pomelo and Pink Lemonade. I am a big fan of strawberry scent, and somehow I wished that the strawberry scent was designated to Changmin instead.

Changmin-StrawberryHead“Redundant? Ah, okay.”

But knowing Yunho’s obsession with strawberries, I think Changmin would not put up a fight in deciding what his lip balm flavor during their brainstorming.

At first, when I opened the tubs, the scent was too strong. As Filipinos would describe it, “may amoy altar” which roughly translates to tabernacle-ly or incense-like scent. But once I dabbed it on my lips, it was like Fruit-tella, I can’t stop chewing on it.

Which… I dunno if it’s a good thing or a bad thing since I have a habit of lip-bitting.

I have to use several lip balms to ease the bleeding of my lips or just to have a little protection from my incisors.

changmin-swollenlips“I have to show myself this picture from time to time, just to prevent treating my lips like gummy bears.”

I am not a fan of anything citrus, but after applying the Max Kiss and drinking some Snapple, Oh dear! It was a delicious trip to citrus land!

All-Natural-Snapple-Kiwi-Strawberry-Juice-Drink-Flavor“Citrus La~aaaaand!” — drinkwhat.com

The Missha TVXQ kiss has lots of moisture which is best suitable for those who have dry to very dry lips like mine. But make sure that it doesn’t overflow to your skin, ‘cos it’s really oily. I have to pat it with my clean fingers around the corners. The good thing about these lip balms is that a little goes a long way. You don’t have to scrape a lot of it just to cover the whole surface.

Since it is a Missha special edition and it has several TVXQ attachments, the posters and everything, I can understand it’s pricey-ness. The original price was P1,700 ($37.50), with discount, I only got it for P1,450 ($32). For those who live in a country with a higher currency, $3 may not mean much, but in the Philippines, $3 can buy you a Mc Donald’s Cheeseburger meal with fries and drinks.

Judging the size of the tubs and the amount you have to use, the TVXQ Kiss Lipbalm will last a very long time, even if I have to use it frequently… when I feel like my lips are some kind of a Korean dried squid.

It almost have the same consistency as my Max Factor lip gloss, which I have substituted for a lip balm when I finally finished my last one. But I hated using this Max Factor lip thing ‘cos it really tastes like wax. Ugh!

misshatvxqlipbalm-maxkissvsmaxfactor“MAX Factor over MAX’s Kiss with MAX’s photo on the box, ooooh that’s a lot of MAX! Let’s take this thing to the MAX and MAX it up further.”

With so many Cassiopeias and BIGEASTs all over the world, I haven’t seen a single description or review on this. It is either they can’t use it because it has the boys’ faces on it, or because they are paralyzed to touch the product because of it’s price. Well, here’s the bad news… cosmetics, they do rot and if you don’t use them, they will just melt in your cabinet or worse, the perfume used in this product will turn into rubbing alcohol… which is more regretful than buying an expensive piece of merchandise and not using it for the sake of posterity.

If there’s one thing that I’ll lock into my vault is these babies!

misshatvxqlipbalm-posters

I AIN’T HANGING THEM ON MY WALL, ‘cos UV rays fade away ink!

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SPELLBOUND FOR THE 2ND TIME: TVXQ’s Suri Suri Review

— Notes from the author: I was supposed to publish this post during the time the second MV was released, but due to fever, migranes, and foot injury, I wasn’t able to finish this, so pardon my tardiness.

M2“Sorreh guys.”

Until now, my foot is still killing me, but I can walk fine, unlike a few days ago.

136035_original“Hey! What a coincidence!”

Good thing those painkillers are e~ffec~ti~iiiiive~~~~.

trippy“Su~uuuuu~pe~eeeeer~e~ffec~ti~iiiiiiive~” (wallpapervortex.com)

Before February closed, the boys were back with the single “Suri Suri” or Spellbound as the English title suggests.

 

Since it’s the time of the month, I shall give a special highlight to my bias of the week… Yunnie-bunny-oppa!!!

period

“Yes, that kind of TIME OF THE MONTH!”

 YAY HORMONAL IMBALANCE!!!

I apologize for that.

The MV starts with these two playing  roulette with cards, which, I am not sure how you play roulette with cards. Realistically speaking, if your husband or life partner is so into gambling, you might run into problems like this:

SuriSuri01“Oppa! Are those my Tiffanys? Put that back! I ain’t giving you permission to gamble those away!”

The money they are gambling with is freakier than any unregulated tender.

SuriSuri02“Erm… not sure what these money can buy?”

And that guy is just as coy as ever.

SuriSuri04

 Dictated by Korean culture of seniority, oppa is responsible for paying everything…

SuriSuri05“The food bill alone is a killer. MUST. STEAL. MORE. TIFFANYS.”

 …which makes this coy bastard smirking at his adversary.

SuriSuri06“Win or lose, you pay for all of these!”

Somehow, makes me think that their are not betting on the muniez, but who picks up the tab, since this duo have a difficulty agreeing with each other.

The music video’s theme is no different from the “Great Gatsby” treatment they’ve done with Something. From following SME’s trend, they seem to stick to one treatment as long as it still works until we, the fans are so sick and tired of it.

Remember their 360 cam obsession back then?

Shinee-lucifer360

Dance steps are shot in continuous like in EXO’s Growl. And something tells me, they’ll be sticking to this type of MV for a long time just like their 360 cam and Skrillex episode.

In the past, KPop MV’s are just as creepy as fudge when they just introduce one girl or boy to the mix in a feeble attempt to stop fans hunting down that model / actress. One thing that made me happy about TVXQ’s new gimmick is that they have incorporated more women dancers in their dance routine and MV’s… which, I am so adding this move to my roster of terribly awkward spazzy dances.

SuriSuri-girls“Yay! Spazzing over oppa ri~iiight here!”

This time, the female dancers are interacting with these guys more intimately, which makes the steps more believable for a love song.

The set is the usual box room, but it is not as impressive as the set in Something.

SuriSuri08

SME has received a lot of flak from international netizens because of their incessant use of box rooms. I am not complaining though, ‘cos if it works them, then they can do a hundred more box MV’s. Besides, they’ve been doing that box thing like forever.

It’s quick, it doesn’t take forever to set-up and it doesn’t take much of the idols’ energy, they just have to stay in one place and dance. Contrary to what others believe, they have done exceptional drama MV’s such as BoA’s Disturbance (featuring TaeMan) and Before You Go. Let us note that their idols spew new singles almost every month, if given such a short time, then their staff have to go for the quickest route, not unless if you are willing to wait for eons like EXOtics.

Box MV’s if done correctly can show the production team’s creativity and the band’s dance moves, but… given all of SME’s profit and talented staff who can whip up a concept on the go, isn’t it time to step up their game?

Just sayin’ SME, you take a lot of inspiration from the other peninsula, and you have your SM Rookies.

The second MV feels like EXO’s Growl 2. Shot continuously, but added some editing fancy to spice it up a bit. In this version, the boys costumes keep on changing in certain parts of the song.

The transition is seamless, until the 2:45 mark, when Yunho hands over the card to Changmin, I dunno if it’s just my hypersensitivity that the microsecond jump shocked my senses.

As for the costume changes, I know that this suggestion will wear down the boys (and the crew) further, but to make this effect fancier, the costume changes should be more than three or four outfits for a perfect blink effect. Therefore giving the video editor more room for creativity.

SuriSuri-YH05“Because you can obviously see how many times oppa had these hands smeared all over him take after take.”

In both MV’s, there was a ton of Changmin close-ups, which I only find in Japanese PV’s… During the day, I customize my screen to what I call the Panic Screen, it’s basically a bunch of Adobe software lined up perfectly with my email window and a tiny tab for MV’s. It works like a charm to my focus, I don’t know how, but it really does, not when there’s a lot of Changmin close-ups. My brain shuts down completely for whatever reasons!

SuriSuri-CM01“Changmin! Stop distracting noona! You can perfectly breathe on your own!”

Seriously, I have to drop everything for a while when this shot comes up!

SuriSuri-CM02“Swiper! No SWIPING!”

While Lord Voldemin is having a shot of his life in a Korean MV, I am noticing something with oppa’s scenes. O_O~

 SuriSuri-YH01

SuriSuri-YH03“YH to Mr. Director: Is this really necessary?”

I know Miss Dancer is not really reaching down his “feels” but… uhhh~ okay Mr. Director, whatever angle floats your boat.

About the song… well, be ready to have your “DB5K” thread stroked…

emoshinkialert

…well, if it really does, but I’m putting a disclaimer anyway!

From what I remember, SPELLBOUND is an alternative meaning to DB5K’s epic single “Mirotic” as JJ coined the term from the word “Miro” which means maze, and if you are stuck in the maze of love, then it is like you are under a spell! SPELLBOUND is also the title of Mirotic’s remix version that was played in their last Asia Tour as five.

I am not here to impose some conspiracy theories, but whether the title is a coincidence or not, both are really nice songs.

But there is no stopping me from mentioning the former.

LYRICS WISE!

Mirotic’s lyrics are more carnal… venting on… well, depends on your interpretation, it may sound like a crime of passion or that weird fetish we call S&M.

yoochun-miroticpart“Uhm, I’m not sure about that though.”

But to me it sounds like the first one.

chunfez-perv“I don’t care if you are freakin’ Micky Yoochun, but if I see you creepin’ on me like that! I am calling the cops!”

Before this conversation turns societal and culturally ugly, girls, remember… respect yourselves and other girls first, and oppa will respect you back. Which is greater than having them remember you as one of those creepy sasaengs who do terrible things. Araseeoyo?

Aside from the sinful interpretation, Mirotic is also a message song for Cassiopeias and BIGEASTs who have held on strong in the fandom for the last five years. Unlike their Japanese counterparts, Korean boybands have a short career lifespan and it is already a feat if they lasted for more than five years. 2008 was DB5K’s fifth year and presumably, the epoch of their careers, but what follows broke the hearts of many fans, and even stepped on some political sensitivities of both Japan and Korea.

If we try to look at the MV and the lyrics in a more positive light, the Red girl suppose to represent Cassiopeia. Who through thick and thin has stood by their side, relentlessly following every activity they had and purchasing album after album even at some point meant destroying their own lives. Even if… in real life, oppa will never ever know of their presence except in numbers.

Untitled-1“What is love? What! It’s now meant by the Red Ocean”

Even if the original intention of Jaejoong or SME were wholesome, the tunes were derived from Sarah Connor’s Under My Skin which is sexual in nature. Some of it’s remnants ended up in the Korean lyrics, ‘cos I’m not sure if it has more recall in Korean or they are keeping it consistent with the original, but the chorus was easy for me to memorize.

sarahconor“Can I just say that she has fantastic long legs?”

My cray-cray Cassiopeia side of me has no courage to compare Mirotic to any song of the trio, or duo, or quintet, since I got to this “devil’s ride” when I saw Mirotic. I started to worship Changmin and what happened next is a downward spiral to Crazyville and sleepless nights.

changmincreepyface“HELP, ME~EEEEE!!!~~~”

BACK TO SURI SURI.

Do they really have to assign the “food” part to Changmin?

SuriSuri06“This noona is not paying for your dinner!”

The lyrics, like their banner song Something, has impressed me for going beyond saranghaeyo. These words really sound like a guy who wants his girl to stay, well… I’m going in my late twenties later this year and if some kid will try to woo me with a plain saranghaeyo, you ain’t getting anywhere. The words compose a mature love song to cater to long time Cassiopeias who, by now are awaiting or have heard these from their boyfriends or husbands.

If you are in my age… this is just as sweet as fudge, the literal fudge.

somethingchocolate“Yes… chocolate fudge. 676 calories! WHOSE COUNTING THEM ANYWAY!” (dbsknights)

What is also amazing is, in spite of the dance routine’s many skinship moments, the lyrics do not bear much physical or suggestive sexual innuendos at all.

SuriSuri-YH02“But that doesn’t stop me from wanting this chunk of Korean meat at all!”

THE FINAL VERDICT:

MUSIC VIDEO

bananaranking-surisuri-video

THE SONG

bananaranking-surisuri-song

My score is pretty high, not because I am a Cassiopeia, but I really think this is really good.

From comments I keep on reading on pages and forums, fans always say that the repackage single is always better than the banner song. To that I agree. Is that part of their marketing strategy to keep us buying the same thing more than twice?

If so, it is working.

And oh, Changmin, my fling with Yunho oppa only lasts for a week every month. Don’t worry, this cray-cray noona loves you neomu, neomu much.

SuriSuri-CM03

Even if this crazy noona is just one of the thousands of other crazy noonas out there to get you! Hohoho, hehehe, hahaha!!! *smiles at the last GIF creepily*

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My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.13 (Tagalog)

Sa huling kabanata ng ating KPop Fangirl curriculum, alamin natin ang pambansang martial arts ng Korea na Taekwondo.

ep12-panel01ep12-02ep12-03ep12-04ep12-05ep12-06ep12-07

DISCLAIMER: The events on this comic is 99% Fiction, 1% Reality and 200% Exaggeration! Never ever use any form of martial arts to anyone who disses your idol. It should be purely for self defense AND CLEARLY DEFENDING A KPOP IDOL IS NOT CONSIDERED AS SELF-DEFENSE. You can be charged with battery and assault or in worse cases, attempted murder. Use reasoning and logic… or, just let it slide. 

 

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DREAMING IN HALLYU: What is Korean Taxpayers’ Day?

140308-dreaminginhallyubadge

Amidst the *Bureau of Internal Revenue’s squabble with the Philippine doctors, I sensed a disturbance in my Shim Changmin newsfeed on Facebook. Apparently, March 3, 2014 was the Korean Taxpayer’s Day. Really?! For a country that is heavily stigmatized by taxes because of several corruption scandal since the Marcos administration, a single event revering taxpayers is a concept that is very alien to me.

What is Taxpayer’s Day in Korea

It is a single day event encouraging Korean citizens to pay their taxes honestly and on time by awarding citizens and companies who are top taxpayers. Celebrities who pay their taxes right on time are also appointed as Tax Goodwill Ambassadors. Such as Secret Garden’s Ha Ji Won and Queen In Hyun Man’s Yoon In Na.

Even Song Joong Ki.

songjoongki-taxpayersday

This year, the Korean government has appointed Dong Bang Shin Ki’s Shim Changmin to be an Honorary Tax Director for a day.

changmin-taxpayerday02”As soon as he walks the aisle, cue Right Said Fred song here.”


I could think of several things of what could happen if I shoot this event:

1. I would have to use a ladder to shoot this, because I am not endowed with massive height as this chap here.

changmin-taxpayerday01

 

2. While he is conspicuously signing stuff, he spots my camera snapping away.

changmin-taxpayerday03

 

3. I would signal “Yeogi” like an aggressive *cough* photographer *cough*.

changmin-taxpayerday04

 

4. …AND probably would have to excuse myself and run to the ladies’ room after taking this shot.

changmin-taxpayerday05

 

Then in the ladies’ room…

Hey, maybe they should be showing some love for their taxpayers since they pay a lot more to sustain their growth unlike us Filipinos… NOPE!

From what my Google Search found, the proportion of South Korea’s Income Tax Rate is almost the same as our less economically growing country

A Global Look at Personal Income Taxes - Interactive Infographic by TurboTax

“Click on the image to see tax comparison of each countries.”

 Maybe I would hear an ordinary Korean citizen moaning and groaning over his or her taxes, but if the Korean tax rate is equal to what I am paying every year, given that our average salary is lesser than our chingus, then Korea is doing a lot more with their national budget.

Any citizen cannot escape paying taxes, from the moment you start buying stuff, you are already paying taxes. (HAH! I paid attention during my Taxation class in college!) Taxes in this country can come in many forms and the most common is the VAT or EVAT, which is included in every goods that we buy, from candies to a Dong Bang Shin Ki album.

 IMG_4581“My~yyy… preciou~uuus!”

So technically, every Filipino is paying taxes, it’s just a matter of filing it honestly.

Unlike Korea, the Philippines (yes, the whole country) enjoys punishing their own fella rather than rewarding those who have done good. Yes, the government has revered our greatest sportmen and women but their reward is rather too small to outweigh their hardships.

pacparradeI’ll just put him ri~iiight, here! (Photo: Examiner.com)

Recently, the *BIR started a shame campaign directed to the country’s professionals and online sellers. Which, at some point, both parties have valid reasons, but nevertheless, failed to arrive at the conclusion of why do some of these professionals and businessmen do not want to pay their taxes?

From what I see, since Filipinos are so drawn to religion, the way we treat others is like in the bible too. At first they celebrate you, then they crucify you after a few days! Why? You see, professionals and businessmen are regarded highly in the country because of their contributions…

pacparrade”Yes, even this dude.”

 …and then, just like that, we topple them from their pedestals and shame them further.

The shame campaign has been done before by the BIR, which, in my opinion was witty. I can’t find the video but it goes like this: Tax evaders are forced to use the side of a bridge because they refuse to pay taxes properly, thus depriving them of basic services such as the use of public infrastructures, while those who paid properly are screaming at them “Pay your taxes!”

Whether believe it or not, it delighted my spirit a little bit when I was about to sign my Income Tax Return.

Where did it go wrong?

It seems that each and every one of us is stigmatized to pay for our country’s utilities by just watching the news. We all know that in order for a country to maintain itself up and running, its citizens should pay their dues. The money is given to our country managers — which in this case is our politicians. After several corruption scandals, we second thought something that we should be doing for our country.

Then what do we get for being honest? Just… no jail time or no BIR agents knocking to your door… or just not to be shamed in the public I guess?

But one can argue that an honest Filipino taxpayer is rewarded for his acts of goodwill, well, I could be wrong but from the way I see it, tax rewards are given in forms of exemptions which are given or availed by taxpayers who are actually doing some magic with their tax return forms rather than in the spirit of patriotism.

 magicmeme“Yes! Magic!”

I won’t touch on that issue further because, given the super pink layout of my blog and my url’s funny name, this is not the right avenue for such conspiracies. Besides, I don’t have any concrete evidence to back-up those tales except the seemingly smells like sh*t BIR offices in Quezon City. Not figuratively, but literally and I wish I was kidding.

Corruption is apparent in every country in the world and it might be worse in South Korea, but these countries can put it on check or in balance compared to ours.

I am not saying that we should be following our chingus move on showing some sarang to their citizens (because that’s just freakin’ expensive) but I’m just saying that we should rather reward those people who we needed to pay taxes the most – conglomerate entrepreneurs.

During the 48th Korea Taxpayers’ Day, the government recognized Merck Ltd. as the best tax paying business institution in Korea. If you were a scion here? Knowing that doing clean business in the country would reward you.

But not just business, even citizens are rewarded in South Korea. Imagine if this was applied here, just think of how many tax trophies would these celebrities receive?

So why is this event in South Korea Dae to the Bak?

Because according to a Korean, 500 honest taxpayers are invited to an event!

 If I were a Korean taxpayer, I would have a chance to join this event!

140307-CMtaxday-FORWEBSITE“Don’t mind my rabid dog expression Mr. Director.”

Unfortunately, being selected from over 50 million people is wa~aaaay trickier than it seems.

As they say, there are no sacred cows**. I do believe that not all South Koreans are truthfully paying their dues to Dae Han Min Guk, but, if you are one of those pure-hearted Hanguk Saram out there, you are receiving some love from your leaders, even if it’s just for a day.

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*- Bureau of Internal Revenue or BIR is the Philippine version of the IRS.

**- Sacred Cow is an idiom used widely in political or religious context. In this post, I used the idiom because there is a tendency that some Hallyu fans would actually revere the country and it’s people from the surface without thinking that they are just another country like us.

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My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.12 (Tagalog)

Sa ikatlong kabanata ng ating Korean guide para sa mga KPop fangirls, aalamin natin kung ano ang gesture ng pag-galang sa ating mga chingu.

My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.11 (Tagalog)

My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.11 (Tagalog)My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.11 (Tagalog)My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.11 (Tagalog)My Bestfriend is a Fangirl – No.11 (Tagalog)

DISCLAIMER: The events on this comic is 99% Fiction, 1% Reality and 200% Exaggeration! The Korean character on the title frame reads as “yeoui” or as Google Translate says “ethics / manners.” I wouldn’t know if there is a more official Korean word for this, but that’s what Google and my Hangul reading skills can do.

Oh, lem’me introduce to you the inspiration for the lady in hot pink Hanbok:

CM-girl

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I HOARD JK FOOD: Japanese KitKat Wasabi flavor

140219-ihoardjk02

Are you willing to venture the world of unknown snacks? Are you willing to risk growing a second head, or a new set of arms? Well, I could use a new set of arms. 

Introducing my expensive obsession with Japanese Kit-Kats. If other women my age go impulse shopping on clothes, shoes and bags, I… spend on these. Encountering an online store which sells this, especially in discount… makes me want to take out my frozen assets out of the freezer.

shopaholic-creditcard“Goodbye retirement funds!”

But this snack obsession of mine goes deeper. You see, my parents are also KitKat addicts. They love KitKats so much, they buy that wafer goodness until you get sick of it! Because of this, I rarely buy KitKats, because, UGH, NOT ANOTHER WAFER!

Not until an colleague of mine gave me a piece of Matcha Japan KitKat. Our news agency annually sends a reporter and a photographer to the wonderful city of Sakai in Osaka. What caught her attention in the airport were packs of Matcha KitKats that she never knew existed. The taste was divine, since I love tea, and my compulsive buying behavior with Japanese KitKats was born.

After three years, our Editor-in-Chief has sent me to the Sakai City ASEAN Summit. I didn’t have much money in the bank because I haven’t recovered financially from watching Dong Bang Shin Ki earlier that year. I only had $250 worth of personal money to buy additional souvenirs. Mostly, people who visits the country would go for Yukatas and some other Japanese-esque  items.

Sadly, mine ended up on buying Yaki balls, Tohoshinki, Pocky, Sake and…

AssortedKitKatsfromJapan“KITKATS!” — I should really check my priorities in life.

The KitKat flavors were collected like Pokemons. I’d walk the streets of Sakai after our heritage tours, and the next day, suck up all the leg muscle pain and do it over and over again for a week. The streets of Sakai is relatively safe, since cute Japanese school girls still roam around at 10PM and onwards, probably after completing a night in cram schools. The flavors pictured above are: (from middle left) white chocolate cookie, strawberry, blueberry cheesecake, green tea matcha (special gift box edition), cinnamon cookie, hochicha roasted tea, sakura matcha and the classic matcha flavor in ordinary plastic packaging.

Kitkats are only produced only in 13 countries including Japan. From what I’ve read in the past, the different flavors of the Japanese KitKat is a part of the local manufacturer’s marketing strategies to attract younger audiences. In order to increase the demand, they must treat it as if it was a rare collectible. That’s why some KitKat varies come in gift boxes and… I am taking other sites’ word for this since I cannot read Japanese yet… characters of “Kitto Katsu” which means “Sure Win” and coincidentally, sounds like a syllabicated word for KitKat. —> You can comment on this if I got this part wrong, since I can’t read the packaging.

Since I am spending a sh*t-ton of money for a single package of this delectable Japanese snack, might as well post something about it.

I present to you… KITKAT WASABI!

Kitkat-wasabi-box-inside02

Google says that these KitKats are a Shizuokan Limited Edition flavors. The flavors are special per prefecture (?) or region and this is probably from Shizuoka.

Kitkat-wasabi-box

It has 12 pieces of horseradish goodness inside.

Kitkat-wasabi-box-inside01

The gift box displays good Japanese craftsmanship, if you actually touch the box, it feels velvety and  icons of the horseradish plant is embedded. The box doesn’t even feel like paper, it felt more like a thin soft ivory case.

I have no idea what the cover says… but it surely looks important.

Kitkat-wasabi-box-inside03

In every piece of KitKat is this white space for a dedication message, since originally, these Kitkats are meant to be gifts.

Kitkat-wasabi-calories

Each box contains 68 calories. YAY! Which is good… if you only ate a piece or two.

THE TASTE TEST:

Kitkat-wasabi-waffle

Tearing up the plastic foil releases a burst of wasabi scent. The smell is very strong which challenged me to bite into this. To my demise, the wasabi is just a scent and it just tastes like ice cream. I don’t know if it’s just my high tolerance for spicy food but I didn’t taste a hint of wasabi in the bars.

THE VERDICT? Acquiring the Wasabi flavored KitKat is more of a challenge than the thrill you would want to seek in eating deadly spicy food. Locally produced wasabi confections are spicier than this. As for the taste, I would still consider this one of the best, since it stimulates your sense of smell into thinking that you are actually tasting wasabi, but in your taste buds, you are actually eating vanilla flavored ice cream.

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