Category Archives: All things Korean

1 Night & 2 Days Philippines: A pitch by the 7th Grade Civil Servant turned PD

Note:  No, people. No 1 Night & 2 Days Philippines has been planned/is planned/or being planned. This is just a what-if for me, so don’t go looking for news articles for an announcement. For your information and guidance, please. 🙂 

This idea has been simmering in my head ever since I heard of Joo Won leaving the cast of 1 Night & 2 Days. As you know, Philippine media networks have already made their own local version of Korean dramas (Stairway to Heaven i’m looking at you *judging hard*), but no one has bothered to take a look at the K-Variety scene and see the goldmine of ideas there.

For the uninitiated, 1 Night & 2 Days is a variety show on KBS, part of its Happy Sunday lineup. It’s now on its 3rd Season (starting in December) and the cast is led by the veterans of previous seasons Kim Jong-min and Cha Tae Hyun and the newbies Jung Joon Young, Defconn, Kim Joo Hyuk, and one of my favorite gag men from Gag Concert, Kim Jun Ho.

Now, when it comes to variety, the first thing that comes to mind (especially with international K-Variety fans) would be Running Man. Naturally, one would expect that if you were to adapt a K-Variety show, you would pick the most popular one so you’ll have a ready fan base. I even asked friends a few weeks back which K-Variety show they wanted to see adapted for the Philippines and they all answered Running Man, but all of them (yes, ALL) added that they do not see anyone as a potential cast member, which is a telling sign.

While I also appreciate Running Man, I also don’t see anyone as a potential cast member. Plus, I feel that if adapted, Philippine PD’s would have focused the “action” in “urban action variety”. With 1 Night & 2 Days, I see potential. Why? The premise of 1N2D is that they’re a group of friends going out for a trip that would last well, 1 Night & 2 Days. There are missions and challenges (the most important would be the BokBulBok game) along the way too, just like Running Man, but the central focus would be on the place that they would be going to.

Now, i’ve thought about this for days, and I think this would be my lineup for the cast:

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Reposting from the Soshified website – WishesForPH: Soshified’s Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund

I’m reposting this from the Soshified website to help reach out to other people who wish to help out my fellow Filipinos who have been ravaged by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. As of this post, they’ve raised around $2,907.

Original link: http://www.soshified.com/2013/11/wishesforph-soshifieds-typhoon-haiyan-relief-fund

“The United States Fund for UNICEF is helping children and their families in the Philippines receive shelter, clean water, nutrition, and vaccines. UNICEF’s emergency response can be supported online or by calling 1-800-367-5437. You can donate directly to UNICEF in the Philippines, under Soshified’s “#WishesForPH” project on Crowdrise (only credit cards accepted). Soshified is also accepting donations for the Philippines on Paypal. A webpage for Soshified’s “WishesForPH” project can be found at wish.soshified.com.

A tropical country made up of more than 7,100 volcanic islands, the Philippines is hit by an average of 19 typhoons a year. In addition, it is vulnerable to earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, and landslides. Ongoing conflict in some areas also puts children’s lives at risk.

Super Typhoon Haiyan, also known as “Yolanda”, hit the Philippines with wind speeds up to 235 mph. Before any cyclone is dubbed Category 5, it must have at least 156 mph wind speeds.

Haiyan has far exceeded that minimum requirement.

The super typhoon followed on the heels of a 7.2 earthquake that devastated the Philippines a few weeks before, leaving more than 195 dead, over 50,000 homes destroyed, and 350,000 displaced. Now, two days after Haiyan first landed, more than 10,000 have been killed and over 600,000 have been displaced.

Google Person Finder has launched a page to help find missing persons in the aftermath of the storm. Google Crisis Map is also providing additional evacuation and relief information. Sharing these sites as well will further aid the victims of this latest super typhoon.

Imagine if all of your friends donated just one bottle of water each. How many friends do you have on Facebook — and how many bottles of water would you get if every single one of them made a donation?

Join Soshified in sending aid to the Philippines, a country that would surely do the same for any other nation if the tables were turned. Besides making a donation, you can help Soshified trend #WishesForPH on Twitter to spread the word about the Philippines’ predicament and support global relief efforts. As “SONE” means “wish” in Korean, the project name and hashtag represent the generosity and efforts of SONEs for the Philippines.With the holiday season just around the corner, the season of giving is upon us — help Soshified show the Philippines how much we care.”

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Quantum of SEOULace

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Today’s blog entry title is taken from the Ian Fleming James Bond short story and film of the same name. In simpler language, the Quantum of Solace is described by one of Fleming’s characters as “a precise figure defining the comfort, humanity and fellow feeling required between two people for love to survive. If the quantum of solace is nil, then love is dead.” (http://voices.yahoo.com/quantum-solace-november-2008-james-bond-film-1344199.html)

Originally, October 20, 2013 was supposed to be the first time I would set foot in the Republic of Korea after my college friends and I managed to take advantage of a seat sale by AirAsia last June. But I guess the Great Bird of the Galaxy had other plans for me when I got in the Youth Camp for Asia’s Future (as explained in a previous blog post). After camp, I spent the entire month preparing for my second foray into Seoul, because this time around, I’m the one expected to show my friends why I fell in love with Korea.

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Taste the Rainbow | POP! POP! C-RA-YON POP!

As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was in Korea for two weeks to attend the 2013 Youth Camp for Asia’s Future. During one of our tours in Gyeongju, I saw my Korean friends Hyun Jung, Yeah Hyun, and So Yeon taking pictures while jumping up and down. Intrigued, I asked them what they were doing, and they replied that it was a dance from a song that was sweeping Korea.

Friends, that’s how I began my interest in this rookie group called Crayon Pop.

For the uninitiated, they are a 5 member girl group who debuted in 2012 and composed of Gummi (Baek Bo Ram, 25), Ellin (Kim Min Young, 23), Choa (Heo Min Jin, 23), Way (Heo Min Seon, 23), and Soyul (Park Hye Kyeong, 22).

L-R: Ellin, Soyul, Way, Choa, and Gummi

L-R: Ellin, Soyul, Way, Choa, and Gummi

And yes, Choa and Way are twins.

That’s right. TWINS.

It also helps that they're only 4 days older than me heehee

It also helps that they’re only 4 days older than me heehee

Now, Crayon Pop shot up in popularity not only in Korea but also in certain parts of the world because of the song from their 4th Single Album, Bar Bar Bar.

Bar Bar Bar’s popularity sparked tons of parody videos, from police departments to the US Army. This song also beat out EXO’s ‘Growl’ for 1st Place on Music Bank for a week.

I will admit that at first, I thought Bar Bar Bar was going to be Crayon Pop’s only claim to fame, but having listened to their other songs (Saturday Night, Dancing Queen, and Bing Bing – I implore you all to check these songs out), Crayon Pop’s songs are catchy and addicting! I was wondering why these songs turned out to be underrated, and after going deeper in the Crayon Pop fandom (I prefer to be called a p-oppa, since pop-jusshi is reserved for the older fans – btw, if p-oppa catches on, you heard it here first, folks lol), I realized that Chrome Entertainment is a very small agency, with Crayon Pop as their first foray into K-Pop! In fact, in an interview, the agency was deemed too small that they had a hard time getting the girls on music shows! The girls turned to guerilla concerts around Seoul to get people to listen to them and bring them to the public’s consciousness (there’s one time that they conducted a guerilla concert during winter!) . Crayon Pop also got Japan’s attention, and had moderate success there.

I also read in an interview with the CEO of Chrome Entertainment, Bar Bar Bar was supposed to be their last stand. If it failed, then everybody would part ways and say that it was a wonderful adventure. I guess their gamble paid off.

I look forward to listening to future songs by Crayon Pop. I’m now a huge fan of them (they’ve entered Ramon’s Top 4 Girl Groups, and Way made it to the bias list – I should write about that some other time) and I hope they become very, very successful. Why?

Because they deserve it.

Crayon Pop’s other music videos:

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Are you from Korea? Because I think you’re my SEOULmate. – The 2013 Youth Camp for Asia’s Future

To all of my friends from the camp, this one’s for you.

Laban Pilipinas! Puso! (Fight Philippines! Heart!)

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August 12-26, 2013. Seoul, Gyeongju, Jeju. The best adventure of my life (so far).

Last July, I got accepted to the 2013 Youth Camp for Asia’s Future, organized by the National Council of Youth Organizations in Korea, hosted by the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. For two weeks, we were to not only experience Korea, but also get to learn from fellow participants from over 20 countries.

So, on that 12th Day of August, the 5 members of Gilas Pilipinas (lol – obviously I went there with a nationalistic high from FIBA Asia) boarded their respective flights (I took the Big Juan to Seoul – Cebu Pacific’s brand new Airbus A330) and made their way to the Republic of Korea.

For two weeks, we got to experience Korean culture, history, and hospitality while being able to share ours. From modern Seoul up north, to the beautiful island that is Jeju down south, Korea captivated us.

It’s also nice to note that during our time there, we met fellow Filipinos who were working and living in Korea who were kind to us and was very hospitable to us – a true testament to the Filipino spirit of bayanihan.

To the staff (headed by the able Director Park, who I cannot thank enough), to my new friends from all over Asia (shout out to my ASEAN friends!), to my classmates in HUFS Beginner Korean Class 9, it was an honor sharing this adventure with you all. I hope to see you all really soon.

To Yeah Hyun, Soyeon, Hyun Jung, Miyeon, Yea Seul, Yoon Jung, and Bomi, all I can say is that you’re all Filipinos now. Hahaha. The Little Prince once said that “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” Thank you for “wasting” your time with me. 🙂

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Photo from Diane Bool.

 

To Team Philippines: Crizeel (who runs an awesome blog btw at crizeelong.blogspot.com), Diane, Hasmin, and Trish. Ipagpatuloy ang laban. Puso!

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Photo from Crizeel Ong.

To everyone, Crayon Pop’s BarBarBar will always remind me of our time we spent, and the memories we’ve shared.

Kamsahamnida!

Always your troublemaker,

Ramon a.k.a the 7th Grade (mentally) Civil Servant

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Girls’ Generation and Graduating – A post from 2 years ago.

This was something I wrote two years ago on my old tumblr account. I decided to repost it here because of the 6th anniversary.

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August 5, 2011 will mark Girls’ Generation’s 4th year of coming into being. At first, I was just like “Cool! My favorite girl group’s going to celebrate their 4 years of being awesome”, but as a College senior who hopes to graduate by March next year, SNSD has been there for 3/4ths of my College life. It all started that fateful day in our organization room, where in a friend walks in seeing my listen to the Wonder Girls’ “Nobody” (as it was the craze back then). He tells me to go to YouTube and search for a song called “Genie” by a group called SNSD. At first, what captured me was the legs, and a cute doe-eyed short haired girl whose name was Yoona. After watching Genie, he tried to introduce me to another song called “Gee”, but for some strange reason, I wasn’t that hooked on the song. AT FIRST. Tell Me Your Wish was the only SNSD song in my iPod, but then repeated listening of Gee got me hooked, and pretty soon I started to immerse myself in all things Girls’ Generation. Looking back, SNSD was there for me in crucial moments of my College life. When I was lovestruck, Kissing You encapsulated my feelings. When I was happy, when I was in need of something that would chase away the blues because of acads, or when I would need perking up before doing something important, the girls singing and dancing to Gee would give me the energy and happiness I need. (Note: I would never have been able to start our org’s leadership training program if it wasn’t for this song. That’s why the program was named after it.) During the long-ass commute going home, the girls along with suju would make the commute bearable thanks to S.E.O.U.L. When I had some big-ass deliverables for academics, Run Devil Run would be the most appropriate song.

There would be some people who’d lambast me for me being a fanboy. I actually got into heated debates with close friends because they wanted me to stop, that it was okay for me to like the girls because they were hot and sexy, but it was not okay for me to love their songs. That it was wrong for a guy like me to learn your dances. Thank you girls, because I got to stand up to what I believed was right.

TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, Sunny, Yuri, HyoYeon, SooYoung, Yoona and SeoHyun, you and your music has influenced a big part of my life. I wouldn’t be going to conventions if not for you. I wouldn’t be taking Korean classes if not for you. I wouldn’t be as open to other cultures if not for you. I wouldn’t be as imaginative if not for you. So thank you. Thank you for helping me in one of the most important phases in my life. I am forever grateful, and looking forward to see you one day make a trip here to the Pearl of the Orient, and see you girls perform your magic live.

Jigeumeun So Nyeo Shi Dae.

Apurodo So Nyeo Shi Dae.

Yeongwonhi So Nyeo Shi Dae.

So Nyeo Shi Dae Saranghae!

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NoNoNo? You do mean YesYesYes, right? – A Pink’s 3rd Album ‘Secret Garden’

A Pink - Secret Garden

 

In the past, I noticed a strange phenomena when my top 3 favorite girl groups, namely Girls’ Generation (that wasn’t obvious, wasn’t it?), Girl’s Day, and A Pink would release their new albums a few weeks or month near each other. A good example of this phenomena was in 2012 when Girl’s Day released Everyday II, then a week later Girls’ Generation’s sub-group TaeTiSeo released Twinkle, then a few weeks later A Pink released Une Annee. I remember April and May 2012 was the summer of feels (that, and unemployment).

This year, Girls’ Generation released I GOT A BOY in January, Girl’s Day’s Expectation in March (Female President in June!), and A Pink’s Secret Garden this month (Seems like Girl’s Day and A Pink has release dates that are next to each other).  Still, all the feels.

With Girls’ Generation slowly veering away from the cute concepts, and Girl’s Day having a Minah and Hyeri near-kiss, I gotta give it to A Pink for being consistent with the cute/fairy concepts. I understand that the cute concept can get milked out and for them to survive might/would need to reinvent their concept at some point in the future, but for now, PLEASE DO NOT CHANGE CONCEPTS FOR THE NEAR AND FORSEEABLE FUTURE formysakepleasepleaseplease

I’m the guy who enjoyed ‘I Don’t Know’, loved ‘MY MY’, was kinda meh with ‘Hush’ (at first, but now I like it), and enjoyed ‘BuBiBu’.

With this album though, they are promoting as a 6-member group with the departure of Yookyung (huhuhu – also, I noticed that there was a significant reduction in English lines with her departure).

Tracklist:

  1. U-You (3:25)
  2. NoNoNo (3:40)
  3. Lovely Day (3:00)
  4.  난 니가 필요해 (I Need You) (3:49)
  5. Secret Garden (4:03)
  6. NoNoNo (Instrumental) (3:40)

With Secret Garden, ‘NoNoNo’ and ‘Lovely Day’ (which are the two tracks being promoted) are definite pleasers. NoNoNo, which is about being the strength for your loved one who is lacking it, is catchy, upbeat, and refreshing. I do find the dance break parts a tad bit too long though. I could also say the same for Lovely Day, which is literally a simple yet lovely day with the beloved. The other tracks, including the titular song Secret Garden have yet to creep their way into my ear.

P.S By the way, Kim Nam Joo: welcome to my bias list. Heehee.

Saranghaeyo hihi

Saranghaeyo hihi

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Hail to the Chief – Girl’s Day’s Female President

Nope, that's not her.

Nope, that’s not her.

 

As of this writing, Girl’s Day has been defying expectations (punny. Harharhar) on their new album. Dream Tea Entertainment dropped the Expectation MV a few months back and with most Dai5ys (yes, that’s the official fan club name), we were in awe because of the suspender dance.

Who knew that after 3 months Girl’s Day would be back? Oh, and they’re not just back, they’re here to stay. And they brought Her Excellency the Female President with them.

So, if you’re not familiar with Girl’s Day, they’re a 4 member girl group made up of Sojin (27), Minah (20), Yura (20), and Hyeri (19, yes, the girl who Sung Shi Won would eat alive hah)

(L-R) Sojin (leader), Hyeri, Yura, and Minah

(L-R) Sojin (leader), Hyeri, Yura, and Minah

You’ll be surprised to know that this isn’t Girl’s Day’s first foray with a mature concept. The question of Girl’s Day going with the mature concept was not a question of if, but rather when. With Girl’s Day’s first major member shake up leading to Yura and Hyeri’s entry into the group, they started off with ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, their first attempt on a mature concept. NLF was a moderate success, but that wasn’t enough to catapult them away from the other rookie groups of 2010. It was in 2011 when they started turning heads with the aegyo masterpiece juggernaut known as ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ (I have to admit, I first learned of Girl’s Day due to Twinkle Twinkle AND NOW I’M STUCK HERE). Then, they capitalized on their good fortune and continued with the cute concept with ‘Hug Me Once’.

Going with the rule of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, they carried on with the cute concept with ‘Don’t Let Your Eyes Wander’ and after which went disco with ‘Oh My God!’ After Jihae’s departure from the group (thus leaving them as a 4-member girl group, which means it’s kinda awkward to use stylize your fanclub name as Dai5y), they gradually started moving to a mature concept. ‘Don’t Forget Me’ was the transitional song, then boom, we got Expectation and Female President.

Now on to the song. To be honest, i’m having mixed feelings regarding the song itself, just like when I first heard SNSD’s I Got A Boy. I’m just hoping, like with IGAB, it’ll creep into my ear and i’ll enjoy it eventually. The song’s lyrics reference women empowerment and that girls can confess first, love first, kiss first, and that they should not be afraid to do so. The lyrics also reference the fact that South Korea has a female president (Park Geun-Hye) already so girl power. I actually like how the lyrics are trying to reflect societal issues but I feel they wanted to push the title Female President so bad. I was expecting the lyrics to focus more on the Female President concept because it’s intriguing what you could do with it.

Oh, and I loved Yura’s rap. “우리나라 대통령도 이제 여자분이신데 뭐가 그렇게 심각해 안돼 여자가 먼저 키스 하면 잡혀가는건가?”

In fine, I think this song will help push the group to further heights, but maybe in the future Dream Tea Entertainment could choose their songs better? I mean in the albums in my opinion they have potential hits there if they just promoted them (listen to ‘Don’t Trust Her’ in the Expectations album and 둘이서 in the Everyday II album).

I wish Girl’s Day the best of luck in the future, and I will continue to root for them. Everyday, Girl’s Day!

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What’s after ‘happily ever after’: KBS Drama Special – Like A Fairy Tale

likeafairytale

Hi all! Apologies for not having updated my blog for the rest of April. I was swamped with you know, my day job. Setting meetings and attending meetings and all that. Plus, I have been brainstorming ideas for the next blog post. I planned to write a thought piece on the change of look of Girl’s Day, my opinion on the Gwiyomi craze in the Philippines, even a full blown love letter to Tiffany Hwang (hey, that’s not a bad idea actually). But I chose to push through with my thoughts on KBS’ Drama Special, specifically ‘Like A Fairy Tale’. It’s the first time I’ve watched Drama Special, and this particular installment got my full attention.

A few weeks ago, I had to wake up early for something (I don’t even remember why I had to wake up early), so while getting ready I turned on the telly (oh it rhymes) and Drama Special was on. I wasn’t able to start it from the beginning (and wasn’t able to finish it since I had to leave), so I thought it was a Cinderella story, guy version. But I found the scenes cute, so I decided to see if there was episodes online. I guess the Goddesses of Good Luck found favor with me since KBS World uploaded all three episodes on YouTube! There, I was able to watch the fairy tale of Myeong-Je and Jang-Mi.

By the way, here are the links on KBS World’s YouTube channel if you’re interested.

Ep 1 1/7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttXQB1vj1EE

Ep 2 1/7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqzLIGyoIgs

Ep 3 1/7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByLap-NWfJQ

Ep 4 1/7 – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN3I6ps0gb0

Here there be spoilers.  Continue reading

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Whoever said it was impossible to miss what you never had? – Cyrano Agency

cyranoagency

“I missed the times that we almost shared. I miss the love that was almost there. I miss the times that we used to kiss, at least in my dreams. Just let me take my time and reminisce. I miss the times that we never had. What happened to us? We were almost there. Whoever said it was impossible to miss what you never had, never almost had you.” Almost, Tamia (2008)

The other day, Soshified reported that our Shikshin Sooyoung was cast in the female lead role for a new KDrama titled ‘Cyrano Agency’. They said this was to be a prequel to the 2010 movie of the same name. Curious, I decided to see what it was all about. It also helps that Park Shin Hye was also in the movie (Sorry Tiffany).

Oh yeah, you might think that it’s weird that I am quoting Tamia’s ‘Almost’, but I had this strange feeling while watching the movie that it fits. The song feels right. And I’ll explain why after I give a brief rundown of the film’s events.

Here there be spoilers. Continue reading

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GerALDVENTURES!

Less words. More pics. Fun read.

#ninjamode

We all have something good to say

Eien no Kataomoi

Sorry you got the insane one.