Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fave Five: Netflix Chill

Hey guys! If you haven't known yet, I'm a huge TV Series fan since I could't remember when. When asked how I de-stress, I wouldn't think twice on the answer, Netflix chill. So now I will share with you the five latest TV series I binged watched on Netflix and iFlix!

1. Timeless




This has been my and my fiance's favorite Netflix chill every weekend! We finished the entire 2 seasons and what a disappointment that they discontinued the show! This is a time-travel series with lots of Physics and History (mostly) lessons! All episodes are educational and a must watch. Basically there's a squad of time travelers trying to protect history from the criminals want to change it! The script is well written, not to mention they have great casting! You know Scottie from Suits? She's the lead character and she nailed the role. Abigail Spencer and Matt Lanter have great chemistry together. 

Synopsis: A historian, a soldier and a programmer embark on a time-hopping adventure in pursuit of shadowy criminals who aim to disrupt the temporal continuum.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSYZJGAGvww




2. Stranger / Forest of Secrets




This is a total recommend. Nikola my friend and avid reader (comment if you disagree lol) introduced this to me and I believe this is so underrated! Not a lot of people in my circle know about this murder-mystery drama. This is not your usual dreamy Korean drama. Its format is similar to US TV Series, story line is straightforward but involves flashbacks, and there is little to no romance at all. Watch the trailer and you will not regret it!

Synopsis: A prosecutor without empathy and a bold female police are taking a murder case involving unrestrained political corruption.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma56JmeJm58



3. Brooklyn Nine Nine




This was also introduced to me by Nikola my friend. At first I did not appreciate it much but when I gave it another try, I loved it! It's so funny in a really quirky way. It's a situation comedy series and I love how each character have a dysfunctional personality. I'm just in season 2 and I'm hooked! My favorite character is Captain Holt!

Synopsis: Brilliant but immature Brooklyn detective Jake Peralta must learn to follow the rules and be a team player when his squad gets an exacting new captain.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6G_RMGk3vs



4. Nikita




This is an old action-thriller from 2003 but I just heard about it a couple of months ago from Laser, my former boss and twinnie, and since then I got hooked! It stars Maggie Q, which I've come to know in The Designated Survivor. She's great action star and I love how she's femme fatale in this show. My favorite character is Alex! I watch this series on iFlix.

Synopsis: A rogue assassin returns to take down the secret organization that trained her.



5. Designated Survivor




I stopped watching this a couple of weeks ago because I got so into Brooklyn Nine Nine, Timeless and Nikita, but nevertheless I consider this one of the masterpieces I've watched on Netflix. The plot is something fresh and new. It's a political thriller but with lots of twists! It's not as dark as House of Cards though. If you don't know what "designated survivor" means, go look it up and/or watch the trailer! Let me know your thoughts!

Synopsis: America's fate rests in the hands of a low-level official after an attack on Washington decimates the government in this gripping political thriller.



Monday, July 16, 2018

Seoul Day 3 (part 2): Leeum Museum, SM COEX Artium, Taeyeon's B-day, N Seoul Tower

Seoul, South Korea
Here we go again... sorry for the lack of updates! I've been busy with life in general. I'm excited to share with you a big life-changing event that I have decided to pursue very soon! But for the meantime, let's continue my Seoul Day 3 Part 2 experience!

Please read Seoul Day 3 (Part 1): MBC World Tour for reference.

Today is the 2nd day of our Discover Seoul Pass. I would say at this point it was difficult to visit all the attractions in 48 hrs so we chose to first go to those with expensive admission fees lol. By the way, we were supposed to go to NIT Cafe after the MBC World tour as it was just around the Mapo district but we ran out of time so we decided to go ahead to Leeum Museum in Yongsan. By the way, we first had lunch at a nearby convenience store across the museum.


Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

Location: Hangangjin Station (Seoul Subway Line 6), Exit 1. Walk straight for 100m in the direction of Itaewon. Go into the first alley to the right, it has a sign posted for the museum. Walk up the hill for about 5 minutes.



Bringing of any electronic devices inside the museum is strictly prohibited so we were only able to take photos from the outside. They have security lockers where you can leave your belongings. At first we thought the museum is full of tech-y stuff because as the name suggests: Samsung. lol. Are we too assuming? We expected to see digital art.

***SPOILER ALERT***

There's not a single digital or electronic art inside. Unfortunately we are not very artistic people so we were not able to appreciate it as much as the other guests do. Some visitors even had their earphones on while appreciating the wall paintings, I wonder what they're listening to? Beethoven?


 


We went back to DDP to try K-Live but it was no longer in service in Seoul (moved to Jeju Island). So instead, we went to Gangnam for SM COEX Artium. It was so tiring to go back and forth around Seoul especially via subway! There are lots of transfers.






SM COEX Artium

Location via subway: Samsung Station exits 5 and 6, line 2



We went to SM COEX Artium to check the SM Artists hub and also hologram concert, but that very same day and hour, Taeyeon is having a birthday party celebration! There were lots of people lining up and the hologram concert was put on hold to accommodate the event. We were not able to use the pass here (not so sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing) but no worries because we already experienced the hologram concert in MBC World. We just walked around the place, took some photos, and proceeded to the final itinerary for the day.  








N-Seoul Tower

Location via subway: Myeong-dong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4) and Exit 3. Walk for about 15 minutes following the street on the right side of the Pacific Hotel. The cable car boarding place will be seen ahead.




It was freezing out there! (As evidenced by my weird half-smile lol) Nevertheless the entire place was so dreamy especially when we saw the love locks. Ofcourse we didn't hesitate to join the bandwagon.







The observation deck was the most romantic (and warmest!) of all, we spent a good one hour or two just talking about random things and planning our future together overlooking the city of Seoul. This trip is definitely unforgettable! 



Monday, July 2, 2018

Seoul Day 3 (part 1): MBC World Tour

Seoul, South Korea
Today's itinerary made my inner K-pop fangirl alive again (I was a hardcore ELF and Shawol from 2007-2010; ZEAs, Leda, and Inspirit from 2010-2015, and retired when I met my fiancé in 2015). I shared this love with my fiancé, and he finally learned to appreciate K-pop! Just by going to MBC already completed our day. Today's trip was tiring but worth it, as usual, we commuted around the city from Mapo to Yongsan to Gangnam and back to Jung district! Note that today is the 2nd day of Discover Seoul Pass so entrance for all the places we went for Day 3 completely free. I decided to split Seoul Day 3 into two blog posts because MBC World tour is already photo-heavy and long read. But basically, the main itinerary is: MBC World, Leeum Museum, SM COEX Artium, Namsan Tower. Watch out for part 2!


MBC World

Location (via subway): Digital Media City Station (IAirport Railroad Express Line), Exit 9.


This was my favorite part of the day! MBC, a major broadcasting company in Korea, made its own theme park called the MBC World. This is something new to me because normally, roller coasters and other amusement rides would come to mind when you hear "theme park". I've never been to a theme park other than that so I didn't really know what to expect. When we arrived there, we were given around three hours to experience all the attractions. The "park" was divided into three zones (M, B, and C) and there's only a maximum time you can enjoy each. They will give you three tickets with a bar code so they can monitor your time.





M Zone: Hologram concert, Dance studio, VR, Newsroom, Digital guestbook, K-drama role play


When we first entered this section, we were overwhelmed by how digital it is. We took a few photos of the TVs in the entrance and afterwards proceeded to watch Bigbang's hologram concert. Good thing it was just about to start so we didn't have to wait 30 more minutes. Sorry I got no photos inside the concert, I don't think its allowed!



Right after the concert, we went to the hologram dance studio where you can dance on stage together with the K-pop stars! I chose to dance with A-pink, my fiancé chose B1A4. Below photo is a screengrab from a clip.






After the dance studio, we went to experience the VR box where they played an introductory video of MBC world. It was fun tho it dried my eyes afterwards lol.


Next and my favorite of all, the Newsroom! We experienced being news anchors for the day! There was a teleprompter were we read the script and green screen as well for the weather. I played the news anchor while my fiancé played the weatherman.





Next we went to upper level of the M zone where you get to role play a K-drama. There is an English version and it will be recorded for you to watch on the screen later on. There were also standees you can have photoshoots with.







Last in the M-Zone is the digital guestbook where you can pick any K-pop artist who will do a greeting card and video for you, with signature!I chose SHINee's Minho to do the greeting for us as he was my first ultimate bias!




B Zone: K-drama/Variety show standees

Here we found standees of MBC K-dramas and variety shows (I'm not a big fan K-TV shows though). We still had fun pretending we were part of the cast lol.







C Zone: Interactive games

This is the last installment of the tour. There are interactive games where you can sing along with K-pop stars, pose with them, pretend to go on a date with them, and even digitally try on K-beauty makeup! I specifically remember this one room where G-Dragon from Bigbang will teach you how to sing one of their songs. I let my fiancé try this and it was so much fun.







That's it for our MBC tour! It was so much fun! Please look forward to the part 2 of Seoul Day three to know more about where we went next!

Monday, June 18, 2018

When was the last time you felt human?

Last Friday I went to the booth of a well-known Filipino late-night radio program in Ortigas to witness the all the fun I’ve only been listening to for almost five years. (Gabi na, Umaga na! formerly known as Gabi na, Gising na!) I’ve been an avid listener of Papa Jackson (formerly Papa Jack) and Kuya Chico (formerly Chico Loco) since 2013 back when I was still doing/writing my thesis alone at night and had no one talk to or be with. Radio has been therapeutic for me for so many reasons and one of them is because it gives a sense of community. Anyone can tell their stories on air regardless of location, and there will always be someone listening to on the other side of the line, like a friend, like us, willing to give advice and a helping hand. I am amused by real stories of people and how they manage to fight their own battles. It humbles me to hear how life can be both difficult and beautiful in so many ways that I could never imagine, and I admire how one chooses to continue to live no matter how difficult the circumstances are. I used to be so reserved that I don’t let anyone know my true feelings, and you know what, it can be exhausting at times. Listening to radio, specifically Gabi na, Umaga na! gives me that kind of relief where I don’t feel so alone, especially at night, knowing that there is someone going thru the same thing as me; and even though I don’t say my struggles out loud, it almost feels like doing so by just listening to other people sharing their stories.

So when I finally witnessed how the program was run live, I felt warmth in my heart, both figuratively and literally. There were around 20 people at the booth when I arrived and surprisingly they were all just sitting at the couch listening to the caller and the DJs, with minimal usage of mobile phones. They were just so into it. At this era, when was the last time you were in a crowd with NO ONE glued to their phones? It was just a rare scenario for me to see, a busy young adult who is always beating the clock and doesn’t even have a whole hour for lunch. It was so rare that at that moment, I can say I felt so human. The feeling that we’re all just friends hanging out and listening to each other’s stories. The people there talk to each other randomly, they laugh together when the DJs make a joke, and they empathize with the caller. I’ve never felt so connected for a long time. This definitely is a day I will never forget.


Friday, June 8, 2018

Seoul Day 2: Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Grevin Museum, Gyeongbokgung Palace, Hanboknam, Alive Museum

Seoul, South Korea
Would you believe that I forgot to charge my camera for my Day 2 trip and only used my phone the entire day? Frustrating right? But anyway, I still enjoyed the busy itinerary for Seoul Day 2! We used the Discover Seoul Pass 48hr (DSP) today and the clock started ticking around 11:00am. Note that we accessed all destinations below FOR FREE with the pass. You can download the app and scan the QR code so you can monitor your time.


Dongdaemun Design Plaza

Location: Dongdaemun Station, Subway Line 1, Exit 7 / Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, Subway Line 2, 4 & 5, Exit 1



Our guesthouse is only a two-minute walk to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza so it was so convenient to go here. It is one of the monumental places in Seoul that showcases contemporary art. This is also the pickup place for Seoul DDP tour bus. The DDP tour bus is a hop-on hop-off tourist bus that will pass a number of attractions around Seoul, and if you have DSP like us, you'll experience this for free! It has an open upper deck so if the weather is good, you can do some sight-seeing with fresh air. Unfortunately for us, it was still winter with a bit of raining so we were not able to enjoy the upper deck that much.



Discover Seoul Pass: Time start!

Seoul DDP tour bus - map







Grevin Museum

Location: via Seoul DDP tour bus, drop off at Euljiro-1 (4th stop)



This museum is pretty well known for tourists. It is a four-storey building and that has LOTS of celebrity wax figures -- from famous politicians, to athletes, to movie stars, you name it! This place actually took most of our time today.

Quick tip: it is more realistic to take photos using your phone’s front cam / selfie cam.







Gyeongbokgung Palace & Guard Ceremony
Location: via Seoul DDP tour bus, drop off at Sejong Center for Performing Arts (6th stop)




This is one of the main palaces around Seoul, and probably the biggest of them all. It has numerous gates, temples and gardens, and I would consider this a walled city than a palace. The National Folk Museum is also beside it so we passed by after the tour. We probably would have enjoyed the tour during spring when everything is picturesque! If you plan to visit, make sure to get your guide map at the Ticketing booth so you will have a background of the palace’s history and the strategic locations of the pavilions.




Also, there is  a "changing of guards" ceremony at 10am and 2pm. We were able to witness it for only 10-15mins. Make sure to schedule your visit around  those times to maximize your experience. Take note that walking around the palace can be a bit tiring so I highly suggest wearing comfortable clothes.




Before heading to Hanboknam which is near the Bukchon Hanok Village, we had lunch at a nearby restaurant, about 5-min walk from the National Folk Museum. Based on our experience, it isn't that difficult to find places to eat as restaurants are just about everywhere. You don't have to worry! Also, contrary to popular belief, not all Korean dishes are spicy. As a matter of fact, most of them are tasty and fits a Filipino tongue. We didn't have much adjusting to do.




Hanboknam

Location: walking distance from Gyeongbokgung Palace, exit at the National Folk Museum. If travelling via subway, drop off at Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Go straight for about 300m to arrive at Bukchon Hanok Village.



Our trip to Korea wouldn't be complete if we didn't try on Korea's traditional costume, Hanbok! This is a must! This is also included in DSP, so we enjoyed it for free. The staff also took good care of us. They helped us pick our costumes and explained the different types of costume based on political hierarchy. They also assisted in accessorizing and doing my hair.





Alive Museum

Location: walking distance from Hanboknam / Bukchon Hanok Village. If travelling via subway: Jongno 3-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1 & 3 & 5), Exit 1. Walk for 310m and take right at Keumkang Store. Continue walking straight until you reach TonyMoly (Insa-dong Branch). The museum is on the right.



I was bit disappointed with this one mostly because I have high expectations of the place. I was expecting science-y props but it’s more on illusion paintings. Kids will probably enjoy this place, but for adults like us it was meh. I would say The Mind Museum in Manila is better.

Before heading home we had dinner around Insadong area -- it was full of lights even at night.



The N-Seoul Tower is actually part of today's itinerary, but we decided to just visit the tomorrow because our feet got so numb of all the walking lol! It was a tiring but fun day! The first 24hr of the Discover Seoul Pass has been used, let's look forward to more adventure on Day 3!
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