Saturday, December 31, 2016

Thank You, 2016

2016 was definitely one of my banner years
Best of 2016
  • I was able to watch One OK Rock live and they are amazing! Taka's voice is so stable even if he jumps all around, Toru is ikemen and Ryota & Tomoya have great showmanship! 
  • My uncle Raffy came home and I needed to be a local tour guide again! I'm definitely not complaining as I was able to visit Baler and try surfing for the first time!
  • Never really thought about visiting Legazpi City but had the chance this year for Sarj's wedding. Mount Mayon is beautiful!
  • Booked a villa in enchanting Misibis Bay and witnessed the beautiful wedding of Sarj and Andre.
  • Went on a solo backpacking trip to Coron, not because I planned to do a soul searching but because my HS friends flaked out on me and I really wanted to go on vacation.
  • April 26th was the start of the awkward dating stage with Chino. He was my former lead and colleague and was never on my radar. On June 19th, we became official <3
  • There were times when I wanted to give up and I was thinking if it's worth it and then finally I got the promotion that I've been eyeing. Hard work, works!
  • I was sick during my 31st birthday but I had a sumptuous Vikings pre-birthday dinner with my team members, Spiral buffet dinner with my co-leads and post-birthday celebration with my family.
  • We had this leadership visit so we're able to do almost a month long engagement activities and team building!
  • I also joined the summer outing of my former company. 
Best of 206
  • I was able to introduce Chino to my family and friends and at the same time I met his. 
  • I tried "karakol' a procession done during the fiesta celebration in Tanza, his mom's hometown.
  • I learned that Dad's buffet is better than Vikings in terms of price and food selection.
  • But Lee Hak Buffet in Pioneer Center is our go to restaurant for unlimited dumplings and Korean BBQ.
  • I have this tankini which I used from Baler to Misibis Bay to Coron to Pansol!
  • Ginebra is champion again after eight years! I'm torn if Jayjay and Mark should retire already or if they should let Thompson and the new blood run the show.
  • 2016 is consistently the year of the surprise, I was able to go on a US trip for my cousin's wedding. I will always fondly remember that I was able to watch the Lakers vs Warriors, the roadtrips from Orange County to Los Angeles to San Diego to San Francisco to Las Vegas AND the generosity of my family and friends.
  • After 2 years, I was able to visit Seoul again and this time with my entire family. I also tried skiing and ice tubing for the first time.
old school scrapbooking
  • 2016 is also the year that I went back to traditional scrapbooking. I realized that it's more expensive compared to making photobooks but it's 5x more fun to cut, write and stick mementos together!
I'm claiming that 2017 will be another banner year, the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Don't Cross

There's a thin line between asking for what you deserve and sabotaging your happiness while pursuing it.

Friday, August 19, 2016

19

Is this the real me or is this the person I've become because I love you?

Friday, July 01, 2016

I'm going all in



I want to be the girl who clings a little too much. Unapologetic and acts without thinking about the rules and boundaries of love.

I will call you when I want to. I will send consecutive text messages just because I have too many stories to share. I will grab your hand or ask you to hug me when I want to feel your body heat. I’ll be fearless and tell you to look at me in the eye while we're at it.

I want to be the girl who's not afraid to love more. I want to be madly in love, honest and vulnerable. I will follow my heart, show my feelings, make small and grand gestures.

Basically, I'll follow my heart with no regard to pride or prejudice.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday the 13th Muni muni

Birth month means taking my annual physical exam, renewing my Google certifications and turning a year older. I'm 31!!!! Honestly, I barely remember my age, unless someone reminds me about it or I need to fill up something and asks for that detail. I'm not ignoring it, truth be told, I've been embracing my tita stage =)).

I was thinking of writing a letter to my younger self as a pre birthday post but I'm in a weird state right now and I just want to freely blog about the struggles and joys in my 30s.

*Money matters!
Five years ago, I had a leap of faith moment when I bought a condo and got a home loan. This made me strict about my finances because I know that every 17th of the month, I need to pay this fixed amount to the bank. It's not easy, I have a constant inner battle between saving for the future and living in the moment! I learned that it's important to save as much as possible because this is the age where it's embarrassing to have debt or to be unprepared for unexpected expenses. In terms of needs vs wants, I learned to invest on experiences rather than things - or that's what I tell myself so that I can keep on travelling.

*Health is wealth
I sincerely miss my fast metabolism, the days when I can eat a lot and remain slim are just memories. I have to exercise and watch what I'm eating, not just to stay slim but to be healthy. It's hard and expensive to be sick and I've read that the way you treat your body has a cumulative effect. What you eat and how much you exercise can contribute to your future state of well being.

* Quality over quantity in relationships
Part of growing up is learning to say no, without the guilt, to people or even activities that doesnt give a positive impact . I can't tolerate miserable or negative people because they can certainly drain you. I like people who are passionate about their career, hobbies or family because they inspire me. I like meaningful relationships and I now make sure to make time for my family and friends who matters. It has to be mutual, I stopped caring to those who won't make an effort. Meanwhile, the same cannot be said in my romantic relationship - it's in progress as of the moment and deserves a separate post. =)))

*Achieve!
Recently, I took the Gallup strengths finder test and my #1 strength is "achiever".  I agree that this drives me to get things done (on the areas that I can control) and I have to live with whisper of discontent. At some point, I decided that I should be growth oriented instead of goal oriented. Although I start my work day by listing my daily goals, it would be healthier if my mindset is working towards growth rather than accomplishing goals. I should also focus on being brilliant on few things rather than being a Jack of all trades.

When I was younger, I dreamt that by the age of 30 I'll be like this and that because that's what society tells us. But I've accepted that its OKAY that I havent figured out everything or that I havent turned out as how I imagined my 30 year old self. There will be times that I'll be sad or hurt about things not going my way but that's part of the whole process. What's important is that I'll choose to be happy and kind to myself every chance that I'll get because the best is yet to come!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Solo Backpacker in Coron, Palawan

This trip to Coron was supposed to be with my 3 friends but ended up as a solo backpacking trip. Due to different reasons they ended up backing out but I already filled my vacation leave and my mind is already set on unwinding to this island.
Truth be told, I was anxious when I arrived at the airport after 1 hour flight from Manila. I first did a solo backpacking in Tokyo but I was more nervous in my own country. I emailed my entire itinerary to my sister beforehand and hoped for the best.  Coron proper is 30minutes away from the airport so I booked an airport transfer beforehand. I was the only passenger that kuya driver fetched, he also gave me his card while offering himself as a tour guide. Never disclose that you're traveling alone, it's okay to be polite but don't be naive. 

I arrived at Patrik and Tezz Guesthouse, just in time for check in hours.  I booked one of their new fan rooms, it's clean with a big bed that occupies the entire room and with good wifi signal.
I was already due for a late lunch so I hailed the tricycle to go to city proper. I tried the seafood ramyun at Dali Dali Korean restaurant. I was surprised that it has plenty of crabs, shrimps and squid servings.
My second agenda was to go to Maquinit Hot Spring. I rented a tricycle for PHP150 to drive me to the place and wait for me for 2 hours. It was a 15minutes drive to a rough road leading to the hot spring area. 
There were 4 main pools, the hot spring was coming from a nearby inverted volcano. There were few people, mostly foreigners, enjoying the pool when I got there. I also met a family who we're happy to see a local, although at first they thought I was Chinese.
The peaceful view from the pool

I was cautious not to stay out late so after buying my dinner, I went back to the guesthouse. Fortunately, my room is across the pool, I cooled down there. I met some of the backpackers and the owner, Patrik, even gave me a beer. They we're surprised that I was only on vacation for 3 days but I was more surprised that they have been traveling all over the Philippines for months now. My longest vacation is just a week and I'll be itching to go back to work by then.
I had a power breakfast before going on a whole day boat tour.

One of my worries is that what if nature calls me, well, the boat is well equip.

I paid PHP700 pesos for a free lunch and day tour to Siete Pecados, Kayangan lake, Twin Lagoon and Beach 91. 

I met tita Annie, a Brapanese, who then planned to roam around the country for 90 days! She's been to places in Mindanao that I've never been before. I'm not sure if I should be ashamed that I only set foot to Davao.
My frustration in eating lobster started on our Baler trip, early this year. It was too expensive to buy 1 piece for PHP800 back then. I was so happy that in Lobster King, I bought all of these for less than PHP1,000.  I experience Lobster overload.
One of the must do in Coron is to climb Mt Tapyas to see this view.  I was huffing and puffing when I reached the top but it was worth it!


This solo backpacker trip became memorable because of the wonderful nature Coron has to offer, the cheap but yummy food and the wonderful fellow backpackers I've met along the way.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Blueming 6th Mini Album: CNBLUE Begins to Bloom

This post is created to dump all my feels for CNBLUE's 6th mini (Korean) album, Blueming

On March 21, FNC announced that they will release their 6th mini album on April 4.

   You're so Fine - Official Video -  I like the part where they're on a circle and jamming together!


Comeback week



M Countdown


That Busan brothers blending for Young Forever is love


Music Bank


Music Core


 

SBS Inkigayo is the best comeback stage!



On the 2nd promotion week, they sweeped 4/5 awards!
The Show - band version

Hit that! Hey, hoe!! 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸 #μ΄λ ‡κ²Œμ˜ˆλ»€λ‚˜1stwin

Pre recorded award acceptance for Show Champion

3rd straight win

I knew they would win in Music Bank but that body wave celebration was unexpected! I love how KBS released the full version of CNDorks! #μ΄λ ‡κ²Œμ˜ˆλ»€λ‚˜4thwin
Priceless promotions for Blueming comeback
Oh my kokoro, YongHwa and JongHyun samchon/uncles for Return of Superman. I miss watching this show!
YongHwa as BoRam's producer for "Sugarman". I love how he rearranged "The Name", it's my LSS for a week now!

I always look forward to their guesting on Yoo Hee Yeol's Sketchbook as they always get to sing live and talk about just music. This time, they joined Rose Motel, the self proclaimed, 4th generation idol band hahaha

Radio sang live and MR removed is so precious!

Yesterday was the last day of CNBLUE's Blueming promotion. I can say that it's the most fun and chill comeback so far, considering that I only joined this fandom in post-"I'm Sorry" era. I felt that the boys really enjoyed their stages and remembered their goal of gearing towards becoming a haraboji band who creates their own music. Honestly, since the announcement of their comeback came out of nowhere, I just thought that I'll just enjoy this as a fan and don't try to worry about rankings and music show trophies. From that perspective, all of their wins just became a happy surprise and a cherry on top because not everyone can say that they've released and they are promoting their own self composed songs!
5th win on The Show!

Look at my surprised CNDorks! I knew they would win via a small margin haha #μ΄λ ‡κ²Œμ˜ˆλ»€λ‚˜6thwin

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Activate Prayer of Serenity

Recently, I attended a "stress management" talk which is part of our people engagement team's "wellness campaign'. One of my key takeaways, aside from I shouldn't drink more than 15oz of wine per day, is using the prayer of serenity to assess myself and eventually counter stress.

Credit

It is crucial to identify what is causing the stress and after that check what can I do to avoid it.If it cant be changed, evaluate what can be done. One of the examples mentioned during the talk is that "traffic" is most common cause of stress for employees. So, can you change the Manila traffic? NO! Then, what can be done? Is it a) Move to a place near the office, b) allot a longer commute time or c) find a job closer to your house. The action will ultimately depend on your priorities.

In my case, I've been feeling stuck for a while now because I've identified what's making me unhappy and I've worked out 4 different action plans to get out of it. Unfortunately, I've faced 4 rejections as my plan A,B,C & D  all came tumbling down. After the 3rd "NO", I was feeling hopeful because I thought "it only comes in 3's" so I'm claiming the 4th as the one for me. But still, it was a big "NO". At some point, I thought that I cannot deal with the 4th consecutive rejection. The thing is, life goes on and I have no choice but to stand up again and keep moving.

Sometimes, I wonder if I am being ungrateful  but I want to be the kind of person who works hard to get what I think I deserve. Now, if only, I can get better at being at peace when things don't go how I want it to be.

Not long ago, I felt that I was on a crossroad with a guy friend. I knew that a step can lead us to be more than friends but the thing is he's the one that I exactly don't want. I know its unfair because I'm already second guessing even before anything starts to unfold. I don't want him!!! (repeat 100x). Then why am I writing about it if it doesn't matter!

OK, back to the more important crisis, it's hard to be indecisive. It is in itself a decision and can be costly along the way. I need to visit St Jude or take a vacation.

Legazpi and Misibis Bay Experience

If I remember correctly, I first saw Mt Mayon from afar during a trip to my friend's province, Guinayangan, Quezon.
At 3Am in the morning, we alighted to transfer to another bus, a regular no aircon bus, that took us to mountain road with sharp turns, but that's another story.

Legazpi Ariport

If not for a friend's wedding, I wouldn’t be able to visit Bicol region and see the charming Mt Mayon which is featured in every Philippine History textbook. On the plane, I was kind of glum that I wasn’t sitting in the window seat and I had to put in effort to take a peak of the mountain. Good thing that I didn’t try to take a photo because when we disembarked from the plane, Mt Mayon and it's picture perfect view greeted us. Kuya guard was signaling for us to go straight to the airport and stop taking photos, I even thought that he should encourage us to be "tourists" but it turned out that kuya have a valid reason.

My friend and her family booked a van to fetch us from the airport and kuya driver also became our tour guide. Our first stop was Sumlang lake, it was a 40minute drive from the airport.

>People can enjoy different activities here but after taking photos, I just decided to try their sili iced candy.


It was too hot, so we just asked kuya driver to bring us to the best spots. We went to Casagwa Ruins, according to kuya photographer, the entire place used to be a municipality but it was wiped out during an eruption. Although the place is a popular tourist spot, it also became a reminder that it’s dangerous to live in close proximity with the Mayon volcano.

I wasn’t able to take a photo of the elevated place that sells a lot of souvenirs and has zipline & ATV rides but I really feel that the popular spots all strategically features the majestic Mt Mayon as a backdrop.

The laid back wedding reception was done on the beach front area. How cool is it to wear slip ons and have sand on my feet during the entire time! I'm purposely removing the memories from the singles game because not everything is about me =)))
Sunrise <3
Even with few hours of sleep and hangover, I was able to push myself to wake up early to enjoy the beach and watch the sunrise. It was my only chance to walk around the resort because I had to catch an early flight back to Manila
Misibis amphitheater
On our way back to Legazpi City, we passed by the breathtaking view of Misibis amphitheater. Misibis Bay Resort will always be a memorable place, not just because it took a plane ride and an hour or more of dizzy inducing land travel to get there, but mostly because it was a place where we celebrated the love of Sarj & Andre. I'm blessed to be a part of an intimate and lovely wedding ceremony.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Baler Experience: Surfing at Costa Pacifica

One week ago, we had a biglaang Baler trip! How sudden? On Sunday, my mom asked me and my siblings to reserve next Saturday for family outing. During that time it was already my uncle's 2nd week in the country and he hasn't been anywhere but in our house in Caloocan and in our province, Nueva Ecija. When I woke up that Monday morning, I knew that I had "book hotel" on my to do list but lo and behold my mother sent a Facebook message "Baler tayo" with a timestamp of 4AM (she works on a night shift).

I have colleagues who have been to Baler so recommendations were abundant, the only problem was finding a nice place ASAP for 14pax! We always travel in big groups =))). All of them recommended me to look for any place along Sabang Beach. My uncle also did his research through his kumpares and we both ended up suggesting Costa Pacifica. The rates are beyond our usual "backpacker" range and since it's very last minute, we ended up paying 2.5x the usual price. But all is well since my balikbayan uncle paid for the accommodation while the rest of us chipped in for food, transportation, gas and driver fee (nobody wants to drive).

We left Caloocan at around 4AM, had a quick stopover at Nueva Ecija to fetch our relatives and arrived at Costa Pacifica by 10:30AM. One of the perks of traveling during off peak season is that the place is not fully booked and we're able to have an early check-in, instead of waiting for 2PM.
Reception area
Preview
Baler Sunrise
The view from our room <3
<3
After checking in and fixing our stuff, my brother said that 11AM is the best time to surf. We're all first timers and very willing to try it! Costa Pacific offers surfing lessons which costs PHP350/hour and include the instructor's fee, rash guard and board rental. It's the same price price with Aliya Surf Camp and other nearby hostels. 
Baler = surfing
They had instructors on standby and kuya said they're a total of 30 for Costa Pacifica alone. Wow, they are indeed the surfing capital! We started with warm up and demo on the shore. I tried the "ready, stand" drill twice then kuya walked to the beach because we're ready to go. It was the longest 1 hour of my life, I was so tired but I'm proud to say that I had 3 long rides! The instructors deserve their tip because they tirelessly cheer on us until we got to stand on the board!
fall 7 times, stand up 8 moment

We decided to squeeze in a city tour in the afternoon, of course, the tours offered by the hotel is very expensive so we hired kuya instructor. It was already past 3PM when we thought about it so we decided to choose "Mother Falls", located in San Luis, 30minutes drive from the hotel. Kuya said it was a 20minute trek BUT we ended up walking and crawling for 50 minutes! Along the way, my sister in law's parents and my aunts have been eliminated and decided to stop trekking =)))
trekking...crawling for dear life

The glorious "Mother Falls" at last!  It was already past 5PM so we only took several photos and decided to go back - and trek for another 50 minutes. We had a stopover at the meryenda area and we enjoyed buko juice and tukneneng. I always end up following Biyahe ni Drew, so for our dinner we went to Gerry Shan's Place and enjoyed a Filipino food buffet for only PHP185!!! I really liked the small fried shrimps, KareKare and the desserts - biko and suman!
The family that treks together, eats buffet dinner!
We weren't able to try kakanin at Nanay Pacing's Cafe but I sampled a lot of Suman and Baler Pizza from the hotel's buffet.
Baler pizza, suman and kesong puti

The next day, before going back to Manila, we had a stopover at Maria Aurora and checked out the Millennium Tree. It is a massive balete tree that is 600+ years old already. They even allow tourists to go inside it, there's a CCTV inside but I still passed up the chance to walk around inside the tree! =)) I ended up walking and buying souvenirs - my ref magnet and snacks omiyage.
Baler Crew
Baler is worth the 6hours + drive, it's the best place to surf, great food and has a lot of nearby attractions as well!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Day Tour Outside Tokyo: Winter Sports

"Do you want to build a snow man?"

One of my biggest frustration during our recent Tokyo vacation is that we weren’t able to try any winter sport, as if we're a sporty bunch! Time and budget constraints are 2 of the main reasons why we weren’t able to push through with this activity. I've researched a lot of day tour trips outside Tokyo where you can try winter sports, that it's worthy of a blog post.
Photo from website
Fujiten Snow Resort is 3 hours commute away from Tokyo city and going there is like hitting 2 birds with 1 stone. Beginners can enjoy the sled while the more adventurous ones can try skiing while enjoying the majestic view of Mt Fuji. The resort is open from 8:30am to 5pm while night skiing is from 4-10PM.

How to get there:
From Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko Station
1) By Train│ Shinjuku Station → Kawaguchiko Station (2hr,¥2500-¥3400 1way)
By Bus | http://highway-buses.jp/fuji/ (2hr, ¥1,750 1way)
2) Taxi(20min ¥4500 1way)
3) Fujiten Snow Resort (¥9500/pax for a half-day entry, gear + equipment rental)

From Narita Airport
1) By Train│ Narita Airport Station→Train(3hr)→Kawaguchiko Station→Taxi(20min)→Fujiten Snow Resort

OR
You can book a group tour from Forest Bus , ¥8800 per person, exclusive of rental fee. Their Fujiten package is cheaper than the DIY option but you need to follow their packed  12hour itinerary. It starts from hotel pick up at 7:30 am, a tour at Lake Kawaguchiko then 4 hours stay at Fujiten Resort. I think that's enough time for lunch and enjoying the winter sports. Booking a package have pros and cons, it can be less risky because they will provide the transportation and tour guide but you can't enjoy the place on your own pace and time. The good thing though is that they are very responsive in email and I would love to book their service, too bad Fujiten’s opening season started in December 5, our departure date:(


Nagano is known as the Snow City and it's where Tokyo residents go for winter sports and onsen/hot bath. Although a day tour from Tokyo is possible, it can be very expensive and very time constricted so stay overnight instead.

1) By Train│Shinkansen to Nagano station (1.5hr)
2) Take a express bus to Shigakogen  (1.5hr)
Ski rental/day: ¥4000

Narita Airport to Nozawa Onsen
1) By Bus from Narita Airport (Roundtrip) 4hr ¥23,000
Lift pass/day: ¥3400
Rentals for skis boots and poles: ¥3000



from https://www.nozawaholidays.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/timetable-depart.pdf
If you're a winter sports beginner and on a tight budget, like me, I would recommend a day tour in Fujiten Resort. But if you're an advanced skier, you will certainly enjoy the entire Nagano area which offers onsen and wide variety of slopes. I hope I can experience this, next winter season!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

One OK Rock 2016 35xxxv Asia Tour Live In Manila Experience

I'm currently suffering from body ache that I got from being rowdy last night but I really have to write about the awesome concert experience before I sleep! I have a different hangover today and the only cure is watching One OK Rock live, again! 

I first heard about this Japanese rock band because of the movie, Rurouni Kenshin. They sang "The Begining", one of the OST for Takeru Satoh's film and from then on, my sister shoved their music to my throat! Don't get me wrong, I like their music but I want to be a casual fan because I can't afford to like another band!! On our recent trip to Tokyo, my sister forced me to buy her One OK Rock CDs as Christmas gifts for her.
Tower Records hoarding
We used to talk and dream about going to Europe to watch their concert because according to her, they only perform in Japan and Europe. Either way, sounds nice! I remember vividly, it was one Saturday morning in September, while I was browsing Facebook, I chanced upon Pulp Magazine's announcement that there will be a Manila stop for their 35xxxv Asia tour. I was literally jumping for joy but I had to wait for my sister to wake up and share the happy news! The VIP tickets costs PHP4,700 at it's very affordable compared to the K-Pop VIP and CNBLUE Budokan, Tokyo prices. After 4 months of waiting, finally, it's the D-Day!! My sister and I did some carbo loading and went to MOA Arena at around 6:30PM. There's no clear line for each ticket section and the guard said that it's pointless to join the magulong line because we have seat numbers. He has a point so we strolled around MOA grounds and went back at around 7PM. By that time, they already opened the gates and there's a clear line for VIP, lower box, etc.
The venue
The concert started at around 8:30 PM. They played MOA's safety video but sorry, I was too anxious to remember any of that. Maybe, a better idea is to play it on loop while we were waiting not the minute before the actual concert. We're on the seated VIP, middle aisle and I can't believe people really want to stay seated while the rest of the people in the arena are standing. Good thing, we're in the middle aisle so we stood on the stairs area to avoid complaints from people at the back. The other people on our front stood too so my sister and I doesn't feel guilty about blocking anyone.
So this is One OK Rock experience..1 of my 2 photos
Set list
35xxxv intro
Take me to the top
Memories
Deeper and deeper
Stuck in the middle
Clock Strikes
The last dance
Cry out
Heartache
Decision
Suddenly
The Beginning
Mighty Long Fall
Wherever You Are
No Scared
Dreamer

At first, when I glanced at the simple stage, I was underwhelmed with the stage design. They just used a black curtain as a background with their logo in the center and their instruments spread out. There's no LED displays. Then when they started performing I realized that One OK Rock can immerse you into their music and they don't need anything else, maybe a good sound system and lighting, to amplify the effect of their performance. They sang most of the songs from their new album 35xxxv (Take Me to the Top, Cry Out, Suddenly, Mighty Long Fall, Heartache, Memories, Decision, Stuck in the Middle, The Last Dance) but they also mixed their classics (Deeper and deeper, Clock Strikes,The Beginning, Wherever You Are, No Scared, Dreamer).

A photo posted by ONE OK ROCK (@oneokrockofficial) on


I really like the acoustic "Heartache" and the "light stick" effect when we raised our phones. We just followed them =)) When they threw white balloons in the standing VIP area, that was the time that I really regretted not waking up earlier to buy those limited tickets! 


A photo posted by TORU ONE OK ROCK (@toru_10969) on
It was the longest and shortest 1 1/2 hour ever!! I was so tired because I was jumping up and down while shouting/singing the entire concert. I don't know why I was competing with Taka (the vocalist) =))) He said that it's their 1st time to perform in the Philippines but we're a fuckin' awesome crowd! No Taka, you have a fuckin' awesome band and you fed us the energy to jump and sing during the entire concert!! I felt like 23 all over again hahaha and I only have 2 photos & 1 short video so I'm reposting their official photos - I think that's a great sign that I was really into it and it takes a lot to keep my attention! Arigatou, One OK Rock, please fulfill your promise!! Make another amazing album and come back for another concert in Manila!! 

Ganbatte ne!!!

2
A photo posted by Taka (@10969taka) on

Saturday, January 16, 2016

μ •μš©ν™” (Jung Yong Hwa) X μ„ μš°μ •μ•„ (SunWoo Jung A) - Empathy

I (and maybe,  the rest of Boice fandom) received a pleasant surprise on Sunday night, midnight on Korea.
https://twitter.com/FNC_ENT
FNC (CNBLUE's company) suddenly released a teaser for YongHwa's collaboration with Sunwoo Jung-A. So, every night, as a diligent follower, I waited every 11PM(12AM KST) for the new update- from teasers to album cover to finally the music video. Thank goodness for time difference!

It turned out that YH and SJA wrote 2 songs together. It's the typical "What YongHwa Wants, YongHwa Works Hard and Gets It" moment. It's funny how he had a lot of subtle hints on his Instagram posts. Last year, while he was promoting his solo album, he mentioned that he wants to collaborate with SJA because of her unique voice. SJA is actually a producer for YG Entertainment and worked with GD/TOP (BigBang) & 2NE1, She also released her critically acclaimed album and won "Artist of the Year" award. I honestly just read about those during their current promotions but hearing "Spring Girls" made me go all in in this collaboration project!

For "Hello" track, the music was by YongHwa and they collaborated on the lyrics. It's a ballad and their blending is heavenly! "The winter sings the love of you" blending is so awesome (for the lack of  better word to describe it). I was actually expecting a Jazz track but this is a pleasant surprise!

The song "light a fi-re, right in my heart!".."Fireworks" is a dance pop song, the music was c/o SJA and they both wrote the lyrics. 

I'm really impressed with how YH is pushing the boundaries in his musicality by collaborating with senior artists rather than doing the expected route (for Boices, I think) - duets with his idol friends Ailee and IU.


Bonus:
SJA singing YH's Mileage
 
 YH singing SJA's Spring Girls

Live Well: Just Do It, Just Say It

Yay! I finally made time to start blogging again. I can't believe it's already halfway through the first month of 2016 and I haven't finished my personal projects. I have pending posts for last December's Japan trip, I haven't started exercising and I'm still halfway through my photobook projects! At the end of last year, I switched to PLDT myDSL for my condo's internet connection and since then I've only been productive on my drama marathons! I need to work on my personal projects productivity!!!

Speaking of drama marathons, I'm currently hooked on "Cheese on the Trap". It's a Korean drama based on a web cartoon about Hong Seol and Yoo Jung. They are both over-achieving college students. Hong Seol is the best student in their class because she's a hard worker. She also comes from a slightly dysfunctional family setup that requires her to be self sufficient to be able to attend school. Yoo Jung is also diligent and/but a chaebol in the making, meaning he will inherit his family's business after he graduates. I like the fresh take on the college stereotypes, or  maybe because I haven't been watching any other school drama after "The Heirs".Of course, it's a boy meets girl story and I can really say that their chemistry is amazing as they've had a lot of heart fluttering moments!

But my favorite scene so far is this


Hong Seol needs to pass the group project and their teacher emphasized that everyone should contribute. Unfortunately, her teammates saw her as a free pass. With her scholarship on the line, Hong Seol had no choice but to complete everything by herself! During the presentation, it was obvious that she did everything, even her teammate's spiels. The professor gave all of them a, "D".

I was able to relate to that situation, I admit I've had my "Hong Seol" moments when I was a student and early in my career. Yes, doing the entire group project or working on a colleague's part instead of working together...because it's easier that to communicate to finish the project together. Recently, I've realized that I've unconsciously practiced being very outspoken. I was speaking out before but I've reached a new mindset wherein I'm empowered to speak my mind, give direct feedback - hopefully constructive. I've realized that I really need others to accomplish things, especially my team goals and I certainly can't do everything by myself. Well, I think, I can but I'll go crazy. So lately, instead of owning things, I've been leaning to mentoring and coaching others so that I can delegate some tasks to them and in the end it can help us grow together. 

I feel that the turnaround was triggered by an informal training that I got. For half a year now, I'm involved in a global workgroup initiative where everyone are "alpha". We virtually meet at least once a week to talk about a pitch and propose solutions. I've been indirectly trained to  raise the pitch of my voice to be heard and even be sharp everytime to communicate and defend my points. I actually missed this environment where everyone is on their A-game. But it doesn't mean that there needs to be a winner after the discussion because we're all working on a common goal & there's a space for success for everyone. Hopefully, I can mentor people to talk about their work, share their learning and bring their A-game everytime. I'm still in doubt if this is my calling but I would try to make the best out of this current opportunity.