TV Notes: Twenty Again

Side note: A NEW BLOG ENTRY! YAAASSSSSS. This entry on Twenty Again has spoilers, so be warned!

I have a confession: Twenty Again was the first Korean drama that I watched from start until finish.  For some strange reason, I never got around to watching Korean dramas. Earlier this year, I tried watching Descendants of the Sun, but never got to finish it. Who knew that a random visit to Choi Ji-woo’s Wikipedia page would change things? Blabber aside, allow me to share my thoughts about Twenty Again, and why it’s an endearing show to watch.

Twenty Again is the story of Ha No-ra (played by Choi Ji-woo), a 38-year old woman who enters college for the first time in almost 20 years. During those twenty years, she devoted her life to becoming a wife to her condescending, douchebag of a husband Kim Woo-chul and a mother to their son Kim Min-soo. As their son Min-soo is about to enter university, Woo-chul and No-ra decided to get a divorce. While going through divorce proceedings, No-ra secretly applies for university. As she finalizes her plan to go to university, she gets misdiagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer with a timeframe of 6 months to live. She uses the misdiagnosis as a wake-up call to experience life as a young adult while enrolled in college.

Continue reading “TV Notes: Twenty Again”

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Notes from last night’s rally

Last night, I joined my first REAL rally.  As someone who begrudgingly admits that her activism is limited to the online space, participating in a protest for the very first time was exciting. It’s exciting because it’s an amazing opportunity to meet and learn from fellow activists and millennials about their plans to mobilize and engage young people to speak up about their causes. In this case, we were all fighting against the decision to have Ferdinand Marcos buried at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, as well as the fight for good governance and justice.

My first experience at a rally was not as pleasant as I would like to be. I got lost so many times, tripped and got injured, and cried out of hopelessness because I couldn’t find the People Power Monument. Despite the rough journey to get there, I was still grateful to have participated in it. I also met some upperclassmen from college too, who organized and helped out with the rally at PPM. The crowd was small last night, but I believe that even the tiniest voices can have the biggest impact. Rallyists chanting “Busina, busina para sa hustisya” and shouting “Never again to Martial Law” last night was so empowering to hear. It also brought me chills.

I am excited for the rally on Wednesday, and I am hoping that there will be more people who will come out and show up for a cause such as this. Marcos is not a hero and he will never, ever be. To my fellow millennials, don’t let others spoil your chances of speaking up against this horrible decision, and continue to fight for what is right.

Continue reading “Notes from last night’s rally”

Protest Fashion and Beauty, Anyone?

After the rise of the #TakeNoShit campaign online, a famous Internet troll decided to give a piece of um, unsolicited fashion and beauty tips while participating in rallies. In case you live under a rock, let me give you a brief background on this AWESOME campaign that unfortunately got some internet trolls #SHOOKT (which is very pathetic, by the way) and prompted them to spew out nonsensical advice.  The #TakeNoShit campaign was initiated by Ateneo de Manila University instructor Nathania Chua as a response to dehumanizing (and flat-out gago) comments by netizens towards protesters who spoke out against the decision to bury ex-president/dictator/demon spawn Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. This campaign aims to provide awareness on the real-life consequences of online harassment, and eventually compel people to take action against their harassers.

Yesterday, Ilda of Get Real Philippines shared a piece of advice for protesters that caused the ire of so many people, including myself. (You can really tell that it’s fucking terrible, right?)

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Want to know why? In a time where women still continue to fight for ownership and responsibility for their own bodies and lives, there are still other people who wrongfully dictate what should and shouldn’t be expected of a woman. Rape culture still very much exists in our society, and this kind of mindset presented by Ilda is perpetuating that rape or harassment victims should be blamed for their misfortunes and dismiss men’s violent sexual attitudes as a “boy thing.” In this case, Ilda insinuated the online harassment that these women received after the protests were a product of their own doing because they were wearing short shorts and on-fleek makeup, and that they should cover themselves up to prevent being harassed. As a response to her very infuriating tweet, I thought about how people should dress and look like during protests.  I was also inspired by Irish Dizon’s Facebook post on this too.

Here’s the golden rule for rally-appropriate fashion and beauty : WEAR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT, AND LOOK WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU WANT. If you dig sharply contoured cheekbones that will pierce the flawed logic of internet trolls, go! If you want to wear short shorts, a cropped top, or even a daster, just do it. One’s clothing or appearance should not be an issue for anyone who’s fighting for a cause that’s directed for the common good. As for the trolls and harassers, please take responsibility of your shitty behavior.

P.S.: I’m going to contour the crap out of my face and wear short shorts during the rally on the 30th because I’m a concerned citizen who likes to dress good and look good for herself. Those things are not mutually exclusive. Bye!

Life Update #10001

(Will be quite rambly, since this is a another stream-of-consciousness post)

It’s been a while since I updated here. The last thing I posted was my review on some of the Glossier products that I bought earlier in the month. Since then, I haven’t really posted anything. I have been doing a lot of real-life things, such as applying for jobs (and other opportunities), improving my carbonara recipe, and getting some writing done, which is actually pretty good.

However, on the flip side, I’ve been dealing with a lot of negative thoughts and feelings. Actually, I’ve been dealing with these thoughts and feelings since the start of the year, but it’s only been recently where I have actively confronted them head-on. This big balloon of negativity has weighed me down for so long, and has created some perceptions that continue to destroy my self-confidence and belief in myself, as well as my relationships with other people. Much more so, having these negative thoughts and feelings have steered me to a direction where I have contemplated on decisions that will put my life in potential danger. It was only during a recent near-death experience where I realized how important life is, and that life is unpredictable. That experience taught me how to take care of myself, even if times are hard.

Speaking of self-care,  I have to learn how to manage my time and resources better. At the same time, I also need some structure in my life, like setting up a daily schedule for attending to writing assignments, as well as other tasks and commitments. I’ll also set up a bullet journal too, to help me with this journey to healing. It’s going to take some practice, but I will get there. Spiritually, I also have to learn how to forgive myself in terms of dealing with fuck-ups from the past. I have to come to terms with them, and not reject it like some toy with factory defects. Mistakes, failures, and rejections are part of life, and over time, I am slowly opening up to seeing them as lessons or opportunities for growth.

To anyone who’s reading this, I will get better. I will get through this, no matter how difficult.

 

 

 

Glossy-Yay or Nay? A Glossier Mini-Haul and First Impressions

I’ve known about Glossier since 2014, but I think I only became a Glossier fangirl this year. The release of the brand’s Phase 2 set was the catalyst for it, when Glossier included makeup staples such as concealer and lipstick (I didn’t care about their skincare at that time). I dug deeper into the brand, by looking at their online campaigns and watching reviews on YouTube. Almost everything about Glossier’s ad campaigns just screamed “authentic, inclusive, and simple” which is a breath of fresh air from the traditional beauty campaigns that I see in print and online. Just check out this roundup of GRWMs below!

Recently, I decided to treat myself with some Glossier products. Although I originally wanted to try out their skincare (Milky Jelly Cleanser and Priming Moisturizer, anyone?), I decided to opt out of it because I didn’t want to disrupt my current skincare routine. I am at this point where my skin looks and feels really good, and having new products in my arsenal can be either a hit or miss.

Instead, I decided to buy the Balm Dotcom and the Generation G. The balm dotcom is described as a “universal skin salve,” which can be used for dry lips, cuticles, and minor cuts, while Generation G is advertised as a “sheer matte lipstick.” I got the balm dotcom in Coconut (thanks Mel of @glossiermnl!), while the shade I got in Generation G was Crush (which I got from MUP Store), which is a bright pink-berry shade that I would normally avoid.

Now, on to my thoughts about the products! The Coconut balm dotcom immediately became a favorite of mine. At first, people may think that the balm dotcom is a glorified version of petroleum jelly or Vaseline. I guess it’s because of the price (it retails around 12 USD, but I got mine for Php 750), but I’ve looked past that because it works really well and it feels really good. I have dry and dehydrated lips, and the balm dotcom was able to moisturize it. Not to mention, the coconut scent is clean and pleasant, which is a far cry from the coconut scents that I am used to. At 0.5fl oz, you only need the smallest amount to moisturize and hydrate the areas that need some extra TLC. And oh, the flavored balm dotcom’s packaging is beautiful.

On the other hand, I am a bit conflicted towards Generation G. The lipstick definitely lived up to its claim of being a sheer matte lipstick. It’s buildable and dries down to a matte stain, and it glides on like a balm when applied. It lasts long too. Color-wise, I really like the just-bitten pink berry stain that Crush leaves on the lips.  However, I do think that the amount of product you’re getting and the product’s packaging does not reflect its steep price. At 0.04 oz/1.13 g, you’re only getting a small amount of product, and its plastic packaging feels a bit fragile. Also, Generation G just comes in four shades, and I think that expanding the color range a bit would be a big help for many skin tones. If you are looking for alternatives to Generation G, just get Revlon’s matte/balm stains or use a lip stain and put a balm over top.

To wrap this up, I think that the products that I got from Glossier are very good. The balm dotcom definitely lived up to its hype. Generation G, on the other hand is also very good, but I just wished that it was developed better, in terms of pricing, product distribution, color selection, and packaging. I would recommend Glossier if you are a fan of low-maintenance makeup. If you are a big skincare fan, I think you should look into Glossier’s skincare range because I’ve heard good stuff about it. In fact, I am considering getting the Back to Reality trio soon, which includes the mint balm dotcom and the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack. Another thing to note though, if you are buying Glossier here in the Philippines is to find a reseller that gives you really good prices.

 

 

 

Not Now

Hello, crippling self-doubt.

We meet again. Why do we always bump into each other often? Last week, I was at a high because I went to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival, inspired and motivated to write better. Then here you are again, telling me that I can’t write, or that my writing is comparable to a grade school student.

Is it because my writing is still not there yet? Or am I just too scared to go for it? Write, submit, share your soul to the world—it’s easier said than done. I have skeletons in my closet that I am still afraid to show, and I am afraid that I will be subject to the scrutiny of others. Years of bullying have made me quite self-conscious about myself, and the work that I have put out. It’s as if I’ve let this experience consume me, to the extent that I have to be ashamed of my entire being and mold myself into someone that’s more desirable for others.

I guess it’s the same thing with my writing. I just want to be able to express myself and just write whatever my heart desires, but there are people out there who will mock me and tell me that I can’t do it. On the flip side, there are others who will say otherwise. There are others who will believe in my writing and motivate me to go for it. There are people who will tell you, “You need to straighten your hair for boys to like you,” and there are people who will tell you that they love you for who you are, flaws and all. It runs parallel with one another.

Because of you, crippling self-doubt, I am more motivated to shake off the weight of the past. My bullies from grade school until now do not matter to my growth anymore. I am more motivated to get back into writing more than ever, and you do not need to bother me every single day to remind me that I can’t do things, especially things that I am dedicated to. I will keep on writing, and I have to remind myself that I am strong, beautiful, and capable.

 

Current Everyday Makeup Routine

One of the things that I have been contemplating to write about in my blog is my everyday makeup routine. While funemployment has kept me at home almost every day, I do have days where I go out. Because of this, I have developed a makeup routine that has allowed me to look like an amplified version of myself, without scaring the shit out of people. I have also made the makeup routine versatile enough for any occasion or place.

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I first start with my base. Working on my base is probably the portion of my routine that takes up the most time, depending on how many imperfections I have to correct. I usually start with sunscreen, and I use the Belo SunExpert one with SPF 40. It feels nice and light on the skin and it helps make my makeup stay longer. Next, I use a primer from Maybelline, and I put it on areas where I feel shiny. The Maybelline primer feels nice on the skin, but I don’t like the smell of it. Sometimes, I would forego primer and just use sunscreen because I don’t want to be bothered with an extra step. However, sunscreen is necessary. After putting on sunscreen/primer, I put on my BB cream or tinted moisturizer. I usually use the Pond’s one, but I recently got a tube of tinted moisturizer from Marks and Spencer, so I try to alternate the two or mix them together. Once this is finished, I apply concealer. My favorite is L’Oreal’s True Match Concealer in W4-5/Light-Medium. However, if I have a massive spot, I use my MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NW30 and top it with the L’Oreal concealer. I set everything with powder, and I use my Maybelline White Superfresh Powder in Sand Beige.

Once I am done with my base, I then proceed to the eyes. Usually, I just work on my eyebrows and put on mascara. My favorite eyebrow product of all time is the Etude House Drawing Eye Brow Pencil, but I recently used it up. What I have right now is the Brow Lasting Eyebrow Mascara in Dark Brown from Bench’s makeup line. It’s a good find for its cheap price because it stays on all day. However, I have to use a very light hand with it because the brush is too big to use on the brows. In addition, I have to keep a spoolie with me to blend the product so that my brows would look natural. I recently got the Fashion Duo Brow Shaper from Maybelline, and it has taken over my beloved Etude House eyebrow pencil. For mascara, I usually use the Maybelline Hypercurl or the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Edge Meister mascara. I like having defined lashes because it looks like I am awake. However, if I am in the mood to wear eyeshadow, my favorite is the Maybelline Color Tattoo eyeshadow in Creamy Beige.

I don’t usually wear blush because I don’t like to be bothered with any extra steps whenever I do my makeup. However, the invention of lip-and-cheek tints have helped me incorporate cheek products into my routine. The lip and cheek product that I use is Happy Skin’s Shut Up and Kiss Me Lip & Cheek Mousse in Swept Off My Feet, which is a neutral midtone pink that gives a slightly pinched look. Unfortunately, I am about to run out of this product, so if you have a good suggestion for lip and cheek tint, please let me know! For lips, I usually wear a lipstick in a neutral or nude shade. My current favorites are L’Oreal’s Tint Caresse Lip Color in Lily Blossom (which somewhat reminds me of Glossier’s Generation G in Cake), Sleek’s Matte Me liquid lipstick in Birthday Suit and Ettusais’ Creamy Lip Crayon in PK-02. However, if I really cannot be bothered, I just put on tinted lip balm.

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The finished product!

That concludes my everyday makeup routine! It took me quite awhile to figure out and somewhat perfect it, but this combination has worked for me ever since I started doing it.

 

 

The Weekend

Another free-writing exercise. This time around, I will be talking about how my weekend went.

Saturday

Yesterday, I had lunch with my best friend Jow. Jow and I have known each other for sixteen years, but we’ve been best friends since we were in the fifth grade. We haven’t seen each other for months, and we really needed to decompress and see each other.

For our lunch date, we had lunch at Pancake House in Glorietta. Jow ordered the Grilled Cheese and Spaghetti combo, while I ordered Salisbury Steak. Too bad we didn’t take photos of the food, because we were really hungry at that time. Over lunch, we talked about work, writing, and life in general. We also tried catching Pokemon in between bites. After lunch, we decided to pass by Baskin & Robbins as an attempt to chill out and talk about more things again.

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Jow got Chocolate Chip, while I got Maui Brownie Madness. I usually get Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough whenever I drop by a Baskin & Robbins, but the Maui Brownie Madness is so delicious!  We also took turns in taking snaps and tried to catch for Pokemon again inside Glorietta.

After we had ice cream, we decided to head to Landmark. Jow wanted to buy the new Maybelline brow product that Liza Soberano is currently endorsing, and that said brow product is on sale. Unfortunately, it was out of stock at Landmark, so we passed by Greenbelt and checked out a couple of stores such as Muji and PCX. We dropped by PCX, and the brow product was out of stock there. We also tried some foundations and other beauty products at the store. At some point during our stop at Greenbelt, we also dropped by the Beauty Bar branch at Greenbelt 5. Going to Beauty Bar is equal parts hell and heaven, because the products that they have are so cool, yet we can barely afford them. Finally, we dropped by the Watsons at Greenbelt 1 and we finally found stocks of the Maybelline Fashion Brow Shaper Duo. Jow and I got one each after we tested them out. After deciding on getting it, Jow got a new face powder while I got some sanitary napkins. I know it’s TMI territory, but I get paranoid when I don’t have an adequate stock of period products.

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We needed to take a photo.

After we went shopping, we decided to roam around the Greenbelt area while waiting for Jow’s sundo. While roaming around, I asked her if I could charge my phone, since my phone was running out of battery. She agreed. We also stopped by Cafe Mary Grace, because she wanted to buy some treats for one of her aunt’s friends. Afterwards, we parted ways because Jow’s sundo already arrived. We parted ways, and then I realized that my phone was with her! Fortunately, my iPad was connected to the Ayala  Malls wi-fi, so I was able to message her. She then messaged me that she left my phone at her aunt’s office, so I just picked it up from there. We parted ways (again), and we promised that we will do something again next month. We’ll go to a board game cafe, perhaps? Or try a new restaurant? We’ll see.

I was on my own for the rest of the day, so I decided to do my usual routine whenever I go to the mall.  I window-shop, leech wi-fi, go around, eat, the works. I dropped by the Color in History exhibit at Ayala Museum, which was on free admission. While there, I saw one of the women that I looked up to back in high school.

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Meet Ms. Villegas! Ms. Villegas was my Literature teacher back in third year school, and she was one of the teachers I had in high school that I admired. She had an immense passion for writing and literature, which inspired me to read more and write. We talked about life in college and in high school, as well as some stuff about the exhibit. It was nice seeing her!

 

Some photos from the exhibit.

After I dropped by the exhibit, I did my usual routine. Along the way, I bought a notebook for my mental health journal from Papemelroti. I was also able to try out a bunch of makeup, but I recently promised myself to buy less makeup in the coming months. I was also able to catch a lot of Pokemon yesterday.

Sunday 

Sundays are usually chill days for me. I woke up at 6:45 am, which is something I consider early (I usually wake up at 8:30 now). I had pancakes for breakfast. Afterwards, I went back to my room to check stuff online. I ended up feeling ambivalent after, since I learned that President Duterte said something absolutely shitty. His charm is comparable to a cult leader, with his supporters blindly attacking those critical of his administration with rude comments. His comments have made my day a bit terrible, but thankfully there are some things to be happy about.

First, there’s the release of Frank Ocean’s second studio album, Blonde. I like Frank Ocean and his music, and his songs hit an emotional nerve for me (“Thinking About You” made me cry). Next, I finally got some alone time— well, sort of.

My brother asked me to buy something for her (He and her are my brother’s preferred pronouns) at SM Bicutan, so I obliged to her request. After I did it, I spent the afternoon at Bo’s Coffee to write in my journal and use the wi-fi. I was also craving for coffee, so I ended up ordering an iced latte with vanilla syrup.  In a previous post, I mentioned that I will try to stay away from coffee as much as I can, but  I realized that I still need coffee once in a while. Afterwards, I roamed around the mall, with Booksale as my last stop. The Booksale branch in SM Bicutan has a couple of rare finds; I was able to find some old issues of i-D, The Fader, and Wired there a couple of years back. I didn’t want to buy anything at first, but the preloved book section came calling. I ended up getting Steve Martin’s novella, Shopgirl! I have a lot of books on queue, but this book was one of the books that I’ve been meaning to read for quite a while now.

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After I went to SM, I went to Army Navy. I wanted to try Army Navy’s steak breakfast burrito, so I ordered one with some extra bacon. I really liked it, and sour cream gave the burrito an extra kick. It’s the perfect all-day breakfast meal, and I highly encourage meat lovers to try it!

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(P.S.: I am just going to eat bacon less. Maybe when I’m out of the house.)

Before I went home, I did some window shopping at a Korean general store in Better Living. I found some Face Shop products, as well as some Pepero variants that I have never heard of.

And oh, Jow and I decided to go to the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival this weekend. We’re usually not morning people on weekends, but we will go to two of the morning talks on Saturday because the topics are right up our alley.

This weekend was a good breather. Friends, food, and alone time? Yes, I know it’s a strange combination, but this is how I would want to spend my spare time. I have to read Shopgirl now, and probably try to sleep.

1:09 (Stream of Consciousness #2)

It’s currently 1:09 am, and I am still not asleep. I have a lunch tomorrow with Jow, plus I have to continue some writing for work. Speaking of writing, my other writing gig hasn’t given me any assignments yet, so I have a whole month to focus on Philihappy assignments. I am also looking into other opportunities for writing, in case that secret writing gig won’t pan out. Right now, I am just trying to gain as much experience as possible, so I can build a proper portfolio in the future for job applications. I really need to stop ruminating about this. Just apply for those gigs, Lea. Stop being overly self-conscious!

On the topic of being overly self-critical, I think I developed that trait after years of feeling inferior to other people. For most of my grade school and high school life, I have been constantly compared to one of my close friends. I guess it’s because our parents are close friends also, and that my father felt that I had these deficiencies that needed to be compensated by being exemplary in certain areas. As a result, I guess this experience made me feel like I needed to compete with everyone— to the extent that it’s holding me back from making true friends along the way. I guess my father wanted me to imbibe this work ethic that he has developed growing up, and while it is admirable, I am aware of certain variables that will prevent me from being like him. I can work smart in my own way, and I can make my own mark. I guess the reason why I looked for jobs and internships without his intervention is because I wanted to prove to him that I can do it, and that I can stick with what I know and love. I am still somewhat bummed though, that I didn’t spend the first few months after graduating from college attending writing workshops, blogging consistently, or doing an internship related to media. Yes, the management classes were helpful and they gave me some credibility, but I can’t discount the fact that it felt forced. I may have said way too much, and while my dad has played a huge role in harboring these bad thoughts and feelings, I still have the capacity to break free from it. I have accepted that my friends are better than me in certain areas, and I have also accepted that I am better than them in others. That’s how life works, and life shouldn’t be a competition.

As I write this entry, I am also in the process of creating a mashup of Hip-Hop Abs videos so I can create a workout that I can follow four times a week. I have been on a wellness kick lately, but my eating habits are almost the same. I just eat more vegetables now, and I haven’t been eating as much rice. I also have an abundant supply of chicken breast fillets in the fridge, which is more than enough to create homemade chicken nuggets for inumans with friends. Speaking of cooking, I have yet to figure out how to operate the oven so I can bake and make more magic in the kitchen while I have the time. I also have a couple of plans for my 500 Words challenge, and that involves the use of my digital camera. I also have plans on restructuring my finances, so I would  stop buying makeup almost every month. So many plans, so many thoughts. I have to jot these down in a notebook.

 

 

An attempt to write again

Recently, I hit a wall with my writing. As I mentioned in my previous post, I found it difficult to write something— whether it’s an article for work, or a personal piece. It sucks to feel stuck with the current trajectory of my progress as a writer. What the heck, I can’t even be considered a writer by certain people because I don’t have a lot of experience, and my vocabulary is not as sophisticated as theirs. But on the flip side, this is the way that I write, and I will continue to form this writing voice that shows who I really am. Fuck what they think.

As a headstart in improving my writing skills, I discovered this little challenge called My 500 Words. My 500 Words is a writing prompt by Jeff Goins, which compels people to write something in 500 words, for 31 days. I really want to be able to get better at expressing myself through writing, and my fellow writer friends told me that I just need to keep writing to grow and improve. I also want to stop the habit of constantly berating myself for “not being good enough,” or being overly self-conscious about by my writing. There are several prompts in this challenge, which include free-writing, goal-setting, and storytelling. I am excited to do this challenge, and I am hoping that this will help me relax and love writing again as a craft. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Lea, please keep writing. You have a voice, and you can write. There are people who encourage you to keep on honing your craft. Listen to them, and not those who say otherwise.

(PPS: I will take on this challenge in two ways: write blog entries or write a personal entry in one of my many, many journals)