A Blue Story

Soft melodies,
playing repeatedly. Blue
girl waiting
for the ocean to take her
home.

Before the intruders arrive,
to take away
the noise. Blue
girl waiting
but the flowers took off.

Notes running faster,
noise turning to silence. Silence
deafening a blue
girl waiting–
aching to be filled.

But ghosts have stopped playing.
Grief
transcends even death. Yet blue
girl continued to wait. Died
still lonely.

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Honest Notes VOL. 1: I found happiness in the South

HN 1Honest Notes are a collection of random pieces that I write on moments that overwhelms my heart. This is the first part of this series which I wrote during my recent trip with my family in the province of Batangas (hence, South). The past few months have been a difficult struggle of trying to keep my mental health in check which is why the said trip was important to me. Before leaving home, I was actually hoping to find some peace of mind and a bit of happiness along the way and I’m truly grateful for stumbling upon it on this humble trip.

(P.S. All the photos below are taken by me except for the two photos of myself which was taken by my sister) 

hn 13

The Hymn of the Broken

I am not going to be a tragedy

This is what I say to myself everytime the world turns a bit dark.

Calling out to the shadows of my happier self,

I scream.

 

I am not going to be a tragedy

I repeat it like a sacred prayer–palms closed, eyes drunk with despair.

Again, and again, and again

I pray.

 

Even as I finish obsessing each and every pain that my mind secretly carries,

I still do not want to be the kind of rain that creates thunderstorms.

My heart, no matter how exhausted it is, still longs for rainbows.

Therefore, I am not going to be a tragedy.

 

The walls of my room may tell me there’s nowhere to go,

But the wind, and the sun, and the trees are whispering, “there is”

And I am not going to be a tragedy because I believe this.

I am alive and I believe this.

 

 

 

 

Seoul-sucking TV: My 10 Favorite K-dramas of all time (Part 1)

Hi! It’s been so long since I last wrote something related to one of my most favorite things in the world: Korean Dramas! (Re: 10 Most Heartbreaking Scenes in Korean Dramas)

It’s crazy how much bigger it is now compared to when I first started to watch it back in 2009. The Korean Drama world then was pretty big, but not as huge as now. Still, it’s kind of fun to know that a lot of people are starting to appreciate these shows because trust me, they have lots of good stories there.

Anyways, this was a particularly difficult list to make since I’ve seen TONS of dramas and it’s really hard to just pick a few out of them. I mean, it’s a total miracle that I even finished this list!

Hence before I start, I would just like to reiterate that the dramas below are my personal choices so if there is a Korean Drama that you love which didn’t make it to this list, you have to forgive me. However, feel free to leave a comment about your favorite dramas so that I can also check it out. Well then, let’s start!

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Source: Amino Apps

* * *

10. Circle: Two Worlds Connected – tvN, 2017

Source: koreandrama.org

Summary: Set in two different timelines, Circle is a sci-fi mystery drama directed by Min Jin-Ki. The show is divided into two parts: The Beta Project (2017) and Brave New World (2037).

In the Beta Project timeline, Kim Woo-Jin (Yeo Jin-Goo) gets entangled in a series of suicide cases in his university while searching for his missing twin brother, Kim Bum-Gyun (An Woo-Yeon), who mysteriously disappeared while investigating the said case which he believes is caused by an alien named Han Jeung-Yeon (Gong Seung-Yeon).

Meanwhile, in 2037, South Korea is divided into two places: Normal Earth, a heavily populated place where crime and pollution are prevalent and Smart Earth, a peaceful version of South Korea with zero crime rates. Kim Joon-Hyuk (Kim Kang-Woo), is a violent crimes detective from Normal Earth who believes that Smart Earth isn’t totally what the government advertises it to be. Additionally, he believes that the answer to a case in 2017 involving the mysterious disappearance of twin brothers lies inside the protected city.

Reasons why I love it: 

Circle is heavily paced with lots of mystery lying here and there that will make the audience hold their breath most of the time. There is a certain amount of urgency in each episode that constantly puts the audience on the edge of their seats, which is great because that’s exactly how I want mystery dramas to be. I also immediately fell in love with the writers’ writing style and their ability to mind their audience. Most of the Korean dramas I’ve seen (especially the ones with mysteries) fails to deliver this kind of connection and ends up undermining the audience’s ability to think and theorize about the show on their own. However, Circle managed to address almost every fan theory as quickly as it surfaced. This led to amazing plot twists and totally admirable characters who don’t work one-dimensionally.

Lee Gikwang as Lee Ho-Soo (Brave New World) Source: Amino apps

Kim Kang-Woo as Kim Joon-Hyuk (Brave New World) Source: tumblr.com

Aside from that, Circle also tackled philosophical questions such as what makes us who we are, can we really achieve a world free from crimes, do our emotions make us weak, and is there really happiness in forgetting? In a nutshell, I love the way Circle made me really think as an audience and I even ended up questioning my stance on the issues the show has presented.

Besides its well-crafted plot, I think the cast deserves an applaud, too. Yeo Jin-Goo is amazing as ever and paired with Kim Kang-Woo’s natural acting skills, I’m 100% sold. I personally pick Circle as the best K-drama for 2017 since some of the shows I’ve seen wasn’t as beautifully told as this one. So, here’s to hoping that they receive well-deserved daesangs!

9. Kill Me, Heal Me – MBC, 2015

Source: DramaFever

Summary: Cha Do Hyun (Ji Sung) is a third-generation chaebol who secretly suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder. When his grandmother ordered him to go back to South Korea in order to manage their company, he accidentally meets Oh Ri Jin (Hwang Jung-Eum), a first-year psychiatry resident. After some confusing encounters which include Oh Ri Jin meeting Cha Do Hyun’s other personalities, she agreed to be his personal psychiatrist. Unbeknownst to both of them, their little “meeting” will be the start of their battle towards their personal demons and childhood trauma.

Reasons why I love it: 

-Ji Sung! Honestly, do I need to say more? He portrayed seven different personalities excellently which made it easier for the audience to sympathize with his character’s struggles. Anyone who has seen the show will agree with this fact and seriously, who didn’t love Ji Sung’s accurate portrayal of Ahn Yo Na?!

Ji Sung as Ahn Yo Na (Source: Soompi)

-The writing. The show managed to balance the right amount of laughter and sorrow in such a way that wouldn’t tire the audience. I think it’s amazing how they pulled it off since the drama has a bit of a heavy backdrop and it’s so easy to fall into the darker side of it. However, writer Jin Soo-Wan did a spectacular job in balancing the drama’s emotions which allowed me to enjoy the show without any particular bumps.

I was also totally swept away with the meaning behind Cha Do Hyun’s personalities. Each personality was carefully written and crafted which makes the audience understand (and dare I say, relive) the kind of pain that Cha Do Hyun went through. All in all, the show hit all of the right buttons in my heart.

8. Reply 1997 – tvN, 2012

Source: creators.co

Summary: A coming of age story primarily set in 1990’s Busan about Sung Shi-Won (Jung Eun-Ji), who is an avid fan of H.O.T. (a South Korean boy group) and her five best friends.The show goes back and forth towards the past and the present. During the present timeline (2012), the class of 1997 is having their high school reunion; amidst the celebration, the whole class is waiting for a couple to reveal about their upcoming marriage.

Reasons why I love it: 

-Am I allowed to say everything? Because that’s sincerely how I feel about this show. From its nostalgic writing, realistic portrayals, and straight to the heart soundtrack, it’s perfect! 

I saw this show in 2014 and ever since then, I haven’t really able to forget about how it made me feel. The realness of it just cuts through the audience and makes us feel like we’re a part of it. I also love how the show highlighted the importance of friendship and family and how these people shape us into better versions of ourselves. It’s true that the show is a love story but I appreciate the fact that it didn’t only dwell on the romantic side of it. The friendship between the six main characters is so precious and magical and I really enjoyed watching them grow together.

Source: Amino apps

For the most part, I think Reply 1997’s magic comes from its ability to catch its audience off guard through quiet but emotionally compelling scenes. It says a lot about the writer and director duo because scenes like those mentioned are very much hard to pull off. Of course, the cast also helped in achieving the greatness of this show. Honestly, no matter how much I adored the other shows from the Reply series, I think this one will always hold a special place in my heart.

7. It’s Okay, It’s Love – SBS, 2014

Source: DramaFever

Summary: Jang Jae-Yeol (Jo In-Sung), a bestselling mystery writer with obsessive-compulsive behavior happened to meet Ji Hae-Soo (Gong Hyo-Jin), a first-year psychiatry fellow during one fateful talk show guesting. In an unexpected turn of events, Jae-Yeol began to rent a place in the house where Hae-Soo and two other housemates live (played by Sung Dong-Il and Lee Kwang-Soo). This instantly starts each of the characters’ journey towards self-acceptance, mental illness and all.

Reasons why I love it: 

-Gong Hyo-Jin and Jo In-Sung’s chemistry. I mean, damn! These two actors’ chemistry hits the roof. Any K-drama fan probably knows about them and their excellent acting skills but it probably didn’t occur to anyone how terrific they would be, teamed up like this. (Props to Gong Hyo-Jin who manages to have wonderful chemistry with any male lead!) 

Source: Amino apps

-Furthermore, what I love most in this drama are the interactions between the characters. Sure, I was deeply curious about Jae-Yeol and his past but I’m more than happy whenever the drama focuses on the housemates’ genuine love for each other. I also like how writer Noh Hee-Kyung managed to create characters who do not work one-dimensionally; each character has layers and layers beneath them which helped the audience in understanding them and their struggle with their illnesses. Most of all, I commend the creators of this drama for emphasizing that people with mental illnesses are people too and their illness does not make them lesser of a person.

6. Reply 1988 – tVN, 2016

Source: Asianwiki

Summary: The third offering of the amazing writer and director tandem (Shin Won-Ho & Lee Woo-Jung) of the Reply franchise, Reply 1988 revolves around the relationship between the families living in the Ssangmun-dong neighborhood located in the Northern part of Seoul.

Reasons why I love it: 

-After the masterpiece that is Reply 1997, I never thought that there will be another coming-of-age drama better than it. Obviously, I was wrong. I cannot begin to explain how much I love this drama and how much tears I shed while watching it. Much like the previous Reply, this one also attacked (yes, ATTACKED) the audience with quiet, emotional scenes.

Personally, I think this one is better than Reply 1997 in terms of making the audience invested to the show. At a first glance, there are much more characters in ’88 than in ’97 but I never felt like I wasn’t properly introduced to each of the characters and their backstories. And it’s crazy!!! Imagine the amount of time they’ve exerted to create such rich and realistic characters!

Ryu Jun-Yeol as Jung-Hwan and Ra Mi-Ran as Ra Mi-Ran or as I like to call it, the greatest mother and son duo dramaland has ever produced! (Source: Soompi)

On the other hand, I think the reason why this drama is better is due to the team’s familiarity with their message and content. The mystery surrounding the husband in ’97 wasn’t that much of a mystery towards the end because we have already been given so many clues as to who it was. However, ’88 literally took their audience’s breath away when they revealed who the husband was (I swear to god, half of the world momentarily stopped breathing when that episode was released). 

All in all, Reply 1988 managed again to show us the beauty of youth and the importance of the people who stayed by our side through those awkward but precious years.

Source: mydramalist

Image result for reply 1988 gif

Source: tumblr.com


Final Notes: This was supposed to be just a single post but because I cannot, for the life of me, stop writing about my insights on the dramas above, I decided to divide it into two posts. (I will post the second part of this list once I finish writing it, I promise!) Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this one! I did my best to avoid spoilers so it’ll be safe for everyone. See you on part two!

 

If There Were Such Things As Galaxies

 

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Photo from AmourAmelia

 

A Tumblr post once told me that galaxies reside within my body.

It was one of those 3 AM nights filled with inexplicable loneliness and okay, maybe…hunger.

Months later, when a random phone call informed me that a dear friend took her own life, I did not think about the galaxies.

I did not think about the said constellations around my body–such meaningless names for lifeless beauties.

I did not think about the billions and billions of stars running through my blood, said to provide light because damn it! There are some places I rather not visit.

When the rain wept along with me on that particular September night, I realized Science is once again right.

There are no galaxies–only water and blood. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Because if there were galaxies, I would not feel blankets of heavy water tugging at my feet.

If there were stars then surely, surely, she would have seen them, admired them, tried to live instead of leave.

Do you believe me now? There are no galaxies! 

Last week, when my mother jokingly told me to kill myself, I almost told her about the meteor showers sleeping deep within me.

How these cluster of stones can fulfill her wishes and please, please, do not give me the permission I need. 

When I woke up this morning, my same old mind telling me it wants to die, I felt like a remnant of a dead galaxy.

NASA said that galaxies are ripped apart when they encounter strong tidal forces–well lately, my sadness has turned into a huge, screaming, tidal force I cannot always battle.

Therefore, Science is right. I am being ripped apart…there are days where I can no longer conjure sentences, a task as familiar as the scent of my bed.

Science is right!

A black hole can cause turbulence in a galaxy which may result to its death. I am scared of the fact that my heart resembles a black hole, building friendships with darkness and misery.

Two years ago, I thought there were no such things as galaxies living inside of me but I have forgotten that half of the stars in the night-sky are nothing but corpses!

And probably what she saw was a spitting image of herself, likely the one I also see in the mirror during the very bad days.

If galaxies were real, I am terrified of the idea that my time has already ended, the stars running in my veins are more dead than alive.

So please, please, do not let the galaxies be real. 

Somewhere between sleeping and living

I’ll sleep until the unwanted passes,

Until every horrible well in my mind shushes.

I’ll sleep until my eyes forget what it feels like to see the first rays of sunshine,

Or how I look like bathing on it during the good days—

Smiling, laughing, dreaming.

 

I’ll sleep until the knots inside my head break free,

Until the loud pounding in my chest reverts back to a heartbeat.

I’ll sleep until my toes forget what it feels like to stand,

To have the strength to lead the way and the power to stop.

Lately, all I wish is for the world to stop.

 

I’ll sleep until the darkness becomes a friend,

Until the hushed pleas turn into echoes— help asking for help.

I’ll sleep until I forget how to conjure whimsical adventures in my dreams,

Because if dreams represent reality, I’d have thunderstorms as my sun—

My skin a hint of goodbyes and broken promises, my breath: lifeless.

 

So, I’ll sleep once more,

Hoping not to be blue as the skies and deep as the ocean.

I’ll sleep, sleep tight—

Tighter than the bedroom of the screams I keep,

Thinking, feeling, wishing: a better tomorrow.

My Life Lately #5: Twenty Questions!

twentyqs

Ah, July.

I can’t believe that everything is happening so fast. I mean, it was just last week when I celebrated my 20th birthday…much to my dismay. To be honest, turning twenty wasn’t anything that I ever imagined. My younger self were expecting a wiser version of itself; one who’s already doing what she wants to do and is confident, happy, and strong. Meanwhile, the real twenty-year-old version of myself is the exact opposite of that. If anything, I’m much weaker than the person I was last year (Post-grad anxiety is taking a HUGE toll on me, guys). However, I cannot do anything to stop myself from growing up and entering the adult world so I can at least make it worthwhile, right? (Carpe diem until the end!)

From Chicago Typewriter, 2017 (Source: tumblr.com)

Hence, I decided to try something fun for this Life Lately blog post. I searched for interesting questions around the web and picked twenty items which I will answer truthfully as possible. (I mostly gathered the questions on these very helpful sites: 100 Brave and Interesting Questions and 101 Fun and Interesting Questions To Perk Up Boring Gatherings)

So yeah, let’s dive right in!

 

1. Where do you want to be right now?

I actually want to go back three weeks ago when my family went on a spontaneous road trip and stumbled upon Nagcarlan Forest Resort in Laguna. We arrived there during the late hours of the evening but my siblings and I still decided to take a dip in the pool no matter how chilly it was.

That night was magical. The water’s a bit dark and there were purple painted flowers floating in the pool and even though I was scared because I literally can’t see anything (I, unfortunately, have poor eyesight), I still faced the cold, unfamiliar water and lay on my back, facing the stars. It was one of those moments where you feel like you’re doing the right thing, that you’re exactly at the right place and the right time, and you know that everything is going to be okay. That soon, everything will fall into its righteous place.

 

2. What’s something you never leave home without?

From John Carney’s Begin Again, 2014 (Source: tumblr.com)

My earphones! Traffic can be really horrible which is why I make sure to always bring it so that I can relax during a commute.

 

3. What’s your favorite time of day?

Midnight. It is when my mind is most active and kind of at peace. I oftentimes like how it makes me vulnerable; it is as if only me and my thoughts exist.

 

4. What are you ready to let go of?

Fear, overthinking, and too much sadness. I’ve been trying to let go of these things since two years ago but I keep on falling back each time I try. I’m scared that if I don’t lessen my consumption of these feelings, I won’t be able to live my life the way I want to. In spite of that knowledge, I’m still struggling. *sigh*

 

5. What are your 3 favorite movies?

“Everything passes….but before letting go, hold on as tight as you can” -Starry Starry Night, 2011 (Source)

Forrest Gump directed by Robert Zemeckis (1994), Starry Starry Night directed by Tom Shu-yu Lin (2011), and Spirited Away directed by Hayao Miyazaki (2001)

 

6. What is your favorite movie quote?

From Finding Dory, 2016 (Source: tumblr.com)

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

 

7. What is the biggest lie you tell yourself?

“You’re okay”

This lie is in-between useful and harmful. Oftentimes, I use it to comfort myself and if it is a good day, it works.

 

8. What is the best piece of advice you’ve received?

13342451_1091299544246926_35412788_n

One of my wonderful friends sent this to me and it immediately struck a chord. I tend to give comfort towards other people too much and I always end up neglecting myself in the process. I guess it’s nice to be reminded that I have to be kind to myself, too and that my own happiness shouldn’t be put on hold for someone else’s.

 

9. What’s your favorite childhood book?

Suzanne Weyn’s Forever Angels series! It’s a bunch of inspiring books about four teenage girls whose lives are surrounded by kind and mysterious angels. I haven’t read everything from the series but I seriously loved it when I was a child. I can’t remember how many times I’ve read it! (I even brought it to school and read it during free time)

 

10. What’s the best sound in the world?

Laughter from the people I love the most ♥

 

11. Pick 3 famous people, living or dead, for your fantasy dinner party

From Lorde’s Green Light music video (Source)

Okay, this one’s a bit hard but here it goes:

  • David Levithan because I am in love with his writing and I badly want to talk to him about his characters
  • Morgan Freeman just for the sake of hearing his wonderful voice in person haha
  • Lorde! I think she’s a really cool person and I am a huge fan of her music. Aside from that, this girl definitely knows how to liven up the mood. Lol

 

12. What makes you cringe?

From Inside Out, 2015 (Source: tumblr.com)

HATEFUL PEOPLE!!!!

 

13. What makes you feel safe?

Safe is where my heart feels like it could break anytime and I’d still be complete, safe is where I feel each of my limbs relax, where I truly am at peace. Safe is not a place nor a destination, it’s a feeling. And there’s nothing in the world that can make me feel safer than spending time with the people I trust and love the most. It always makes me feel like I’m home and I know that I will never find a place like that somewhere else.

 

14. Do you ever talk to yourself? When and what do you say?

From How I Met Your Mother (Source)

Absolutely! I talk to myself all the time but most especially when I’m thinking about something serious. It clears my mind which helps me in reaching efficient solutions to my problems.

 

15. What’s it like being you right now?

Clearly, it’s not much. I’m kind of all over the place right now and I’m on the verge of losing my sanity from all of the pressure regarding my future. Only months ago my groupmates and I were writing our thesis and all we ever wished was for our work to get recognized and it actually did and it was the most amazing feeling but then, all of that doesn’t matter anymore, right?

From Finding Nemo (Source)

I’m starting from scratch. Everything that I’ve ever achieved is no longer valid. I’m just a regular individual hoping to find a job. It’s crazy. In truth, I’ve never been more unsure of myself than I am right now.

 

16. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

For now, I literally want to change how I see myself. As I have mentioned above, I’m currently having a hard time with regards to major decisions about my future and basically, my life and all of it are making me weary. *hopefully waits for a silver lining*

 

17. What is your favorite Disney movie?

Wreck-It Ralph!!!

Wreck-It Ralph, 2012 (Source)

I remember when I first saw this movie and how I immediately adored Ralph’s character. He reminded me of myself so much then which I think is the primary reason why this one’s my favorite. Ralph and I have a spiritual bond! Aside from that, Disney used a song by Owl City for the movie’s soundtrack. I mean, what more can a girl ask?

 

 18. What’s a bad habit you have?

From Taeyeon’s Fine music video (Source: tumblr.com)

Telling people I’m fine even if I’m not. God, I excel at this. 

 

19. What have you forgotten?

Innocence. Now that I’ve grown up, almost everything’s stained with a bad memory. It’s real life, yes. But it’s suffocating.

Real life is suffocating

 

20. What’s one choice you really regret?

I regret not sincerely asking how a person is holding up earlier in my life. Two years ago, I discovered how important it is. It was so simple yet I just did not care enough and I will forever regret that.

This could have helped in easing a person’s pain and I certainly believe that asking a simple “Are you alright?” or “How are you?” can help save lives. So even if I’m a few years late, I’m trying my best to ask these two questions to people as often as I can. Trust me, it really helps.

***

Aaaand, that’s it! I hope that you enjoyed reading my answers and finding out a little more about myself. Answering questions have always made me feel slightly sure about myself which is why I am very fond of this game no matter how old-school it is.

Tip: If you’re going to do something like this, choose the most interesting questions so you’ll never get bored of answering. Always challenge yourself!

Finally, I think that questions like these help in rediscovering oneself and getting to know it a little better. If you don’t want to take it from me, take it from Thor:

 

I’m learning how to count to ten. Again.

 

igotthisimtwenty

This design is based on one of the teasers for IU’s Palette album. You can find it here: Palette teasers

 

I’m losing confidence as each day passes by,

Carrying a weary heart, only numbers speak sense.

One, two, three.

How much time has passed?

It feels like I’ve been staring at my bedroom wall a little too much.

 

I turned twenty the other day,

Unlike before, my eyes were dry–

Just like a stale birthday cake.

Four, five, six…

I can’t figure out which is worse.

 

Has it been a week? Or maybe two?

If anything else, I’m glad I learned to count in school.

Hurry up, my mind is turning into dust, my sanity’s on the verge of mistrust.

Seven, eight, nine.

Am I really here? Is that person really me?

 

My eyes were open again this morning,

I don’t know if I should be glad–I’m thinking too much.

Listen, dear heart, were you really this weak?

Ten. I reached ten. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?

Maybe the truth is, I’m at the beginning. The start. Zero.

6/23/17

VIDEOFXFIRST

Taken at CDC Parade Grounds, Clark City (5/14/17)

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa sandaling mas maigting ang ligaya sa kalungkutan,

Sa saglit na oras kung saan maaring limutin ang kinabukasan.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Kung saan ang araw ay marahang yumayakap sa gabi,

Kung saan maaaninag ang tuwa mula sa iyong labi.

 

Doon tayo magkita sa hangganan ng kahapon at bukas,

Sa maliit na espasyong binuo lamang sa panaginip,

Sa panandaliang pag-asang makikita ka pang muli.

June

Note: I wrote this poem while listening to Kina Grannis’ California on loop. I didn’t know why, but I started crying as soon as I heard the first few words. This song made me write about the things I kept in the farthest places in my mind. I feel sad and vulnerable but like always, I know this will pass.

***

Summer kissed by regrets,

The wind catches my breath.

Daylight’s almost leaving,

Gentle waves kept crashing —

Trying to wash the pain.