Fun, Entertaining Things That Kept Me Alive In 2018

2018 was quite a year:

BLACKPINK made their long awaited comeback, Netflix finally produced gems that I would watch (lol) and upped their game in the K-drama and anime arena, and there was the historical Ateneo-UP game to end the year strong, too!

Life events also paved the way for me to re-discover and re-visit old favorites that have quickly found its place in my 2018—hands down my most monumental year so far.

And so I take one last look back at the year that was, through the best and most entertaining moments:

1. AGGRETSUKO

Back story: My cousins and I randomly watched this on Netflix at a family reunion and even after our moms and the titos and titas were done with all the kwentuhan and we had to go home, I continued to watch it and finished the entire series.

Impact on my life: Whenever freelance life stresses me out, I turn to this to remind me how office life is even worse. Lol.

2. PAGLISAN

Back story: Filipino film festivals are a great stress reliever, trust me, catch at least one film if you can!

The best part of working freelance is that I can finally choose movie screenings within office hours, and not have to sneak in a rom-com during lunch break (true story!). And so one afternoon I spontaneously went to see Paglisan, an animated film about an elderly couple's marriage. Long story short: I cried and it was the best pain reliever/healing/release ever. I guess I’ve developed a soft spot for stories concerning senior citizens, love and marriage, and sickness and death.

Impact on my life: I loved it so much that I had to buy a Paglisan t-shirt as a way to express my appreciation for it further. The shirt turned out to be a bit too big for me but it comes in only ‘freesize’ and I loved it still.

 
 

3. NEKO ATSUME

Back story: Last December, my niece Nikka came over to spend the holidays with us and one fine afternoon, we were watching cute kitty videos and she told me that she wants to pet a cat. We didn't have any at home so I thought of the next best thing: reviving the good ol’ Neko Atsume.

Impact on my life: In all honesty, the impact has been negative as it has distracted me from work and real-life conversations many times over! It has also become one of the reasons why I end up replying late and (almost!) forgetting deadlines. However, I choose to see it as a challenge to practice my focus and self-control.

4. DU DU DU

Back story: I think every die-hard fan will understand this: how the music (or mere presence) of a pop star, Korean idol, actor/actress inspires them, and helps get them going through the hardships of life.

It's the same for me with K-pop, especially. I remember always trying to be look my best dressed self (with matching K-pop inspired makeup) for every event I attended in my younger years, because "nakakahiya kay CL at GD". It was also Super Junior that put me in a good mood when life wasn't exactly… well, super.

Impact on my life: Since most of my idols currently aren't active, have disbanded, or are serving in military, I've experienced a drought in K-fandom. But the surprise of 2018 is BLACKPINK's comeback and I felt reborn. I’m not exaggerating!

 

5. BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

Back story: I don't consider myself a Queen fan but watched it anyway.

Impact on my life: Other than Freddie Mercury's brilliance, it was his relationship with Mary Austin that struck me. "To me it was a marriage," Mercury says, of their long-term relationship that lasted for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, til death did them part.

6. SOMETHING IN THE RAIN / PRETTY NOONA WHO BUYS ME FOOD

Back story: "Whenever I think of pretty, I think of her," says my tita friend Toni, who is also such a fan of this series, and noona's chic face. I cannot find a better life peg than her character in the series, and when I visited Korea for the first time last September, this drama was all I could think of.

It is well-written, mature, brave, and every single scene simply rocked my heart, tenderly, like a lullaby. The slow pace and long silences and soundtrack were everything to me, perfect as perfect as can be.

Impact on my life: I couldn't finish another K-drama after this but I'm open to suggestions! It’s 2019 and I still play the soundtrack when I need to relax and think of beautiful, calming things! I can’t recommend this drama enough!

 
 

7. Kamikazee’s Romantico

Back story: I'm the type who usually sticks to one playlist per month (or per three months?), and most of the times, these are filled with songs from my lovely, pimply, teenage years. And while Eraserheads, Parokya ni Edgar, and APO songs are regulars on my list, Im not really sure why Kamikazee was never part of it. I guess I only remember them for kalokohan hits like Chiksilog, Narda, and Sobrang Init. Oops.

Impact on my life: My playlist took a monumental turn after the magic of YouTube led me to new Kamikazee favorites like Halik, Tagpuan, Huling Sayaw (feat. ultimate 90s icon and girl we all envied because of Rich Alvarez, Kyla), and If You're Not Here (Hilera! Typecast! Waaa!). And as you may have guessed, more train rides and GrabCar rides were made sweeter with Kamikazee’s music playing in my ears.

8. Ateneo-UP at UAAP Season ‘81 finals

Back story: I used to be a hardcore basketball fan in elementary (hello again, Rich Alvarez, and Wesley Gonzales, Larry Fonacier, et al.) and religiously attended all existing bonfires during my stay in college and the few years after. But work life caught up with me and I soon fell out of the loop. I only started watching again in 2017, with my dad who was already sick, and I wanted him to see Ateneo win so badly (they did, btw, and I always took it as a good sign from heaven!).

2018 saw a historical feat: Ateneo vs UP, and despite not feeling any pressure for our alma mater to win, I still followed the game until the championship (and in a GrabShare ride at that, on the way to a meeting!).

Impact on my life: Watching Thirdy Ravena and the rest of the BEBOB reminded me of so many things Ateneo has taught me: discipline, hard work, and focus. I ended up binge-reading articles on BEBOB and it was enough to inspire me through the rest of the year. AMDG all the way to 2019 and beyond!

What monumental, entertaining things were the highlight of your 2018? I’m watching Coffee Friends now, in case you’re wondering, and I’m open to more suggestions!

 

COVER PHOTO VIA DRAMABEANS, THE BEST EVER WEBSITE FOR ALL K-DRAMAS.

 

 

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