Since I’m a self-confessed Kdrama/Asian drama addict, here’s my take on the very best of 2016:
AGE OF YOUTH
- It’s a coming-of-age drama about five university students who ended up living in one dorm. It’s very easy to fall in love with the characters. They’re all different, but their chemistry is amazing.
- There are side-story romances, but it hardly even matters. These girls could talk about anything all day and I’d still watch it. They could be with anyone and break-up with anyone whenever they wanted, and I’d still root for them.
- It’s more about the friendship that has been established while living together. How they started out as strangers to knowing each other’s deepest secrets. How they strive to be a better person, even if they don’t know what that is. How they help each other. All the angst, the struggles and mistakes, you’ll be able to relate some of them (if not all) to yourself. Because we all went through something like that. That’s one of the charms of this show.
- I love how… it’s real. It will make you laugh and cry. And miss your friends so much. Season 2, please!
SOMETHING ABOUT 1%
- It’s a typical contract marriage. A cliche, as you would have it. But the show flaunts all that it is so well and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. In the end, it’s still the show that you’d love to watch.
- This has been my most enjoyable watch this year, but it ended up in number two because Age of Youth has a more solid and complex story. This show, on the other hand, is like your favorite cup of milk tea. It’s very simple, but it carries the perfect dose of romance and comedy.
- I love how… giddy this show made me feel.
CHEESE IN THE TRAP
- This is a story about complexities and all there is. It’s also a story about a boy and a girl and their friends and all life in general. And how the girl is in the middle of everything. But she’ll manage, don’t worry.
- I’ve heard about the hype going around about this show, but I seriously enjoyed it. With all honesty, I really loved the show. I think the actors did their parts well. As a non-manhwa reader, I have enjoyed the drama as it was. Not much complaints.
- I love how… it’s different.
- How much do I love this show, let me count the ways: infinity.
- I love Park Shin Hye, period. I adore all her shows. She always leaves a mark for every drama that she makes.
- This is a story about a former teacher-student who both ended up as doctors. A troubled high school student and her mentor. A complication. Reunited later on. And 😍.
- I love how… it’s very straighforward. And how it’s a very easy show to watch.
W – TWO WORLDS
- Okay, right from the start, I’m already in love with the two cast. This is Han Hyo Joo’s comeback drama. And Lee Jung Suk has always been my favorite. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
- Then comes their chemistry. It’s either they’re acting so well (since they’re both such wonderful actors), or they’ve fallen in love somewhere along the way. I don’t know. That’s how convincing they’ve been.
- So this is a story that will make writers fear a bit. You know, just in case one of our characters decide to come out of the story and haunt us. And yes, at some point, it also made me believe that this all might not be real. LOL.
- First seven episodes was solid. It would get you hooked. For the rest, it’s a rollercoaster ride to the finale. Enjoy.
- I love how… it’s so believable.
DESCENDANTS OF THE SUN
- It is a truth universally acknowledged that The Descendants of the Sun is a great show. I feel like I don’t need to say more. 😂
- A highly fictional tale of a doctor and a soldier. Of abs and soldiers. Of disasters and medics. Of uniforms and syringe. Of everything good there is.
- I love how… the two episodes every week starts strong and ends strong and opens up to another adventure next week. Constantly good. I love the four leads. *belts* You are my everything…
- I am, still, in a love-hate relationship with this show.
- I love that… it’s good. It’s a great contender to my favorite, Reply 1997.
- I hate… the ending. The one she ends up with. I’ll never be able to accept it. I might. Not really. I mean, how? Why? I know Park Bo-gum’s the thing right now, but that’s it? That’s the reason? See the conflict? I’ll never understand.
- But I still love you, Reply 1988. You’re wonderful. Maybe someday I’ll be able to accept you as you are.
- A very gripping show that transcends time. For me, this is the best story of the year.
- When the past meets the present through a walkie talkie, cold cases will be resolved. But as much as you alter the past, some things are ought to remain the same.
- I love… how the writer’s a genius.
MOONLIGHT DRAWN BY THE CLOUDS
- When a girl goes undercover as a boy, count me in! This is a very endearing tale of a girl who needs to hide her complicated identity, that’s why she was raised as a boy. Somehow, she ends up working alongside the prince.
- Then the complication. Funny moments. And hilarious antics.
- I love… Park Bo-gum here. I might not have conflicting opinions about Reply 1988, but he owned this show.
GOGH, THE STARRY NIGHT
- This made it to the top 10 because of the leads’ chemistry. It’s just a simple mini-drama about the struggles of a twenty something office girl about work, life, old flames, and love.
- I love… the chemistry of the two leads. That episode 16? 😍
Other dramas that I’ve watched this year:
- Jealousy Incarnate
- Uncontrollably Fond
- What happened?
- Another Oh Hae Young
- Drinking Solo
- Could have been.
- The Entertainer
- Not that entertaining.
- Cinderella and Four Knights
- What is this?
- Marriage Contract
- One More Happy Ending
- The Legend of the Blue Sea
- Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-Joo
2016 has been such a wonderful year for Kdrama fans like me. Looking forward to a wonderful 2017! 😊
I have a thing for words and stories. That is probably the reason why I ended up being a writer. As this year comes to an end, here are some of the words I hold very dear to my heart.
When I want to go on trips…
When I’m just thankful that I have a wonderful set of readers…
When I have to motivate myself to push harder…
When I have to learn how to forgive myself…
When patience is all I need…
When I have to get back up…
When I let myself be happy…
When I need to understand…
When all the emails/comments I read are not so encouraging…
When I dream the impossible things…
When I love…
When I live…
When I write…
When I’m in doubt on what to do next…
When things go awfully wrong…
When I’m getting distracted on what’s important…
When I tell myself to be me…
When I believe…
When all else fails…
When I have to keep on going…
What I hold dear….
When miracles happen…
September 17, 2015
Thank you so much for a wonderful 2015.
Happy New Year, everyone!
God bless us all.
“Everything has a rhythm. You can’t go too fast or too slow; otherwise, you’ll just end up getting lost and plucking the strings randomly. It needs to be just right… like with everything else.”
~Freesia Lockheart, Like Yesterday
There were no words to describe the feeling I felt when I first heard that my book was first seen at the MIBF event last September 16, 2015 (courtesy of Mira). Hands shaking? Check. Unbreakable smile on face? Check. Blank thoughts? Check. There were so many feelings rushing inside me and it was hard to sum it up in a word or two, even in a paragraph. So I let it be. I let my mind take in the fact that an ultimate dream of mine had been fulfilled.
But for the most part, I would tell you that I was happy. Like, very, very, very happy.
And the cover design is yellow. It’s my favorite color ever since. So imagine what I felt when I saw that the book was all yellow. That alone could make my whole year. And the cover? One word: perfect. Let’s all thank Xander Ramos for that one.
The story behind the creation of Like Yesterday was mostly comprised of two things: Soul Surfer (the film) and Like Yesterday (a song by Colbie Caillat). I got inspired after watching this beautiful film stated above. Aside from the story itself, the setting and the portrayal of Bethany Hamilton (okay, so now you know where I got the surname) by AnnaSophia Robb got my attention. It sparked something in my head. That certain snap of fingers moment.
Also, back then, I was creating stories based on the feeling I felt after continuously listening to particular songs that caught my attention. It was as if creating music videos in your head. The first one was “This Heart of Mine”, which was uploaded on my old account on Wattpad (freesialockheart). It was inspired by the song of the same name by Jason Castro. After that, I created “My Kind of Perfect”, which was inspired by a David Archuleta song of the same name. Like Yesterday was the last one I did. This time, I uploaded it on a new account (crossroad). And the rest was history. 🙂
Haha! Kidding. I’m going to tell you more. You don’t see me blogging that often, so I’m going to share more.
Why did I make a new account? Every now and then, I will encounter this question. The real reason was that I wanted to have a breather, and I was in the middle of a crossroad in life, literally. I particularly used crossroad instead of crossroads because I didn’t want to feel ‘plural’. 😀 LOL. So anyway, yes, I was struggling with myself. There were so many things I didn’t know. And when my stories in my freesialockheart account started to gain attention, people started to notice my lack of knowledge about proper grammar and all that. The rubbing started to get to me. I will quote a lyric from the song Mean by Taylor Swift:
This was exactly how I felt. I knew all my flaws. I still do. I still know where I’m lacking and what I have to improve and all the things I still have to learn. And I think everyone else does. So why purposely make others feel bad just to make your point? Drama and all, I made a new account so that I could have a breather and start again. I never predicted that this new start would be the turning point of my life.
My readers from back then (we’re talking 2011 to 2012 here), they knew my every struggle. They’ve watched me grow up. And like they said after I finished Glass Sneakers early this year, they couldn’t be more proud. I still cry when I read their heartfelt messages to me. I’m so thankful that they never left my side. Instead, they taught me things that I didn’t know, they cheered me on, and they believed in me. A simple word of encouragement could be the key to why someone never gives up. And these little things, they’re the ones I remember the most. They’re the ones I will be always grateful for.
About the life crossroad I was talking about, it was a decision I had to make. I had to choose whether I should go on and pursue my writing dreams or have a career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist/Medical Technologist. I’m actually a graduate of BS in Medical Technology. It’s an allied health profession that mostly deals with the analysis of body fluids and tissues. Yes, we’re the geeks in the laboratories (microscope and complicated machines and all). We do all the laboratory tests ordered by doctors. 🙂 But we don’t bite. We use needles. XD
Talk about how what I dreamed to be and what I’d finished in college were both on polar ends. They told me that since I wanted to be a writer, I should have taken English or writing-related courses. But nah, I went ahead and took a science-related course. I used to write when I was in high school, but I never thought getting published was actually possible. Oh, how wrong was I! Haha. ❤ Thanks, Summit! ❤ So I went along with what my mom wanted for me at that time. After all, at sixteen, I didn’t actually have that much of a plan on what I was going to do with my life. The best choice was still to listen to my parents. 😀
And in case you’re thinking otherwise, I never regretted it. My college life molded me to who I am today. That’s another story. Maybe some other time. Plus, I met some of my greatest friends during my Medtech days. I truly enjoyed my college years. I would never trade it for anything else.
So in the end, I had chosen to pursue my writing dreams. That was the road I’d taken when I stood at that crossroad in my life. Impossible and all, I’d decided that it was never foolish to trust your heart. That it could take you where you belong. I countlessly asked God if this was what He wanted me to do. If I was making the right choice. And in my heart, I knew that He was giving me a go signal. He had a plan. He always do.
And before this night (and this blog post) ends, I want to thank every single one of you who have been my source of inspiration over the years. From my old readers to the newest ones, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. You made it possible for this to happen. I’ll never, ever forget your kindness.
There’s still so much more for me to learn. There’s still a lot of stories I wanted to share with all of you. Thanks for sticking around all this while.
Here’s to you!
Like Yesterday is now published under Pop Fiction.
Available nationwide (Philippines) in bookstores and convenience stores. And online via http://www.summitnewsstand.com.ph/pop-fiction.
Also, with digital copies for download via Buqo app, especially for those who are not from/living in the Philippines.
Here’s how you could also grab a copy of the published version of Like Yesterday:
💛 Download the Buqo app
💛 Search for Like Yesterday
💛 Download it.
Grab your copy now!
Thank you so much for everything.
with lots and lots of love,
My personal experience about writing the plots and ideas in general could be summed up with one word: lengthy.
This is how it usually worked for me, I get a new idea (Day One). Let’s say for example, you’re busy with your everyday life, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, really, a particular event catches your attention. And writer’s instinct tells you, ‘That is so cool. I want that to be part of my story!’ Next thing you do: WRITE IT DOWN. Grab a pen (always, always have a pen with you all the time; this is very important) and the nearest paper near you (this involves grocery paper bags, receipts, coupons, flyers, tissue paper if all else fails). Before the moment gets lost, be sure that you have written it somewhere. Or really, let’s not exaggerate it, use your phone and jot it down. Problem solved. Don’t trust your memory so much. It has its own limit, especially if you’re like me. I forget everything.
(Day 2 and 3) I transfer it to my idea notes before it gets, again, lost. Tip: Do have a place where you write down all your ideas. This is the secret when it comes to not losing them, and regretting it after. It could be your phone’s Notes or a file in your laptop or a notebook. And yes, make sure you don’t lose it. Create a back-up every now and then or keep that notebook safe. Losing an idea could ’cause you massive pain, even heartache. I know this. I sure do. So don’t lose them. Keep them safe.
Day 4 and so on. Nothing going on with the said plot. Just you living your daily life.
Day 30. You suddenly think of a nice set of words that will go really, really well with your plot idea. Next thing you should do: write them down right away. Whatever it is you’re doing, put it on hold for about ten seconds and write down your idea. But the thing is, these words might come to you, like for example, in the middle of the night, during that moment when you’re just a millisecond away from closing your eyes. But no matter how painful and lazy you feel, get up and write those words down. It’s a must if you want your plot idea to succeed. Even the smallest details matter, so yes, write down all of them. And make sure that you add them to your idea plot in the morning.
Repeat the said procedures above for the rest of the year.
Day 360. You were done with the story you were doing the year before, around the same time the plot idea came to you. It’s that time of the year again when you start with another story, another journey. By this time, you’ll know if your idea plot #1 has survived the test of time.
What is the test of time?
The test of time is the amount of time you give yourself to discern whether your plot idea is the real deal or just a wham of the moment. As the author, you will feel this. You will know for yourself whether you should continue developing the story or let it go. There’s no definite way of telling it. You’ll just know. Close your eyes and ask yourself if creating a story from the plot idea is worth it. Then you’ll know your answer.
So yes, idea plot #1 is indeed worthy of being turned into a book. What comes next?
Further develop it. What you have by now is a bunch of ideas that you wanted to happen or you wanted to quote in the book. So from there, turn those ideas into a real plot.
By now, you will feel relieved that the plot outline doesn’t look that empty anymore. It’s not just a piece of paper with nothing written on it. You have these pieces of input. And with proper organization, you’ll finally have a rough draft of the story outline. By this time, there are still a lot of holes in the story. But don’t be afraid of them. You’ll figure it out eventually. Don’t force yourself. Let it come to you. It will, trust me. More so, trust yourself. You’re a writer. You are creative. Don’t lose faith in your thought process.
You might redo the story outline a lot of times from here on. But eventually, you’ll get your drift and figure it out. If you’re on to it, start writing. If you want to keep on obsessing with your plot, sure thing. It’s up to you.
Because the thing is, not every author has the same way of creating stories. That’s what makes everyone special.
This is roughly how I create my story plots for all of you who are wondering. I’m showing it to you as an example. One thing I could tell you is this: Never be afraid because it’s taking a lot of time. No matter how fast, no matter how long, as long as you keep on going, you’re on the right track.
p.s. Keep writing. And yes, I have an awesome news for all of you soon. 🙂