In Loving Memory of A Good Friend

***NOTE: I only wanted to post a video as a tribute on YouTube. But I started writing down the description then I realized it wasn’t the right platform to convey all I needed to say…

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She was a childhood friend. We were not that close then but I liked her. And, I guess, she liked me, too,, in a way. She let me be her friend, right?

She let me read my first serious book (Torey L. Hayden’s ONE CHILD), which our little group of 6th graders discussed just as seriously among us one afternoon. She provided constructive criticism and moral support when I was writing my “novelettes” in high school. She was smart, intelligent, and well-read. She was a budding writer whose views were way beyond her years.

I got to know her more when we started high school. Four  of us lived together in an apartment for a while. It was not ideal. We were still kids so we went back to commuting from home to school to home daily.

Colette could be funny. She was also that friend who slapped your arm and pushed your shoulder when she was laughing. Sometimes, she had this funny way of laughing, too. She could be quite a joker. She would tease me about a secret admirer that I never got to confirm (I did try not to blush even if she was, as this generation says, ‘sus’). She would crush on someone so hard, you’d end up crushing on him as well (ha ha!). For two consecutive summers, we’d write to each other and she would talk about her crushes and life in general.

She sang and acted a few times onstage for school. What’s quite memorable was she played the guitar very well and people were often around her jamming within school grounds. She loved musicals and even let me read the MISS SAIGON libretto her mom gave her.

In college, we weren’t in contact much until I joined the school paper. I was surprised to find out that she was my section editor. I was so happy that we could spend time together. She even invited me to sing with her group. Unfortunately, those years were trying times for her. She left the paper and I never got to really see her again until we were to graduate. It was all a coincidence but we finally were able to catch up. Soon, I became a godmother to her child.

Through the years, we drifted apart then got closer, drifted apart, got closer. She kind of became a woman of the world while I was content in my little corner. She was born to make waves, I suppose. You can literally see her name in many parts of this country. The thing was, she never took advantage of that. In fact, she wanted to be more than that and set out on her own. She proved she was more than her name. She became a writer, pastry chef, entrepreneur, and staunch advocate for good causes.

We became closer again in recent years even though we hardly saw each other. We would text or chat sometimes, oftentimes with another friend, Julie. She would ask me to come over (we’re in the same city), and I would’ve loved to, but I usually declined due to various reasons. Or she would decline. We would not communicate for weeks or months then resume the friendship. It was during this kind of “hiatus” last year that I learned she was sick from the virus we all hate. Things were critical and there was no way to visit the hospital due to the pandemic rules.

I tried to do what I could. I sent a video message to cheer her up and encourage her. I tried to help find badly needed medicine that was not easily available anywhere. I let our batchmates know in case they could help. Sadly, she succumbed to the illness…

I wanted to write about her last year but I didn’t. I didn’t want to seem like I was using her because she was news and her father happened to be running for position, too. I wasn’t planning on writing about her today either but I’ve now found myself doing it.

I didn’t write about her because I felt that my experiences with her paled compared to what people shared in an online public tribute. I felt that I let her down. I felt and still feel mad at myself for all the times I declined going to her place. We were even planning something for her workers, but it didn’t pan out…I doubted if I was worthy to be called her friend…

But now, looking back, we were friends. Who’s to say we weren’t?  ‘Cause I felt it, I felt the realness. I’ve just always been too insecure of my own self-worth. I should’ve opened my eyes and appreciated friends like her a little more.

I really do miss you, Colette. I know you did not want to go yet, but I know you are now in a better place. Rest in peace, my friend. Let’s jam when we finally meet again.

RIP Colette

(This is me singing both the female and male versions of this song we loved to jam to.. I am imagining her strumming her guitar…You can judge me, just dont’ tell me, hee…Oh, and don’t mind the distant barking.)  

Andrea’s Multiverse (Part 2) : The Agent and The Faerie

Welcome to Part 2 of “Andrea’s Multiverse”! Last time, I introduced TikTok/YouTube content creator Andrea So to you. This time, I’ll introduce the women in her multiverse, starting with fan faves Agent Red and The Faerie, and let you get to know the creator more.

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Tracing her TikTok history, it’s clear how much Andrea’s shorts have improved visually. But content-wise, she’s always been creative. She is a storyteller, after all, putting her ideas into writing for years. These days, however, she puts them out there through social media. This has proved to be one of the best decisions in her life. 

Andrea’s Multiverse

Andrea is never a mere copycat. She may participate in trends and challenges, but be prepared for some twists or surprises once in a while.  For instance:

@andweaso

#pov she got a phone call and recalls what happened last night | ib@incorrectlyroce

♬ original sound – Kuyalods 🎭 – Kuyalods 🎼

It’s a trend that has got even confident men cross-dressing into five women. It’s a ‘90s song where a kiss-and-tell guy spills about the girl he met the night before. Personally, knowing where the naughty song leads to, I wasn’t thrilled about the trend, but that’s TikTok. There is the limited length allowed, fortunately, so it stays wholesome. In general.

Unlike most creators, Andrea didn’t really need a guy to be in the vid. She didn’t have to pretend to be one either to tell the story. Instead, in her POV, Andrew calls a nerdy girl to talk “about last night” and recount things. Distracted by the book she is reading, she answers without checking who it is. She then wonders about what he means but it soon dawns on her what happened. You can see the instant regret on her face. Andrew mentions meeting five pretty girls at a party or club. One girl caught his attention in particular: Ana. The song gets cut off there, thank goodness.

What makes this entry extra special are the women Andrew is introduced to. Fans are tickled pink to see The Faerie (“pretty girly” in the song), Agent Red (Ana), The Princess (Karen), The Pirate King’s Daughter (Tanya), and The Mafia Boss’s Daughter (Jill). Remember this from last time?

Tam

It is a real treat for fans who adore Andrea’s characters to see them all in one video. It is always fun seeing the ladies from the multiverse come together as friends. You don’t know how, when or why it happened, but they just are, and fans love it.

Of course, any group has its most popular member. It is clear who the biggest fan favorite is (and the creator’s, too). Recall: Who is it that Andrew picks again? Ana. In the multiverse, Agent Red. Andrea chose her, not surprisingly. By the way, if you have not realized it yet, the nerdy girl Andrew calls is none other than Red who has a vague recollection of what happened the night before. (I suppose that’s because she doesn’t really drink so she got drunk easily. She probably doesn’t even remember giving a civilian her number. Well, that’s my interpretation of it, at least.)

Code Name: Agent Red

Tell me you’re a bad*ss without telling me you’re a bad*ss.

Agent Red:

@andweaso

#pov the new recruits mock agent red in the training room so she shows them why she’s on top

♬ Kingdanzz and FingerDanceMusic Remix Bow Bow Bow – FingerDanceMusic

@andweaso

#pov part 8 | the agent is assigned to go a new mission

♬ original sound – Babi

“Red” is her rank or skill set level, not her dress code. It means that Agent Red is the best in the field, the deadliest. So don’t expect her to wear red on a regular basis. An agent needs to be inconspicuous. How about the skills of other agents, though, like her partner, Agent Black? Black is also an expert, yet even he says that she is the best. We’ll leave it to Andrea to explain one day.

Agent Red was Andrea’s original concept that blew up online, which she did not exactly expect. People welcomed her female agent who is like the heroines in action and espionage movies—strong, independent, smart, and skilled fighting machines. Agent Red became so popular that TikTok soon began showing some other creators make their own agents in their POVs, often including her own clips.

Every great secret agent needs a backstory, though. What is hers?

@andweaso

#pov after being framed for a crime, agent red finally gets revenge on her ex ⚠️flash⚠️

♬ No Tears Left To Cry By Adamusic – Adam Wright

I’m glad Andrea, the creator, got that covered. I would like another backstory to that backstory, however. It makes me wonder what she was exactly before becoming a secret agent. Meanwhile, the character “Andrea” (the default name for every character), who was Agent 203, rose so fast in rank. Her drive and perseverance in training put her on top that she quickly earned the code “Agent Red”.

Red is a woman of serious demeanor. She doesn’t smile much except to be polite, lure in targets, or assure one’s safety, or when she proves a point to misogynists in the training room. Men admire her and are intimidated by her at the same time. She exudes that inexplicable and mysterious aura. She can out-perform any agent of whatever gender both in training or out in the field. She can knock one out with a single blow or shoot with deadly precision. She never misses, Agent Black says.

Agent Red is not inclined to do silly things like dance in a social gathering unless to distract a target during a mission. She does love to dance when she’s had one drink too many (because she doesn’t really drink), or when she thinks she’s alone in a room, or when she secretly entertains a little kid they are babysitting after a successful rescue.

@andweaso

#pov the agent enjoys babysitting the kid they rescued during their mission

♬ SUSCRIBANSE A METALCHEETA – _mr.cheeta_

At home, she changes back to her old self: a nerd who enjoys a quiet and peaceful time reading a book.

Red seems cold and distant to many. She does not have time for a love life, as far as people know. True. She already spends much of her time with the person she secretly loves, anyway. Agent Black is THAT GUY, and the feeling is mutual. He may keep teasing and annoying her, but Agent Black knows and loves the real her. He’ll go through hell and high waters to save her!  

Oh, but they’re not in a relationship. They keep things professional despite the ever-constant sexual tension between them. Still, not one of them dares to acknowledge what it really is. He cracks a flirty joke sometimes that she either ignores or gets annoyed at. He can’t fight it. He can get so confused when she gives him the sultry look and subtle wink when she dances (probably to get back at him). He gets as distracted as the target! Ironically, it was him who taught her to stare seductively and wink while dancing, having had a somewhat first-hand experience of her effect. (She was drunk and dancing on the floor one time.) 

@andweaso

#pov she has to distract the owner of the club while her partner sneaks in the back

♬ Bartender – yukia🤎

He gets even more distracted when she is so near. What Agent Black doesn’t know, however, is she gets the same way, too, with him. She’s just better at hiding it. She does get flustered unexpectedly at times.

@andweaso

#pov she sees her partner dressed up for the first time at the party

♬ Insane – Summer Walker

There are various times she’s gotten jealous of fellow female agents over him. She will never admit it, of course. Red makes sure she gets his attention back

Obviously, theirs is a slow burn romance, the kind of romance Andrea loves to read, watch, and write about. So far, this below must be the most romantic Red and Black scene yet (at least, the closest I’ve seen Red admit that she likes Black very much):   

Red and Black kilig

WATCH VIDEO BELOW OR  CLICK HERE

It’s funny that viewers know there is no actual person behind the camera, yet they still ship agents Red and Black so hard. Fans are curious, is there someone actually playing Agent Black? There is.  

Andrea’s friend Edge Tuico beat others to it. Others could use the Agent Black name and character, too. I’ve seen some, even women who aren’t necessarily Red’s love interest (for instance, Kimmy Xie whose acting in various POVs I really like). Being first makes you the OG, however, right? Also, Andrea acknowledges and calls him Agent Black multiple times.  She says this in her streams, too.   

@itsedgeo_o

#pov agent black asked for your help and you agreed on one condition… #fyp

♬ POP! – NAYEON

(Agent Black got the sultry staring and winking idea from a drunk Agent Red herself. See? And she remembers none of it.)

@itsedgeo_o

#duet with @andweaso #pov he saw a different side of his partner at a party… #fyp #itsedgeo_o

♬ lay it down by steelix – Tik Toker

Edge has his own Black POVs where he may or may not be an agent, that may or may not include Red, who may or may not be an agent as well. Andrea and Edge have done various Duets before the one below. Personally, I wish for an actual collaboration where both agents are on the same frame.

@andweaso

#duet with @itsedgeo_o #pov the impostor (black) fell in love with the crewmate (red) #amongus

♬ Stuck with U – Ariana Grande & Justin Bieber

Take note that it’s a multiverse where other things can happen. In one series, Agent Red falls for the prince she is protecting. You just saw her save him from the rebels earlier. In the world of POVs, expect and explore other possibilities.

Red looks different in the backstory and earlier videos. Back then, the character hardly wore makeup. I think adding the red lipstick was a very good idea. A hero(ine) needs to have something distinctive about him/her. Since the clothes have nothing to do with the name, the red lipstick was indeed the next best thing. The look at left is what people have now accepted as their Agent Red.

The Faerie Magic

You’d think that it would be the Mafia Boss’s Daughter (MBD), The Pirate King’s Daughter (PKD), or The Princess. But no. It is The Faerie that now rivals Agent Red’s top spot as fan favorite. Her innocent yet bubbly personality might topple Red’s position one day. Why not? She’s so adorable! Everytime she comes out, it’s like you can hear people in the comments say a collective “Aaawww….” It’s like watching cats and dogs videos. I mean, just look here!

@andweaso

#pov agent red finds the faery pretending to be a secret agent

♬ original sound – Tik Toker

@andweaso

#pov the faerie goes to the doctor for a check up

♬ original sound – Lorena Pages

So adorbs, right?!!

She’s a character that is so well-put together. The costume is perfect especially with the pointy ears that she didn’t have yet in the old videos. Her wide-eyed innocence is there when she’s curious, interested, surprised, excited, even when she seems to be hiding a secret. They “disappear” the moment she smiles from ear to ear. That smile melts hearts, too. Never a post that does not have people commenting on it. 

Obviously, Faerie is a fun character with quite a personality. She is always curious and in awe, naughty and mischievous, playful and a bit stubborn. She is like a child trying to experience the world. She likes food a lot and has been known to taste nice-smelling, inedible things even when you say don’t. And, boy, does she love to dance! Several times, she stole Red’s phone to record herself doing dance trends. Faerie is now happy with her own phone that, I suppose, Red handed down or provided.

@andweaso

#pov the faerie stole agent red’s phone to do the dance trend

♬ 1, 2, 3 (feat. Jason Derulo & De La Ghetto) [Sped Up Version] – Sofia Reyes

Given her personality, what makes her qualified to join Red, MBD, PKD, and the Princess in the list of empowered women? For one, The Faerie does have her own mind and listens only to trusted friends. She is not easily fooled when it matters.

@andweaso

#pov the evil troll tried to trick the faery into breaking his curse

♬ SayMyName BeetlejuiceBrdwy Musical – LuLu

She does not conform just to please you. She is an advocate for the environment, too. Faerie is not afraid to try new things.

One does not have to be a bad*ss to be empowered.

When the character was first introduced, she looked more human, wearing either white or black, no visible pointy ears. Faerie behaved like an adult, good and kind, yet prone to make bad decisions once in a while. She did not take kindly to being made a fool and made sure the lesson was learned well. She seemed like a force to deal with.

@andweaso

#pov you played with the fairy’s feelings so she put a curse on you and now you only speak chicken #fyp #foryou

♬ Toy – Netta

I’m not sure if the big change in Faerie was a conscious decision on Andrea’s part. Perhaps things naturally went that way as she found the child-like character fun to do and the audience loved it. She’s always admitted being partial to Red and Faerie. And so have her audience in general.

In the multiverse, Faerie’s happy personality has endeared her to friends. It’s a wonder that they are even her friends considering their backgrounds–the Mafia, pirates, royalty. It is quite evident, though, that Agent Red is her BFF. The tough agent certainly has a soft spot for the faerie. She treats Faerie not just as a bestfriend but as a beloved little sister to guide and protect. Cases in point:

1.  Red patiently taught Faerie her first human words.

2. When the faerie doesn’t stop crying, only Red can make her stop and cheer her up. The agent is good with kids despite the outside persona that she shows and, well, Faerie is still like a kid in many ways. And she still wants that ice cream.

3. You never see Red get annoyed or angry at her despite the various mischiefs and misadventures the latter gets into.

4. Faerie wants to be a secret agent, too, so Red tries to teach her how to shoot and interrogate. Once, she even brought Faerie along with her on a mission. So far, Faerie has succeeded…at being cute.         

5. Faerie is the biggest Red and Black shipper! (I call the ship RNB, okay?) She teases her bestie constantly about it. Red practically lets her as long as she doesn’t tell anyone

@andweaso

#pov the faerie wanted to take a pic with agent red

♬ original sound – Mr.getleft

[Ed. UPDATE, hot off the  grill! You might wanna see THIS. Won’t be surprised if it becomes viral except, well. TikTok keeps shadowbanning it for no reason! Anyway, The Faerie asks Agent Red to hold her drink and asks Agent Black for something else. Ooh, the way Red pulled her aside….Faerie, you li’l devil. That was perfect. Love you! RNB Forever!]  

6. Red is quick to laugh and smile at Faerie’s cuteness and antics. And we know Red, she guards her feelings well.

7. Faerie is the only one who can easily ask a reluctant Red to dance to trends with her. Red pretends to enjoy it only when she’s looking. Even Agent Black can’t force Red that easily.

8. The Ultimate Proof? Red doesn’t have to know the details that leads to Faerie crying (Faerie’s especially sensitive about her ears, though). If you make Faerie cry, you will pay, dearly…RUUUNNN!!!

@andweaso

#pov agent red finds the faery crying after the bullies made fun of her ears

♬ usa el audio si te gusta Encanto – <3

Friendship goals! And we can expect more from this duo in the coming months.

Meanwhile, how about some cute Agent Red and Faerie bloopers? Oh, and a surprise “live” performance, too! *winky-winky*

@andweaso

enjoy this blooper haha i broke my ringlight :((

♬ Love Maybe Secret Number – NIKO
 

Part 3 NEXT! I’m sorry I couldn’t do MBD, PKD, and the Princess (they’re next). I just really enjoyed this very much! I can’t wait to write a fan fiction about Faerie’s backstory, why she is the way she is, why she doesn’t seem to have powers, and how she met her bestie, Red. I’ve said it before, I’m not into fan fiction, but for them, I’ll make an exception. I have a whole plot planned already!

PART 3 will also include facts about our favorite creator and the things that make Andrea So iconic 🙂 So fair warning: it might be long again. BTW, the Instagram video could be embedded but it takes A LOT of space and is not playable. The dialogues are important but the words may be hard to read due to the size. So I created a “new” vid that we could embed here, play immediately, and read properly. It’s unlisted on my channel and you can only view it here and/or if I actually provide you the link.     

ALL VIDEOS AND IMAGES BELONG TO MISS ANDREA SO. 

TikTok: @andweaso YouTube: Andrea♡  Instagram: @andweaso

Andrea’s Multiverse (Part 1) : The Creator’s Points of View

andrea-so-on-TikTok

Andrea So, the creator of her own Multiverse

It’s true.  I have not been writing much. I have not felt inspired enough. Inspiration comes and then goes away in a couple of days. It’s frustrating! So many things going through my mind that I can’t function the way that I used to. I’m so bored that I’ve unintentionally immersed myself more in social media, particularly YouTube. Ironically, that’s how I found Andrea Nicole So, a popular TikTok content creator. 

How I Found Andrea

I found one of her “Shorts”. A Short is a quick video that is sometimes uploaded on YouTube by a TikTok creator to add/test the platform. This has been possible for quite sometime now. I was aware of it, only I did not give it mind. I’ve seen too many TikTok videos through Facebook Watch and many of them annoy me for various reasons. The worst are the thirst traps.

Anyway, I ended up enjoying Shorts from several American sitcoms. I also ended up looking at other TikTok videos, which was inevitable. One day, I came across this:    

@andweaso

#pov the drummer heard the guitarist (her crush) and the bassist talking about her during rehearsal

♬ original sound – Krystine

I’ve seen many fake-drumming online yet this one really caught my attention. I was curious if hers is real since I’m a frustated musician whose ultimate dream is to play the drums. Some stories I attempted to write before involved drummer girls because, well, girls playing drums seem so cool, I’m not gonna lie. Drummer girls rock!

I rewatched many times, listened well to the beats, and watched if she’s just flailing her sticks everywhere. She just missed the first cymbals, I should mention. Even so, I may not know how to play the drums but it doesn’t mean I’m blind. The sound may not be hers but the young woman knows what she’s doing.

What really interested me were her reactions. The large, expressive eyes, the cute little smile she tried to hide, and the consequent expressions intrigued me. She’s definitely a sight for sore eyes, but what was going on? I found the answer when I read the caption that started with “#pov”.

Point of View! Everything became clear to me then. POVs, in the TikTok world, are scenarios or skits that the creator puts characters in. They may be his ideas or suggested by followers. Generally, the creators themselves act in them and Andrea is no exception. The brief video of the Drummer Girl gives a glimpse of Andrea’s acting potential. (Of course, you’ll need to read the dialogues inserted onscreen to understand the story.  I actually did not give them mind the first times I watched. This video spawned Parts 2 and 3, by popular demand.)  

Other creators make POVs, too, except it was the first time I saw one that didn’t involve choices or numbers or whatever. Usually, they give POVs then the characters supposedly choose what to do, like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure. The endings depend on their choices. The numbers either represent a character’s long (or short) life, or some individual rankings given by the government, etcetera. Many are weird scenarios…They’re all interesting enough yet I usually end up dissatisfied, if not disappointed, by the conclusions. Not to mention, by some terrible acting and script.

Andrea didn’t disappoint, not with this one, honestly. I liked her work. It made me curious to check out her other videos. Not surprisingly, like many creators, Andrea may have started with dance videos (I haven’t confirmed it, I just know she already deleted some older posts). I traced her posting history and found dance shorts showing her skills. The girl has got moves! Below is a more recent post with minimal movements. I chose to share it as I feel it represents her sweet, charming personality and personal style.   

This is Andrea So

Andrea is often easily mistaken as a Korean. When I first watched her works, I did not assume it but considered that she might be. There was no clue in the videos because the captions and onscreen dialogues are in English. However, I did not discount that she could be Filipino. We, Filipinos, are a mixed of races that it’s very possible, even with a family name like So. 

Online interviews I found indirectly confirmed that the 24-year-old grew up in the Philippines. In her livestsreams, she gets asked time and again about her nationality. She is Filipino by nationality. She is half-Chinese while the Filipino part has some Spanish blood in there somewhere. When Andrea sometimes replies to comments in conversational Tagalog, that surprises fans who wonder about her.

This short, one of my faves because it gives me the feels, should definitely confuse fans. With her acting and looks, she could pass as a K-drama star.

@andweaso

#pov the shy girl wanted to keep her relationship with the badboy a secret from her friends

♬ original sound – favsoundds

Notice that though the Drummer Girl, the real Andrea, and the Shy Girl/Girlfriend look similar (of course!), they also could pass as different people. It must be the mixed genes. In her earlier videos (she started POVs in January 2020), the Spanish in her sometimes manifest, so to speak. At least, in my opinion.

This ability to transform has helped her achieve a good status in the industry she’s chosen. Andrea is a college graduate who traded her otherwise wonderful first job for a career in entertainment where her work is a one-woman job. And she loves it!

She does everything, from conceptualizing to acting to editing, which is fine. A perfectionist knows that if you want something done your way, do it yourself. She is a writer who has always wanted to be an actress. Social media presented to her the opportunity. Andrea has grabbed it, works hard, and now enjoys the various fruits of her labor. Why not? She’s great at what she does, whether it’s light humor, romance, drama, even light action.

Here are just some samples of her POVs. Take note that some skits are done in response to different TikTok trends and challenges. Majority of them are her own ideas. Also, you can tell which ones were made much earlier based on the lighting and background — Don’t mind them. We all start somewhere.

@andweaso

#pov the badboy comes home and finds the babysitter dancing with his sister

♬ POP! – NAYEON
@andweaso

#pov you ask the mafia boss’s daughter to act cute for you

♬ original sound – TitoBoi🇵🇭💸 – Jiedazer Barbacena
@andweaso

#pov the nerd had one too many drinks at the party

♬ original sound – Tristen🧃
@andweaso

#pov bonus part | the bad boy and his guardian angel #fyp #foryou

♬ everybody talks slowed version – Bambi
@andweaso

#pov the singer has a crush on the new drummer so he starts singing to her on stage

♬ original sound – “Drummer girl”
@andweaso

#pov the playboy meets his match when he talks to the new girl

♬ original sound – Noah Jay Wood
@andweaso

#pov your nerdy best friend had too much to drink at the party

♬ lay it down by steelix – Tik Toker
@andweaso

#pov you’re working on your project together but you keep getting distracted

♬ original sound – kingtaehy – bonobonoya
@andweaso

#pov you (her bodyguard) came to rescue her alone

♬ never be the same – favsoundds
@andweaso

#pov she’s had enough of the toxic relationship

♬ I Love You So – The Walters
@andweaso

#pov you’re both the last agents alive on the mission #fyp #foryou

♬ Beggin – User
@andweaso

#pov she’s the manipulative one in the relationship | ib@yanyandejesus1

♬ Veronica Girl Version by MBull – meredithbull
@andweaso

#pov the witch disguised herself as a maiden to seek revenge on the prince who broke her heart

♬ DARKSIDE – Neoni
@andweaso

Reply to @cutekobeng better?

♬ Material Girl – Madonna

Empowered

Andrea plays all of the characters above. She has more that she can summon. However, if you’ve followed her long enough, you know that none of them could be more iconic than these women:

Tam

They are mostly behind Andrea’s continued rise in popularity. In fact, as of the moment, she has 8.4 million TikTok followers, and counting. (She is now also verified by YouTube and recently received her silver play button.) These female characters embody women independence and empowerment. They are strong, they can be fierce and fearless. That’s what endears them–what endears Andrea–to viewers more. She is not just a pretty face.   

Of course, she has detractors. Andrea has her share of online bullies, especially those that hide behind dummy accounts. How do they affect her? Let’s see. Everytime I see this, I swear, I feel a swell of pride, no exaggeration.

@andweaso

#pov she gets to live in her own fantasy

♬ original sound – Karen Chen

There’s a Part 2! We’ll talk about these women in Andrea’s Multiverse, starting with Agent Red and The Faerie. BTW, ALL VIDEOS AND IMAGES BELONG TO MISS ANDREA SO. 

    TikTok: @andweaso YouTube: Andrea♡  Instagram:@andweaso

I First Published This Because I Wrote It

It’s my anniversary at work (well, WFH for now) today, YAY!!! So I decided to finalize my last sub-theme for this challenge and post (finally!).

Day 21 of the #NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaDePoblano” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer. Related page: Poetry Nook.

Anyone who’s followed me long enough already knows about this. But since I am doing this as part of a challenge, and I also have new followers (thank you, all!!!), I am sharing it again. This is a translation of the popular Filipino lullaby SA UGOY NG DUYAN. This was first published on my Multiply account, not here. But I am sharing it because I WROTE IT. It was I who translated it in English.

While it is one of the various translations, it is currently the most popular. I say this not to brag, only to emphasize that I, at least, own the translation. It’s been used/posted by others without giving credit. They should, at least, say that they found it online. Anyway, read on and I hope you like my translation…

The End Justifies the Journey

On January 3, 2005, I shared through Multiply one of my favorite Filipino songs, Sa Ugoy ng Duyan. As many of my contacts were non-Filipinos, I thought I’d share a translation. However, at the time, I could not find any worthy translation, so I decided to create my own called The Lulling Cradle, which I included in a previous post (check the last video). I was quick to mention it was an unofficial translation. From what I now remember, there were two to three people who asked permission to share my translation, so I said YES, as long as I got credited.

Fast forward to a few years after, and then a few years more, I have found out that my translation is kind of making the rounds online, without proper credit and no explanation that it is just one of more translations. I don’t expect or plan…

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JUNO The Film that Made Ellen Page? #NanoPoblano2019

***NOTE: I am back trying to complete my ten posts for November. It’s always funny in a not-so-ha-ha way that everytime I try to do writing challenges, something comes up to distract my mojo. I was doing well posting my first Nano Poblano posts daily. Then personal problems distracted me. I also suddenly have a new client (well, she was a client before) who has been giving me various writing assignments. So yeah, my brain is usually cooked by evening. I just want to binge on Netflix. Well, I do actually binge on it.

Anyway, this is a fine time to re-share a film review I did in the past. I’ve been wanting to for quite some time but I never found the right timing. Maybe this is it. I originally wanted to post for #MondayReviews but, well…

Here it is. I did some editing to make it more readable, though, and updated. By the way, ALL images and video belong to the producers, okay? And, oh, for more reviews, visit the CRITIC’S CORNER, please.

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JUNO THE FILM THAT MADE ELLEN PAGE?

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Ellen Page in the title role of JUNO

It all began with a chair. No, really, it did, and it’s what the lead said: “It all began with a chair.” Honestly, I felt that the intro was rather weak until I realized why the writer began with that. The chair would somehow set the stage for what was soon to be the center of the story.

I am, admittedly, partial to movies with the word “indie” attached to them. I first heard about the 2007 Fox Searchlight film JUNO through cable-channel surfing. When I heard people gush about the so-called indie film, I said to myself, “Heck, yeah, I gotta see this flick!” Belatedly, after more than two years, I finally chanced upon a copy at a video store and whaddya know? I got me my JUNO.

Meet Juno

First, the story.

The movie tells of a girl named Juno MacGuff (Ellen Page), who is equipped with sharp wit and an even sharper mouth. A die-hard rocker kinda girl with a love for slasher movies, she lived by her own rules (practically her own, anyway) sans the usual teen angsts and oh-I-hate-the-world attitude. 

Juno is mature for her own age. However, at sixteen, she is still prone to the wayward ways of the juvenile world. She makes the mistake of sleeping with her dorky male bestfriend Paulie Bleeker (Michael Cera) one supposedly boring day. “Supposedly”, since she tells quirky cheerleader Leah (Olivia Thirlby), her female bestfriend, that she planned it. But the plan has resulted into something she did not expect. And she pays for it in a span of nine months. 

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Suddenly, Juno is faced with going through the inevitable phase. And then there’s the adoption to think of. She wants to make sure that her baby’s future adoptive parents (Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner) are the perfect ‘desperately seeking spawn’ couple she thinks they are. As one character puts it, “That ain’t no Etch-A-Sketch,” pertaining to Juno’s positive pregnancy test. “This is one doodle that can’t be un-did, Homeskillet.” She needs to make it right for her kid.

Juno worries that her child might grow up in a dysfunctional family such as hers. It is emotional baggage that the seemingly-uncaring Juno has carried around for years and is now being brought to the surface.

Interesting? Well, loads of people can’t be wrong. I know what endeared this movie to critics and public audience alike; it’s what endeared it to me.

Why Love JUNO?

It’s an adorable piece of unconventional, not-too-dramatic, creative storytelling. It tackles a very real issue with a humorous take. It is not to make light of the situation. Rather, it teaches about loving, forgiving and learning to let go.

The film deserves the praises, nominations, and awards it received. First-time screenwriter Diablo Cody spun a very good tale about a girl forced to deal with matters that even some adults fear facing. (Don’t ask why her name is Diablo; it’s an alias and is another story.)

The movie is a coming-of-age comedy except Juno had to mature faster than necessary, and she knew this. As she said in a scene, she was “just out dealing with things waaay beyond my maturity level.” Frankly, she dealt with the situation much more maturely than at least one of the adults.

Kudos to Cody for a wonderful script. She relayed the story in a manner that while she did not promote premarital sex and teenage pregnancy, she emphasized the value of family support during these dark times. She took a stand as well against abortion. Subtle, but a qualified stand.

What made this movie stand out more were the wickedly delicious dialogues mostly delivered by the wickedly brilliant Ellen Page. Language was often young and hip to emphasize the kind of girl Juno was. The adults had their own witty lines and comebacks as well, right at every turn. But it’s a good thing that Ellen played the lead role because she would have stolen the scenes from any other lead anyway. They were all good, but Ellen was just…well, again, wickedly brilliant!

JUNO made an instant Ellen Page fan out of me. [Ed. She’s the main reason I’m watching THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY.] So I  researched on her and found her interesting film biography. She has done roles others can only dream of. Ellen tends to play dark roles, but she has said she is open for other kinds of roles (e.g. Kitty Pryde a.k.a. Shadowkat in X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, Ariadne in INCEPTION).

For JUNO, Ellen received nominations and awards. She now carries with her name the “Academy Awards Nominee” tag. She has said that one advantage is she can now choose roles. Maybe it’s a joke, but I don’t think she even had that problem before at all, anyway. Real directors know talent when they see one.

JUNO gets FIVE STARS from me for being unconventional, smart, and even delicious to the eyes (I love the bright colors!!!). And, oh, spankin’ cute soundtrack as well, honest to blog!

Meanwhile, I am now looking for copies of her movies HARD CANDY, MOUTH TO MOUTH, SUPER, THE CURED, THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS, and AN AMERICAN CRIME [Ed. I posted a review of this. Just click]. Maybe I’ll try Netflix.

The Sandbox Show #WhatsupWednesday #NanoPoblano2019

Last October was my first YouTube anniversary. Actually, technically, it wasn’t. I’ve had the account for years. But last year, I decided it was time to do what I really wanted with it: I started vlogging.

One of my dreams was to create my own videos someday. But when I was younger, we didn’t have a camera. We probably could not afford one. Even if we could, it would be against my conscience to ask one from my parents who worked hard to raise us. If we had cellphones, they would not have had clear cameras anyway, if they came with cameras at all. Good thing that I had my chance in college where we created various video productions. And then, my first job was perfect — I wrote and produced institutional videos for a tertiary school.

But those were school- and job-related works. I wanted to create stuff for myself. I had always wanted to own a channel once I learned about people broadcasting on their own cable channels. I wanted to be the one to produce and decide what to do on my own show. But I didn’t have my own equipment and the family did not have cable…

Fast-forward to now and voila! Hello, YouTube!  It helps, too, that new technologies have made it easier for us. Now anyone can own a channel. Even a quirky wannabe like me.

Starting Out

My not-so-high-tech equipment does the trick. Of course, there’s still a lot to be desired. My detachable webcam takes vivid shots except if you move a lot, it creates a sort of visual echo. It can be quite tricky considering that I am a very animated person. I use Windows Photo Editor, which is helpful but is not as nice as other editors. In some of my posted videos, it is obvious whenever I jump from one part to another. They were the first ones I recorded.

I used the “Trim” feature to edit at the start. Luckily, I noticed sometime these last months that they have added a “Split” feature. Tried that and it proved to be sooo much better. It makes the work easier and the results less ‘jumpy’. Most times, the transitions are not even obvious. I could get a better (free) editor, but I am not sure if my laptop’s memory can handle it. Will get to that one day.

The jumps in my vids are more obvious when real-time, actual background music is recorded along with my talking. That is because in the first videos I made, I knowingly recorded while playing songs in the background. That was me being stupid, not realizing the consequences of my actions.

I sometimes get copyright claims when I post them (so I do add credits in the Description section). No strikes, though, especially since I am not earning anything from vlogging. YouTube influencer, I have no illusions of becoming. I have explained in one of my posts (“6 Reasons A Vlogger is Not Popular“). Unless the universe tells me otherwise. Until then…Anyway, I decided to ditch the real-time background music once I realized my problem. If you do encounter a newly posted vid that still noticeably jumps because of the music, that means the raw copy just recently got edited.

Honestly, in a span of one year, I have only posted eight videos on my channel. Life happens, in a good way or a bad way. Serious editing eats time. But since I am in no hurry to get famous, I figured I’d do things on my own time. If you’ve been watching vloggers long enough, you’ll know a lot of them get burnout trying to keep up with the demands of vlogging. So, no. I have enough pressures already at work and in my personal life, I’m not about to add more.

Yes, there are only eight posted videos. Still, there’s enough where they came from. I have lots of recorded copies to last me till next year, plus there’ll be new ones I have yet to make.  My upcoming New Year’s Resolution, however, does include being a more active YouTuber. Also, I’m putting (1) “Don’t buckle”, (2) “Pronounce words correctly”, (3) “Avoid grammatical errors”, and (3) “Don’t be conscious of the camera” on the list.

The Sandbox Show

The Sandbox Show is produced by The Sandbox Prodxns, a “self-owned one-woman company” that I created myself years ago (when I didn’t exactly know what to do with it). My account name has “akasands” in it, which actually means A.K.A Sands. Why it is there and what that means, I will reserve for another time. Unless you want to watch my long, boring, and awkward intro video. It’s explained there somewhere. At least, I added bloopers after, ha!

What can I say? I’m getting better at it. And I do like to play around with the editing to get my best results. I’m a visual person. I try to make my videos as entertaining as I can. Maybe I have only eight posts yet you can betcha I worked hard on every one of them. Practice makes almost-perfect.

Anyway, I have shared some videos in the past on this blog. Below are the two most recent ones I posted on YT, if you can call them recent:

Yakult vs Delight vs Go Long Probiotic Drinks It’s one of those reviews that I call “comparative mukbang”.

Next,…

The Arya Stark Gender Debate It’s the first and, so far, only Game of Thrones-related video I’ve posted. There are more to come. Here, I discuss an issue that people felt compelled to debate on even in this day and age. Disclaimer: I did say “It does not matter” whether Arya Stark was or was not.

This is my channel, by the way: THE SANDBOX SHOW.

CATS Out of the Box #MondayReviews #NanoPoblano2019

In December, a new movie version of CATS THE MUSICAL will be shown in theaters worldwide. I am a huge CATS-lover and let me tell you now: So far, I’m not liking most of the changes they’ve done. But, alright, I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Who knows? I might like it.

Anyway, below is the semi-review that I did on the original movie years ago. I call it “semi-review” because it’s more of a feature. Well, more of a fan-made writeup. This was posted way back in the old Multiply days. I have decided to share it again (1) since it’s timely, (2) to introduce new viewers to the original musical, and (3) to give them points of comparison once the new movie is released. I did edit things to correct some grammatical errors, shorten the piece a bit, and add some updates.

By the way, links to more reviews can be found in the CRITIC’S CORNER.

FAIR WARNING: I am posting a reaction-slash-comparison video on my vlog one of these days. Bear with me. Humor me.

A CATTY EXPERIENCE

Indeed, I could choose from a variety of movies that I have already seen. Instead, I chose to love a film that is, for sure, not on a lot of people’s favorites-list. It’s a story with a simple plot. Cinematography is good, not outstanding. The visual effects are there only because they are necessary. And then, there are glaring editing misses!

So what’s there to love, really?

CATS THE MUSICAL is simply not the kind of film most Filipinos would appreciate. Well, most people in general. But I am a musical-enthusiast, videophile, dance-lover and poetry-maker. That combination explains why I find CATS very entertaining, beautiful, and original. It is poetry in words, music, and motion, all rolled into one cool package. Great score, great singing, great dancing! In the words of T. S. Eliot, it is “ineffable…effable…eff-an-in-EF-fable!”

The History of CATS

In the past, stage musicals like OKLAHOMA and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF were made into successful films. Many were culled from classic literature such as OLIVER!, from Charles Dickens‘ book Oliver Twist. THE WIZARD OF OZ, meanwhile, was based from the 1939 film, which was an adaptation of L. Frank Baum‘s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As for WEST SIDE STORY, it was inspired by William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet.

Came the early ’80s and there was the musical genius Baron Andrew Lloyd Webber (ALW). He of the JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA fame had a novel idea: Why not make a musical about cats based on the book his mom used to read to him — T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats?

So CATS was conceived and developed. It was made by famous theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh and ALW’s The Really Useful Theatre Company. CATS was officially ‘born’ in London’s West End, at New London Theatre, on May 11, 1981. Then the show made its Broadway debut on September 7, 1982 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

The sung-through musical proved to be a hit and won many awards and accolades. For quite a time, it was the longest-running musical as it was performed on West End stage for two glorious decades! There were 8,489 shows in 21 years. On Broadway, it ran for 18 years with 7,485 shows.

A true Taurean, CATS was as stubborn as a bull, refusing to budge from its position as the “World’s Best-loved Musical”. Well, that was until LES MISERABLES took its place in 2006. Sadly, CATS bid farewell to Broadway and West End in 2000 and 2002 respectively. (Ed. Fortunately, it’s currently back in the game, enjoying the limelight, entertaining more theatre fans, and translated into multiple languages.  “As of 2019, Cats remains the fourth-longest-running Broadway show and the sixth-longest-running West End show.” Oh, and it had a worldwide gross of US$3.5 billion by 2012.)

In 1998, ALW pushed the barriers further by producing the film version of CATS. It was, in fact, the first of its kind, an actual stage performance captured on film. In essence, they picked up where they left off, only with a different medium. Directed for film by David Mallet, the musical was shot in London’s Adelphi Theater by running through the whole production twice and then adding other essential shots. They did it in a span of 18 days. Meanwhile, costumes and make-up were toned down for film.

Original performers like Elaine Paige and Ken Page took on the roles they originated on West End (her) and on Broadway (him). The show also brought in veteran actor Sir John Mills for a special role. ALW then chose actors he thought could best portray the 28 other important characters. The cast were chosen from productions that were then currently showing the musical. Judging from the performances captured by the lenses, it seems that ALW’s team chose wisely and well.

The Story of CATS

The story unfolds as the Jellicle Cats meet at a junkyard for the annual Jellicle Ball. In attendance are the adult cats and the kittens that are on the verge of adulthood, probably attending their first ball.

Led by the protective silver-and-grey tom, Munkustrap (Michael Gruber), they sing, dance, do acrobatics, and bask at the Jellicle moon. That is, while they await the arrival of their leader, Old Deuteronomy (Page). Every year, just before dawn, Deuteronomy makes what is known as the “Jellicle Choice”. He chooses the cat who gets the chance to be reborn, allowed to go up the Heaviside Layer (their kitty heaven), and “come back to a different Jellicle life”. Anyone interested could ask to be given this privilege.

During this time, the audience is given the chance to get accustomed to the characters. Some are easy to remember. That’s due mainly to particular costume designs that stage productions almost always follow . (Thanks, John Napier.)

For those familiar with the show, some characters are instantly recognizable. For instance, Victoria The White Cat (Phyllida Crowley Smith), the tuxedo cat Quaxo (Jacob Brent), the Siamese feline Cassandra (Rebecca Parker), or the twins Coricopat and Tantomile (Tommi Sliiden and Kaye Brown respectively). Some performers first show up as swing or supporting casts, wearing costumes specifically designed not to stand out. They later emerge as important characters. It is hard, though, to miss such a man (or cat) the size of Mister Page.

As the waiting continues, the presence of some adored cats are acknowledged. Jennyanydots The Gumbie Cat (Susie McKenna), with her tiger stripes and leopard spots, is a tabby perceived as lazy by her owners during the day. But she gets busy at night teaching or disciplining mice, roaches and beetles. The supposedly smart Bustopher Jones (James Barron) is a well-respected cat in his “coat of fastidious black” and “white spats”. He is revered when all he actually really does is eat.

The Rum Tum Tugger (John Partridge) also makes sure that his presence is known. He is “vain”, “perverse” and “inconsequent”. And yet, he is the object of almost every she-feline’s affection. The kittens and the sensual Bombalurina (Rosemarie Ford) idolize him like a sexy rockstar. Complete with a lion’s mane, a kiss-me curl, and gyrations, he is the show’s trademark Elvis. The Elvis theme is one that ALW plays with from time to time. Case in point: the Pharaoh in JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT. Together with Munkustrap, Tugger serves as another main storyteller.

Grizabella The Glamour Cat (Paige) – ironically un-glamorized now – then enters the scene. Excited to be back after years of absence, Grizabella is saddened when the others avoid and ostracize her. Needless to say, she is forced to stay away and watch from afar. Meanwhile, the notorious Bonnie-and-Clyde tandem of Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer (Drew Varley and Jo Gibb respectively) are caught doing their usual naughty antics and misdeed. The comical troublemakers end up staying all throughout the party.

The Jellicle leader soon appears, to the delight of his followers. For further entertainment, the cats do a parody of warring dogs, with the “intervention” of The Rumpus Cat (Frank Thompson). Dancing resumes after. At some point of the elaborate dance number, the mating process happens. It’s a sort of PG-13 moment when the kitten Victoria “becomes” an adult cat. She mates with Plato (Bryn Walters) while the others also do their – uh – thing.

When it is over, Grizabella returns and tries to join the ball once again. She is still regarded as an outcast. Feeling alone, she sings the now-popular song “Memory”, sadly reminiscing her lovely past. She does not know that Deuteronomy is still there and leaves disappointed.

Soon after, the cats return and Deuteronomy tries to explain to them the meaning of real happiness, to no avail. So to get the message across, he conveys it in simpler words through the kitten Jemima (Veerle Casteleyn). She somewhat sings entranced. Jemima’s maturity at her age is evidenced by her understanding of Grizabella. She is always the first to try and touch the outcast only to be pulled away by the older cats.

Gus The Theatre Cat (Sir John Mills), senile as he is, also attends the gathering and talks of the good ol’ days. He makes you shed a tear or two at the end of his song. He leaves behind him a sad atmosphere. which Skimbleshanks The Railway Cat (Geoffrey Garrat) enlivens again through his storytelling and pantomime acts.

Chaos erupts as the criminal Macavity The Mystery Cat a.k.a. The Hidden Paw (also Walters) emerges and catnaps Old Deuteronomy. As they worry about their leader, Macavity returns in a different form. But the sensitive and rather dramatic Demeter (Aeva May) sees through his disguise and exposes him. A fight inevitably happens and sometime later, the Jellicle leader is somehow rescued. With the help of the magical Mr. Mistoffelees (also Brent) and the kittens — the wise and sweet Jemima and the kind, queenly Victoria — Deuteronomy is finally able to make the Jellicle Choice.

Thoughts on CATS

For anyone wanting entertainment-value, CATS will not be a disappointment. But to the uninitiated, the whole story may not be easy to follow. I had to watch it several times myself before I fully understood everything.

It also helped that I had the libretto downloaded from the Internet back then. That made it easier to understand and better appreciate the actors’ various accents. Varley’s and Gibb’s were particularly harder to follow for me, to be honest. Understanding the words made their lively performance more fun to watch.

Most of the characters that were introduced/announced were old. It was natural for Deuteronomy to choose among the elders. They had been there, done that, enjoyed things they would want to relive like Gus, regretted things they would like to change like Grizabella.

Grizabella did not use her youth wisely. Once it was gone, she was left with nothing but her memories. She felt the sting of loneliness, lamenting the meaning of real happiness. The brief but memorable duet of the old and the young in “Memory (Reprise)” emphasized this. One represented hope and innocence; one represented loss and grave regrets. Meanwhile, we saw a stunning performance from both actors. It is arguably one of the best scenes from the film.

Between Griz and Gus, however, the latter gets my vote. Sir John Mills was a very convincing Gus that I actually shed some tears almost every time I watched him. A brief performance worthy of an award!

The stage production itself is to be applauded, in my opinion. Few musicals can do what CATS do. They may have one or two of the elements, but the show offers more.

There’s great poetry (with additional texts from Sir Trevor Nunn), though already antiquated from the start. Understandable. The book the show is based on is old. What’s amazing is they somehow pull it off. If you’re not into poetry, you’ll tend to forget it anyway as you enjoy watching the cats and their various antics. You won’t really notice that it’s poetry.

There’s wonderful music. A lot of times, it is operatic, which, I admit, may not suit some theater-goers. They might find the show boring because of the music. I think most avid supporters of musicals will not mind, though. Many musicals tend to be operatic.

The dance numbers are totally awesome! I am so impressed by the dancers who train really hard to move like real cats, even think like real cats. They make dancing seem easy when it isn’t. It takes dedication to achieve the craft. CATS’ dance routines also differ in genres (e.g. ballet, lyrical, even acrobatic). That makes the whole show quite interesting. Credit goes to Dame Gillian Lynne. I think productions still follow her choreography up to now. I saw a live performance some years ago and it was like watching the movie.

The set is not breathtakingly impressive compared to other shows’ and yet, very appropriate. Just imagine that you are an actual Jellicle Cat — the set will make sense. The way going to the Heaviside Layer is a bit of a turn-off for me. Other than that, well, I really don’t mind anything else.
I love other musicals as well. What sets CATS apart for me, though, is the fact that it is a complete package. I consider watching the movie as an actual adventure.
Truth be told, it isn’t really the story that has made the most impact on me. I am viewing this from the perspective of a musical-lover, not a film enthusiast. CATS is a stage musical, first and foremost. Despite its flaws, the movie deserves to be praised for the sheer originality alone. That’s what thinking-out-of-the-box is about.
And I am so glad CATS is out! 😉
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Hey, guys, I found this nice page on the musical, check it out: Cats (musical)

6 Reasons a Vlogger is Not Popular #ThursdayTips

So you’ve decided to join the club and vlog. But it’s been months–years even!–and you’re nowhere near the famous vloggers that inspired you. You’ve been posting daily and religiously ’cause that should make people remember you, right? Yet you’re not popular. What gives?

Let’s just take me, for example. Why is it that I might never be a popular vlogger? Well, I’ve watched enough YouTube vlogs to have observed certain truths. If these are your truths, well, sticks and stones, and no offense meant.

Why I’m not Popular

1.  I am not gorgeous.

2.  I’m not famous or going around with the “in” crowd.

3.  I don’t have the right or more proper equipment.

4.  I don’t have enough resources (physical and/or financial).

5.  I am not the gimmicky type of person.

6.  I’m too shy when I need to be bold.

I only emphasized my observations. It doesn’t mean that if one is this or not that, he/she should stay that way. It depends on what he/she wants to be or accomplish, what that person decides to do and thinks he/she can do.

I have suggested alternatives or simple solutions below.

How to Be a Popular Vlogger

  1. Just be presentable.
  2. Actively engage with your audience. Interact with people. Go out sometimes.
  3. Make an effort to acquire better equipment for your purpose.
  4. Be resourceful. Find ways!
  5. Be creative. Make the effort.
  6. Believe in yourself and be confident.

I have actually shared these whys and hows in my most current vlogpost.  There, I further explained a little bit more my bases and insights, own experiences, and conclusions. Excuse some of the mildly rough edited parts.

Perseverance pays off only when you do things right. It doesn’t matter how many times you post. If you ignore the importance of relevant content to people, then people will ignore you back.

New Year’s Greetings, Earthlings!

HELLO, FELLOW HUMANS!!!

 

And since February’s near…

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!!!

Welcome to 2019! I can’t say much yet about the new year, but I can take it, so far. So how was your 2018?

If I were to sum up my 2018, it was a year of missed opportunities (job offers I turned down), personal losses (my uncle and hubby’s mother passed away), and failed attempts (tried earning new certificates, but something would always come up, I lost interest). It sounds really worse than it was, though. But since overall, it wasn’t enough to really depress me, I think it was just plain okay. As plain as “OK” can be. No great shakes. I was positively shaken several times, but nothing big ever happened.

Writing- or blogging-wise, I had a love-hate relationship with writing/blogging, to be honest. There was a sort of burn out. The fire would start only to dwindle into nothing. But I dare say I did better than in previous years. That’s ’cause my frame of mind was to not force myself because forcing myself would only stress me out until I get disappointed in the end. So I wrote when I could and whenever I was inspired. The funny thing was, even when I didn’t blog, I’d see some spikes in my stats — not that I’m crazy about my stats — and I usually don’t know why. I would look at what brought visitors in, yet there usually was no reason other than they were brought here by their searches. For me, that’s a form of success. After all, the main point of my blogging is to give something that even just a single person can appreciate and leave with.

Two things were new last year:

1. I created my online portfolio, The J. F. E. Portfolio, which you already are aware of, I suppose. It serves a purpose for me. Though I’ve not added anything to it again since October, I’m in no hurry. I have so many to share there if I choose to do so. I won’t run out.

2. I finally decided to go vlogging! Yes, on YouTube, where I am able to show my not-so-serious persona. Time and resources have been delaying my posts. I’m learning to edit the way I want my vids to be edited. I had been used to linear editing, so I’m just learning digital editing using my limited resources. I’ve been using the webcam I acquired last year (I mentioned that). It’s got clear visuals. HOWEVER, trying not to move too much can be a challenge. You’ll see later what I mean. I just recently started using phone camera. It takes great pics, but I think the quality changes once I start recording videos. I might still stick with the webcam for now. For outdoor stuff, though, the phone cam will do.

Again, I’m taking it slow. I want it to be fun for me, an outlet, not a chore. I’m not lacking videos to share at all. I’ve recorded several already, more than enough, that I don’t really need to record anything again for a while. It’s the editing that’s taking longer. I’ve recorded product reviews, informative and how-to vids, ideas, some challenges, and reaction videos (well, just one so far). My best plans that I’ve yet to make are to share the Philippine culture, create Filipino tutorials, and present old stuff that the younger generation don’t know about (like a typewriter, cassettes, and a tape player/recorder).

To be honest, I feel shy sharing myself (my face!), but it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time so I claimed it! If something makes you happy, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, claim it! RIGHT???

I’m sharing to you this video, which is my favorite so far, and its “sequel”. Bear with me, please:

Alright, time to cut this for now. Hanggang sa muli! (Till then!)

How to Rank Better with Search Algorithms #ThursdayTips

Why is your business not searchable on search engines? Focus on Search Algorithms!

But what are search algorithms? How do they work? What should you do? Let this short video introduce you to some Google search algorithms. Find out what they do and what you can do with them to rank better and get noticed.

Again, side note: I wrote and created this video for ConnieKnows.com. So they own the video.

Any thoughts? Share them in the comments!

Just no spam, please. No comments pretending not to be spam. Guys, I see through you.