I was never popular in high school. If I ever was, that could be because I was considered weird, which never offended me. I welcomed being voted as Weirdest Girl in Class two years in a row. For me, that meant I was not one to conform just to be called cool. Besides, when you’re a writer, people just tag you as weird. Hollywood fed us that idea.
Most probably, though, if I ever was popular, it was because I was the Hunchback of Rural High. I was the short girl looking like Quasimodo.
I didn’t use to be like that. I did not have a humped back prior to high school. I was a shy kid in grade school who only started coming out of her shell in fourth grade. By sixth grade, I was jumping from tables, singing the oldie La Bamba shamelessly…Then a teacher sent me back into my shell, accusing me in front of the other kids because she supposedly didn’t like something I said about her favorite student.
I was dumbfounded and confused. I did not even understand what she meant until days later! Worse was, she thought wrong as I was not referring to him. Unfortunately, my self-esteem already suffered because of it. Why a teacher should even get offended by a student practicing the right to choose who to like or not is beyond me. By the time I reached high school, I was starting to develop the humped back.
Well, that was my backstory, no pun intended. High school started and soon, boys from my batch would sing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) theme song whenever I passed by. But I never hid or ran away; I just passed by poker-faced. I knew they’d get tired of it one day. Thankfully, the bullying didn’t go further than that. But of course, I resented what they did; I had feelings, too. Some years ago, an old teacher reminded me of the time I had the guts to tell him to tell those boys, whom he was friends with, to get off my back (again, no pun intended).
The funny thing was, to be honest, I resented them because I thought they were referring to the “mutant” part, which, for me, translated to “uber-ugly girl”. It was months after that I realized they didn’t exactly mean it that way. They meant something else. Surprisingly, that lifted my self-esteem a bit. I was glad they were referring to something else that I could do something about.
So, I did do something about it. I started trying to fix my Quasimodo posture. If you think it was easy, it wasn’t.
It took a lot of effort and self-awareness to prevent the slumping whenever I walked. I could actually feel the physical pressure every time I tried to keep my back straight. If you were near me enough, you’d probably hear me groaning a bit. It worked, though. I may not walk straight as a model, but I got my intended result. I didn’t know the reason for the humped back until Home Economics in the fourth year: a book explained that slumping was a sign of insecurity. I thought, Well, that figures.
The teasing stopped. A boy in senior year attempted to revive it by singing the TMNT song as I walked nearer. It was the classic case of someone bullying somebody else to compensate for his own low self-esteem. Instead of feeling hurt or getting mad, I was amused and tempted to say, “What, you’re still not over that?“ He never tried again.
My whole high school life was like everyone else’s. I had to struggle with different issues (body changes, grades, crushes, friendships, lack of confidence). However, if there’s one thing that made me different, it was this early experience. It hurt emotionally and physically, but that was part of what made me, me.
I don’t resent those boys anymore. I forgave them a long time ago. I’m thankful they somehow taught me to stand up straight. Take it figuratively, take it literally, it’s up to you. Besides, I kind of liked the ninja turtles 😊
Usually, I don’t follow the Philippine time when I post stuff. But I wanted this posted already before I forget or lose interest again. While it’s still Sunday in most readers’ part of the world, it’s already Monday here, so this counts as a #MondayMemoirs post.
I’ve already mentioned about my turtle “background” before, but this is a bit more revealing and personal. I wrote about it because our high school reunion is coming and I’ve been asked to write my HS experience for our unique souvenir programme. I was able to submit three write-ups (Rattling Cages and two trivia pieces). Unfortunately, this one did not meet the deadline. I was supposed to share this after the reunion, but since it’s not going to be part of the programme anyway, I went ahead and shared it. (By the way, my school was the U.P. Rural High School, ergo, the use of the “Rural” word.)
I do have a DISCLAIMER: I don’t, in anyway, hate my old school. This is not to speak ill of it. I shared this because (1) my growth was important to me, and (2) to show that things like this happen anywhere. Ultimately, it is up to us to choose which life lessons we’re going to keep and how we will use them to our advantage.
Any comments or thoughts? I won’t mind. Let me know below! Or maybe share your own experiences? 😉
As promised, I am listing my Not-Really-Bucket List. Will add more pics and links soon. Remember, crossed out and in red means done. Here we go…
MY HAPPY LIST
1. Smile at people all day and see what happens.
I was 13. Heard a smile could make others smile, too, so I experimented with trying to spread joy. It was going well until a lady looked at me like I was crazy…
2. Do something really amazing and meaningful.
3. Ride the roller-coaster.
4. Try a scary sport or adventure.
5. Learn to swim.
6. Learn a third language fluently.
I’m partial to Spanish, which won’t be so hard to learn given our country’s history, plus I can find people to converse with. Just partial, not sure. We’ll see…
7. Learn Baybayin.
This is just to show my handwriting. Baybayin/alibata should be written vertically actually
Baybayinis the ancient script of our ancestors. Why it’s more commonly called as alibata is a bit of an issue, but that’s become the better-known, more commonly used term. We forgot about it while under the rule of Spain. We just began re-learning it in the recent decades, but people have just really started appreciating it this past decade (sadly, mainly because they think its characters look cool when used in visual arts).
I don’t claim to be an expert in it as I’m not that quick yet in reading words in baybayin/alibata. I do claim to be a baybayin/alibataadvocate, though. I think we should start really including it in the curriculum instead of simply teaching it under the Filipino subject in passing. Anyway, I tend to follow the Spanish-influenced baybayin/alibata because the use of the cross makes reading words easier, for me, at least.
Learned the martial art Muay Thai. Forgive the sort of leggings here. MT shorts are too short for better movement and I couldn’t find my cycling shorts that time
9. Learn to paint on canvass.
10. Travel around the Philippines.
11. Visit Disneyland with my family
Japan, Hong Kong or the US, whichever opportunity presents itself.
12. Travel around Europe.
13. Visit New Zealand.
14. Visit The Louvre Museum.
15. Experience the West End.
16. Experience Broadway. I literally mean being in New York watching shows.
17. See ‘WICKED The Musical’ live.
18. See ‘CATS The Musical’ live.
I was lucky to have watched both CATS and WICKED (and PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) with the help of my dearest mother and of one of my friends…Thank you!!!!
19. See ‘Les Miserables’ live.
20. See ‘Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’ (JATD) live.
21. Act in a real stage play/musical (school skits do not count).
That almost came true. I was to be 1/3 of The Narrator in JATD. There’s only 1 Narrator but the Director wanted three for various reasons I won’t enumerate…*sigh* I’m not giving up yet, though. Who knows?
22. Go to the Netherlands, watch Veerle Casteleyn perform live onstage, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.
24. Watch a Lea Salonga stage musical, get her autograph, and have a twofie with her.
How I got the twofie deserves another post. I was not able to get Lea‘s autograph, but this is okay already, right? The main purpose was to meet and talk to her face to face 🙂 Meanwhile, I have seen her perform live onstage in some of her musicals.
Miss Lea and I. Standing beside her only emphasized my plainness, but who cared???
The very-first Lea musical that I actually saw live was MISS SAIGON, but we were seated so far away and I was not able to buy a playbill *sniff*…See this faded ticket
25. Attend a live music concert that I paid for.
This concert, I enjoyed. Isn’t it obvious who I’m a fan of???
Back in college, I was able to attend three live concerts, all for free. One was because I interviewed a band for the school paper. The other two were care of the college radio station I worked for. I wasn’t even really a fan yet of all three. I watched because I got in for free. So I decided I wanted to be able to attend a concert I was really interested in and I would pay for my ticket. I did. Watched Mariah Carey’s live Manila concert. It wasn’t so nice an experience, actually. We were standing far from the stage and I think there were rain showers as well. Somebody was taking pictures and his/her phone got snatched from his/her hand.
26. Sing solo on stage in front of everyone.
I’ve got stage fright. Easier to conquer if with others, not so alone. I wasn’t even too crazy about the idea, but one of my best friends asked me to sing a song at her wedding. I thought better that than be a bridesmaid. I would have hated all the preparations. Also, I wanted to be able to say I did that even just once in my life. Turned out I’d do it several times, but not without me trembling inside everytime. At an office Christmas party, I actually messed everything up! Yikes! Epic fail! *hides* (No pics to show…thank goodness!)
27. Win an award or medal.
They’re not like some big awards or anything, but I guess I earned them. I did not know how I could get any, but I ended up getting some anyway. *Speech alert!* “I would like to thank the school paper and the radio station for those awards….” If they’d be interested to know, yes, I still have those certificates. They’re on my blogfolio’s Certifications & Awards page, filed under “PEER AWARDS/RECOGNITION”.
I did win with my village friends (twice, I think) when we played volleyball in the local summer league when I was a teener. Then when I was already working, I also won second place (or was it third?) with the School Administration Team (playing volleyball also) when the tertiary school we worked for let us join the Intramurals.
I played for the Administration team during the Intramurals back when I worked for a tertiary school. I’m third from right here. At my left (facing camera) is/was the Girl with the Smiley Heart
28. Choreograph a dance number.
Did that thrice in college for three different groups on different occasions. Won for me a Star of D’ Night Award, too, among other things 😉
29. Learn to play a musical instrument,
I think these count even though it doesn’t take a genius to figure out how they work
The kubing (jaw harp)
The bungkaka (bamboo buzzer)
30. Be in a respectable indie film playing a bit role.
31. Start a good family business.
My current iidea: A sandwich place.
32. Build a reading and hobby room.
33. Buy a vehicle for the family.
34. Live in a beautiful house where it’s peaceful with our family.
35. Enjoy our future grandkids.
36. Get a master’s degree.
37. Become a teacher.
These are just some of the tests I gave the little boy
I somehow have some illusions of becoming a teacher. My kids are here, though, so I think I can cross this out. I’m a proud teacher, too — our incoming first-grader (as of this writing) actually passed his exam with flying colors! Someday, I might teach students in a real school environment, maybe about writing…
38. Become a radio DJ.
I always wanted to be one. Then when I was 13, one of my friends became one of what were called as Junior DJs and I would tune in to the city’s local station so I could listen to her and several other kids. Not without envy even though I knew that envy wasn’t good. The opportunity to become an actual DJ knocked when I was in college so I did not let it pass. I was even surprised I had the guts to try. It paid off, fortunately.
These were taken just a few years ago, just to show my radio colleagues I kept souvenirs all these years
39. Become a writer.
I wasn’t planning on making this my career because of the starving artist “syndrome”, but I am here because I think I sought this fate anyway. Fate is still part-effort.
43. Tell someone my innermost secret and hope not to be or feel judged.
44. Give birth to a live, healthy baby…
God has yet to grant this wish. We are not giving up yet so we hope he lets us have the baby the next time. We’ll try to be ready.
45. See both/all our kids graduate from college.
46. Build a home for the aged whose own families have abandoned them.
47. Buy a land and build a large animal shelter, for abused, neglected, and abandoned animals.
48. Grant scholarships anonymously (when I’m already rich, of course!).
Why anonymously? First, I won’t do it for recognition. Second, I won’t want other people to know I have money because people can use and abuse you when you have money. Three, I won’t want anyone approaching me for his/her kid’s scholarship. Let’s face it, a lot of kids don’t like to study. I wouldn’t want to feel sorry and obligated to send to school someone who doesn’t really want to be in it. Also, some parents will only use the kids to get the money and spend it on other things, not for the kids’ schooling. Someone else who’ll be working for me will handle applications. I’ll have a say on it, of course, but I won’t want people to know.
49. Build my Dream Museum.
50. Attain peace of mind.
51. Die happy.
52. Do my best jump for a jump shot.
This is My Happy List Item #51. What about it? CLICK HERE.
With the permission of all the peeps here, I shared this to JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project‘s Eyoälha Baker and she posted it on her project’s Facebook page
53. Finally watch Patti Austin in concert, live.
UPDATE (Dec. 3, 2018): I was trying to check if there’ll be any show I’d like to see next year. I was going to save up. Then I saw THIS. AAARRGGHH!!! I’m so mad that I didn’t know. I’m even madder that the date is so near and I can’t go! No extra money for it *sniff* What are the chances that a Good Samaritan will be able to see this immediately and send me a ticket in time for the concert??!!!
I said I’d “try” vlogging because I am not sure if it’s something I can keep doing for years. But, at least, I’ll be able to say I didn’t waste my opportunity. And at least, I’m learning new stuff “tinkering” with YouTube. Meanwhile, I aim to buy better-quality equipment in the future. Right now, I make do with what I have.
55. Watch ‘Lion King The Musical’ live.
Okay, that’s My Happy List. I’ll add more to it if I think of more. Care to share your own happy list, though? Feel free to do so and put the link in the comments! 🙂
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.
(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.)
I remembered it last month but with many things going through my head, I forgot until Wordpess greeted me today. It’s really surprising how time flies.
Anyway, thought I’d give updates. What have been going on lately?
Andrea So as Agent Red
1. I am currently trying to finish the third installment of the Andrea’s Multiverse informal feature. I say “informal” ’cause, really, the articles tend to be long and are based more on my own research, thoughts, and even feelings sometimes. Long-time followers know that this is how I roll here in my part of the blogosphere.
I am making this feature for two reasons:
(a) I love content creator Andrea So who has inspired me to be creative again. Many have gifted her with artworks. Since I can’t do that, the feature is what I’ve made for her instead.
(b) It ticks me off that there aren’t enough resources for finding relevant information on her. I do this for the sake of fellow-followers who keep asking her the same things.
It’s just like the case with Veerle Casteleyn. I have to update my writeup on her from time to time. Also, I finally created a Facebook fan page that should serve as a very good resource page. I believe that it is now the best place to find information on her, I am not gonna lie.
2. I created a TikTok account mainly because I wanted to see all of Andrea’s video posts. I’ve posted a few stuff, too, but just for fun. Nothing that’s going to make me famous. This is the only one that doesn’t involve singing:
3. I had been confused lately if I am really an extrovert (ENFJ) rather than an introvert (INFJ). I found someone who is quite an introvert. The amount of things she said about herself that I, surprisingly, could relate to astounded me. This made me wonder if I could be borderline I/E. Truthfully, I was kind of interested in being an INFJ as it is the rarest personality type. Still, I didn’t want to be confused.
A few searches and I found this:
Most likely to mistype as: INFJ
Why the mistype happens: ENFJs are highly analytical in nature and tend to relate to many of the descriptions of their intuitive counterpart the INFJ – especially once they learn that INFJs are the most extroverted introverts. A good way to discern whether you are an ENFJ or an INFJ is to look at which tertiary function you’re most comfortable with –ENFJs usually look polished and put-together due to tertiary extroverted sensing, whereas INFJs may neglect aesthetics but are more comfortable with open-ended, logical reasoning (Introverted thinking) than ENFJs are.” (Here’s Which Myers-Briggs Type You’re Most Likely to Mistype As)
I am so glad to have found this. This explained everything. Meanwhile, an INFJ personality is most likely to mistype as ENFJ, the second rarest personality type. The fact that, through research, I realized that I am the ‘Introvert ENFJ‘ improved my understanding of myself. Feeling wrong or different (in the sense that I didn’t belong anywhere) always bugged me before. I now understand why I am a certain way or that.
I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, really. I can now focus more on trying the best ENFJ I can be.
4. Aside from having found myself, in a manner of speaking, I also found out something really interesting back in July. This was information that came from a senior relative on my mother’s side whom I’ve only gotten to know a bit this past year or so online. I posted about it on Facebook:
“Okay, just got mind-blown. I found out last night that a popular part of this city used to be owned by my great, great grandfather. Nobody told me that until now.
Also, my guess that we probably have Chinese ancestors (like lots of Filipinos) was just confirmed minutes ago. The real surprise was I found out that we are also of Mexican descent!
On the other hand, it’s not really surprising as many Pinoys are of Spanish blood as well and Mexicans have their Spanish history. My grandfather’s cousin was a popular mestiza actress back in the SAMPAGUITA PICTURES and LVN FILMS years. (She endeared herself to fellow-Pinoys by being a public servant for many years.)
I WANT TO KNOW MORE!”
I really do want to know more so I will start finding out more information soon. I’m excited!!!
Okay, now that the updates are done, we go back to regular programming. 😉
P.S. I am in the process of transferring my book to Wattpad and copying my stories from here.
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.
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 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:
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?
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.
“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?
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 (becauseshe 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.
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.)
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):
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
[Ed. UPDATE, hot off the grill! You might wanna seeTHIS. 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!!!
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*
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.
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 FoundAndrea
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
When I was in college, I became a DJ on radio. We were asked to come up with our airnames. “Eponine” from Les Miserables could seem either pretentious or unrelatable, so no. Not because you want something, it means you should have it, right?
But I remembered the musical Grease where the character Rizzo called the lead, Sandy, “Sandra Dee”. I didn’t know that there was an actual singer decades earlier who bore the name. I just KNEW I had to take the name.
That is trivia for you, and my only way to pay tribute to the lady that inspired me then.
It’s Pride Month again! I thought I should reblog this post. I wrote this in 2016 when I only knew that the whole Rainbow spectrum consisted of only 4 letters. So please, forgive me, this post doesn’t seem to include others in the LGBTQQIP2SAA community. I have to admit, I’m still trying to learn all those letters, but it doesn’t mean that this post isn’t for them as well…HAPPYPRIDEMONTH!!!
When I was a kid, I used to play with toy cars, robots and toy guns. But I loved dolls better. I still keep my toy jeepney, plastic robot and dolls up to now.
I liked action and Jackie Chan and adventure shows and movies. I did tend to imitate the more fun, energetic female characters, not the males and not the more boring, physically weak girly-girl ones (it was like preferring Velma over Daphne).
My favorite clothes were a sleeveless blue shirt with Superman on the front part (that intrigued me because the image was embossed), shorts (my pink shorts in particular), and dark-blue overalls with an image of ‘Voltes V’ nicely woven near the bottom hems (it was the artistry I admired). Meanwhile, I loved my dresses, too, especially when I had to dress up in white for an occasion and had to wear shiny…
It’s probably just right to give you updates on things that’s been going on in my life. The last time I gave an update was way back in December 2020.
Basically, we’ve been busy surviving the pandemic like everyone else.
I just happened to re-read the other day what I wrote back in 2017, too. I was saying that people called 2016 as the worst year ever. I now think, Nope, we spoke too soon. To be honest, I don’t even remember most of what made it the worst then.
The years starting from 2020 till now are officially the WORST YEARS EVER. I’d like to say “so far” but I really don’t wish for things to get even worse than the worst. We lost so many people to the pandemic. Probably every one of us here knows of someone who succumbed to COVID19. I lost a childhood friend myself last September.
Wars hurt people. My own sister-in-law still can’t go home from Lebanon due to bombings, violence, unrest, and the unbelievably high inflation. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine War is devastating and horrible. Anyone who doesn’t think so needs to look deeply into her/himself. Meanwhile, ransomware is a very big threat. Cybersecurity is in jeopardy all over the world…
I don’t really need to list down everything to remind you of all the depressing things. Just saying we’re all in the same boat, basically. And as they say, it’s okay not to be okay sometimes.
Let’s Get Personal
Let me go back to talking about myself now since this is supposed to be my personal updates.
The past year was not that eventful for me/us until September. Like I said, I lost a childhood friend to COVID. This was the same editor-friend I mentioned before in a post. I wasn’t her closest friend but due to circumstances, I kind of became one of the point persons when people wanted to know what happened or what plans there were. This is a story that I will write about in the future.
Another news shook the family in November. It’s not anything near devastating, really. That doesn’t make it okay either. To be honest, I already typed it down here. I decided to delete it, however. It’s not something to be proud of and tell everybody about. I’m not posting pictures on social media for my own peace of mind, for now. That will only invite questions that I don’t want to answer over and over, or questions that I will be forced to answer because I’m not a liar.
I’m not in the mood to explain to people. Sure, should anybody asks, I’m not going to deny it. I’m just not going to spread the news around either. Besides, it’s not exactly my own story to tell. I’m simply part of the story, whether I like it or not. It’s an added responsibility for me, by default.
On to Lighter News!
I’d rather talk about recent goings-on in my life that have to do with writing and blogging.
#NaNoPoblao2021. DONE!!! I didn’t finish on time, but I finished. That’s what’s important. The purpose was to blog more and I did. All the posts are listed on the NaNoPoblano 2021 page now. I do need a new challenge to force me to get going. Well, May is a special month so I’ll think of something.
I really wanted to join this year’s A to Z Challenge. I just knew it was something I would not be able to complete. So I’ll content myself with checking out posts whenever I have the chance. I did join the challenges in previous years. I am especially proud of my #AtoZChallenge 2017 entries.
Blog Changes. They may not be noticeable but I’ve been doing some “physical” changes on the blog.
For one, the CHALLENGE BOX is now easily visible since it is included as a button in the navigation bar. It is not anymore in the BLOG BANK > BLOG LINKS dropdown sub-menu. I wanted to make BLOG BANK the landing page like it was some years back. This version of the WordPress theme won’t let me. I’ll keep trying.
HANGOUTS replaced a sidebar section. I decided to make the links to my social media accounts more visible, too. The number zero at the end of every link annoys me, though. I don’t know what that is and I don’t think that I’d like to show it even if I knew what that is. Right now, I am not able to delete the zeroes.
I will continue making changes here or there.
Reading Blogs. I just restarted doing this a little bit more regularly (HOPEFULLY). I’ve been reading posts through the Reader. I am also visiting the blogs/sites of bloggers whom I’ve become pals with through the years. I plan to check on other bloggers who I’ve also connected with somewhat in the past. It makes me sad to know that I’ve lost connection with them. But it’s really hard to catch up when you’re busy and/or your community grows.
A few years ago, I created a spreadsheet where I tried to list every blogger I followed and who followed me. I wanted to repay people for those times they decided to check out my blog, comment and, especially, follow. I wanted to connect by following or following back those that interested me (it didn’t really matter if they followed me or not).
I soon realized that doing that isn’t easy for a slightly OC person. It was tedious! So now, I’ve decided to just wing it and visit everyone whenever I can.
The Veerledom. While it seemed I stopped visiting the blog, I actually kept coming back even before November. I kept/keep referring to and editing my post on theater thespian and ballerina Veerle Casteleyn. I have been updating it due to stuff that I’m finding through research. This is all in relation to the Facebook fan page I made, The Veerledom.
Yes, I’m a fan girl. Don’t tell me you’ve never been a fan of anyone. And even if others question you (no one’s questioned me, by the way), probably asking Why him, Why her, you stay a fan. Because sometimes, being a fan is just something you feel and have to express. I’m pretty sure most of us know the feeling.
I do also like other artists who are more well-known. They don’t really need more fan sites and pages than they already have. Veerle have those, too. I still chose to make her a page because of a very specific reason: We still don’t know much about her.
A lot of the pages dedicated to her say the same things. And a lot of them are simply focused on admiring her looks and/or loving her as the popular character she portrayed on film. That’s not fair to her. So I created a page to show that she is more than a pretty face and more than the character. Also, the page should serve as a resource place for “Veerleans”.
Volunteer Reviewer. I recently got invited as a book reviewer. I got invited because supposedly, the one who emailed me said she liked my reviews. I kind of asked if she’s read any of them. I didn’t expect to be amused by her answer, let’s just put it at that.
The site is very legit so I applied as a reviewer (that’s required even if you got invited). It’s not a job. just something to do because I like it and, well, free books! Don’t want to pass that up. I’m trying to be a good reader again, that’s my main goal.
The thing is I think I messed up my application because they thought I applied as a professional offering services. It was my fault, really. They were following up and I explained my side. But now, I don’t know if I made it clear that I applied as a volunteer reviewer. I am anxiously awaiting their new response.
I’ve been doing several other things but they are not concrete stuff. I’ll just have to save those updates for another day when I’m ready.
Here where I am, the Holy week has started. For Christians, it’s time to reflect on the life of Jesus. And, more importantly, on our own lives. How are we today? When we look in the mirror, do we like what we see? What have we become? Is change necessary?
I wanted to post today because I remembered two letters I created years ago. Some readers/friends know this already. Those were letters given to a then-very young man, as requested by his mom, as required by his school. He was going on a retreat on both occasions and I was one of those asked to write pieces of advice for him. So, I did my best to conjure wisdom (ha!).
Every time I read them (because I have them saved, okay?), they remind me to strive to be better myself. In times when no one is there to pull me up or to scold me when I need it, it’s nice to be reminded by a younger me to get my act together. I guess those letters were for me as much as they were for him.
Though posted separately and on different dates, both get constant traffic on this blog, particularly the first. And I believe that the nearer the Holy Week gets, the more traffic they also get every time. I don’t have the statistics but I’m pretty sure many people have read them and probably shared them, probably even plagiarized them. Chances are, they’ve been looking for samples so they can give similar messages to kids going on peace retreats. On regular days, the pieces still get traffic, and sometimes, I don’t even know why. I don’t really mind if the letters are copied as long as people don’t post and claim them as their own.
It’s March! So why am I still doing #NaNoPoblano2021? The short answer to that is I extended the challenge for myself.
I’ve explained this before: The goal was to continue blogging. It took me long to blog this last one, though. I never forgot about it. I just could not really decide which to share. I even considered posting a three-in-one. But I have made up my mind now and decided to post this little story about certain creatures that T. S. Eliot called “Jellicle Cats”. I had actually been looking for it for quite sometime but could not find the file. I wanted to post it on the fan page I am running (yes, I’m a fan girl). Lo and behold, I did find it in one of my blogs!
Day 30 of the NaNoPoblano2021 challenge, now a.k.a. “NaMarPoblano2022” (heee….) . Major Theme: “A Few of My Earliest Things”. New sub-theme: “First Published”. Related post: My Evolution as a Writer. Related page: Fiction Section.
Admittedly, I’m not into fan fiction. Because of a writing prompt, however, and my love for the Jellicle Cats, I wrote this little story. This is the FIRST FAN FICTION I EVER PUBLISHED. It revolves around the popular tom, Rum Tum Tugger. I would have focused on my fave character, Jemima, except the prompt was more specific.