Asian Lady Abroad

Bringing in New Culture

How I Celebrated Valentines Without a Date


I truly believe that being inspired, passionate or simply being in a good mood is a vital ingredient in creating something wonderful. Now, once the heightened emotions wane off to a sizzle, you’ll slowly realise it’s actually just a battle half won until you start actualising it.

Last february thirteen I received a call from my father in the morning. In the middle of my apparent grogginess, I hesitantly picked up the phone only to hear the news I’ve been anticipating for days. I finally got my offer letter from one of Australia’s Prestigious 8 universities.

Initially, I resigned to the idea of settling in another uni that my family and I saw just north of Sydney. Our reason, it was the first and only institution we saw in the open fair that accepted Philippine educational system. Then one day, given the fact that I was going to be alone in that area because most of our family friends were living in the capital city, I went and researched for another ones nearer thus stumbling across Aussie’s Group of 8. Eventually, after days of believing, hopeful anticipation and silent prayers, it came to an end. I received what I’ve prayed for.

Although immensely grateful, I couldn’t help remember the unsurmountable emotions of hopelessness I felt before reaching what seems to be the finish line of the wait. Moreover, having reached such point, I can’t help but share with you what I learned through the process: With hard work, you naturally get what you want when your mind is focused on that but when you don’t if you’re with God and continuously hopeful despite whatever negatrons looming over you, He has something far greater than what you expect. In fact, He gives you what you truly need when you least expect it and rest assured, it’s always better than what you wanted.

Thus with that stated, I’m rather taking in everything abstemiously than otherwise because bottom line, I’m only starting to trek the pathway of my dreams.


Drama Pick: Miss Korea


Miss Korea is definitely a drama to curl up to until the the wee hours of the night.


Set in the time of South Korea’s IMF crisis in the year 1997, a certain team of chemists who finished their degree in Korea’s prestigious university and who managed to bag accolades are interestingly working their way to get through the eye of the needle with so little to give in terms of finance but so much to provide in the bravery, resiliency and perseverance department. Kim Hyung Joon being the President of the yet to be known cosmetics brand called Vivi tries everything in his power to seduce high school classmate Oh Ji Young by flattering her with words no girl can resist, ‘I will make you a Queen’ in hopes of reviving the dying company.

While watching the pilot episode, I couldn’t help but compare it with Reply 1994/1997 since it had a similar aim-to share a sense of remembrance from the events that happened during the 90’s regardless if you were still a baby or not. However we learn as the story unfolds unlike Reply’s colourful and youthful concept that manages to blend into 1994’s nostalgic theme, each episode has a present brownish tint effect that always ends with a VHS tape fuzz giving viewers a foreboding sensation and reminding the audience that stakes were high at that time and people were doing everything they can to surface above the declining economy especially these group of ambitious protagonists. Moreover, in contrast to our initial idea that attires worn by characters in these kind of old-dated themed drama will look shabby or distracting it didn’t but rather looked fashionable in a slick, bold and heavy 90’s style.

Miss Korea truly stood on its own and shared a meaningful story in a manner that assumed its audience were only a group of level-headed people. What I really liked the most, all characters in the story are depicted as complexed, mature beings who have their own stories and inferiorities making each one of them relatable-and yes even the antagonists, if you’re one to think like that. Interesting second lead love teams that are probable and most likely to take most of our interest than that of the main leads, side character stories that seems to be more appealing to watch at some point is given enough screen time and attention.

Also as I continued to watch, Miss Korea proved my other initial pretensions wrong- a second rate copycat of Reply 1994. It showed its wonder through its quality acting, writing and directing without missing a punch. The production team has an undeniable touch of satisfying viewers by laying out conflicts brought about tricky situations in the world of superficial pageants and risky business ventures that do not appear out of context or pointless but rather eventual.

Solutions that are pragmatic, calculated and smart are given towards dilemmas that seem to run over their principles and ego and I am constantly at awe because all of the characters have the balls to speak up and fight for what they want even if they have to be at risk. And most of all, no one is a goody-goody. All in all, I would say, I truly delight watching this drama for its refreshing quality and mature treatment to its audience and still come out interesting.


I being in love with this drama is an understatement. It is truly a gem out of all the K-dramas out there because of how much quality treatment we are being given of by the production team yet not a lot have watched or heard about it. With Miss Korea ending this week a cameo role from one of my favourite actresses who have also worked with Lee Mi Sook in a previous drama that goes by the name Jung So Min will be appearing. She has starred in Can We Get Married and Playful Kiss. Choosing her as someone to appear at the end of the show is intriguing because it gives a big probability that maybe we’ll be having a part two of this drama. Although quality may not be as good as the first one just because this time I’m pretty sure they’ll cater it to the taste of the masses to become more profitable, I am still open at the possibility. I am so thrilled to watch her already, Jung So Min’s role here is someone who has a potential to become the next Miss Korea candidate as she is seen being eyed by Miss Ma’s character the queen maker of the show. 59436002

Twenty-Thirteen: A Year of Growing Up

new year

Here’s to the things I’ve learned through out 2013:

Life isn’t hard but trials you face makes you think that it is.

You may not have everything you want but you can have everything you need which most of the time is better than what you’ve always wished for.

There are indeed forces wearing our faith down, forcing you to believe that your negative emotions are right and confusing you of who to please and what you stand for.

When things don’t look clear, you’re almost there.

When you think you can, you can. All you have to do is to think and act with confidence. (Fake it till you make it)

A lot of people is, was and have gone through what you’re going through so don’t sweat it, you’re not the only one.

Leaving an impact to someone’s else’s life is the best feeling in the world.

Everything in this world is an illusion, in fact we live in a hologram. (There’s scientific basis to that, alright)

People change. People leaves people. People needs people.

Once I get tired of you, I stop liking you.

God and Family are the only real support system you can have in this world.

What your parents say are mostly true because they’ve gone through the same and sometimes worse scenarios you can ever imagine.

When you believe, things happen according to your faith in it.

All in all, twenty-thirteen has been a year of refinement, learnings and resolutions. A year full of roller coaster rides and life realisations.

I pray that 2014 be the awesomest year that could ever happen yet, to you and I.

Happy January 1st of 2014! May you start the first page of your book with determination and positivity!

I Got Rejected on the Day of IELTS Exams


The tiresome process of testing one’s academic improvement or general knowledge that goes by the name exams is by any means the most sadistic ‘scholarly’ activity man has ever created.

It causes a mere person to become subjected under circumstances that generates after effects such as temporary mental anguish and physical deterioration but with the promise of a bright future once you’re able to ace it.

And IELTs wasn’t an exemption to such cruelty even though it ‘only’ tested my English abilities.

The hardship it caused me last October 21 was definitely unsparing although not if I had taken that little thing called Identification ‘ID’ in my email one month before seriously…dammit.

Whenever I reach the part of a novel where the protagonist successfully evades imminent predicament in his life, I can’t help but shake my head at the methods of the writer to prolong the story by patching up dramatic sequences because lo and behold, the character after some pages becomes subjected to another far-fetched situation that is highly unlikely.

So imagine the feeling I had the moment the Indian woman in her late forties flat out said, ‘I can’t take you in’ on the very day of the exams even after I knew I was definitely sure everything was complete.

As a matter of fact, the night before the exams, I made sure everything was in my folder, the receipt of the payment, photocopy of my passport, and another photocopy of my resident card plus the original one. On top of that, I didn’t use the internet as much as I did because I wanted my head and eyes to be free of stress and strain! I even took out my blackberry’s battery for crying out loud the moment I was about to step into the centre because I was scared it would ring again the way it did like the last time while I took the entrance test in De La Salle- Manila.

And then I come in and someone says that without batting an eyelid?!

For a moment or 4, I literally stared at her with unbelief in my eyes while in synchrony sizing her up if she was serious or not after still rejecting the photocopied ones I was oh so ready to hand her with confidence.

Then when I was positive enough to figure that she was serious, I did the smartest thing I could think of.

I popped my head out from the railing looking towards the cafe couches below, scanned for my dad who looked worried again the moment he saw me because he knew there was trouble again.

In the end, after being rejected I was still able to write my test whilst praying and calming my pitiful nerves. Also, dad was able to retrieve my passport and was able to give it on time at 12 pm since that was the deadline they gave us considering the fact that it was a weekend.

Moral of the Story:

1. Always be keen on instructions. Don’t forget to double check.

2. Be prepared with life’s plot twists. (Rational/Emotional)

3. Befriend people with connections.

4. Most importantly, pray and believe.

Faith and Blessings in Disguise


Hello my December love!

If your someone who loves knitted coats, jacket pockets and thick socks raise your hands with me!

Not only are they the best remedy to cover bulging tummies but also the best excuse to stay cozy under your blankie during the winter night with a book and a hot chocolate milk in hand or better yet a laptop with a top rating k-drama playing on screen. I know!

Lately I’ve been keeping up with my IELTs review since I’m going to take that test on the 21st. It’s a requirement needed for my entry way to college. The decision to put college on the sidelines wasn’t really a choice at first but somehow it became an inevitable outcome because my parents including I didn’t want me to go back to the Philippines. After not getting into the quota limit of the universities I applied to, we were pretty much at a loss of where to start. 5 months became like an incubation period. Self-esteem, confidence and faith were all down and wavering. Praying was the only refuge we had and since I am a human kid questioning the Lord Jesus why this happened happened indeed.

But now here I am thriving and on the brighter side enjoying the gap year and totally grateful about it! In fact I consider it as one of the Lord’s blessing in disguise. During these past months I’ve got the chance to wrap my mind around certain stuffs I’ve always considered important and then coming up with new ones which I could have never done because it would always be kept aside due to carelessness and improbable priorities which are unnecessary in building up a dream course vital to one’s purpose and feeling of satisfaction.


Through my experience I realised that the Lord does not think twice of how and where to put you. Even if it has to hurt you. He has a reason as to why you have attained such position and yes most of the time, beyond our mind’s ability to fathom. But what you have to do as a faithful believer is to keep holding on and believing that everything happens for a reason. Jesus will give you the answers that boggles your mind in time. Don’t be afraid, trust me you’ll get them, just don’t stop believing in Him. HAVE FAITH! And while you’re at the process find things that will inspire you and continue doing it.

I’ve been reading blogs in different websites and I find it really sad that there are a lot of people by millions who have become total unbelievers and drifters up to the point of rejecting the Lord Jesus claiming such and such as if they really know what they are saying.

The reality of it is so disheartening I can’t help but tear up a little.

The lord Jesus is real, alive and listening to your pleas, all you have to do is call out for him hence the scriptures say of Luke 11:9 -‘And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’.

Doubting and questioning the validity of the Lord Jesus is a normal stage where in we all have undergone, in fact even King Solomon searched the Lord Jesus and yet found him.

In the end bottom line for you to really get to Him, you have to humble yourself and accept Jesus as your Saviour and God then everything will literally fall into the right place after you seek him…

Comparison of High School Curriculum in the East and West


After five months of no school I finally started on the 8th of September but as a high school student…again. Why I did it ? So I could get accepted in universities abroad that requires an A-level standard. Now you guys would start wondering and be like, ‘What is she saying, that’s standard! Like duh?’ But because I’m a Filipina that’s not standard.

Before you react, my country has only adapted the world standard education last 2012. And when I say ‘world standard’ I mean by K-12. I know. I am the third to the last batch (SY 2012-2013) that has and will ever undergo year 10 graduation. So instead of being a sour grape and be like ‘why now!’ my parents decided to let me study in a school that caters 11-12 or AS-level and A2-Level classes. (Why so many names!?) At first I strongly opposed the possibility of going back to high school especially after graduating. I mean like hello! My high school ‘mindset’ has obviously worn off. I literally had my mind on the bigger thing- university.


Coming up with this realisation was hard, it wasn’t something that I was proud of in the beginning. I received comments and judgement from parents who also became our friends. One said that I was wasting my time here when I should’ve started university along with my classmates in the Philippines. He even scoffed at the things my mother said when she explained why we all decided to continue my college abroad (talk about manners).


I mean the way he reacted was as if we were doing something that will jeopardise my entire future. Number one, my whole family won’t allow that to happen and number two, I myself won’t allow that to happen. So stop judging and eat a chill pill. Understand too that after graduation my classmates and I are facing our respective path ways of success. Because of the non stop negative reactions I received it became the cause of my slight depression and temporary insecurity 5 months ago.

tms q

Going to the malls, restaurants and even buying groceries at a dollar shop felt like I was about face a crowd of panel judges ready to tamper on my positive mindset. But one day after the ‘talk’ I had with the parents I was suddenly reminded of what I really dreamt and wanted from the start. And that is to expose myself in a different kind of level of independency while studying abroad.

Since I’m one who worries alot about things that shouldn’t be worried about, in order to have a clearer insight and stop stressing about how this all goes, two days before classes started I asked my former classmate in the know about this a-level chuchuness (asian lady abroad slang for etc./things/stuff) .

As expected, I didn’t digest everything she explained. I was all ‘ahs’, ‘ohs’, ‘really’ ‘mmm’ and feigned understanding when in reality I was confused and flustered all at the same time. Simply because Philippine curriculum is different from the British so the terms she used sounded technical to me. LOL.

Looking back when I thought the process was all confusing I slowly realised that my nervousness and new-girl-on-the-block dilemma clouded my mind. Because in reality, the whole thing’s really simple for example, you have the freedom to choose subjects based on the university where you’ll be applying.

Thankfully the lessons that were taught in class were almost like a review (which gave me more hope and more self-esteem) of what I had in my former school, specifically math. Feeling quite surprised, I browsed my book further just to be sure that the teacher wasn’t just ‘revising’ grade 10 lessons and when I was positive, I felt incredibly excited-to top the math class. (I know! I myself can’t believe what I’ve just written. This is all thanks to my maths teacher who never gave up teaching us the lessons we used to think will never matter during college).

I mean like, having at least 5 long quizzes, all from your major subjects, the following day plus a unit test (also from a major subject) was normal. Plus we at the high school level go home at 4pm everyday giving us one complete hour for a subject (ever since intermediate level). Sometimes even later than that. So I guess that would be an understatement as to how I know some of the lessons in those next chapters in the book.tumblr_mt12nd1nvN1si5v2yo4_250

Which makes me wonder right now, why in the world is the Philippine Curriculum not accepted around the world when actually most people prefer Filipino employees in their team….

Honestly, up till now I wonder how I’ve managed to survive such extreme stuff back in PSSO most especially my classmates who manage to ‘reach the apex’ of the batch. Not that I wasn’t one of them, modesty aside, hardehar.

Which makes me think again…What more those people in the Philippines who’s my age going home at 6 or 7? (Just ohmagosh!) Because seriously, going home late and on top of that having to face so many tests the next day is flat out exhausting…

However, as much as it sounds stressful and bizarre, I really miss it more than anything. I miss being pushed to the limits and getting crazy. I miss imagining myself being absent the next day just in case I don’t finish the project I was doing at 2 am. I miss hovering over the dining table with my parents figuring out how to solve a problem. I even remember muttering exasperated words whenever I was doing some home activity that usually takes me until the wee hours of the night. Why? Because I wasn’t finished yet and I still had to tackle two more!

As well as those days when I needed to carry a bag back and a lunch box with additional 4 baggages that contains my PE shirt, extra clothes, practice dresses and project materials such as cardboard, clay, batteries, light bulbs. Actually there’s this inside joke in school, the heavier the bags you carry the more responsible the student is while the more bags you carry, the more reliable that student is.

The pressure to be a good student, the stress of not failing, the worry of not answering assignments in Physics, math, english, economics even music, health, art and P.E! And Filipino! Just oh my gosh Filipino! Because when I don’t, I know in my heart that I will be bothered by my subconscious mind that already developed an excellent skill on how to make me feel guilty when I only finished answering half or two of my assignments makes nostalgic and sad at the same time.

reply 1997

Growing up with so many things stuffed on us at the first week of the school year was so mundane that attending this new school was quite a shock and a breath of fresh air as well.

In this new school that I’m attending to, homework’s aren’t graded, everyday we go home at 2pm sometimes if we’re lucky with a free subject before the last period we can go home immediately. We get to have so many free periods too because you only choose subjects connected to the program you’ll be taking in your university. In these free periods you’re able to either enjoy or review. Since I had so many free subjects with only four classes to concentrate on I felt extremely liberated.

Through this experience of me studying in a different school, I observe that a school that’s eastern-ised inside and out is much rigid compared to a school that follows a westernised curriculum. No wonder we thought our non-Filipino classmates to be quite lax and lenient when it comes to studies. The pressure to learn and understand the lessons aren’t forced as much as it was in my previous school. It’s just really up to you. Not only do you solely focus with the academics, you also get the chance to focus on extra curricular chuchuness.

In the end as I further submerge myself into a new kind of learning system, I really hope I’ll be able to apply my eastern-ised approach in studying to the westernised educational system. In other words, develop versatility despite the unfamiliar playground of which I am facing.

Drama Pick: Good Doctor


A genius with deficiency becoming a hero is something only possible in comic books. Rather than a comic book here, I need a partner with whom it’s possible to communicate- Dr. Do Han on the 4th episode


I’ve been twisting around my sofa, gripping the edge and from time to time kicking and squealing in my seat as I watch Actor Moon Jun Won amazingly execute the role of a Savant Syndrome patient named Park Shi-On in the new drama called Good Doctor. And when that frenzy happens to me I know I’m simply on the right track of k-drama land. After King of Dramas and The Greatest Love. I think this will be the next drama to be included in my really short list of Favourites.


First off, I’ve always liked fast-paced and straight to the point writing and direction. And Good Doctor have reached that qualifications in their first 2 episodes by presenting the main subject: Park Shi-On’s an autistic young man with a genius mind who wants to be a doctor and backstories: He was inspired to become a doctor because of his rabbit and brother, he has a drunkard father who’s very brutal to them, a clinic doctor became his ‘second’ father who also helped hit to become the ‘robot’ doctor today crucial to set the the foundation of the lead character all in the first two episode. If I would be interpreting this drama in my own terms I’d say that it is like a healthy burger served perfectly in all honestly. No cheating by removing or adding parts that aren’t compatible or necessary just to make the each episode prolonged. However, it’s also not afraid to slow down a little bit when the situation requires it before going back to its initial approach of bombarding us with intense and gripping innuendos. Acting wise, I’d say all of them have been very compatible and convincing with their respective parts. The head Doctor of the paediatric team cold attitude towards Park Shi-On, the hospital’s fatherly gesture towards Park Shi-On, the bitchy attitude we get from the General Manager slash fiancé of team head Doctor and weird old guy who wants the position just all simply work well together.


Most especially Actor Joo-won (who plays Park Shi-On) whom I really commend for becoming fluid and amazingly realistic as an autistic man rather than someone who’s only mimicking an impaired person. What’s really admirable about his acting is that he portrays the character without making us feel irritated. In fact, watching him alone is the only thing that makes every thing interesting. He just blossoms into the character who’s, despite his limitations and impulses that becomes the cause of agony among his co-doctors, very much independent and capable of mature emotions in contrary to what his co-workers have been labelling him with, ROBOT. (It’s just really a matter of perception, I tell you). In regards to his OTP with actress Moon Chae Won, I’d be frank and say that I can’t feel any chemistry, AT ALL. It’s like dating a wall. Acting wise she’s good because that’s her person in the drama. She must by any means give justice to her role. But what she always lacks in is when she’s supposed to act in love it still oddly feels like acting. Which was what I also felt while watching way back to her Nice Guy days. As much as Song Joong Ki and she looked good together, over all effect still felt devastatingly flat. What I’m trying to drive at here is when one is supposed to look in love he or she might as well feel in love. Not just using those smouldering gazes and intense eye stares we usually see in K-dramas. Because falling in love is not all about eye stares, it’s the aura you present and the atmosphere you share. (Although I personally thought she looked prettier there, maybe because of her leading man? I mean she wouldn’t want it if he looked prettier than her, would she?)

GD 5Although this statement may be deemed as arguable since only five episodes have been aired (for now) I still think that she should try and truly let herself out in that area because I dare to say that Moon Joo Won can totally send those sparks flying despite the character portrayal he has to handle. And if she won’t do it with him, I will. Mark my word! 😉 Overall, I’d say this drama is good and engaging. Despite the medical theme, which looks all business-y, I was mysteriously magnetised. Alas, my feelings were right! So if you’re one of those apprehensive K-dramatics who wants to try something new but is very much apprehensive I’d say this K-drama is for you because of its genuine substance, good writing quality and real entertainment.

Movie Pick: A Werewolf Boy


‘A Werewolf Boy’ although a commercial movie debut by director Jo Sung Hee, has received critical acclaim and recognition not only in South Korea but also in 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Despite of the evident cold and murky aspect of the movie ‘A Werewolf Boy’ starring Song Joong Ki (my actor bias, swoons at the mention of his name) and Park Bo Young, the budding romance between Sun Yi and Cheol Soo helped in toning down the eeriness that was surrounding the movie.


AWB is a romantic film that slowly builds up its dramatic intensity as you watch it. It’s a kind of movie that leaves you in a barrel conundrum of what ifs due to the bittersweet story. Although there is an evident similarity to Twilight’s premise: a star crossed love between two different beings, they differ one another. This is granted, more sincere and more realistic in terms of facing inevitable issues that will come in between our OTP. As a matter of fact, I can say that I’m satisfied about the OTP’s fate because based from the nature of the fantasy story designed to pattern a realistic view point of human life it was logically sensible.


The movie starts where in we see a Halmoni getting ready at dusk even before her family has awakened. A little later, we watch the whole family eating together while talking about their other family member named Eun-Joo, suddenly a call disrupts their conversation, it’s the real estate agent asking grandma if she’s ready to put the house on sale. Grandma then seats stunned after the phone call and finally says she needs to go back to Hangguk. The next scene shows us an airplane landing in what seems to be the airport of South Korea. Halmoni comes out of the terminal looking for someone. A girl (also played by Park Bo Young) lets out a shrill excited voice from somewhere and we immediately know it’s the grand daughter. Both of them hug and kiss in the midst of their excitement. The moment they arrive to the house that looks dilapidated and haunted memories of Halmuni’s youth flashes back. And that’s when the real foundation of this tragic yet heart-warming story starts.


As it progresses we learn that Sun Yi’s family left the city and chose to stay in the interior because of the her lung ailment. The doctor said it would have been better for her to have a different atmosphere so that she could recuperate -although it seemed to me as if it wasn’t that big of a deal in the story. Following the advice, they left and went to the countryside with the help of their late father business partner’s son.


Song Joong Ki plays the character of a young boy with an unusual animalistic attitude who also has a supernatural DNA. (How that happened? I don’t know, all we can do is theorize) Due to the fact that he appears to be a feral, orphaned and pitiful teenager, Sun-Yi’s mother decides to adopt him. Ostracized yet headstrong young Sun-Yi despised the idea at first even to the point of refusing to eat with him everyday. Later on she finally took it to herself to break the wall that divided him and her by reading a book about how to train a dog.


What’s really admirable in the portrayal of Chul-soo is that in spite of his inabilities to communicate via words, Joong Ki was able to perfectly convey what he meant through lycanthropic tendencies. What’s more admirable about this heart-warming story is that we were also able to witness a rewarding development between two people from two different upbringings coming closer together and unknowingly maturing by accepting their oddities just because of they have found inexplicable understanding and comfort from each other.


Little did they know that what seemed to be an innocent engagement will become more than that. To be totally honest, the movie has a conventional storyline. It was just that the director perfectly resolved an orthodox plot into something totally new and emotionally gripping. Moreover, even if it did classify under the romantic genre it didn’t feel that way as I was watching it. It felt more like a story of an adoptive brother and sister getting to know each other kind of story. In fact it gave off a raw atmosphere through out the movie, like there was something missing, incomplete. Not until I was watching the almost climax and falling action parts of the movie that I got to really digest the whole romantic plot all together. It was actually a very clever technique of the director. He intentionally set up that kind of mood in order to give an end with Sun Yi’s unfinished business with Cheol-Soo by making her see him for the last time after 47 years.

Movie Tick: The Man of Steel


DISCLAIMER: Thou shan’t continue if you’re an extreme fan of the topic for this review of mine is highly critical. THIS IS FOR THE STRONG-HEARTED.

I got to watch Man of Steel today with my former classmate in high school and coincidentally we have the same thoughts about the highly publicised movie. We felt disappointed. I, on the other hand thought that it could have been better if they tried to give a sincere and meaty story that sticked to the real essence of Superman.

Read the rest of this entry »

K-Drama Kit for Starters


Imagine all your expectations, guilty desires and fantasies perfectly written by writers who excellently intensify and supply the right ingredients when needed while the actors on the other Read the rest of this entry »