When Music and Depth Collide

Music has always been a source of entertainment for people. Whether to fill in silent moments, ease your boredom while commuting, or even lull yourself to sleep, it has already become a constant in our lives. But what if music goes beyond that catchy melody and actually mean something deep and profound?

So here are three Filipino artists who dominate the music industry not only with their catchy tunes and pleasing melodies, but also with their substance and depth by showcasing the Filipino culture and society through their songs.

Continue reading


Must. Be. Watched.

Movies are one of the popular media here in the Philippines. As for the Filipinos, it brings joy, excitement, fear, sadness, drama, and other emotions towards them. There are many genres of movies but here in the Philippines, the most common one is romantic-comedy.

Credits to the owner.

Romantic-comedy also known as “Rom-Com”  are the mostly watched movies at the moment. From the word itself, it is a combination of romance and comedy which gets the attention of the general public’s interests. The popular casts in this genre are James Reid and Nadine Lustre (JaDine), Enrique Gil and Liza Soberano (LizQuen), and Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo (KathNiel). One of my favorites is a movie titled, “Must Be Love”.


Yes, you read that right, it’s Must Be Love. Calling out all KathNiel fans out there!! To whoever find this movie amazing and oddly satisfying, I feel you. It is a great movie indeed and I honestly learned a lot from it. Must Be Love (2013) is a Filipino romantic comedy film directed by Dado Lumibao starring Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla together with Liza Soberano, John Estrada with special guest, Enrique Gil.

So basically, the movie is about girl named Patchot (Kathryn) who has feelings for her best friend Ivan (Daniel) and was hiding it for a long time since they are only best friends. Years later, another girl came to the picture who is Patchot’s cousin, Angel (Liza). Angel and Ivan suddenly had this thing called “slow motion” and had feelings for each other. They began dating and this made Patchot’s heart broken. After quite some time, Ivan and Angel realized that they are not made for each other and ended their relationship. Ivan experienced a “fast forward” action with Patchot and then he finally realized that he also had feelings for Patchot. In the end of the movie, it was officially Ivan and Patchot who are meant to be. (YAAAAS GO TEAM KATHNIEL!!!)


What I learned from this movie is you have your own perspective view of love. Like Patchot said in the end of the movie, love does not depend on “slow motion” or “fast forward” but how you treat the person. I would rate this movie a 9 out of 10. I used to not like Filipino movies before but now I definitely recommend this movie especially those who hate Filipino movies. This will give you joy, tears, feels and will change your perspective point of view towards Filipino media.


Juan Tamad is back!

Juan Tamad? Sounds familiar? Well, most of you probably know him because your parents used to call you that when you were little. Or maybe you heard your teacher once using it as a reference when you were too lazy to do your homework. Nevertheless, I am pretty sure that most of the people in our generation do not know this guy very well.

I honestly thought that this guy was just someone made up by Filipinos for name-calling. However, did you know that Juan Tamad is actually a character in the Philippine folklore? As the meaning of his name suggests, he is known for his extreme (and I mean VERY extreme) laziness (for those who do not know, Tamad is the Tagalog translation of “lazy”). There are also numerous stories made about him with different plots, films and even a TV show. I bet you didn’t know that!

Juan Tamad, I believe, has already become a part of the Philippine culture not because he is a manifestation of a Filipino (which implies that most Filipinos are naturally lazy) but because he became very iconic especially in the 20th century. Knowing this, it is sad to think that he is no longer known to most children of the present generation unless the school requires them to read his stories. This concern bothered Teddy Catuira of Tooch Inc. and motivated him to create a purely Filipino game app called Juan (Not) Tamad.


This “Proudly Pinoy” app definitely screams Filipino. Besides the fact that it is made by pure Filipinos, its visual graphics, together with its one of a kind background music, gives you some sort of tribal and ethnic feeling while playing. It also gives you the option to read the text in our own national language.


Juan (Not) Tamad  is a game filled with puzzles and challenges to solve. It may be said to be made for kids but don’t be fooled! Some levels aren’t really as easy as you think! I myself had a challenging time getting past the THIRD puzzle of the FIRST level. This game really tests your visual logic and spatial skills but at the same time, you get to help Juan Tamad change his lazy ways!

What I like about this game is its relation with the adventures of Juan Tamad. Each level begins with a story about one of Juan’s lazy days that is connected to that certain level. For example, the first level tells the story of Juan Tamad and the Bayabas Tree and in relation to that, the objective of each puzzle in that level is to help Juan reach the guava by rearranging the stairs. Through this, kids would be able to learn more about Juan Tamad’s adventures while helping him in doing his activities.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In my opinion, Juan (Not) Tamad is indeed a creative way to re-introduce a forgotten part of the Filipino culture to our generation today. It is not only for the young but also for the young at heart!

Juan (Not) Tamad is available and free in both the App store and Google Play.

Why She’s Dating the Gangster

Being that country where colonial mentality is widely prevalent, products of Filipinos obviously aren’t supported as much as those of the Westerners’. From songs to tv shows and films, foreign works have stolen the hearts of Filipinos and have made them go against their own. Panic at the Disco is chosen over Parokya ni Edgar, Game of Thrones over Encantadia and the list goes on. However, based on my experience, being a part of a barkada whose interests mainly compose of anything Korean or American, I have discovered one piece that started the slight change to this mentality of ours. That is the film of Cathy Garcia-Molina, She’s Dating the Gangster.

Besides the box office actors and actresses consisting the movie such as the famous Kathniel and CharDawn loveteams, it was mostly because of the plot that made the viewers hooked to the movie. It all starts when Kenneth confronts his father, Kenji, about who the other woman was, particularly the other Athena in his life besides his mom (who has died already).  They fight over it and leave each other in bad terms until the next day where Kenneth wakes up with the news of his father being part of a plane crash. He rushes to the airport hoping to find his father on the list of survivors and chances upon a stranger, Kelay, who was also looking for Kenji saying that he’s her father with an old picture as proof.


With all the flights to Bicol booked, Kenneth opted to take the bus and annoyingly allowing Kelay to join him. As the bus took off, so did Kelay’s story behind the picture she had of Kenji Delos Reyes and Athena Dizon – her aunt. Twenty years back, Athena Abigail Tizon (Kenneth’s mother) broke the heart of the campus gangster, Kenji Delos Reyes. Out of desperation, Kenji plotted to fake a relationship with the ugly Athena, Athena Dizon for Abi to feel jealous. They wore matching shirts, played billiards together and even supported each other in games. However, with all these pretending little did they know that their feelings were already mutual. So, in Kenji’s words they decided to be mag-on.


With their REAL relationship in boost, problems started to slap them in the face. Abi was diagnosed with stage three of gastric cancer, and because a mother’s love would go over thousands of mountains she asked Kenji a favor, for him to stay with Abi so that she would have a reason to live. After which was Athena seeing Abi’s state, sacrificing her love for him and telling Kenji to break their relationship for Abi, even if she too is sick with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Kenji and Abi got married and gave birth to Kenneth.

The story ended with Kenneth bringing his father to the Dizon’s in order for the two adults to meet for the last time. The whole gang was there as Athena closed her eyes and died in Kenji’s arms. For the case of the young adults, Kenneth planned and re-enacted the airport scene, tricking Kelay and prompting the start of their own relationship.

From all of the movies I have watched, this has been one of my favorites and also one of my (Koreaboo and Filipino Film Hater) friends’. This proves that not all Filipino films are composed of the usual and cliche plot and that the Filipino film industry has taken its step in gaining progress. As Filipinos I think that we should judge less and avoid generalizing the movies created by our fellow countrymen. We should help remove colonial mentality even by taking baby steps. Have She’s Dating the Gangster watched by your friends!! You won’t only drown in tears but you’ll also be able to change your perspective of this Philippine media.

7 Filipino YouTube Channels to Subscribe

screen-shot-2016-09-29-at-11-59-50-pmThe current trend now is vlogging which is blogging in a video form. I know that we have come to know that there are a lot of choices on who to follow and subscribe to. But don’t worry because I got you covered!  Here is a list of top YouTube channels in the Philippines which might tickle your interest.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Judy is a Canada-based Filipino who has a husband, Benjamin Travis, and three cute tots named Keira, Miya and Julianna. Her vlog features daily appearances of these four beautiful creatures and how does she handles her life as a mom. Basically, this YouTube channel is for people who find joy and inspiration through family.

2. Wil Dasovich (Tsong and Tsonggo)

This channel features the daily life of Wil Dasovich, a Fil-Am model in the Philippines. His YouTube channel is kind of random because this guy is out and about in the Philippines. He shows different events, BTS (behind-the-scene) coverage of endorsements, travel blogs, family life, inspirational videos and everything in between. Lastly, you will be surprised on how well he can speak in Filipino and beki language as he calls it.

3. Janina Vela

Janina is a teenager who deals with every day life of balancing her schoolwork and vlogging. She features BTS and collaborations with other YouTubers in her channel. You will likely follow her if you want to find a YouTuber that teens like us could relate to. Plus, it is fun to watch how she multitasks school and her career with optimism. Stay positive, Janina!

4. Mikey Bustos

Mikey is a Filipino who was based on Canada when he rose to fame in YouTube. He currently resides in Manila and vlogs about parodies of songs. He recently ventured in creating videos which tackle social and political issues with a twist! The issues are subtlety shown, but the message is still evident. His videos are funny, but still contain substance. All I can comment about your vlogs is “hear hear, Mikey!”

5. laureenuy

Laureen Uy’s channel is often called as BMS or Break My Style. She is a well-known lifestyle blogger and beauty guru in the Philippines. In her channel, she features beauty and fashion hacks that you girls will surely love.  She also does video collaborations with her fellow fashion bloggers. Finally, Laureen’s vlog is not just constrained in the vicinity of our country, but also abroad! She frequently travels abroad so we can get updates on the latest fashion trends and shows out there.

6. Erwan Heussaff

Commonly known as the writer and owner of The Fat Kid Inside blog, Erwan has transformed into that “fat kid” he calls himself to a food critic and a chef of healthy gourmet food. He features different flavors around the world and fusion of it through his YouTube channel. He also presents the authentic cuisine from different countries he visits! As cliché as it may sound, “food is love and food is life” and Erwan is a living proof of that because he surrounded his life with (what else?) food. For foodies out there, this channel is dedicated for all of you. Have fun drooling!

7. Jason Magbanua

Jason Magbanua’s channel makes us experience to reminisce the moments of yesteryears through his videos. He specializes on SDE (same day edit) videos and nuptial videos which occasionally features celebrities or high-profile clients. I personally love his videos because all of the elements he puts into it are brilliantly incorporated. What makes his videos set apart from others is how authentic and heartfelt he makes his videos. Kudos, Jason!

There you have it! Seven YouTube channels that would cater to your wide variety of interest. Here’s the end of my blog and the start of your YouTube videos marathon. Enjoy!

P.S. Does wordpress allow emojis? Comment your insights below.

About the Author

Screen Shot 2016-09-30 at 9.39.08 PM.png
Elizabeth          Papa

Elizabeth Papa is a modern day Filipina who

is inclined to multimedia arts.

Follow her in her social media accounts!

twitter | instagram

Miriam Defensor Santiago: A Scathing yet Laudable Icon

“Kapag namatay na ako, huwag kang pupunta sa libingan ko. Baka tumibok ulit ang puso ko.”

“When someone told me ‘ang ganda mo,’ I told her ‘sana ikaw rin.”

These are just some of the lines taken from Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s best-selling books entitled Stupid is Forever and Stupid is Forevermore. This strong-willed woman in the congress can also make the entire nation laugh; with the use of her witty jokes, one-liners, pick-up lines, comebacks and other commentaries.


Miriam Defensor Santiago, known as the Iron lady of Asia, was the first Filipino and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected in the United Nations as a judge of the international criminal court. She was also chosen as the laureate of the Magsaysay award for government service, known as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. She also holds an amazing record of excellence in all three branches of government – Judicial, Executive, and Legislative.

In the judicial branch, she has been presiding judge of the Regional Trial Court at Quezon City. In the executive branch, she has been immigration commissioner; and a cabinet member, as the Agrarian Reform secretary. In the legislative branch, she has been a senator for three terms.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – 1993/02/01: Former presidential candidate and senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, showing off her gun in her home in Manila.

She was the president I have wanted and the leader I aspire to become. Now that she’s resting, I would like to say, thank you for everything. For molding our country and for inspiring to become someone like you in the future.

“What is the meaning of life? This meaning is not for you to find, but for you to define. The meaning of life is found in the purposes that we pursue as we grow older.”


“I have no illusions of myself, about my life, about leaving a legacy, or making a mark in people’s lives. We are so insignificant. We are only here for a blink”

Filipina Favorites: Bloggers



For years now, teenagers like myself, young adults, and even working girls have been into lifestyle blogs. These may serve as diaries for bloggers; as for viewers, these serve not just as entertainment, but also as a guide to life. Bloggers who focus on lifestyle, fashion and beauty share their styles and their experiences which we can surely learn from. Not only are they bloggers, but also huge influencers who show what a Filipina is to young Filipina women of today. 

Who are the people that first come into your mind when you hear fashion and beauty bloggers? A few of the names who pop up are: Liz Uy, Dani Barretto, and Kim Jones. Continue reading for more!


Photo Credits: https://www.instagram.com/lizzzuy/

One of my personal favorites is celebrity stylist and “It Girl” Liz Uy. Liz only used to do cover shoots but today, she is already a cover girl herself. Liz’ blog and social media accounts are reflection and proof of her charmed life. It wasn’t just an overnight thing for her, though, as she worked her way to the top when she started out as an editorial assistant for Preview magazine in 2004. She also has a book that got published in 2014, StyLIZed: Liz Uy’s Ten Style Essentials. Looking at her Instagram now makes me wish I had her job, not to mention her closet! You sure are going to fall in love with her style (Because I did), see for yourself here!


Photo Credits: https://www.instagram.com/laureenmuy/

Next up is Liz’ younger sister, Laureen (Talk about sister goals!). Laureen is best known for being a fashion blogger. Liz and Laureen may have a close relationship as sisters but of course they still have their differences, most especially when it comes to fashion. What can be noticed from the two is that Laureen has an edgier style than Liz’ chic and sophisticated wardrobe. Still, both are equally as bold. Aside from her fashion expertise, Laureen continues to charm her viewers with her lovable personality.

See the world through Laureen’s eyes.


Photo Credits: https://www.instagram.com/kimcamjones/

In all honesty, I am at a loss for words when it comes to Kim Jones. In a good way, of course. She gets to travel and watch fashion shows all around the world, yet stay as chic as ever despite the hectic schedule. One more thing to love about Kim is how sophisticated she is; I mean, just look at her; the woman reeks of class. Her beauty will leave you breathless. Kim has always been every kikay girl’s fashion, job and just. basically. LIFE. goals (or as how some call it, peg)!

Kim’s Instagram | Kim’s Blog


Photo Credits: https://www.instagram.com/danibarretto/

Despite coming from a family of famous celebrities, blogger Dani Barretto took on a different path and chose to make a name for herself in the field of fashion design. Dani’s passion for fashion began when she was around 14 or 15. When she was asked about it, she had one thing to say:

I’m doing this because this is what I like. This is really my passion. And I want to inspire people and I want to reach out to people because of my fashion sense, my fashion outlook or perspective. Just remember, do it for the right reasons and you’ll never go wrong.

Lesson: be yourself and do what you love.

Dani’s Instagram | Dani’s Blog


Photo Credits: http://www.kryzuy.com/

Kryz, a Management major in Communications Technology graduate from Ateneo de Manila University, started her blog as a project way back in 2009. At present, she is a lifestyle, travel, fashion and beauty blogger. She also went to Mod’Art International Paris to study Luxury Brand Management and Fashion Design at the School of Fashion and the Arts here in Manila. All that being said, Kryz is both beauty and brains. 

Aside from her features in several local magazines, you may check her blog out. 

Kryz’ Instagram

OPM: Reborn


Music has a huge role in the Filipino culture. From singing karaoke with our family and friends, to taking part in a local church choir, the love and talent that Filipinos have for music is very evident. Now, combine this national love for music and the dynamic minds of millennials today, we have the rebirth of original Pilipino music or OPM.

Among the many emerging Filipino artists today, there is one particular lady that is taking the Philippine music industry by storm (pun intended). This talented girl is none other than Clara Benin.

Born and raised in the Philippines, daughter of Joey Benin and Eva Marie Benin (former Side A bassist and songwriter), the 22-year-old dubbed herself as a “coffee shop” musician in previous interviews. Having been exposed to music at such a young age, Benin became proficient in playing musical instruments like piano and guitar. These skills helped her to be able write and produce her own songs. 

I came across this artist when a friend recommended her song “Araw’t Gabi” which she wrote and recorded for the Filipino independent film Red. The record’s rawness and the beauty of the lyrics had left such an effect on me that it propelled me to create my own rendition of it. 

 Due to my fascination with her, I eventually discovered her independently released full album entitled Human Eyes. Needless to say, I was hooked! Clara Benin became both an obsession and an inspiration. Her soft, and smooth voice stands out from the sound of most artists today which makes her unique and gives her compositions more character. Clara gives a fresh, new take on Filipino music with her indie touch and genuine lyrics that listeners can easily relate with.  

Clara Benin performing “Fix You” featuring Bullet Dumas, Live at Confessions (2016)

With her attention-grabbing yet humble aura and her unquestionable musical talent, it’s no wonder that from being a “coffee shop” artist, Clara is making a name for herself and could possibly be one of the people who could change the way Filipinos view OPM. True enough, just recently the folk-indie songwriter sold out her first ever solo concert in a span of 30 minutes after its initial announcement. A second night was added due to the demand of the fans.

At the moment Benin is currently on a hiatus (she did not specify for how long in her Facebook post) in order to focus on herself and on her music. Nonetheless, it seems like there’s no way to go but up for this lady.

Philippine media – music in particular – is experiencing a major remodel, and it is in the form of Clara Benin.



About the Author

Nina Liu

is inclined to multimedia arts.

Follow her in her social media accounts!

twitter | instagram