Friday, May 31, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 14

미스 리플리: 제14회
The episode focuses on mother and daughter, and all the revelations regarding their doomed relationship. Miri’s mother had to abandon her in order to marry Yu Hyeon’s father. Since Yu Hyeon’s grandmother was against the relationship, hiding the truth about Miri was essential, and led to her eventual abandonment. Both Miri and Myeong Hun are brought in for questioning. Miri denies all the accusations thrown at her, and insists on her lies being the truth. Myeong Hun shares his version of the story, which is the truth, but the detective would not believe him. The slime ball from Fukuoka comes to Miri’s rescue, forcing her to run away with him to save her because no one there would really protect her from whatever is coming her way. Conflicted, she visits the convent where she and Hee Joo were left as children. Yu Hyeon’s stepmother is also there, being convinced by a nun to meet her child. Yu Hyeon also arrives to inquire more about the truth. The three of them eventually cross paths, an unlikely meeting that will once and for all settle the truth.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 13

미스 리플리: 제13회
Yu Hyeon calls off his engagement with Miri after he finds out about everything from different sources, primarily from that slime ball from Fukuoka. Slime ball also met with Yu Hyeon’s stepmother to warn them about hurting Miri and that he would retaliate if they do so. Despite their falling out, Yu Hyeon tells Miri that he would wait for her until she gets to accept herself, no matter how painful it is for him to be deceived like that. Miri’s multiple fraud starts to surface one by one. Her academic credentials are put into question as some anonymous students expose her on her website, leading to her receiving a summon letter from the Seoul police charging her with fraud. She is also removed from her TV show as a consequence. In spite of all these, she tries hard to salvage what is left of her fairy tale life, begging people left and right.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 12

미스 리플리: 제12회
Myeong Hun’s mother dies, and Yu Hyeon recognizes her as the woman he brought to the hospital. This is, however, not his first encounter with the truth about Miri. His stepmother, aka Miri’s biological mother, organized a lunch with the family and invited Myeong Hun to psychologically torture Miri. This plan has had a different effect, though, because when given time alone, Miri and Myeong Hun freely talk about everything that has happened to them, with Yu Hyeon unintentionally eavesdropping in the background. Taking it one step farther, he contacts the slime ball from Fukuoka, after Myeong Hun himself confesses to him about his relationship with Miri. Yu Hyeon’s stepmother is confirmed as Miri’s biological mother, admitting through a flashback that she never really wanted to abandon Miri, but had to do so because of circumstances that could not be helped. Hee Joo calls it quits and talks to Miri one last time to let her know that she is moving away, and that she could no longer be her friend.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 11

미스 리플리: 제11회
Myeong Hun declares war on Miri and vows to put her where she truly belongs, as a way of correcting the mess he is responsible for. Yu Hyeon’s stepmother also throws Miri some punches by setting up a secret meeting with her and exposing all the dirt she knows about her, including her relationship with Myeong Hun. Instead of backing down, Miri takes them head-on by using her most powerful weapon: her influence on Yu Hyeon. As a counter-attack, Yu Hyeon reminds his stepmother about her lowly beginnings as a chambermaid before making it to their very household. As for Myeong Hun, he keeps his respect for the guy and instead warns him that someone is spreading nasty rumors about him, when in fact it is none other than Miri herself. One attack she has not expected, though, comes from Myeong Hun’s mother, who begs her to reconsider her relationship with her son. The old woman is successful in cracking Miri up, leaving her utterly guilty. The unfortunate side effect, however, takes a toll on the old lady’s health and lands her in the hospital, taken by Yu Hyeon himself, who sees the two after their talk by chance. Yu Hyeon’s stepmother opens a box from her vault, and in it is a photo of her and a young Miri.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 10

미스 리플리: 제10회
Miri’s make-believe world starts to fall apart as Yu Hyeon, prompted by his stepmother’s staunch denial of his marriage, retaliates and holds a press conference announcing to the world that Miri is going to be his wife soon. Myeong Hun, after consulting with that slime ball from Fukuoka, heads to Japan and just had to see one provocative photo of Miri to prove that all of them have indeed been fooled by a bargirl from Nakasu. However, he is not the only one who is hot on Miri’s tracks, as Yu Hyeon’s stepmother is also keen on investigating. Hee Joo confronts Miri regarding her portfolio, and as expected, Miri comes clean and immediately shifts to emotional blackmail mode, but Hee Joo is not having any more of that. Nevertheless, she still decides to keep her friend’s secret because she is in love with Yu Hyeon and does not want to hurt him, which will eventually happen if she reveals the truth about who Miri really is.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 3/Episode 9

3.9 The Rains of Castamere
Daenerys entrusts the sacking of Yunkai to Daario, who Ser Jorah thinks would betray them. He wins their trust after the city is successfully conquered. Bran and company seek refuge in a tower and are almost discovered by Jon Snow’s crew of marauding Wildlings due to Hodor’s constant grunting. Bran uses his Warg powers to possess and calm him down. The Wildlings turn on Jon Snow after he refuses to kill an old man. Killing everyone except Tormund and Ygritte, he flees on a horse, much to her dismay. The Freys welcome Robb’s entourage for the wedding and everyone is surprised that his daughter is actually pretty. The merriment turns sour as Catelyn senses something wrong. Finding out that Roose Bolton is donning chainmail underneath his garb, it becomes clear to her that they’ve just walked into a trap. As arrows fly hitting both mother and son, Talisa is repeatedly stabbed to death. Catelyn desperately tries to save her son by taking Frey’s wife hostage, but to no avail. As Bolton fatally drives a knife into Robb’s heart, Catelyn enters a state of catatonic hysteria before having her own throat slit by one of Frey’s men.

Miss Ripley: Episode 9

미스 리플리: 제9회
Myeong Hun and Yu Hyeon bump into each other buying engagement rings, not knowing that they are buying them for the same woman. Miri’s first day as a wannabe professor proves to be successful as she relies on her charisma to make up for her lack of knowledge and education. Myeong Hun drops by to congratulate her, but she is already on her way to an arranged meeting with Yu Hyeon, which turns out to be a marriage proposal. She accepts. He decides to finally introduce her to Myeong Hun, and this is where everything is revealed. Out of courtesy to his superior, Myeong Hun does not mention anything to Yu Hyeon. In a conversation with Miri later that day, she tells him that she never truly loved him with a stoic facial expression, but breaks down in tears long after he is gone. Hee Joo is also affected by the news, and by another case of her belongings being counterfeited, this time her portfolio.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 8

미스 리플리: 제8회
Yu Hyeon finally admits to Miri that he is the owner of Mondo before having her meet his parents. Miri has known about this for quite some time, and is exactly the reason why she is dating him. However, she still fakes a surprised reaction similar to Hee Joo’s, just to make her look less like the gold digger that she actually is. Myeong Hun and that Fukuoka guy meet, but the latter does not divulge anything that could harm Miri. Instead, he says that she is deeply indebted to him, and asks Myeong Hun for compensation, which he voluntarily gives to protect Miri. Miri does not know this at first and is bound to confess all her lies, but is quick to pick up the hint that her partner in crime has not really revealed anything about her fraud. It is Hee Joo who finds out about Miri’s affair with Myeong Hun, and is left with the burden of knowing all of her friend’s secrets, wanting to expose her because she is an obstacle to her happiness, but could not do so because she is far too kind for that. Yu Hyeon proposes to Miri. Now she has two!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 7

미스 리플리: 제7회
Myeong Hun pays Miri a surprise visit in Jeju, but she meets him at the door and leads him outside to prevent him from seeing Yu Hyeon in her room. Yu Hyeon, on the other hand, goes back to Seoul via private jet because of his father’s hospitalization. The two meet again in Seoul, but not in a favorable way. It is Miri’s birthday, and Yu Hyeon decides to throw a surprise party for her with Hee Joo’s help. However, Hee Joo’s feelings for him get the better of her, and Miri catches Yu Hyeon trying to console her, and interprets in a malicious way. Before that, Miri is surprised by Myeong Hun by taking her along to a church, where a chorus sings her a beautiful song. After that, he proposes to her. She refuses, feigning concern for his reputation as the reason, which leads him to come up with a plan that involves getting her out of the hotel and into the academe. Racked up with guilt, Hee Joo seeks refuge at the convent where they grew up. Miri takes advantage of this absence by stealing her portfolio and claiming it as hers, so she could get the teaching job. Things seem to be getting along well, until that guy from Fukuoka appears again, and forces her to agree to do some dirty job for a certain President Kang.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 6

미스 리플리: 제6회
Myeong Hun is about to introduce Yu Hyeon to Miri as the president of Mondo Group, but is unable to because of some distraction from another guest at the party. She sees Yu Hyeon anyway and realizes the more important position that he holds. Hee Joo also finds out about him being the president when she finally accepts his job offer. Unlike Miri, though, she is taken aback, and finds it rather offensive that Yu Hyeon had to hide his true identity. With this new-found knowledge about Yu Hyeon, Miri suddenly entertains his attempts to get close to her, culminating with an excursion at Jeju Island. As she avoids Myeong Hun, he becomes more suspicious, and he decides to follow her there. Her partner in crime in Fukuoka has also tracked her down and is once again dragging her back to the illegal world in which they both belonged before she came back to Seoul.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 5

미스 리플리: 제5회
Myeong Hun and Miri are now a couple after she spends some time with him being intimate and all that. This newfound closeness allows her access to his office, which takes care of the diploma dilemma. Any awkwardness brought about by her intent to hide her true credentials is misconstrued by him as awkward adjustment for dating someone of his stature. Hee Joo wins the architecture drawing competition she participated in, but because of her alleged involvement with diploma fabrication, the award is withheld. Yu Hyeon convinces her to join Mondo as part of the planning team, but she is hesitant, not to mention Miri is totally against it, and hides her insecurity for potential competition under the guise of concern. Hee Joo’s clumsiness results in finding her lost diploma in Miri’s luggage, after which a confrontation ensues. Miri confesses everything all the way to her diploma fraud, but emotionally blackmails Hee Joo for all the difficulties she had to go through for being adopted by the Japanese couple instead of her.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 4

미스 리플리: 제4회
Hee Joo is arrested but later released for charges regarding falsification of diplomas. The incident leads to her being fired and everyone’s credentials in the hotel being reviewed and verified. This becomes another dilemma for Miri, on top of the fact that her partner in crime in Fukuoka has tracked her down somehow. Witnessing the chase, Yu Hyeon gets involved and saves the damsel in distress, but all he gets is a cold thank you. He does not give up, though, after finding himself living once again in the same building as Miri. With no one else to run to, she moves in with Hee Joo, who is actually living in one of the rooms of her older, albeit not biological, brother’s flat, who in turn happens to be Yu Hyeon’s assistant with whom he is living with at the moment. Yu Hyeon befriends Hee Joo as a bridge to get to Miri and arranges a baseball match date, but Miri cancels after she successfully invites Myeong Hun to dinner, who brings her instead to his sick mother’s rehabilitation care center. Miri takes care of the old woman without hesitation, and by the end of the episode, Myeong Hun has fallen for her. They kiss.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 3

미스 리플리: 제3회
Hee Joo is just too happy to see Miri after a long time, but this naivety of hers is exploited by the latter for her own needs. The two used to be close friends in the orphanage. When the time came for Hee Joo to be adopted by a Japanese couple, it was Miri who got adopted instead, in order to protect her friend. Taking advantage of Hee Joo’s clumsiness, Miri easily finds the University of Tokyo certificate that she is looking for after she gets invited to her place, putting an end to that one dilemma for now. Yu Hyeon is moving on with the acquisition of Hotel A and of Miri’s love, but she rudely dismisses him, not believing his story of being a business empire heir to be true. Myeong Hun and Miri continue to have professional differences, with him winning the first battle by putting her on the restructuring list, and with her doing a counter attack by solving the dilemma of the Japanese prime minister’s daughter. It is stalemate for the two of them for now, and it seems as though they would be seeing more of each other.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 3/Episode 8

3.8 Second Sons
Arya attempts to kill the Hound in his sleep. He dares her to do it, but she refuses. He later explains that he is bringing her to the Twins to see his brother and mother. Daenerys negotiates with the Second Sons to side with her to defeat Yunkai, but their cocky leader proves to be hard to convince. Later that night, their lieutenant, Daario Naharis (Ed Skrein), ambushes her in her bath, shows her his captains’ heads in a sack, and pledges allegiance to her. Melisandre brings Gendry to Stannis and preps him to be sacrifice to the God of Light without him knowing. He seduces him, and then employs three leeches to extract his royal blood. The day of Tyrion and Sansa’s wedding finally comes. He makes it known to her that it is just a thing of duty for both of them, but he promises that he’ll never hurt her. He respects her wish not to consummate their marriage on their wedding night. Samwell and Gilly come face to face with a White Walker, which he gets to kill with his Dragonglass dagger.

Miss Ripley: Episode 2

미스 리플리: 제2회
Miri’s immigration deadline is fast approaching and she has just received a deportation notice. Busy fabricating her credentials, she is blamed for some random mistake a chambermaid commits in the room of her VIP guest. This leads to her being bumped off to standby, which could jeopardize her prospects for obtaining her work visa. Faking the University of Tokyo’s seal also proves to be a problem, which means she now has to find someone who has an original certificate for the process to be easier. Enter Mun Hee Ju (강혜정), a childhood friend from their orphanage days in Japan who is now also trying her luck back in Korea. Myeong Hun’s wife is divorcing him. A brief flashback shows that he was once a doctor who saved her fingers after an accident. She now wants a divorce, and is cheating on him with her piano teacher. Meanwhile, Yu Hyeon is revealed to be the successor of the hotel’s majority partner, and delivers a speech in English on how he plans to be an integral part of the family business.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Miss Ripley: Episode 1

미스 리플리: 제1회
Loosely based on a real-life scandal that rocked the modern Korean art world, Miss Ripley tells the story of Jang Miri (이다해), a Japanese citizen of Korean origin left for an orphan by her mother when she was young. Coming back to Korea in an effort to leave her shady past in Fukuoka, her dilemma is how to get a work visa sponsorship in spite of her inexperience and lack of tertiary education. All her efforts turn out to be in vain and she is even almost raped by some pervert agency head. Temporarily residing in a cram school dorm, she meets Song Yu Hyeon (박유천), a Japanese-Korean who seems to have the means for a luxurious life but opts to go low-key. He is instantly attracted to her, but she refuses his friendship. Jang Myeong Hun (김승우) is a hotelier in search of someone fluent in the Hakata dialect to assist a very important client whose investment would decide the future of the hotel. Crossing paths with a disgruntled Miri, he proposes a professional partnership after she, out of desperation, unintentionally flaunts a University of Tokyo degree that she does not really have.

The King and I (Resorts World Manila)


Based on a novel based on the diaries of Anna Leonowens (Menchu Launchengco-Yulo), this musical tells the story of a British woman who arrives in Bangkok with her son in the late 1800’s to play governess to the children of then reigning Thai monarch, King Mongkut (Nonie Buencamino). Set within the glittering confines of the royal palace, this onstage rendition is characterized by the constant friction between Anna and the King mainly brought about by their belief systems influenced by the different cultures from which they have been brought up. A love angle is also suggested all throughout the play, but just lingers in the background and is not pursued. This material has had several incarnations, including several movies, of which that one with Jodie Foster and Chow Yun Fat is well-remembered. The onstage version adds music and choreography that guarantees an enjoyable experience.

Friday, May 17, 2013

[GUANGDONG] Budget and Itinerary

MONDAY: 13 May 2013
Shenzhen Metro (Shekou Port - Grand Theater) - 7.00
Convenience Store (Ganten + Lays) - 7.00
Grand Theater Hostel (1 Bunk in 4 Bed Dorm/2 Nights) - 150.00

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

[SHENZHEN] Not So Happy Valley

Or "Creepy Valley" as I'd like to call it. It's my first time to experience a dimly-lit park in the afternoon with an ambiance prompting you to believe that some headless ghost or a deranged axe murderer would suddenly appear out of nowhere and chase you around. We're not saying that the park is not popular. In fact, it's one of the most visited attractions here, mostly in tandem with Window of the World. The sad reality is that people don't frequent the park on weekdays, hence, the creepy atmosphere.

Monday, May 13, 2013

[MACAU] Budget and Itinerary (2)

MONDAY: 13 May 2013
Turbojet (Hong Kong - Macau) - 159.00
Slot Machine Bet (Grand Lisboa) - 620.00
Slot Machine Win (Grand Lisboa) - -1,972.80
Noodle & Dimsum Kitchen (Fried Rice + Pepsi + Ovaltine) - 105.00

[MACAU] The Slot Machine Victory

The plan was to pick up some Portuguese review books at the Livraria Portuguesa, register for the DAPLE, and release a sequel to my 2011 Macau Tower Bungy Jump. Instead, I ended up at the Grand Lisboa and getting out of there with a 200% return for my HKD 620 investment. Not bad for my first time at the slot machines, eh? Beginner's luck, maybe. Why should I even care. All I know is that I am all smiles right now as I try hard to avoid hurling projectile vomit at everyone here on board a Turbojet ferry to Shenzen. Perhaps taking the chopper was a better option? Hey, that was just HKD 1,900+ that I won. It is not as if I won the jackpot.

[HONG KONG] Budget and Itinerary (2)

FRIDAY: 10 May 2013
Taxi (Makati - NAIA 3) - 207.50
Rebook (Cebu Pacific) - 6,515.50
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) - 1,620.00
Le Bistro (Vanilla Milk Shake) - 165.00
Travel Tax (NAIA 3) - 550.00
Cebu Pacific (Manila - Hong Kong) - 2,150.00

Dirty Dancing (Lunchbox Theatrical)


Summer of 1963. A peek into Baby's socialite life means either long nights full of social dancing or a repetitive game of Simon Says. Just like every teenager during that time, her life has been planned well ahead for her as she anticipates her next few years to be spent as part of the Peace Corps. Never has she thought that a little bit of Mambo and some big band could change her life. When the long-time dance partner of star dancer Johnny Castle gets knocked up by a waiter, Baby suggests that they find someone to fill in for her until an abortion is successfully done, lest the dance group lose a significant amount of their meager wages. That someone ends up being her. She then spends the next few days in serious training with him, transitioning from naive girl to competitive dancer and finding her way to womanhood in the process.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 3/Episode 7

3.7 The Bear and the Maiden Fair
Daenerys marches into Yunkai and threatens invasion, but the proud nation just wouldn’t bow down to her in spite of her dragons. They offer her ships so she can sail back to Westeros and leave them in peace, but she refuses. Jon Snow tells Ygritte that they will die if they attempt to invade the North. Theon is untied and seduced by two women, probably half aware of the tragedy that will befall him next. Robb finds out that he is going to be a father soon. Arya runs away from the gold cloaks and ends up being captured by the Hound. Melisandre reveals to Gendry that he is Robert Baratheon’s bastard. Tyrion tries to woo Shae and promises her a good life even after his marriage, but she’s having none of it. Margaery schools Sansa regarding their position in society and how to make the most of what they have. She also advises her to give Tyrion a chance despite her reservations about him. Jaime Lannister is sent back to King’s Landing without Brienne, but comes back to Harrenhal just in time to see her in a pit with a wooden sword battling a bear. He rescues her and ends up taking her back with him on the road back home.

[HONG KONG] Tita Meryl Streep and the Foggy Peak

I was able to cover most of the popular tourist spots in Hong Kong when I came here two years ago: Ngong Ping, Disneyland, Ocean Park, Avenue of Stars. I decided to avoid The Peak because I remember arriving at the tram station and noticing a blockbuster queue which left me backing out. I have an aversion toward long lines. I was even more naïve back then and wasn't aware of alternative means to get there such as Bus 15 and its sisters 15A and 15B. Now I'm back, mostly for academic purposes but with a day or two to spare. While going back to Ocean Park to ride their new roller coaster was a tempting proposition, I decided to just give The Peak a chance. Being based at Causeway Bay, proximity is not really an issue. So, what did I see there? Aside from Tita Meryl Streep, nothing else but fog.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Game of Thrones (HBO): Season 3/Episode 6

3.6 The Climb
Ygritte tells Jon Snow that she knows he’s still loyal to the Night’s Watch, but assures him that she’ll keep his secret, if he remains loyal to her instead. They climb the wall and almost die in a mini avalanche. He saves her and they reach the top, where they share a kiss and an embrace. Theon remains captive and tortured while Jaime and Brienne try to outwit Roose Bolton into sending them on a safe journey back to King’s Landing. Robb ends up in a compromise renewing his alliance with the Freys. Arya’s archery training is interrupted by Melisandre’s arrival, who has come for Gendry in exchange for two sacks of gold. Olenna and Tywin blackmail each other to further their causes, but the latter wins. Cersei and Tyrion reflect on their lack of options and realize that they have been, once again, used as pawns by their father in this game of thrones. He breaks the news to Sansa, who watches in tears as Little Finger’s ship sails away, taking all her hopes of leaving King’s Landing along with him.

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