Category: Geography

Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

Go Back Couple (Korean Drama Review)

I first heard about this drama a couple of months ago.  I heard it was going to be a Jang Na-ra starrer and I looked forward to it.  Jang Na-ra has a delicate expressive face, which never ages.  I love her, there is always vulnerability to her acting that gets or speaks to you.

Go Back Couple is a time travel drama, shown on Fridays and Saturdays with 16 episodes.

Choi Ban-Do (played by Son Ho-Jun) and Ma Jin-Joo (played by Jang Na-Ra) are both 38-years-old and a married couple who got together when they were both in university.

Fast-forward 14 years on, Choi Ban-Do works as a medical sales rep, not sure what happened as I thought he was studying civil engineering (civil construction), and Ma Jin-Joo is a housewife with a toddler to look after.

Ban-Do is a hardworking man, who does everything for his clients, almost  24/7, that he has neglected his wife and their child.

Due to misunderstanding and hardship of fulfilling their responsibilities, they began to take each other for granted and only ended up bickering when they are together .  They realised that they had married too young and wished they could go back and restart their respective lives.

During an anniversary that they could not celebrate, in the heat of the moment, due to utter frustration, Jin-Joo announced to her husband that she wanted a divorce.  Do Ban-do was at first surprised, but agreed to it.  Within a month, they were divorced.

On the day of the divorce, they both took their wedding rings off.  Jin-Joo dropped hers while aboard a bus and Ban-do threw his outside his bedroom window.  Both rings seemed to undergo something supernatural. Jin-joo and Ban-do experienced an earthquake-like shaking and rattling.

The next morning they both woke up in the bodies of their 20 year old selves.

Jin-Joo’s first scene as a 20 years old was really poignant that it brought tears to my eyes.  She was crying out for her dead mother in her sleep.  But she was being woken up by her mother.  She was so happy to see her.  Throughout the morning she hugged and followed her mother, who said she was beginning to creep out with Jin-Joo’s clinginess.

I love this drama, so much so that I first watched it raw, I just can’t wait for the subtitles. And then watched it this morning with the English sub.  The mother scene still got to me.

I am putting a lot of faith in this drama.  There have been so many Korean dramas that I could only watch 2-3 episodes and I tend to give up fairly early on.

I supposed the storyline of this drama is more appropriate to me, being married.  Don’t I wish sometimes that I can go back in time?  Hell, yeah!!!

Episode 2 is also very watchable. Jin-Joo tried to restart her life but her ex seemed to be everywhere.  On a blind-date where they first met, Ban-do ended up still choosing her but said he did it so he can dumped her.  She followed him out of the restaurant only to find him chasing after his first love.  Jin-Joo was heartbroken.  She comforted herself that at least it is a closure but she heard a little voice and saw the figure of their toddler following her.

She ended up in a flood of tears and mistakenly got into the back seat of Jung Nam Gil’s (second male lead) car, thinking it was a taxi.  I actually want these two to get together.

Again her scene sleeping next to her mother made me cry. huhuhu

I can’t went for next week.

Kakiemon Elephant

Kakiemon Elephant

This Kakiemon elephant is on display at the British Museum.

This is apparently made between 1660-1690 in the Kakiemon style.  Kakiemon is the first to create the enamel porcelain.  What is interesting about this sculpture is that the artist has never seen an elephant.

You might have noticed that the elephant trunk in the photo is pointing downward.  There is a superstition in the east that pointing downward is for good luck.  In the west, it is the opposite.  It should be upward.  Another case of east and west not meeting.  LOL

What do we know about elephants?

  • Their gestation period is 22 months, 2 months short of 2 years pregnancy.  Ouch
  • Their life span is between 50 – 70 years but their was a recorded one of 82 years of age.
  • There are two types of elephants:

Asian (Indian) Elephants which smaller in stature, smaller ears and only the male have tusks.

African Elephants are larger with larger ears.  Both male and female have tusks.  They are               also  less hairy than the Asian elephants.

 

 

 

Ashi Girl (Japanese Drama Review)

Ashi Girl

Ashi Girl (Japanese Drama Review)

After Overprotected Kohoko, Ashi Girl is my new Japanese drama to follow.

I have just watch the first 2 episodes with English subtitles and the 3 one in a ‘raw’ form.  Well it was that good that I had to watch it even if I only barely understand it.  🙂

Hayakawa Yui is  a 16 year old girl, who lacks motivation in her studies.  She is a bit of a tomboy, the one thing that she excels in was PE (Physical Education) more specifically, running.  She can run so fast that  everyone comments that the only fast thing about Yui are her feet.

Yui lives with her house-husband father, a doctor mother and a brainiac younger brother.

One day, Yui went into her brother’s ‘boy cave’ to call him for dinner but found him looking like he was about to commit seppuku, which is better known, I think, as harakiri (belly cutting/suicide).

The brother told her immediately that that was not the case but he has invented a way of going back into the past.  He wanted to send all the bullies from his school to the warring era of the Senguko period.

Her brother showed her the device, which was the knife he was holding, that would send anyone to the past.  Before the brother could warn her to be careful, Yui unsheathed the knife, which catapulted her into the Senguko period.

She was so hungry that she was about to eat fungi growing in the forest.  But warned by a rather handsome young man that the mushrooms were poisonous.  Yui fell in love.

The young man happens to be the crown prince.  He was Hagi Tadakiyo.

Despite her school uniform, the men thought she was a boy and she got recruited to be one of them as a foot soldier.  They thought she was Yuinisuke, the son of one of the villagers.

When she got to the village, Yuinisuke’s mom pretended that she was her long lost son.  The mother knew immediately that she was a girl and she sort of protected her.

From then on, she met a lot of adventure but her raison d’etre was to be closed to the crown prince.

She was back into the present by the second episode.  She found that she was missing the crown prince.  She dreams about him all the time.

So in the third episode, she opted to go back to the past and save the crown prince, who was said to have only 6 months to live according to history books.

Ashi Girl is apparently a manga story.  I have to admit that it is really quite endearing to watch.  Yui and the crown prince are so cute.

So looking forward to more adventures of these two.

I think this drama is composed of 12 episodes.

 

 

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

Biko, photo by PH Morton

Biko From Alma’s Kitchen

My sister-in-law, Alma is a very capable woman.  A good example of a decent human being.  She is friendly, she is caring, she can’t do enough to be helpful to anyone.

She is well like by everyone.

Her abilities go on and on.  What I like most about her is her cooking.  She can really cook up a storm.

Her biko is to die for.  Peter, my English hubby, who do not usually eat anything made of rice love’s Alma’s biko.

The above photo was from Alma’s kitchen.  Doesn’t it look so delicious?  And it was so yummy.

Click here for the recipe!

Biko a a favourite of mine.  It reminds me of happy childhood and young adulthood in the Philippines. It reminds me of my loving family, cheerful, always ready for a laugh and adventure.

I remember my mother going to market and coming home with biko, which we would share and enjoy.

I remember my grandfather coming home with ‘pasalubong’ of biko, amongst others, when he goes out.

Biko is a symbol of halcyon days for me!

Salt & Pepper Shrimps Recipe

Salt & Pepper Shrimps, photo by Bless Mercado

Salt & Pepper Shrimps Recipe

Salt and pepper chicken is a great favourite of our family.  We just love the crispness of the chicken and its spiciness.

We also recently discovered the shrimps version and it is even more luscious in taste.  There are two ways of cooking the shrimps.  If the shrimps or prawns are large, I would recommend perhaps to peel them but if there are small to medium in size, I would cook them in their shell.  The shell will add extra crispness in the texture after deep frying.

Here is the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 300g medium shrimps or smaller shrimps; head removed, deveined
  • 3-4 tbsp cornflour or cornstarch
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp sea salt granules
  • ¾ tablespoon ground Szechuan peppercorns or black pepper
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 bird’s eyes chilli, chopped or a tsp of chilli flakes
  • coriander for decorating

Instructions

  1. Prepare the shrimp, remove the shells if you prefer.  Put the shrimps over some kitchen paper towel to drain thoroughly.
  2. Spice up the cornstarch with the fine salt, black pepper and garlic powder.  Mix thoroughly.
  3. Drop the shrimps onto the cornstarch.  Coat the shrimps with the powdery mix.
  4. In a wok over low heat, stir fry the salt granules and Sichuan peppercorn.  Dry fry for a couple of minutes.  Set aside.
  5. Using a deep-fat fryer, fry the shrimps until they have turned golden.  Do this in batches to ensure even cooking.  Remove with slotted spoon.  Set aside.
  6. Add a tablespoon of oil to the wok with the salt and peppercorn mix.  Stir in the chopped garlic and chilli.  Fry for a minute or two.  Add the deep fried shrimps and mix them all in.
  7. Serve over a bed of salad leaves.  Enjoy!

Princess Agents & Legend of Lu Zhen

I have to admit that I was not really into historical action dramas but after watching Yang yang’s Once Upon A time, I thought I should give it a go.

Here are my first choices and both dramas featured Zanilia Zhao, also sometimes called Zhao Liying.

Princess Agents & Legend of Lu Zhen

Princess Agents

Princess Agents

This is a historical drama which currently hold the top rating as the most watched Chinese drama of all time.

As I previously mentioned, the leading lady is played by Zanilia Zhao (Chu Qiao / Jin Xiaoliu / Xing’er)  and the two male leads vying for her affection were Lin Gengxin as Yuwan Yue and Shawn Dou as Yan Xun.

Zanilia was cute and slightly chubby in her previous dramas like in Boss & Me but she lost a lot of weight for this drama.  Probably from intentional dieting or the rigorous training for the kungfu scenes.

I have to admit (I am admitting a lot of things here 🙂 lol) that I am not one for prolong fights like boxing, punching & kicking but in this drama it was done in another level.  It was so beautiful.  I could actually watch just the fighting scenes all day if I have to.  The fight scenes between Ying’er and Yuwan Yue were rather erotic.  Lots of flying into the air, lots of swishing of beautiful and colourful garments and both of them looking bloody gorgeous.

The story was quite memorable (or just probably the leads gave such good performance) that it was so disappointing when it finally ended after 58 episodes.

The earlier episodes grabbed you so tightly that you can’t help yourself but be hooked.

Princess Agents was during the time when Northern Wei was in chaos.  Factions were sprouting against the emperor all the time, due to the state of the region.  Ordinary citizens where captured and turned into slaves.  And this what exactly happened to Jin Xiaoliu.  She was kidnapped to be one of the running maidens to be hunted by ferocious wolves as well as the kingdom’s royalty.  This scene was gloriously well composed and the cinematography was a sensory delight.

Jin Xiaoliu survived the perilous hunt and ended up as a slave in Yuwan Yue’s manor.  He renamed her as Xing’er and started training her in Kungfu.

She found out later (she has amnesia 🙂 ) that she is the daughter of Luo He, the master of Feng Yun order and that she could find all the answers to her question at Yibai, which coincidentally is the principality of Yan Xun’s family.  At this time his family were all slaughtered by the Wei emperor.

The ending is so sad and a tad annoying as it was left hanging.  The gorgeous Yuwan Yue dies while Xing’er who has now reverted back to her original name of Chu Qiao dove into the freezing water to save him.  But with his last remaining straining he pushed her away to survive.

There are so many beautiful scene and a full use of CGI was used.  Some hated it but I just love it.

Highly recommended for good viewing even for just the fight scenes!  Enjoy!

Legend of Lu Zhen aka Female Prime Minister

Legend of Lu Zhen

This is an earlier Zanilia Zhao drama, where she constantly reminded me of Jang Na ra.

Anyway Zanilia played Lu Zhen, a young girl who was very capable, patient and methodical and with a good heart.

She saved a young man from a near death occurrence, not knowing that he was the Prince of Northern Qi dynasty.

Anyway the story is more straight forward that the Princess Agents.  It tells the rise to power from a mere palace maid to the first female Prime Minister of the kingdom.

She also got her man in the end, however she did not get the title of his Empress because of circumstances that foist upon her.

The drama is very watchable and the gorgeous actor Chen Xiao played Gao Zhan so affectingly.

Again, lovely drama of 59 episodes.

I know I have not had a good or enough night sleep for ages.

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Sinangag, Photo by JMorton

Sinangag Breakfast , Photo by JMorton

Sinangag (Garlic Fried Rice Filipino Style)

Filipino fried rice called sinangag is the easiest fried rice recipe to do.

It is so tasty because of the addition of fragrant garlic.  It gets even tastier if the oil you fry it in was from the oil you fried your meat of dried fish in as it absorbed all the tasty residue of the meat or fish.

Fried rice are better cooked from left-over rice or at least rice that has been cooked a day or night before.  A day old rice has a a better texture as it had ‘dried’ up as it sits on the fridge.  A fried rice from a freshly boiled rice tend to yield a rather soggy mess.

Sinangag cannot be simpler.  It can just be from left-over rice, onion and garlic.  This is because it is often eaten with separately cooked friend eggs, salted eggs, hot-dog sausages or the best there is – tuyo or danggit.  (See above photo.)  All washed down with a hot strong milky coffee.

Ingredients:

2 cups leftover rice, even out the clumps

4-6 garlic, peeled and chopped or minced finely

1/2 onion, chopped finely

salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure:

Heat the oil using a wok or a large frying pan over medium to high heat.

Fry the garlic, then quickly add the onion.  Stir-fry until fragrant.

Add the rice.  Fry vigorously until the grains absorbed all the oil giving off a fragrant breakfasty aroma. 🙂

Serve immediately with any of your favourite meaty or fishy breakfast.

Enjoy!

 

Democritus – Father of Modern Science?!!!

 

Democritus by Luca Giordano

Democritus – Father of Modern Science?!!!

Democritus created a vast body of work, unfortunately only minimal amount survived.

Democritus is considered by many to be the Father of Modern Science’ because of his philosophical approach as being scientific rationality.  He was one of the founders of the Atomist philosophy.

He was also known as the Laughing Philosopher because of his emphasis on the merits of being cheerful.

(He sounds like a very interesting man)

Democritus Quotes:

Man is a microcosm of the universe.
– Democritus

The brave man is he who overcomes not only his enemies but his pleasures.
– Democritus (460 – 370 BC)

There are many who know many things, yet are lacking in wisdom.
– Democritus

The Eternal Love (Chinese Drama Review)

The Eternal Love poster

 

The Eternal Love (Chinese Drama Review)

I am watching this drama this weekend.

I have just finished episode 1 and I must say, I enjoyed it.

It is a time travelling drama.

A girl from the present time, travels to the past and possessing the body of the Second Daughter, Qu Tan Er of the Qu Family.

Qu Tan Er, poor girl has developed a rather schizophrenic personality.  One minute she is the demure, introverted and shy Qu Tan Er and then she is possessed by the girl from the 21st century who is feisty, modern and self-confident, Xiao Tan.

The back story was that Qu Tan Er tried committing suicide as she was being forced to marry the 8th Prince when she was already in love with the King’s oldest son.

When she recovered enough from her suicide attempt, she became a different person.

I must say this drama is so entertaining that I have just finished watching episode 2.  I was surprised how quick it went.

Episode 2, Qu Tan Er has now become the consort of the 8th Prince.

Episode 24:  Yup it is 12:58am and finally finished last episode of this interesting and enjoyable drama.  It is full of action, and beautiful sceneries.  There are also yards upon yards of beautiful free-flowing Hanfu costume.

And the actors are so flawlessly gorgeous.

Most importantly, if you wanted romance, this sure is big, I mean huge in romance.  The kissing scenes are so sweetly erotic.

Love this drama. It is not flawless because some of the dialogues (or probably the English translation) would leave you feeling mehhhh!  Like when ‘Old Weirdo” said that the Demon king has grown really powerful and became an expert in Martial arts.  That was funny.

If you are feeling nostalgic in living in the past, wearing all those beautiful flowy hanfu, think again, apparently your family can be your own worst enemy.

So much so that I shall be watching Princess Agents or is it Agent Princess. 🙂

And last but not the least to mention is that it has  beautifully haunting original soundstracks (OST)

%d bloggers like this: