Today is the end of the year.  As I had expected, the world didn’t end during my brother’s birthday (yes, it falls on 21 December).  Life went on for most folks in this planet.

I have to say I’m grateful about this year as on the career and personal front things were generally stable, and slowly and surely I could see the light on the end of the tunnel regarding my own financial issues.  Though a couple of members of my immediate family had endured trials during the year, for one it seems to eventually end up for the good while we all continue to try to help the other one get by.

I foresee challenges ahead in my career as there were changes made in the way my department is structured that could affect the way my performance is measured.  I hope I can keep up and measure up even with the new standards that are likely going to be in place next year.

In the health front, I have to admit I vacillate between the “eat, drink, and be merry as tomorrow we die” philosophy and obeying my mother’s concerns and take my medications to help extend my life and be conscious of what I eat (and find time to exercise, which admittedly I’m too lazy to do).  I’m not sure where I will swing next year but at this moment I will try to take the healthier route, as at this point there are things I still want to do with my life, especially with this blog.

I like to learn how to entertain ads like the way most bloggers do, and reach a broader audience with what I write.  Something like how my colleague Norman Tinio does it.  I’ll ask a few pointers from him, as I still don’t know how to tweak my WordPress settings yet…

Besides Norman, there are two role models that I would be emulating when I finally push through with making this blog bigger, especially if I add original video content (though I tend to be averse to putting my mug and speaking out there, especially if you see some of my relatively awkward videos that I did for Mabuhay Beauties).

The first role model is Michael Slezak.  I have been following his American Idol video reviews when he was still writing for Entertainment Weekly and his weekly “Idolatry” videos are stuff that I follow religiously.  He moved on to the website TVLine.com, and he does the video series “Reality Check” (for X Factor and The Voice) and “Idology” (formerly named “Idoloonies”).  With the video editing of Michael Averett, I am immensely  entertained at some of the video metaphors being used by Mr. Averett–I try to do a “written” equivalent when I do my pageant “Homestretch” reviews with all those photos and videos of deadringers and lookalikes that I embed throughout.  I think if I were to appear on video again, it would probably be better if I feed off conversing with an equally passionate colleague, like the way Michael Slezak has American Idol Season 6 shoulda-been-winner Melinda Doolittle as a dialogue partner.  I have one person in mind (a viral semi-celebrity who is a longtime friend of mine, but I wonder about his commitments with another blogger) and I think if we videotape our dialogues on pageants it would probably be fabulous.  I’m embedding three of my favorite sample episodes of “Idology” for you readers to check out.

My second role model is a Canadian married couple now based in South Korea–Simon & Martina Stawski of Eatyourkimchi.com.  They originally set up their blog to help their family keep tabs with them as they pursue their careers as English schoolteachers in Korea (their family had fears about what Korea was like then, especially with a looming North Korean threat then).  But their very meticulously educational yet humorously entertaining guide on all aspects of Korean culture has led to an increasing amount of followers that eventually they left their original professions and made a career out of their blogging.  Their “K-Pop Music Mondays” are their most popular feature, where they review the latest in K-Pop–they mix intelligent insight with utterly cheeky humor, which is again how I try to approach my own reviews.  I tend to wholeheartedly agree with their views with the exception of their take about the rap sequence in the Wonder Girls’ “Be My Baby”–I don’t find it as jarring as they found it, but it resulted in a classically hilarious skit about mismatched rap interludes.  My favorite review of theirs is their take on Hyuna’s “Bubble Pop”–Simon’s raunchy dancing is permanently etched in my head, and I could never look at “Bubble Pop” any other way…  Besides that video, I’m also embedding their 100th episode edition of K-Pop Music Mondays so the non-initiated can catch up with their series of in-jokes, along with their year-end “How To Dance K-Pop 2010” (which has now evolved into the “Eat Your Kimchi Awards” or “EYKAs” this year).  Their favorite phrase is “Ooh, you’re so naaaasssty…”, and they have a fan club known as the Nasties–I count myself as one of them.

Especially in the expected lulls between pageant seasons (since the major pageants I follow now tend to take place in the second half of the year), I will most likely share my passion for pop music, even if I know they aren’t currently the most popular features on my blog–I hope there would be more readers who would patronize this side of me eventually, especially those who do mash-ups as I have musical mash-up ideas that I hope one can execute over in YouTube one of these days (as I don’t have the skills or the time to learn how to edit my own mash-ups).  My brain is brimming with them and I’ll see if I can make them into a regular feature.

The next little ambition I have for next year is to revive my hobby doing my fan art related to Humon’s online comic strip “Scandinavia & the World”.  Humon is a female Danish artist who provides brilliant insights on various cultures (of course specializing in Scandinavia) featuring characters personifying various countries–I want to do my take featuring the Asian countries, and I have some fun ideas for her own characters that I hope could make it into her canon eventually.  I don’t have the energy to do my own drawing even if my mind is loaded with so much plots and ideas (and I’m often frustrated at how crude they often look), so I wonder if there could be a skilled artist whom I could collaborate with fleshing my ideas on paper…  Anyway, below is a sample piece of work I created inspired by that comic strip:

Scandinavia & the World characters inspired by Boys Over Flowers, from L-R: Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Sister Japan (all characters copyright by Humon)

Finally, my other wishes for the New Year are the cliché ones–prosperity and good health for myself and my loved ones, along with peace through all the world.  Hope all my goals can be realized for next year, and I wish for the best for the coming year for all my friends and colleagues.




  1. happy new year, joseph. di na tayo naka lunch or dinner together with Paul. anyway, let’s schedule it bago matapos ang January.

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