Saturday, July 8, 2017

Legend of the Blue Sea: Dam Ryung and Se Hwa PART 2

The fated bond continued. Dam Ryung and Se Hwa crossed paths again. There seemed to be no land and water that could separate their fate. The cunning Mr. Yang learned that Dam Ryung could be the key to capture the mermaid, he ordered his men to tail on him.

Dam Ryung was shocked when Se Hwa talked. The mermaid responded that there is nothing a mermaid can't do that a human can. Mermaids talk underwater through their mind so there is no need to speak. Later, she told him the story of a boy who heard a mermaid.
Dam Ryung's might have felt his connection to Se Hwa. He became curious about the boy in her story that he wanted to hear further but some villagers were rushing on their way. Se Hwa's safety was at risk so they just made a deal to see each other again.

The story of the boy bridged them to meet again. Since then, everytime Se Hwa see a light above the sea, she would happily come up, excited to meet the man she loved.

Se Hwa continued her story of the little boy. In the end, it was revealed that the little boy was Dam Ryung and the mermaid that he loved so much was none other than, Se Hwa.

Se Hwa took the greatest risk of her life when she came out from the sea and walked on land. According to the tale, mermaids tend to risk their life by following the human they love on land. A once in a litetime chance. The moment they step on land, their time become limited. Their heart will harden, it will lost its beating and they will die. Unless, the human they love whom they risked their life for will love them back. For the human they love, since their heart beats for only one person, they take such fifty-fifty chance.

But besides that, she faced outright danger by the hands of Mr. Yang's men. And this time, it was Dam Ryung who saved her life.

Dam Ryung killed some of the men so they managed to scape. While the two of them were alone in the hiding, Dam Ryung expressed his feelings to She Hwa, that he missed her. His mind might have really forgotten her but his heart was wavering. He felt the love that long been kept all those years.

Dam Ryung embraced She Hwa. The fact that he was once the boy who loved the mermaid and that she risked her life to follow him was enough. He lovedher! Even with the bad talk that circulated about him being bewitched by a wicked creature, he embraced Se Hwa and loved her.

But the cunning Mr. Yang wasn't one who just sit still. His and the concubine's obsession to the mermaid just grew. He ordered his men to search and capture Se Hwa.

Dam Ryung's most loyal friend protected Se Hwa but she still helplessly fell into the hands of the enemies. Mr. Yang's concubine who's hungry for money forced Se Hwa to cry and turn her tears  turn into pearls.

Dam Ryung found Se Hwa a little late inside the storage of Mr. Yang's concubine. She was weak and with bruises. Dam Ryung was angered by the sight of her poor lover and the badmouthing people outside.  He picked the bowl full of pearls, his woman's tears, and threw it to the people. He walked out carrying Se Hwa, his eyes were full of rage.
To be continued...

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Legend of the Blue Sea: Dam Ryung and Se Hwa (PART 1)

Kim Dam Ryung and Se Hwa's love story in Legend of the Blue Sea was a very beautiful story of great love. It is derived from the classic tale of a mermaid and the fishermen during the Joseon era.  It brought life to my fantasy of love against all odds. Even how sad the ending was, their story is one that left a mark in the heart, not easily forgotten. And even though their love story was not the focus of the said TV drama, it brought life and color to the entire series.

I haven't had enough of them, really. I am into historical dramas so I was rooting on their story. I wish the writer would come up another 20-episode drama just to chronicle Dam Ryung and Se Hwa's love story alone. I wish!


I am not into spoiling your thrill in case you plan on watching (well, pretty much everyone's done watching this drama) but I couldn't help myself summarize the "Dam Ryung and Se Hwa's story" for you,  which was only delivered bits by bits thru dreams of the reincarnated personas in the drama as it progressed.

So let me do my best....

Kim Dam Ryung was a magistrate's son who later became a village chief (Mayor) in a northeastern province in Gwangwan-do during the Joseon period. He fell in-loved with a mermaid which he himself named Se Hwa.


How did these two different souls met?

When Dam Ryung was a little boy, he was drown in the sea. A beautiful, little mermaid saved his life. Instead of being scared, Dam Ryung thought of the different creature as his friend and even gave her a name, Se Hwa.

As years passed by, they grew up into young adults and even grew feelings for each other. But Dam Ryung was to marry another noble his parents set for him.

Dam Ryung married the noble woman but on their first night, he escaped and went to the sea. He drown himself hoping Se Hwa would come and save him.

Se Hwa saved Dam Ryung's life again just as he wished but one thing he didn't know was that a mermaid has a special ability, and that is to erase herself from a person's memory through a touch or a kiss. Se Hwa hoped for Dam Ryung to have a peaceful married life so she erased all of Dam Ryung's memory of her through a kiss. And like a foam in the ocean, she popped and vanished from the memory of the only man she loved.

Dam Ryung and Se Hwa both grew into adults. Dam Ryung became a village Chief. His wife said to have died few years after the marriage. Se Hwa lived her life in endless loneliness in the deep.

One night, a big storm pummeled the seaside of the village; homes destroyed, trees uprooted and a tidal wave washed the shore. The storm had calmed the next morning and to the villagers amazement, abundance of fresh fish laid on the shore ready for harvest. Among those fish that was pushed offshore was Se Hwa. She was trapped by rocks in a cave and struggled for escape. Fishermen saw her and brought her to Mr. Yang, the ruthless noble, a village Inn owner who had been aiming to catch mermaids for oil.

Dam Ryung, the new Village Chief (Mayor) came to visit and attend a banquet hosted by Mr. Yang. Later, the Inn owner gleefully introduced his big catch, the mermaid Se Hwa; a little battered, in a pond, trapped in a fish net and wrists tied with rope.

Mr. Yang concluded his evil plan on the mermaid to Dam Ryung, which is to kill and extract oil from her.

They met again! Their eyes locked and seemed to be talking through their minds. DamRyung heard Se Hwa pleaded for help in his head. Se Hwa did ask for help hoping Dam Ryung could hear it.

In a tale, when a man hears the mermaid's mind, it means he loves her. Therefore, Dam Ryung's feelings for Se Hwa had awaken. Although his mind forgot, his heart didn't.

In a seemed confused mind (on why he heard her voice) and to also do the right thing, he helped her by opposing Mr. Yang's plan and having her sent back to the sea. Mr. Yang swore to capture the mermaid and get rid of the chief.

Dam Ryung, himself, sent the mermaid back to the sea. She swam away but came back to his canoe after few seconds. With arm outstreched, she reached for Dam Ryung. Their eyes locked. Dam Ryung took her hand.

To be continued...☺

Monday, June 26, 2017

Legend of the Blue Sea, Tale of Reincarnation

Legend of the Blue Sea tells the story of two reincarnated souls from different worlds; a man and a mermaid: land and water, their love and their ill-fate.

This 2017 semi-fantasy-historical-modern Korean drama starred none other than the irresistible, handsome, hot and popular Lee Min Ho and the ever sophisticated, an icon and a top hallyu star Jun Ji Hyun, the Sassy Girl!

I remember something I read in a book, which, of course, had something to do with science back in highschool that humans, like plants and animals, do reincarnate after 2000 years. I forgot other information from what I read but I remember vividly the 2000 years and watching the Legend of the Blue Sea reminded me of it. Although the reincarnation in this drama happened way early, after more or less 430 years.

The question: Do we really reincarnate? How couId it be possible? Reincarnation might really happen but no one can certainly attest to the fact. We may born again in the next life, say after 400 or 2000 years as the same person but definitely not with the same circumstances. There will be different twists and turns and the ill-fate in the past may repeat itself or may turn into a whole new event.

The Legend of the Blue Sea for instance tells the story of love and ill-fate of a man and a mermaid that repeats after 430 years. It was quite a refreshing drama. It is like a modern version of the little mermaid. The plot is shallow (or maybe I just matured) but it was worth the watch. Of course, the lead stars are two of the most sought-after Korean stars.

I still have a lot to say about the drama but i don't want to bore you with a long babbles so I will just save it for the next post.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

One Year in Kuwait!

Happy Anniversary to me and Kuwait! That was on February 18, 2017.

Working in Kuwait was not included in my plans on 2016 but some circumstances brought me here.

Do I have any regrets?
None, so far. I tried my best not to look into the worse side of this Muslim, male-dominated country. As much as I could, I look into the brighter side everyday and remind myself of my reasons for working here and of my goals and plans when I get back to the Philippines, with God's grace.

Let me look back to my 2016, the life before Kuwait and my preparations to come to one of the world's most-feared countries to work for as a housemaid.
New Year's Eve 2016
January 01, 2016
I still have my straight hair then.
My hair, my crowning glory... ah, it has always been my pride for being long, smooth, shiny and managable.
Now? Duh!
First Week of January
I was a busy bee getting all my papers done. Couldn't remember how many times I bit my tongue during the processing.
Patience? I have very little.
A very special lunchdate with my beloved little sisters at Greenwich.
These two topped my list of "will definitely miss" people. 
My sisters, my best friends!
My agency's advise: curl your hair.
I didn't get the reason why but I was like "okay, i miss curly hair anyway".
I paid a visit to our local parlor in town and had my curls done.
I wanted it to be done by my favorite salon in the city, David's, but I reminded myself, I was to become a housemaid, why splurge on hairstyle? 
 A little night-out with my neighbor/co-applicant/close friend Jeziel at a favourite local bar in town - Marlit's.
My last crazy, semi-wild night-out in the city, hopping from bars to bars. I knew I wouldn't be able to drink for two years so it was kind of like a revenge in advance.
 That was it! All packed for Zambo. City then from Zambo. to Manila where the real challenges awaited.
Manila: Basic Arabic Lessons
I lost all photos taken in the Agency's accommodation in Manila.
The training and the experiences at the accommodation were far more challenging than our work here in Kuwait. So since I passed all that, I sure had enough endurance needed here. And well, one year here now, I am nearing the finish line!

Spending all my Philippine money while waiting for my flight to Kuwait.
February 17, 2016.
There was no turning back! 

The line of work, is it bearable? 
At first it was really hard, especially when you are dealing not only the household chores but also the kids. The household works never bothered me, not at all. Dusting, mopping, organizing, scrubbing; it was just like doing chores in my own house.

Dealing with the kids was the challenging part for me because I am hot-tempered, and have very little patience. As early as the first month, I already felt like giving up. Yes, in that short period of time I thought of quitting because the kids here are crazy, hard-headed, spoiled and arrogant. Honestly, I even asked my employer to take me back to my agency because I couldn't handle the kids. But the lady refused saying every house has babies. Speaking of babies, they lied on the contract. Stated there were only two instead of three babies.

How do I handle the long hours of work?
When I get a chance to sit down even for just a minute, I would take it. During my first few days, my employer kept telling me not to do any work after lunch (2~5pm). I should just rest, they said but there never happened a "rest" between those hours. Why? Because there are kids.

Sixteen to seventeen hours of active work is the norm here. You can ask any household worker if you think I am exaggerating. Every Filipina I met whined about the long hours of work, if not how messy, crazy and lazy their employers were. I shared the same dilemma.

Despite the long hours of work, I still managed to sing while scrubbing toilet bowls and washing dishes and in the shower at night when I take my one-hour bath time. Oh yes, I always indulge myself with a warm bath every night,an old habit from the Philippines. It is actually what Pinays are known here for; we smell good and we smell clean.

How is my standing with the kids and employers?
I don't have a child but I believe I can raise children way better that Kuwaiti parents. I do understand how kids are based on my baby-sitting experiences with my little sisters. Kids can be real pain in the ass, that's for sure. And the kids here are far more challenging. You would need more than one billion of patience or you can punch them straight to their stupid, spoiled, stubborn, and arrogant face.

Even the parents here couldn't do anything to the children's tantrums because they as well throw tantrums from time to time. Parents here are big kids and tend to be more problematic. Their only tactic to calm their children down is, instead of conducting disciplinary actions, they would, as I have always noticed, offer money and later give in to the children's wish. Nah! Offering money to children, even a centavo won't do in the Philippines!

After one year, I managed to impart to the kids some good manners and right conduct like politeness to the elders, saying "thank you and please" and thoughtfulness. I kept telling them that when their parents are asleep or when there are visitors, they shouldn't make a noise and just behave. The elder ones were kinda hard. They won't listen because they think they are always right. So, I focused on the youngest one and I think I totally own her now! She is the nicest, kindest, most thoughtful, although with a little flaw since she is still a citizen in this country, she is the most well-mannered, less-cluttered person in this house besides me.

Kids' arrogance are only implanted in their minds through their parents. It is what they see from them. I paid attention. Sometimes their arrogance is just for a show to make themselves look and feel better when family and friends are around. Slowly, I will try to scratch such behavior in the kids' minds through giving them the love, affection and attention they need most, which are the things they didn't get from their parents.

One year, I never thought I would be able to endure it but wow, I made it! One more year and I will be back in my home country, in my home with my family. I can't wait!!!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Kdrama: Six Flying Dragons

I still haven't gotten over this 50-episode Korean historical drama yet. Six Flying Dragons, this drama left quite a deep mark in both my mind and my heart. It was the most realistic historical drama I have ever seen so far in terms of the portrayal of the real historical characters, particularly Yi Bang Won (Others subbed it Lee Bang Won), which is the main figure.

The effort exerted on the drama by the people working on it sure had paid off for it was truly remarkable, making the drama one of the highest rated, most viewed dramas.

Fifty episodes would likely bore the viewers but this drama left no space of boredom in your brain. Instead, it let your brain work along with the story. Taking an an hour off my sleeping time watching an episode of this drama every night was all worth it! 50 days, it was! 

Now you must have been wondering who the Six Flying Dragons are and why the drama is called as such. It is called Six Flying Dragons because the story evolves around the lives of these six powerful characters and the unity and conflict between them.

The Six Flying Dragons

First Dragon:
(Real Historical Character - Portrayed by Chin Ho-jin)
Yi Seong Gye / King Taejo
First King of Joseon

√ One of the most respected Generals during the Goryeo period. 
√ An undefeated, most-feared general who never lost a battle against Japanese invaders.
√ A bow and arrow master.
√ Yi Bang Won's father and his first strongest man.
√ The commoners' hero.
√ Sambong's one and only choice to rule the country he was to create - Joseon. 
√ The founder and the First King of Joseon Dynasty.

Second Dragon
(Real Historical Character - Portrayed by Kim Myung-min)
Jeong Do Jeon 
Pen Name: Sambong
Head of revolution against Goryeo
Creator of Joseon 

√ One of the most unforgettable person in Korean history.
√ Sungkyunkwan's most respected teacher.
√ Known for his penname:  Sambong.
√ The head of revolution against Goryeo.
√ The creator of Joseon country.
√ The advisor/schemer of Joseon's first king.
√ The brain behind the Parliamentary form of Government.
√ Yi Bang Won's strongest man.

Third Dragon
(Real Historical Character - Portrayed by Yoo Ah-in)
Yi Bang Won/ King Taejong
3rd King of Joseon

√ Yi Seong Gye's 5th son. As a kid, he looked upon his father and thought of him as the strongest man. 
√ An energetic Sungkyunkwan scholar, a very smart student to his mentor, Teacher Sambong.
√ He was the big help in establishing the Joseon dynasty through his excellent judgement and reckless acts.
√ Reckless, impatient, childlike and one who couldn't stand the sight of injustice and inequality were his colorful sides as a youth.
√ Fell in-loved with a commoner Bon Yi but married another noble to support his father's political status.
√ Rose to power and ascended the throne as the Third King of Joseon.
√An idealist who wanted nothing but absolute power for the royals.
√ Known as the most ruthless king in the Korean history who slaughtered everyone that opposed him in achieving absolute power.
√ Sambong's final enemy and his killer.
√ The main cast in this drama

Fourth Dragon
(Fictional Character - Portrayed by Byun Yo-han)
Ddang-sae / Yi Bang Ji
The Viper/The Best Swordman of The 3 Kingdoms (referred to as the entire Korean Peninsula)

√ A weak, scardy boy who lived a tragic childhood: lost a father, deserted by their mother and watched his childhood love dishonored before his very eyes. 
√ Motivated by revenge and desire to protect the people he loved, he decided to learn how to be strong from a Chinese Martial arts guru.
√ Disguised as the leader of Goryeo's carnimal team.
√ Became the deadliest assassin known as The Viper, but also the most reliable protector.
√ Defeated Goryeo's best Swordman and earned the title for himself.
√ He is like the wind; he belongs nowhere and to no one.
√ Most feared warrior who believed that the real power lies at the tip of his sword.
√ Given a new name Yi Bang Ji by General Yi Seong Gyi in thought of him as his new son.
√  Sambong's bodyguard.
√ Bon Yi's brother.

Fifth Dragon
(Fictional Characters - Portrayed by Shin Se-kyung)
Yi Bang Won's Lover
Represents the People/Commoner 

√ Ddang-sae's sister. Like her brother, she shared the same tragic childhood. She grew up bearing the guilt for losing her brother, as she thought of him dead. √ Grew up among the commoners and lived through cultivating lands.
√ Leader of a commoner's group that helped Sambong's cause, which is to create a new nation.
√ Strong-willed, dignified and brave despite her low social status.
√ Yi Bang Won's Lover.

Sixth Dragon 
(Fictional Character - Portrayed by Yoon Kyun-sang)
The best Swordman of Joseon
√ Dork, it was my first impression of Moo-hyul. Born a warrior, he was big and strong for his age. His strength was unknockable despite his innocence and ignorance.
√ The eldest of the 9 children brought up by his widowed grandmother in a remote area of Goryeo. 
√ A complete illiterate who dreamed to be the best swordman of the Three Kingdoms in order to secure and support his poor family.
√ Learned martial arts under Hong Dae Hong who was a former famous martial arts expert, whom later he easily surpassed.
√ Left home to search and defeat the mysterious warrior, The Viper, to earn a name for himself.
√ Got into an accident meeting with Yi Bang Won (The future prince and King of Joseon), which was his ticket to become a warrior of the great general Yi Seong Gye and Yi Bang Won's body guard.
√ Achieved a lot of great works in Joseon together with Yi Bang Won.
√ Became Joseon's Top Swordman and Sejong's (King Yi Bang Won's son) bodyguard.

I loved all these six characters. They are powerful in their own way. They are governed by their own beliefs, empowered by their own goals, stuck to their own rules and strengthened by their own weaknesses. They were united by the idea of building a new nation with the people and for the people but clashed on the idea of leaving all the political power to the ministers, which was too modern during their time and keeping the royals powerless and merely a display. 

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