Not like it used to be.

Hi! I’m Agent P, and I’ve just been addicted to online TV.

Yes, I am slow. :lol:

It started when my local cable provider sucked big time. Coincidentally, Globe offered to upgrade by net connection at home and threw in this lovely contraption called an Android box which allowed my not-too-smart TV to connect to the internet via WiFi and let me install these lovely streaming apps and watch it on the big screen. Since then, I dropped my cable subscription and signed up for everything that’s available in my country: Netflix, iFlix, HOOQ, Fox+, with YouTube and Viki thrown in for good measure. Thanks to these apps, I was able to update myself with the latest on K-entertainment. I haven’t really plunged myself back to the world of K-dramas, though; too much commitment for that. :P But I have been watching a lot of Korean variety shows and music clips, so I’ve been a little bit abreast with the latest trends.

Nowadays, I’ve been literally hooked on HOOQ. True confession: the only reason why I signed up on HOOQ is because they have Alden’s drama series, Victor Magtanggol, on their line-up. :hihihi: However, I discovered that HOOQ has a vast collection of classic Filipino movies and TV shows as well as a good number of indie films. It’s the classic movies that had me deciding to continue my subscription after the free trial period expires. Finally, I can watch those movies any time I want instead of waiting for it to be aired on Cinema One or PBO. I have practically the entire roster of Regal Films movies from the 80’s on my playlist. :hihihi:

Which brings me to this anecdote. (Damn, I sound so random. :grin: Then again randomness has always been my blogging style, so whatever.) One of the first old Pinoy movies which I watched on HOOQ is Ten Little Indians, released in 1982 and starring William Martinez; Herbert Bautista (now Mayor of Quezon City) and his two siblings Hero and Harlene; and the WEA Twins. (How classic is that? :lol: )

I just remembered seeing it at a movie house when I was a little kid and remember crying buckets over it, so I checked it out.

I got the shock of my life.

The movie started out just like a typical Regal movie in the 80’s (although this one was actually released by Good Harvest Films, a subsidiary of Regal). William’s character was a mentally-challenged guy who has fantasies of being a cowboy who hates Indians (as in Native American Indians). At one point, while in his cowboy fantasies, he kidnapped a bunch of children and their teacher, because they wore costumes as the ten little Indians for a school program. That alone is reeking of political incorrectness.

And then it gets uglier.

While in the mountains, cowboy and Indians eventually developed affinity with one another until they chanced upon a group of gangsters. The gangsters beat up the cowboy; raped the teacher in front of the kids (!); verbally abused the female children through sexual innuendos; attempted to rape one of the girls because the gangster wasn’t satisfied with the teacher (!!!!!) (there’s even a cringe-worthy scene where they were asking the girls’ ages and found the 8-year-old ‘too young’ while the 10-year-old ‘pwede na‘ Oh God that was disturbing); shot and killed one of the boys point-blank, in front of the others; and two other boys got killed so that the rest of them can escape.

I was thinking: if this was shown today, it would definitely be slapped with an R-18 rating. That is, assuming it gets shown at all. I’m pretty sure it will generate a lot of disapproving buzz from netizens who always find something to complain about.

And then it hit me: I saw this film when I was a child. At a movie theater. I don’t even remember who I saw it with, but most probably my cousins who were also minors at the time.

I don’t remember finding it offensive at all. Or did I even understand what was going on then?

Times have really changed.

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Speaking of things that have changed…

I saw these from my social media feeds today.

1. Mr Weatherman’s fanmeets now have mandatory group photo ops with the attendees;
2. One Filipina Shinhwa Changjo was recognized by some Shinhwa members at an event in Korea. As in the members know her by face and name;
3. Shin Hye Sung wore a Penshoppe hoodie, given by a Pinoy fan.

I wonder: if I didn’t give up on the Kpop scene, maybe someday I’ll finally get my moment with my Korean idol? In 20 years, maybe? Most of my fellow Clouds got it at the 13-year mark…

This last paragraph is random as hell. :lmao:

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Titas of K-pop.

Yesterday was the first day of ticket selling for the Manila leg of Super Junior’s Super Show 7.

Yesterday – actually, for the past several days – there’s this thing being brought up by the younger generation of K-pop fans. That is, the current K-pop acts are more successful because they are raking in millions of views in record time on YouTube compared to the “old” K-pop artists.

Yesterday, the hashtag #TITASOFKPOP surfaced on Twitter.

And yesterday, I realized that I am a Tita of Kpop. :lol: (Note to non-Pinoys: ‘Tita’= ‘auntie’)

During the height of BTS at the 2018 BBMAs where they *almost* broke the Twitter record set by AlDub and Eat Bulaga, one of my beloved bashers Tweeted that there’s no indication that me, Agent P, is a K-pop fan. :ehh: Therefore, more than a decade of me blogging about Korean entertainment is what… just me being a troll? :think:

Don’t answer that. :lmao:

A brief history for the new readers of this blog: I started becoming a staunch supporter of anything Korean in 2005. June 2005, to be exact. My baptism of fire with K-pop happened in July 2005 when I made an impromptu trip to Hong Kong just to see Rain. In fact, the monicker Agent P was borne out of my being a fan of BiKyo (Rain and Song Hye Kyo of Full House fame). It was given to me by a fellow Soompier (Bambiina, who’s a big BTS fan now), when Soompi was still a haven for fans of Korean entertainment as it was a place where we could freely discuss anything about our biases and we will not be judged for it. I became Agent P because I can spot things about Rain and SHK that most fans do not notice.

I have this whole blog as testament of my being a Kpop/Kdrama fan. However, I’ve kinda lost track of anything Korean in 2015 when I became an active fangirl of Alden Richards. I only get my updates from socmed posts of friends who are still into it, and my teen-aged nieces who are now into it. :hihihi:

Going to that topic of current Kpop acts being more successful than old Kpop acts because of YouTube hits: first of all, you cannot use that as an accurate measure of success because YouTube back in my day (which is 13 years ago) is nothing like the YouTube of today. Back in the day, YouTube – social media, in general – was not considered an influential marketing tool. We only upload videos for entertainment and media sharing, and nothing else.

Back in the day, only a few countries have really fast internet connection. Most of us cannot keep up with the ultra-fast internet connection of South Korea, that the only way we catch our favorite Korean shows and MVs was through downloads. Very, very few outside Korea were able to stream in real time. Streaming wasn’t even considered when talking about TV ratings and record sales back then. It is for this reason why the extremely popular drama You Are Beautiful had low TV ratings. Its target audience was the younger viewers who watch TV via real-time streaming; their viewership was not included when ratings were calculated.

Back in the day, the term HD was non-existent. By HD, I meant High Definition and not ADN’s favorite HD, Hidden Desire. :rolleyes: For us Lumang Tao ng K-pop (Ancient People of K-pop), HQ (High Quality) was the most prized video resolution. HQ meant a video size in 640×480 pixels. :lol: When HD came along, it was 720p. And because high-speed internet was quite rare for the ordinary non-Korean netizen, a person who possesses internet connection that can quickly download a HQ video with a 700mb file size was considered a hero. :clap: Said hero would have to invest in that God-given invention known as a CD/DVD burner because she would be everyone’s source of MVs and K-drama/variety show episodes. I still remember when I had to learn how to edit, hardsub and convert video files to be shared to those who cannot watch videos with soft subs. Oh, and remember when we searched high and low for that perfect media player that can play any video format that’s burned on DVDs?

The younger generation will never understand all these, because they never experienced it. Nowadays, they can just click away and that’s it. Consider yourself lucky, kids.

But for us Titos and Titas of K-pop, those were good times. We’ve had many ‘difficulties’, so to speak, but as a result many real-life friendships blossomed because of it. Don’t count us out; these veterans have battled many wars that most of you might never go through. In fact, some of them are still there battling with you.

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Age is but a number.

As usual, the one person who can quickly push me back into Blogger Mode is this guy.

Rumors came out yesterday that Rain will be releasing a new album by October of this year (wait… did they say it was for this year?), which was quickly debunked by his agency. Netizenbuzz posted the news item about the agency’s denial and its corresponding K-netizen comments, and it turns out, majority of the comments talk about the issue of his age. As in, Rain is too old to still pursue his singing career and compete with idols who are much younger and are presently more popular.

Err…Rain is too old to sing and compete with idols??? :shrug: Since when is age an issue when it comes to singers? Not even gonna talk about non-Korean singers, but what do you call the likes of Psy? Sung Si Kyung? K. Will? Park Hyo Shin? g.o.d.? Shinhwa? JYP? Cho Yong Pil???

These people are older than Rain, right? Yet they can stil manage to top the charts against the young idols of today.

The problem with Rain is not his age. It’s his choice of projects. :shutup:

Rain has already proven his point with Rain Effect. I just don’t know exactly what point it was, but you get the drift. If ever he’s going to come up with a new album, maybe he should consider getting other people to write the songs and do the styling and choreography for him? I mean, he had some help in putting Rainism and Back To The Basic together and it yielded some of his best work in his entire music career. Rain Effect was just so… polarizing. You’d either love it, or hate it (most of the ‘older’ fans hated it). The songs were so forgettable, I don’t even remember what comes after 30 Sexy and La Song. The only thing in that album that was memorable was the “la la la la” in La Song.

As for his acting jobs… how about accepting projects for its merits and not because he’s friends with the PD or the writer for a change? He’s approaching his mid-30s and he’s still doing the same old “knight in shining armor” roles. Heck, his protege Lee Joon is taking much more daring roles than him. Rain was much more daring in taking projects during the height of his World Star days. See: A Love To Kill and I’m A Cyborg But It’s OK. Nowadays, it’s either the romantic lead (Asia), or the typical Asian who kicks ass in hand-to-hand combat (Hollywood).

If Rain still wants to make a mark in the industry, he needs to strike a balance between experimenting on new ideas, but not too much to the point that it’s just trying hard. It will be such a shame to waste the “Rain” brand name by playing too safe and doing projects just for the sake of doing them. The loyal fans deserve much more. And I know that he is still capable of doing so much more. He just needs to pull his act together.

PS: I can’t believe that people still pull the “netizens are just hating because he’s dating what’s-her-face” card. Uhm, haven’t you read the latest netz comments about them? Apparently, that couple is already accepted in Korea (or at least, people have stopped caring to comment). Therefore, that theory is not valid anymore.

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Rain at the MET Gala 2015.

So Rain was at this year’s MET Gala in New York, and we wouldn’t know it if not for (1) fan posts from social media; and (2) the Chinese press.

There was a time when a mere invitation – which his official website announced in advance, by the way – would merit full coverage from Korean media. I mean, we know how obsessed Koreans are whenever their celebrities get invited to events in the USA, much more big events such as the MET Gala. Entertainment agencies would usually milk it for all its worth with extensive media coverage from the invitation, to the airport departure, up to the actual event itself.

Rain gets invited to the of the biggest events in Hollywood, and what did Korean media report about him as soon as he left the country? His father’s interview about his son’s wedding plans. Or lack thereof. And another friend’s account of how this fellow is dating very well until now. :neutral:

Seriously, am I the only one who finds this disturbing and utterly frustrating? What happened to our World Star?

I mean, we already heard the dating and wedding thing many, many times before. I think someone got very, very excited that the first wedding rumor trended in Korea, so they figured, what the heck, let’s do it again! Who cares if Rain has been doing something substantial as far as his career goes, right? :rolleyes:

Yeah yeah. I know that some people don’t care and would take anything as long as it has Rain’s name on it. I know that there are people who gets excited about BiKim news even if it has been rehashed over and over again as if they constantly need validation that yes, they are still dating. (We get it, ok?) But as a longtime fan of Rain, I feel so frustrated. I know he could do better than this. I know he deserves something better than this. Unless all he wants to do now is to just date?

Incidentally, has anyone noticed that wedding ‘news’ crops up in Korea every time Rain is overseas? The first one came out when he was in Macau for the China Music Awards. Now that he’s in New York, his father suddenly conducts an interview to tell the press the same thing that his son, through his agency, already said when he first denied the wedding rumors (well, except for the wanting to get married ASAP thing). Why does this always happen when Rain is not around? :think:

Incidentally 2, I think there is a big confusion as regards this interview. Except for AllKpop, English K-entertainment blogs reported it as Appa Kim who conducted the interview. But if you read the Korean source (and I was told, the Chinese versions, too), it was Appa Jung who said it. I tend to believe that it was Appa Jung because it was more ‘in character’, so to speak. :shutup:

Anyway, I do hope that by tomorrow, Korean media outlets would finally report Rain’s MET Gala appearance, or at least, say something about his selfie with Julianne Moore.

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Oh look. My first official blog for 2015…

…is about Korean entertainment. Some things never change. :glee:

Topic No. 1:

I saw this post at Netizenbuzz this morning and I just have to comment on it because it’s so close to home.

[Instiz] Why fans decide to turn against their bias

“When fans turn against their favorite celebrity, it’s not because they’re dating, or they disrupted society, or they had a long hiatus, or because they got married. It’s when fans realized that while all of the above was going on, they never once thought of or considered their fans in the process.

It’s indeed true that fans will do anything for their favorite artist and that their love is one-sided but interaction of some level is needed. Fans are not asking for each and every one of them to be recognized. Fans are merely asking for a basic sense of respect and gratitude towards the very people that gave them love and helped them get to where they are now.

People always ask fans “aren’t celebrities human too?” and fans have no problem with celebrities living their life how they choose to. It’s just that they need to have a sense of respect to the fans who laid down the foundation and all the pillars for their career without expecting anything in return. Fans aren’t asking for much.”

At first glance, the theme of the statement seems to be geared towards idols losing fans once they get involved in dating scandals as evidenced by the numerous comments from both K- and I-netizens who totally missed the point and lamented at how they have always thought that the love messages from their idols were for the fans but actually it’s for their girlfriends and the corresponding comments berating these lamentations as being “overly dramatic” and “feeling entitled”. But if you analyze it in a broader perspective, it’s really more than just the issue of betrayal of trust.

Having experienced this in the past, and no, I’m not just talking about Rain because – surprise! – I haven’t totally left the fandom yet (hey, I still have hope for this fellow, though admittedly, the hope is diminishing at a very alarming rate every day), I understand what this person meant by fans merely asking for a basic sense of respect and gratitude. It’s not just the constant “we love our fans” lip service from the idols because, let’s face it, at some point it’s really just that: lip service. The only thing that the idol owes the fans is the constant assurance that the next album, drama or movie is worth the fans’ money. A series of half-hearted performances, or a slew of consecutive projects that constantly suck? That’s not just disrespect towards the fans, that’s an insult. Treating us like dirt, or even like criminals, during public appearances while being *nice* to selected potential cash cows? Would you call that gratitude?

Once the fan realizes that she is simply being treated as a living, breathing ATM machine by her idol, that’s the time when she would seriously consider leaving the fandom. The decision hastens when she realizes that there are other artists out there who gives his/her supporters the respect and gratitude that they deserve.

This was the exact reason why I ceased becoming a bandstalker. This would also be the exact reason why I would leave my current fandom. Contrary to what some people think, ie., that the reason why I’m “bashing” him is because of his personal choices. :rolleyes: Excuse me, I’ve been “bashing” him since 2005, which is the year that I became a Cloud. I have this entire blog as my evidence.

At first I thought this is something that every fan would know by default. But seeing that it still has to be explained and the explanation was still met by comments that missed the point entirely, I guess I was wrong.

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Topic No. 2:

One of the current big issues among K-pop circles is about K-pop boy group B1A4 being accused of “sexually harassing” a fan during their fanmeet in Malaysia. Basically, the incident in question is basic skinship between idol and fan, ie., a simple hug and a kiss on the cheek (on the shawl, actually).

An outsider, that is, someone who (1) is not Malaysian; and (2) is not a Moslem, would find it really weird that it has become a big issue. It’s just a simple hug, a friendly kiss. Yet the idol was accused of sexual harassment, and the fan was being called names that she won’t be able to swallow.

My friend Bambiina, a Malaysian and a Moslem and a big fan of Korean entertainment, has put it all in a proper perspective though a post on Facebook regarding the issue. If you’re puzzled about the big hoo-ha regarding the incident, you may want to check out her musings to get a clearer view on the topic.

I do want to raise a few points regarding the issue:

1. Was the management of B1A4 properly informed about the rules in Malaysia? Reports say that B1A4’s agency claims that the fan gave her consent, that’s why the artist did it. However, if the artist is fully aware of the rules, he wouldn’t even dare ask the fan for consent; he would simply not do it even if the event MC coaxed him. If the artist is clever enough, he would find a way to give some cute fan service that’s within the rules. That’s just the right thing to do, especially if you’re a guest at a foreign country.

In Rain’s World Tour, Malaysia was the only stop wherein he did not take off his shirt during his Nan number. That was because they were informed beforehand that it was prohibited in Malaysia. I think, every responsible person who visits a foreign country should be aware of the rules before even stepping onto that country. Was B1A4’s management responsible enough to know that?

2. A few accounts say that the activity or game in itself was pretty bad that the audience already knew at some point that it would come down to this. Therefore, it was the organizer who should be at fault for even including it at the fanmeet. But aren’t the organizers Malaysian? Don’t they know their own rules? :shrug:

3. What I find amusing is that Korean entertainers and their agencies are pretty well-known to be ‘stubborn’ when it comes to their own rules. That is, even if they are outside their own country, it should be their way or the highway. They will not bend down to the requirements of their host country.

Everyone knows that ‘skinship’ is a no-no between Korean stars and their fans. A customary handshake or a light hug (sometimes using floating hands) is more than enough. Kissing, even if it’s just a light beso on the cheek, is a definite NO. Do any of that to your idol during a public appearance and expect to witness a Korean road manager seething with rage.

Therefore, isn’t it amusing that an incident like this had to happen in a country like Malaysia which has rules against public skinship among unmarried couples, and the “culprit” is a Korean star who has its own rules against skinship between idols and fans?

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