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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Nurturing Giftedness For a New Generation

Excellence can be achieved with the right balance of Proper Care, Proper Nutrition, 
and Support from Parents

The world has long been fascinated by prodigies—gifted kids whose accomplishments at such a young age, shed light to a child’s inherent talent, intellect and precocity. 

In the Philippines, perhaps no other personalities represent the concept and reality of what gifted children are than the three who illustrated it via one of the most memorable television commercials of the 90s—Kiko Galura, James Flores, and Shaira Luna.
The Trio, twenty years later.
But what has become of the three gifted kids featured in the brand’s most prolific commercial yet? The budding poet? The promising astronomer? The medical marvel? 

First of all, they’re all grown up now and second, their accomplishments as adults are just as impressive as what they were able to deliver as kids. 

The young poet, Kiko Galura, has an established career as a publisher in one of the country’s biggest publishing houses. From making words come to life in his poems, he now provides an opportunity and a voice to other storytellers.
The Gifted Alumni: Kiko Galura, Shaira Luna, and James Flores.
James Flores, who was known for his proficiency in astronomy stayed within the sciences, albeit in a different field, taking his masters in clinical psychology. From his love of the stars and their radiance, he helps bring out the brilliance in every child through outreach programs in music for children.

And finally, Shaira Luna, who was poised to enter into the medical world, grew up to become one of the most talented photographers of her generation. From her mastery of the human anatomy, she now captures the best in human form with her photography, building a successful career around her passion.
James’ love for learning has also allowed him to explore other fields, including music. He’s a self-taught musician and shares this gift with kids from his local church.
Was there ever any doubt that they wouldn’t grow up to become successful gifted alumni? 

It’s easy to assume things come easily to naturally gifted kids. But it’s important to remember that it’s a factor of different things that will carve out a good future for any child. 

“A gifted child can be expected to learn faster than other children, have more varied interests, have greater depth of feeling and generally be more than other children,” explains Dra. Leticia Peñano-Ho, President of the Philippine Center for Gifted Education

That said, one can only imagine how they have to struggle with expectations and the machinations of educational systems not built to support such young talent, not to mention the pressure it puts on a child’s social development. 

But environmental conditions, honing the dedication to succeed at such an early age, as well as providing good nutrition, are all factors that contribute to their development—and are all typically provided for by their family. 
Mr. Joey Ayala performs during the event.
To celebrate the current success of the gifted alumni, Promil Pre-School brought back together the famous trio, almost 20 years after their commercial first aired on national television. The brand’s heritage on giftedness is further exemplified through their achievements and their journey towards becoming valuable gifts to society.

“Throughout the years, Promil Pre-School has been encouraging parents to keep nurturing the gifts of their children. As we usher in a new year, we encourage others to become advocates of giftedness as well,” says Dian Yu, Product Manager of Promil Pre-School.

Parents always envision the best for their children –From providing expert care, to the highest quality nutrition, to supporting their children’s interests and endeavors. Whilst some parents are deeply involved in their children’s development, the idea remains to be unsupported and uncelebrated by most.
A collaboration of three generations: Hansel Ang, the newest Promil Pre-School gifted child jams with Gifted Alumni, James Flores, and music icon, Joey Ayala.
In 2015, Promil Pre-School is launching their Gifted Movement campaign, which is a movement to supporting and celebrating giftedness in the country. The brand aims to spark interest and gain the commitment of moms and consumers to take an active role in advocating giftedness and nurturing it.

“Promil Pre-School, as a catalyst for the Gifted Movement campaign, puts focus on discovering and bringing out the inherent talent of today’s youth, by way of providing the proper nutrition, and proper care,” says Yu. “Combined with the support of parents to continuously encourage kids to find their passion and make learning enjoyable, there’s no end to what this new generation can accomplish, ” she adds.

And as a testament to this, one only needs to look at how these alumni successfully grew to become the passionate, well-rounded individuals they are today. 
Our host, Ms. Issa Litton, with the Gifted Alumni, Kiko, Shaira, and James.
Mr. Miko Acuna and Wyeth Nutrition’s Country Business Manager Mr. Eugene David with the Gifted Alumni, and present gifted kids Hamzah Marbella (painting), Hansel Ang (piano), EJ Villarin (violin), and Sage Araneta (composer at age 4 and can play the piano, drums, guitar)
Wyeth’s Marketing Director for Premium, Ms. Miko Acuna urges everyone to support and be advocates of giftedness through the Gifted Movement Campaign. On stage with her are the present gifted kids together with their ever supportive parents.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Press Release: A Look Back at the Gifted Alumni: Inspiring a New Generation of Giftedness

If you're a 90's kid, I'm pretty sure you know about the Gifted Children - Kiko Galura, Shaira Luna and James Flores. They were the faces of the iconic ad of Wyeth back in 1995 (yes, that commercial was twenty years ago :D ). These three kids showed their incredible minds and amazing skills at a very young age. I remember when I was young, I always adore them every time I see them on TV.  Do you ever wonder where are they now? Well, I am blessed to be able to see them yesterday - and by the way, never in my entire life have I expected that at all - nor even imagined but yes, I was with them during the Promil's "Look Back at the Gifted Alumni" and they still continue to inspire people and it's just amazing to think how they've became successful individuals. 

Today, these three have turned into amazing and talented professionals who excelled on their own careers and are now inspiring others to just be themselves and empower the gifts they have. 

After being discovered as a gifted child, Kiko went on to guest on a few TV programs and events with his fellow gifted children and did a few gigs as a child. Currently, Kiko works as a publisher in the books division of one of the biggest publishing houses in the country. He publishes books that range from business to lifestyle, food, young adult fiction, etc.
After his appearance as a gifted child, James continued to attend school, quietly learning and absorbing as much information as he could. His natural curiosity for things led him to explore other fields apart from astronomy. Now, James is taking up his MA in Clinical Psychology to broaden his familiarity on the mind of gifted children. He's also a self-taught musician, a master of playing both the keyboard and guitar. 
Shaira was recognized as a gifted child by DepEd at the young age of 2. She showed great interest in Math, Science, Art and language. Today, Shaira remains passionate about the human anatomy in another way - by capturing them through the lenses. 
The event was hosted by the lovely Issa Litton who warmly welcomed everyone. The gifted alumni were recognized and were asked about what are the challenges they've encountered along the way. One of them said that it wasn't an easy road, the people's expectations were one of the challenges they've encountered. On the other side, being considered a "gifted child" has also brought advantages and opportunities to them. 

When asked what words of wisdom they can share to us and to new generation of gifted children, James said: 
"They don't have to keep it in themselves because, if you have a light within you, you cannot keep it, it's gonna shine. So they have to believe it and that they should work hard (referring to the little kids in the audience) and to the parents, if you see that there's a potential, which every kid has, there's a light within them - we have to encourage them to develop and we have to support them to do their thing. Give them opportunities to discover and improve on their talent. But most importantly, besides this encouragement, supporting them, giving them opportunities, the priorities, of course, is that their children should be doing something that makes them happy. When I was a kid, I was happy with all the astronomy stuff. I was having fun doing them. That's how it developed, I was happy with music - there's no substitute for that."

Kiko Said: 
"Recognizing the gift in a kid is the first step, what matters is that, most of the journey towards becoming adults, so that your kids become the best version of themselves, is through nurturing. Because when the kid grows up, sometimes, he wants one thing but it's not really what he wants when he grows up. So the role of the parents is really to guide them, they can do that by exposing them to the fields of creativity. Example take them to different classes - theater, music, film." 

Whereas Shaira said: 
"I don't think that what's important is to become superior than anyone else, be better than anyone else, you need to just do the work in disciplining your children, work ethics, learning how to cope with other people, I think the role is to be comftable adults, no matter how gifted you are. It's Ok to be different."

Joey Ayala rendered a wonderful song and imparted so many things to us as well. One of the things I couldn't forget from what he said was, "nurturing is not spoiling". Sometimes, we thought we were nurturing our kids but it became spoiling as we started providing everything they want which can sometimes cause them not to think outside the box. Imagination and creativity plays a very important role in nurturing our children. 

Three generation of the gifted: Joey Ayala, James Flores and Hansel Ang
Joey Ayala rendering a song and giving his words of encouragement to mothers and kids.

The last part of the program was introducing the new generation of gifted children. They're accompanied by their very supportive parents when they were called. 
Wyeth Promil, for decades has been an advocate to nurturing Filipino gifts and talents. Its mission is to provide scientifically advanced nutritional products to support the health and well-being of infants and children. It's definitely true that "Everything is possible when you nurture the gift".
Someone looks happy while looking at Kiko's books :)

Here's a new TVC of the alumni after 20 years and the highlight of their achievements. 

Our souvenir photo given to us after the program.
It was definitely a wonderful opportunity to be able to attend and see their wonderful talents and how they've improved the gifts through the years. I was reminded that it's not just about being smart but about guiding and helping the kids develop the gifts they already have. Nurturing their gifts and supporting them with what they love to do will surely make them a successful individual someday.

I'm happy I have Dane and Nate with me when we went there. Although during the program, Dane had to leave and stay on a different room since Nate started crying. It was still an amazing experience. Plus, I had a chance to meet and greet 2 of the mommy bloggers from MBP. :)

Souvenir given after the event, a notebook, pen and our photo taken before the event started.
Visit Wyeth at:
Promil's Facebook Page:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Things We Do That Waste our Time

I'd like to share this wonderful message that we had yesterday during our worship. This was delivered to us by our church Pastor, Ptr. Ronald. Last Sunday, he talked about the things we usually do that doesn't benefit us at all and just wast our time. Here are some of the things he discussed during the sermon:

Image Source:

I am no excuse to this. There are so many things that I worry about - what if I loose my job? What if we don't have enough money to buy this and that? What if I fail? What if this risk will not work? What will happen to us? Sometimes, we worry about so many things that don't happen yet. Worrying eats up our time. We worry too much about our jobs, finances, security and even our figure. The things we worry are the things that haven't happened yet. There's a verse in the bible that says, "Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:34). Easier said than done right? But I guess little by little day by day, we will learn how to worry less about our lives and what will happen ahead.

Sometimes, instead of focusing to improve ourselves, we get tempted to compare ourselves with others. I'm no excuse to this one either. Sometimes, I compare myself with others which I know is not good but I still get tempted to do so. It's said that we are wasting our time comparing ourselves with others. We are one unique person and that no one can ever be like us. Instead of comparing ourselves with others, we can instead just work on improving ourselves more.

As little children, we use to play and fight and reconcile right away. The most wonderful thing about little kids is they easily forgive. When we get older, sometimes, it becomes more difficult to forgive. I have to admit I do this one too. Yesterday we were encouraged not to do this because our lives are just short to plant hatred on others. We have to be able to forgive as Christ forgave us.

That sermon was "sapul" to me but that's just how it is. The bible is sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. I'm just glad I was reminded by his word.

"Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
James 4:14 (NIV)

Sunday, January 25, 2015

SB Park - Batasan Hills, QC

Who doesn't love Fridays? If not all, I'm sure most of us loooove Fridays! During Fridays, my energy goes up knowing that it'll just be few hours before day off/weekend. Since I work at night, I am always excited to finish the Friday night's shift. During Fridays, I don't mind if I don't get enough rest because I know I don't have work the following day. So last Friday, since SB Park in Batasan Hills, QC is just a few meters away from where we currently live, I decided to tell Dane to go there and take Nate with us.

Us enjoying our stay in the public park - behind us is Batasan Hills National HS
Nate loves to go outside, I can feel his rush of excitement every time we get near the door. And when we're out, he shouts and laughs. So as expected, that's what he did when we went out. We wanted to at least be able to visit the park once or twice a week.

Nate enjoying some tickle time with his Papa. :D
It's a public park so it is definitely for free. There are swings, slides, seesaws everywhere and there are a lot of kids playing there everyday. If you go to parks, you may also want to take some cash with you because you can't resist the tempting vendors outside selling street foods, burgers, mga kakanin, etc! I know when we regularly take Nate there when he's older, he'll meet new friends and at the same time, it'll limit his screen time (TV/Tab). I am somehow expecting this problem already by now as most kids are really hooked with gadgets nowadays.

Beside the Park is the QCPD Batasan Hills Station 7
It was just a typical Friday afternoon with people resting, students practicing their dance steps and other school related activities and little kids having fun. We sat there for quite some time 'til Dane and I decided to buy food for dinner.

Who doesn't love staying under outside with a perfect weather like this? 

Dane and I had time talking about just anything we can discuss while Nate enjoyed his view. He enjoys seeing little children running and playing. I hope our government will continue to fund these types of projects so more and more children will have a place to play instead of playing beside the streets. It's too dangerous for them to be staying on the busy streets with so many cars passing by. These parks will not only help them have a great time and keep them away from danger but will also help develop the kids' physical, mental, motor and most of all social skills.

We need more of these free parks for so more children will chose to play outside rather than stay indoors with TVs and gadgets. Not that I'm saying TVs and gadgets aren't good at all, these are also important in helping kids learn more but every thing that's used too much isn't good. I hope our leaders will continue to do these projects, it would be great if all baranggays in the Philippines will have these types of parks. It may be impossible to wish for that but it can be possible if our leaders will think of the benefit of our little ones.

This summer why not try something new, check out Skates HQ to see their "kids hockey" gear.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shakira Announces Another Virtual World Baby Shower for Baby #2 for UNICEF

Shakira and her long time partner Gerard Pique, a football player recently announced another virtual baby shower for their 2nd baby for the benefit of UNICEF. Shakira looks so gorgeous and blooming as she shows her baby bump on a photo with Gerard and their firstborn Milan. Shakira said:

"In 2013, we welcomed Milan, our first child into the world. Thanks to your generosity our first world baby shower for UNICEF was an incredible success!  
Now that we're expecting our second child, we want to invite other expectant parents to host their own world baby shower. You don't have to be a celebrity to make a difference - the birth of your child can be a blessing that also saves thousands of children's lives around the world!"
Photo Source:

 Shakira and Gerard met back in 2010 when Pique was featured in the music video of Shakira's song, "Waka Waka" for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Africa. Shakira later in 2011 confirmed their relationship. Gerard is a member of the FC Barcelona football team.

According to worldbabyshower, in 2013 (Milan's virtual baby shower), people who participated were able to help deliver:
-3.8 tons of therapeutic food that saved children from severe malnutrition
-around 80,000 polio vaccines
-200,000 oral rehydration salt sachets
-Over 1, 000 insecticide-treated mosquito nets that protectred children from contracting malaria, and...
-Over 150 portable scales to weigh babies and toddlers that helped with the early detection of malnutrition and illness.

Anyone who wants to participate can either invite their friends via email or social media. If you're interested in buying a gift, there are many items to choose from. Prices range from $4.00 - $1, 956.00. Complete list of Shakira and Gerard's gift registry is listed below:
BLANKETS - $14.00
FIRST AID KIT - $140.00
MIDWIFERY KIT - $1,956.00
Shakira's Story Book - $7.00
Gerard's Football - $7.00
Some of the items in their gift registry that people can choose from
This is a very brilliant project in helping the needy and I'm happy to learn that Shakira and Pique decided to do this again. I'm not a die-hard fan of these two but I know Pique because my husband was once a football player and he knows many international football players. I got intrigued as to how the virtual baby shower worked so I tried visiting the website. Had I known this before Nate was born, I could've probably done virtual baby shower - anyways, we chose not to have a baby shower for Nate anymore to save on expenses and just prepared for our hospital bills instead.

I tried browsing through their website and you will have an option to give gifts by choosing in the gift registry the item you'd like to buy or you can also host shower.

Photo Source:
If you are pregnant or know someone who's pregnant, you can also organize your own World Baby Shower by going to  Anyone interested in having a virtual baby shower will have to create an account and fill out all the information needed in order to set up your own shower page and UNICEF support team will notify you when it is ready.

Photo Source: (creating an account to host a virtual shower)
Once ready, the host will be notified via email so she can then start inviting her friends to buy Inspired gifts. If you are planning ahead but isn't ready to create an account just yet, you can also just add your email address and the date you anticipate hosting the shower, or your due date and UNICEF support team will remind you in the future so you can set up your page.

I hope that God will bless their hearts and those that gave and will give gifts to the needy children. This is a wonderful initiative to help little kids and every little help will surely count.

ETonline, WorldBabyShower.Org, PerezHilton, People, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Benefits of Baby Massage

A few months ago, Dane and I have noticed how Nate loves to be massaged. Sometimes, when I think he's still very sleepy but couldn't sleep and would just keep rolling around, I'd let him rest his head on my check and I'd gently massage his back and the palm of his hands. I can feel him start to calm down and sometimes, even automatically close his eyes! It's wonderful! :)

So I made a little more research about it and I learned that infant massage can benefit the baby in so many ways! Just like adults, babies love to be massaged. Here are some of the things I learn which made me want to continue giving gentle massage on Nate.

1. Infant massage helps give babies assurance. As mothers, we know that some babies cry when we put them down but when we hold them back again, they're back smiling in just a second! If babies love to be touched, how much more a body massage? They'll definitely love it! It gives them security that we're not leaving them.

Photo source:

2. Infant massage helps calm babies. When your baby is fussy, he/she may just need some massage. Massage can soothe and help babies sleep better, no wonder why Nate closes his eyes when I massaged his back.

3. Infant massage helps prevent colic and gas. As we know, babies digestive system is not fully developed so these gentle massage can probably do the trick if you think that your baby's having some tummy gas.

Infant massage may just last for 5-15 minutes. Moms are advised to use baby oils or moisturizers while doing so. There are many advise online on how to properly massage a baby - I've already done some of them but some I haven't tried yet. We can do gentle soothing strokes on our baby's back, chest, tummy, hands, knees, even their cute little toes and fingers. I usually massage Nate when feeding him and sometimes after his bath. Old wives tale say to massage baby's knees after every bath to help them walk right away. I'm not sure if that's true but I am doing it because Nate loves it.

What's your experience in giving your little one a gentle massage?


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Well Spent: The Papal Mass and our Sunday school Lesson

This Sunday is one of the most historical Sundays in the Philippine history as the Roman Catholic church celebrates and worships with Pope Francis at Quirino Grandstand in Manila. There are approximately 6-million devoted catholic members who attended and filled the entire place with people hoping to see the Pope face to face and attend the mass. Of course, the Philippine President Noynoy Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay were there to fellowship with the Pope. I’ve previously said that we’re not Roman Catholic by religion but what I like about this event is the devotion I can see from the Filipinos’ heart. Some people who were interviewed, even little kids, said that they were there since 4 o’clock in the morning. And many were not bothered by the rain and bad weather we had the entire day. We have our full respect to the Roman Catholic members.

Photo source: Rappler

Secondly, there’s something I really like about Pope Francis. To me he’s a man with a with a great heart, I can see how he’s very passionate to his people. I appreciate how the original plan in the map for the Pope mobile to pass before the service wasn’t followed because he chose the way where more people can see him closely – and not only that, he also did it twice, before and after the mass. He would also stop to kiss little children – that made me respect him even more. This 78-year old pope, in his old age, didn’t mind how tiresome it is. His entire day since he arrived was fully-booked and he wanted to make sure he meets and greets every people he possibly can. No wonder why he was named “the People’s Pope” I hope that many Roman Catholic members were encouraged to serve God and have their faith ignited even more because of this event. My prayer is that God – most of all was glorified in this entire Papal visit. 
Photo source: CBC News

On the other hand, we worshiped God in our local church this morning and I also learned a lot through our Sunday school lead by our church Pastor. Today, he talked about the “Three Spiritual Habits” and encouraged us to “take time and the trouble to keep yourself spiritually fit” (1 Timothy 4:7). These spiritual habits are 1. Spending Time with God, 2. Tithing and Giving, and 3. Fellowship or Togetherness. We were encouraged to do our best to be spiritually fit by working on our daily time and devotion with God and (continuing) to give back God’s part on our income. This is an unfinished Sunday school because this is meant to be a series Sunday school lesson. Earlier we were encouraged to do a daily schedule of our personal devotion with God. Daily devotion will make the believers become “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which brings forth its fruit in its season and its leaf also shall not wither. Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). I have to admit that I recently haven’t had any personal devotion schedule anymore and I hope I can work on doing it again as soon as I can. 

Champorado for the very cold weather :)

Lastly, Dane and I originally planned to visit Quezon City Memorial Center today for a walk but because of the bad weather, we decided to stay home. It’s just very cold to want to stay outside! I’m even wearing a jacket right now. Brrrrr! Good thing we have ‘malagkit’ and tableya (Tablea is manufactured in rolls which are cut crosswise to make thick coin-like shapes. The pieces are used to make hot chocolate drinks and the Filipino rice porridge champorado) to cook champorado to calm our cold tummies! We spent the afternoon watching the Papal mass and the PBA Finals – Alaska Aces vs. San Miguel Beermen. Looks like PBA Finals is going on Game 7 as Alaska Aces win today – the balloons and the cans of beer are not opening tonight yet as what Mico Halili, one of the announcers said.

I hope you all had an amazing Sunday!

Reflections for Today

As I write this, Dane and Nate are already fast asleep. I just finished doing something to earn some extra income and I hope I get a positive response on that. Today marks our 6th year and 3 months together. There was nothing really special that we did today aside from greeting and reminder each other of our love :). Earlier today after my shift, I was able to spend time with Nate alone since Dane has scheduled basketball with our church mates every Saturday morning. After a few hours of bonding, Nate and I took our rest and woke up in the afternoon to prepare to go to church for Dane's practice for tomorrow's worship service.

This is just an ordinary day and an ordinary off but I am thankful that I get to spend time with my boys today. I don't know what the future holds for us, only God knows what He has in store. There's only one thing I ask: wisdom to use everyday.

Everyday, we are faced with so many options. Right when your alarm rings, your options starts as if you'd dismiss or snooze? Do you open your eyes or take a few more minutes of nap? Should you take a bath or not? Should you eat breakfast or just drink coffee? In every minute of our lives, we are faced with options and I need God's wisdom to choose the right option which will give me the right outcome.

Now, I have two options, to either elaborate this post or sleep to be ready for tomorrow's worship - and I will choose the latter. Good night everyone! :)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Nate’s Teeth are out!

At last, after waiting for a few months, Nate’s teeth are finally out! We’ve been waiting for quite a really long time for this and at last, my guess that it will come out this month was realized. Lol. I cannot describe how long we thought was it before they came out. Let me tell you something, when he was still about 4 months old we’ve already noticed that his lower gum looked somewhat sore (or maybe we were just being OA, lol) we thought he’d have his teeth early. Last year when we were in his pedia, that was October I believe, she also thought that his teeth were coming out in November. Now come December 2014 and they’re still hiding peacefully inside his gums! Lol! His teething signs were showing in as early as 3 months so we thought he’d have his first teeth earlier but I know babies have their own developmental timeline so I didn’t worry because I know they’ll come out in their own special time and they definitely did! 

This is the nearest and clearest caption I could get. He won't let me see them :)

Just a few days ago, I could see his teeth becoming more and more obvious everyday and finally, I could feel them! Haaa! So that’s how it feels – it’s like a sharp saw. Now I’m facing another challenge in breastfeeding as he starts using his teeth to bite me. I just hope I can bear the pain and that I can teach him properly or at least do something about it so he won’t keep on biting.

Are you breastfeeding? What do you do to prevent your baby from biting every time you nurse him/her?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Our Addiction to Empress Ki has Finally Ended

I am not into Korean TV Series at all. The last K-TV series I watched was I think “Full House” by Rain and Song Hye Kyo, that was more than a decade ago. Lol! The last TV-series that I watched was TWD (The Walking Dead) Season 1, after watching that, I didn’t bother watching the next seasons. I’m more into watching short movies because I always think that TV-series are just too long and is eating up your time. Believe me I’m not a K-novela fan, I don’t even know the real names of these actors and actresses and I can only name 2 Korean stars (Song Hye Kyo and Rain). However, there’s something about Empress Ki and made us want to watch for more. We just couldn’t get over it! So we got addicted and finally finished the entire 51-episodes. Each episode was about an hour long so you can see how many time we’ve wasted but I loved all of it – although we haven’t started the first episode. I think we began at Ep 7. There’s just something about it that I like the most. At the end of the series, we found out that it was a true story/account of Empress Ki of China so that must be why. I’m sorry to spoil you if you’re watching it but here’s a short overview of the series:

Source: Google Images
Empress Ki (Hangul: 기황후; RR: Ki Hwang-hu) is a South Korean historical television series starring Ha Ji-won as the titular Empress Gi/Ki. It aired on MBC from October 28, 2013 to April 29, 2014 on Mondays and Tuesdays at 21:55 for 51 episodes. The series revolves around Ki Seung-Nyang, a Goryeo-born woman who ascends to power despite the restrictions of the era's class system, and later marries Emperor Huizong to become an empress of the Yuan Dynasty, instead of her first love Wang Yoo. The series depicts her loves and political ambitions as she is torn between the two nations. (Source: Wikipedia

Main characters
Ha Ji-won - Ki Seung-nyang, later Empress Gi
Ji Chang-wook - Toghon (Ta Hwan), later Emperor Huizong
Joo Jin-mo - Wang Yoo (character based on King Chunghye of Goryeo)

Ki Seung-Nyang is a woman from Goryeo (Koryo) who pretended to be a man and became one of the trusted warriors to the Koryo King Wang Yoo but later met Huizong who wasn’t an emperor at that time whose life was threatened by the traitors to his throne. Huizong later had to lie to protect his throne and put the blame back to the entire Koryo nation which resulted to the Koryo King Wang Yu to be dethroned and Ki Seung-Nyang to become a servant to the Yuan Palace after her secret was revealed. 

Seung Nyang dressed as a man and Toghon (later the emperor of Yuan). Source: Google Images
Emperor Huizong later noticed Seung Nyang and demanded for her to be his imperial servant. Time passed and Wang Yoo arrived from the palace after saving the Yuan soldiers from the rebels and got the favor of the Yuan regent El-Temur. Wang Yoo later got Seung Nyang from Emperor Huizong and lived with her but had to go back to Koryo and leave Seung Nyang behind. Seung Nyang’s life was in trouble with Wang Yoo not around that she had to hide to save her life. She later found out she was pregnant with Wang Yoo but unfortunately lost her child after it fell from the cliff.

Wang Yoo thought that Seung Nyang was dead and he grieved for the loss of his love. He later decided to marry El Temur’s niece to get his throne back. When Seung Nyang learned about it, she decided to become one of the emperor’s consorts to avenge her baby and her family as well as her friends who were killed to help her escape. She later became the chief of consorts and later turned into an empress of Yuan after a long battle of strategies with the imperial people. I felt like I was watching a game of chess. You always need to have a good move in order to win. 

Empress Ki and Emperor Huizong in the Yuan Palace. Source: Google Images
Seung Nyang and Wang Yoo later found out that their baby was alive and became the son of the late Empress Tanashiri after she faked his birth. She got the baby from a nun that found him alive in the river. This truth could kill Seung Nyang being the Empress of Yuan and so Emperor Huizong killed Wang Yoo who freely offered his life to save Seung Nyang.

The story ended with the Yuan Dynasty falling in the hands of the rebels and Emperor Huizong dead. Seung Nyang needed go to the North to live with her son Ayu. Ayu after a few years regained the throne and was later crowned the new emperor of Yuan. The series is also broadcasted in Peru, Singapore, Japon, Taiwan and Romania.

There are so many things I realized in this series:

1. THE LOVE OF MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL. I should add “love of money and power” as the root of all evil here. This is biblical, people can kill people. The lives of some people seemed useless because of the greed for power and money. I’ve seen so many killings (which made this series not appropriate for very young audiences). It can cause betrayal and rebellion against authority. 

2. TRUE LOVE GIVES UP EVERYTHING. I can’t imagine how Wang Yoo freely gave up his life to save Nyang. When you love someone so much, you’ll just be very willing to do everything for him or her. 

3. THE LOVE OF A MOTHER. The love of a mother is just so great I can’t even imagine it. I cried so much in this movie especially during the time when Nyang and Wang Yoo’s son died. Dane was laughing at me because I was so drawn away by it. Lol!

Some of Empress Ki casts. Behind the scenes photos. Source: Google Images

4. WHAT YOU PLANT IS WHAT YOU REAP. This is an old golden rule: Plant kindness and you will reap for it. Plant evil and you will eventually reap a harvest of pure evil. The wicked people in this soap died and met their own death one by one. 

5. LIFE IS A GAME OF CHESS – PLAY IT WELL. There was one point while we were watching when I told Dane, “If I were in that movie, I won’t reach that far! I would probably be dead as early as Episode 1!”. They’re just so smart and clever I don’t think I can be that smart at all but what I realize is “Diskarte sa buhay” is always needed to succeed. 

Left to right: Kolta (emperor's assistant), Empress Dowager, Empress Tanashiri, Lady Yohn (empress's assistant), and Tal-Tal, the General's right hand and nephew. Source: Google Images
I still think of it from time to time. Although that was really a lot of time wasted, I’m happy with all the things I was reminded of and the bonding time that we had while watching. Dane and I both love it. I’d like to see more bloopers and behind the scene photos or videos because I just felt so sad that they all died in the end except for Nyang and her son Ayu!

I need more of these behind the scenes photos! lol. Source: Google Images

Have you watched any movie or TV series lately? How did it go?

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