Saturday, August 11, 2018

Walking into the Netflix Universe at AsiaPOP Comicon 2018

If there's anything I look forward to every year, it's AsiaPOP Comicon. Not only do I get to meet my idols (read my interview with 'Castlevania' creator Adi Shankar here) and meet my crushes (read about on my surreal moments with Mike Colter aka Luke Cage himself here); but I also get to cosplay and geek out to my heart's content without any judgment... or with minimal judgment at the very least. :p

The best place to geek out during APCC, though, tends to be at the Netflix area, where you not only transport yourself into the wonderful worlds found inside Netflix, but you also get to pretend like you're a part of those worlds (if you wish to pretend, anyway).

This year, Netflix really amped up the experience with some cool stuff.

Upon entering, it felt like entering the real Chinatown.

The walls were on point!

You could punch the walls like Iron Fist!

A post shared by Angeline Rodriguez (@lilmisswonderwoman) on

There was a cool 180 video where you could pretend to be part of The Defenders.

You could get a tattoo of your choice (I got a dragon - Iron Fist represent!)

You could spray paint the walls.

You could visit Pop's in Riverdale.

And have a milkshake there.

Watch Josie and the Pussycats perform.

And get your class photo taken, whether you're a Vixen, a jock, or a Serpent.

The Black Hood was actually walking around, too, but I didn't get to catch him.

You could get your face painted as per your favorite Aggretsuko character.

You could visit Disenchantment's Potion Shop.

You could also visit the Hawkins arcade.

And even play games inside.

You could draw and help create Will's map to the Upside Down.

You could even open the door and witness the Upside Down, as seen at the end of my quick video of the Netflix Universe at AsiaPOP Comicon 2018 here:

Suffice to say AsiaPOP Comicon was one for the books - with special thanks to Netflix for making it all the more memorable! :)

Friday, August 10, 2018

Netflix Proves that Anime is No Longer Just for Children

Anime has come such a long way since I first fell in love with it in grade school. I grew up in Germany and there was absolutely nothing cool about anime or video games; and as such, anything I did that was remotely related to them was kept in the confines of my bedroom. I'd watch Sailor Moon religiously, play Nintendo until the middle of the night, and obsess over Final Fantasy all on my lonesome.

As such, it isn't really surprising that Adi Shankar, creator of Netflix's anime series 'Castlevania', found the whole project daunting. At the exclusive Netflix panel at AsiaPOP Comicon earlier this month, Adi pointed out that animation in the US at the time was seen as something that was basically either for children or purely for comedy. "And then we had to go and literally create a production process in the production pipeline that simply didn't exist. So it was building it from the ground up. And now that the process has been built, we're gonna have more episodes." He told us this as he held up the Power Glove that he was wearing. "We speak the same language," he said proudly.

"As an artist, your dream is simply to have some semblance of an impact on the culture, especially if it's the culture that impacted you. I'm processing the world, I'm filtering the world through nerd culture. And to have the opportunity, to have the privilege of now being able to not only play a role, but have an impact on nerd culture, it's a dream come true. It feels like I'm becoming Goku, but I've been dropped into Super Smash Bros and it's not a fair fight for anybody else."

The interesting thing about the way that 'Castlevania' is made is that the show was made by fans for fans. Adi assures us that there was no agenda here other than a bunch of people who loved 'Castlevania' getting in a room together and deciding they wanna make a 'Castlevania' show. "Season 2 is a continuation of the story of Season 1, so we're really bringing this narrative into a full circle," says Adi.

Adi grew up between Hong Kong and Singapore and he shares that it has always bothered him as a fellow nerd for trailers and news stories to drop everywhere but in this part of the world. "It would always happen in the US. Alien invasions always happen in New York. Why?" he complained. "I'm cool with Thanos coming and taking over the world, but come on. Just come here."

And as if to give a huge middle finger to the world for constantly doing that, Adi dropped the trailer of 'Castlevania' Season 2 here in the Philippines before anywhere else. If you haven't seen it yet, watch it here:

What else should you look forward to in the second season? According to Adi, "Look out for new characters. There's a lot of them. Look out for a lot of bloodshed. And we wanted to make you cry, tears of sadness. So look out for tears. Get a Kleenex box. And you're watching the last few episodes, get out the Kleenex box. Keep it handy. It's okay to cry." We're definitely ready for this!!!

Adi definitely feels the same way that I do. He shares, "This was the stuff that I got made fun of as a kid for. I couldn't walk around in a Power Glove when I was 16. I couldn't talk about anime and video games and stuff. That wasn't cool. All of a sudden, we live in a world where this is part of the collective culture. It's part of the collective consciousness. And we're talking about a global mythology here, a shared understanding."

And my God, have I never been happier to be able to experience this in my lifetime. As a child, never would I have imagined that I would be here in my 30s being able to geek it out the way that I do. In fact, when I started this blog almost a decade ago, nobody cared about my geeky side and everyone just chuckled about it. Now, I get to go full geek and people actually celebrate with me. What a time to be alive!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

5 Interactive Toys that Both Little Girls and Big Girls Will Love

Being a single mom with an only child isn't easy - especially with a kid who is nothing like the way that I was when I was a kid.

See, when I was a kid, my parents could give me any basic toy in the world and I could easily amuse myself for hours on end. Even though I had five siblings, I preferred playing with my toys on my own. Even as a kid, I was a bit of a loner like that.

Syrena, however... she's different. She prefers playing with people, and that means having to look for toys that the both of us can enjoy. Fortunately, there are a lot of choices in that department nowadays - and the best part is that you don't even have to leave the house to look for them anymore. Here are 5 of our favorite toys at the moment.

Happy Places

Ah, Happy Places. The toy is definitely aptly named as it makes Syrena very, very happy. Syrena loves the house sets that you can connect to make a bigger house, and I love playing the Polly Pocket-ish feel of the toys.

Chubby Puppies

Chubby Puppies are too cute not to love. These babies are ADORABLE. And even though we have an actual live puppy in the family; sometimes, it's nice to play with these tiny toy versions. In fact, Syrena loves showing them to Bucky, our doggy, and having Bucky be a part of playtime, too.

Cutie Cars

I tried to get Syrena into Hot Wheels - I really did. After all, Hot Wheels was a part of my childhood, and racing cars was one of my favorite pastimes. Unfortunately, she didn't get that boyish gene, so I had to look for a girlier alternative. That's when I came across Cutie Cars. Don't let their cute looks fool you. They may look cute; but they're actually die-cast, so they're pretty heavy and therefore fun to race around. Bonus points for being able to have Shopkins ride inside them and for having cute sets like the Drive-Through Set for the cars to park in and drive around.

Barbie Made to Move

Obviously, Barbie had to be on this list. I had a massive collection of Barbies as a child and simply had to get Syrena into them, as well. Naturally, I took things up a notch by getting her the Made to Move version. That way, when I do yoga at home, Syrena doesn't bother me as much as I get her to try and get her Barbie to replicate my yoga poses. I got her Barbie a bike, too!

DC Superhero Girls

Given the name of my blog, it shouldn't come as as a surprise that I got Syrena into the world of DC. The great part about this is that I didn't even have to try. Since the DC Superhero Girls are on TV, she already built a fandom of her own. While she loves Harley Quinn, though, I'm sticking to my Wonder Woman - and yes, I am not ashamed to admit that I got myself a few of these dolls, which Syrena cannot play with. (There are various versions for each one.)

So, I mentioned earlier that all of these toys are available online. Well, they are! All of the brands above (and many, many more) are available direct from the distributor's online store, so you no longer have to go out and scour the shelves in hopes to find the particular Barbie or Cutie Cars set that you want.

Just visit Kids Company online (don't worry - it's super easy to navigate), choose the toys that you want, and you can pay for them through various secure payment methods- including PayPal! They even have cash on delivery nationwide and 0% installment on selected credit cards. Plus, if you buy more than 1,000 pesos worth (in Metro Manila... it's 2,000 pesos in provincial areas), you get free shipping!

It's so convenient and they're so easy to talk to. If you're looking for a specific product, for example, you can just message them on Facebook and they'll get back to you right away to answer your queries and help you find what you're looking for. I was able to get my hands on a Unicorn Fingerling, a toy I was having such a hard time finding in toy stores here in the South, just by asking them about it. LOVE THEM!

You can also check them out on Instagram, by the way: @KidsCompanyPH #KidsCompanyPH

Monday, July 30, 2018

I Met Mike Colter aka Luke Cage This Weekend, and I Was Legit Starstruck!

It takes a lot for me to get legit starstruck. I'm actually usually pretty good around celebrities. This has been proven time and time again when friends in Bangkok would hire me to 'keep international celebrities company' merely because I treated them like normal people. Not once would you see me asking for a photo or getting tongue-tied around them. Not once. I was more about making memories and anecdotes with them than trying to get proof that I met and spent time with them.

Me treating them like normal people kinda changes when I have a crush on them, though. This has also been proven time and time again when I very, very awkwardly met Jeron Teng. And again when I very, very awkwardly met Nikko Ramos. Sadly, it happened again when I very, very awkwardly met Mike Colter aka Luke Cage at the Netflix press junket at AsiaPOP Comicon this weekend.

The funny thing is that a week ago, I didn't even care about Mike Colter. Like, at all. I never even bothered to watch 'Luke Cage', truth be told. But then I decided to start watching 'Jessica Jones' AND MY GOODNESS. THAT MAN. IS HOT. Within the couple of days right before APCC, I became obsessed with everything about Mike Colter. And then voila: I was going to meet him.

Before he entered the room, I was playing it cool and telling the other media people that I got their backs... that I'd be the one to ask him if we can take photos with him. Suffice to say: that did not happen.

Fast forward to the moment he was about to enter our room, and I found my palms sweating and my throat constricting and I very briefly squealed "OMG, OMG HE'S HERE" before I completely and utterly lost my voice. I'm not even joking. It was a roundtable interview and every time it was my turn to ask a freaking question, I did that cutting-my-throat signal thing to signal that I couldn't speak... which I now realize actually means death. But I literally couldn't bring myself to speak. It's like a frog was literally living and chillin' in my throat.

It was actually so bad and so obvious, Mustafa Shakir (who plays Bushmaster in 'Luke Cage' and was also part of the interview along with Cheo Hodari Coker)) actually looked dead straight at me and asked, "Why aren't you asking your questions?"

Why??? I'll tell you why: it's coz Mike Colter walked up into the room, smelling exactly the way you would imagine he would smell like (like a very, very manly form of heaven), sat down a chair away from me, where I basically just stared at his massive hands and luscious skin  until he, get this: ORDERED SOME COFFEE. LUKE CAGE ORDERED AND DRANK COFFEE IN FRONT OF US. MY LADY BITS COULD NOT CONTAIN THEMSELVES. I COULD NOT CONTAIN MYSELF. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAD TO ASK QUESTIONS? Who could ask questions in that state?!??

Hahaha. Kidding. Half-kidding, anyway. When I really, really have a crush on someone, I just basically turn into a useless pile of mush. In the end, though, I was still able to get a selfie:

And I even got a couple of posters signed.

And I got to see him up close several times more after that.

I actually mustered a very, very loud and very, very awkward "Hi" during one of those encounters... but that aside, I'd say things went pretty horribly and if I were in the 'Luke Cage' series, there is no way we would ever successfully grab some coffee together.

I LOVE YOU, MIKE COLTER. I'll just try to rest easy by telling myself that a version of me in a parallel universe somewhere isn't such a loser.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Castlevania is the Anime I Have Been Looking for All This Time

If you've been following my blog or my social media accounts, you should know by now that I have recently revived my love for anime. My most recent anime obsession was Boku No Hero Academia (read my review on season 1 here); but every time I met up with my friends, I'd always complain about the lack of death and gore in that show.

And while they've tried to explain why no one dies in BNHA, it never made any sense to me. I love my blood. I love my gore. And I love my deaths. They make me feel things. As such, you probably get why I completely and utterly fell in love with Castlevania when I started watching it.

There's a lot to be said about Castlevania. Even before the anime came out, Castlevania has been a part of my life. I remember playing the video game as a child on my Gameboy Advance around the same time that I fell in love with Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles.

Well, Castlevania as an anime seems to have elements in it that feel like they could've been taken from Anne Rice's books while adding in the action and violence of the video games of its name at the same time.

Doesn't Alucard remind you of Lestat?

As for the plot of the anime, without giving too much away: Vlad Dracula Tepes basically unleashes a bunch of demons on Wallachia; and Trevor Belmont, Sypha Belnades, and Alucard come together to try and kill Dracula in order to restore peace to Wallachia.

When I first started watching this series, I thought I wouldn't like it. Having come off the BNHA kind of animation, the Castlevania animation took some getting used to. However, with such a gripping storyline within the first episode alone, it became absolutely impossible to stop watching. (Yes, I finished the first season in one sitting.) I was actually super surprised by how invested I ended up being within the first few minutes of the first episode. I found myself rooting for Dracula and hating the church with a passion.

I also feel the need to point out that Trevor Belmont is voiced by Richard Armitage (you might know him from 'The Hobbit'). Just listening to him talk in itself makes watching the anime well worth it.

Another great thing about this show is that you don't even need to be a fan of the video games in order to enjoy it. It has something for everyone - everyone but the kids, that is.

It goes without saying that this anime is 100% for adults and not for children. The blood, the subjects, the swearing, and the jokes are all something that kids should not be a part of just yet.

Also take note that it sometimes touches on religion; so if you're the ├╝ber crazy, don't-mock-my-religion type, it might not be for you. Also take note that there are some dirty jokes and anecdotes, and some swearing in this show, too - no goody-goodies allowed.

Generally speaking, Hollywood hasn't really been doing a good job at adapting video games to film or TV, so this is a very pleasant surprise. It looks like there is definitely some hope left in this genre. In fact, the only complaint I have is that the first season was far too short with only four episodes. I'll definitely be binge-watching the second season on Netflix when it comes out on October 26, 2018!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables: The New Generation of Surprise 'Eggs'

I cannot begin to fathom the lives of those who do not eat chocolate. Surprisingly, there are quite a few. In my close circle alone, there are already three people who don't eat chocolate.

I, of course, will never understand it: I, after all, find joy in a single Kiss and a single M&M. I, after all, squeal, do a little dance, and jump up and down at the mere sight or mention of chocolate cake.

Chocolate is a miracle worker - not just for me, but for many. Out of all of the chocolate in the world, though, my ultimate favorite has always been Cadbury Fruit and Nut. So when I got invited to an event where Cadbury was going to launch something new, I simply had to go - and with my mini-me, of course. Little did I know that we would be greeted with awesome surprise after awesome surprise.

The event started with some fun activities for kids, such as face painting and coloring.

Syrena had so much fun meeting new kids (shoutout to Dylan!) and just being at the event, in general. The best part? It took place at the Mind Museum, so we could roam around the museum and enjoy that, as well!

Spotted this bad-ass drawing by one of the kids!

Soon after that, Cadbury announced what they would be launching: Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables!

They reminded me so much of something from my childhood, so indulge me as I share a little backstory that will tie into this launch nicely: as a child, I lived for Kinder ├ťberraschungseier, or Kinder Surprise Eggs in English. I loved the chocolate of it and the toys in them. But once I became a mom, Surprise Eggs sadly changed. The chocolate was no longer the same, and the toys were definitely no longer the same.

As such, the launch of the Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables is as timely as ever. Now, Syrena can enjoy the same fun and wonder that I had with Kinder - with great toys and good chocolate - but with a cooler and more futuristic look to go with it (it kinda looks like a UFO, don't you think?)

And that's not even the best part... yes, it gets better... At the launch, Cadbury announced that they had a special guest waiting for us backstage. I swear nothing could prepare me for this. I thought it was going to be a celebrity or something, but no. IT WAS PIKACHU!!!

Why Pikachu? Well, for its launch in the Philippines, Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables have collectible Pokemon toys inside! If you're around my age and have a kid, you have to agree that this is the ultimate bonding opportunity as you'll both be excited to unbox new toys.

As a world leader in chocolates, Cadbury Dairy Milk offers this new way to enjoy bonding moments with your kids, and we are so happy it has finally made its way to South East Asia, including Malaysia and the Philippines. It's just one more fun way to enjoy the Cadbury taste we know and love.

Another shoutout to Dylan, who gave Syrena the toy in his Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables. Hihi.

I'm giving away a bag of Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables for you to try out yourself! All you have to do is leave a comment on any of my Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables posts on social media telling me why you want to win, and make sure you follow my social media accounts (Wonder Woman Rises on Facebook, @the_lil_miss on Twitter, and @lilmisswonderwoman on Instagram)!

Cadbury Dairy Milk Lickables are now available at leading department stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores nationwide for Php46.50. To know more, like Cadbury Dairy Milk on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @CadburyPHL

Jollibee Just Released a Bistek Burger Steak!

People don't really understand why Jollibee's Burger Steak is one of my favorite meals there, but it is. And look at that: they've decided to up the ante and release a new version of it: the all-new Bistek Burger Steak!

The Bistek Burger Steak is a savory-sour twist to the classic Jollibee Burger Steak. It has the 100% pure beefy goodness of a Burger Steak patty, a generous serving of sauce with just the right sourness, and fried onion toppings (which I honestly could do without, but I guess it wouldn't be bistek without them? Huhu sorry. I wouldn't know. This is my first time eating bistek). Of course, this comes with a serving of steamed white rice to hit the spot!

The Bistek Burger Steak is now available for dine-in, take-out, delivery, and drive-thru in all Jollibee stores nationwide for only Php55 for the one-piece Solo meal.

For more information and updates on Jollibee's latest products and promos, like Jollibee on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: @Jollibee

Friday, July 6, 2018

Mark Your Anime Dates on Netflix for Ultraman and Season 2 of Aggretsuko and Castlevania

As you can probably tell from my review on Season 1 of Boku No Hero Academia, my love for anime has recently been revived. So, when Netflix released some major anime news as part of their Netflix Anime panel at Anime Expo, I couldn't wait to share the same news with you!

Along with two new anime series, Netflix will be renewing the popular series Aggretsuko for a second season. Here are the dates you need to mark on your calendars along with first look images for upcoming titles in their growing (and amazing!!!) anime slate:

Godzilla: City on the Edge of Battle will launch this July 18!

The sequel to Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is coming sooner than you think on July 18. This epic re-imagining of the world of Godzilla in the future, where humans and robots battle the biggest Godzilla ever seen, is a must-see! Click here for more.

Castlevania Season 2 is coming on October 26, 2018!

Who didn't play Castlevania back in the day? Inspired by the classic video games, the show is returning for a second season this October. It follows the life of Trevor Belmont, the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan, who is trying to save Eastern Europe from Vlad Dracula Tepes.

Ultraman will be launching in Spring 2019!

In case you haven't heard of 'Ultraman', this action drama revolves around a man who possesses the DNA and spirit of the legendary hero Ultraman. He fights evil wearing a bad-ass metallic ultra suit! Click here for more.

Cannon Busters will launch on April 1, 2019!

This show will follow the adventures of an unlikely trio - S.A.M., a high-end friendship droid; a quirky, discarded maintenance robot; and a brash, deadly fugitive - who look for S.A.M.'s best friend, the heir to a kingdom under siege. It looks super fun!

Aggretsuko will be back in 2019!

The adorable death metal panda will be back in 2019, as well. Did you know that Aggretsuko is actually a character originally created by Sanrio? That's right. That's the same creator as Hello Kitty, Little Twin Stars, My Melody, and Kero Kero Keroppi! Click here for more.

Who else is excited to expand their world of anime? :D

Thursday, July 5, 2018

The New Limited Edition Philippine-Designed G-Shock Watch Will Make You Proud to be Pinoy

The first watch that I ever fell in love with in my life was a Casio watch. The Baby G, to be exact. Everyone in my class had one and I just had to have one, too. My parents were never really the type to spoil me, though, so I remember starving myself at school and saving all of my money (DEM110, roughly Php3,500) to buy myself a Baby G on my birthday. I was 9 years old.

Since then, I have been a massive watch aficionado and through the years, my love for Casio never wavered. In fact, my favorite watch in my collection at the moment is my 4-year-old white Limited Edition ‘Shock the World Manila’ G-Shock watch with a beautiful simplistic Manila design.

Today, G-Shock once again launched a Limited Edition National watch that celebrates Filipino toughness:

Isn’t it pretty?

The design of this watch stems from a competition that began in January 2017. The ‘Design the National G-Shock’ contest sought to create an authentic Filipino watch strap that invoked a strong sense of nationalism and indomitable spirit (very fitting for a time when the country’s character and national pride have taken on global regard).

More than 1,200 people joined the contest, but the winner was Dylan Dylanco. Dylan drew her inspiration from the enclaves of the Northern Ifugaos to the Southern tribes of the Moros, where the use of ethnic patterns is seen as a symbol of bravery. Elaborate tattoos, voluntary cicatrices (scarification), and intricate traditional weaves alluded to the wearer’s toughness, courage, and status in ancestral warrior society.

Dylan used the indigenous symmetrical weaves in bright, bold, and contrasting colors along with the three stars and the sun of the Philippine flag to create her winning design, Habi. “Habi is an old weaving technique our ancestors used to create art and basic supplies,” explains Dylan. “I hope that my design will remind Filipinos of the Philippines, no matter where they are.”

It definitely will.

The National G-Shock watch is a limited edition Philippine-designed watch. Only 200 of it will be made available to the public and it will only be available in the Philippines. The watch sells for Php9,995.

For more updates and information, like Casio’s Facebook page and follow them on Instagram: @casiowatches_ph