Liebster Before Bedtime

I was over the moon the first time I got nominated for a blogger award. I read the words “award” and “nominated” and I assumed, for obvious reasons, that there was an actual award to be won. I was extremely flattered. Unlike Mocha “not a journalist” Uson, I was no longer “just a blogger” — I was an award-nominated blogger. Taray!

But, as it turned out, awards meant something completely different in the blogging world. Awards come in different names — Liebster, Sunshine, Mystery, etc — but they’re all the same meme in which bloggers tag each other and ask/answer random questions. There is no competition at all; everything is done just for fun.

A few days back Pinay Mama SG nominated me for a Liebster Award. I already knew not to expect trophies or prizes and, still, I was pleasantly surprised. Thank you for the nomination, Pinay Mumsht! ❤

These are the award rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions given to you.
  • Name 11 fun facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers.
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions.

These are my answers to Pinay Mama’s questions:

1. What are the top three movies that you like to re-watch?

Definitely, Maybe; Four Sisters and a Wedding; X-Men.

2. If you could eat one dish for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sinigang na bangus.

3. If you can speak to any person in the world (living or deceased), who would he/she be?

A friend who died a couple years ago. I miss her. I wish we spoke more often when she was still here.

4. If you could choose one movie director to “direct” your life, who would that director be?

Jade Castro, maybe?

5. Are you a cat or dog person?


6. What makes you happy?

Listening to old Disney songs, like this and this and this.

7. What do you wish more people understood?

The base-superstructure concept as postulated by Karl Marx and as expanded by Louis Althusser.

8. Name your #1 pet peeve?

Excessive noise in supposedly quiet places, or any noise at all when I’m trying to focus or to sleep.

9. What’s your favourite movie to quote?

I don’t think I have one, but I do like quoting this line from Contagion: “Blogging is not writing. It’s just graffiti with punctuation.” Touché.

10. If you had a superpower what would it be?

The ability to manipulate probability like Domino from Deadpool 2.

11. Do you have a favourite post? Please share it.

A favourite post that I wrote? Wala e, haha.

INSTEAD OF sharing 11 facts about myself, I will share 11 essays and articles instead. I already talk too much about myself (hehe), plus I think sharing the kinds of writing that I enjoy also follows the same premeditated self-curation involved when listing get-to-know-me facts.

So here are 11 readings that I highly recommend:

A Radical Narrative Disguised as a K-Drama: “Coffee Prince,” Gender, and Sexuality on Occupied Territories

The Symbolic Narcotic: How Dystopias Hide From Themselves by Tyler Wells Lynch on Protean

Why Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” is actually a public health triumph by Alex Abad-Santos on Vox

End Private Property, Not Kenny Loggins by Bhaskar Sunkara on Jacobin

The Scourge of ‘Relatability’ by Rebecca Mead on The New Yorker

Crony capital: How Duterte embraced the oligarchs by Aurora Almendral on Nikkei Asia

Is the Filipino language even as gender-neutral as we think it is? by Marrian Pio Roda Ching on CNN Philippines

In Defense of Noise: SM Future Sound and Red Velvet by Theresia Pratiwi on Seoulbeats

A Future with No Future: Depression, the Left, and the Politics of Mental Health by Mikkel Krause Frantzen on LA Review of Books

Athleisure, barre and kale: the tyranny of the ideal woman by Jia Tolentino on The Guardian

How a Lost Hit and a Popular Podcast Went Viral in the Midst of a Crisis by Brenna Ehrlich on Rolling Stone

FOR MY nominees, I went with the usual suspects and some new favourites:

twstrfries, who was the first to nominate me in an award way before she became twstrfries

Mochichi, whose favorite books I am trying to read one by one

rAdishhorse, who is my go-to person for Pinoy music reviews and chismis

Carmina, who is the Philippines’ leading expert in adulting (or winging it, haha)

Kimberly, who takes beautiful pictures and writes equally beautiful captions

Sen, who is probably way too busy right now as a school guidance counselor

Princess, whose blog has been my gateway to local Filipino indie literature

eytch, who has impeccable (*chef’s kiss*) taste in music and poetry

lrtqueen, whose personal essays brim with sincerity and nostalgia

celuna maria, who has a pretty awesome to-be-read (TBR) book list

JPlusO2, whose quarantine musings strongly resonate with anxious hermits like me

NONE OF you are by any means obligated to pass the tag on, but I still prepared the following prompts in case you want to play along:

1. Why do you blog?

2. What do you like most about yourself?

3. What is one thing that you are very good at?

4. What is your favourite song at the moment?

5. What constellations can you recognize when you look up at a starry sky?

6. What was the last Filipino film you saw?

7. What goes on in your head when you solve 38 + 47?

8. When did you last laugh?

9. What is your favourite alcoholic drink? (If you don’t drink, why not?)

10. What has been your most expensive purchase to date?

11. What are you excited about?

ANSWER THE questions only if you feel like it, ha? No pressure at all! 😁 I am also opening the floor for nominations—nominated or not, I would love to hear your answers in the comments, in my Inbox, or on your own blog.

Thanks again, Pinay Mama, for getting me in on this paandar. 😊

Stay safe as always, everyone! 😘

I made the featured image based on an art print design by anasakac on Pinterest. The Meryl gif is from GIPHY.


    1. Jolens

      Hahaha tenkyu! 🙂

      For context, that quote is about a conspiracy theorist blogger in the film who causes unnecessary panic and peddles fake news during a pandemic. The subtext, I think, is about the lack of accountability among bloggers—which is true naman, sort of?

      Blogging allows us to hide behind a veneer of “self-expression” e. If, say, we write something that is problematic or conceptually misleading and we get called out for doing so, we can always pull a Mocha Uson and say, “I’m just a blogger who’s expressing my opinions; do not hurt/invalidate my feelings.” You can’t really say stuff like that when you’re writing essays or opinion pieces elsewhere (e.g. broadsheets or magazines).

      So, to me, blogging is obviously still writing (I will not let anyone dismiss the labor that I put in my kuda haha), but the medium dilutes the bravery and accountability that naturally come with writing publicly. I myself am guilty of this; I blog anonymously e haha.

      What do you think? Charot, haha. No need to respond, Carl, a! I’m just thinking aloud, and I understand how emotionally laborious conversations like this can be, especially online, haha. 😀


  1. pinaymama@sg

    The best talaga ang sinigang na bangus with okra! (Though hindi agreed si Hub hehe.) Para pa akong ewan kumain, tinatanggal ko muna lahat ng tinik.
    Chineck out ko si Jade Castro (hindi kasi ako familiar) and natawa ako sa “Zombadings 1: Patayin sa Shokot si Remington” sa kanyang oeuvre. Parody film ba? S’ya din pala nagsulat ng “First Day High.” Hehehe.
    Gut punch naman yung Contagion quote! Grabe…
    Maraming salamat sa blog links & web links! Namove ako sa Coffee Prince analysis, fave K-Drama ko ‘yun of all time (bukod sa Kingdom, though ‘di ko sure if considered drama ba ang Kingdom. Zombie drama? Hehe). On point. Ang dami ko binookmark for future reading. 🙂 Salamat sa pagsagot, Jolens!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      Go boneless, mumsht! Haha. Dapat pala nilagay ko “sinigang na /boneless/ bangus.” Hindi ko rin siya ma-enjoy kapag maraming tinik e, hahaha. 😀

      Siya nagsulat ng “First Day High”?? Badtrip, erase erase!! Hahaha. ‘Yung favourite ko na film niya ay “Endo.” Maganda rin ‘yung “Zombadings” although medj problematic ang premise (pagiging bakla = virus). In general, gusto ko ‘yung attempts niya to tackle social issues in a not-so-grim way kaya siya naisip ko isagot haha.

      Grabe nga ‘yung blogging quote, ‘no? Haha. Although I think may point naman siya given the context in the film. (Nilagay ko ‘yung interpretation ko sa reply ko sa comment ni Carl sa taas, haha).

      Sobrang ganda talaga ng Kingdom? Lagi kong sinasabi manonood ako ng K-drama pero kapag tinitingnan ko na sa Netflix, nai-intimidate ako. Ang hahaba ng episodes talaga! Hahaha.

      Pero ye, gusto ko talaga nagbabasa ng mga analysis kineme. Even if I don’t necessarily agree with all the points, at least I get to learn new perspectives and new ways to engage with a text. Char, feeling?? Haha.

      Salamat din ulit sa pag-nominate!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. pinaymama@sg

        Toink, may boneless option nga pala. Mas na-associate ko kasi yung boneless sa bangsilog and such hehe.
        Salamat sa context! 😊 I think naalala ko na, eto yung character ni Jude Law na epal naman talaga. Hmm, I’m also going the anonymous route with this new blog, pero more out of privacy/doxxing concerns (e.g. what happened to Slate Star Codex, though of course wala naman akong ganung following hehe). Unlike a journalist, say, us bloggers are just “normal people” who don’t have large institutions to support us (at best) / hide behind (at worst). What do you think? Wala akong excuse for Mocha though, bwisht lang talaga sya haha.
        Highly recommend Kingdom! 😊 Feel ko kasi yung set design, well-thought out details, the fancy hats. Pero ako rin, I don’t normally watch K-drama (unless resounding recommendation ni Hub hehe). Coffee Prince was the exception. 😅
        I didn’t know you were from Bicol! Yung lolo ko rin, though I’ve never been.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jolens

          Ako rin, I’m “anonymous” for privacy reasons. 😊 And I don’t really have a definitive, prescriptive position on this, hehe. I’m more interested in interrogating the medium, and I think the quote itself has a point.

          “Normal people” don’t have institutional protection, but we are not regulated either. We can make stupid, unscientific, and even dangerous assertions, all in the name of free speech. I think this is worth questioning.

          But I’m not saying that our content should be regulated ah! No no no! Haha. I’m just posing questions that, to me, are worth raising.

          Personally I keep these questions in my mind when I write opinion pieces. Does my opinion have reliable, scientific basis? Do I really know what I’m talking about? Have I considered opposing ideas? I just don’t want to be like other bloggers who make flimsy assertions and are not open to dissenting opinions. Unreliable na nga ang aking anonymity e, dadagdag pa ba ako sa kabobohan? Hahaha. 😅

          Wow, sige, one of these days talaga papatol din ako sa K-Drama! Hahaha. Yez, manay, I’m a proud Bicolanx. (Charot lang sa Bicolanx hahaha 😂)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. pinaymama@sg

            All valid points. Sana everyone (including me!) keeps those questions in mind when we blog (or post opinions on FB, tapos kapag nag-try ka mag-engage in civil discussion sasabihan ka na ‘get off my wall’ lol may hugot).

            Natawa ako sa Bicolanx! 😂 I’m still reading up on Filipinx… parang lately I see more references to it. Baka may readings ka to recommend, hehe.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Jolens

            Hahaha, naku nakaka-stress ‘yang mga ‘get off my wall’ people. Baka mas akma ‘yung Contagion quote sa Facebook wall posts ‘no? Graffiti with punctuation lang talaga, choz. 😂

            Kapag may mahanap akong magagandang sources sa Filipinx eme, share ko sa ‘yo! Hehehe. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      Hahaha. At least hindi required ‘yung readings, haha. 😂

      Gurl, ang talagang ikinapuputok ng butsi ko ay ‘yung mga nagpapatugtog ng loud speakers sa bus!! Bahay n’yo??? Kayo lang pasahero??? Hahahaha. 😂


  2. Thea

    Sinigang na Bangus – Sizzums ang daming tinik pero gusto ko din niyan!

    8. Name your #1 pet peeve?
    Excessive noise in supposedly quiet places, or any noise at all when I’m trying to focus or to sleep.
    –ganire din ako pero baka kasi mashonda na ako?? lagi akong “shhh!!” tapos sabi ba naman ni Kyx nung nag-shhh ako last time “bahoooo” huhu nagtoothbrush naman akooo HAHAHA

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolens

      D’un tayo sa boneless mum! Ang sarap n’ung boneless bangus belly sa sinigang! Huhuhu I crave!!!

      Oo nga, Isles, baka dahil mashonda na tayo. 😦 Hahahaha tawang-tawa ako kay Kyx! Wala bang pa-Season 2 (3? 4?) ‘yung love story n’yo sa blog mo? Hahaha. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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