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KPOP Explosion: the Korean Pop Engine is the World's Favorite
During the 2014 YouTube Video Awards, the best music video was won by KPOP supergroup, Girl's Generation with their video I Got a Boy. To the surprise of the West, popular music has now shifted in favor of Asian Pop Music with KPOP leading the way with exploding fanbases for their swinging girl groups and dancing boy bands.
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With Adobo, Life Is Grand No Matter What You Cook
In the Philippines, anything edible can be cooked Adobo style and it will come out a feast fit for a king, like Chef Logro's special recipe for lamb adobo. Whether it be swamp spinach (kangkong) or fine rack of lamb. It will be an amazing meal.
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Hobbies to Live for: Collecting Dolls
Girls of all ages collect dolls and the hobby can be as affordable or as expensive as you wish it to be. Here are some ideas about the hobby from a doll collector who knows her toys well.
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BabyMetal Update: Japan Idol Metal Band Explodes for World Domination
From 3 million hits for their You Tube hit music video, Give Me Chocolate! last February when we first featured the upcoming world tour of the idol-metal band,, to 15 million likes going into September 2014. BabyMetal's World Tour 2014 is reaping great rewards for the Metal Resistance. Kawai Metal is here to stay.
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ZOO Jeans: $1500 for a Ripped Pair is a Steal!
Like all dudebros and galpals, our favorite pair of denims are distressed jeans, comfy in their glorious rips and tears and worn-out threads. ZOO Jeans shows theirs as the coolest--torn and gnawed lovingly by bears, lions and tigers, before being sewn into a pair of distressed jeans. A steal for only $1500 too!
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The Culture of Bento: Cute and Crazy TLC
Fans of Japanese culture also follow peculiar lifestyle quirks like Bento Culture. The Art of Japanese lunchbox food preparation where like Ikebana, and Origami and Bonsai, arrangement, color and love all come together to provide the most interesting food art in pop culture.
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Amazing Cebu: Metro Cebu Festivals and Nightlife
If you are visiting the Philippines to enjoy the best of the best among native festivals and costume parades, visit Cebu. The boom in the south has made accomodations, safety and the quality of local entertainment, as well as the colorful and festive parades, one of the most amazing photo ops for your holiday visit.
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The Best Toys of 2014 at ToyCON PH
Take a peek at the good stuff you can get for yourself for next year's June edition of the ToyCON PH. From the latest movie merchandise of BigHero6, Guardians of the Galaxy, Pacific Rim, Gundam Model Kits, Lego Star Wars and even authentic Japanese brand cosplay items featuring fake eyelashes and contact lenses. The TOyCON PH is always an event to look forward to every year. Check out our ToyCON PicBlog and save up for 2 MONTHS salary for your next toy buying binge when the event comes around next year!
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Moving Pictures: Book Trailers Are a Hit among Book Fans!
Quick! Check out the book trailer for the hit YA novel 'The School of Good and Evil.' Awesome? Book trailers are now a serious attraction for readers, and publishers are now making them a huge part of making authors and titles better known in the digital media age. If good reviews are not good enough to get readers interested, maybe a peek at a book trailer might get you reading the book reviews too! The way kids upload their stories on Wattpad, expect the same rabid craziness when someone offers book trailer uploads on story sharing social media too.
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Idoru Singer: In Japan, Girl Groups are Superstars
Japanese pop music is fueled largely by their own cartoon or anime sountrack fandom. Once hooked to anime theme songs, music fans get to know the inside scoop of a very unusual genre of Japanese pop music, the idoru singer. Many anime theme songs are sung by Jpop girl groups as well as older celebrity singers who also came from Jpop idol status. Look at the worldwide success of an unusual song like Babymetal's Give me chocolate and you might get a glimpse at how Jpop idol music has crossed even into death metal to become a 29 million-like hit music video on You Tube.
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A Holiday in Cambodia: A Frontier for Learning, Start-ups, Expat Retirement
Cambodia offers more than just the famed ruins of Angkor Wat. It is one of the fastest developing countries in the ASEAN Integrated community next to Vietnam and offers holiday surprises few may know. As the hottest new business frontier in ASEAN, take a look at the more interesting opportunties in Cambodia for investors, backpakcers, job seekers and expat retirees, or even ASEAN resettlers.
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Pop Culture Fix: Fairy Tale Retellings Are Darker and Fans Love 'Em
The fairy tale revival in pop culture over the past 6 years or so has revolved around the darker retelling of the timeless tales. From the cult TV series Once Upon a Time, to Neil Gaiman's female-HEART-female scenario for Sleeping Beauty in his latest book: The Sleeper and the Spindle, to the audacious bestselling YA book The School of Good and Evil by new author Sonan Chainani, noir fairy tale retellings are becoming the new storytelling theme for our beloved and ageless fantasy stories.
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ASEAN Philippines: Earn University Degrees, Enjoy Preppy ESL Dorm Schools, or Relocate Off-Grid as Expats
ASEAN Philippines is the hottest place to study English as a second language among South Koreans, Japanese, Chinese, Indians and even Slavic stucents from the Ukraine and Russia. Western expats find the off-grid hideaways in the Philippines too charming to resist not dropping everything and settling down in far flung places like Port Barton, Sagada, Dumaguete and even Bantayan Island. Know more interesting stuff about the Philippines than everyone else knows!
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Grown-ups Make Coloring Books Bestselling Crazy
Coloring books are not making the top 10 bestseller list on Amazon because kids are fueling the craze. The hottest coloring books right now are the ones designed for grown-ups, and adults are buying them as their own preferred playtime activity workbook of choice. Neat? You betcha! Now it's time to look for your favorite set of color pencils, color sharpies or just good ole plain crayons to get you started.
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SneakerHead Culture
Michael Jordan created a phenomenon crazier than Imelda Marcos hoarding pumps. Collecting sneakers became a street fashionista's guilty pleasure when Nike came out with year after year of limited edition Air Jordans. Even canvass Converse Chuck Taylors became high-ticket fashion sneakers thanks to the Jordan brand pushing athletic footwear as must-have 'toys' for sports fans. Know about the sneakerhead culture, both the collector's hobby and the aftermarket sales industry it has spawned online.
read more       Within Reach
WuXia Is Swordplay Epics and Heroic Romances
Wushu is about to become an official Olympic Sport in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, replacing Wrestling. Looking for inspiration to guide you? Check out our look at Wu Xia films or the cult favorite swordplay heroic epics which used to be known as Kung Fu movies. The most popular of them being Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. If you've seen any of the recent fantasy Wu Xia blockbusters, you will know why Chinese martial arts films will never go out of style.
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Why Kids Need Science Fiction
Kids need to read science fiction. Pulp and genre used to be relegated as low brow reading but science fiction is now more relevant than ever. If only to inspire to next generation of scientists and tech to dream big about building their future. And to be forewarned that tech often has its dark side. Good reading often inspires readers to forge ahead and make a change in the world and make dreams come true. Without science fiction we would not have walked on the moon and gotten a windfall of technology that is used to make our daily lives better.
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Boom in YA Books: Even Grown-Ups Are Reading Books for Kids
Young Adult fiction has been the strongest market for books in the past half-decade or so. YA books have also fueled plenty of media adaptations such as blockbuster movies. Publishers are making money again headlining YA books while writers of all ages are finding gold scribing YA genre books. Any reading that keeps both kids and grown-ups hitting the bookstores is a lifeline for all of us.
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Vietnam's Heritage: A Fine Place to Call Home
Vietnam is a country that has survived colonial rule and civil war to become THE success story of the ASEAN Integrated community. People in the region are excited for its future as a place for business, travel and for becoming a second place to call home. Thailand has had unrest and problems with traveller safety within its borders and Vietnam is being preferred as a better 'Land of Smiles.' The smart journeyman from anywhere in ASEAN should stake out his claim as soon as possible--find your niche in this gorgeous country--and the mutual rewards in Vietnam shoudl be worth the time you put in.
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Filipino Readercon 2015: Will Read for Feels Sounds BIG! Plus, FREE Books...
First visit to Filipino Readercon yielded mixed rewards: Free books, Live readings of English pulp romance favorites by theater celebs, and a rundown on the local book scene from both the National Book Development Board and trailblazing authors as well as local publishing houses. Discussions were more on the light side, maybe because READERS were the target of the event as opposed to craft writers., Looking forward to next year's event!
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ASEAN Unified Hub 2016: Enjoy Traveling and Setting Up Shop NOW!
ASEAN Integration 2016 is a whole new era of opportunity for locals of the region. Cultural and economic exchanges will become easier for citizens of ASEAN. Take a chance and visit our neighboring ASEAN countries and find out what's going good and how to set up shop for an opportunity like no other. Our regional backyard may offer far more and even better as holiday visits go; and also for making a living!
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ASEAN Start-Up Hub: A Culture of Tech Entrepreneurship in Singapore
The ASEAN Integrated Ecosystem offers amazing opportunities everywhere! Hear about tech start-ups turning into overnight millionaires partnering with angel investors? Looking for the chance to make ten-fold returns from a start-up tech project? Singapore has quietly achieved the status as the place to be for cultivating start-ups in the ASEAN integrated ecosystem. While you can farm your project anywhere in ASEAN, Singapore has state sponsorhip for tech start-ups and transparent business laws as well as protection of patent rights. Know more about ASEAN integration!
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Your Eternal Summer of Bollywood
Bollywood fever has exploded beyond the borders of Mumbai, the genteel Indian film capital, and made life-long fans of MTV song-and-dance romantic comedies. Most movie fans know a Bollywood film as some kind of romantic adventure or action movie that has at least 3 or 4 segues of an MTV-styled song-and-dance eye candy, switching in and out of the main story throughout the film. Movie fans of beautiful and exotic actors in grand epic vistas finally have their fix in Bollywood movies. Take a look at what makes Bollywood films tick.
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ASEAN Indonesia:: Antique Shopping in Jakarta, Expat Paradise in Bali, Metalhead Idols in Bandung
Indonesia's new President Joko Widodo has delivered on his promise to invest more into green tech communities, local infrastructure and entrepreneurial incentives while cutting on gas and oil subsidies. Indonesia is also a very nice, mixed bag of opportunities and challenges for ASEAN investors trying to set up shop locally. Many expats claim that you won't regret betting on Indonesia as a place for finding success and the best extreme metal bands this side of Asia.
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The Mountain Hideaways of Laos: Secret Writer's Retreats and Hermit Holidays
Laos is not a backwater country like most expect, but an unbelievable sprawl of mountain hideaway communities groomed to off-grid living and a perfect travel destination for people who want being in the middle of nowhere. The landlocked ASEAN nation is a former French colony that still has small urban centers where you can replenish supplies or get your feet back on pavement, but the real attraction of Laos for creative types is the solitude and peace for a recharge in mountain country. Living in the bush is never as bad as Survivor contestants make it to be.
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Lifestyle Malaysia: More Than Mamak Stalls and Football, Crystal Mosques and Night Markets...
Everyone loves Malaysia. As one of the brightest spots in the ASEAN Integrated Community, this peaceful tiger is enjoying prosperity and preserving the beauty of its land, with its diversity of cultures serving as its strongest ideal and its heart and soul. Going there to work, play or to live in paradise should be tops on everyone's list.
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April is officially National Literacy Month: NBDB Bookshop Tours and Literature Convention
April has been officially decreed as National Literacy Month and the NBDB ( Naitonal Book Development Board ) is following up on last year's successful initial celebrations with more good stuff. The NBDB sponsored a 3-day bookshop tour then ended the month with a Literature Convention attended by international speakers from publishers, to name authors and DIY self-publishing luminaries, plus some academe reps. Let's look at the Literature Convention held last April 26-27.
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Trotting in ASEAN Thailand: Floating Market Shopping, Expat Living Hideaways and Beach Holidays
Revel in Thailand and go find the best river market shopping in the ASEAN, enjoying fresh seafood streetfood treats while you're at it. The Land of Smiles also has off-grid mountain hideaways for expats, and party-all-night beaches for schoolies, the best learning institutions in ASEAN, and tremendous opportunities for regional start-ups basing their business there. Bad press warning expats not to look for trouble here is not without reason. Volunteer tourist police--westerners integrated with the local law enforecement to take care of rowdy partying keep excesses in check. Smile, Thailand is where opportunity is the best kind of trouble you want to invest in.
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ASEAN Myanmar: Frontier for Adventure Travel and Social Enterprise
Myanmar is the hottest backpacker destination nowadays as more travelers are choosing middle-of-nowhere holiday destinations that are throwbacks to forgotten eras. The ASEAN country is finding good footing opening trade markets and taking the initial steps to a more democratic society after 30 years of wars and junta oppression. The U.S. has lifted trade sanctions to the country and Myanmar may be one of the gems of ASEAN where one can find one's fortune going against the flow and setting roots in a place where progress is looming but less obvious to tourist trap frolickers.
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The Detektiv Novel: Russians' Favorite Pulp Genre
Cultural exchange between the Philippines and Russia can also come in the form of the novels we love! Book lovers already know that Russian lliterature ranks among the world's best but there is a side to their reading culture that may be unknown to most book fans: Russians love noir and crime mysteries like Filipinos love pulp romance. Stories where heroes or heroines go up against corruption and shady mafias or murder mysteries, espionage adventure with sexy stuff, as part of a detective story are cult-favorite stories in Russia.
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For the Holidays: Russian Science Fiction and Fantasy!
We explore all of the world's inspiration for the future--authors from all cultures who create science fiction and fantasy novels. Russian science fiction and fantasy powerhouse contributions to the canon may be unheralded because of limited availability of English translations. REACH looks at a shortlist of some of the best Russian authors of genre fiction out there. From Gogol's phantasmagoric Viy which has a 3D HD movie adaptation as recently as 2014, to Ekaterina Sedia's A Secret History of Moscow and The Alchemy of Stone, both landmark books by a Russian female author.
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19 Books Girls Should Read
Girls bored of bookstore recommendations of what to read? Most likely that their reading list is dated and will bore you to tears. Here's what we recommend that will give you a better perspective of how the world works for girls and what they can do about it--reading about heroines and princesses from some of the most underrated writers local bookstores don't readily recommend. Also, we are recommending plenty of female authors just to give young girls a perspective on how the best women writers of genre fiction wing and swing their stuff.
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19 Books for your Kids' Desert Island Reading Library
Kids love to read and once they get the hang of sitting with a book for the sheer pleasure of losing themselves in it and losing time, they'll bug you to find them good books. You want to give them books they will cherish even when they are your age. These are books that don't lose their magic because their stories never get old. The timeless appeal of all good children's books--great storytelling and characters are what make a kid's desert island library collection one of the most precious gifts and heirlooms one can hand down to friends, family, school or even strangers.
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19 Books for a Young Boy's Book Hoard
Boys do read books, and those who claim they don't and are proud of it may not really be sentient nor a boy. Adventure, horror, sci-fi wonder and even some romance are among the interesting stuff boys want to read so getting them a proper reading library or book hoard is part of every one's mission in life if you have a son, younger or older brothers or a grandpa weaned on stories and looking for a great read to remind him of his boyish days. Here is a list of books for boys that promise better rewards than a video game console.
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19 Books for Helping Authors Write and Craft Better Stories
Everyone who can't afford to enroll in a Creative Writing course or a Master of Fine Arts may want to know how to learn to write like a pro. Books are your first option and reading as many as you can may actually help you learn plenty more than a few semesters worth of workshops. But the key in learning to write well is to also read books that show you all the nuances of craft--structure, character development, plot development, pacing, themes, outlining work, novel publishing and everything else.
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19 Inspirational Books for Grownups
Much has been said about how most inspirational books are just a sham out to make a buck out of poor folks who can't make heads or tails out of life. But there are really good books out there that are worth the time and trouble reading through because they do show people how life is really sweet underneath all the crap thrown your way by the world (which does not owe anyone anything). Inspiring to many include the Holy Christian Bible (Interlinear Greek), the Quran, coming-of-age-stories, comfort food recipe books, illustration art books of your favorite painter--an inspiring book is anything that gives you a way out of a funk and picks up your mood to make it through the day with a song in your heart.
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