It really hits viewers in the gut, not only because the delicious food on display are mouth watering. The scenes from the food preparation, as well as the stories behind them makes the audience yearn for the days that they can travel back to Ilocos to experience the dishes for themselves. The documentary gives faces to the people behind the extraordinary food that provides comfort and joy like no other. In the same vein, it is heartbreaking to learn of their challenges during this pandemic, which is ill deserved for these people whose joy is cooking.

For me, the biggest takeaway from Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal is this. Some kids equate an education from a top university to a pass to a smooth career, but that’s not it. Go where your parents can afford to send you and study the best that you can. Amass as much experience as you can and get a head start in dealing with #adulting responsibilities. That’s your key to success. And parents, stop raising entitled kids by giving them everything. Let them earn what they deserve using their own merits. It’s the same no matter where you are.

I think the greatest success of the series for me was that it made each point in this history lesson so compelling that I easily remember the names of the key players, as well as specific events that shaped this era in Japanese history. It’s tall order for someone who is not familiar with Japanese history at all, save for its connection to my country’s history. I wish that our filmmakers here in the Philippines would be able to come up with such a compelling project to depict our rich history as well.

I hid under the blanket for the cat and murder videos. I didn’t have the stomach for it knowing what was going to happen. Don’t F*ck with Cats unfolded just like a real-life movie and it was terrifying to realize that such people truly exist in this world and that people relish notoriety for evil acts. Poor innocent animals. Poor Jun Lin. 

Bundy will forever be etched in history as one of the most notorious serial killers in history because he is the poster boy for the saying that one should not judge a book by its cover. The evil that he has committed and his obvious pride at what he has accomplished is a terrifying wake up call that transcends generations. As much as I would want to judge him with compassion, it would be far too difficult to do so, knowing what he has done and what future he deprived those women of when he ended their lives. Still, he may have gotten his wish in the end. He made a name for himself alright, only, not as a revered public figure, but rather a reviled character that nightmares are made of. 

Seeing Jan’s haunted expression after she talks extensively about her experience, I have no doubt that the experience will continue to haunt her for the rest of her life. I applaud Jan for becoming a motivational speaker and wanting to help other victims like herself and I wish her that after all she has gone through, she would still find peace and live her best life possible. Though the Brobergs did not handle the situation ideally, I do hope they manage to rebuild the relationships that were broken and move on from this dark time in their family’s life. The fact that they came out and truthfully admitted their faults is a positive step to healing although in this age of social media, I’m sure they will be judged harshly by the public.