Music… Transcends everything.

For the past few months, I have started listening to new music. This particular type of music has really grown in the North American market. It has been something that my kids and I can agree on and within this fandom, we have been able to bond.

So what is this fandom?? And what is the genre of music??

Drum roll please………..

It’s K-Pop!!! Also known as Korean Pop.

More specifically, my kids and I have bonded over our mutual love for the group BTS!!! They’re a South Korean boy group consisting of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jung Kook.

Yes… I can say I’m A.R.M.Y! Stands for Adorable Representative MC for Youth. And so are my kids! We’re an A.R.M.Y house… Although Rios isn’t A.R.M.Y… He does like their music…. But I secretly think he’s a closet A.R.M.Y. Hahaha

So how did this happen?? Well… One day… We were watching YouTube and came across a channel called Bad Lip Reading. This guy creates funny lip readings based on movies, or TV shows, or even music videos like the one we saw. Rios clicked on it first. He goes… Hey…let’s watch this… The guy did a bad lip reading of BTS…. Here is the link for the Bad Lip Reading….

We watched the video and said… Oh goodness…. We have to watch the original video…. Low and behold, we watched the video and we were hooked!!

The song that hooked us was BTS’s Idol. Here is the link for the original song.

We started watching their videos from the time they debuted which was in 2013, until now. They have a large plethora of music in their repitoire. They used to be very hip hop based, but have softened their look and their music. With a whole mix of different music in between.

Rios spent 9 years keeping the boys away from hip hop and rap. It’s not something that is on his playlist at all. He has quite an extensive playlist from Christian music, to hard rock, to screamo bands, to girl k-pop groups. One thing he never had on his list was rap and hip hop. But BTS’s original music mostly consisted of rap and hip hop. Philip started listening to BTS and said to me and Rios “I think I like rap music.” Rios was shocked 😲 I heard him go “Nooooooooooo!” Hahaha He said to me after… I was prepared to hear “I hate you dad” when the kids get older, but I was not prepared for I like rap music. Haha He is still quite devastated about it. He says it’s like a dagger through his heart. I, on the other hand, like some rap and hip hop… Mostly 90’s stuff…. The stuff today is terrible!

Anyway….I have a few favourite BTS songs that I listen to regularly. A few of my favourites are Best Of Me, Butterfly, Spring Day, Go Go, Mic Drop, and the list goes on… Go ahead… I dare you to look up those songs on YouTube.

Philip has even picked up a lot of the choreography from their videos. I might get in trouble for sharing this video… But I’ll gladly take the hit.

This was when he first started learning their choreography…. He’s much much better now. And look… Rios is with him because they bonded over the choreography. For those who know Rios…. You know he never dances… But he wanted to do something with Philip to spark the interest in him…. And for that I love him even more. 😍 Now Philip has a love for dancing and will be having his first recital in May!

The second video is Aaron dancing along to BTS’s song Dope. Since this video… Aaron has added many songs to his list of songs to dance to.

So why BTS??

Honestly…. It just started with the one video and our fandom grew from there. I like the fact that they’re hip hop and rap is clean. They have a good message that is much better than the messages you’ll get from North American music. Even if we can’t fully understand what they’re saying… Music transcends everything.

My mom was even saying to Philip… “you should write to them and say that you want to dance with them when they come back to Canada, or I’ll pay for your ticket to go there.” ooooooh…. Mom can I go with him too? Clearly Philip is going to need a chaperone. They were in Canada just before we became fans…. We didn’t even know they had 3 concerts here. Way to miss the bandwagon….All I know is that when they come back, we’re going to the concert!!

I told Philip to practice and maybe that could be a dream of his come true, one day. Philip started taking hip hop classes and guess what song he’s going to be dancing to…. BTS’s Fake Love…. Which is the music in the above video. Philip learned all the original choreography. He taught himself, and his teacher had said he is really good. He has a natural talent for dancing…. If I was to compare him to one of the BTS members, I’d say he is most like Jung Kook because he is good at everything. They call Jung Kook the golden maknae (youngest). JK is good at a lot of things: Taekwondo, singing, dancing, cooking, drawing…. The list goes on.

Philip, in comparison, is talented at a lot of things: Judo, dancing, drawing, cooking. He hasn’t really tried singing, but we have musicians on both sides of the family, so I’m sure he could pick it up and be good at that too. For a kid his age… I’m proud of what he has accomplished in such a short time.

Philip’s favourite band member is RM. Isaac’s favourite is Jung Kook. Aaron’s favourite is Jimin. My favourite is also Jimin, but Jung Kook is a strong second. Rios’ favourite is J-Hope….even though he says he’s not A.R.M.Y. Hahaha πŸ˜‚ I’m not buying it…. πŸ˜‰ This whole thing has also opened up some food doors for us. Yes, you read that right… Before this Aaron would not try any new food… He was pretty picky… He still is, but if I say “Jimin eats this” he’s more likely to try it than he was before. He tried bok choy and marinated beef because of it. #parentingwin

Philip has also gotten his other brothers to love BTS too!

Here’s a picture of Philip and Isaac holding up a sign that they wanted me to tweet to BTS.

I had to download twitter onto my phone because of them.

Now… To the TOB part…

BTS’s latest series is Love Yourself…. While it is a good message… It is also an incomplete one.

Loving yourself involves self care and making sure you are who you are and that you love yourself as you are. But as Catholics, you know we are called to love as Christ loves… To sacrifice yourself for the good of others. It’s saying… You can’t give what you don’t have…. But the emphasis is on giving. You must take care of yourself but you must also care for others. That is the message that us Catholics must remember. We have to remind ourselves that we are living in this world, but we are not of this world. We belong to God in heaven.

Along these lines… Make sure to ask each other how you are…. Sincerely find out how your friends are. Find out what’s going on in their lives. Be there and support your friends. Spend time getting to one another. Life is a journey, so have fun finding out God’s plan for your life and find some music that will help you along the way.

For us at the Manrique-Reyes household, part of the music that bonds us is BTS.

Keep putting out music boys, and we’ll keep listening to it!

Comment below what your favourite BTS song is…

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post!

Your sister in Christ,


Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget!

So a few months ago, something serious happened that caused a huge rift in my family. I will not divulge the information so that the people involved will remain scandal free. I will not allude to what happened either, but know that going forward, things will NEVER be the same.

Upon further reflection on the matter of forgiveness, in the current situation, it would be easy for me to have an unforgiving attitude, but that does me no good. The only thing I get out of the situation is high blood pressure and perhaps a hurt jaw from all the clenching, so I choose to let it go.

The Bible does say that if you can’t forgive your brothers and sisters, then how can your father forgive you? Good question…. So what is someone supposed to do when he/she has been hurt?

Praying about it is a good start. Praying for the grace to let go of any hurt as well as praying for the people to see the error of their ways. That’s really the only way to move past it.

Perhaps talking about it would help…. But then what if the person who has faulted you sees that they have done nothing wrong? I don’t know… Cause it’s like talking to a brick wall. The only thing you can do is pray for them and move on. Forgive but never forget.

You know the old saying fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me…. Yeah well…. That is where we are now. I can say with an honest heart that I have forgiven the people who have done wrong…. Even if they choose not to see it. I have moved on, but I will not forget what they have done. I will also not go out of my way to have any kind of relationship with said people. I won’t even ask for an apology because to me, it doesn’t matter. The past is the past, but that doesn’t automatically change the dynamics of our relationship. I will forgive, which I have, but I will never forget.

They have chosen to draw a line in the sand to make me choose between my family and them…. And I will ALWAYS choose my family.

Perhaps you have done something for us in the past, and for that I am thankful, but does that mean we owe you something? I would hope not…. When you do something nice for another, you don’t do it so you can be thanked for it later, or use it as some kind of bargaining tool, you do it out of the kindness of your heart. You do it and expect nothing in return. We don’t owe anyone a relationship, no matter who you are. If you want to be a part of our life, you have to accept my whole family. We are a package deal and if one person in my family is deliberately excluded, you have now decided that we are no longer going to have any kind of relationship with you. My kids and my husband are my family and we are a unit, so when you deliberately exlude any of us, you are automatically excluding all of us.

One day maybe the people involved will see what they have done, but then again, maybe not….They have lost 6 people from their lives, and to me, they have lost more than we, as a family, have. We are stronger and more resilient than ever. We love each other fiercely and will always have each other’s backs, no matter what. That’s what a family does. They stick together; they fight for each other; and they love each other. Family will also not allow any part of the unit to be ridiculed, embarrassed, or devalued.

So to those of you reading this blog post, I still love you, and I will pray for you even if you hurt me, but I won’t forget what you did.

To err is human, to forgive divine. – Alexander Pope

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naΓ―ve forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. – Thomas Szasz