RIP Circles, The X Feature I Loved As A K-pop Stan

Farewell to one of the few great new features.

[OPINION] Social media platform X (formerly Twitter) is moving to disable Circles, a feature that allowed users to Tweet to a smaller crowd without changing accounts. And as a K-Pop stan, I’m mourning.

Related: Twitter Is Now X: Everything You Need To Know About The Bird App’s Rebranding

Among the many features that did not make it to the new version of Twitter helmed by Elon Musk, X, Circles is one that I will miss the most. Introduced in August 2022, Circles is a feature that allowed you to choose a certain set of people on the platform to show certain Tweets/posts to. When you select “Circles” when making a Tweet or a post, whatever you said is shown only to people you put in your Circles. It’s basically a private or dump account built into your account whether it’s public or not.

X recently announced that they’ll be getting rid of the feature by October 31st, and as someone with far too many X accounts to want another one where I can share my thoughts that aren’t for the entirety of my followers list, I will mourn this loss. Call me dramatic, but it really did improve my Twitter/X experience as a part of K-pop fandoms over the past year.


If you’re on “stan Twitter” or any online fandom community, then you know that your follower and following lists are not necessarily made up of people you know (or like). And if you’re an account with, say, thousands of followers, you don’t really want all your thoughts broadcast to all of them. It’s the same logic that essentially explains why we have main accounts and “dump” or private accounts on different social media platforms.

Circles allowed me to be freer in expressing my thoughts, less “perceived” by a bigger number of people. I was also able to just address the people I’ve actually formed a bond with and considered my friends without having to create a new private account. On Circles I’ve shared real-life achievements, anecdotes, interactions, and even secrets with only the people I trusted enough.

And it feels great on the other side, as well. When I see that I’m on someone’s Circle, I feel somehow proud and flattered that they trust me enough to see their thoughts and opinions that they otherwise wouldn’t let anyone else see. There’s a whole discussion to be had about the kind of faces we show on social media and why, but these little signs of trust are proof that genuine connections can be made on the Internet.


If you’ve ever been on stan Twitter (specifically K-pop stan Twitter), or seen a side of it, then you know how nasty, mean-spirited, and confrontational people can get—sometimes for seemingly no reason at all. If one post reaches the wrong audience, if a message is taken just a little differently than intended, and you could have hundreds of quotes on your post, or worse.

On Circles, I was able to express my disdain or opinion about something without the worry that I’d get jumped, because the people in my Circle were of similar mindsets. Not just that, but there’s a sense of respect. I may not agree with what you’re saying, but because we’re “close” enough to be in one or the other’s Circle, there’s a certain level of respect.

Not to say that Circles—or any private accounts for that matter—is any excuse to be mean or hateful, but sometimes you just have an opinion and you don’t have the energy to be locked in petty debate with strangers on the Internet.


There are pros and cons to a public X account, but this specific stan Twitter account of mine was always meant to be public. So I couldn’t just turn it private. And as I’ve said, I didn’t want to create yet another X account.

Circles gave me an outlet to be more “real,” in a sense, and its removal really got me to thinking: what about social media has exacerbated our fear of confrontation and discourse? How are we practicing or even defining authenticity on the Internet? Are these features (Circles, private dump accounts, etc.) just safety nets so we don’t have to deal with a world that doesn’t like or agree with us all the time? Is it really that deep? Someone call a scholar!

I don’t know—maybe I’ll find out once Circles is taken away from me. I was fine before it, but now that I’ve found out its potential, I’ll have to adjust. I can’t be a hater in public! If I get jumped because I published a hot take for the world to see (because doesn’t the urge to speak sometimes overwhelm the urge to stay quiet, for better or for worse?), I’ll let you know.

Continue Reading: What Viral Game Monopoly GO! Has Taught Me About Humanity

7 Highlights From BamBam’s AREA 52 Concert In Manila That Gave Big Filipino Energy

Shot puno!

Thai idol BamBam gave fans the experience of their lives at his first solo concert in Manila—earning honorary Filipino status along the way. Read on to find out why.

Related: Shot Puno: Sandara Park Flying to the Philippines to Support BamBam is Giving Big Sis Energy

Solo artist and GOT7 member BamBam is embarking on his first solo world tour AREA 52! His first stop outside of South Korea was Manila, where Double B doubled down on the fanservice and fun performances. He made sure he absorbed as much of Manila as Manila absorbed of him by immersing himself in the musical culture of the Philippines (he asked what surprise Filipino song to perform) and adopting Filipino slang, jokes, and phrases.

This has now become standard for each country, as the Thai artist also asked Malaysian fans which song they’d like for him to perform at his Kuala Lumpur show. BamBam is sweet for preparing a nice surprise for each stop, making sure each country’s culture and his fans are uniquely involved in the show. It’s giving Mr. Worldwide!

Ever since his early days in GOT7, BamBam has been dipping his toes in Filipino culture, singing Ronnie Liang’s Ngiti in concerts, and more recently, turning “shot puno!” into his trademark catchphrase. And after AREA 52 in Manila, he’s solidified his honorary Filipino status—here’s why!


BamBam and Sandara Park at AREA 52 concert


BamBam featured special guest, “pambansang krung-krung” Sandara Park, at AREA 52, performing alongside his close friend and labelmate. Did you know they also went to Gerry’s Grill together back in 2022? Dara, as an honorary Filipina darling herself, was the perfect guest to join BamBam, matching his funny, enthusiastic energy perfectly. Dara performed her new songs Festival and Dara Dara, as well as 2NE1 classic I Am The Best.


Filipino Ahgases do stay winning! Fans got BamBam to dance the SB19 global hit twice with Dara, after they also got him to sing Raining in Manila twice. More importantly, of course, they killed it.


After asking what surprise song he should perform at AREA 52, and getting a ton of responses, BamBam ultimately chose the Lola Amour hit Raining in Manila (and his favorite, Ngiti by Ronnie Liang). More than that, instead of just performing it at the concert, the singer also posted a full cover on his X account—and his pronunciation, accent, and vibe were on point! BamBam Batumbakal indeed.


The superstar also shared some cute social media interactions with Lola Amour on X after the band listened to BamBam’s cover. We’re slowly watching a friendship form, people! A friendship that could lead to a collab, if things fall into place. The artist also channeled a Filipino-style hugot in replying to the band. Who hurt you, BamBam?


@gail.ugc bambam is so funny 😭 his concert is just sooooo the best in manila 😭 #bambam #got7 #got7bambam #bambamgot7 #bambamarea52 #bambaminmanila #bambam1a #bambamxabyss #bambam_tour_area52 #bambamarea52tourmanila #kpopfyp #foryoupage #fypシ゚viral #hallyutalkph #hallyu ♬ original sound – eka Lifestyle and Kpop UGC

Seloso BamBam strikes again! The artist hilariously called out his fans for checking out his dancers instead of him, saying they should only pay attention to him. “You like my ate?” He said with no hesitation. Called out in English and Filipino! Don’t worry BamBam, plenty of eyes are just on you.


Unbeknownst to BamBam until after the show, Ronnie Liang himself attended the concert, showing his support for the idol. Clearly, he knows all about how Bam loves his song!


Still in glam, Double B ended his great night with a pint and his favorite catchphrase. Like with “skrrt skrrt,” he’s owning the use of “shot puno” and helping it become a global catchphrase. Hopefully the idol comes back sooner rather than later and checks off the next things off his Philippines checklist. If he doesn’t have one yet, we’ll make one for him. We’re waiting for that Lola Amour collab (and maybe a Poblacion pub crawl?)

Continue Reading: 10 Filipino Songs We Manifested Hearing BamBam Sing at His Manila Concert

Selena Gomez Is Over Trying To Be Made The Villain

True Alex Russo energy.

Selena Gomez’s reactions at the MTV VMAs led to hot takes and a wide array of thinkpieces. The way she responded to all the viral moments prove that she’s really over all of it and brings up an important discussion about celebrity social media discourse and public opinion.

Related: Miley and Selena Are Taking Back Their Crowns With New Music—and the Internet is Nostalgic

Whatever you think of all the Selena Gomez viral videos and hot takes about her VMAs appearance on social media, she’s over it. The multi-hyphenate’s reactions during the MTV Video Music Awards garnered plenty of attention, and all sorts of discourse has put her on the top of the trends list once again.


Selena went viral during Olivia Rodrigo’s VMAs performance, where the deja vu singer reenacted her vampire music video by staging a faux stage and pyrotechnic malfunction and Selena could be seen holding a hand to her ear. And of course, the narrative people on social media ran with was that she didn’t like Olivia’s performance.

People defended her, though, clarifying that Olivia’s set surprised and confused the audience, especially with the singer’s fake-worried reaction to her own stage. Selena herself commented on an Instagram post about her reaction, explaining “I heard a loud noise and it scared me.”

Selena comment on Instagram: I heard a loud noise and it scared me


Second, when she made a face at convicted assaulter Chris Brown’s nomination, she earned all sorts of reactions—mostly positive, though. She was praised for showing disapproval of the artist. And then she made headlines again when she commented on an iHeartRadio Australia Instagram post about the “incident” saying, “Who cares lol.”


Selena took to Instagram after all that to comment, saying, “I will never be a meme again. I’d rather sit still than be dragged for being myself. Much love.”

Selena Gomez instagram story "I will never be a meme again"


Within a day, public opinion about Selena swayed so fast with just a few seconds of videos and some viral posts. And it’s happened many times to Selena before, her Francia Raisa incident among them.

And while it’s ironic she’s making headlines (even ours) after subtly (and perhaps inadvertently) shedding light on sensationalism, it’s worthy to have a discussion about the problem with going viral, unwarranted think-pieces, and pushing our own narratives on celebrities and everything we see on social media.


Selena has had a year in the spotlight. From the “beef” with Hailey Bieber, to being made a meme multiple times, the star has gone viral so often just for existing—as celebrities often do.

Selena gomez blanket meme

insatgram/selena gomez


And whether or not you like or care at all about Selena, all these instances beg the question of how easy it is for us to fall into the trap of basing our opinion of people and issues on what we see through a screen. Of course, a person’s actions do help form our opinion of them, but in the spotlight, at a time where anybody can post a photo or video without context and frame a moment however they like, our assumptions and hot takes are less grounded on actual facts and context and instead hinges on “what’s this account with thousands of followers implying?” or “what’s the majority of people saying?” for fear of getting cancelled.

Celebrities themselves can also frame a narrative however they like (they literally have teams of people advising and executing such plans), so it’s really been tough to critically examine things or form our own opinions when control of media and public opinion is so easy to take.

So, it’s kind of new and refreshing to see someone like Selena Gomez herself take control of the narrative and stand her ground with the truth on her side. People are quick to turn unnecessarily cruel or perceive not just celebrities, but anyone they see online, not as people but as fodder for hate or gossip or think-pieces. The online world has become so tricky and exhausting that we really often need to take a step back and reexamine ourselves, our obsession with celebrities, and our social media consumption.

Continue Reading: 4 Times Nadine Lustre Unapologetically Set Her Boundaries

10 Filipino Songs We’re Manifesting To Hear BamBam Sing At His Upcoming Manila Concert

Let’s get the prayer circles ready.

Thai international superstar BamBam is coming to Manila! A few weeks before his show, he took to X to ask what Filipino songs he should perform—and his fans gave him plenty of options.

Related: All the Times K-Pop Idols Were Obsessed With SB19’s Gento

Three things you should know about soloist and GOT7 member BamBam: first, he’s having a concert here in the Philippines on September 22 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum with special guest Sandara Park! AREA 52 is his first solo world tour, with stops in Manila, Seoul, Bangkok, Macau, and more.

Second, along with Dara, he could also be an honorary Filipino with the way he partakes in our meme (and drinking) culture. He says “shot punoalmost every chance he gets! And third, BamBam has been immersed in OPM for a while now. He’s performed Filipino song Ngiti by Ronnie Liang several times over the years, including during KPOP Masterz Manila last year.

So, when he asked his fans on X for Filipino song suggestions to sing at his concert, Bammies jumped at the chance to recommend upbeat dance songs, emotional ballads, and even threw in some joke songs for the idol to consider. Below are some of the frequently-suggested and top-liked songs that we hope he performs at the concert!


Following the trend of K-Pop idols dancing to SB19’S Gento, so many fans suggested the song to the idol, hoping for a full performance complete with the powerful choreo. If he does pick Gento, we know he’ll kill it.


Clear skies or otherwise, a Raining in Manila performance will surely brighten up our day. We’d love to see the idol sing it with a stadium full of people screaming it at the top of their lungs.


Another SB19 song makes it to BamBam’s replies! The R&B track would 100% be right up BamBam’s alley, as the artist’s solo music, like his track Subliminal, is infused with R&B and just as smooth.


Kicking off the Christmas season, this fan suggested Ben&Ben’s Bibingka, a wistful song that will surely make the night just that much sweeter.


This slow, nostalgic hit performed by Moira Dela Torre and Daniel Padilla in the 2019 Himig Handog music competition is soothing and romantic, and hearing BamBam sing it would totally be swoon-worthy.


The star, a jokester himself, is not safe from his own fans’ pranks, and suggestions like Jolina Magdangal’s upbeat Chuva Choo Choo would make for a hilarious moment in the show.


Leaves is beloved by a handful of K-Pop idols, and BamBam’s even heard the song himself! The fact that he already knows it gives this gorgeous track a leg up in the race.


Ikaw is an emotional Filipino ballad by singer-songwriter Yeng Constantino, emotional and romantic. Actor and artist Seo In-Guk also covered the song during his 2023 Manila fanmeeting as did Stray Kids’ Bang Chan during the group’s concert earlier this year! We can already see BamBam wholeheartedly throwing himself into singing those scream-worthy lyrics.


This wedding-themed love song is perfect for the idol who’s known to be a big flirt as he matches his own fans’ energy. Once he sings a song like this with his signature playful charm, it’s over for everyone in that stadium.


And of course, what’s an event in the Ber months without the Filipino Christmas song? Hopefully BamBam gets wind of our rich Christmas culture and he and his Bammies turn the Araneta Coliseum into one big caroling session.

Continue Reading: GOT7 is the Name: GOT7 Make Their Long Awaited Return With the Fun and Laid Back ‘NANANA’

5 Reactions To The Percy Jackson And The Olympians Trailer That Are A Whole Mood

Move over, Potter.

The Percy Jackson and the Olympians trailer brings Percy and the Greek gods’ story to life in new ways for a generation that’s waited forever.

Related: Percy Jackson is in Its Renaissance Era, and We Love to See It

After wildly successful book-to-screen adaptations like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Divergent, it’s time for Percy Jackson to have the spotlight (and no, we don’t talk about the discontinued movie series adaptation). The long-awaited Disney+ adaptation of the book series, this time with author Rick Riordan heavily involved, dropped its series trailer last August 19 and moved its release date to December 20 of this year.

The series, as it was undergoing development, has been the subject of much media coverage and social media virality the past year. Book readers who have been there since the beginning and new fans alike have been buzzing with anticipation for an age-appropriate, faithful adaptation that will do justice to the young demigod hero’s story. Reactions to the new trailer and an earlier release date have been a mix of overjoyed excitement and emotional expressions of wish-fulfillment.

And no, as someone who’s read the books as a pre-teen and is now 22, I definitely didn’t tear up. Not at all. Nope.


Riordan and series fans have sung nothing but praises for the diverse and skills-first casting of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover. Walker Scobell of The Adam Project fame was announced as Percy Jackson last year, and Riordan referred to him as having the “perfect mix of comedic timing, sweetness, rebelliousness, snark and heroism” to embody the demigod hero.

The funny Aryan Simhadri was said to have a “mixture of sweetness, humor and internal toughness” perfect for satyr Grover Underwood. Finally, Leah Sava Jeffries is a “brilliant actor,” the embodiment of the daughter of Athena—smart, strong, and courageous. She could break hearts, make people laugh, and have people cheer on her “all in the same scene.” From the actors’ previous works, social media presence, and behind-the-scenes looks at the series, it is undoubtable they’ll do a fantastic job as the main trio.


Both teaser trailers featured creatures, gods, battles, and Camp Half-Blood come to life. It was fun for fans to notice and call out the series version of something they read in the book, such as Thalia’s tree (spoiler alert: Thalia Grace is a daughter of Zeus that was turned into a tree to save her life), the orange camp t-shirts, the armor, the battle with Ares, and so much more. While book-to-screen adaptations are a mix of hits and misses overall, there is reassurance in Riordan’s involvement and the world-building we’ve seen so far. Plus, it’s always so much fun and excitement in seeing words on a page come to life right in front of you.


In the trailer, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear a line from Vance Joy’s Riptide, making it canon as a Percy Jackson song after years of fans linking the song to the franchise. The song shares a name with Percy’s trusty sword Riptide. This detail means the series was produced with the fans in mind, and more than that, the creators truly realized what it means to fans who have been there forever, like those who made edits to the song way back in 2016. One can only wonder how those editor fans felt after watching the trailer!


Speaking of fans and faith, so many fans of the series who have run stan accounts for the series showed immense elation at the adaptation. I was also part of Percy Jackson Twitter in the early-to-mid 2010s, and I’ve made friends online and offline because of this series. Running a fan account and witnessing all the new releases and developments, from new novels to disappointing movie adaptations, is such a unique, rollercoaster experience. To watch the series, reliving old adventures and seeing new ones as the series goes on, will be a nostalgic, emotional journey that will get us to say, “Hello again, Percy.”


The first book of the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series, The Lightning Thief (which the first season of the show is based on), was first published in 2005. It’s been almost 20 years since then, but the series has consistently been relevant over the decades, what with new series being published by Rick Riordan still featuring characters and storylines from the original 5 books.

Chalice of the Gods, a standalone sixth novel to the original 5 books, is even being released this September. All that is to say, Percy’s story has lived on for years, accompanying a generation that is now all grown-up. This new Disney+ series will definitely introduce Percy to a whole new audience, and even a whole new generation. Regardless, we’ll all be seated for this renaissance.

Hype and expectations are sky-high for the adaptation, and hopefully, it will let Percy Jackson’s story live on in a new way in longtime fans, and open up new worlds to people who will have just discovered the magic of the series.

Continue Reading: Shops in and Around Manila Where You Can Buy or Donate Secondhand Books

Twitter Just Introduced Fleets And We’re Not Sure How To Feel About It

Brb, more reason to unfollow people.

Is it just me, or are social media sites having an identity crisis too?

If you’ve been living under a rock, Twitter just unveiled Fleets. But what exactly are Fleets? What are those blue circles on the top of the interface? On their official blog, design director Joshua Harris and product manager Sam Haveson explain,

“Fleets are for sharing momentary thoughts – they help start conversations and only stick around for 24 hours.”

The bird app is mostly used to air out thoughts no matter how big or small. In this system, you can utilize it from subtweeting a friend to raising awareness about a calamity in a place where media outlets are not easily accessible. (See the recent flooding at Cagayan where Twitter & Facebook became the unsung heroes of those that were affected.)

But do we really need another Instagram story or a My Day? Soon enough, we’ll all be on one app. Pioneered by Snapchat, the 24-hour format was a huge hit. Not until the other social media sites started looking the same.

More than a short-term feature, what Twitter really needs is an edit button. Cause some of y’all tweets should have. Stayed. In. The. Drafts. Especially the, ahem, fake news peddlers.

As if we aren’t excessively using social media most days, it’s definitely something users never asked for. In just 24 hours, the newest feature is already drawing mixed reactions. Scroll down for some of the netizens’ thoughts on Fleeting below: