Editor’s Note: The story has been updated to reflect new information.
Writing this specific article makes me remember my early days in GadgetMatch where I wrote two special articles about Stranger Things 3 — especially because I’m the biggest fan of the team (been a fan since Season 1).
After almost three years of (patiently) waiting, we’ll finally be able to watch Stranger Things 4 on our screens again!
Vol.1 Special Screening in Cinema 11
Seven days before the actual release of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1, Netflix Philippines invited us for a special screening of its first episode — right at Power Planet Mall’s last cinema booth, Cinema 11 (y’know, Eleven 🥁).
The littlest set details outside the cinema made me cherish the good ol’ days of the First Season of Stranger Things from 2016. From those bright neon lights, a retro-styled photobooth, an ST4-branded popcorn box, and a soda cup. Even the “swag set” full of ST4 goodies that imitated the look of the spooky creel house, This also reminded me of how the series (as well as the fanbase) expanded entirely until it became a hit globally.
Although I went there all by myself, I still enjoyed every bit of the screening. To best describe everything, here’s my Instagram Reel roundup of it:
Vol.2 Special Screening at Glorietta 4
While the first special screening was held at Cinema 11, this time it was at Glorietta 4’s Activity Center — and it’s something any Stranger Things fan wouldn’t want to miss.
Other than the Upside Down “4” logo of the mall itself, what’s special is what you’ll find inside.
Going straight to Glorietta 4’s Activity Center shows you a perfect glimpse of Vecna’s Mind Lair. From the walls to the floors, you can tell that it was a spot-on portrayal of the lair. Kudos to the creative team behind this nerve-wracking installment.
And the star of the show is none other than Vecna himself. While it may be creepy for most (especially to non-fans), for me it was an astonishing feat of art installation right at the heart of Glorietta 4.
Vecna-ception? Well, you’re not wrong. The real Vecna showed up in front of us and did the same iconic scene with Max from one of Stranger Things’ most memorable episodes — Vol.1 Chapter 4: Dear Billy.
Fans and influencers alike flaunted their full-blown Stranger Things-inspired outfits which clearly show that the Netflix series has a huge following in the Philippines.
While I didn’t take any selfies with Vecna, the photo of my foot stepping on one of Vecna’s “mind veins” is enough for me to say “I was at Vecna’s Mind Lair and I survived even if I have a lot of sufferings” 🤣
You can watch a virtual tour of Vecna’s Mind Lair by watching my Instagram Reel:
View this post on Instagram
The Vecna mind projection will be available for the public to see at Glorietta 4 until 2nd of July — just a day after the premiere of Stranger Things 4 Vol.2.
4 big things to expect
After watching the first episode of Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 for about an hour and fifteen minutes, there are four things I think we should expect in the series.
1. Out with the old, in with the new?
After the devastating phenomenon that happened in Hawkins last season, several characters have moved into a new town. The Byers, together with El(even) in mind. That also means Will and El have to deal with a new set of people in a seemingly unfamiliar environment.
Other characters have remained in the OG town, though. From the Wheelers, Sinclairs, Dustin, Joe, Robin, and even Max, they have continued with their lives despite being stuck in the same ol’ town. And oh, as the gang turned from kids to teens, do expect some dramatic changes in the way they act — especially after what happened.
P.S: There’s a new school club, too, that’s hilariously fun and cool despite its degrading image to the eyes of many.
2. Familiar and unfamiliar faces
Other than the remaining original cast from Season 1, a new season also means expecting new characters on the block. Apart from new schoolmates, there are also people that might help the initial set of kiddos who have saved Will from the darker underworld a.k.a the Upside Down.
The first few minutes of the episode was also revealed through Stranger Things’ YouTube channel showing how the Hawkins Laboratory had more than 11 Eleven-like superchildren that are being tested and experimented — until everything fell apart because of one superchild that ruined how things work inside the lab.
3. Jim isn’t dead
Jim Hopper’s sudden disappearance after the closing of the Upside Down had a lot of fans shaking their heads. Most (including myself) have speculated that he already died. Well, we can’t afford losing one more main character after the death of Bob from Season 2. Plus, Billy and Alexei just last season.
Fortunately, Jim, in his new haircut, appeared on the official trailer of Stranger Things 4. And just as shown in the first episode of the first volume, his presence can be felt — just from another side of the planet.
4. Another monster to kill
The Demogorgon and Mind Flayer are two of the most wicked supervillains ever existed. Whether that may be in the history of Hawkins or just in the eyes of people.
But the two evil creatures aren’t the end of the gang’s fate. A new town means there’s a new monster, too — namely, Vecna.
As shown at the end of the official trailer, the new horrendous creature is in human form. It can manipulate the mind of the affected individual — even the dimension where s/he’s at. While I won’t be specific about what happened, it sure is a powerful, demonic creature. It can truly make someone disturbingly psychotic and literally broken inside and out.
Biggest season ever with super-sized episodes
After watching the first episode of the first volume, I can say it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions. First it was thrilling, then it became a full-on comedy show. Next thing you know, you’re already mindf*cked with what’s happening. I always say this but still, hands-down to the team behind Stranger Things for making the fourth season more exciting to watch (despite being borderline creepy and horrifying).
The First Volume of Stranger Things Season 4 was released by Netflix on May 27, 2022 (Friday) with seven episodes. Most episodes are reported to be as long as a full-length film.
On the other hand, Volume 2 with a whopping total of two episodes will be released after two months: exactly July 1st (also a Friday) — just four days before the independence of the United States of America. That makes the series run nine episodes in total.
K-Pop stars, Taylor Swift headline Apple Music Singapore year-end charts
FIFTY FIFTY, NewJeans get a lot of love
FIFTY FIFTY, a Korean girl group formed just last year, has completed its remarkable rise to the top of music charts as “Cupid (Twin Ver.)” earned the top overall spot in Apple Music Singapore Top Songs of 2023 chart.
The song also ranked eighth in the Top Shazamed Songs of 2023 list in the island. No other song was searched on Shazam the most than JIN’s “The Astronaut,” followed by Rema’s hit song “Calm Down.”
Meanwhile, Singaporeans have also showcased how much they have loved another girl group — NewJeans — throughout the year, with four songs from the artist entering the Top 25.
“Ditto” and “OMG” placed second and fifth in the Top Songs of 2023 list, with “Hybe Boy” and “Super Shy” also in the Top 25 at 13th and 21st.
Apple Music Artist of the Year 2023 Taylor Swift had three entries to the Top 25, with “Anti-Hero” ranking third, “Cruel Summer” at sixth, and “Enchanted (Taylor’s Version)” at 20th.
Miley Cyrus also had a big year on Apple Music charts with “Flowers” placing fourth on both the top songs and most Shazamed lists.
Apple Music Replay 2023
As the year winds down, it’s once again time for Apple Music subscribers to discover, listen, and share their top songs, artists, albums, genres, and more as Apple Music Replay 2023 is now live.
The year-end experience offers listeners worldwide access to expanded listening insights and a completely personalized highlight reel.
Aside from checking their top songs, albums, artists, genres, and more, fans can discover whether they’re in the top 100 listeners of their favorite artist of genre, or even listen to their personal top 100 songs chart from each year with the Replay yearly playlists via replay.music.apple.com.
Pilipinas Live to show UAAP finals Game 2, NBA In-Season Tourney playoffs
Avail of the app’s 7-day free trial
The ongoing UAAP Season 86 basketball finals and the entire playoffs of the NBA In-Season Tournament can be streamed on Pilipinas Live, Cignal’s innovative OTT app.
The University of the Philippines (UP) secured a blowout victory over De La Salle University (DLSU) in the men’s basketball finals opener last Wednesday, and is eager to close out the series on Sunday, December 3 at 4 PM.
Meanwhile, the University of Santo Tomas (UST) is also hopeful to put an end to National University’s (NU) seven year-long dynasty in the women’s basketball scene in Game 2 of their own series at 12 noon.
NBA In-Season Tournament
Fans can also use the app to watch the quarterfinals of the NBA In-Season Tournament.
Only eight teams remain in the inaugural staging of the tournament where NBA teams vie for the NBA Cup: the Milwaukee Bucks, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Sacramento Kings, New Orleans Pelicans, and Phoenix Suns.
The championship match of the knockout stage shall be held in Las Vegas.
Free trial for new subscribers
New Pilipinas Live subscribers can enjoy a seven-day free trial so they won’t miss any action.
Basketball fans can enjoy not just live coverages but also other exclusive features such as multi-cam view and various interactive options.
The Pilipinas Live app can be downloaded via the App Store and Google Play Store. To create an account, visit the website here: https://www.pilipinaslive.com/.
Catch NewJeans, LE SSERAFIM, more at AAA 2023 with Smart Live
K-Pop, K-Drama stars on tap
The Hallyu Wave is hitting the Philippines Hard with the Asia Artist Awards or AAA 2023 happening on December 14 at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. Catch your favorite K-Pop acts with Smart Live.
The AAA is one of the biggest and most star-studded shows recognizing Asian artists in film, television, and music. It is the latest addition to this year’s stellar line-up of Smart Live events.
How to redeem AAA tickets with Smart Prepaid
Smart Prepaid subscribers may secure AAA tickets in two ways:
- Through points redemption on the Smart App
- By activating a Smart Prepaid eSIM and availing of Magic Data+ packages.
For points redemption on the Smart App, subscribers may follow these steps on Nov. 16 to 17, 2023:
- Download and then log in on the Smart App
- Tap ‘My Rewards’ and choose the Asia Artist Awards (AAA 2023) ticket you want to redeem with your points.
- Wait for the confirmation message then head to the Smart Booth at SM Megamall B in Mandaluyong from Nov. 25 to 26, 2023 to claim your ticket. Be ready to present your redemption notification and your active subscription to Power All 149 on the Smart App.
Activating a Smart Prepaid eSIM and topping up with Magic Data+ 749 packages. Subscribers may follow these steps:
- Purchase and activate your Smart Prepaid eSIM (Digital or Carded).
- Go to the Smart Store at SM Megamall B in Mandaluyong on November 25 to 26, 2023, from 10AM to 10PM.
- Present proof of your active Smart Prepaid eSIM and availment of Magic Data+ 749 on the Smart App. The required number of Magic Data+ 749 availments varies depending on your preferred ticket.
Subscribers can enjoy the best fan experiences and instantly share their best moments with the rest of the world powered by Smart.
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