Jessica Soho on the RP K-pop invasion (TURN ON “CC” FOR ENG SUBS)

The continuous spread of Korean culture amongst Filipinos is evident in the great popularity of boybands such as Super Junior and the drama Queen Seon Dok Korean culture has captured the hearts of many here They are the apparent new idol-figures of Filipinos especially the youth TV shows are closely followed and idol groups are cheered for Aside from our local artists we Filipinos commonly idolize Hollywood celebrities then mexican telenovelas and super stars came along not long after, fellow Asians followed suit especially Koreans we screamed for them we watched their performances we sang and danced along with them even their fashion in clothes and hair became popular April 9, another Korean pop group arrived in the Philippines Super Junior even just in the airport, a stampede almost happened after the vehicles transporting Super Junior have already left the fans still could not contain their excitement Why are you crying? Tears of joy! I’ve finally seen them! Super Junior debuted in South Korea in 2005 They became known as the boyband with the largest number of members in the entire world They are 15 in all including 2 Chinese members from one of their subgroups On YouTube, a video of SJ performing with Filipina singer Charice Pempengco in a variety show can be seen In 2009, their song Sorry Sorry became a hit here in the Philippines Their K-pop album was the first to reach number one in sales in the country That’s why their arrival in the Philippines is a dream come true for their die-hard fans Like ChiChi who has spent approximately one hundred thousand pesos (USD 2,200) to support Super Junior and acquire their collectible items Think of it this way: there are 15 guys How can you feed 15 guys? That’s how it is If you don’t buy their albums they won’t earn anything A night before SuJu’s concert in the Philippines we caught up with ChiChi and her group waiting inside a coffee shop in the Araneta Center SuJu was rehearsing inside, they were waiting for a chance to catch a glimpse when they come out Who are you waiting for? Anyone (Anyone) Even the manager (Mr. Manager is handsome) Mr. Manager is handsome But after 3 hours, ChiChi’s group wasn’t able to catch a glimpse of any of the members So they’re not in the area anymore? No they’re not What are you going to do next? Wait in line They ended up at the entrance of the concert venue Take shifts when eating There should always be somebody left behind Who’s going to eat first? Let Chai go first While waiting in line ChiChi’s group made placards So they can see the love coming from the fans As the night deepens the fans ignore their weariness When they couldn’t stay awake any longer they just slept on the floor Next day, the queue for the concert already reached the sidewalks at the periphery of Araneta Until at last at 5PM all their persistence paid off All the weariness is gone it’s almost at an end we’re finally going to watch them Super Junior’s concert lasted 3 hours when the audience members exited everyone was all smiles They are all very handsome The best! The best! So cute! I enjoyed it a lot If I hadn’t enjoyed it that much I’d still have my voice right now Filipinos’ devotion to K-pop is quite a new trend Even if you can’t understand the lyrics first and foremost, it’s the melody that is appealing second would be the persons who are singing third would be the production value of the music videos fourth would be the fantasy factor Korea represents a certain appeal which many young Filipinos aspire to reach which is why many young Filipinos are drawn to K-pop U-Kiss was also here recently they will have a concert here in May and this is what their fan, 16-year old Yeddah has been eagerly waiting for since it’s summer vacation and she’s not receiving any school allowance she’s been making T-shirts to sell online I told myself I need to find a way to save money for the upcoming concert For me, a concert is not considered a necessity, right? She’s not trying to convince me to just give her the money It is through the power of the internet that fans have access to information about their favorite artists but there are times when this can also cause harm for example, in South Korea a story was circulated about the suicide of a fan who had her picture taken with one of the members of Super Junior she was allegedly bullied by jealous fans which led her to commit suicide the leader of TVXQ or Tohoshinki was once the target of poisoning by anti-fans, people who hate certain celebrities It seems the influence of Koreans is getting stronger proof of which is the intense positive reception of the show Queen Seon Deok which can be seen here on GMA the support given to Korean dramas and the spread of Korean pop culture in the Philippines is astounding I hope someday, it would be Filipino culture which would spread to other parts of the world and it would be our turn be admired by others

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