Winner, iKON Heat Up Manila with Back-To-Back Concerts

Filipino Inner Circles and iKONICs were given a double treat as YG Entertainment’s next generation of boy groups wrapped up their first back-to-back solo concerts at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last November 11 and 12.

Winner and iKON brought the house down with their performances at the Manila leg of their “Everywhere” and “Continue” tour, respectively.



It’s been more than a month since their unforgettable stages, but many are surely not yet getting over with their PCDs. Below are the exciting details and concert experiences from our Krew members Jean and June.


Jean:  The only thing that came to my mind was the fact that I needed to be at the concert, no matter what! I rushed all my work before the concert but I still wasn’t able to finish them all. Still, I pushed through because I don’t know when they are going back to PH.

I just like how versatile they are because aside from music, the members are also talented in arts, modeling, acting, and more. If loving them means sacrificing, then I guess the 2 AM bus ride from Pampanga to Manila was not so bad after all.

June: When I first heard that they will have a concert here in Manila, I felt overly excited and a bit anxious for I know I will have to master the Kpop fans’ golden rule of #iponing. Come the ticketing day, I wasn’t able to buy one for me, as in nothing from any of the seat sections. However, days passed and a co-iKONIC sold her ticket to me (hallelujah!), and my almost a month of ticket hunting come to fruition.

Honestly, I am not the biggest iKONIC there is (multifandom alert!) But I can proudly say that I have been “stanning” the group even before their debut. For K-variety show junkies, you’ll understand if I say I have been rooting for Team B since the “WIN: Who Is Next” and the “Mix and Match” eras.


Jean: It was my first time to purchase Gen Ad (because I’m poor huhu) and contrary to the popular belief, the said section has some nice view. Moreover, I really like the spirit of the people who were there because I felt such amazing connection when we screamed and joined other fans in singing with the band.

Everything was magical except for the people who ended up not following the seating arrangement and blocked the view of other fans by standing in front while taking videos. I really hope those few will learn discipline and respect on their next concert experience.


June: Lowerbox B was not my first choice but I am still thankful that I caught the “Continue” tour, and experienced the hype during the concert. I had a good view of the main and extended stages, and I was also near a screen. Actually, I entered the arena 15 minutes before the show started. Way before showtime, almost all seats are occupied already and the fan chants of iKONICs every time a music video is being played was just giving me goosebumps.



Jean: I loved that they started the show with “Empty”. After the whole setlist was done, all I wanted to have was to hear more of them!!! I wish we could’ve had more time to process everything. They performed their hit singles such as “Everyday”, “Really Really”, “Island”, “Love Me Love Me”, and “Don’t Flirt”. I also liked their solo stages and to be honest, I don’t know who my bias is anymore after the concert. But definitely, Hoony’s solo stage really caught my eye (if you know what I mean).

Indeed, it was a feel-good concert and at the same time explosive. I just went out of the arena feeling so happy and proud that I made the right decision. I really hope they will come back! YG better take care of them because they are all so precious.


June: In terms of the set list, I would say the concert was satisfying. Not too short, not too long, but of course, I wish we had more time with them. The boys opened the show with “Bling Bling,” “Sinosijak,” and “Rhythm Ta.” The vocal line including Jay, Song, DK, Ju-ne, and Chan sang “Perfect.” Rappers B.I and Bobby also had their solo stages. iKON sang most of their most-favorite songs like the iconic “iKON is coming to town!,” “B-Day,” “Goodbye Road,” “Killing Me,” and the much awaited “Love Scenario.” We were hoping for them to sing “Climax” but I guess we have to wait for their next concert here.



Jean: I love that they were like little kids when they talked about Jollibee and how good it was. But what made me laugh every now and then was Mino’s version of “sigaw” which he pronounced as “shigaw”. He did it repeatedly, it was so funny!!! On a more serious note, I felt indescribable kilig when they said, “Namiss namin kayo”.

I appreciated Jinu so much because he had the most practiced lines in saying Filipino sentences as opposed to others who memorized or read some phrases. But don’t get me wrong, I felt electrified by all of their messages.

I also absolutely fell in love with their funny video skit where all of them imagined what their futures would be like after they find the treasure. It was silly but it had the WINNER trademark on it. But what made the night more heartwarming was their appreciation of the fan project (btw, good job fellow ICs) and how everyone in the arena sang to the chorus of “Movie Star” while all the cellphone lights became like twinkling stars in the night. All of them took their time to hold the banners and really gave those who were at the concert an awesome fan service.


June: First of all, Jay was so EXTRA that night. It’s not a secret that he stayed in Davao for some time before, but coming from his own words, that he has a special tie with the Philippines, ugh surreal! Double B prepared a “Love Scenario” battle and when Bobby lost, he shouted “Saranghae!” without his microphone. I bet people in the GA heard that clearly. I love Jay, he is my bias ever since Day-0, but Bobby, the way he interacts with the fans, and his “Tendae” performance, I am calling it, he captured half my heart.

The boys also mastered some Filipino phrases to make us kilig. Jay adorably told us “Sakin ka na lang!” during their “My Type.”  Ju-ne showed his abs! Song boasted “Pinaghirapan ko pagkagwapo ko!” iKONICs showed their love to the boys by filling the arena with rainbow lights. The bright red color of Konbats and flashing yellow fabrics mimic a burning fire as iKONICs jumped and sang to “B-Day.” The boys also asked the fans to put their phones down so they could see their faces. It was a moment worthy of being treasured forever for both iKON and Filipino iKONICs. Everything about the concert was the highlight for me!



Jean: More blessings. Next album. Next concert. Basta, wherever they go, I will always be there for them and I just hope that their direction in the near future will always include the four (4) of them together!!! Everywhere Tour was astonishing and I know the next will exceed expectations.


June: iKON did not disappoint and made their first Manila concert really worth the wait. Their passion and hard work transcend to their fans, and I definitely felt that. The boys obviously had fun as much as we do. I’m sure their next tour and concert in the Philippines will be another sold out.



Written By KREW MEMBERS: Jean Singian and  June Olivar


KCC brings Korean Culture Caravan to PH Schools

Many people have been captured by the “oppa,” “eonni,” and “finger heart” craze, but what exactly is the reason behind it? It’s from where it all began – Korea and its culture!

Korea and the Korean culture are surely getting more recognized here in the country, and that’s accurately the aim of the Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines by bringing its Korean Culture Caravan to schools and institutions.

This year, KCC is staging the caravans in seven public high schools from the 20 schools that will offer Special Program in Foreign Language – Korea (SPFL-Korea) of the Department of Education (DepEd).

The Korean Culture Caravan seeks to inspire and engage students in discovering and understanding the Korean culture while encouraging them to love their own and stay true to their identity as Filipinos.

Every caravan is opened with KCC Director LEE Jin-Cheol’s lecture on the Korean culture where he trails the country’s rich history, explains the Korean flag and language it represents, discusses the diplomacy and traditions shared by Filipinos and Koreans, and talks about the evolution of “Hallyu” or Korean wave.

To give students and teachers the chance to embrace the meaningful elements of Korea, KCC prepared exciting events such as film and documentary screenings, “sagunja” or “mooninhwa” or traditional painting class, K-pop dance class, cooking demonstrations, book exhibit, raffle draws, traditional game booth, and “hanbok” wearing experience.


KCC also has its own booth where participants get to take home special prizes like bookmarks, tumblers, magazines, K-pop albums, and more.

Keeping the importance of showcasing both cultures, students from the visited schools prepared traditional Filipino folk dances and K-pop dance covers.


Winners of the 2018 Pinoy K-pop Star vocal and dance categories and ShowBT Philippines’ all-Filipino boy group SB19 also entertained the students with their thrilling performances.



The caravan has already visited Kalayaan National High School, Las Piñas National High School, Boot National High School, Tanza National Comprehensive High School, and Pasay City National Science High School, and will soon make a stop at the Gov. Feliciano Leviste Memorial National High School, and Maligaya High School.

KCC is preparing to bring Korean culture closer to more students with grander events and caravan. See you there!

Spotted anyone you know in the pictures above? Or do you have unforgettable moments during the Korean Culture Caravan? Let us know in the comments!

Written by KREW member June Olivar

ICYMI: Here’s What Went Down At The 27th Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival

A celebration of culture and friendship with a music and dance buffet — that’s what you missed at the 2018 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival held at the Aliw Theater on October 27. With the theme “Hand and Hand,” the event served its purpose of showcasing the best of Filipino and Korean culture and strengthening further the bond between both countries.

The festivity opened with special performances of several Filipino and Korean acts to entertain culture enthusiasts and supporters. Visitors were treated with more surprises such as wearing Korean traditional clothing hanbok, various K-street food, and K-pop related activities. Attendees also took home freebies from booths of participating sponsors and organizations in the theater’s lobby.

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Ms. Julia Lee of United Korea Community Association welcomes the guests and audiences of The 2018 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival.

Divided into two parts, the 27th Phil-Kor Cultural Exchange Festival showcased the brimming talents of five dance groups and 14 power vocals at the Annual Talent Competition. Filipino participants sang and grooved to Korean songs as Korean contestants did to OPM hits. They went through a series of elimination which took place months before the finals.

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MYX VJ Sunny Kim leads the 2018 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival as its host.

Hosted by MYX VJ Sunny Kim, the talent competition is judged by Korean Cultural Center (KCC) Director Lee Jin-Cheol, United Korea Community Association in the Philippines (UKCA) Chairman Kang Chang-Ik, Korean Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines Director Lee Ho-Ik, ShowBT Philippines CEO Charles Kim, soprano Park Min-Jung, and tenor Dondi Ong.

For the vocal category, Michelle Danielle Marfil bagged third prize with So Chan Hwee’s “Tears.” Yoon Dong Hyun took the second prize with his version of Sharon Cuneta’s “Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas,” and Sandra Faith Dela Cruz, who performed “Arirang,” won first prize.

For the dance category, Chaos gave a fan dance twist to their VIXX cover and won the third prize. Wanna One cover group Wanna Man won second prize, and Legion took home the first prize with their electrifying BTS medley performance.

Finally, Joy Lorenze Locsin emerged as the grand prize winner for her soaring rendition of “Arirang.”

The prize for the slogan and poster making contest was also awarded to Yena Lee.

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The winners of the 27th Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Annual Talent Competition.
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Ms. Yena Lee receives her award for winning the Slogan and Poster Design Contest.
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2017 Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival grand prize winner Venisse Nicole Sy, and first prize winner Merry Mia Sinaguinan hit the stage during the judges’ deliberations.

To make the day even more special, the Phil-Kor Concert began with welcoming remarks from UKCA chairman Chang Ik-Kang, NCAA Program Monitoring, and Evaluation Division chief Adel Suemith, and Ambassador Han Dong-Man of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines. The show also highlighted the long-running diplomatic bond between Korea and the Philippines through video presentations.

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NCAA Program Monitoring and Evaluation Division chief Adel Suemith and Ambassador HAN Dong-man of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Philippines deliver their speeches.

The Korean National Gugak Team enticed the audience by playing their country’s traditional instruments and singing of “Arirang.” The Bayanihan National Folk Dance Company graced the stage with various traditional Filipino folk songs and dances to represent the Philippines. Korean duo tenor Jung Jin-Sung and baritone Bae Sung-Choul (BLESS) stunned the crowd with their powerful collaboration with Bora Kim and Philippine tenors Sherwin Sozon and Dondi Ong.

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This year’s grand champion Joy Lorenze Locsin returned to the stage to perform her winning piece. The third prize winner of last year’s dance competition Cainta Sejong School rocks the stage with the rhythm of their drums. Millennial audiences enjoyed boy group SB19’s debut performance, then K-pop boy group BNF brought the house down with their captivating charms and performances.

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The concert wrapped up with a collaborative performance of “Awitin Mo,” sang in both Filipino and Korean to symbolize the camaraderie between Koreans and Filipinos.

Lastly, Ambassador HAN Dong-Man delivered his congratulatory message where he promised to host bigger and more cultural events and activities as both nations will celebrate its 70th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2019.

The 27th Philippines-Korea Cultural Exchange Festival was organized by the United Korea Community Association in the Philippines, Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, and supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines.

Written by KREW Member June Olivar

Photos from Thea Lusterio and Clyde Antes

A Quick Guide to Korea’s Chuseok

“Chuseok jal bonaesaeyo!” (Have a wonderful Chuseok! 추석 잘 보내새요!)

On the time when the full moon light up the sky, Korean families come together and give thanks to their ancestors for an abundant harvest. This tradition is called Chuseok (추석), the Korean Thanksgiving Day, one of the most important and festive holidays of the year. The term translates to “autumn eve” as it is celebrated during the 15th day of the eighth month on the Lunar calendar and lasts for three days. This year, the Chuseok fell on September 23 to 25.

This annual celebration calls for quality time with family. Koreans often visit their ancestral homes as an act of respect and gratitude. They clear away the weeds and debris on the graves of their family members, and perform a bowing ceremony at the grave site, referred to as bulcho (벌초) and seongmyo (성묘). On the actual day of Chuseok, they conduct a charye (차례) or an ancestral memorial ceremony. Charye is done by preparing traditional foods, particularly a kind of rice cake called songpyeon (송편).

In celebration of Chuseok, Teacher Lily Baek of KCC’s cooking class taught the art of making this Korean delicacy during the Songpyeon Making Workshop last September 28, 2018.

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As part of KCC’s Korean Culture Day, Teacher Baek discusses the origin of Chuseok, and how songpyeon became an important part of it.

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Songpyeon is mainly made with rice dough filled with a special mixture of salt, sugar, honey, and ground sesame seeds or mung beans, and then steamed. These ingredients are the common fresh harvest during the Chuseok season. Songpyeon is usually shaped into a half-moon or small squash-like ball decorated with rice dough cut into fancy shapes. The rice cake dough is by default white but can be colored and flavored with various traditional ingredients like mugwort powder for green, pumpkin powder for yellow, and cockscomb flower for red.

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The old custom of making songpyeon and eating it together illustrate the Korean culture’s value for the family. Teacher Baek said elder Koreans believe that prettily shaped and cooked songpyeon symbolizes having a beautiful offspring.

She also talked about baesuk (배숙), a traditional Korean drink made with boiled pear, black peppercorn, ginger, and sugar. A fruit punch that washes all these tasty treats down best.

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Here’s a simple recipe guide to make your own baesuk and songpyeon.

Baesuk (배숙) – Korean Pear Drink

You’ll need:
1/2 Korean pear; washed
1/2 tablespoon of black peppercorn
30 grams of ginger; sliced
3/4 cup of sugar
2 liters of water
1/2 tablespoon of pine nuts

1. Peel Korean pear. Cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces, and make it in the shape of a flower using a mold. Set aside leftover pear.
2. Soak black peppercorns in hot water for 30 minutes. (This will lessen the pungent taste.) Push through the black peppercorns deeply into the center of flower-shaped pear.
3. Put the sliced ginger and leftover pear into a pot, add water, and boil over medium heat for 20 minutes.
4. Take ginger and leftover pear pieces out.
5. Add the flower-shaped pears and sugar into the pot. Boil over low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Let it cool and store in a refrigerator.
7. Garnish drinks with two to three pieces of pine nuts then serve.
Songpyeon (송편) – Korean Half-Moon Shaped Rice Cakes

For sesame filling, you’ll need:
1 cup of sesame seeds
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
1/3 tablespoons of salt

1. Crush sesame seeds to release flavor.
2. Mix crushed sesame seeds with sugar, honey, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.

For mung bean filling, you’ll need:
1 cup of mung beans
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of honey
1/3 tablespoons of salt

1. Soak mung beans in water until skin can be peeled.
2. Steam soaked mung beans for 20 minutes.
3. Mash mung beans, and stir-fry with sugar and salt until dry. Set aside.

For rice dough, you’ll need:
5 cups of rice powder
2 tablespoons of mugwort powder (for green rice dough)
hot water
sesame oil

1. Mix three cups of rice powder with six tablespoons of hot water to make the dough. Knead and press until soft. Cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap. Let it rest for a few minutes.
2. Mix two cups of rice powder with two tablespoons of mugwort powder to make the green dough. Knead and press until soft. Cover with a wet towel or plastic wrap. Let it rest for a few minutes.
3. Tear off a coin-sized dough and a make ball of it in your hand.
4. Press down the center of dough to form a little bowl with your fingers.
5. Stuff dough with sesame seeds or mung beans filling.
6. Fold the stuffed dough in half, and mold into the shape of a half moon. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
7. Steam stuffed doughs over high heat or 20 minutes.
8. Prepare a big bowl of cold water. Remove rice cakes from the steamer, and drop them in the cold water for a quick rinse.
9. Transfer rice cakes to a colander to drain.
10. Lightly coat hands with sesame oil, and rub on the surface of rice cakes.
11. Serve warm.

Tell us how yours turned out. Share a feast of songpyeon and happy Chuseok!


Written by KREW member June Olivar

Fiancée: Jung Joon Young Holds Heart-Fluttering Fan Meeting Event


Fiancée is truly a dream come true for Jungbrahimovics!!! His versatility knows no bounds because aside from being able to do variety shows, he’s also an excellent actor and singer.

The event was held at ABS-CBN Vertis Tent last September 22. This is the first fan meet of Joon Young here in the Philippines. A lot of fans know him as the maknae cast of KBS 2TV’s “2 Days and 1 Night” and “We Got Married Season 4” where he was ‘married’ with Jung Yoo Mi.



Throughout the fan meet, his eccentric, unpredictable, yet charming personality shone on stage. His humor is unrestrained but like hypnosis, you are bound to be pulled simply by love and attraction. (The two-sentence descriptions are just my way of trying to find accurate words on what happened. But they are all just summaries of the wonderful time I had experienced!)




If that’s surprising to you, let me share what he said when asked why he always wins on 2 Days and 1 Night, “I’m not a genius. My members are just very old.” He’s far away but he still savagely disses his hyungs.

When asked about his favorite dish here in PH, he answered kare-kare plus he also misses San Miguel beer. I’m pretty sure that just helped several establishments that night to increase their sales through unpaid advertising. I even craved for those two myself just because he said it even though I’m not really a fan of beers in general!

San Miguel Beer


He also mentioned that Filipino food is hard to cook but he’s open to fans teaching him how, next time… Hello to the fangirls and fanboys out there, Joon Young wants you to teach him how to cook!!! He said that he will cook kare-kare and seafood for his future fiancée.

He sang: The Sense of An Ending, Sympathy, Fiancée, Spotless Mind, and Becoming Dust. All of which gave me goosebumps. It was a live performance but you can see he didn’t even struggle singing the high notes. My most treasured moment is when he did the rap part of Fiancée – it was just 대박 (daebak/amazing)! I swooned every single time, just look at his photos below:






After the brief interview with host, Kring Kim, the search for Joon Young’s fiancée started.


Fans were asked to sit down if they don’t fit the criteria of his ideal girl. In the end, six fans have been chosen. Check out his type:


The next challenge for the first game was to choose which hand belongs to Joon Young while the six fans were blindfolded. The remaining fans battled it out by answering questions about him.


Here’s a recap of the questions and their corresponding answers:


The second game had 8 contestants on stage. This time, our beloved sang OPM songs he was listening on his headphones and fans tried to guess what song it is. The winner was decided after getting 3 points.


Look at the OPM songs he sang below:


All winners of the games got a signed album, selfie, and a hug (A HUG!!). After this, a video prepared by fans was shown on the screens. He was surprised when everyone lifted their banners and congratulated him on his 5th anniversary.
PH fan club Jung Junyoung PHL (jjyphl) also prepared a football-themed cake which he loved.




The two last segments were the hi-touch and group photo. Both of which made me feel like I was flying on air while approaching the stage and I’m sure all the fans who were present there also felt the same way. It was so surreal and highly emotional too because everyone knew the fan meet was ending. The only thing that made the parting positive was his promise that he will come back once again next year! He announced that he will be releasing his new songs too.

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Just recently, he also visited the country for the launch of Viu’s reality show, “Hello K-Idol” where he is a mentor for aspiring Filipino artists together with BTOB’s vocalist and actor Yook Sung Jae who wants to develop their skills in singing, dancing, performing, fashion, and teamwork.

Fans went home with full hearts (I can certainly attest to this!)! We wish him the best on his singing, acting, and variety show career. We, your fans, will always support you. See you again, next year.

Written by KREW Member Jean Singian

Will Travel For Fandom: What You Should Know Before Making Your Dream Trip Happen

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly out of the country for the love of fandom? Here, we give you the lowdown on traveling for what you’re most passionate about – K-Pop!


It’s not impossible.

The first thing you should know about traveling for fandom is that it’s not impossible. If mutuals on your feed can do it, then so can you! As cheesy as it sounds, believing that you will be able to travel to see your faves someday will motivate you to achieve your goal.

Traveling while achieving some #FanGoals sounds like a great idea!


You don’t have to be rich.

This is probably the biggest misconception of most fans. While traveling will always involve money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be rich to be able to do so. Being wise with your spending habits is the key to feed your travel fund. For more helpful tips on saving up for fandom, read this: IPONING 101: The K-Pop Stan’s Guide To Saving Up.

Former Krew member Lei, a Melody, travels whenever she can to support BTOB. “I work two jobs. I scrimp on other things like clothes, shoes, bags, and others. I’ve learned to let go of them. I use just one bag for work and don’t buy a new one until it’s broken. I’m also my family’s breadwinner. I cover my brother’s tuition, our house loan, and other expenses. It’s hard to balance life with fangirling, but if you really want to, there’s always a way.”


Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

For some, especially first-time travelers, traveling alone can be more daunting than exciting.

If you’re going on a solo fan pilgrimage and the nerves are catching up on you, go and find ways to get some company during your stay. Book a shared dorm at a hostel and make friends with your roommates. Chances are, one of them is also a K-Pop fan!

I opted to stay at a hostel in the zippy neighborhood of Itaewon. There were six people (me included) in the room I occupied, and there was not a day that went by that I didn’t have a K-Pop fan for a roommate. The first one was a huge Wannable from Taiwan and another, who came later, was a Chinese NCTizen.

You can also check on mutuals if any of them will be in Korea around the same time as you or search on SNS if there are fans who are also looking for a concert buddy on D-Day. Of course, you still have to be cautious of who you talk to online, so run a thorough check on their profiles and never disclose any of your sensitive information to them. If you don’t want to fuss over looking for a companion, you can simply make new friends at the event!


Be smart. Avoid scams.

The situation: Tickets to the concert or event you wish to attend sold out in a flash. Don’t panic! Before resorting to resellers, wait it out and revisit the ticketing website after a few days. Some people may have cancelled their tickets, which you can now avail.

Ms. Nicole, the Public Relations Officer of KCC, scored tickets to G-Dragon’s Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour in Seoul after slots re-opened, due to people cancelling their ticket purchases.
G-Dragon Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour in Seoul

Also, it’s best to have your name printed on the ticket, as some organizers are stricter than others and will definitely check if you personally bought the ticket you’re holding. There have been instances when fans who bought from resellers were denied entry to events, since the name on the ticket they have doesn’t match with the ID they presented.

Now, if resellers are your only hope, check on their legitimacy before paying for the ticket. Visit their page and read reviews of customers who have purchased from them. Are the reviews positive? Negative? Mixed? Questionable? You may also drop the reseller a message to strike a chat with them. Are they accommodating? Do they sound trustworthy? Are they the type who’d be open to price negotiations? These are questions you have to ask yourself when purchasing a ticket from a reseller.

Here’s a clever technique Krew member Dawn used to check the legitimacy of a reseller’s claims: “I gave the the reseller a condition. I asked her to send me pictures of her holding the ticket next to a glass of water just to make sure that she actually has the ticket and that she’s not just fooling me into buying a ticket that does not exist.”

Fansigns are a bit more complicated to get through; however, buying in bulk will give you higher chances of getting a fansign pass, so be ready to shell out a chunk of your money, as trying your luck at fansign lotteries can get extremely costly.

Ms. Pao, KCC’s Events Coordinator, suggests buying in stores that are not near the city center for increased odds of winning in the fansign lottery. She met her ultimate idol Kim Jaejoong at a fansign event in Korea in 2013.


Timing? Play it by ear.

Ms. Nicole, a Hottest, didn’t miss the chance to be part of 2PM’s 6Nights Concert, just before members Taecyeon and Jun. K enlisted for Korea’s mandatory military service.

Needless to say, the best time to travel for fandom is when your fave group is holding a series of concerts, celebrating their anniversary, or making a comeback. But it’s not everyday these happen, so it would be smart of you to review your bias group’s past schedules, see if there’s a noticeable pattern in their activities, then plan your trip accordingly.

I just really wanted to be in Seoul for the anniversaries of my two favorite groups – SHINee (25 May) and SEVENTEEN (26 May). I’m glad I got to celebrate these special days in the company of fellow Shawols and Carats.

Any avid K-Pop stan would know that some events are announced out of the blue, so always stay tuned for event updates from entertainment companies, official SNS pages of the group you follow, and reputable news sites.

Here’s a tip: Be on the lookout for events happening on the dates you chose to travel. I was beyond thrilled when it was announced that Day6 and Nell would be holding separate concerts at the 2018 Seoul Jazz Festival (SJF), which fell on the first weekend of my trip last May. While SJF wasn’t the main reason why I went to Seoul, attending it definitely made my visit even more memorable. Never did I think I would see two of my favorite Korean bands perform full concert sets live on the same day!

There are some fans who wouldn’t book plane tickets until they score tickets to the event they want to attend. But if you’ve already bought return tickets and no event falls on the dates you’ve chosen, don’t be discouraged! There are a lot of fun activities for K-Pop fans that you can try on your trip like taking a walking tour of the entertainment agencies’ offices (Who knows? You might be able to spot a celebrity!), taking a stroll down the K-Star Road in Gangnam and snapping a pic with the Gangnamdol of your bias group, singing your heart out at a noraebang, and dining at an idol-owned or idol-themed restaurants and cafés among many others!


JYP Entertainment’s former office building in Gangnam. The agency has just relocated to a new HQ in Gangdong-gu.
The K-Star Road is home to a line of “GangnamDols” – statues erected in honor of some of the most popular K-Pop acts today.
Take a bite of these sweet artist cupcakes sold at the SUM Café in SMTOWN@coexartium


Being part of the official fanclub of your bias group has its perks.

If you’re dead set on visiting Korea to participate in your bias groups’ activities, you might want to consider signing up for the official fanclub. Every group has their own recruitment period, but most happen in the first half of the year, when things are just about to pick up steam.

Some of the advantages that official fanclub members have are being able to access exclusive content in the Fancafe, getting first dibs on artist merchandise and certain event tickets (including concerts and fan meetings), being prioritized at music show recordings, and more!

I capped off my recent Seoul trip at 17’s Cut, an exhibit organized by Pledis Entertainment to commemorate SEVENTEEN’s third anniversary and to showcase the artwork of members Mingyu and The8 (Xu Minghao). The event was announced a few days before my trip, and its opening day coincided with my last full day in Seoul. As an official Carat, I got to participate in the preselling period. Ticketing was still intense, though, and tickets for my chosen day sold out in a minute! I ended up extending my trip, since I scored slots beyond the duration of my intended stay in Korea.


Widen your horizons.

Sure, South Korea is the mecca of K-Pop, but it’s not the only place where you can experience the hype of your fandom while traveling. Every year, countless K-Pop concerts and events happen around the world, some of which you can attend for cheap and visa-free too!

The first time I traveled for fandom, I flew to Taiwan for SHINee. I was a K-Pop newbie when they kicked off their fifth world tour in Seoul during the second half of 2016 and I knew nothing about how ticketing went abroad, so I missed a couple of their stops. By early 2017, I was getting hopeless. Although I saw them at One K Global Peace Concert in Manila, all I could think about back then was how I had to see them in a solo show before any of them enlisted in the military, which I knew would be soon. So when it was announced that they would come to Taipei in June last year, I didn’t dare miss it. Not one bit do I regret taking that trip. It was the last time I saw all five members of my first love in K-Pop share a stage live.

Dawn, a die-hard EXO-L, on a post-concert high in Thailand. “Attending an EXO concert in Korea is the dream, but airfare is too expensive and I’m really worried about being denied a visa. Availing the S.M. Global Package wasn’t an option either, as there’s no guarantee that I will get a visa. So following friends’ recommendations, I went to The EXO’rDIUM in Bangkok, and it was really fun! I got to experience everything I wanted at an EXO concert: lightsticks changing colors, water effects for certain stages like “Light Saber” and “White Noise”, and, for the first time, Zhang Yixing! I couldn’t ask for more.”

Lei meeting her ultimate bias, BTOB’s Ilhoon, in Japan. I was supposed to leave Japan after a week of attending BTOB promotions, but I missed my plane. I had even said goodbye to Ilhoon already, so he was taken by surprise when he saw me again at Tower Records’ polaroid event. I was really happy, since we were wearing outfits of the same colour and he initiated a heart pose!”


This is YOUR trip.

“Sayang pera!” “Di naman yan praktikal!” “Puro ka K-Pop!”

Those who travel for fandom, especially for K-Pop, are often met with snide remarks from people who have never felt a strong urge to take a trip for something they are truly passionate about. Don’t let what they say spoil your plans. First and foremost, they’re not paying for your trip. You worked (and dreamed) hard enough to deserve this, so go and have fun!

Traveling for fandom is more than just seeing your faves staging a concert. It’s also an opportunity for you to widen your worldview, heighten your appreciation for other cultures, connect with people from different walks of life, and experience something out of the ordinary.


Don’t rush it.

If things around you aren’t favorable at the moment, don’t force yourself into taking a trip that might compromise your academics, your job, your financial state, or even your safety and security.

Travel only when you’re completely ready and able, so you can make the best out of your trip.



If you need some advice on traveling for fandom that you can’t find here, don’t hesitate to drop me a message on Twitter (@andybidibidis_) or Instagram ( I’d be more than happy to help you! 🙂


Words by Krew member Andy Flores | Photos from Andy Flores, Lei Reyes, Nicole Del Rosario, Dawn Naval, and Paola Ebora

Happy Hallyu Day 2: All Things Korean Sequel

“Event not only for K-pop but for K-drama, Culture and everything in between”


Philippine K-pop Convention, Inc. (PKCI) in partnership with Korea Foundation for International Culture Exchange (KOFICE) and Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) once again gathered not only K-Pop fans but as well as K-drama, Korean cosmetics and Korean culture fans in the Metro for Happy Hallyu Day 2 last Sunday, September 9, 2018 at Skydome, SM North EDSA.



Various fan clubs and merchandise shops such as CNA Philippines, and the leading Skincare brand in Korea, Leaders Philippines were present in the event. Talented and passionate cover groups also set the stage on fire as they take part in the Open Stage Contest in the afternoon.




Looking for new album releases? Official fandom light sticks? From official postcards and photo cards to fan-made shirts, banners, and phone accessories, they have it all here! How awesome is it not having to pay for shipping fees and browse goodies physically instead of online, right?





Not only K-Pop merchandisers were present in the event but also cosmetics and skincare retailers and fashion jewelry and accessories. From the brand name itself, Leaders Philippines—the leading Skincare brand in Korea—and Fashion accessories, Korean Cosmetics and K-Pop items Store, CNA Philippines together with various affiliated fan clubs and merchandise retailers took part in the Garage Sale. They offered official and fan-made merchandises and cosmetics imported from Korea.



KOSMOS: The First K-Pop Boy Group Festival 2018 Grand Champion, Chaos, opened the program by performing their winning piece Chained Up by VIXX.


2018 Pinoy K-Pop Star Vocal Category Grand Winner, Ms. Venisse Siy, serenaded the whole venue with her powerful voice by singing Ailee’s I Will Show You and Sohyang’s Wind Song.



Editor-in-Chief of the country’s only K-Pop Mag, Sparkling Magazine’s Ms. Belle Yambao enumerated a helpful list of itinerary when going to South Korea.


Here is a list of the places in South Korea you certainly shouldn’t miss according to her:

  1. Make a Good World Café – EXO Chanyeol’s dad’s café located near subway line 2/9 Dangsan Station Exit 13
  2. SMTown @ Coex Artium – Located in Gangnam, Seoul
  3. Gamcheon Village, Busan, South Korea – Made famous after being the filming location in one of the episodes of popular Korean entertainment show, Running Man
  4. Haneul Park – Previously garbage landfill now a remarkable ecological park in Seoul
  5. Seoul Forest – Considered as third largest park in Seoul
  6. We Are Young Mural – Screened in three of the recent Korean dramas While You Were Sleeping, Manhole, and My Golden Life

Tip: You can search for a group of locals online who offers free walking tours for tourists.

She also listed useful apps when travelling to Korea:


  • Naver Maps
  • Google Translate
  • Subway Korea
  • KakaoTalk


Ms. Belle Yambao awarded a Certificate of Appreciation onstage with PKCI President Ms. Jessica, KCC representative Ms. Jieun Song, with the host.


Beauty, Travel, and Lifestyle blogger, “Pinay Eonni” Ms. Raych Ramos, also coached the audience with basic essentials and tips on how to achieve the ideal Korean “glass skin”. She also suggested several brands to use, beauty insider tips and entertained questions while onstage.


Here are the basic Korean skincare steps according to her:

  • Cleansing (removing makeup and cleansing your face)
  • Toner (to hydrate skin)
  • Serum/Essence (targets the skin concerns and repairs the skin)
  • Moisturize and use Sunscreen (to protect the skin)


Hyping up the audience with fun exchange of interactions, raffles and games are played.


A game similar to the old classic pinoy game on TV, “Pera o Bayong” wherein the participants are given questions and answer choices which they should correctly choose by standing on the respective answers was the first game played by competitive participants.


Another set of games called “Copy Paste” wherein two groups consisting of seven members each will be shown a photo on the screen which he or she shall successfully portray. The group with the loudest cheers and nearest to the reference wins a point.



Three sets of raffle winners are drawn in between segments. The raffle and game winners were given posters, and products from Leaders Philippines and CNA.



A lot of aspiring and deeply in love with both performing and K-Pop music has swept the floor with graceful and breath-taking performances. A total of 17 groups and individuals participated in the contest which started around 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Judges present were KCC Krew Alumna Ms. Lei, Ms. Cami De Leon, and 2018 Pinoy K-Pop Star Vocal Grand Champion in Ms. Venisse Nicole Siy.




Winning groups PlayDizz (Grand Champion), Fifth Shadow (1st Place), and Coven (2nd Place) are given a chance to perform a special stage in the upcoming Annual K-Pop Convention to be hosted by PKCI.

List of Participants in the Open Stage Contest


  • Mystic Ideal
  • Coven
  • Princess Ann Lyn
  • Astronote
  • Neo Clear
  • Edward Heredero
  • 7For7
  • Playdizz
  • Hershe
  • Fifth Shadow
  • Spinel
  • 2Basco
  • Paradise
  • Wanna Man
  • Nibiru

List of affiliated fan clubs present in the event

  • Girls Generation PH
  • EXO PH
  • Twice PH
  • Astro United PH
  • Girl’s Day PH
  • B1A4 PH
  • Monsta X PH
  • Beyond Infinity
  • Day6 PH
  • Seventeen PH
  • BTS PH
  • GFriend PH

Written by KREW Member Yara De Guzman

Photos by KREW Member Dawn Naval