Home Cooks and Aspiring Chefs Take The Spotlight at This Year’s Global Taste of Korea

A total of 19 home cooks and aspiring chefs battled it out in the kitchen at this year’s Global Taste of Korea (GTOK) held at the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Culinary Institute last Saturday, 23 June 2018.

Divided into two categories, namely Bulgogi Battle and Freestyle Cooking, the competition was set to recognize some of the country’s best cooks with a heart for Korean flavors.

GTOK kicked off with the intense Bulgogi Battle in the morning. From bulgogi skewers to bulgogi empanadas, 10 contestants were challenged to put their own spin to the popular Korean meat dish.

With his Bulgogi Rice Burger, student Roie Rendel Calauag placed third in this category, while student Beverly Gail Cua bagged the second prize with her Bulgogi Crepes. Winning the judges’ taste buds, accountant Maria Dolores Narciso trumped the rest of the contestants with her version of the traditional Bulgogi Bibimbap.

The Freestyle Cooking competition tested the contestants’ ability to create original recipes inspired by Korean dishes. The challengers did not hold back from getting creative, as they showcased never-before-heard dishes.

Placing third in the Freestyle Cooking category is Maria Fresa Repomata, who impressed the judges with her hearty pot of Sundubu Jiggae. Amiel Santos’ healthy and picture-perfect Quinoa with Spicy Stir-Fried Octopus took the second prize.

Besting all the contestants in the two categories is businesswoman Maria Angelica Latuno, whose Kimchi Fire Balls emerged as the overall winning dish. As this year’s champ, Latuno also received a roundtrip ticket to Korea courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO).

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

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We Were at The ElyXiOn in Manila and Now We’re Battling PCD

Annyeong! We are Dawn and Andy, and we’re both nursing a major bout of post-concert depression after attending EXO Planet #4: The ElyXiOn at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last 28 April, Saturday.

Dawn: I have been a fan of EXO ever since I saw them at Manila Hotel last 2013. I gradually forgot about the other K-Pop groups I stanned and just focused on them. The group has been a great inspiration for me since college. I even put “we are one” in our thesis! I started attending their concerts when I started working.

Andy: Truth be told, I don’t consider myself an EXO-L. I would, however, call myself a huge fan of Suho. I first saw him on the show “Exciting India” just when I was starting out in the K-Pop fandom almost two years ago, and I instantly fell for his charm and awkwardness. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the other members, though, because I’ve come to like them, too. I wouldn’t have caught The EXO’rDIUM and The ElyXiOn otherwise.

THE SET LIST

Dawn: I think The ElyXiOn’s set list was a bit shorter than The Exo’luxion’s and The EXO’rDIUM’s, but I like this set list because they had a chance to perform individually and also because they got to perform my all time favorite “나비소녀 (Don’t Go)” during the encore.

Andy: I didn’t notice how much shorter it was than The EXO’rDIUM until friends on my feed pointed it out. Perhaps, it’s because I just really enjoyed the concert through and through – from “The Eve” to “Angel.” Also, like Dawn, I loved how almost every member got a solo stage. It gave them the opportunity to prove that a member, alone, can bring a show.

WRECKERS

Andy: Okay, may I just say na-Jongdae ako??? Like, damn. Had I known I’d be in for a gun show courtesy of muscle shirt-clad Chen, I would have bought life insurance before attending the concert. He surprised me. He really did! He looked so damn hot that night. Summer na nga, pinainit pa niya, bes! Seriously, people, beware of Kim Jongdae. He’s a dangerous man. I still love Junmyeon, but Chen is a revelation. Haha!

Dawn: I didn’t even know who my bias in EXO was before, but after “Growl,” I finally made up my mind, and my heart told me that my bias is Junmyeon. I can’t help it. He is just so angelic. BUUUUT this concert made me a SeKai trash because of the interactions I had with them.

Andy: OMG! Lucky you!!! In a crowd of 10,000, you got noticed! How was it?

Dawn: I was just holding my phone, calling their names, and making gestures to get myself noticed. I threw a finger heart then waved, and they waved back at me . I felt visible after that and realized, “Shocks…nag-eexist pala ako!” Haha!

THE PIT

Andy: I like sitting in comfort during K-Pop concerts. Before The ElyXiOn, the only time I chose to stand in the pit at a K-Pop concert was during SHINee World Concert V (SWCV), and I could say that both experiences were different for me.

SWCV was exciting because I got to see my ultimate bias group in the flesh for the second time. But the concert being held in a foreign country also meant that there’s somehow a divide between me and the people around me. Moreover, the stage was a lot higher and the barricades were comparably farther, so even though I was pretty close to the fences, I had to tiptoe and crane my neck just to see SHINee whenever they performed on the main stage.

For The ElyXiOn, it was really fun because I was in my home country and in the company of (mostly) Filipino fans. The stage was a lot lower and the barricades were closer to the stage, too. I don’t think I have ever been THAT near K-Pop idols before. I had to leave my much-coveted spot at the barricade during Suho’s “Playboy” performance, though. I was squished in front of the extended stage, and couldn’t see a thing when I turned to my side. I didn’t want to watch the entire performance on the LED screens or other people’s smart phones, so I made my way towards the main stage. Didn’t regret my decision.

Dawn: I have been attending EXO’s concerts ever since their first solo show in the Philippines. I’ve even experienced The EXO’rDIUM in Bangkok! I always chose to stand because I like the proximity. I meet a lot of friends in the pit, but this con gave me body aches. EXO comes here just once in a while, that’s why I truly understand the excitement of PHIXOs. They really wanted to get closer to the stage, so they tend to push everybody out of their way just to be nearer.

Of course, a little run-ins can’t be avoided. My hair was even pulled by a Korean fan because she thought I was pushing them.

Andy: Oh, yes. I have been warned by friends about this, which is also one of the reasons why I don’t really choose the standing section when purchasing tickets. I didn’t think things would actually get rough, but they did, and I’m kinda scared of being in the pit again, but, hey, it’s all part of the experience.

Dawn: But given the chance will you stand in the pit again at EXO Planet 5?

Andy: If the opportunity presents itself, I don’t see why not!

FAVORITE STAGE

Dawn: I don’t want to be biased, but I like Junmyeon’s solo best. HAHAHA! I have three favorite performances – first is “The Eve” (KYAAAAHHH! JUNMYEON’S high note before the chorus!!!). Second is Kyungsoo’s “For Life” – I need a full version of this song so I can play it on my wedding day. The silence of the crowd made me cry. Kyungsoo’s smile was so genuine. I wanted to hug him. My last favorite performance was of course their latest song, “POWER!”

Andy: Suho’s “Playboy” for sure, BUT I loved “For Life” too, coz damn Kyungsoo’s voice… You really can’t deny that he’s among the best vocalists in K-Pop today… or ever! Chanyeol playing the piano is an extra treat. EXO-CBX’s stage was also super fun! I found myself dancing to “Ka-CHING!” It couldn’t be helped.

THE ELYXION VS. PREVIOUS EXO PLANET CONCERTS

Andy: I don’t think I am in the position to compare in detail, because I have attended just two of EXO’s concerts so far. But if I were asked which one I enjoyed more, I would say The ElyXiOn. EXO keeps getting better at their craft, and it shows in the performances they put out. Though I have to say I missed their acoustic set, which they had last year during The EXO’rDIUM. I love chill EXO. Haha!

Dawn: I think the stage in The ElyXiOn is nearer than ever. The ElyXiOn is not just about EXO’s concert, but also an avenue to showcase the fan projects that EXO-Ls have in store for EXO. The fan projects before were too many and too grand. I didn’t even know what to do and just forgot about the project, and, looking back now, I think I failed as a fan because I did not participate in those projects.

That said, I find this concert’s project simpler, yet it had a strong impact. I like it that way.

This year’s con also exuded a matured EXO vibe. I saw that they ditched the cute musical elf costumes and just wore the ever-sexy white suit.

They got sweeter too. From Chen’s ment last year “Filipinos are warm, passionate and beautiful” to Suho’s “You are our paradise.” – nothing can get sweeter than that.

Also… BAEKHYUN is so extra… as always.

LOOKING FORWARD

Dawn: I am looking forward to a longer concert. And more Junmyeon interactions LOL! Soooo greedy. Haha! One day was not enough but it is enough for our budget. Haha!

Andy: I’m actually worried… worried about my bank account. Lol! I feel like the next time I see EXO, I might actually become and EXO-L. But, whatever! I am always up for a good concert, and I’m sure EXO Planet 5 will be nothing short of amazing.

Words and photos by Dawn Naval and Andy Flores

 

PH K-Pop Community Comes Together to Remember SHINee’s Jonghyun

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On average, 40 people commit suicide every day in South Korea. Last week, 18 December, Monday, SHINee’s lead vocalist Kim Jonghyun became part of that statistic, sending a wave of shock and grief not just to his family, friends, and colleagues, but also to fans, also known as Shawols, who have come to love the multi-talented artist.

In an effort to commemorate the life and work of Jonghyun, memorial services across the globe were organized by fans who couldn’t make it to the funeral in Korea, where a separate hall was opened to fans who wished to pay their final respects to the beloved idol.

A makeshift memorial was created in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Chile on the day the news about Jonghyun’s passing broke out, while fans in Bolivia sent white balloons to the sky. Shawols in Miami, Florida also came together for a candle light vigil on the beach.

In the Philippines, various memorial services in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Zamboanga – among others – were held following Jonghyun’s death. And on the day before Christmas Eve, SHINee World Philippines, the first and largest fanclub of the five-member Korean pop group in the Philippines, held the country’s final memorial service for Jonghyun at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines (KCC).

Nearly 800 Shawols and K-Pop fans filled KCC’s Wave Hall and Exhibit Area to find comfort in each other’s company. Guests were encouraged to bring flowers, write letters to Jonghyun, and share their fondest memories as fans of SHINee.

Some took the opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of mental health, telling fellow fans to never hesitate to seek help and support if they feel alone or bothered by crippling thoughts of loneliness.

Towards the end of the service, the somber mood was lifted when a compilation of SHINee’s funniest videos was played, reminding the attendees of the vivacious Jonghyun they all know and love.

Check out some clicks from the event here:

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Words and photos by Krew Member Andy Flores

K-Dramas of 2017 That You Should Binge-Watch Before The Year Ends

Because This Is My First Life

The year is quickly drawing to a close, but not without addictive K-Dramas that kept us glued to our screens for hours and hours almost everyday!

Of course, you’ve heard about 2017’s biggest hits like the cinematographically stunning Goblin (okay, it premiered in 2016, but it emerged as one of this year’s most popular dramas), the cute Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo that got us asking “Do you like Messi?”, and the super kilig Fight for My Way. In fact, you’ve probably watched those shows and still can’t get over them to this very day. Don’t worry, a lot of fans can relate!

But let me break to you now that this post is not about this year’s most talked-about Korean dramas. Here, I am rounding up seven underappreciated yet seriously good series from 2017 that you most definitely have to check out before we ring in another year of crack K-Dramas:

Circle: Two Worlds Connected

Circle

Okay, so what we have here are two brothers (Yoo Jin Goo and Ahn Woo Yeon) in search of their missing father and a beautiful alien named “Byul” (Gong Seung Yeon), who they believe carries the answers they have long been looking for. The second half of each episode features a ~perfect~ world some time in the future, where citizens’ memories have been erased and emotions are controlled through cutting-edge technology under a new centralized government headed by a secretive official, who has a shared past with the brothers. Intensely suspenseful with edge-of-your-seat twists and thrills, this dystopian sci-fi drama is unforgiving. While watching, put your theories on hold. Or better yet, just dismiss them all. They’re most likely wrong anyway.

Save Me

Save Me

The life of Sang Mi (Seo Ye Ji) has never been easy, but things have yet to become difficult for her. When her family is invited to join a cult by a charismatic leader who goes by the title “Spiritual Father,” her gullible father – who was recently scammed by a colleague – didn’t even take a second to hesitate and said yes. Living in the company of brainwashed followers (including her parents) who think she is the answer to their salvation, Sang Mi is determined to escape, leading her to seek the help of guilt-stricken Sang Hwan (2PM’s Taecyeon) and wrongfully-accused Dong Chul (Woo Do Hwan) to save her.

“Save Me” won’t leave you be. It is terrifying as it is disturbing – but in a good way. It bravely tackles an unconventional subject and jabs audiences with bits and pieces of hidden realities that are both eye-opening and thought-provoking.

Star of the Universe

Star of the Universe

The first part (and the best) of MBC’s “Three Colors of Fantasy” trilogy, “Star of the Universe” follows young grim reaper Kim Ha Na (Ji Woo), who is a huge fan of struggling has-been soloist Woo Joo (EXO’s Suho). When she finds out that her favorite singer will soon “go up,” Ha Na is faced with a dilemma: Should she fulfill her duty and collect Woo Joo’s soul or defy the rules and save the only man she loves? A story about music, second chances, and first love, “Star of the Universe” packs all the feels in just three episodes, leaving you in fits of laughter one moment and in tears the next. Here’s a tip: Grab a box of tissues before binge-watching. Trust me, you’ll need it.

Chicago Typewriter

Chicago Typewriter

Yoo Ah In, Im Soo Jung, and Go Kyung Pyo take on double roles for “Chicago Typewriter” as witers in Japanese colonial era Korea in the 1930s and as a best-selling writer plagued by depression, a literary fanatic, and a genius jazz-loving writer in the present.

This intellectually crafted story about literatis in the past whose reincarnated lives cross paths again in the present is unlike any other K-Drama you’ve seen before, and its historical roots make it all the more interesting. Prepare your heart, because this love story that transcends the test of time will leave it shattered into pieces.

Age of Youth 2

Age of Youth 2

The girls of the Bell Epoque boarding house (Han Ye Ri, KARA’s Han Seung Yeon, Park Eun Bin, Ji Woo) have returned, with more drama, shenanigans, and hilarity in tow! Picking up three months then a year after audiences first met the girls, “Age of Youth 2” continues to connect the characters through events that will challenge their strength in dealing with growing pains. And, oh, a new and lovable addition to the house (Choi Ah Ra) brings her own brand of quirkiness to the group. You might want to check out the first season of “Age of Youth” (if you haven’t yet) before hopping on to this one. Don’t worry, though, it wouldn’t be a waste of your time, since  the show, as a whole, is a refreshing take on the chick drama category. It’s fun, insightful, and the best part: It reminds you that you’re not alone in facing your daily struggles in love and life.

Girls’ Generation 1979

Girls' Generation 1979

Think “The Wonder Years,” but set in Daegu, Korea in the late ’70s. That’s pretty much a way to describe “Girls’ Generation 1979” – a coming-of-age dramedy that gives us a peek into the life of Jung Hee (WJSN’s Bona), who experiences the sweetness and pain of love and heartbreak for the first time. Joining her is a colorful set of characters, including the Seoulite Hye-Joo (Chae Soo Jin), a beauty-and-brains kind of girl who has just moved in to the city with her father; Dong Moon (Seo Young Joo), a charming nerd who has fallen for Jung Hee; Son Jin (Yeo Hoi Hyeon), who’s the epitome of Mr. Perfect to Jung Hee; and Young Choon (CNBLUE’s Lee Jonghyun), a hard-working young man who takes odd jobs to support himself and his little sister.

Light-hearted and endearing, “Girls’ Generation 1979” treats audiences to a delightful blast from the past, complete with nostalgic costumes, backdrops, references, and background music (The Carpenters, anyone?) that scream ’70s.

Because This Is My  First Life

Because This Is My First Life

What happens when two oddballs decide living together as a fake married couple? Laughter and angst ensue, apparently. Stoic mobile app designer Se Hee (Lee Min Ki) and homeless scriptwriter Ji Ho (Jung So Min) thought marrying each other would be the answer to their personal crises. One has an exorbitant house loan to pay, while the other is finding an ideal place to stay. Living together under a tenancy contract should be easy, they reckon, after all, they’re not in love with each other – or are they?

Joined by an equally colorful set of characters like the smart and sassy Sooji (Esom), romantic CEO Sang Goo (Park Byung Eun), manipulative girlfriend Ho Rang (Kim Ga Eun), and aspiring businessman Won Seok (Kim Min Seok), Se Hee and Ji Ho start to realize that they are finally entering a chapter in their 30s with more than what they bargained for.

It’s not everyday you come across a K-Drama that’s so beautifully written, it would be impossible for you to drop it. That’s “Because This Is My First Life.” Replete with quotes to live by, moments that strike a chord, and fearless takes on various aspects of life, it carefully weaves the contrasting personalities of realistic characters with realistic issues, bringing forth the ultimate slice-of-life story that’s not only for those struggling in their 30s, but for anybody who watches it. Really, do yourself a favor and check out this show. You can thank me later.

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

IPONING 101: The K-Pop Stan’s Guide to Saving Up

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“I-announce niyo na yung ticket prices, please, para makapag-ipon na ko!”

“Ang lapit naman ng ticket selling! ‘Di pa ko nakaka-ipon! T.T”

“Ang mahal naman! Wala pa ‘kong pera!!!”

Do these sound familiar? You must have cried something similar at least once in your life as a fan, and I could totally relate!

Being a K-Pop stan is costly. This is something I learned the hard way when I entered the fandom a little over a year ago with a decent account balance, only to feel as though I’ve gone bankrupt a few months later with more artist merchandise than money in my possession.

True enough, it’s all fun and exciting until you realize that you pretty much have nothing left to spend for more important things and – well, let’s all be honest here – more K-Pop. So what’s the right thing for a fan to do? Iponing, of course!

Saving up has since become more than just a habit to me; it’s a lifestyle, as it should be for you. After all, how else would you fund that gorgeous comeback album or that much-coveted concert ticket? If you’ve got better ideas, let me know. But for now, here are some tips on mindful saving and spending for K-Pop fans:

Don’t wait. Just start.
There’s no better time to start saving up than NOW. Even though it has not been announced that your favorite group is coming to the country or that they will be releasing a new album soon, it would be smart of you to grow your fandom fund as early as now, so when the time comes, you wouldn’t have to worry about not being able to afford joining a group order or being part of #TeamBahay – slash – #TeamLabas.

Set a goal
All of us have something we want to save up for, and for fans, it’s most likely a concert, a comeback album, or a dream trip to the mecca of K-Pop and K-Dramas, South Korea.

Now, think about what yours is and focus on that goal. Make a rough estimate of the price that comes with it, then use it as your target. It may seem tough to achieve at first, but not impossible. You’ll feel much more motivated to save up if you have a definite goal in mind.

Decide on where to keep your savings
So is it the old school glass jar or cutesy piggy bank for you? Whatever you choose, know that deciding on where to keep your savings is crucial. Make sure it’s accessible and convenient yet secured.

Personally, I prefer keeping my savings in the bank. I have an account that I maintain to fund my wants and wants only, which includes my K-Pop splurges. This prevents me from touching the amount I have in my actual savings account, which I consider strictly off-limits.

Compromise, not sacrifice.
They say a bit of sacrifice goes a long way. But don’t you think “sacrifice” is too dramatic a word? If anything, it makes the whole idea of saving up more daunting! So I say compromise – not sacrifice.

How? Well, there are “little” things you spend on daily that you can get through more cost-efficient means. Start keeping track of your expenses, and check which items you can cut back on or, better yet, ultimately stop paying for.

For instance, instead of buying coffee at your favorite café, why not just make your own brew at home? Ever considered bringing packed (and healthier) meals to school or work? How about bringing your own bottle of water or snacks to curb those sudden cravings?

While the small stuff you spend on may not be that noticeable in your everyday spending pattern, such expenses add up in the long run. Think about it, if you get your caffeine fix for P120 every weekday for six months, that amounts to P15,480, which is more than enough to cover an SVIP ticket to your favorite group’s concert, or, maybe, even a roundrip ticket to Korea!

Control
Control is a word I find synonymous to discipline, and saving money requires a lot of it.

Before you buy anything – and I mean anything – hold a mental debate whether or not you need it. If you hesitate even just a bit before saying yes, then, perhaps, it’s more of a want than a need, and you’re better off not buying it at the time being.

There are a lot of purchases I made in the past that I totally regret now. So save yourself the guilt, and just give up on that item you know wouldn’t come in handy in the near future.

Put your skills and free time to good use
Earning some extra on the side helps A LOT. It doesn’t matter how old you are. If you’ve got skills you know you can use to earn money, make good use of them.

For instance, if you have a proclivity for making fan art, then why not sell some unofficial merch? A friend of mine, who has a good hand in graphic design, produced bags, coin purses, and banners  – all printed with a design she made – to sell in time for a boy group’s then-upcoming concert. She did it out of fun, so she was really taken by surprise when the items sold out quicker than expected. She even had to make another batch to meet the demand!

What’s great about this is that you get to make money while doing something you enjoy (hone your skills even!), and that in itself is already gratifying.

Learn to let go
When I started my K-Pop collection, I thought I will never part with any of the items I’ve got. Albums, posters, magazines – name it, I probably have it. Or at some point, I did, because I’ve sold some of them now.

Yes. I hear you. How could I?

To be honest, it took me a while before I decided to put some of the merch I had on sale. I had a hard time acquiring them, they cost a lot, and they reminded me of the good ol’ times when I was head over heels in love with the artists they feature. But the thing is, they just take up space. I touched most of them only once, and that was when I took them out of their packaging. Some even remained unopened!

It then occured to me that, perhaps, they’re better off with other fans, who would actually use them and not just stash them, away and out of sight. So I took pictures of the items, posted them on Twitter and various K-Pop buy-and-sell groups on Facebook, and waited for interested buyers.

While I didn’t get the same amount I bought the items for, I got part of my money back, made some fans happy, and cleared a bit of space for future (hopefully useful) purchases.

Take care of yourself.
You might find this a strange tip to include on this list, but hear me out: No matter how tight things can get, you have to take care of yourself first and foremost.

If you think skipping meals or stressing yourself by working overtime regularly is the answer to your money woes, you’re wrong. You’re only making things worse for yourself, and the last thing you’d want to spend on are hospital fees and medication. So no matter how cliché the saying “health is wealth” is, believe in it.

Find ways to make saving up fun
Saving up isn’t exactly the most exciting phrase out there, so why not spice up your game with money challenges that will make saving money more fun for you? From saving an amount in increments to saving a particular Peso bill, there are several challenges that financial advisors highly recommend and swear by. Feel free to look them up online, choose what you think is the most doable for you, and jump right into it!

So that’s pretty much it! I know that tips are easier said than done, but trust me when I say that your hard work will pay off, and once you achieve your goal, it would be one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll ever have.


Written by Krew member Andy Flores

Easy K-Pop-Inspired Outfits You and Your Squad Can Rock This Halloween

Ghoulish shop window displays… an overstock of sweets at the supermarket… horror movie marathons scheduled to air on tv – there’s no denying that Halloween is upon us! And as the party invites and announcements pour in, most of us are left with a huge, almost debilitating question: What should I wear?

Well, if you and your friends are loud and proud K-Pop fans, this is a dilemma you shouldn’t even be dealing with! Go all out and make a grand entrance at your school or office party, channeling your favorite idols! After all, this season is no longer limited to dressing up in terrifying costumes (I came across a taco suit and a Cup Noodles costume just now, and they’re everything but scary).

SHINee - Halloween

To help you decide, we rounded up some fun K-Pop-inspired “costumes” that you and your squad can rock this Halloween, without fussing over complicated ensembles or looking a bit ~too~ casual.

Trust us when we say that these outfits are so easy to put together, you might even have some of the pieces in your wardrobe!

TWICE_Cheer Up

“Cheer Up”
Inspired by: Twice

A pack of peppy cheerleaders sporting “uniforms” in contrasting hues of yellow and purple, Twice shows their school spirit, exuding a fun and youthful vibe for “Cheer Up.”

TWICE - Cheer Up

Outfit Essentials
-Black sports bra
-Purple varsity jacket with white sleeves
-Stretchy high-waisted black shorts
-Sneakers (Twice wore Nike Dunk Hi 08 shoes, but you can go for any comfy sneakers that look similar)
-Vintage tube socks in black, white, yellow, or purple
-Snapback cap
-Pink pompoms (to bring on the cheer, of course!)

f(x)_Red Light

“Rebelles
Inspired by: f(x)

Not a fan of perky cheerleaders? Perhaps, you’d like to go for an edgier look like what f(x) rocked in “Red Light.” An interesting play of textures in dark and muted tones, their getup will surely unleash the rebel in you.

f(x) - Rebelles

Outfit Essentials
-Distressed t-shirt cut-offs
-Black camisole
-Crop top/bustier
-Distressed dark denim shorts
-Camouflage shorts
-High-waisted black shorts
-Black tights/fishnet stockings/knee-high socks
-Wide-brimmed black flat top hat
-Net arm sleeves/fingerless gloves
-Combat boots/strappy platform sandals

Wonder Girls_Nobody

“Retro Chic”
Inspired by: Wonder Girls

Wonder Girls are hands down the queens of retro in the K-Pop world. Pulling off the fashion (and sound) of the yesteryears so effortlessly, they’re the perfect group to draw some inspo from when it comes to donning the vintage look.

Wonder Girls - Retro Chic

Outfit Essentials
-Sheath dress with bold patterns (either long or short-sleeved)
-Solid-colored tights
-Solid-colored high-heel shoes
-Hoop/dangling geometric earrings in bright colors

Crayon Pop_Bar Bar

“Scoot Away”
Inspired by: Crayon Pop

Call their costumes silly, but since Crayon Pop’s quirkiness received a nod of approval from Mother Monster Lady Gaga herself, there’s nothing much left to argue about here. Just like what their group’s name suggests, Crayon Pop’s “Bar Bar Bar” outfits come in cheery bursts of color that will make you and your friends stand out in the party.

Crayon Pop - Scoot Away

Outfit Essentials
-Bright-colored track jacket
-Matching track shorts
-Black tights
-White sneakers
-White gloves
-Scooter helmet (you CAN’T miss the most iconic piece in their getup!)

SEVENTEEN_Aju Nice

“Old-School Charmers”
Inspired by: SEVENTEEN

A great example of “not too complicated or too casual,” SEVENTEEN’s “Aju Nice” costumes are as charming and playful as the funky track they’re assembled for. Needless to say, this is best worn with your pack of bros.

SEVENTEEN - Old-School Charmers

Outfit Essentials
-Long-sleeved button-up white shirt/white graphic tee
-Black slacks/denim jeans
-Red/black suspenders
-White socks
-Black and white Oxfords/black sneakers

EXO_Power

“Galactic Rangers”
Inspired by: EXO

We saw EXO on a mission in a galactic wasteland, battling a robot that took away their supernatural abilities  in “Power,” which is arguably the group’s most rollicking music video yet. Veering away from their usually chic and sexy styles, they went for military-themed outfits.

EXO - Galactic Rangers

Outfit Essentials
-Camouflage/black/olive green bomber jackets
-Plain black/black and white checked t-shirt
-Cargo pants/distressed jeans/black jeans
-Combat boots/sneakers
-Tactical harness and goggles
-Black cadet cap
-Prop toy guns (believe it or not, EXO used customized Nerf guns in the MV)

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“Odd Party”
Inspired by: SHINee

No K-Pop music video screams “Halloween party” quite like SHINee’s “Married to the Music.” Known for their unique and fashion-forward concepts, the quintet stepped up their game in their summer 2015 release, which turned out to be a surprisingly macabre MV, reminiscent of the 1975 cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

SHINee - Odd Party

Outfit Essentials
-Bright-colored jacket/blazer (feel free to accentuate it with patches)
-Heavily-printed/graphic tee
-Distressed jeans/bright-colored dress pants
-Lace-up black shoes/combat boots
-Vintage socks
-Animal print snapback cap
-Scarf/sweatband (to be worn on the forehead)
-Dark-rimmed glasses
-Prop skeleton hand or wooden hand model (to be placed in pockets, with phalanges peeking)

Got anything else to add? Sound off in the comments!

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

Diamond Edge: SEVENTEEN Stuns, Dazzles Manila

The first time I wrote a blog post here about SEVENTEEN, I struggled because I barely knew them. It was a little over a year ago, and they came to the Philippines for their two-day Shining Diamonds fan meeting. My main concern back then was getting the members’ names and the song titles right. Now, having just attended Diamond Edge in Manila over the weekend, I’m struggling to even start this entry, because I already love them too much!

About a thousand thoughts are running in my head as I write this: How am I supposed to put my love and pride for the thirteen talented boys into words? How should I tell you about my experience, which, in all honesty, still feels like a dream? Did Diamond Edge in Manila actually happen??? I wish I had answers, but all I have are fragmented memories of the concert and fancams that are as unstable as my fangirl mental state right now.

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The Manila leg of SEVENTEEN’s Diamond Edge world tour is an exceptionally special one. Not only did Carats – fans of the group – celebrate the anniversary of the announcement of the fandom’s official colors (rose quartz and serenity, in case you’re wondering), SEVENTEEN also concluded their first world tour in the city.

A three-month-long series of concerts that took the group to a total of 14 cities in 12 countries across three continents, Diamond Edge finally came to an end, with thousands of Carats witnessing it in Manila last 6 October at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Clad in bright-colored suits that matched their strikingly stellar visuals, SEVENTEEN – complete on the Philippine stage for the first time – kicked off the show with a remixed version of “Pretty U”, followed by “Beautiful” and “Adore U.” Their youthful vibe pulsed throughout the venue, putting the audience on their toes in excitement.

Receiving a warm welcome from their Filipino Carats, SEVENTEEN, who are affectionately called SVT or “sebong“, took turns to introduce themselves, and each member was met with a frenzy of eager screams and applause.

I could still remember their aegyo-filled introductions in last year’s Shining Diamonds tour, with Mingyu’s “Hello! Ako si Mingyu!” making a mark on me. This concert, however, it was DK’s crisp and clear à la announcer “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Diamond Edge! I’m DK!” that stole the scene for me. That guy is just so… extra!

It wasn’t too long until SEVENTEEN went back on full-performance mode, bouncing on the stage to another medley, including the crowd favorite “Aju Nice” (sans their iconic suspenders) – a funky tune that got everyone dancing with them.

In a true SVT fashion, the group – now sporting school uniforms in a faux classroom setting – barely gave Carats a moment to chill, as they pumped the arena with adrenaline through kinetic performances of “Mansae” and “Boom Boom”.

SEVENTEEN, who are known for their variety skills, once again proved their novel antics at the concert. Performance Team leader Hoshi and maknae Dino got playful and impersonated each other. Dino also mimicked his idol Michael Jackson, showing off some slick dance moves popularized by the King of Pop.

The Hiphop Team also treated the audience to an impromptu performance of their recent track “Trauma,” a soulful and laid-back rap song that came off slightly comical at the concert after the members jokingly imitated Wonwoo’s gestures in the music video.

The unit stages, were, of course, show-stopping.

Hoshi, Dino, Jun, and The8 of the Performance Team showed their fun and quirky side through “Swimming Fool”, set the stage on fire (literally) with “OMG”, then electrified the audience with the heart-thumping “Highlight.”

The Hiphop Subunit, composed of S.Coups, Mingyu, Vernon, and Wonwoo drove the audience wild with “Check-In”, but not before bringing the house (or should I say arena?) down with “언행일치” (“Un Haeng Il Chi”). They also displayed maturity in their “If I” number, which turned out to be surprisingly sexy in all its simplicity (I kinda blame their red outfits for the unexpected attack).

Speaking of sexy, let me just say that Jun and The8’s “My I” stage was beyond words hot! Dancing with a ribbon linking their wrists, they personified A-R-T onstage through their fluid movements and their innocent yet sensual expressions. I have to admit that it’s one of the best live K-Pop performances I have ever seen, and, ironically, it’s done by SEVENTEEN’s China-line!

I’m vocal team-biased, so you could just guess how long I had been looking forward to their stages. The boys, as expected, did not disappoint. “Habit” and “We Gonna Make It Shine” were sweet and smooth like honey, but it was “Don’t Listen In Secret” that snatched my heart.

The superb vocals of Joshua, Jeonghan, and Woozi, coupled with the high notes that Seungkwan and DK flawlessly held, made it one of my favorite performances of the night.

Time passed quicker than we thought, and before we knew it, we were down to the final stages of the tour.

SEVENTEEN’s performance of their latest title track “Don’t Wanna Cry” was nothing short of breathtaking to watch. It was beautiful in every sense of the word. On-point vocals, raw emotions, faultless choreography… it is arguably the group’s finest live stage to date.

SEVENTEEN gave Diamond Edge a light and refreshing finish with “Healing.” As the boys sang their final song for the night, Carats threw pink and blue paper planes carrying heartfelt messages to the members towards the stage, a repeat of their fan project at last year’s Shining Diamonds fan meeting.

Wrapping up the show, all thirteen members gathered at the center of the stage to give their thanks to everyone who came and continue to support them.

Vernon called the Manila crowd “amazing”; The8 promised fans “we will meet again”; and S.Coups, who was obviously emotional at that point, fought back his tears as he sincerely expressed gratitude to everyone who made their first world tour possible, requesting the staff to “take care of our Carats.” He then said to their fans, “If you promise to stand by us, we promise to stand by your side.” (I’m not crying. Nope. Not at all!)

After taking a few more selcas with the Carats’ rose quartz and serenity ocean in the background, SEVENTEEN gave their final bows and waved the audience goodbye for now.

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When I first saw SEVENTEEN, they were impressionable rookies in the K-Pop scene no more than 21 years old. Now, exuding undeniable charisma, pure confidence, and high-octane energy, they ruled the stage like seasoned idols, performing hit after hit in full coordination with outstanding vocals and incredibly synchronized choreography – no less.

They sure still have a long way to trudge in the extremely competitive industry that is Korean pop music, but with their indisputable passion, the fresh and unique tunes they keep churning, and their love for their fans, it’s safe to say that they’ll be sticking around for a long time, and Carats will most definitely be there to support them every step of the way.

Till we meet again, SEVENTEEN.

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Written by Krew member Andy Flores