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

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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)

SHINee_Married To The Music

“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.

DE_MNL_Bongbongie

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.

DE_MNL_Bow

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.

DE3

DE2

DE6

DE8

DE5

DE4

DE7

DE1

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

Gastronomic Fun and Culinary Creativity Rule at the 2017 Global Taste of Korea

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) has yet again wrapped up another delicious affair: The Global Taste of Korea 2017.

Held at the Lyceum Philippines University (LPU) Culinary Institute last Saturday, 29 July, the most-anticipated Korean gastronomic event in the country attracted hundreds upon hundreds of avid foodies of all ages.

Now on its fourth year, the goal of Global Taste of Korea remains the same: To offer Filipinos a bite of Korean culinary culture for an entire day through fun, interactive, and educational platforms. And with the growing number of Filipinos taking interest in Korean cuisine, as seen on popular films and dramas, the annual celebration of Korean flavors has never been busier.

A variety of booths lined the 4th level hallway of LPU’s Culinary Institute, ensuring that every guest experiences Korea in a local and cost-free setting.

The Korea Tourism Organization in Manila (KTO) handed out free posters and guide books to anyone who wishes to visit the Land of the Morning Calm, while food booths gave away unlimited helpings of staple Korean snacks and side dishes such as kimchi, ramyeon, and dumplings.

Eager visitors also had the opportunity to don the hanbok, the traditional Korean costume. Gamely posing for pictures, they looked like character pulled straight from a sageuk.

Setting an avenue for a deeper understanding of Korean cuisine, KCC organized cooking workshops for attendees who want to learn more about the history and basic how-tos of Korean cooking. At the end of the workshops, the attendees were able to prepare kimchi and bulgogi, marinated slices of meat that are either grilled or stir-fried.

But perhaps, the most exciting part of this year’s Global Taste of Korea is the cooking competition. Divided into two categories, Kimchi Battle and Freestyle Korean Cooking, a total of 22 cooks took the challenge to be hailed as this year’s best Korean cook.

Betina Erika Lim’s winning dish for the Kimchi Battle Category: Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla

From Left: Lyceum of the Philippines Culinary Director Chef Christopher Bautista, Kimchi Battle grand prize winner Betina Erika Lim, and  KCC Director LEE Jincheol

For the Kimchi Battle, Betina Erika Lim bagged first prize with her Kimchi Chicken Quesadilla, which she fashioned to look like the Taegeukgi or the Korean Flag. Airose Caloobanan (Beef Sinigang with Kimchi) and Angeli Mae Sapno (Steamed Kimchi Pork Buns) also proved to be the judges’ picks, as they received the second and third prize, respectively.

Regine Monsanto’s version of Dwaejigalbi-jjim or Korean-style braised pork ribs

The Freestyle Korean Cooking was a bit more intense, as 11 cooks heated up the kitchen with their own renditions of Korean favorites. Taking the third prize is Amiel Santos, who put a modern twist to the classic bibimbap. Hazel Quiamas got creative with her take on japchae, which she stuffed in a while pan-fried chicken, and took the second prize.

From Left: KTO Director Park In-Shik, Freestyle Korean cooking grand prize winner and Best Korean Cook Regine Monsanto, and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

Besting all 11 contestants is Marianne Regine Monsanto, a 28-year-old cook, who has been joining the Global Taste of Korea’s cooking competition since its first year. She won the judges’ palates with her version of the braised pork rib dish dwaejigalbi-jjim. She is also named as this year’s Best Korean Cook. Aside from the cash prize she will be taking home, Monsanto is also awarded with a roundtrip ticket to Korea, courtesy of KTO Manila.

The day ended on a high note as the auditorium erupted in happy tears and exchanges of congratulatory messages. With this, the guests and contestants alike look forward to another exciting Global Taste of Korea event next year.

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

6 Korean Travel Variety Shows to Binge-Watch This Summer

It’s summer!

For almost everyone, summer is pretty much synonymous to hitting the beach, throwing pool parties for the fam or the entire barkada, or traveling overseas to catch a cool breeze or bask under the heat of the sun even more.

But for me, a total homebody who prefers staying in the comforts of her home over posing for Insta-worthy sunny season pics, summer is all about binge-watching and catching up on TV shows I missed – that is, of course, whenever I’m not dragged to a trip by relatives or friends.

My guilty pleasure? Korean travel variety shows.

Unlike typical travel programs you see on TV that will simply sweep you across a certain city or country – throwing in facts and tips here and there as the host samples local fare or joins in some loud festival – Korean travel variety shows are not just informative but also extremely entertaining. I’m talking about wacky missions and tons of excitement topped with lots and lots of laughter here!

Indeed, watching K-Celebs exploring a new place abroad or featuring Korea’s lesser-known destinations in these incredibly addictive shows is an experience in its own, and if you’re curious enough to check out one for yourself during your free time, here are six Korean travel variety shows that will give you some good laughs and serious #TravelGoals:

One Fine Day

 photo ofd13cb_zpsyoeifoxw.pngThe survival skills of SEVENTEEN are put to a test on “One Fine Day: 13 Castaway Boys”

MBC Music’s “One Fine Day” (OFD) goes all out in treating your favorite idols to themed trips. In the earlier seasons, OFD is mainly about giving overworked idols a vacation they deserve, but now, each trip almost always comes with a catch.

Among my favorite guests of this show are the boys of SEVENTEEN. In One Fine Day, which was renamed as “13 Castaway Boys” just for them, the group’s survival skills were put to a test as they were marooned on the island of Yeoseo in the southern tip of South Korea, with nothing but a plastic bag packed with items they deemed as their “needs.” Their teamwork, funny antics, and charm in variety probably helped them score another OFD season, the currently-running SEVENTEEN’s One Fine Day in Japan.

Also check out: SHINee Surprise Vacation (Onew in Thailand, Jonghyun in Japan, Key and Minho in England, and Taemin in Switzerland), AOA’s Hainan Getaway, VIXX’s One Fine Day in Jeju, Super Junior’s One Fine Day in Switzerland, and G-Friend’s Variety Training in Cebu

Battle Trip

 photo battletrip_zpsimux3sa8.jpgSandara Park and Hyoni exploring the Philippine islands for “Battle Trip”

Some time last year, there was a fuss around my workplace in Bonifacio Global City. Apparently, Sandara Park was shooting a segment at a restaurant nearby for KBS travel show called “Battle Trip.”

Curious, I checked the show after it aired, and got hooked by its simple yet fresh concept: MCs divide into teams and go on an adventure in exciting destinations. Upon returning to Korea, they will then come together in the studio to talk about their experiences and decide on which team has had the better trip.

While Sandara and her travel buddy Kang Hyoni’s course called “Dara Tour” initially lost to actor-director Kim Min Gyo’s Pattaya, Thailand escapade, she didn’t fail in showcasing the beauty of the Philippines, even defending the country as a safe place to travel for foreigners.

1 Night 2 Days

 photo 1night2days_zpskmglosmw.jpgThe cast of “1 Night 2 Days” smile for a selcawith their special guests as they filmed the “Handsome Men Winter Camp” episode

This 10-year-old show is one of the longest-running travel-themed programs on air.

Staying true to its motto “real wild road variety”, the 1 Night 2 Days or 1N2D cast members Kim Jong-min, Cha Tae-hyun, Kim Joon-ho, Defconn, Yoon Shi-yoon, and Jung Joon-young embark on different trips throughout South Korea per episode all the while performing a slew of obscure missions to earn rewards (that will make their trip more comfortable)and avoid punishments.

Idol groups like Infinite, APink, and Twice, as well as celebrities like Park Bo Gum, Park Seo Jun, and Han Hyo Joo have graced 1N2D.

New Journey to the West

 photo newjourneytothewest_zps8e1ltym5.jpegThe original cast of “New Journey To The West”

Inspired by the classic Chinese novel “Journey to the West”, this rollicking travel-reality program follows personalities like Lee Seung-gi, Kang Ho-dong, Eun Ji-won, Lee Su-geun, Ahn Jae-hyun, Kyuhyun, and Mino on a backpacking trip across Xi’an, China.

To make things interesting, the cast portrays characters drawn from the original novel, and together, on their trip of 5 days and 4 nights, they take on a string of games that will send you into fits and fits of laughter.

Youth Over Flowers

 photo youthoverflowers_zpslxjt18te.jpgJung Sang-hoon, Jung Woo, Jo Jung Suk, and Kang ha Neul *chilling* in Iceland

Getting kidnapped has never been this fun.

In “Youth Over Flowers”, celebrities are taken to a far-flung country without prior notice, rendering them completely unprepared for the trip. Every season, the cast spends about a week or so in their destination, filling their time with a number of activities that they planned on their own or have to do for the show.

Among this program’s most notable guests are actors Park Bo Gum, Kang Ha Neul, Jo Jung Suk, and idol group B1A4’s Baro.

Exciting India

 photo flutteringindia_zpsjfgmun1u.jpgClad in traditional Indian kurtas SHINee’s Minho, Super Junior’s Kyuhyun, EXO’s Suho, Infinite’s Sunggyu, and CNBLUE’s Jonghyun pose for a photo in front of the historic Gateway of India

So, what happens when you send five of K-Pop’s biggest stars to a country where very few people know who they are? “Exciting India” has the answer.

In this 4-episode KBS World special, Super Junior’s evil maknae Kyuhyun, Infinite’s leader Sunggyu, CNBLUE’s lead guitarist Jonghyun, EXO’s leader Suho, and SHINee’s main rapper Minho are flown to India as KBS’s newsroom correspondents to create a full-length report on how K-Pop is perceived in the South Asian sub-continent.

Setting forth as men with a mission (well, they look more like university students doing a group project), they scour the city of Mumbai – from the historic Gateway of India, to the cosmopolitan shopping district, to the slums of Dharavi – immersing themselves in the rich Indian culture as they gathered facts, overcame language barrier, and learned the ups and downs of journalism.

Written by The Krew member Andy Flores

5 BTS: The Wings Tour Moments We Can’t Wait To Experience In Manila

We’re just a few days away from the 2017 BTS Live Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour in Manila, and we could hardly contain our excitement!

Arguably the most-anticipated K-Pop concert of the year, The Wings Tour in Manila (6-7 May) sold out some 20,000 tickets in just a few hours on the first day of ticket selling alone – a true battle of blood, sweat, and tears among the ever-so-passionate ARMYs.

As we count down the days till we witness Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook set the SM Mall of Asia Arena stage on fire for their third solo concert in the country, let’s run through five The Wings Tour moments we couldn’t wait to experience on both days of BTS’ stop in Manila:

The super lit set list

 

The Wings Tour is divided into four glorious parts on top of VCRs and talking segments. Kicking off with the kinetic “Not Today” numbers and a slew of intro songs, BTS will then treat the audience to solo stages, to be followed by a medley featuring their title songs before they ease down to the encore, capping off the show with “Spring Day.” Crowd favorites like “Fire”, “Dope”, and “Baepsae” are also part of the concert’s set list.

The seven solo stages

We’ve seen BTS hold unit stages at their past concerts, but they’ve never really dedicated an entire segment to solo performances, so we sure are looking forward to the the seven stages of each member this time around. From Taehyung and Jin nailing the high notes in “Stigma” and “Awake” to Hobi’s à la worship “Mama” stage to Jungkook showcasing some impressive footwork during “Begin”, we’ll get to watch the Bangtan Boys bare their souls through powerful, uplifting, sometimes sensual, sometimes heart-wrenching numbers that we certainly won’t forget any time soon.

Watching the live performances of “Spring Day” and “Not Today” for the first time (in the flesh!)

This would be the first time we will be seeing the choreography of “Spring Day” and “Not Today”, as well as the other songs in the Wings and You Never Walk Alone albums including “Blood, Sweat & Tears”, performed live right before our very eyes – of course, we are pumped!

Taking part in the fan projects

From creating a rainbow ARMY Bomb ocean in the US, to forming encouraging messages that illuminated an entire arena in Thailand, ARMYS have always believed in “go big or go home” when it comes to packing a surprise for the boys. And since we PH ARMYs don’t want to get left behind, we have something in store for BTS, too! So if you’re attending the show, it would be best for you to familiarize yourself with all the fan projects and share the word to your fellow concert buddies!

Singing along to “2!3! (Hoping For More Good Days)”

What better way to make your fans feel loved than by writing a song especially for them? That’s exactly what BTS did. “2! 3! (Hoping For More Good Days)” is the ARMYs’ official fan song that says so much about the ups and downs that the band and the entire fandom endured together, and getting the opportunity to sing along to it is a chance we definitely wouldn’t miss. After all, it’s not everyday we get to express our love and gratitude to our ultimate bias group by singing back to them with all our heart.

Written by The Krew member Andy Flores

How To Score That K-Pop Concert Ticket: A Survival Guide

The situation: Your ultimate bias group is coming to your country as part of their world tour.

*Screams*

*Panics*

*DIES*

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As excited as you are about the news, you couldn’t help feeling extremely anxious over a plethora of concerns. “Will I be free on concert day?” (Hopefully…) “I’ve got strict parents; will they ever allow me to attend a show that starts in the evening?” (Fingers crossed…) “Do I have enough funds?” (Still iponing…)

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But the most pressing issue in your head right now must be whether or not you’ll manage to score much-coveted tickets to what could be the most unforgettable night of your life. And with thousands of fans hailing from near and far about to set forth for the ultimate battle that is ticketing day, the stakes are definitely high.

Ottoke?

Well, now’s not a great time to lose hope. Not all fans across the globe get the chance you’ve got in your hands right now, so get your game face on, and read our guide on how to cop K-Pop concert tickets – the fun and ethical way – like a boss:

  1. Anticipate. 

This tip actually applies way before the announcement of the concert in your area.

ANTICIPATE.

We all know how unpredictable K-Pop groups can be. So even though you think there’s a super slim chance of them visiting your country, prepare anyway.

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Budget your allowance. Cut your expenses. Feed your concert fund jar regularly. Heck, if you could open a bank account for this, go for it, because the best time to save up is always, always NOW. You never know… the next city they’ll swing by could be yours!

Think about it: If you end up saving more than the amount needed for an SVIP ticket, you might even consider going the extra mile and save up a bit more to see your favorite group in Korea!

  1. Decide on your mode of purchase

Online or on-site? Oh, the dilemma… Each has its own pros and cons, but obviously, you’ll have to choose what would be the most convenient for you at the moment.

Needless to say, if you’re living far from ticketing outlets or abroad, it would be best to purchase tickets online or make a reservation through the organizers (if they offer such). The same goes for fans who’ve got access to speedy and reliable internet connection. Why go through the hassle of lining up for hours and hours, when you can just make the purchase in the comfort of your home? Easy peasy.

“But what if the website crashes?”

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We totally get why you’re worried about this. Indeed, the volume of website visitors on the day of selling could potentially crash the site. However, if it does happen during your transaction, chances are, servers at ticketing offices are also down! So take a deep breath, refresh the page, and you’ll get your ticket soon enough.

Now, let’s get to the far bloodier option: on-site purchasing.

If you have yet to endure lining up for a K-Pop concert ticket, trust us when we say that buying on-site an experience in itself. It’s an incredibly stressful ordeal, but nonetheless exciting.

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Although this option will require a lot of time, patience, and effort on your part, it’s still what most fans – especially those who who live near ticketing offices – prefer. Some do it for the guarantee of getting hold of the actual ticket stat (nothing quite compares to this feeling), while others do it simply for the thrill. Some fans also take this opportunity to meet new friends in the fandom.

Everybody has their own reasons for buying on-site, really. Just make sure that if you do choose this option, you’re mentally, emotionally, and physically prepared for it. After all, nothing’s too difficult if it means seeing oppas or noonas performing your favorite jams on concert day, right?

  1. Devise a game plan.

Okay, since you’ve got your money ready, cleared your schedule on ticketing day, and even got a go signal from your parents, it’s time for you to come up with a strategy. Don’t take this step lightly.

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Just as how a good soldier never goes to war without a solid plan, you, too, should face ticketing day with a faultless scheme, especially if you’re buying on-site.

Truth be told, this would be a lot easier if you’re going with friends, as you can pitch your own ideas and develop your game plan from there. So, if you’re going alone, it would be smart of you to look for at least one mutual, who’s going to buy tickets at your chosen location.

We understand that you might be in a state of panic right now, so, to inspire you and, perhaps, give you some peace of mind, here is a tried-and-tested ticket-buying strategy to get you started:

Mission: Divide and Conquer
Required Manpower: At least 2 people
The Plan: Find the ticket offices that will less likely cater to TONS of people and assign members of your group to those areas. You can either go alone or by pairs, depending on how big your group is. Make sure each “unit” carries enough amount of money that will cover the cost of tickets for your entire group. On ticketing day, keep in touch through calls or SMS. Whoever among you reaches the counter first will buy the tickets.

  1. Stay on SNS.

We bet you don’t want to miss out on anything. So during this crucial period, let SNS be your best friend.

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Enter essential keywords in the search box, follow and turn on notifications for significant accounts, and regularly check official and related hashtags to closely monitor what the entire fandom is up to.

You can also use SNS to find out which ticketing offices would be crowded on D-Day (since fans usually post about where they will be buying their tickets), so you can plan accordingly.

On ticket-selling day, be a responsible fan and help keep your fandom updated about what’s happening on your end. Post line updates, photos, and videos that will be of great help to your fellow stans. Above all, do not cause unnecessary panic or worse, fights.

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Be smart in using your words.

  1. Safety first!

At this point, the idea of spending the night outside a mall or a ticketing office must have already come across your mind, and you’ve actually considered doing it. In fact, you’re ~this~close to packing your overnight bag!

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Well, hold it right there! Is it really necessary for you to camp out? Sure, the idea sounds exciting. We also know that you’re afraid of not getting there early enough. But by doing so, you’ll be putting your safety on the line. It doesn’t matter if there are people around you doing the same. Your own safety is of paramount importance here.

You’ll be sleeping on a cold, dirty pavement compromising your comfort and risking your health. Moreover, you will be carrying a huge sum of money – something you (or your parents) worked so hard for. You don’t want to lose all that to some ill-minded criminal who lurks in the night, do you?

The key to securing a really good ticket is not by camping out, but by going early to a branch that has the least people (again, regularly check SNS to find out which outlets are expecting the most people).

Think about it: If ten people camped out at this particular hotspot, while you chose have a good night’s rest at home and just go early to a lesser known outlet (and by some stroke of luck, you come first in line) it is likely that you will beat the nine other fans who camped out to getting a ticket once ticket-selling hour strikes!

However, if you really do want to experience camping out for a ticket, just for the heck of it, make sure you secure your valuables and stay in your spot in line. Take a nap, but don’t slip into a deep sleep (well, we doubt that you can do this in such a situation, anyway).

Some other things…

  1. Initiate.

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Early in line? Take the initiative to start a queuing system. Also inform the security guards within the premises to redirect any fan who arrives to your line, so no multiple queues will be formed.

  1. Do not cut the line!

So you woke up late or got caught in traffic. When you arrived at the venue, a looooooooooong line meets your eyes. Frantic and desperate, the thought of cutting the line crosses your mind.

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DO NOT.

The people in line want a ticket just as much as you do, and robbing off their chance of getting the tickets they want is just downright rude and unethical. Think about how you’d feel if you were in their shoes.

  1. Buy tickets within the purchasing limit.

Simple: If the organizer says you can buy a maximum of two tickets for this particular show, then don’t insist on getting three, even if need be.

  1. Make new friends!

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This is probably the best part about lining up for tickets. Making new friends in the same fandom. Queueing for hours can get extremely boring, so take the liberty of striking a conversation with the fans near you. Talk about your biases, your favorite songs, choreography, and whatnot. Surely, you wouldn’t run out of things to talk about! Don’t forget to ask for their SNS handles or their mobile numbers. Who knows? You might even meet again on concert day!

  1. Handle your ticket with ~care~.

After what feels like forever, you’ve finally purchased your ticket! *Happy dance*

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With your patience and perseverance rewarded, it is just right that you keep the very key to your most-awaited event in a secured place, but, perhaps, not before snapping a picture of it to post on social media (see to it that the barcode and essential info printed on the ticket are blocked!). After all, you want the world a.k.a. the interwebs to witness your success.

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Tucking the ticket in your wallet or planner is a definite no-no, as they are items that can easily get lost, misplaced, or worse, stolen. Make sure your hiding place is easy to access, so you wouldn’t have any issues retrieving it on concert day.

 

Got it? Alright. We wish you luck on D-Day!!!

 

Written by: Krew member Andy Flores