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.




Tv GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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…)

Tv GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


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.


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.


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.

Budget GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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?”

K-Pop GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

 photo 20170108_094109_zpsugccysru.jpg

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.

Animated GIF  - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

Smartphone GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

 photo smmakati1_zpsdtcmbqgt.png

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!

 photo camping_zpsdqzssyfl.png

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.

 photo smmakati2_zps3haxccgr.png

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.

Homer Simpson GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


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!

 photo 20170108_100948_zpseadoeeb2.jpg

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*

Dancing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

 photo ticket_zpso0tvcu2r.png

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

Christmas Song Covers by K-Pop Idols That Never Fail To Bring The Holiday Cheer

We’re less than a month away from Christmas, and you know what that means: It’s that time of the year again to dig up ~ancient~ as well as not-so-ancient Christmas song covers by K-Pop idols! From holiday album tracks to collab stages, these videos of your favorite K-Pop artists singing classic Christmas tunes will surely bring on the nostalgia and spark the yuletide spirit in you!

SNSD (Girls Generation) – All I Want for Christmas is You

Clad in cute and sexy Mrs. Claus outfits, Girl’s Generation’s Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, Seohyun belted out and jammed to Mariah Carey’s Christmas hit “All I Want For Christmas” for MBC’s SNSD Christmas Fairy Tale special.

2PM – Last Christmas

Despite choosing a breakup song to perform, fresh-faced Jun. K, Nickhun, Taecyeon, Wooyoung, Junho, and Chansung of 2PM made hearts flutter at the 2009 KBS Open Concert with their version of George Michael’s “Last Christmas”, even spicing up the popular holiday tune with a short rap.

SHINee & KARA – Silent Night (Korean Version) + Jingle Bell Rock

Newly-debuted SHINee serenading the audience with the Korean version of “Silent Night” in perfect harmony plus a swingy performance of “Jingle Bell Rock” with KARA will make you miss the good ol’ days of K-Pop, when idols would usually share a stage to deliver a memorable act.

DBSK (TVXQ!) – Sleigh Ride

A track from SM Town’s winter album “The Warmest Gift”, DBSK’s Yunho and Changmin showcase their sweet-as-candy-cane vocals through the cheery Christmas classic “Sleigh Ride”. We dare you to try not to smile as you listen to this!

Ailee – My Grown Up Christmas List

American-Korean singer Ailee’s charming yet powerful rendition of Amy Grant’s “My Grown Up Christmas List” will tug at your heartstrings and make you feel like you’re wrapped in a warm embrace.

Davichi – Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Exhibiting their wide vocal range, Lee Hae-ri and Kang Min-kyung of the girl duo Davichi kept the audience at KBS Pop Orchestra on their toes, tapping and clapping through the peppy performance of the staple Christmas carol.

Bonus: Watch the boys of MBLAQ enjoying themselves as they sang the Korean version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”. Beware, their happiness is infectious!

Gummy feat. Park Hyo Shin, Wheesung, Jung Yup – All I Want For Christmas Is You + Last Christmas

Joined by R&B singers Park Hyo Shin, Wheesung, and Jung Yup, Gummy sparked a party at the Seoul Olympic Park with “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Last Christmas”, opening “The Soul Concert” six years ago. Has it really been that long?

IU & K Will – Let It Snow

IU and K Will kept things light, easy, and jazzy with their rendition of “Let It Snow” at the KBS Music Bank Christmas Special.

By: Krew Member Andy Flores

Korean Indie Music Acts That Have To Be In Your Playlist

We all know that K-Pop is all the rage when it comes to the Korean music scene. It’s a multi-billion Dollar industry that gripped not just South Korea, but the rest of the globe as well. However, beyond all the catchy songs, slick choreography, and the glamor that K-Pop projects, there sure is more to Korean music today than just… well… pop. And if you’ll dig a little deeper you might just find yourself drowning your ears to some indie tunes that might just be as addictive as K-Pop.

Here are some Korean indie music artists that you should check out now:

1.  O.O.O (Out of Office)
Best played during: laid-back weekend mornings

If there’s a word that best describes Out of Office’s style it’s comfy. The sounds this four-member band produces are not far from the ordinary. They don’t try to set a trend with flamboyant techniques, nor do they attempt to achieve something beyond what they are capable of. They work with what’s familiar to listeners and develop their own tone from there, making their tunes – simple as they are – instantly likable and easy to the ears. 

While O.O.O has been hanging around the indie sphere since 2014, it was only last year they got a much deserved break by minting a song titled “Autumn Sky” in the soundtrack of the first OnStyle drama series“Because It’s The First Time”. They released their first EP called “Home” earlier this year. 

“Autumn Sky” (2015)

“모래”/”Gold Dust” (2016)

2. Zitten
Best played during: late nights or rainy afternoons

Singer-guitarist Seong Yong Uk and drummer Yoon Heyong Ro crossed paths several times in school and at amateur band meet-ups before finally coming together as a duo. With a burning passion for making music and a strong desire to break into the indie scene, they formed Zitten and debuted in 2005 with a self-produced mini-album titled “Rock Doves”. 

Their songs are often a fusion of folk and pop with hints of rock thrown here and there. Because of their unique sound quality, a number of Zitten’s songs were featured in OSTs of movies and TV shows, including the 2015 sitcom “The Producers”.  Zitten enjoyed a steady career before announcing their split in 2011. Vocalist Seong Yong Uk continues to release music under the band’s name.

“별,달,밤”/”Star, Moon, Night” (2008)

Secret (2008)

3. Standing Egg
Best played during: warm summer days

The band composition of Standing Egg is ever changing. Apart from the three core members and founders – who prefer to go by the nicknames “Egg 1”, “Egg 2”, and “Egg 3” – the rest of the band is made up of temporary members, who are usually vocalists. When Standing Egg holds live performances, indie musicians Ryu Seok Won a.k.a. Clover (guitar/vocals), Lee Han Kyul (double bass), Song Hana (djembe), and Windy (vocalist) often join the band onstage.

Since their 2010 debut, Standing Egg has become one of South Korea’s most recognizable independent music acts. They are best known for their sugary sweet tunes that encompass various musical genres such as bossa nova, jazz, folk, and even reggae. They recently made a comeback with their mini-album titled “Voice”.

Voice (2016)

“넌 이별 아직” (2010)

Best played during: weekday mornings, when you’re preparing for work or school

There’s something about the nectarine vocals of Kim Yoon Ju and Baek Se Jin – the two talented women behind the indie-folk duo OKDAL – that can turn any bad day into a brighter one. Add experimental sounds like whistling and the delicate ringing of triangles or xylophones to the equation, and what you get is a positivity pill crushed into bits, generously sprinkled over their absolutely eargasmic songs.

Their most notable work to date is a collaboration with K-Pop boy group VIXX in 2013. The two bands came together for the single “여자는 왜” or “Girls, why?”.

“달리기”/”Keep Running” (2015)

여자는 왜” or “Girls, Why?”

5. 커피소년 (Coffee Boy)
Best played during: your down days

Want a dose of good vibes? You can count on Coffee Boy to deliver just that. Known for his soothing vocals and “healing” lyrics, Coffee Boy is all about lifting his listeners’ spirits through his well-crafted words and melodies. 

His material is always cozy; never intimidating. Simply put, the feel of his songs can be likened to the feeling you get when you come home after a tiring day at work or school. Really now, give this guy a listen. You deserve it. 

“힘내”/”Cheer Up” (2015)

“행복해”/”Happy” feat. Taru (2014)

Written by Krew Member Andy Flores

Say What?!: Decoding the K-Pop Lingo

The K-Pop universe has a language of its own.

This is something I discovered as I dived deeper into its colorful world.

In my few months as a K-Pop fan (I know. I’m sooo late.), I’ve been asked which group I stan, who my bias is, and whose comeback I’m looking forward to. They were all too confusing for me back then, and – naturally – my response was “What?”


What do these words I thought I knew (but apparently not enough to answer the questions thrown at me) actually mean in the K-Pop world?  Of course, grappling my way through what was once uncharted territory to me, I eventually found out what these terms meant, how they’re used, and even when to use them.

So if you’re a new K-Pop fan or simply a curious cat who’s intrigued by the idea of K-Pop lingo, read up as I decode some words from the second language of K-Pop junkies.


“Captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Seo Dae Young are obviously Red Velvet stans.”


Simply put, a “stan” is an avid fan of a group or a celebrity. This term is said to have originated from Eminem’s 2000 music video for the song “Stan” that featured an obsessive fan who carried the name. “Stan” is believed to be a combination of the words “stalker” and “fan”.

In some cases, the word is also used a verb to express support, i.e. “I stan Infinite for their pure talent.” or “Through thick and thin, I will forever stan DBSK.”


“I love Suho so much! He is definitely my bias!”


“Bias” is pretty much synonymous to “favorite”, and basically refers to your favorite member in a group. It gets complicated as you fall deeper in your fandom, though, since its almost inevitable to love several members in a group you stan. So then you’ll have to label your biases – first bias, second bias, ultimate bias…You get the idea, right?


“V is my ultimate bias in BTS, but Jimin sure is my bias wrecker!”


 A “wrecker” or “bias wrecker” is a member of a group you stan who isn’t your bias BUT finds a way to mess with your feels, probably because he or she looks hotter than usual or sounds better than usual.


“Everybody agrees that SNSD’s Sunny is the queen of aegyo!” 


An idol’s aegyo is something that fans always look forward to. It is a Korean term that refers to the act of doing something cute. Idols commonly exhibit aegyo by displaying puppy eyes, speaking in a childish voice, or winking. These never fail to make their fans scream “kyaaaaaa!”


“Kyuhyun’s devilish grin makes him the evil maknae of Super Junior.”


The maknae is the youngest member of a group. Fans are particularly fond of them because they can be adorable and mischievous at the same time.


“The visuals of Black Pink are breathtaking. They are like living pieces of art!”


 “Visual” can either refer to the physical appearance of an idol or the group’s most attractive and charismatic member, who serves as the magnet of the group, simply because they have the ability to draw fans in through their good looks and charm.


“BIGBANG is making an early comeback with ‘MADE’ due to T.O.P’s impending military enlistment.”



The most awaited event of fans is their favorite group’s comeback. Comeback = new concepts, new songs, and a new era! Now, while “comeback” is a term commonly used to describe the return of an artist or a group of artists after a long break, that isn’t always the case in K-Pop. A band need not go on hiatus to make a comeback. Every new release of a group is considered a comeback in the world of K-Pop.


“Omo! TWICE achieved a perfect all-kill with ‘TT’!”


 “All-kill” is an impressive feat that a group can achieve by topping major music charts shortly after the release of ththeir new material. With a number of groups dropping new songs almost every week, obtaining an all-kill is absolutely a big deal!


“SEVENTEEN’s bright and lively stages always perk me up!”


Nope, a “stage” isn’t just the elevated platform on which your favorite groups sing and dance. In K-Pop, when you say “stage”, it IS the performance! Stages are most often held at music shows for groups to promote their latest songs (“comeback stage”).


“Jinyoung and Jackson’s skinship is too much to handle!”

Originally, “skinship” is a term reserved for the physical contact between a mother and her child. These days, however, “skinship” is used for just about any act of people who express affection or their closeness through touching. Hugging, kissing, and holding hands are some examples of skinship.


“That moment between Jonghyun and Taemin during their ‘Internet War’ performance back in 2012 is peak fan service!”


Fan service is any act done by idols to please and excite their fans and audience. These acts range from cute to sexy.


“Is it true that a Sasaeng fan managed to steal D.O’s underwear?”



“Sasaeng fans” are awfully obsessed fans who cross the line just to express their “love” for their favorite group or bias. They engage in various intrusive – and, sometimes, dangerous – activities such as following an idol all day long while snapping tons of photos (you wouldn’t believe how powerful their zoom lenses are!), calling and texting idols (yes, they find ways to get verified phone numbers), and even sneaking into the dorms of bands (stealing stuff along the way). Seriously, these sasaeng fans know no limits.


“2ne1’s Dara and SHINee’s series of Etude House ads remain to be my favorite CFs to date.”

“CF” is an acronym for “commercial film”. Companies most usually sign idols to endorse their brand through CFs.


“My dream is to take a selca with my bias.”


“Selca”, in Korea, is what’s known as “selfie” to the rest of the globe. It’s a combination of the words “self” and “camera”.


“I spend most of my free time scrolling through SNS.”


“SNS” is where your idols post their selcas. The acronym stands for “social networking services” a.k.a. social media. Facebook, Weibo, Twitter, Instagram – they’re all forms of SNS!

Do you have other words to add? Sound off in the comments!

Written by: Krew Member Andy Flores