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

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5 SIMPLE TIPS BEFORE STUDYING IN KOREA

[KCCBanner] 5 Tips Before studying in Korea.

You might have thoughts about studying in Korea. Whether it’s to further pursue your degree there, study their language or whatever your reasons, I’ll share with you my 5 tips before studying in your dream country, Korea.

1. Study a little Korean

When your about to study abroad in general, it’s important to learn the basics of their language. I have a friend who studied in Korea and knowing how to read and write Hangeul really helped her a lot.

Given that majority of the lessons will be taught in Korean- it’s good to be ready! Also, studying a little bit of Korean in advance gives you an “edge” versus your classmates. It also allows you to be more confident that you won’t get lost anywhere in Korea! Just in case~

2. Visit the school

As much as possible, it’s best to check the school and the dorm you will be staying at beforehand. This way, you can already get a glimpse of your “living-expectations” and adjust to whatever it is you might be needing.

Tour around the school so you’ll know where to go and allow yourself to get the school’s “vibe.” When you do this, you probably won’t have a hard time during your first day in class!

If you can’t visit the school, make sure to read A LOT about it because studying in Korea is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity that can’t be wasted just because of a “wrong school” choice -no offense. Make sure the school caters to your academic needs, matches your standards, and is considered an “expert” in whatever it is you want to study.

3. Anticipate the difficulties

It is not easy studying abroad. I ask my friends a lot about their experiences studying abroad and most of them tell me they cry on the first week. I’m not scaring you, I’m just saying you have to be ready- heart, soul and mind. 

Encountering language barriers or possible miscommunications are inevitable. Missing your family and friends is normal. Allowing yourself to give up during these “difficulties,” is definitely a no-no. Remember, these “challenges” are part of the journey itself and you’ll eventually be thankful for it because, it’s the one that builds you up and makes you stronger.

4. Clarity of the “dream”

Before studying in Korea, or in any other country, you have to be clear of why you want to study there. You have to know your “reasons”. Doing this allows you to conquer #3 easily! Why? Simply because when obstacles come, you won’t let them get in your way because you know your purpose. You have a “goal” in studying in Korea (or any country) and you won’t let anyone miss your chance to win the prize.

5. Believe in yourself.

Lastly, telling yourself that you can do it, that you will “survive” and that you will achieve your goal are important. The power of your mind is the best weapon you can use over your doubts, homesickness or even your “#3”s along the way in studying in Korea (or abroad).

Connected to #4, remind yourself of your purpose and support it by being your own “number-one-fan”. If you believe in yourself, you’ll be surprised with the amazing things that are about to come your way.

I hope my simple tips before studying in Korea helped you!

Are you planning to study in Korea? Tell us where you plan to?

God bless!

Written by Krew Member Max Chua

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

MOVING KOREA: Art in a Different Perspective

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As we grow up, we realize that the way we see things are not always the same as how the world views it.

Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines opened its first interactive art exhibit ‘Moving Korea’ last June 8, 2017 at the KCC Exhibit Hall.

The exhibit features 18 modern and kinetic interactive artworks of contemporary artists Na Hyoung-min, Kim Dongho, Kwon Kisoo, Vakki, Everyware, Wang Ziwon, Lee Lee-nam, Hybe, and Han Jinsoo.

KCC was given the opportunity to have Artist Na Hyoung-min in the opening ceremony last June 8. He introduced a unique method of painting –the lenticular method–which he used on his artworks displayed at the exhibit.

This method uses lenticular lenses to produce an image with an illusion of depth or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

Na Hyoung-min studied Oriental Painting in Seoul National University where he also earned his Master’s Degree. He is currently serving as a professor in College of Fine Arts at Kyung Hee University.

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The Artist Talk started with Mr. Na explaining the creation process of his artworks while simultaneously playing a short video. He introduced some of his creations which are currently displayed at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Arts in Seoul, South Korea.

He also discussed the inspirations he had in his art. According to him, there are times when he just stare into space without thinking while looking at paintings in museums. Also, most of his artworks have a background of nature because he’s from the rural area of Seoul.

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Questions from audience were also entertained. A guest asked him when did he realized that he knew he wanted to be an artist. Na shared that he was deeply immersed with arts and paintings since his childhood that when he first drew an army war between Korea and America, his mother thought he’d be a general someday. Turns out, he became an artist like Leonardo Da Vinci and Vincent Van Gogh whom he admires.

 

OPENING CEREMONY

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A short introductory speech was given by KCC Director Lee Jin Cheol during the opening ceremony of the exhibit. He expressed his warm welcome and gratitude to the artists for their contribution to the art exhibit here in the Philippines. He wanted to inform the public of Korea’s interactive and modern art installation in the country.

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Artist Na Hyoung-min introduced his artworks “The Moon” and “The Ring Around the Moon” which was inspired by Daeboreum or the First Full Moon Holiday in South Korea.

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From Left: National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA) Head of International Affairs Anne Luis; Korean Copyright Commission Director JEONG Jae Woo; Instituto Cervantes de Manila Director Carlos Madrid; Korean artist NA Hyoung-min; Kim Chun Bae; UP Professor Aldrin Lee; and KCC Director LEE Jincheol

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Students from KCC's K-Musical Class wrapped up the event with two awesome performances.

Other artworks include:

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A Song of Nature by Lee Lee Nam

The artist uses the combination of traditional painting and modern technology by bringing traditional paintings of colorful butterflies to life using a four-minute short video which allows our human imagination to capture the real-life movement of butterflies.

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Lightning Bug by Kim Dong Ho

Kim Dong Ho's hybrid project is made out of little ladybug-like electronic objects which is activated according to the spectator's movement.

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Toyrider by Everyware

Kids and kids-at-heart will surely enjoy this hybrid project of Everyware. It displays different illusions of a toy village by moving the steering wheel made of lego.
우리는 매일 마주한다 (We face each other everyday) by Vakki

Using a camera and artificial intelligence computer vision algorithms, the audiences' face, skeletal motion and positions are detected. Commensurate to the detected motion, new patterns are generated and moved (rotation and expansion).
Light Tree: Interactive Dan Flavin by HYBE

Interactive Dan Flavin pays homage to Dan Flavin, an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. Hybe's work expands the logic of Flavin by reinforcing the physical property of light through interactive media. It represents an escape from traditional lighting, as light and color changes when touched by viewers. Lighting here is divided into front and back, and colors are programmed to maintain complementary colors.

Check these and other interactive artworks from Moving Korea at Korean Cultural Center Exhibit Hall, Taguig from June 8 to July 14, 2017. Admission is FREE!

For more information contact (02)555-1711 or e-mail curator@koreanculture.ph

Hyeonchung-Il (현충일): Korean Memorial Day

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The Korean Memorial Day (현충일, 顯忠日, Hyeonchung-il) is a national non-working holiday held every June 6 to honor the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives for Korea. It was declared a public holiday by the Korean Government on April 19, 1956.

On this day, memorial ceremonies are held to commemorate the men and women who died while in military service during the Korean War and other significant wars or battles. The largest ceremony is held at the National Cemetery in Seoul with the President and some government officials in attendance. Officials and citizens place flowers and offerings at the graves of those who died in battle. War veterans also salute in front of the gravestone of their fellow soldiers.

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At 10 in the morning, a siren rings all over the country, and people offer silent prayers for one minute. The Korean flag (태국기, Taegukgi)  is flown at half-staff and the Memorial Day Song (현충일 노래, Hyeonchung-il Norae) is also played.  Some houses and business establishments display the Korean flag on their front doors. All of these are done to pay respect to the people who heed the call to stand up and fight for the freedom of their countrymen.

Filipinos in the Korean War

Writer’s Note: Since this article aims to honor the people who gave their lives to protect and defend their country, I would like to take this opportunity to also acknowledge the astonishing act of humanity and selflessness our fellow Filipino soldiers did during the Korean War.

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Filipino-Korean Soldier Monument. This monument of two Filipino soldiers aiding a Korean soldier is dedicated to the Filipino combat soldiers who fought with the Korean troops during the Korean War.

The Philippines was the first Asian country to send combat troops to the Korean War. Comprised of five Battalion Combat Teams (BCTs), composed of 7,150 officers and men, President Elpidio Quirino sent the Philippine Expeditionary Forces To Korea (PEFTOK) to fight in the Korean War in September 1950.

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The PEFTOK creed at the Museum of the PEFTOK Korean War Memorial Hall at Fort Bonifacio.

Overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War, the Korean War is referred to as the “Forgotten War.” Many young Filipinos today are unaware of the sacrifices our brave soldiers to help South Korea gain the freedom and democracy has today.

Most, if not all, of our history classes do not discuss this important event in our country’s past. I hope that their sacrifices will not be forgotten and that the next generation of Filipinos would continue to commemorate the heroism and gallantry of our Korean War veterans.

Credits: Wikipedia.com, http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/225235/filipino-soldiers-story-of-korean-war-valor-redux,  http://www.pilipino-express.com/history-a-culture/special-features-history-a-culture/1102-filipinos-in-the-korean-war.html

Written by Krew Member Miao Canlas

The Perks of Studying Korean

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Kamusta ka?, did you understand that phrase? If you did, then you might know Tagalog. I will assumt hat you are fluent in English by being able to read this post! You know, living in the Philippines has its advantages and it is because we are exposed to a bilingual type of environment: where people can speak two languages fluently.

In turn, it is easier for us to converse with other people. But as a Korean fan, did you know that adding Korean to our everyday language, is even better! Let me tell you how.

Asides from simply understanding what Song Joong Ki is saying in dramas and knowing what B.I was rapping about in “Rhythm Ta”, learning Korean can help us express ourselves more, increase our intellectual capacity- not to mention even decrease our chances of dementia and help us be ready for our “globalized” world.

There are some words in a certain dialect that cannot be translated. Can you please tell me how to translate, “kilig” in English? Nothing, right? You’d probably describe the feeling rather than a translating the word. How about “멍 (meong)” in Korean? I can’t think of an English word; “dumfounded“, “stare“, “Song Ji-Hyo“?

With this you get to express yourself more because you don’t need to find an equivalent meaning or explain yourself in long sentences when the word that you want to say is right in front of you! You might not notice how many times you already said “aigoo” during your stressful moments.

Another is that learning Korean can help deepen our cognitive ability. It can helps us in multi-tasking, thus expanding the capacity of our brain to work. Studies also show that learning another language helps decrease dementia because it helps our memory. What is it that we do when we learn Korean? We memorize, we recall and we adopt. That’s what exercises our brain constantly.

Lastly, learning Korean can help us as we enter a globalized world. Admit it or not, in finding a job, it would be an asset if you know three (3) languages- or more. Not just that but, if your boss finally assigns you a project in Korea, you won’t think twice because you can converse confidently in Korean!

There’s definitely a number of things you haven’t realized you’re gaining in studying Korean. Sometimes, a drama can get you a job, a song lyric can help you with your memory and a Korean word can help you express yourself!

Face it, there’s more than just understanding what Song Joong Ki said.

Written by Krew Member: Max Chua

Eorininal (어린이날): Children’s Day in Korea

“Children are the future of our nation. Let’s show respect for children. Children who grow up with ridicule and contempt from others will become people who disrespect others, while children who grow up with respect from others will become people who respect others in turn.”

Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환)

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Children’s Day, or Eorininal (어린이날), is celebrated in  Korea on the 5th of May every year. It is a public holiday observed since 1922. Korea sets this date to celebrate children’s happiness and to remind each citizen that the day should be commemorated to promote children’s general welfare and protection.  It is also a way to instill in them a sense of patriotism and national pride.

It is viewed by Korean children in a similar manner as Christmas is viewed by many children in the rest of the world — as a time for gifts and fun. During this day, parents shower their kids with gifts ranging from toys to money. Together with the presents, they also spend time with them by visiting amusements parks, zoos, museums and other places which are children-oriented. In some areas, various cultural programs are also held for both the parents’ and children’s enjoyment.

Children’s Day actually started through the hard work of Bang Jeong-hwan (방정환), a pioneer of Korean juvenile literature and a children’s rights activist. His purpose for the holiday was to promote love, care and respect for the youth because they are the future of the country.

In 1922, Bang Jeong-hwan with a group of Korean students and social leaders came up with the idea of celebrating a holiday that would focus on promoting and improving the social status of Korean children. The first Children’s Day was celebrated on May 1, 1923. Until 1939, Japanese authorities based in Seoul tried to ban the celebrations. After independence in 1945, the holiday was revived. In 1961, it was pushed to May 5 and was officially registered as a holiday in 1970.

Children’s Day not only focuses on celebrating the dignity of children and highlighting their need for care, love, and respect, but also honors adults who contribute to improving the children’s lives.

My Korean brother, Jae-woong, enjoying Children’s day 20 years ago.

It would be great if we also have this kind of holiday in the Philippines, don’t you think so?

Credits: anydayguide.com, wikipedia.com, dodoland.com, 90daykorean.com, aglobalworld.com, teacherspage.com

Written by Krew Member: Miao Canlas