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

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


It’s not impossible.

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

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


You don’t have to be rich.

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

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


Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

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

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

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

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


Be smart. Avoid scams.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Timing? Play it by ear.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


Widen your horizons.

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

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

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

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


This is YOUR trip.

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

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

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


Don’t rush it.

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

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



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


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


Brimming talents featured at the 2018 Pinoy K-pop Star

Not even an orange nor a red storm signal warning from NDRRMC could stop K-pop fans from supporting their favorite performers and contestants as they poured inside the venue of this year’s Pinoy Kpop Star competition held at Samsung Hall, SM Aura last July 22, 2018.

Despite the chilly weather, the audience warmed up the event by filling every corner of the hall with loud cheers, supporting all the contestants and performers. Dance Choreographer and Artist Coach, Vincent Igno, hosted the event which started around five in the afternoon.


Several guests were present in the event including Korea Ambassador Han Dong-man, who started his Opening Remarks with few Filipino phrases in which he delivered in an almost fluent Filipino accent. He talked about the 20 years of diplomatic relationship between South Korea and the Philippines and how he witnessed the Korean Wave become widely accepted in the country, mentioning few worldwide favorite groups and personalities lately such as EXO, BTS, Momoland, and PSY.


Performances (4)

Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano was also present and gave her Honorary Speech, which talks about the friendly relationship between South Korea and the Philippines, the increasing number of Korean nationals in the country, as well as the massive interest of Filipinos towards Korean culture.


Special Guest and Hanbok Traveler Kwon Mi Ru was also spotted at the event, offering free on-the-spot chibi portraits of the attendees.


Kpop Dance Diva, Dasuri Choi; PULP Live World Vice President, Happee Sy-Go; PKCI Vice President, Jesmah Mananquil; Territory lead for Asia Pacific and Canada GMA International, Virna Canete; and KCC Director, Mr. Lee Jincheol were also present in the event as panel of judges.


Performances (8)

Showcasing the talent which made them win last year, 2017 Pinoy Kpop Star Performance Category Grand Champion Volo Pro Veritas opened the stage for Performance Category competition as they performed their winning choreography of Blood, Sweat, Tears by BTS.


Trained under a Korean Entertainment Company, ShowBT Philippines’ first boy group SB19 delivered a special performance featuring two of their original songs Tilaluha and LG (Love Goes) from their yet to be released album. Much like in Kpop, fans of SB19 showed their support by singing fanchants and raising banners while the group performs on stage.


Event host, Vincent Igno, also claimed the spotlight for a while as he danced to Rainism by Rain and Lip n Hip by Hyuna.

Performances (332)


2015 Pinoy Kpop Star Second Place winner in Vocal Category, Val John, also performed an original song titled Giliw and a dance performance with Lethal Dose and Marmalade.


Out of hundreds who sent their audition videos online, only ten groups and individuals on each category are lucky enough to compete against each other in the Grand Finals and only one from Performance Category and one from Vocal Category will be representing the Philippines in the online semi-finals of the 2018 K-POP World Festival in Changwon, South Korea.

Winners (102)

Winners (106)

Winners (32)

MIX’IN’s dance performance on WJSN’s Dreams Come True, and Venisse Nicole’s vocal performance on Wind Song by Sohyang has led them into bagging the Grand Prize of 20,000 PHP and will be representing the Philippines in the online semi-finals of the 2018 K-POP World Festival.

Winners (1)

Winners (36)

Winners in Performance Category were (K)-Idle (2nd Place), Kaiju X (1st Place), and Mix’in (Grand Winner); and John Paul Manuel (2nd Place), Sandra Dela Cruz (1st Place), and Venisse Nicole-Siy (Grand Winner) for Vocal Category.

Winners (41)

Other participants

Performances (227)

Performance Category 

Acethetic who danced to Cactus by A.C.E., followed by Nonagon to What is love by Twice, CLASS B to Red Flavor by Red Velvet, KAIJU X to Jealousy by Monsta X, (K)-IDLE danced to Latata by G-Idle, GREAT to Bboom Bboom by Momoland, Fatal to Fake Love by BTS, ALPHA with the song Get In by Pristin V, MIX’IN to Dreams Come True by WJSN, and Magnitude 7.2 with Latata by G-Idle. 

Performances (173)

Vocal Category

Christelle Tolisora sang Shine by Pentagon; Dennis Mangubat, Talk Love by K. Will); G.Na, Bad Boy by Red Velvet; John Paul Manuel, My Apology Letter by Kim Yeonwoo; Karyl Legrama, My Star by Lee Hi; Melosky, I Miss You by Mamamoo; Merry Mia Sinaguinan, Shut Up by Unnies;  Racianne Castro Elorde, Midnight by Suzy; Sandra Dela Cruz, Breathe version by SoHyang; and Venisse Nicole Siy, Wind Song by Sohyang.


KCC Director Lee Jincheol delivered his Congratulatory Speech to all the contestants, performers as well as the audience and the staff in the whole event. Reminiscing back to 2011 when Korean Wave all started, he said he’s delighted to see fans gather in such events to promote Kpop in the country.


“Not perfect but very passionate and dedicated” — KCC Director, Lee Jincheol

Congratulations, everyone!

Written by KREW member Yara De Guzman

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Also… BAEKHYUN is so extra… as always.


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

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

Words and photos by Dawn Naval and Andy Flores


SF9 Be My Fantasy in Manila


The beginning of 2018 was truly a fantasy came true for all the Filipino fans of the sensationally talented idol group, SF9. This nine-member group under the management of FNC Entertainment is the first kpop group to hold an event in Manila this year. It was the boys’ first time in the Philippines and it was made memorable by their beloved fans or known as fantasies who gathered at the Solaire Theatre last January 06, 2018 for their first-ever fan meeting here in the country.

As the boys showed up on stage, the entire venue was filled with excited shrieks of fans who had been waiting for that opportunity to witness SF9’s captivating beauty. Their visuals along with their synchronized performances on stage were truly a breathtaking sight to see.


They performed their hit songs “Fanfare”, “Roar”, “K.O.”, “Jungle Game”, “Easy Love”, “Let’s Hang Out”, and of course their latest single, ‘O Sole Mio”. Apart from performing as a group, each member also took turns showcasing their individual appeal. Youngbin went first with his powerful rap skills; Inseong danced cutely with his version of heart dance; Jaeyoon surprised everyone when he sang and danced to the famous Filipino novelty song, “Ocho-ocho”; Dawon successfully made everyone swoon over his aegyo; Rowoon and Hwiyoung graced the stage with their melodious voices through a song; Zuho was packed with swag when he was doing his rap; Taeyang serenaded the crowd with the song, Boyfriend by Justin Bieber; Chani kept his performance short but sweet, by saying “Mahal Kita” whilst doing finger hearts to the audience.

If you think those were the only things the boys have prepared, they further made the night even more exciting by revealing a pre recorded video of themselves pretending to be on a date with fans. The hype continued on with their spontaneous short dance covers of AOA’s “Like a Cat” and “Excuse Me.” Fun facts regarding the boys were also unveiled in one of the interactive games where in the fans had to determine whether the statements given by SF9 were true or false. In the end, one lucky fan was able to win, but a true fantasy would feel like a total winner upon learning the following through the game:

– Youngbin can actually whistle.
– Inseong has a mole on his ear.
– Inseong’s shoulders are broader than Jaeyoon’s.
– Dawon has never bungee jumped before.
– Rowoon cannot knit.
– Zuho does not eat corn.
– If Taeyang is a woman, the member he would want to date is Youngbin.
– Taeyang’s hands are bigger than Hwiyoung’s.
– Youngbin’s arms are longer than Chani’s.

Before the event ended, Filipino fantasies surprised SF9 with a touching video expressing all the love they have for the group. The boys could not be anymore thankful for what they saw and expressed their desire to once again come back to the Philippines.

With that, Filipino fantasies better be prepared because we can expect SF9 to return with more explosive performances.


Written by Krew member Cham Hidalgo

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out some clicks from the event here:
















Words and photos by Krew Member Andy Flores



The Korean pop rock band CNBLUE saved the best for the last as they end their “Between Us” tour in Manila last December 9th, 2017. Held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, last Saturday was indeed a “Boice-night-out” for their Filipino fans.

CNBLUE meaning “Code Name” and “Blue” having a backronym of burning, lovely, untouchable and emotional, consists of lead vocalist and guitarist, Jung Yonghwa; lead guitarist and vocalist, Lee Jonghyun; bassist, Lee Jungshin and drummer, Kang Minhyuk.

The quartet is known for their unique musicality, matched up with their good looks. The members are also quite familiar to the Filipino masses due to being part of hit dramas like “You’re Beautiful”, “The Heirs” and “Heartstrings”, which were shown in various local networks.


The boys started the concert with their headbanging track “Radio”, a song originally released as a Japanese track which later on was produced in Korean and was included in their album, “2gether”. The members performed a total of 23 songs, including their hit tracks “LOVE”, “I’m sorry” and “Can’t Stop” which were definitely a fan favorite!


Asides from being musical geniuses, the boys also showed off their quirky sides. Fans laughed out loud at Jung Yonghwa’s witty English and not mention his up-to-date Filipino lingo, saying words like “petmalu” and “lodi”. Everybody probably had an aegyo (acting cute) overload as the boys couldn’t stop smiling while shooting hearts at their fans.


After the encore, the boys gathered at the center of the stage to perform their acoustic track, “Love Light”. The night ended with “Forever Young” as the last song, with Jung Yonghwa leaving a sweet message to the fans saying “Remember that we will always be young. Maraming salamat po Pilipinas. Always your ‘lodi’. I promise we will be back again. See you soon.” 


CNBLUE has gained a lot of international fans, of all ages, ever since their debut in 2009. From girls as young as 12 years old, Allysa, to moms who “fan-girl” alongside their daughters.

Asked why she listens to CNBLUE, Allysa reasons out that the band’s songs make her energized! Another reason is that their song lyrics are “relatable” according to CNBLUE Philippines Admin, Mirza.

Some of their fans from China, Japan, and Hong Kong even went to Manila just for the concert.

“I always try to go to wherever CNBLUE performs, I’ve been their fan since 2010!”, said Asami from Japan.

“I like their ‘faces’ and music. I think I’m a little ‘crazy’ for even going here!”, said by Lee from China.


Throughout the years, CNBLUE has proved that they are definitely a band worth keeping an eye on. Offering quality music, written by the members themselves. Their passion for music, shown through their outstanding live performances, earned them the respect and trust of their Boice (fans). Indeed, CNBLUE is so “petmalu” and we look forward to their future projects!

 Pictures from Max Chua and Jann Lorence.

Written by Max Chua


Lo and behold, finally, after 11 years, the Hottest Asian Artist Kim Jaejoong finally came back to the Philippines! And despite the pouring rain last November 30, Kim Jaejoong still managed to maintain the hotness in his first fan-meeting here in Araneta Coliseum!

Let me process this since I am still shocked and in disbelief because I just saw THE KIM JAEJOONG in flesh and he is breathing the same air with me! I bet a lot of his fans feel the same way as I am because we waited for too long. But him coming back to us through this very intimate fan-meeting was really really WORTH IT.

One month before, Kim Jaejoong announced that he will be back to Manila through his V-live. Fangirl Asia eventually confirmed the announcement with the event poster and details of Jaejoong’s first ever fan-meeting here in the Philippines. The announcement gathered positive response among his Filipino fans and some of them even cried because of excitement.

Kim Jaejoong is well known as the “Hallyu Wave King of KPOP”  by the 1st and 2nd generation fans of KPOP. His dream of becoming an idol came true when he successfully debuted under the boy group TVXQ (Rising Gods of the East). On the latter years of his career, he became part of the trio KPOP group JYJ and now, he works as a soloist artist and a K-drama actor. His latest drama was Manhole and it was aired this 2017 at KBS channel.

Alas! The day finally came for the Filipino fans to finally meet Kim Jaejoong. It was at 10 a.m. when fans flocked the area of the Big Dome. Right before the start of the fan-meeting, a fan-signing event was held. Those lucky winners who were raffled by Fangirl Asia will have a chance for their posters to be signed by Kim Jaejoong. At this part I was jealous because they will get to see Kim Jaejoong up close~! We were waiting at the green gate of the coliseum and we can hear and see the squeals and cries of the fangirls as they exit the area with their signed posters. I can say that they were all floating in Cloud 9 because they kept on saying that Jaejoong is really handsome in person and he was so kind to them. Awww~ And I can also see the effort that the fans put in because they came to Araneta with their pajamas only since it was the “theme” of the fan-meeting! To be honest, they really look so cute!

Once I entered the Big Dome, I was greeted by the deafening screams of the fans! They were all  ecstatic to finally meet Kim Jaejoong and when the lights dimmed, together with the other fangirls, I also scream my lungs out.

Our very own host Kring Elezano, welcomed Kim Jaejoong on stage.The host asked Kim Jaejoong how he was feeling today, but Kim Jaejoong was left speechless when fans started screaming so loud when he was about to answer. A wide smile appeared in his face and then he told the host that it was a long time since he last saw his Filipino fans and then he said to the fans that he prepared some Filipino greetings. I was actually in awe when Kim Jaejoong started speaking Tagalog and his introduction goes like this, “mabuhay, Ako po si Kim Jaejoong, kamusta po kayo at maraming salamat po!” It was almost a perfect accent and the fans went cray cray!

The host then later explained that the first segment will be composed of games and interactions that will enable Kim Jaejoong be immersed to Filipino culture while the 2nd segment will be dedicated to his fan-service and live stage performances.

We started off with a Question and Answer portion. A board full of Instax was put on the stage. Ms. Kring explained that Jaejoong needs to pick one instax/picture and he will answer the question written by the fan behind the image. Also,the owner of the lucky picture will get a signed item from Jaejoong as a prize.

He picked a total of seven photos in random. The segment went smoothly as Kim Jaejoong commented that the questions that were asked are all intellectual and not naughty. The first query is about what vacation spot in the Philippines does Kim Jaejoong wants to visit and he enthusiastically answered that he wants to visit Cebu because a lot of his friends recommended this place to him. The second question entails Jaejoong to pick his favorite pet. Kim Jaejoong said that this is really a tricky question because he loves all his pets! But in the end, he later picked Jiji the Russian Blue Cat as his favorite. The segment continued as Kim Jaejoong was asked if we will see him again in a new drama soon, and of course it’s good news as he revealed that his next project will be released this 2018! YAS! Kim Jaejoong picked another photo and this time, it was a grad photo of one of his fans. The message at the back says that he is one of her inspirations when she was studying in school and up until now, the fan asked him if what about Kim Jaejoong, what is his inspiration? After too much thought Jaejoong said that his source of inspiration are books and the image of his past. And then we came to the last query prompting Kim Jaejoong to answer if he can time travel, where will he go and why? With honesty, Kim Jaejoong said that he doesn’t want to go back or time-travel anywhere because he is currently happy on where he is right now! AWWW KIM JAEJOONG OPPA YOU’RE MAKING ME EMOTIONAL!

As the fan-meeting progressed, the Question and Answer portion was reversed and it is time for Kim Jaejoong to ask the audience and he will test them if the fans truly know him because most of the questions are fun facts about himself. The host picked those who will answer per category like for example, those who have passports with them can answer the question Jaejoong will going to ask. Okay so folks, this was my favorite part of the fan-meeting because Jaejoong asked random and tricky questions to us like “This is found inside me and I’m loosing it.” IT WAS TOUGH and it took like 10 fans to answer the question and all of them didn’t get it right. Hints were given and I was practically thinking so hard! What the hell Kim Jaejoong!?! Why do you make our brains bleed with this tricky question! He later revealed the answer as the one thing that he is losing right now is stamina or his energy. But alas! Kim Jaejoong please don’t lose your stamina, we fans are here to cheer you up whenever you feel tired!

See the full segment below here:

Fan-meeting video Part 1 credits to forsythia jlynne

After the Q&A portion, it was time for the fans to really interact with Kim Jaejoong through charades! Three fans who were wearing pajamas are luckily chosen to join Kim Jaejoong on stage! There was a scene stealer in this segment and it was a fan who was wearing a sexy red lingerie. Jaejoong was shy and embarrassed when she saw the girl and kept on covering his eyes! Whaaa such a cutie! The mechanics of the game was simple, if Jaejoong guessed the fan’s actions correctly then the fan will get one point. The fan with the most number of points will get a special prize from Jaejoong.

By the end of the game, the girl who was wearing the sexy red lingerie was declared as the winner! Her name was KD and for the special prize, she got the chance to have a photo-op with Kim Jaejoong on stage! GAAAAH! It was an intense moment when KD started approaching Jaejoong because he was oh so shy of what she’s wearing. I say chivalry is not yet dead because Kim Jaejoong himself took of his polo jacket and placed it on KD’s shoulder to cover her revealing dress! GOSH SO LUCKY! HE IS SUCH A GENTLEMAN! Seriously the fans inside the dome we’re all shouting and stomping their feet when they witnessed this iconic moment during Jaejoong’s fan-meeting! LOL!

We move to the next segment called: TAGAY! I was so excited to witness this segment because Kim Jaejoong will try Filipino dishes that is very unusual to a foreigner’s liking! Each plate is paired with a glass of beer and the host told us that under the plates, there are words with either YES or NO. If Jaejoong picked a dish with a YES under the plate then he will do a dare prepared by his Filipino fans!

The dishes that he tried are Papaitan, Kinilaw na Isda, Sisig and Chicharon na Bulaklak. After tasting the dishes, Jaejoong said that most of them are really delicious and these kind of foods are familiar to his taste buds. Luckily enough for the fans, Kim Jaejoong was able to pick three dishes with a YES under the plate. And these are the type of dares he fulfilled by the end of the segment: Spell your name using your butt, Do an Aegyo (cute face), and dance sexily to the song Versace on the floor.

Kim Jaejoong immersed himself into the Filipino Pop Culture during the last two interactive games. For the first one, Kim Jaejoong hummed while listening to one of the famous OPM songs and fans need to guess what songs were being sung by Kim Jaejoong. It was easy task for us because the rhythm is so familiar and he hymned to the songs of Dahil Sa’Yo, Tadhana, Basang Basa sa Ulan, Ikaw, and Forevermore. Down to the last part of this segment, Kim Jaejoong danced to the iconic Filipino dance moves which are  Otso Otso, Whoops Kiri Whoops, Spaghetti, and Pamela One!

Of course the fan-meeting  will not end without Kim Jaejoong performing his songs to his Filipino fans. Finally! AS IN FINALLY! This part got me emotional because I finally heard his singing voice and it was so soothing! I love the part when Kim Jaejoong performed Good Morning Night and he asked to stand up so we can also join him in his electrifying performance! We actually did this for about four times and even if my legs were shaking, I can’t stop jumping to his song! And by the end, Kim Jaejoong serenaded us once again with his hit songs My Only Comfort, Run Away, Although We Met Again, We Will Meet Again, and Now is Good! To be honest, I got tears in the last song.

Fan-meeting video Part 2 credits to forsythia jlynne

Kim Jaejoong’s message to his Filipino fans is that he is happy and he wasn’t expecting to see a huge volume of fans in his first fan-meeting here in Manila. The feeling is overwhelming and he is gratified that the Filipino fans really welcomed him with a warm heart. We were all shouting “KAJIMA” (Don’t Go) to Kim Jaejoong because seriously, one night is not enough for us to have fun with him! Even if he was on his way to backstage, he kept on shouting I love you and Thank you to his Filipino Fans. By the end of the night, he promised that he will come back here in the Philippines for a concert and we also promised that we will see him again soon!

Thank you Kim Jaejoong for the memorable experience. It was short and quick but the night was filled with too much love and you left us all in awestruck. It may take us a long time to experience this again but it’s okay, we fans will be with you in every step of the way.

Written by Krew Member Alexine Jimenez 

Photos by Krew Member Denice Magbanua