How to “SELF STUDY” Korean

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Living too far? No time for an extra-curricular? KCC language class slots close?

With knowing how to “self-study” Korean, these things would never be a hindrance, again, to your learning.

I never enrolled in any formal Korean language class because I live far away from KCC and was always “busy” (school, music classes and the like). When free time comes, I am always tired. So, what is the best way for me to study Korean? It’s by self studying. “Self-studying” means you are your own teacher, you are at your own pace and you can schedule your own “classes”. You can even choose to study anywhere- from coffee shops, parks and even when you are in your boring math class! Don’t do it though, it’s your loss. But, you get my point!

I know I’m still lacking but, here are ways on how to start “self-studying” in Korean when you thought you couldn’t.

  1. Get a book

I have a book entitled “Elementary Korean” by Dr. Ross King, Ph.D. and Jaehoon Yeon, Ph.D. King is the professor of Korean and head of the Department of Asian studies at the University of British Columbia while Yeon is the Chair of the Centre of Korean Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the University of London.

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Before I knew about this book, I would often buy Korean travel packs and Korean dictionaries- which also helped, but a waste of money. I realized that these kinds of books taught me to only memorize without understanding. If I were you, get books like “Elementary Korean” or even the ones found in KCC. These books introduce grammar, spelling and Hangeul- the very essential lessons you’ll need. By the way, you can borrow at KCC’s library for language books, you can even check workbooks for your exercises.

Always choose professional studying materials. Even though they are a bit pricy, there’s a reason for that value. Don’t settle with easy, cheap and “nonsensical” books because they will affect your learning- big time. You have to see and check the accuracy of the things they write, and also the credibility of the author. Be careful what you read or else it’s like eating the wrong medicine.

  1. Get a site

Of course, for you to check the accuracy of the texts, get websites that cater language learning. The best site for me is KOREANCLASS101. Not only do they give you a list of vocabulary words but they give you sample dialogues that you can use in Korea. They provide podcasts which you can subscribe to, for free, and also they have Youtube videos that is essential to your learning. In self-studying you have to listen, watch and write Korean more often that those who have a teacher. Why? Because if we don’t, we would easily forget about what we learned- that’s what happened to me. Remember, you’re your own teacher, no one’s going to remind you to study. So getting credible sites can really help us- without even spending a penny! (Except for electricity and internet bills, thanks dad!)

  1. Get discipline

Self-studying if done in the wrong way can lead to efforts wasted. If you don’t spend almost an hour to three (3) a week in studying Korean or if you don’t watch Korean shows regularly, you can lose the language. So, it’s important to have discipline. Bring your study notebook where ever you go, as much as possible, and when free time comes just read on it. Listen to Korean music, watch Korean shows and just keep practicing your Korean. I am guilty of this because I am always busy with school but, what I do, is that I turn on a Korean show and try to listen to it while doing a project or etc. Also, I write down all the Korean words I know on paper to practice my Hangeul. See my first Hangeul writing and the “improvement” I got from numerous practices (pictures).

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So, it’s true, practice makes perfect.

  1. Get real

Lastly, wake up- get real.  Studying Korean, like any subject would be hard.

So, be open to reality- to the challenges you would face. When you talk to a Korean you can make a mistake, when you read Hangeul you might say a wrong word, and the like. Let me remind you though, that without those mistakes you can never master Korean, without those wrong words you can never be able to take TOPIK. Errors, correction, these are the real ones. Face them, beat them and learn from them.

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Self- studying is hard. It’s like reading all the books you need, writing all the notes, testing yourself but in the end, you’re the one who checks it- you don’t know what to do! But with technology today, discipline and willingness to learn- it’s easier to self-study. So, I hope you’ll find these things helpful and start learning Korean now.

 

Written by Krew Member Max Chua

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

Because This Is My First Life

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

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

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

Circle: Two Worlds Connected

Circle

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

Save Me

Save Me

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

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

Star of the Universe

Star of the Universe

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

Chicago Typewriter

Chicago Typewriter

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

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

Age of Youth 2

Age of Youth 2

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

Girls’ Generation 1979

Girls' Generation 1979

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

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

Because This Is My  First Life

Because This Is My First Life

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

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

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

Written by Krew member Andy Flores

CNBLUE, so “PETMALU”

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.” 

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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.

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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

RELIVE THE HOTTEST MOMENTS FROM KIM JAEJOONG’S FIRST FAN-MEETING IN MANILA

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 

Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage; ASEAN-ROK Collaborative Painting

ASEAN-Korea artists and 80 volunteers with a goal of showcasing the friendship between the ASEAN and Korea gathered together to paint a 35 x 27.5-meter mural in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

This project titled, ‘Beyond Borders: The Graffiti Art Project’, is one of the featured street art in Bonifacio Global City’s BGC Arts Center Festival 2017.

The partnership between Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines, National Commission for Culture and Arts and Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. lead to the creation of this mural titled ‘Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage.’  

Features

To keep it traditional yet pop, a Korean Chaekgado, one of the traditional paintings during the Joseon dynasty, is the main feature of the painting. Inside are symbols and popular sites of ASEAN countries who participated in this project. These objects symbolize the friendship, diplomacy and cultural exchange across borders, united through a form of art. Aside from that, it’s also in time for the recent ASEAN conference held in the Philippines.

‘Beyond Borders, Peaceful Voyage.’  

Champions of Passion: Soulful Feats of Art

Five other street art works were featured on the three-day visual and cultural experience brought by the BGC Arts Center. Alongside are murals from local artists which are inspired by their own stories. These include the feel of longing, special meeting places, technology, dreams and normal life. Aside from these murals, stage plays were also featured from November 24-26 at the Maybank Arts Center.

Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Free tours going to the mural sites were offered by the center for all art enthusiasts during the three-day event! Also, a ‘treasure hunt’ style map needs to be completed and snapshots of the six new paintings must be posted to get the special ‘art’ souvenir.

 

Were you able to join this event? If not, it’s not yet too late to see the murals up close. Don’t forget to share with us your photos!

The Beyond Borders: The Graffiti Art Project’ is located at 26th Street corner 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

 

Written by Krew Member Mikay Javier

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. I hear you. How could I?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Written by Krew member Andy Flores

Park Hyung Sik First Love in Manila Fan Meeting

Oppa alert!

Last November 11, 2017 (Saturday) at the Kia Theatre, the idol-turned-actor Park Hyung Sik, held his first ever solo fan meeting in the Philippines. Needless to say, his Filipino fans were thrilled when the official announcement was made by Pulp Live World in September.

Before venturing into acting, Hyung Sik made his debut in 2010 as the main vocalist of the nine-member K-pop boy group ‘ZE:A’, also known as ‘Children of Empire’. Presently, Hyung Sik is more popular on K-dramas as a promising actor.

The fans filled Kia Theater full of screams and awwws. It was indeed the most memorable night Hyung Sik’s fans ever had. The 2-hour long fan meeting, which was divided into segments made them know more of who Park Hyung Shik really is.

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Serenading the crowd with his alluring yet soothing voice, Hyung Sik welcomed his fans with the song ‘Because Of You’, one of the official soundtracks of ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ in which he starred as the lead actor portraying CEO Ahn Min Hyuk.

After briefly introducing himself to the fans, we got to know more about Hyung Sik as he was asked some questions about his personal life in the first interview segment. Hosting the event was Ms. Kring Elenzano-Kim accompanied by a translator. The LED screen was showing pictures of Hyung Sik’s daily life.

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The first photo shown was Hyung Sik in his elementary school days with his friends. He said the people in the picture are his elementary school friends, but they are still friends until now.

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Next photo was a much older Hyung Sik saluting with his right hand, to which he was asked “What can you say the most rebellious thing you’ve done when you were young?” Hyung Sik said that he has a brother who is 2 years older than him and that his brother was the rebellious one and he wasn’t.

With the third photo, Ms. Kring asked him “What was your dream when you were little?” Hyung Sik said he wanted to become a lawyer or policeman until now but he doesn’t know anything about law. However, he is already contented with his career right now.

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Next question was “How was the young Park Hyung Sik like?” Hyung Sik said that he was a makulit kid and was often scolded by his mother.

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Next question was “If you had a chance to go back in time, what age do you wanna go to?” Hyung Sik said he wanted to go back to November 9, 2017 so he could meet his Filipino fans again.

In his free time, Hyung Sik said he likes to play games and also because he’s good at it. He also likes going to hot spas, travelling, hanging out with friends, and taking selfies. He said that he likes taking pictures everywhere he goes so he has memories of it. He also said that he took a lot of pictures here in the Philippines and he will upload it on his Instagram account.  What’s more is he enjoys doing water activities like fishing, flyboarding, and more.

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Next photo was Hyung Sik wearing his costume in the drama ‘Hwarang’.  He said that his role was heavy because his character was a king that’s why he studied hard for this role.

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He also gave us a sneak peek of his gaming room. He described it like a PC bang or a computer room because of its interior design that looks like a ‘gamer’s lodge’.

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The second segment of the fan meeting was introducing Park Hyung Sik to the Filipino culture. He was given a blue Barong Tagalog (Philippines’ national costume for male) to wear. It was actually a gift from his fans who contributed in buying the elegant piece of clothing. He said it was comfortable to wear.

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He got to try a Filipino dish called sisig and a local beverage called sago’t gulaman. He then explained that in Korea there’s ‘chimaek’ or chicken and maekju (beer). So in the Philippines, the equivalent of ‘chimaek’ must be sisig.

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The Philippines is known for tropical fruits like banana, mango, and papaya but Hyung Sik got to try guyabano and kamias. He said that the guyabano tasted like he ate a lemon, but it was delicious with a sweet and sour taste. Despite the screams when he was about to try the kamias, Hyung Sik took one whole piece of it with his fork and ate it. He was making faces, going around in circles, and on his knees because of the super sour fruit.

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He also tried playing tirador or slingshot, which was used as a weapon in the earlier days. He used it to give souvenir balls with his signature written on it. Truly, the fans who received the signed balls were so lucky.

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He got to learn Filipino phrases and expressions too, like “Para sa tabi lang!”, “Nakakaloka! Ang init!”, “Ang pogi ko diba?”, “Pwede ba kitang ligawan?”, and “Mamahalin kita maging sino ka man”. His pickup and pronunciation was very impressive. The fans were screaming all throughout this segment, especially when he said the last two phrases.

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Moving on to the third segment, six lucky fans were pre-selected through an online contest held by Pulp Live World. These fans sent in their videos acting out as Go Ara and Park Bo Young, two of Hyung Sik’s leading ladies in his dramas. The prize was to reenact scenes from ‘Hwarang: The Poet Warrior’ and ‘Strong WomanDo Bong Soon’ live on stage with Park Hyung Sik himself! The fans’ names were Jannica Marie Cabrera, Kyla Noreen Lescano, Medjugorge Uy for ‘Hwarang’, and Marlo Grace Acosta, Anelrose Li, and Joana Marie Alzor for ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’.

Fans went crazy screaming all over seeing their co-fan holding their idol’s hand, and also being held by him. The dialogue was in Hangul yet they memorized their lines and delivered it as best as they can. Two winners were chosen among them with the help of the live audience. The winners deserved their victory as Park Hyung Sik explained that Joana Marie Azor delivered the lines with great pronunciation and Medjugorge Uy came prepared with his costume on ‘Hwarang’. They received scented candles with Hyung Sik’s pictures on it.

Once again we were serenaded with the song ‘Two People’, one of the official soundtracks of ‘The Heirs’ in which he starred as Jo Myung Soo.

Afterwards, it’s time for fan questions! Fans were given a chance to ask questions about Park Hyung Sik for them to even know more about him. Here are the questions:

  1. If you had more time here in the Philippines, where will you go and what will you do?

I really love the Philippines that’s why when I knew I was going to have a fan meeting here, I wanted to go scuba diving but unfortunately, I only have limited time. Next time, for sure, I’ll do it.

  1. Whenever you doubted yourself or felt like giving up, what is the one thought that kept you going and working towards where you are today?

Whenever I go through hard times, I sing. One of the songs I sing is Park Young Shin’s ‘Give’.

  1. Among all the characters that you portrayed, who do you find the most challenging?

All the characters are really challenging for me, but if I will pick one, maybe ‘Hwarang’ because it is a real story. Except for ‘Hwarang’, my other roles are all fictional.

  1. What do you think your life would be if you are not a celebrity?

To be honest, I really love what I am doing (singing and acting) right now. I’m really happy because of the support I am receiving especially from my Filipino fans. What do you think I should be? A pro gamer? Or maybe a scuba diving teacher? Fisherman?

  1. Among the characters you played, what role do you want to be In real life, and why?

Her question is really interesting. The roles I’ve played are of rich characters. In ‘Hwarang’, I’m a king. In ‘Do Bong Soon’, I’m a CEO. Personally, I want to be Ahn Min Hyuk in ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’.

After that, fans prepared a little something for him. Fans dedicated  videos conveying their love and support for Hyung Sik. He responded to the videos with “Mahal kita. Even though I am still lacking, thank you very much for your support. I will work harder for you all. Let’s go together, okay? Thank you so much.”

There was also a birthday cake to celebrate in advance his 27th birthday on November 16th. The fans all sang him a birthday song. He said that “My birthday is still on November 16 so I did not expect that there will be a surprise. But thank you so much for celebrating my birthday with me. I am so happy. Mahal kita!”

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As much as the fans prepared for the projects for him, Hyung Sik also read aloud his letter for all his Filipino fans. He said he is thankful to his fans for their love and for waiting for him even though they live in far places. He’s happy to have finally visited the Philippines again. He did not expect that his dramas ‘Strong Woman Do Bong Soon’ and ‘Hwarang’ will be famous here in the Philippines. He thanks his fans for their support and he hopes they will like his next project too. Next time, he plans to visit again to go scuba diving and wandering around the city.

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“I won’t forget your laugh and smiles. Please continue to support me as always. Mahal kita and thank you!”

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The fan meeting ended with Park Hyung Sik singing “I’ll Be Here”, one of the OST from ‘Hwarang’, a historical drama where he portrayed Sam Maek Jong, a king-turned-warrior.

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Less than a week has passed after the fan meeting ended, but we can’t wait for you to return, Park Hyung Sik! We’ll be patiently waiting for you!

– Your fans whom you called your Do Bong Soon

This video sums up the highlights of what happened during the fan meeting:

Video credit: Cris Oriarte (crysel101)

Written by Krew Member Nish Salvatierra and KCC intern Raven Esperanza

Photos by Krew Member Chiarra Mogol