Monday, September 30, 2019

K-DRAMA Star JUNG HAE-IN Charms Philippine Fans in MANILA FAN MEET

Ever since his starring role in the drama series “Something in the Rain” in 2018, Jung Hae-in has been hailed in South Korean pop culture as the country’s “Younger Boyfriend,” in reference to his role as the paramour to an older woman. Despite his own reservations on the connotations, Jung is now one of the latest stars of the Hallyu, or K-pop culture wave. And thanks to “Something in the Rain” having aired in ABS-CBN’s free-to-air Asianovela Channel since July, he has a sizable Filipino fandom too. They certainly came out in force for Jung’s fan meet tour last Saturday.

As The Manila Bulletin tells it, Jung Hae-in’s “One Summer Night” Fan Meeting Tour held at the New Frontier Theater this past September 28 could only be considered a resounding success. It is hard to ignore the mass of fans that showed up to be wowed by Jung’s Korean idol versatility and to take advantage of an opportunity to ask him juicy questions. Far from being the younger boyfriend, for the Pinoys that Saturday evening Jung was all “Oppa” (big brother) as he commanded the audience with his star power.

Typical of Korean idols, the versatile Jung kicked off “One Summer Night” with a song, Paul Kim’s “Every Day, Every Moment.” He would sneak in three more numbers throughout the event, which consisted of sit-down interviews and various challenges. The activities ran the gamut from Jung recording a “Good night” video message on a lucky fan’s smartphone, to drawing a design on a blank shirt with signature to be given to an audience member, to attempting to knock the cap off a plastic bottle with a taekwondo turn kick within 123 seconds. All attendees were privileged with a chance to exchange hi-fives with Jung, and received official posters as well.

But it was the interview portion, called Fan TMI (for obvious reasons), that was the real meat for some fans of Jung Hae-in. They submitted questions for the Korean TV star to answer, such as his preferred marrying age (before he turns 40) and if he can return to Manila sometime soon (as early as next year, and to visit the rest of the country to boot). Some letters also spoke of issues fans are experiencing in their lives, and what advice Jung might give them. Here he plays “Pharmacist of the Soul” in answering their concerns, as with an Indonesian fan from Jakarta who broke up with her boyfriend after he attempted to dissuade her from travelling to Manila.

“I’m just one big ball of gratitude,” Jung remarked in the post-event press-con. “The fact that I get to fly out of Korea, sitting here in Manila with fans. The fact that I get to do something like this, I’m just so grateful. On top of the gratitude, there is a larger sense of responsibility. The more I work, the more I have fans. The sense of responsibility that I feel gets bigger.” The “One Summer Night” fan meet was another Wilbros Live co-organized event.

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