TOO many things have already been said and done, yet KPop still remains a mystery to many. Korean Pop, or KPop as it is popularly called, has undoubtedly taken Asia and the Philippines by storm. The fandom has made way for numerous concerts, loyal (screaming) fans, and just about everything else that one would not have expected to happen at such a short time since the foreign tunes started dominating local airwaves. Philippine Pop (PPop) is still taking that long and painful road to mainstream, yet most KPop fans have already given it a shrug of the shoulder, if not completely brushing it aside.
The KPop craze also started creating jargons; if one isn’t well-versed with them, getting lost in a sea of fan girls is quite a possibility. Now the word “fan girls” can cause quite a stir for boys out there who are also so much into this trend as their girl counterparts are. Admit it, though, saying “fan girls” is nicer than “fan boys”, isn’t it? Besides, girls are more vocal of their fan tendencies as compared to the boys. Girls can think of numerous reasons why she likes her bias (or biases, depends on the level of involvement to the fandom). Fan girls are, in a sense, active, while majority of the fan boys remain passive about their commitment to KPop.
Now we look at three fan girls whose love for all things KPop has taken them places (literally and figuratively). While they have similarities with each other (Super Junior), these girls are ready to show that they are not just ordinary fan girls; proving that they are a unique kind of fan girl is as good as proving how their own biases are so much better than another fan girl’s bias. Lost? Let them lead the way.
Ceej has been into Kpop since 2009. “Before, I didn’t think that I’d get into it, but by the time I got to college, I was able to appreciate [their] music.” She’d dance and sing songs, even memorizing the steps and lyrics of some by heart. In the interview, she named 29 KPop artists at the top of her head, in just one breathe. That’s passion.
She is a self-confessed Super Junior fan girl. Her favorite song from the group is It’s You. “If you listen to it, the song is really, musically good. It showcases all of their voices and all of their dancing. Even though Sorry Sorry was the bigger hit, I like It’s You coz it’s deeper. And the vocals are really good.” When asked why Super Junior is always a fan favorite: “Each member has a different charm. They don’t just look alike. It’s not enough that they look good; they should have different talents, because that’s how you memorize them.”
How is she different to other fan girls? “I’m turned off with fans who bother them [KPop artists] on Twitter™. Maybe I’m even more delusional than they are, because I’m hoping that maybe I’ll get to meet them one day. And if I get to meet them and become friends with them, I don’t want them to find out that I’m the girl who wrote “Oppa, you’re so handsome!” on their pictures. Even though I share the sentiments, I just think you should play it cool.”
Surprisingly, Ceej listens to PPop, and believes that it should learn from the successful formulas that KPop used to reach its status as of date. “All pop music is a borrowed thing. Everything just build on one another. If you want pop music, you’re gonna have to capitalize on what’s trending now. Filipinos have great inferiority complex. We assume ‘Ay hindi, ginagaya natin.’ Why can’t it be, ‘Wow, magaling tayo, nakikita natin yung trend, sumasakay tayo.’ Just support [PPop], and maybe, in time, they’d get better songs, better music videos.”
Clara was introduced to KPop July of 2009, when she saw 2ne1 in a music channel. A friend then introduced Super Junior to her, and that’s where the fascination began. “I’ve always had that thing for Asian-looking guys, and there was KPop. Good looking guys, good singers, good dancers, I’m sold.”
Like Ceej, Clara’s favorite KPop group is Super Junior. “They were the first group who got me really hooked into KPop because their choreography is good. If you’ve seen the Sorry Sorry music video, it’s so cool how there’s so many of them and they’re all so synchronized.” Her Super Junior bias? “Kim Ryeo-wook. He sings so well. He’s got so little love, but he’s so talented.”
Clara claims to be an ordinary fan girl, with not so much difference to other fan girls. “All fan girls have their own levels of appreciating the artists. There are some who would go all the way to Korea to stalk. I wouldn’t do that unless you give me a good reason to do so. Also, I don’t like the stress of being a moderator of a forum. I’m just a happy drifting fan girl.”
The craziest thing that Clara thinks she’s done for KPop is saving up all her money and planning to go to Malaysia next year for Super Junior’s fourth album world tour, Super Show 3.
Clara is not as accepting of PPop as Ceej is. “OPM is fine the way it is. If they want to go Filipino pop, they shouldn’t let it show that they’re just copying the KPop trend, because it’s annoying. To be able to go global, you have to go local. Like how Korea did it: they are doing songs in their own language, in their own style, that’s why it seems exotic to the rest of the world. I think that’s what the Philippines should do.” She believes the only time PPop would be acceptable is when it manages to find an OPM twist to it, to make the fairly new pop genre different to other pop genres like Korean pop, Japanese pop, and Western pop.
Camille started appreciating KPop February of 2009. She liked how entertainment companies in Korea package their artists. “Not only is the song itself good. I like how the song is sang and danced to. The overall packaging is important, not just one aspect of the artist.”
While Camille also likes Super Junior, she is also a fan of 2ne1. “[2ne1] is not the first girl group I’ve heard of, but I like them individually. When you separate them from each other, there is still talent present.” On the other hand, she liked Super Junior because it was the first KPop artist she has heard of. “I liked them individually at first before liking them as a group. I liked them even more when I have watched them on variety shows. Through these shows they can present their comedian selves.” Her biases are Leeteuk and Eunhyuk of Super Junior, and Sandara Park of 2ne1.
How is Camille as a fan girl? “I join fan clubs to avail ticket discounts for concerts, but I don’t join parties and group meetings organized by the clubs. I also go to concerts of KPop artists here in the Philippines, even if some are not favorites.” She recalled a time when she knew One Way was going to have a concert here. “I knew two months earlier that they will be performing here. I really did not know them, so I researched and listened to their songs to familiarize myself. I only found my One Way bias at the concert itself!”
She believes PPop should take inspiration from KPop with the manner by which every artist undergoes rigorous training first before debuting. While she agrees with Clara about PPop incorporating an OPM vibe to its songs, she believes that it should also be original not only with their songs, but also with the artists’ packaging. “Our fashion is different from that of Korea. If you imitate their colorful attires, you’d look like a cast in a musical play or something.”