KPOP Fandom: How Korean Wave Inspires Me

Over the years, Korean culture has become a part of every Filipinos’ life, especially to young adults (like me. Hihi). Although not everyone likes KPOP, it is still undeniable that Filipinos are one of the reasons why KPOP became a huge thing in the world. We, Filipinos, are huge fans. Even the Koreans admit that fact. And I, for one,am a total KPOP fangirl.

When I was in high school, my classmates — Erwin and Jovelyn — introduced me to Korean pop a.k.a KPOP boy bands like Super Junior and U-Kiss. That’s when I started loving all things about Koreans – KPOP, K-drama, Kimchi, Ramyun, fashion, etc. KPOP became one of my sweet escapes. It became my inspiration and my constant companion.  It’s been a long time since then but until now, KPOP is still my thing.

The thing is, every time I come upon any Korean stuff, I can imagine myself in a different point of view doing things that I don’t usually do in real life. (Meaning, my imagination is wild. HAHAHA).

Every time I listen to KPOP songs, new things, feelings, and ideas pop-up into my mind. These things are the constant drive that tells me to continue living my life. For examples, I was inspired to write my feelings when I listen to KPOP ballads (it sets my mood, in short). I was inspired to run and dance when I listen to upbeat songs of my favorite KPOP boybands (it’s making me lose weight). I was inspired to write some stories when I watch K-dramas. I was inspired to dress prettily when I see K-fashion. I’m feeling elated when I see Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, G-Dragon, Gong Yoo, Lee Donghae, Song Joong Ki, and other good looking Hallyus. I was fascinated to Koreans’ history whenever I watch historical dramas.I get too emotional whenever I watch sad movies like Hello Ghost, My Sassy Girl, Windstruck, etc.

Pretty much everything I do has a touch of KPOP. Like for example, when I was thinking of writing this blog, I was watching Winner’s “Don’t Flirt.” Then when I actually startwriting this blog, I was listening to Akdong Musician’s “Play” album. I got pumped-up with the help of these “alien” songs – as they say it.

To be honest, I can’t actually explain why I’m very hooked to KPOP. At first I thought I was being crazy for giving too much time watching music videos of BIGBANG, collecting posters and pictures of Jang Geun Suk, memorizing the dance steps of 2NE1, researching profiles of KPOP groups, and watching K-dramas. But after meeting my college friends (who were still my friends until now), I realized that I’m much shallower than them when it comes to Korean stuff. Compared to them, I’m nothing. They are those fans who watch their idols’ concerts, buy merchandizes, go to fan meetings, eat Korean foods, travel to Korea, etc.

But some people don’t understand this kind of commitment. I’ve read a lot of comments in social media saying “Why do you like listening to KPOP songs even though you can’t understand its lyrics?”, or “Why do you like Korean stuff so much and not appreciate your own culture?”

Personally, I think those kind of questions are so hypocritical. You didn’t askother people why they like American pop music, American movies, American stars, and etc. (Yes, maybe you can reason by saying, “Because we understand them. It’s English!” But pardon my French; it’s bullshit!)

You didn’t question why those trying hard PPOP groups imitate boy bands like One Direction or maybe even some KPOP groups for that matter. You didn’t stop ABS-CBN and GMA from playing K-dramas in their primetime slot.Patriotism,you asked? Where in that sense is your patriotism, huh?Please don’t play saint, bes.

But allow me to tell you this in case; some people don’t appreciate art because their linguistic knowledge tells them to.Some people appreciate art because their heart and soul let them to. You just simply let your heart and soul feel the emotions in every songs and in every dramas whatever its language. You just appreciate it in your own way.

Not yet enough? Let’s put it this way: the blind can’t only appreciate the beauty of the flower by seeing its color (because blind ngakasi). The blind can also appreciate the beauty of the flower through its smell, taste, smoothness or roughness, and sound when the wind blows it.

Like in KPOP song or dramas, even though you can’t understand the lyrics or the language, you can still comprehend the tone, the artists’ face, the camera angles, and the beat which will help you understand the things that you needed to know. (Or maybe use subtitles. It’s free!) Yes, of course it’s easier said than done. But if you really put yourself in it, eventually, you’ll get the idea – not necessary all, but some. It’s just a matter of willingness and open-mindedness.

To conclude this blog post, there’s only one thing that I want you to understand. I want you to know that everyone of us is entitled to like something. It doesn’t have to be liked by everyone. What it does have to be is to make you happy. I love KPOP and that makes me happy. You may not like it, but it will not change my opinion towards KPOP and I want you to respect and understand that.

Respect, men!

R.E.S.P.E.C.T!

P.S: I’m currently listening to BIGBANG’s songs while editing this blog. You may listen to it here if you want to understand my feelings or to know at least some of what I’m trying to say.

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