7 Problems of a Filipino K-pop Fan

Being a Kpop fan is not all rainbows and unicorns, especially if you’re living outside South Korea. There are things (more of like facts) that can be annoying because mainly, you’re not Korean and you’re far from your favorite idol. But then, things don’t really have to be difficult! Take a look at the following major problems Filipino fans have and how you can possibly deal with them once you’re too deep into the black hole that is KPop.

“I cannot Korean!”

This is probably the number one problem of most international fans: language barrier. Unless you have friends who are fluent in Korean and will actually take time to translate exclusively for you, then life would be easy! Unfortunately, not everyone has a friend as selfless as that (does that person even exist?) and Google Translate, so far, hasn’t been a good friend either. So how do we deal with this? There are two ways: learn the language or follow the right people.

If you’re quite the hardworking type of person, then hit two (or probably more) birds with one stone—learn the language! It’s not going to be easy because you have to spend time and shell out a bit of money but with perseverance, you’ll understand your idol on your own! Isn’t that fulfilling?

But what if you don’t have time to study? Or you can’t afford formal Korean lessons? Or you’re simply not into learning (a better way of saying you’re lazy)? Then sit back, relax, and follow the right people—on social media. Translations are all over social networking sites like Twitter and Tumblr. English subbed variety shows are on YouTube and lyrics translations are easy Google searches. But this comes with a warning and a reminder. Reminder: translators and subbers are people, too. They have their own lives so don’t come nagging at them why there’s no translation yet of oppa’s new variety show. Warning: not all translations are true and properly interpreted in its original tone or sense. So be careful and keep an open mind.

“Where do I buy my idol’s albums? How about official and fanmade merchandise?”

As a fan, it is only natural to support your favorite groups. You buy their albums so they can win in music shows and year-end awards. You also buy their merchandise. Name it, you probably have at least one of them—photobook, lightstick, tumblers, or even dolls, whether they’re from your idol’s company or fansite masters. And you have to admit, no matter how silly the idea of some of them (like paper dolls, seriously), you want a piece of it.

So where can you get them? Rejoice because gone are the days when there is no local shop that’d sell your faves’ albums! At least in Metro Manila, there are now local shops catering to KPop fans’ needs like CNA and Fangirl Asia. You can go for online shops, too! There are quite a number that accept pre-orders for albums, official merchandise, and fansite goods. Be careful when dealing with online shops though because some are really fishy and can just run away with your money. Or better yet, if you have a relative or a friend who will go to South Korea, you may ask them to buy your favorite stuff for you.

Kpop presscon-16

Photo credit to: KPOP Republic, All Access Productions

“Concert tickets are expensive!”

Well of course they are! But yes, we understand. Majority of Filipino KPop fans are students. With limited school allowances, many find it difficult to buy concert tickets for the group they have been longing to see. How to solve this? Save up! Easier said than done, but then what’s the best (and probably only) way to get money for concert tickets? Slow down on expenses, especially if they’re pretty much not needed. You can also try the 20-80 technique: 20% savings, 80% expenses. This can work, too, for our yuppies out there! But what if your savings aren’t enough even for the cheapest seat? Try to have a nice bargain with your parents or titas or ninangs. They could buy you concert tickets as birthday gift or a reward for doing well in your worst subject!

“This fandom has too much drama! I quit!”

Rubs chin. Hums. Nods. Dramas are inevitable, even in a seemingly perfect fandom. Someone’s always bound to rain on other people’s parade because…there are many reasons. They have an opinion, you have an opinion. They clash and voila! Or an idol may do something that some people might think is pretty okay but may be offensive for others. Then everything gets all blown out of proportion and it starts feeling like a precursor to world war.

Fandom is supposed to be fun. It may be an escape from real life stress or simply a hobby, something people find enjoyable. So don’t pay too much attention to the people who are killjoys. Be careful with the people you should follow, too, on social media. If the dramas are getting in the way of spazzing, no one will kill you if you mute or block somebody out of your friends list. If you feel too bad doing it, log out, busy yourself with something else and wait for the drama to die down.

“My idol is perfect! Why hate on him?”

No one can please everybody, not even idols. There will always be people who will hate on them no matter what they do—take this as a fact. You may defend your idol. Yes, it’s permissible. No one will stop you but remember not to stoop down to their level. Don’t go fighting a hater with racist, homophobic, or sexually discriminating remarks because that in any way will never make things, or you as a fan, better.

Or simply ignore them and focus on loving and supporting your idols.

“Is it true or is it just a rumor?”

Thanks to social media, we get to know the latest about our idols whether they are true or not. The Internet age gives us all kinds of information and apparently not all are based on facts. Not because you see a Tweet that starts with “CONFIRMED” then you should take it as true. Be sure to check reliable news sites for the veracity of any information before sharing it with your fellow KPop fans. Also, unless an official statement has been released by a company, or an artist, take any news with a grain of salt.

“They call me jologs, corny, and jeje. I am so offended.”

In a country with a music scene heavily dominated by the West, it’s difficult for some to accept that KPop is beginning to be heavily embedded to certain groups of Filipino music enthusiasts. Because KPop is in some way different (mainly because of the language) to what is usually seen and heard, its fans are commonly judged. You’ve probably heard somebody call you “jologs”, “baduy”, “corny”, even “jejemon” at least once.

So what do you do if somebody calls you names? If it’s a complete stranger, one of the most effective (if not the best) way is to simply ignore him or her. Those people want nothing more than seeing you being pissed off so why not piss them off instead by giving them a deaf ear? That’d feel a lot better. But what if it’s coming from a friend or a family member? Well, you could ignore them, too, although that would be awkward. A really good way is to explain to them why you enjoy listening to Kpop, that it’s still music even if you cannot understand the language. KPop is music and music is a universal language! Just…don’t force your faves into them. People have different music preferences and you might end up having them dislike you and your music more. Nah-uh.

Your KPop experience doesn’t have to be always frustrating. Of course there are hitches but overall it should be a fun place especially when you’re sharing the same interests with other people. So take things with a chill.

What other problems have you encountered as a Filipino KPop fan and how did you deal with them? Leave them in our comments section below. We’d love to hear your personal experiences!

Irish Valdez
Irish is a 20-something fangirl who still dreams of receiving a letter from a famous magic school or becoming a pilot of a giant robot. She also believes that milk tea and pudding are a perfect combination. When not spazzing over her favorite KPop groups or writing articles, Irish is watching anime, or reading books. You can check out her Tumblr!

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