They say, “First love never dies”. Even when you try to move on, you will still go back to the one you first gave your heart to.
For the many fans who gathered at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last November 30, Kim Jaejoong was their first love. He was the inspiration of the students back then, who many of them have now become professionals or mothers. Along with members of TVXQ and JYJ, he was their reason they got sucked into this blackhole called K-Pop.
As the lights were turned off one by one, excitement escalated inside the coliseum. When the intro VCR ended, host Kring Elenzano-Kim joyfully welcomed everyone, most especially those who are the “Lumang Tao of K-Pop” or the ones who belong to the early 2000s of K-Pop fans in the Philippines.
When the man of the hour was finally called on stage, the crowd went wild. It wasn’t Jaejoong’s first time in the Philippines (Trivia: The complete TVXQ visited the Philippines way back in the early 2000s for a video shoot.), but he said he was eager to know more about the country.
Questions and Answers
Prior to the fan meeting, fans were asked to drop off polaroids of themselves with a question for Jaejoong at the back. The questions were thought-provoking, and Jaejoong sincerely answered them one by one. He said that he wanted to visit Cebu since many of his friends have gone there at least once. He thinks he’s more of cat person that’s why he likes Jiji the most. And we might even see him in another drama next year!
When asked when he would like to go if granted to time travel – much to the crowd’s somehow-dismay – Jaejoong said he didn’t want to go back because he is really happy where he is now.
After having the fans ask the questions, it was for time Jaejoong to ask questions to the fans, which turned out into a revelation of what he is thinking and what he is currently into. Jaejoong admittedly to experience aging with answers such as going to the dermatologist to make him look younger, and losing stamina because he gets lazy to exercise. This segment was hilarious as fans came up with various answers to get Jaejoong’s “yes”.
On to the next part of the program, three fans dressed in their pajamas get to play charades with Jaejoong. One fan caught everyone’s eyes (including Jaejoong’s!) as she wore a red silk lingerie. This girl won the night as she eventually won the charades game and a photo op with Jaejoong with his jacket and arm wrapped around her! The screams from everyone could blast the roof off!
When Kring teased Jaejoong will surely know a lot about the Philippines tonight, she surely wasn’t kidding! Every fan in the coliseum knew how much of a drinker Jaejoong is, so they made him try out different pulutans with a glass of San Miguel beer. And in every chug of the beer, he has to say “Tagay!“, equivalent to “Cheers!” in English.
The shock on Jaejoong’s face when he came to know what our pulutans were made of was hilarious. Among the dishes he had were papaitan, sisig, kinilaw na isda, and chicharong bulaklak. However, the catch was that there are dishes with Yes or a No underneath them. If the dish has a Yes, then he would have to randomly pick a dare to do. Fans were in for a treat as Jaejoong picked dishes mostly with a Yes, so he had to spell his romanized name using his butt, dance to Bruno Mars’ Versace on the Floor, and do aegyo.
After trying out various Filipino food, Jaejoong got to listen to Filipino songs of some artists. Jaejoong had to hum along to the music and then fans should guess the song. Among the artists he listened to were Iñigo Pascual, Up Dharma Down, Yeng Constantino, Side A, and Aegis.
The fun didn’t end there as the next segment had Kim Jaejoong dancing! The dances were totally unexpected as it revealed to be novelty songs from the past, like Otso-Otso, Whoops Kiri, Spaghetti Pababa, and Pamela One. But probably one of the biggest dream come true of the night was Kim Jaejoong dancing to Rising Sun! #flashback2005feels
‘Today is an unforgettable miracle’
A Kim Jaejoong is never complete without hearing his beautiful voice. Before coming back on stage, he offered a lyric VCR with Filipino translations of Life Support, a deeply moving unreleased track from his second studio album, No. X.
The concert was an emotional rollercoaster as Jaejoong reappeared with a feel-good 그거 알아? (You Know What?), followed by the emotional 다시 만나지만 다시 만나겠지만 (Although We Met Again, We Would Meet Again). Then he got everyone on their feet when he unleashed his inner rockstar with Good Morning Night that was sung over and over again.
After catching his breath, he sang Run Away and 나만의 위로 (Healing for Myself) (personal favorites of this writer). For the finale, he performed Now is Good.
As fans made their way out of the coliseum, you can see hugs, laughter and tears exchanged. Never has this writer seen so much warmth and unity among fans. It was a beautiful heartwarming sight that is truly what the K-Pop community is all about.
‘Today is an unforgettable miracle’. For most fans, they have patiently waited for 14 years for the members of TVXQ and JYJ to perform in Philippine soil. To have Jaejoong finally visit the Philippines was truly an unforgettable miracle and a fulfillment of always keeping the faith – no matter what.
Special thanks to FangirlAsia for inviting us to cover this event!
Words by Cheska De Ocampo / Photos by Elaine Lim