What It’s Like Virtual Hanging Out with Park Jinyoung

Filipino fans of GOT7 had a different kind of Friday night thanks to Globe Telecom, which hosted a virtual hangout with Park Jinyoung at the Kmmunity PH Facebook page.

A first for a Philippine company, over 6,000 fans tuned into the online fan meeting to hear updates and (hopefully) interact with the handsome actor and idol.

Days prior to the event, Globe announced mechanics for the Ultimate Stan Contest and Fan Project Proposal. Winners from these contests were eligible for an exclusive e-Meet and Greet with Jinyoung.

Being an ahgase and a Jinyoung fan, I was ecstatic when the announcement was made. Jinyoung had been working tirelessly since the beginning of the year preparing for GOT7’s comeback; shooting for the upcoming action thriller, Yacha (tentative title) the recently concluded melodrama, When My Love Blooms; and releasing his second photobook entitled Hear, Here. With so much on his plate, it was a delight to know how much he wanted to meet his international fans.

Kilig was an understatement seeing Jinyoung smiling and communicating with the fans in Korean and English (sometimes with the help of a translator). Among my favorite moments were when he noticed a cute little boy peeking at one of the participant’s screens during a game (all Jinyoung fans know how he loves kids), and sweetly serenading everyone with his own rendition of Justin Bieber’s “Changes”.

Though speaking directly to the camera, his warmth and sincerity transcended through the screen and straight to the hearts of the fans.

In this COVID crisis, I am very touched that all of you are able to make these touching tribute videos. And all I want to say to my fans, I just hope you are all safe and healthy – that’s my biggest concern for you all. And as an artist, these kinds of things [referring to the fan project proposals] motivate me to do my work better and I want to thank you all for that. – Jinyoung

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, large gatherings, including fan meetings and concerts, continue to be prohibited. Jinyoung’s virtual hangout served as an experiment in the “new normal” for K-culture fans.

Everything that happened in the virtual hangout was almost exactly how a live fan meeting would happen — a host manages the program flow and the artist performs, plays games, and interacts with his fans.

Jinyoung posing for his fans.
Jinyoung does various poses for fans to do the Creative Selfie Challenge.

While seeing him up close and in the flesh is certainly something that is missed, I am grateful that through the power of technology he can spend time with the fans, myself included. (But, seriously, if you think he is already handsome on-screen, he is way more handsome in person.) The fact that he agreed to do this for his Filipino fans is something worth being grateful for.

Until the day we can see each other again offline and reunite on concert grounds, I and the rest of your Filipino fans will wait for you, Jinyoung.

You may watch the recorded virtual hangout by being a member of Globe’s Kmmunity Facebook page.

Cheska De Ocampo
Always up and about, Cheska was once asked if she always meets different people every single day. Well – not always – but almost because it is part of her job description and because she is actively involved in church. Having the opportunity to join KStreetManila, she combines two of her loves – writing and Korean culture. During her downtime (which somehow rarely happens), she is either scrolling through Twitter, writing for her blog, trying to be fit, reading a good book, or appreciating beauty and fashion.

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