The Philippines is a huge beachhead for the Hallyu (the “Korean Wave” of pop culture that hit the world like a tsunami), particularly for English-adept international fans outside of South Korea.
Whether it’s on social media, particularly on Twitter, or at live concerts when the oppars and unnirs fly out to Manila, Filipino K-pop fans come out full force.
You can bet that every time a Korean music or drama star as much as lets the syllable “Pil…” slip out, millions of ears perk up and focus their owners’ attention on what the idol utters next.
And when Filipino food is observed anywhere near these Northeast Asian deities… all hell breaks loose.
On Sunday, the 7th of December 2014, the Bangtan Boys held The Red Bullet concert at the Mall of Asia arena with ticket prices ranging from 2,500 to 10,000 Philippine pesos.
What is Bangtan?
Bangtan Sonyeondan (방탄소년단) literally means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts.” They’re branded in English as “Bangtan Boys” and are also widely known by the abbreviation BTS. This seven-member hip hop/R&B group comprises Rap Monster, J-Hope, Suga, Jin, Jimin, V and Jungkook. Their hits include Just One Day, Boy in Luv, N.O, Danger, Coffee, and Let Me Know.
Yes… Jin, Suga, J-hope, Rap Monster, Jimin, V, and Jungkook stepped onto Philippine shores, and while they were in our country, they ate Filipino food!
On stage during The Red Bullet, V elicited a wild reaction from the crowd when he said: “Yesterday I ate… halo-halo?”
* BTS made their official debut in June 2013 under the BigHit Entertainment label. Photos courtesy of BigHit.
UPDATE!! On a return visit to Manila in May 2017, Suga and JHope focused on eating Filipino food during a live-stream broadcast from their hotel room. The Filipino dishes they enjoyed were Shrimp Sinigang with Lapu-Lapu and Pork & Chicken Adobo with garlic rice. 🙂