[Pexer’s Write Up] Kim Hyun Joong Organised Fandom Up Close
It’s different talking to one,two or even three KHJ fans from talking to the membership of a fandom’s organisation. This I found out when I attended a Henecia Philippines post-Christmas party held at a Korean resto last Saturday, January 17. There were the green balloons with his pictures hanging on each one, exchanges of souvenirs and gifts, pleasantries and teasings. It was like attending a pep rally for Hyun Joong.
It wasn’t a big gathering.But you could tell there was the closeness of friendships in and among the members.
As a participant-observer, my first impression was- this is KHJ’s reality. He isn’t just a well known personality. He is someone whose life had been closely followed by a group of loyal fans through thick and thin. But this isn’t a scene in a drama. This is real life in real time.
Perhaps a typical scenario was finding others with common interest. Whether to swoon over his assets or just like I found myself seeking the company of other fans every time he is in crisis. The first time for me was when he got into trouble after media reported he attended an ex-president’s birthday. I was raging mad then for the criticisms he received from the internet mob that I found my way to a site where I ventilated my frustrations. Thus, I met several fans online. Last year and that of the previous one I met some of them face to face. We relived some of our struggles together.We compared notes on what we know, as well as gave our opinions on current controversial topics.
Instances such as these are repeated , online fans finally met met, while others were linked through common friends. Henecia Philippines was formed and organised thereafter. Not that there was no fan’s club before that supported KHJ. There was already one when KHJ was still part of a boyband. But forming Henecia signified his being a solo artist.
Some of Henecia Philippines’ members are bloggers, many came from different walks of life and varied professions. Some were alumni of Pinoy Exchange and mainstays of online forums. Their ages represent a cross-section of demographics. Today the membership comes from the different provinces as well as different nationalities with ties to the Philippines. Some are even based abroad but actively maintain their memberships.
Henecia just like any other organisation in its young life will have its own taste of successes, weaknesses, threats and opportunities. How well it can negotiate itself in the face of adversities, recognise its own strong points and take advantage of challenges will influence its growth and development.
When KHJ enters the MS, it is to its interest and the artist to keep the hearth fire burning.