Finally it happened after months preparation the journey of self assigned representatives of Henecia Philippines 🇵🇭 to the Fanmeet was long and almost torturous route. IiHe Even before setting foot on the tiles of Inchon airport, there were all sorts of suspenseful turns from obtaining airline ticket, passport, visa, arrangement for accomodation, itinerary, and others. We had a thousand meetings, texted each other, burned the messenger pages, endless bank and credit card transactions thanks to Liz, Nadz,Tita Penny and of course our South Korean connections. I did not even mention that Metro Manila was a busy hive due to the ASEAN leaders’ meet the last week of April. They were coming in and we were going out.
Seoul was what tourists expected it to be that night we arrived. Colourful lights from giant LED screens showing celebrity endorsed commercials competed with brightly lit business signs. Buses and cars were still on the road though lessened in numbers, the number of urbanites had dwindled down except the night shoppers.It was a good hour long trip from the airport to our temporary home. We discussed what will happen the next day, the highlight of the trip. From the looks of it our schedule for the next seven days was tight. We didn’t expect it to be unforgettable.
That last Saturday of April started for us with a Lotte Entertainment World visit followed by a sumptuous meal. We feared we will be tired for the Fanmeet but the mind and heart prevailed for the man we wanted to meet. We were greeted by the sight of fans already in line ready to enter the venue. An almost spontaneous reunion happened seeing old friends -veterans of past fanmeets and concerts. It was also the right time to meet new friends or comrade in arms for Hyun Joong. That spring night was more than cool but the anticipation of the fans somehow upped the temperature. Fever pitch that couldn’t be helped after all the waiting, never mind the stress from the cases, the recent twist of the driving incident, but it was more the excitement seeing him again after four years.
Fans couldn’t go wrong in locating the venue as KHJ giant posters were all over the glass walls and doors. For the FM, fans exchanged KHJ souvenir giveaways, maybe more will come from the organisation of fans who also sent rice wreaths to the venue earlier. A standard of congratulatory gesture to the celebrity but with social intentions to benefit the less fortunate such as orphaned children.
The seats were assigned according to the ticket purchased. It was a little bit complicated for the overseas fans who had to rely on some generous souls to intercede in their behalf. At the venue it was at least organised, and fans were seated soon enough. The distribution of seats I heard were lotteried, otherwise how to explain the best seats taken. Although the venue was not completely full, the overall numbers of about 4,000 fans was impressive enough.
The lights dimmed at the venue signalling the start of the show already fifteen minutes late. Slight commotion emerged from the audience seated below the stage perhaps thinking KHJ will enter through the back. The stage backdrop was simple and the band physically played. Down at the audience level one finds 4 tables where his technical support people manned computers and many more behind the curtains. Outside and inside the venue bodyguards and guards were all over the place. One realisation was that this Facemeet now almost a concert, involved people and money, time and lots of preparations. Two giant screens,one in the left and the other on the right of the stage enlarged HJ stage presence.
The stage came alive with his band playing and after few minutes KHJ came out singing immediately. He wore an all black attire, while subdued lights serving as his background reflected on his face. Were perspiration the ones glistening on his face or tears ? The lack of bright colors at the beginning of the Fanmeet conveyed his mood in the opening numbers- serious and pensive.
He sang his first four songs with all his might, veins radiating almost ready to pop out on his neck, body slightly swaying, open palms releasing his energy in belting it all out. His audience responded with swaying of green sticks and clapping. He finally spoke, clear and direct to his point that almost everyone expected. After explaining the meaning of Anemone as ” I love you forever” he went on to say ‘it was better to go on with the Fanmeet and thank you (The fans) now than some other time later. He didn’t go into specifics as he must have assumed his fans knew about them anyway. A slice of his army life he shared while he addressed his weaknesses and frailties, and thanking everyone for understanding and standing by him in spite of them all.He promised to do better reflecting and doing good deeds.
After his talk he ventured into songs again, this time his songs were lighter, faster, happier. He dressed in white to match the change in his mood. If he “died” in the past in what had happened to him, he is now “resurrected”, revived and alive again. Seeing his fans at the Fanmeet gave him hope. That hope was intensified with the presence of his family and friends, including his SS501 members Kyu Jong and Young Saeng. He joked several times displaying his famous smiles and eyes narrowing in glee. His love for dance music, his body language gave him away : he was 🕺 dancing slightly through the songs that made him known and well loved. He looked like repressing it, the audience missing his dancing, thought he would just give in.
He paused and we thought there will be intermission but he returned strumming his guitar for a full number. After which he goes down from the stage to his audience. The audience broke into screams as he weaved into the audience still singing, at one time almost tripping while doing so. He returns only to go back again to another section of the audience at the sides and shook hands with two of our Henecia Philippines members who were mobility challenged. In his third time mingling with the audience he went to another side only to be met with surging fans prompting his body guards to lead him back to stage.
Three boxes were also laid on the stage containing questions/comments from Chinese, Japanese and Korean fans. He dipped his hands into them to get the questions but he said most were saying ‘fighting’. If they would have scolded him as he earlier said ‘gentle criticism’, he would have welcomed them. One question taken out asked for his next project, for which he replied not in
Korea, not for awhile but in Japan. Very sad indeed for a country he defended with his life, the cases he didn’t cause, and driving incident many commit he would be 🙅♂️ rejected.
He sang a total of 15 songs: Please,Your Story,Let Me be the One,Gentlemen,Gentlemen,Beauty, White Hole, Thank you,Lucky Guy,I’m Your Man,Unbreakable,Do You Like That,Nothing On You, Imademo,What I Wanted to Say and Save Today. The list is like his thoughts on what had happened to him and what he wants to happen. Was it a case of prognostication?
As the Fanmeet pressed through the night, the fans danced to his songs while other kinds of light sticks were waved about. The atmosphere was further ignited with explosions of colors of stage lighting effects. As usual the fans chanted out his name in unison.
As all good things must come to an end, the Fanmeet dwindled down to its final number. Some of the fans started leaving the venue while a greater number stayed for the handshake. Outside, what most people didn’t know that five lucky persons ( Tita Penny, Nadz, Jeng, Liz and Jackie Kim) would be able to get their picture taken with no less than KHJ. KHJ himself asked “picture, picture?” Would you have turned that down?
Some of us lingered around in the lobby, where we saw KHJ’s family : his mother and father, his hyung, young son and wife. What a delightful bonus of the night.Earlier, we saw his friends who were easily recognisable in the crowd – Jun Sang, Lucas among others.
Some fans took with them some of the smaller KHJ posters outside the venue.Others wrote down on the white paper 📝 pinned on the wall their sentiments and comments on that memorable night. A memorable night that perhaps will signal the beginning of a new era in the life of this entertainer.
Still on cloud nine the Philippine Henecians rode on the van back to their residence bubbling about the Fanmeet. Do you think they easily fell asleep that night?
What they didn’t know was they were going to meet in person in the days to follow: Shin Dong Ho of Ukiss and Jun Sang of Jaksal, HJ’s long time and close friend.
Go to YouTube to watch KHJ videos in his Anemone 2017 FM
Pay attention at mark 1:46 on Part 14, we can see Hyun Joong Shook Hands with Tita Penny and Jackie Kim and recieved gifts from Jackie’s Mom and Aunt.
Pay attention at mark 1:46 on Part 14, we can see Hyun Joong Shook Hands with Tita Penny and Jackie Kim and recieved gifts from Jackie’s Mom and Aunt.
By : AprilStarr
Most everyone knows Kim Hyun Joong; it seems media couldn’t get enough of him. Media knows he is a minefield of entertainment news: authentic, created or even invented. Recent full attention is focused on him particularly regarding his private life as much as what he doesn’t wish to show to the public.
A commonly acknowledged thing about him is that he shouldn’t be confused with somebody else with same or closely named performer. Kim Hyun Joong is not merely someone’s name but an image, almost a trademark. He sold commodities like beauty products, food, clothes, jewellery and services among others through endorsements.
Born in a year when Kpop was turning a new point from Seo Tai Jin’s music and spending teen years amidst the succession of Kpop groups doing dance music. Who knew that there is a niche waiting for him there several years later while dropping schooling thought not important in his life then. He had a direction for himself. This direction made him defy the odds turning his difficulties learning how to dance properly into skills, from playing an instrument in the band into the forefront of a 5 man group into a solo performer with dramas tucked in his belt as well.
Part of his charm was shielding his private life from being pried open by the curious public eyes as much as he could. His love life is said to be just the product of speculations, rumors and fan shipping efforts. He changed his marriage deadlines for himself many times.
It is often said celebrities are product of their talent agency’s marketing. It cannot be denied talent agency’ s magic fingers were at work all the time not only at him but so were the rest of the artists. It was just that different folks, different strokes. Or that same efforts produce different effects.
He is his own mould.
He is his own urban legend of sorts- having risen to fame according to his own accord.From childhood stories from his mama, his teenage exploits, to early attempts at starting stardom. His is the dream of countless young adults personified and fulfilled. Later, he will pontificate,’ go to school. My being a dropout followed me everywhere’. Hyun Joong shed the label, finished high school and started college. But stardom and career got in the way.
Does he need the theoretical and abstract studying when his plate is always full, all hands on? There is so much to do, so much to accomplish. Fans saw that, their celebrity had not cease to surprise them and every so often reinvented himself. Fans did not disappoint him or him them, although there were some who were.
As a celebrity, KHJ is no exception in experiencing road bumps here and there. He doesn’t get stucked there and manages to overcome.Like his brushes with a hated political figure’ s birthday party and getting the ire of netizens. Or when he went solo after the end of contract with DSP and getting the blame for the four others’ slower pace in getting back into the limelight. Or a disappointing drama local ratings. Taking these in a stride proved he is a tough cookie. They only made him turn to more productive ventures. His albums and concerts have not only done well but earned awards and recognition,too.
Like ordinary mortals, we all have our share of crises, however, not all personal mishaps are created equal. Some more devastating than others- or that they take longer to recuperate from. The significant thing though is healing, and most importantly bouncing back. Hyun Joong momentarily was in the dark only to show he is an able leader-soldier. He is now back in the warm embrace of his supporters. The ‘no one can bring a good person down’ works here. Not real life nor real time villains and certainly not a mud raking, mud slinging press can take down our man.
After all has been said and done, the dust finally settled, what is there to look forward to?
Kim Hyun Joong is still evolving. From the irrepressible youngster of the early years of 2000’s to the recently emerged manly looking and reserve nonetheless wiser army graduate,who is to say he had reached the end of his rope? As he has said, he is merely beginning the second half of his entertainment career. Like being back in a cocoon just waiting to spread his wings once more.
We can hardly wait to see what he will become in his next nth wind.
Photos Credit As Tagged
Do you know who sits in the front row of any significant gathering? Celebrities and distinctive guests of course. It’s unimaginable to think of Kim Hyun Joong seated elsewhere. Unless he wants to be incognito or nobody knew he was coming.
Seats in the Front Rows have been reserved since time immemorial for the royalties of fashion, entertainment,arts, other known branch of Culture,political figures and other personages such as sponsors and potential investors that need to be impressed or lent their importance to the event.
Even as a newcomer in the Kpop scene KHJ in variety shows sat in front where the cameras and the mc’s prioritised his presence. You can actually see other guests strained their necks to be seen or had to shout out their contributions to be heard.
Was it a case of celebrity marketing for KHJ to seat him in front? If it was, it was successful.No he didn’t have to look outrageous. He was at his natural best- handsome, funny, witty and speaking whatever comes to his mind earning him being called a 4D. It cannot be denied he was the program’s favourite if he happens to grace one.
While the show did contribute to his increasing popularity, KHJ’ s presence pulled up the show ratings as well. Directors knew that the moment Hyun Joong’s face is flashed on the screen numbers go up. Exactly, this is why cameras stayed glued on him. One of the other perennial guests complained “why his shots were cut and not HJ”, to which he responded,”you tried too hard”. HJ was just himself enjoying his stay.
Even when he wasn’t doing anything and not on stage as performer or on the runway as a model he was seated in the front row. This was how he lent his recognizability to fashion shows or other event where he was the invited guest.He wasn’t declared a three time winner of being Style Icon for Kpop for nothing. Several years being winner of “most searched in Yahoo”strengthened his position as Hallyu star with an international fanbase in many countries.
Other Ways to Stay Front Row
Practically he is also at the front row of many advertisements endorsing products and services that no less than CNN noted “no product worth buying without KHJ saying so”. Of course the casual shirts,the athletic getup, the formal attire looked like they were precisely cut and sewn on him alone. But his sartorial good looks and the ways he carried them can rub on any wearer,or so the manufacturers think. Or pray they will.
Did he not stay front row in numerous interviews for magazines as he made it in their cover photos? The same way happened in interviews over for television entertainment portals answering truthfully ( or so it seemed) questions fielded at him or evading those intruding into his love life every time he has a music album out or a new drama.
As if having a wax figure in a museum isn’t enough, his airport fashion does not escape scrutiny, the soccer field, rare public sightings and every episode of Barefoot Friends his fans documented even the moments he isn’t playing as if he is in the front row all the time.
Yet left on his own he wishes to avoid over exposure. He does not tweet, nor do Instagram, most of all did not open a Facebook account. He chose his projects carefully seeing to it his drama appearances is not sacrificed to his concert performances and vice versa.
When he joined the military as a conscript in May of last year, camera shots gave him importance, and why not, he is the KHJ and was the only one escorted by the big boss of Key East and several bodyguards( not family members). Looking at past photos you’d think he was in the front row already a trademark anyway, as everybody is already accustomed to seeing.
Now that the inner core of his private life being played out in public by tabloid media and through exchanges between legal representatives he remains “seated in the front row” although other characters have inserted themselves to share, though pathetically, that reflected glory.
Thanks, no thanks to the unscrupulous media who jumped at all opportunities to write about him and all the salacious details to sell their products and services, KHJ can be said to maintain his position as most searched. Hence, still sitting in front though in a hot seat. There are those who commented wryly, the media coverage made his personal life like a never ending small screen Korean drama.
How Long Will He be “Sitting in Front”?
International observers of celebrities who rise and fall noted that celebrities must change through life milestones such as getting married,having a family, scandal optional to stay in the radar of their publics. It goes without saying they are able to withstand the effects of changeover in their career. Even if it means shedding more blood,sweat and tears than before.
It also translate into a fact that celebrities should not be boring, doing the same thing like a broken record. If they have setbacks from scandals ( from personal issues or public abrasions) they should eventually able to put them behind. Recovery may take short or long period of time depending on how resilient the celebrity is and how forgiving the public to accept them again.
Kim Hyun Joong is no stranger to scandals. He has had them such as when he attended a birthday celebration of a despised ex-national leader, when he figured in a motor accident and when he changed management company. The interest in these so called scandals depended on the public perceptions fueling intense fan debates. His most recent one (still going on scandal),according to some observers, is the longest period of time a celebrity has gone through to date (2 years).
Although unbelievers in his ability to bounce back has proclaimed he is finished in his career,it is said they have largely forgotten Kim Hyun Joong has the habit of surprising his public of his discipline, new talent and skills honed behind the scenes, to present his unlimited self through his work.
He showed the range of what he was able to do and what else he can do at the rate he produced and launched his music albums in the past. He put in the extravaganza in Lucky Guy, the bad boy vibe in Breakdown, the party feel in another,the angst of a lover next, playfulness and rock mood completed the varieties then. Not really aiming for commercial success but acting in characters that challenges his abilities in dramas no matter how hard it took him to be in their shoes. His works were all about him : confident without being abrasive about it, creative without being just fancy, doing the unexpected and surpassing his previous achievements.
If he can be called a workaholic, it is an understatement. His fans know this and have seen his various transformations since becoming solo artist. He burst out of his cocoon as if making up for lost time.His works are his best tool to show he is in charge.
His persona is another matter. He is transparent, brave yet vulnerable at times, happy like a child for simple pleasures yet manly to own his setbacks because he knows he can overcome them. Many times he showed he was able to.His comebacks ( a favourite expression used on Kpop stars)were nothing less than spectacular. His absence is always a prelude to something unusual and well thought out presentation of a master showman.
Even his mandatory hiatus couldn’t and HJ wouldn’t allow it to cool down his ardor for the
profession he embraced so passionately. It is not surprising if we learn that he has prepared himself psychologically and physically to bounce back, which is a very sound thing to do in order to move on. Somebody said setbacks are structured to prepare one for a comeback? Even with the legal cases raging on as long as his love for his work remains fierce and his focus steadfast, there is no way for him but to go up. If for him success is not an end in itself but the motor leading to the next chapter of his career, he will remain sitting in the front row
Photos Credit as Tagged
We have seen Kim Hyun Joong go through an evolution of images. From the rebellious, tough guy who exchanged his comfortable home and recognized talent at schoolwork for music, the happy -go- lucky guy who can sleep anywhere,anytime, maturing into a gentle Jihoo. He was also the 4D guy,darling of variety shows, the favorite athlete of the soccer field and icon of celebrity clothes and makeup. His latest image was that of the rough and manly persona of Inspiring Generation. Those images were developed by his talent agencies through which he was promoted and became known as a Kpop idol. They became second skin to him much of what was understood as part and parcel of background and life experiences.
His solo concert images is another story, they were his creation as they projected his own aspirations and represented where he is at the moment. He showed his capabilities through different musical genres, freed to experiment combinations to deliver the ambiance that he wanted, showed how he released himself from the past though not necessarily completely rejecting them as he tried performing with a Live band. His image was that of being natural, touchable and even vulnerable to his emotions.
Every concert is a collective enterprise between him and the fans, between him and the people who worked with him to make the concert an experience to remember for a long time. Every concert bore his unmistakable signature. He closes the gap between him and the fans- going down from the stage to the audience rows, fan participation in the programs, handshakes and seeing them leave by the door as a gracious host- all fan services of course. But he does it with all humble appreciation and sincerity.
Here at the concert he, as well as the fans are all up close compared to the segmented and edited dramas where he waits for the ratings to see how he has done his work. The high of a performer from the audience reception of his number,or the whole set of it judging from the thunderous applause, to the ear splitting screams of his name can be summarised by the phrase “you don’t know how you made me so happy” right then and there. You don’t have to hear him say it, his face and body language say them all.
Dear readers … Hyunnies Pexers went hiatus the last few weeks…. And now we’re back. We apologize for not informing you all of our status. Let’s all welcome 2016 with new hope and a better year for our Only One – KHJ. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERONE!!!
New Year’s Resolution(s)
Arts Credit: Jackie Kim
Are we still doing it? Or is it already outdated? Are we still coming up with a wish list as pointed out by somebody but not how we will do it ?
Some people I know have given up on making a list. After all the list is more honoured by breaking them than actualizing them. Nothing wrong if we do modify the list along the way. Nothing has been set in stone anyway.
Some are wondering what will be in HJ’s list assuming he has drawn or drawing up one. Even if his civilian life seems to be on hold while being a soldier, everyone knows his grind with his cases continues. 2016 has already offered him a different scenario- with a DNA declared biological relationship with a three month old son and all the responsibilities that go with it. What about his lawsuit against an ex girlfriend? How will it prosper?
2016 is just 12 months that can easily slide by and yet so many things can happen. Will it result to a new and improved Hyun Joong? Let’s not forget, 2017 is not so far away by the second month of the new year. Yet that gives him lead time to think of what his future holds. It should be another exciting turn in his life which seems to come by every five years since he entered show biz. For those who need to remember 2005 -2010 was being in a boyband and side activities. From 2010 to 2015 being solo performer. What will be it for the next five years?
As we know, HJ is one that does not merely wish but he does make them happen in the ways he knows how with or without scandal and even with the interregnum military service period. His mind is an ever fertile ground for ideas ready for execution.
As I’m writing this piece with just 30 minutes or so before 2016 rolls in amidst the sound of firecrackers welcoming the New Year, I wish him all the best …because his best is yet to come.
I also wish everyone visiting this site a safe and prosperous New Year and to continue holding HJ ‘s hand in his quest for an enlightened and just milieu. He will not fail.
Heard this from someone… January was named after the Greek god Janus meaning two faced. One to look back to learn our lessons, the other to look forward to the future and improve.
Photo by murdererq
Will this be a father’s shout of joy? It could be. Particularly in a Patriarchal society like South Korea, the eldest son fulfills filial duties. And remember the State has another soldier in the making. Though relationships built on a genetic test and contested allegations are not exactly desirable. But it happens. Worst is many wish that son is not his. Many thinks HJ should have the chance for his life to find its path as he see fit and move on.
He has said since the case started he isn’t shirking from his fatherly duties and obligations if that baby is proven his. His lawyer repeats the same pronouncement even as the other side makes the accusation KHJ is in denial of his paternity.
The suspense is building up on the result of KHJ’s second time to take the DNA test and the baby ‘s first time. Some people suggested that the woman claiming to be the mother should also take the test to put to rest the ugly rumours.
It won’t be long now. If it takes a week expect to hear the good or bad news by Dec 21. If it is two weeks, look forward to Dec 28. But Dec 28 is the feast day of the Innocents ( Catholic tradition)-the babies slaughtered or sacrificed by a threatened Herod. What do you think of this coincidence