Photo from Getty Images via TeenVogue
Millions of people around the world are in love with Korean pop culture, especially in the Philippines. With the availability of fast fiber internet everywhere, we get the latest K-trends. The K-pop takeover in the country is so rampant it’s normal to see people flash the famous Korean finger heart. From BTS (and the recent trend of the BTS meal) to Blackpink, Parasite to Train to Busan, it seems all things K-culture—or hallyu—is destined for world domination.
One popular facet of Korean pop culture is K-pop music. Korean pop acts have been increasingly rising to global domination. Apart from the abovementioned acts, there are also EXO and Bigbang, and many more Korean acts climbing up the charts, and becoming household names. Yes, it’s amazing how Korean music has evolved so much. People have been crazy about K-pop music despite usually not understanding the lyrics.
While there are a lot of K-pop stans around the world, a lot of them are Filipinos. A lot of Filipinos live and breathe anything K-pop related. Yes, some people even greet each other by saying Anyeong instead of ‘hi’ or ‘kamusta.’ Aside from listening to the music and speaking their language, how do they show their love for their favorites, anyway? Here are many ways that Filipino K-pop stans support their biases:
K-pop Dominating the Charts
A lot of Filipinos have been turning to K-pop to get through these challenging times. A proof of this is how massive K-pop groups have been on the charts. As per music streaming platform, Spotify, Korean megagroup BTS had a whopping 5 billion streams in 2020 alone. A huge chunk of this was streamed by Pinoy “Army” members, thanks to their fast fiber internet connection.
Spotify also revealed that BTS was the most streamed Korean act in the country. Their hit song Dynamite was also the number one Korean song as well. The song was such a hit that it reached up to 12.6 million streams in the first 24 hours. This was a milestone for the streaming platform.
BTS isn’t the only K-pop group in the charts. Forbes Magazine revealed that Enhypen has broken barriers by being the 10th Korean boy band to reach the Billboard 200 chart. This goes to show that the K-pop craze doesn’t stop at just BTS. More Korean music acts are becoming mainstream acts, and Filipinos have been incredibly supportive.
To add to this, popular K-pop songs have been a fixture in local music charts. From online streaming platforms to the radio, Filipinos have been so passionate that their stans have permeated Philippine everyday life. Listening to Korean music on one’s daily commute has become normal. Some malls even blast out Korean pop music all day. It’s amazing how influential Korean music has been to the country. By the looks of things, the love for everything Korean just isn’t stopping.
Loud and Proud K-pop
It’s amazing to note that there were over 6 billion tweets related to K-pop in 2020 alone. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, with the help of fiber internet, the K-pop conversations have not died down. Korean pop music acts didn’t get to hold concerts or meetups, but Korean stans remain diehard. A lot of these tweets came from the Philippines. Yes, Filipinos are among the most loyal and influential K-pop fans in the world. In fact, according to Interaksyon.com, Filipinos are among the top five avid K-pop fans on Twitter in 2020. Fans of Korean pop in the Philippines ranked 5th among markets with unique voices. They ranked 4th when it comes to volume.
Filipino K-pop stans don’t just talk about their biases. They use their favorite acts’ influence and hashtags to discuss important issues. From political issues such as the Black Lives Matter movement and anti-Asian hate to music show awards, K-pop stans have been using their platforms to speak out about a lot of important matters. They even talk about climate change and the LGBTQ community, proving how K-pop stans aren’t only very current and socially-aware, but also very inclusive.
This proves that the K-pop community goes beyond patronizing the music of their favorite artists. They band together for a lot of good causes. They’re very passionate about speaking out even regarding matters that are not even about their favorite acts. They use their influence not just to support the acts they love, but also for the greater good. It’s inspiring how they act not just for the benefit of their biases, but for everyone and everything else.
Massive Purchasing Power
K-pop stans spend a lot of money to show love to their biases. A study by iPrice Group, an e-commerce aggregator, revealed that a super fan spends an average of PHP68,000 in support of their idol.
Aside from purchasing all their favorite Korean acts’ albums, what else do they buy? These people splurge not just to buy official merchandise, but also travel within the region to watch their idols’ concerts. Amid the pandemic, a lot of Korean stans have invested in tickets to online concerts and festivals. All they need is a fast fiber internet connection and they’re ready to support!
In turn, a lot of local companies have been utilizing their resources in support of everything Korean music. Popular fast-food chain McDonald’s recently launched a special BTS meal. This has garnered a lot of excitement among Pinoy army members, and people have even been sharing the BTS meal they buy on social media. And with their fiber internet connection, they get updated on where they can buy such special meal.
The BTS Pop-Up: Map of the Soul opened in Manila last May, and it has been a massive hit. It has over 400 products, including t-shirts, jackets, and 3D posters. The store is open until August 29, and it looks like a lot of people will continue to shop at the pop-up store to support their biases. Aside from shopping for merchandise, people have been taking photos at the store’s special wall that features wings and with standees of TinyTan, animated versions of the BTS members.
A lot of official and unofficial K-pop merchandise stores have popped up around the country as well. Stans have capitalized on the K-pop craze by coming up with merchandise inspired by famous Korean idols. From face masks to bags, the fan-made variety continues to grow. This goes to show how massive the impact of Korean pop culture and music has been in the country.
Just Like Their K-pop Biases
Pinoys don’t just idolize the way their biases perform. They’ve also been heavily influenced by how they look. Yes, in recent years, Korean fashion and beauty have become mainstays in the country. A lot of Korean brands have even set up shop in the country.
K-pop girl group ITZY recently signed as the new endorsers of cosmetics brand Maybelline New York. They join the likes of global superstars Adriana Lima and Gigi Hadid as faces of the iconic brand. This is a testament tos how mainstream K-pop has become. In turn, a lot of Filipinos have expressed their excitement to support their idols.
G-Dragon recently collaborated with sports brand Nike for a special line as well. Despite being produced in limited quantities, some Pinoys made sure to get their hands on these exclusive items as well. Other artists have collaborated with other global sports brands such as Converse and Adidas, too—hinting that fans ought to expect even more collabs.
Global phenomenon BTS has an ongoing partnership with VT Cosmetics, and their products have been selling like hotcakes. From lip tint to eye shadow, it just shows how the love for Korean pop just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Pinoys have been purchasing from the brand just to support their favorites from thousands of miles away.
These are only some of the mega popular brands that have recognized and capitalized on the Korean takeover. Filipinos have been very supportive of their fashion and beauty endeavors. They are even those who have their hair fixed just like their biases. It’s incredible just how passionate Korean stans are to show how much they love their idols.
While the ongoing pandemic has impeded a lot of people’s travels, South Korea remains to be one of Filipinos’ top dream travel destinations. From visiting music video locations to their favorite acts’ hang out places, Pinoys aspire to travel to Korea just to support their biases. Hardcore stans even try to look for their idols’ favorite spots in the Land of the Morning Calm, but even if they’re unsuccessful, Korea has a lot of amazing things to boast of.
Yes, from amazing food to incredible beauty products, fashion items to gadgets, South Korea is a great travel destination. With a lot of sights to see, and of course, great music, it’s no wonder why a lot of people are learning Korean for the love of their favorite music acts.
This goes beyond the South Korean capital of Seoul. A lot of people have expressed interest in visiting other spots like Busan and Jeju Island. This is a testament of how Filipinos have grown to really love anything Korean-related.
In line with this, a lot of airlines have opened more flights to South Korea. In fact, K-pop stans can fly to South Korea now. However, they’re required to get tested, and go through a 14-day quarantine period. This can be very pricey, which is why a lot of people are hesitant about traveling to Korea right now. Once the pandemic dies down, Pinoys will surely be jumping at the opportunity to visit the land where their favorites come from.
Beyond the Music
According to Rappler.com, the K-pop community is very close-knit. In fact, some people claim that through K-pop, they’ve made friends of all ages and from all over the country. With the help of fiber internet, they connect. They don’t just make friends to socialize. They band together for good causes too.
A lot of K-pop groups organized efforts to support medical frontliners in line with the ongoing pandemic. An example of which is ISKO!EXO, a small online collective of alumni and students from University of the Philippines-Diliman who are fans of the massive boy band EXO. As per Lionheartv.net, in just a few short days, they were able to raise more than PHP100,000 from donations all over the country. They used to donate PHP40,000 to UP Medical Foundation for testing kit production and PHP100,000 for PPE distribution to hospitals.
Another great example is Army Bayanihan, #BTSARMY volunteers supporting the Philippine Local Farmers by organizing charity events. The group initially donated to the Purple Community Fund. Soon, they formed their own fundraisers to help fire victims in Tondo, Manila, jeep drivers, and other communities in need.
Meanwhile, Filo Blinks PH, local fan club dedicated to Korean girl group BLACKPINK, conducted an online bidding campaign to donate to victims of Typhoon Ulysses. The initiative raised PHP 316,850 worth of monetary donations that were utilized to buy essential goods such as ready-to-eat food and vitamins for typhoon victims in Rodriguez, Rizal. They also supported the relief operations of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) to help those affected in Bicol and Cagayan.
Connecting to all things K
While the ongoing pandemic has stopped Korean pop stans from attending concerts and traveling to meet their biases, it looks like the love for all things Korean isn’t going to fade anytime soon. In fact, a lot of people have turned to K-pop music to cope with the ongoing pandemic.
However, Korean stans can still connect with their biases and the rest of the fandom through the internet. Yes, not only can you stream your favorites’ content, and purchase merchandise, you can connect with other fans through the web. That’s why it’s important for Korean stans to have fast and reliable internet. A great provider of which is Streamtech.
One of the Philippines’ newest internet service providers, Streamtech is your gateway to supporting all your Korean biases. Streamtech offers a lot of affordable home internet plans so you can enjoy unlimited internet right at the comforts of your home.
Aside from offering unlimited fiber internet, Streamtech has cable and internet bundles. This means you can surf and stream to your heart’s content, and watch your favorite Koreanovelas all through the power of Streamtech. Plus, they also have a lot of cool products so you can maximize your connectivity at home. Contact the Streamtech team today to get started.