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Talking to Kim Sun Ah – in Korean!

In correct Korean! (Yey!)… Well, at least most of the time. O.o

It was Kim Sun Ah who sparked my interest in anything Korean. It was my wish to join her fan cafe that prompted me to pick up a pencil and start learning Hanguel. And it was my desperate desire to understand her messages, interviews and dramas that made me continue learning Korean. But never, not even in my wildest dreams, had I imagined talking to her in Korean (because I have never even thought that I’d get to meet her in person in the first place).

When I get to meet her (for the first time) in Taiwan last year, I haven’t had any formal Korean classes yet. But my level of comprehension then could most probably make me get a grade 1 score in TOPIK. I can give a summary and short translations of her interviews for her non-Korean speaking fans and I could leave short and somehow decent Korean posts and comments in her fan cafe. But, just like most self-learners, my speaking skills were way below my comprehension skills. When I recall how I constructed (misconstructed could be a better term) my sentences then, I can only facepalm in embarrassment. I only said a total of 5 sentences (on 4 different instances). I introduced myself. I thanked her. I told her I love her. I asked for a photo. And I thanked her again. With the exceptions of 고마워요 and 사랑해요 it were all but epic failure!

It was probably my broken Korean that made me stand out from the flood of Chinese surrounding us, thus she gets to notice me. But that was probably what also stopped her from talking back to me in Korean. She talked to me in English which, by all means, is fine by me. But worse, she talked to me in Chinese-Korean (in a talking-to-a-foreigner-who-doesn’t-understand-your-language kind of way – if you get what I mean) – that I definitely did not understand – and could’ve understood if she just said it in Korean. 🙂

Meeting her again last month, much to my surprise, I get to talk to her in simple, yet complete and, I would live to believe, correct sentences (most of the time, at least). And the best part, this time Kim Sun Ah talks back to me – in Korean!

Awesome.

AWESOME.

AWESOME!!!

I still didn’t do well. My speaking skills are still way below my comprehension level. I still wasn’t able to express my thoughts and feelings exactly how I really wished to express it. I still didn’t get to say all the things I wanted to say. And I made terrible beginner mistakes *facepalm*.

Talking in Korean is already difficult as it is, yet it also doesn’t help that being by Suna Unnie’s side makes my head swirl, thus I can’t think straight.

We didn’t talk in Korean the entire time. Thanks to my conjugation mistake, she wasn’t able to understand me thus we ended up talking in English. Then she tried her Filipino. Then we went back to Korean.

again…

AWESOME!

And somehow I’m quite glad that I didn’t do well. At least it gave me a stronger motivation to work harder on my speaking skills… hoping that one day, when I get to meet her again, I would be able to do better.

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Missing TOPIK. Finding Kim Sun Ah.

I said I’m going to take the 24th TOPIK last September – the intermediate one. I already skipped the last one because the time is just too short to prepare for it. But due to my heavy class load this semester, I ended up not preparing for it anyway. I did print out a previous exam but I never get past page 2. Nonetheless I still have decided to take it. Just for fun. Just for the experience. Just to check how much I have progressed in Korean (better yet, to check if I had any progress at all). And throwing away my dream of getting a grade 4.

Our lovely seonsaengnim conducted review classes for students that are going to take TOPIK. But those review classes were for the Beginner TOPIK takers. She conducted a special review class though for two other Filipino professors (who teach Korean) in our university. Since both of them have already gotten a grade 3 last time they took it, their review classes were more intense.

I get to attend one of the review classes. We took a mock listening exam (previous TOPIK paper) and surprisingly I get a passing score (grade 3). Although it’s not really something to be proud of since I simply made wild guesses most of the time, it still feels great knowing I can pass a grade 3 level (with luck!) and that I did understand some of the questions well.

Afterwards we browsed through the grammar part. We discussed items that are difficult. It felt great. I then realized how I missed our seonsaengnim. I missed her class. I missed the way she explains things. I missed studying Korean. It would have been awesome if I get to attend it more of those review classes. It would have been awesome if I had time to prepare for the exam and would definitely been more awesome if I can get, if not my dream grade 4 score, at least a decent grade 3.

But I ended up not taking the exam. O.o

Because my dear Suna Unnie suddenly decided to take a vacation in our country. And I suddenly decided to meet find stalk her. And among the 365 days in a year, it has to be the date of the exam.
Maybe that’s why I didn’t prepare well for it? Because I’d end up not taking the exam anyway?

I felt bad skipping the exam. But I didn’t regret it. Not one bit! Of course I was successful in meeting finding stalking Kim Sun Ah (and Lee Dong Wook… and Eom Ki Joon and Seo Hyo Rim). And I also heard from those who took the exam that it was extremely difficult it gave them headaches.
I’ll take the next one. I swear. Oh well… as long as Kim Sun Ah won’t go vacationing in the Philippines again by then.

[세부에서생긴일] Part 7 of 7: Regrets

A month has passed. I still can’t believe I went to Cebu just like that… on impulse… without any plans… Meeting the SOAW team… meeting Suna Unnie again… until this very moment, I still can’t believe it.

And now that I’m looking back, I kinda regret A LOT of things. And if only I can turn back time I would have done better.

Well, athough there were times in Cebu that I was frustrated, annoyed and wanted to give up. I don’t regret any of the decisions we’ve made. I had lots of “If onlys” but I believe that one thing leads to the next. And we probably wouldn’t have our “happy ending” if one thing happened differently.

I also think that meeting them at the airport is much better than meeting them at the resort. I think it would really be very awkward meeting them at the resort. Again, they were not here for a fan meeting, but on a vacation. They might also feel awkward meeting fans in the middle of their vacation. At least meeting them at the airport, we were able to send them off and we were able to wish them a safe trip.

But what I regret were the things that I could have said and done but didn’t.

I’m glad I was able to talk to Suna Unnie in Korean. But there are a lot more things that I wished I have said. Like how we like, enjoy and how crazy we are over SOAW. How thankful we are for giving us Lee Yeon Jae. And how many life lessons we learned from her and her drama. How much we appreciate all their hardwork. And all their hardwork had paid off because SOAW ended wonderfully. I wished I was able to ask her what she likes most in our country, or if she have tried eating Filipino food. I wished I was able to wish her luck on her new movie “Fighting Spirit” and how bad we feel that we won’t be able to support the movie in Korea as much as we would like too. I wished I could’ve bought her a birthday cake… or a bouquet of flowers at least.

I also regret not asking for Seo Hyo Rim’s autograph and not talking to her. She seems like a really nice girl. And I don’t know why I didn’t go near her (when she was just beside Eon Ki Joon on the line). Am I thinking she is still Se Kyung? kekeke

I regret not meeting the PD and the writer. I would love to get their autographs and have pictures with them too. They were such a great tandem. I would love to tell them how we love their drama. But I was too shy to ask Suna Unnie who among them are the PD and the writer. (I was trying to find out myself, but I heard that PD was missing – they were looking for him.. but I didn’t check back to see if they found him). But I could’ve asked the other staff, but I didn’t.

I also regret not being able to tell Lee Dong Wook, Eom Ki Joon, Seo Hyo Rim and the rest of the staff how much we love SOAW. And that we also 본방사수 (watch live) in the Philippines even if it’s just over the internet. And that we translate it to English so that other fans who doesn’t speak Korean can understand and enjoy the drama too. I regret not being able to thank all of them for bringing us a wonderful drama.

All I did was stand and smile there like a fool and greet everybody.

I also regret that we didn’t even prepare anything for them. Suna4Life Philippines (our little fans club) could’ve prepared some snacks for everyone, just like what Korean fans do. And we can give it to them one by one as they go down the bus. Or if we can’t prepare snacks, we could have prepared at least some thank you cards for everyone to show our appreciation for all their hard work.

But I haven’t thought of any of those.

Of course we didn’t know that we’ll get to meet them like that. But nonetheless, if would have been really nice if I had thought of that earlier. It’s not too difficult to do anyway.

But I guess we were so preoccupied in trying to locate them that I wasn’t able to think straight. We were both tired too since we literally came from our work and class straight to the airport. We also lack sleep.

Nonetheless, I still feel regretful. Would there be another chance like that in the future? I don’t think so. Suna Unnie may come back to the Philippines. Maybe she can go back here with another drama team. But the SOAW team to be all back in the Philippines, I don’t think that would ever happen again. And it makes me sad, thinking I let such a rare opportunity pass.

I’m not complaining. I’m even so thankful for everything that happened. My heart is brimming with gratitude. It’s just that I really feel regretful… if only I had enough time to think and prepare for our trip, it would have been much nicer.

Oh well… nonetheless, the most important thing is that we found them… Despite all the impossibilities, we get to meet them. just when I was about to give up, their bus arrived. Just when I thought that we won’t be able to meet them, they appeared in front of us. And that is already a wonderful blessing. And I will treasure that special memory forever.

[세부에서생긴일] Part 6 of 7: Cebu Annyeong!

Did we really meet them? Met all of them? Especially Suna Unnie?

All the hardships and tiredness suddenly disappeared. We met them. We met them well!

Everything happened so fast. A few days ago I was just in school, trying to meet deadlines while enjoying SOAW every weekend. I have never imagined that I’d get to meet Suan Unnie once again. And in our country of all places. And I have never even dreamed of seeing Lee Dong Wook nor Eom Ki Joon nor Seo Hyo Rim in person.

I didn’t sleep that night. I was busy posting online and answering calls and text messages. I was overwhelmed with congratulatory greetings by friends. I also can’t sleep. At the same time Wennah is going back to Manila early that morning.

We took different flights back because Wennah needs to go to work that day. I took the next day’s flight because we thought that they’ll be coming back to Korea by the 19th (which is true anyway since their flight left at around 1:00am of the 19th), so I want to be in Cebu the entire 19th. I don’t have classes that day anyway.

2011.09.19

I sent Wennah to the airport then finally managed to sleep after returning to our hostel. I woke up late. I should be studying and preparing for an exam, but I decided to sightsee in Cebu since I haven’t been there and I don’t know if and when I’ll be coming back.

I first went back to those who have helped us locate them in Imperial Palace and gave them some gifts. Then I started going around town. I had fun. I would have to thank Suna Unnie. If not for her, I wouldn’t have travelled to Cebu. It was fun but it was very tiring going here and there with my heavy bags.

At night, I went to the airport and boarded the plane.

And suddenly a familiar feeling started seeping in. It was the exact feeling I felt when leaving Taiwan last year. My heart suddenly feels empty, as if a part of it was left somewhere in Mactan International Airport. How can an unfamiliar place like Cebu suddenly turn into something special? I didn’t know how am I going to say goodbye to a place that let me create another wonderful memory with my special person? So, Cebu, I’m not sure when I’ll be coming back, but just like Taiwan, please take care of a portion of my heart that I left there.

[세부에서생긴일] Part 5 of 7: And we met them!

I can’t believe it!
We weren’t expecting it anymore. But they were there. Appearing right before us. All of them!

Seriously, why didn’t I comb my hair???

We stood up and I fumble as I try putting my netbook back in my bag. Wennah printed a poster of SOAW and I brought some placards. We stood near the door of the bus, while holding our posters and placards. The first staff who alighted the bus immediately noticed the SOAW poster and was surprised, “Oh?!” he said. We greeted everyone who’s alighting the bus (in Korean). Some smiled back to us, others greeted us back, and some were simply surprised seeing us and the posters we were holding.

Then finally, after what seems like hours, the last few people started alighting the bus (last few people = the 4 leads seated at the back). First it was Eom Ki Joon and Soe Hyo Rim. Then Lee Dong Wook.

But honestly, I didn’t seem to notice any of them. Yes, even Lee Dong Wook (to any Lee Dong Wook fans here, I sincerely want to apologize). Because my heart only knows one person – HER. I was getting more and more excited that my heart almost stopped beating. No. My whole world stopped. I can’t see anyone else aside from the one at the back of Lee Dong Wook. The last person alighting the bus. Our Suna Unnie.

Really, I didn’t notice of Eom Ki Joon nor Seo Hyo Rim and not even Lee Dong Wook. Again, I know a lot of fans might hate me. But really, I didn’t notice them at all. So I didn’t know what were their reaction when they saw us and our posters. But I’m sure they also saw our placard that reads “사랑해요 김선아 – We love Kim Sun Ah”, so maybe they know we are after Suna Unnie.

As Suna Unnie alights the bus, I called out to her “선아언니! 선아언니, 저 디야예요.” (Suna Unnie, Suna Unnie, It’s me Dia). And she looked back and with a very surprised look on her face. She said,”Oh! Oh! Oh!!!” – cutely.

She was with a staff. We don’t know if he was her manager or her own staff or a SOAW staff in-charge of her. We handed Suna Unnie our letters. The staff told us politely not to take photos, but Suna Unnie said “괜찮는데…” (Kwaenchaneunde – It’s okay) I can’t exactly remember nor understand everything they were talking about (since my Korean is still very bad) but I heard the staff said “something something something 아는 사람 (a person you know) something something something?”, most probably asking Suna Unnie if I am someone she knows. And Suna Unnie confirms she knows me and even told the staff that I went to her Taiwan Fanmeeting last year and even pointed out our photo together in Taiwan to the staff (I put our photo on the letter that I gave her).

Me???? A person that Suna Unnie knows? Me???
ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

I still can’t believe it until today… ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

Afterwards, that staff read my letter to Suna Unnie (!!! uhm… how about some privacy? lol well it’s okay… my letter was short (and my Korean is erroneous) but it’s from my heart, so I hope that him reading the letter would make him get to know how much i really love Kim Sun Ah)

Wenna asked Suna Unnie to sign the poster. It was Wennah’s first time seeing Suna Unnie. I didn’t want to ask Suna Unnie for an autograph anymore. Wennah even asked me if I want to have something signed. I said not anymore. I already have a lot.  A few years ago a friend from Sunaforever gave me a signed poster of Suna Unnie. And last year I received Suna Unnie’s white day gift with a signed photograph. It even has my name on it (and it was even 2 copies – coz she cutely made a mistake on one of them), so those were enough. I don’t want to ask for more. Of course having a photo (a ‘proof’ shot) would be great, but if none, it would just be fine. I really just want to meet and greet her for a short while.

Later on, when we were in a hostel, I looked at Suna Unnie’s autograph and was surprised to find MY NAME on it! She wrote MY name!!!! I didn’t tell her to write my name on it. It was not even me who handed the poster to her. It was wennah who did. And it was wennah’s, not mine! I was very surprised and very touched! But at the same time feeling guilty towards Wennah.

Afterwards, I asked Suna Unnie “선아언니 사진 찍어도 돼요?” (Is it okay to take a photo?). Suna Unnie replied “괜찮는데” (It’s okay.)

Wow!!! As in WOW!!! I can’t believe it! Me and Suna Unnie talked in Korean like that??? I felt so happy! Really! As in really really happy!

Last year, all I managed to say to her when I was asking for a photo (note, her photo, not our photo together, but she instead had our photo together taken then) was “선아 언니 한 사진” – an erroneous Korean that somehow means “Suna Unnie one photo” (*embarrassing*). But this time I was able to come up with a correct Korean sentence. A simple but correct one!

Wennah also printed the photo that Lee Dong Wook posted in me2day – the ‘proof’ shot that says “Setting off to Cebu”. We also included the caption of the photo when we printed it (세부 출발). Suna Unnie seems to find the photo and the caption amusing. She laughed when she saw it and she keeps carrying it around.

That’s why on all of our ‘proof’ shots, she has that photo with her.

Her staff took this photo. And we will forever be thankful to that nice staff.

Then we thanked and hugged Suna Unnie afterwards. Actually this is the second time I get to hug her. And it feels really great. To me she is like a real older sister. And my heart is just overflowing with gratefulness and love towards her that I cannot and probably will not be able to turn into words. Thus I hope that through our warm hugs, she’ll get the message across. That I love her and that I’m always grateful that she keeps bringing sunshine, hope and courage into my life. And I can also feel her warm heart the moment she hugged me.

I think afterwards, wennah was asking Lee Dong Wook for an autograph when Suna Unnie went to Lee Dong Wook to show the “Setting off to Cebu” photo (that she has been carrying around) she said something to him and they laughed.

I think wennah asked for a photo with Lee Dong Wook. Of course it would be nice to have a photo with him, but I really don’t care much. Having seen Suna unnie is enough for me (and yeah, enough to make me crazy that I don’t know what is happening around me anymore). But I actually don’t know what happened, but me and Suna Unnie suddenly joined the photo. Seems like Suna Unnie joined and I joined too (?), since she’s there. Or her staff motioned me to join… I actually don’t know…

Anyway, again, she still held the “Setting off to Cebu” photo.

Before the photo was taken, I told wenna (in Korean), “Shall we do the na-yo pose?” And some staff who were near us laughed upon hearing it.

When the staff put down the camera, Suna Unnie even asked if it’s done already (벌써? (beolsseo?) I’m not exactly sure if that’s what she said, but seems like that).

Some staff were asking who we are (I think) – again in Korean, then I said tried saying (in Korean) that I’m a long time fan of Suna Unnie. And Suna Unnie explained it further. I can’t understand everything she said but, if I remember it right, she mentioned Sunaforever and/or fan cafe (I’m not sure which is which).

And once again, I was surprised. Alright, maybe not surprised anymore. Because Suna Unnie is known for having a good memory. Maybe TOUCHED is the right word. Just who am I for her to remember? We met in Taiwan, but that was very brief and it was the first and only time we met. And one year has passed already. Yes, we had our photo together. But how many fans have had photos with her in Taiwan? Actually she surprised me a lot in Taiwan. It was the first time we saw each other, yet she recognized me after I said my name. And now, she even remembered that I was in Taiwan and that I am a member of her fan cafe. I really still can’t believe it. What kind of actress is she?

(SIDE NOTE: For our dear shippers… now that I think about it… since their group is really large, most of the team went inside the airport. Aside from the fact that Suna Unnie was the last one to alight the bus since she was the one seated at the rear, we also stalled her, thus almost everyone, except for a few staff (that now I think were Suna unnie and LDW’s staff), were already inside. In fact even EKJ and SHR were inside as far as I can remember (coz if they were still outside, Suna Unnie must have asked them to join our photo together). Now (again sorry to LDW’s fans), we actually completely ignored LDW as soon as Suna Unnie stepped down the bus. No actually we’ve ignored him right from the start. And we just hang around Suna Unnie’s side for a few minutes. But our dear Wookie was still there outside and didn’t get in with EKJ and SHR… probably… just probably… waiting for Suna Unnie? Why would he stay outside? Especially when we were ignoring him all those times. Shipping aside, I think that was very nice and gentlemanly of him to wait for Suna Unnie, despite the fact that he was completely ignored – when he is equally famous anyway).

Then we walked with them as they enter the airport. I tried telling Suna Unnie that I’m glad she get to rest well in our country – in Korean. But my Korean failed me this time. But I struggled with 쉬다 swida (to rest). I often confused it with 쉽다 swipda(to be easy) and I got confused on how to conjugate it. So, Suna Unnie didn’t understand me. So she asked me “쉬?” “쉬?” “swi? swi?” (cutely!) So I gave up and talked in English. And Suna Unnie talked to me back in English!!! Our Suna Unnie is really great!! Unfortunately I forgot exactly what she said (whenever I’m beside her my head turns to a mess) but it’s something like “Yes, I was able to rest.” Then I wanted to tell her that we are worried about her shoulder operation but I just ended up saying that we were all worried when she got sick last time – and this time I was able to say it in Korean.

Then wennah reminded me that there’s a gift that jastinel, another Filipino fan, wants to pass to Suna Unnie. We almost forgot about it. So I gave it to her and told her it was from Jastinel. And Suna Unnie said, “Jastinel.” Immediately recognizing the name. I was surprised. She haven’t met jastinel, yet she recognized her name. She put it in on top of her bags in her trolley. Our Suna Unnie is really great.

We were all still walking then. All these time Lee Dong Wook was walking in front of us and probably (shippers: deliberately) overheard our conversation, stopped walking, looks at us, and butt in (!!!). He said “maganda” – which is the Tagalog of beautiful, probably wanting to brag his few Tagalog (Philippine language). Then Suna Unnie, corrected him (seems like) and said “Salamat” – which is “Thank you” instead.

OMONA~!!!!!!
Our Suna Unnie is really really cute!!!

And once again I’m so touched! Finally I got to hear Suna Unnie speak in Tagalog!

Last year in Taiwan, after we took our photo together, Suna Unnie told/ask me, “xie xie Philippine?” I didn’t understand what she was trying to say. Only after a number of video rewinds (luckily that moment was captured on video), I figured out she was trying to ask me how to say xie xie (Chinese of thank you) in Filipino/Tagalog. I hated myself for not understanding it right away. I hated myself because my Korean sucks then. Suna Unnie probably refrained from asking me how to say thank you in Filipino in Korean – because I may not be able to understand it. I hated myself because I missed the opportunity to make her speak in Filipino.

Then, one time in Facebook, she left a message with thank yous in different languages. I jokingly left a comment saying why there is no Filipino. (흑! 필리핀 말 왜 없어요 언니??? 농담이예요… ㅋㅋㅋ) She replied saying if I’ll teach her, she’ll write it (아!!필리핀말,,???음………………날 가르쳐줘봐요,,,,써서올리게.ㅎㅎ). So I taught her how and she edited her message the following day.

But now, hearing her say a Filipino word, is really really awesome! I never thought that another opportunity like that would come.

Then wennah called my attention, telling me that I left my bag outside the airport. Yeah, right!! My bag! As I’ve said, whenever Suna Unnie is around, my head is a mess. I left my bag with my wallet and my laptop… with everything on it. Good thing no one took it. I asked wennah to get it for me (ha! I’m such a bad friend!).

There is a long line at the airport. There were already a lot of people, plus the fact that the SOAW team were about 20. They lined up and we just stayed by her side. I told Suna Unnie“이렇게 미향해서 죄송합니다.” (Sorry for stalking you like this.) Because I really feel a bit bad and awkward. They went here for a vacation, not for a fan meeting. I also don’t want Suna Unnie to feel bad. But Suna Unnie said “괜찮는데… 놀랐어” (It’s alright… (in fact) I was surprised!) or something like that. What a relief! I really don’t want to upset Suna Unnie. I also told her (in my broken and erroneous Korean again!) that we also went to Imperial Palace but we were too late, and she said yes they stayed in Imperial Palace. OMONA!!! We talked in Korean again!!!! I really can’t believe it!!

She went to talk from one staff to the other, so I just stayed where I am standing. Then I thought, since they were all still waiting in line, it’s not too bad to ask for some autographs. After all, it’s not everyday that you’d get to meet and entire cast of a drama that you love.

So while Suna Unnie is busy talking with some of the staff, I went to Lee Dong Wook (who is diligently in line) and asked him “사인 주세요” (Please give me an autograph). And as he sign my notebook, he said (in Korean) “이름이 뭐예요?” (What’s your name?)

OMMAYA!!!!!!!! He asked for my name! Although I know it’s normal for actors to ask for your name if you’re asking for an autograph, but still, it’s Lee Dong Wook. Our Kang Ji Wook asked for my name! In Korean!!! I can now die!

I said “디.야.예요” (It’s Dia). Lee Dong Wook wrote my name then. In Korean. I really can die now!

After that, I said “감사합니다 본부장님” (Thank you bonboojangnim (general manager)). Lee Dong Wook flashed me a smile. The nearby staff who heard me laughed. Actually until this very day, his voice is still resounding on my head… Ireumi mwoyeyo? Ireumi mwoyeyo? It’s making my heart flutter! And I can still remember vividly the smile that he flashed.

Oh! Seriously! I can die now!

Afterwards I asked for Eom Ki Joon’s autograph who was in line just behind Lee Dong Wook.

It would have been wonderful if I had addressed him as 똥석 선생님 Dr. Poopie Seok, but I guess I was still stunned by LDW’s voice and smile that my brain stopped working (again!) and didn’t get to act cute (!!!) in front of EKJ. 😦

Maybe because the line is still long, the four of them along with a few staff, decided to go out for a bit of fresh air. We followed them. And as they walk past the line of other passengers, Korean girls swoon over Lee Dong Wook one by one. We heard different versions of OMOs as Lee Dong Wook passed by. It was fun! ^^

I guess they weren’t recognized much by people in Cebu. Filipinos won’t recognize them. Since there are a lot of Koreans and Korean tourist in Cebu, Filipinos won’t take a second look at them. Lee Dong Wook is famous because of “My Girl” but he looks a bit different now and My Girl was such a long time ago. Only those who are really into Korean dramas would’ve recognize him. But since he is handsome, he can get some attention. I remember seeing a twitter post from a Filipino who saw him in Imperial Palace who took a picture of him but can’t even recognize who he was (Really now!!!!!!!!!!!!). Suna Unnie on the other hand…. more than her, it was Kim Sam Soon who’s more famous here. Kim Sam Soon is very famous here that every Filipino probably knows her. Even though MNIKSS has been a long time ago, Filipinos still remember Kim Sam Soon well. So more than Seol Kong Chan (LDW’s My Girl character) Kim Sam Soon is more famous. But Kim Sun Ah looks very different from Kim Sam Soon so no one would recognize her. (My mom even joked that even if we tell everyone that it was Kim Sam Soon, people will never believe us)

For Koreans, maybe because there are a lot of other Koreans, they also wouldn’t take a second look at other Koreans. And they don’t act like some kind of superstars. They dress and act like an average Korean.

When they were going back to the airport, I asked Suna Unnie to sign a couple of autographs for other Filipino fans. I actually feel bad having to ask her more favors, but I also feel for her other fans who would love to have her autograph.

I just wrote their names and let Suna Unnie sign. I was wondering why it’s taking Suna Unnie a long time to sign two autographs. I later found out that she re-wrote the names of the fans on her own handwriting. Wow! Our Suna Unnie is really great! And isn’t that sweet?

We just stand somewhere near them in the airport and waited until they get to enter. When Suna Unnie was about to get inside, we told her “미리 생일 축하해요” (Advanced Happy Birthday) and she thanked us. On her way to the door, I called out to her and said “언니 잘 가세요!” (Unnie, go well / have a safe trip) and she smiled and waved back. Then a Korea ahjussi on the line muttered, “Unnie?”

😀 😀 Why ahjussi? You can’t believe it? (well me neither!)

Then I went nearer the door and again bid Suna Unnie goodbye, this time in English. She again smiled beautifully and waved at us.

We watched them as their things were being checked. Seo Hyo Rim was standing behind the glass panel in front of me. Our eyes met and I smiled at her and I bow. She smiled back sweetly. She seems like a very nice sweet girl, very far from our Se Kyung. I also love how she is so close to Suna Unnie. She is tagging along Suna Unnie like a little sister. She is always beside Suna Unnie all the time.

Funny thing, when it was Suna Unnie’s turn to enter, she was holding her cellphone, so the detector beeped. She went back, put her phone on the conveyor belt for the scanner (without even putting it on a tray) and re-entered.

Then they were gone.

And I can’t believe that we met them. Until today, I still can’t believe it.

[세부에서생긴일] Part 4 of 7: I just want to give up!

We arrived at the airport a few minutes past 4PM. The taxi driver, maybe because we declined to give him a big tip, told us that flights to Korea are only at 4PM and mornings. If what he said was true, then it’s not impossible that they have boarded the 4PM flight, if they left the hotel at 2PM.

They could’ve left already.

THEY COULD’VE LEFT ALREADY!

We sat in an airport restaurant and we tried and tried and tried to think and sort things out.

We almost found them. But we missed it. And we are back to square one. We don’t know where they are. We don’t know which flight they are going to take. We don’t know when will their flight be. We don’t even know if they are still in Cebu.

Then Lee Dong Wook posted in me2day.

If these photos were taken real-time, there is no way that they can be in the airport ahead of us. If these were taken earlier and were just uploaded by Lee Dong Wook, we can only be sure that they are not on the plane yet since he can still use the internet on his phone. But they could be inside the boarding area.

We tried looking for flight schedules from Cebu to Korea in the internet. Maybe since Cebu is very popular among Koreans and there are a lot of Koreans residing in Cebu now, there were LOTS of flights from Cebu to Korea. Almost every 30 minutes. How on earth can we know which among those dozens of flight they are going to take? We don’t even know which airline they are taking (though we were guessing it’s Korean Air or Asiana).

Unfortunately the flight monitor in the airport was also broken (Murphy’s Law!!!!). So there’s no way that we can monitor the flights schedules in the airport. We have no other option but to wait. Wait and wait and wait…

And waiting certainly is very difficult. Especially if you are waiting for nothing.

There were 3 possibilities. (1) They could’ve left already. (2) Their flight will be that night. Or (3) their flight will the following day. And I was dreading the last one. If they already left, then it’s too bad we missed them but at least we tried. If they will leave that night, then lucky us, we’ll get to see them. But if they will leave the following day, I don’t think I have the energy to wait for them the entire day in the airport. I am already very tired, physically and emotionally. And wennah have to leave early the following morning, so if it’s the last one, I’ll have to wait for them alone in the airport.

We gathered and analyzed all the information we received. I even made a chart and tallied them on a paper (nerdy me!).

Articles says:
The left for Cebu – 15th
They’ll be back – 19th
3Nights 5 Days

I thought at first that 3nights 5 days is kinda weird. I showed it to my Korean friend and she says it’s not weird. She had a difficult time explaining it to me, but she said there’s a “null night” or something in which you won’t do anything on that night.

Someone said their shuttle left at 3pm and probably went to a shopping mall.
Someone said they checked out at 2pm and we can still try catching them at the airport for their night flight.

We believed the second person.

On the cab, the driver said there are only 2 flights to Korea. 4:00pm and 1:00pm.

We thought that if they left at 2pm, they might not have gone to the shopping mall and may have caught the 4pm flight. We were too late then because we arrived at the airport a few minutes past 4:00pm.

But we were told TONIGHT. Not this afternoon.

We tried figuring out the 3nights 5 days first. They left on the 15th and although the flight is at 8pm, they were at the airport at 5pm and probably have not worked the entire day to prepare for the trip (1 DAY), they arrived 15th night in Cebu (1NIGHT), 16th they spent a day in Cebu (2 DAY), 16th they spent a night (2 NIGHT), 17th they spent another day in Cebu (3DAY) and another night (3NIGHT), then 18th they spent another day in cebu (4DAY), but checked out at 2 in the afternoon. They can go to the airport then on the same day 18th and take the night flight, but since they won’t spend the night in Cebu, it may not be counted as 4NIGHT. But if they leave on a late flight on the 18th, they will arrive in Korea by the 19th and would probably spent a day resting (5DAY). Thus the missing night.

With the 3 possibilities we came up with, for number 1 the supporting claims were:
– they left at 2pm in the hotel
– what the cab driver said (but cab driver lied about the flights. we checked and there were lots of flights to Korea that night)
TOTAL +1

For number 2 the supporting claims were:
– 3N5D makes sense now
– they can still arrive in Korea on the 19th, if they take a flight from 8pm onwards (we are an hour behind and the travel time is 3.5hrs)
– the helpful someone looks very sincere when he told us their flight is tonight (TONIGHT and not this afternoon.
– someone from the airport said that there are still flights to Korea at 1:20ish am.
– their me2day post showing them playing on the seaside (about 30mins before me and wenna was in the airport – so there’s no way that they’ve beaten us to the airport. me2day, most of the time, are real time photos. me2day means what is “me” doing “today”, thus me2day.
– they could have checked out, then went to a shopping mall, had dinner, then go to the airport. if they are going somewhere else to tour and will take a flight on the 19th, then they shouldn’t have checked out yet.

TOTAL +6

For number 3 the supporting claims were:
– 19 is what the news said (on second thought the news said they will be back in Korea by the 19th – not they will leave cebu by the 19th)
– they could have gone on a different trip, maybe Bohol and will stay there for a day.. or Manila
– the someone who told us they’ll have the flight tonight is lying and misleading us instead. (but he looks really sincere)

TOTAL +2

We just hold onto the fact that there is a higher probability that they will leave that night.

Then at 8PM we realized that not all flights to Korea are direct flights!!! We had been staying at the International departure area all those time. But if they took a flight with a connecting flight to Manila, then they will be at the Domestic departure. My heart sank with the possibility that we might have missed them (yet again!). But Wenna said it’s impossible that we missed them because we have been looking at every coaster and vans that are passing by. Any vehicle going to the Domestic departure area will have to pass by in front of the International Departure area anyway.

Since we have to monitor 2 areas, I decided to ask the airport staff regarding international flight schedules. She told us that the next set of direct flights to Korea will be around 1:20AM.

So we decided to go out and check the Domestic departures. We found in the internet that there are also several flight to Korea with a connecting flight to Manila during those hours. Afraid not to miss those who will be coming to the International departure too (since what the airport staff told us may not be accurate), we decided to just wait outside the airport, near the International departure.

We found some seats on the sidewalk. We sat there for hours. We check the internet once in a while. And me and wennah were able to talk about almost everything that we can talk about. And we continued waiting, waiting and waiting…

I often lose my temper too for no reason. And tears have found their way in my eyes (but I didn’t show it to Wenna). I was not crying because we might not see them. I knew it right from the start. Nothing is sure about our trip in Cebu. We even went there without any plans, right? If we can meet them, then good. If not, then it’s ok.

I was crying because I hate myself. We almost met them. The first time we were in Imperial Palace, they were probably just inside. If only we checked-in then we could’ve found them on our first day in Cebu. Or if only we waited a bit longer in the lobby that day we could’ve found them (since we were told that they went out Saturday night for a drink). If only we didn’t change plans, we could’ve found them (since we were planning to be at Imperial Palace lobby from 12noon and only check in by 3pm, we could definitely see them as they check out at 2pm). Or if only we left Plantation Bay a little bit earlier, we could’ve found them (if we only arrived at Imperial Palace before 2pm). If only we asked around earlier we could’ve found them… If only… if only…

Even if we were not doing anything and just sitting, I feel that it was the most difficult time. We were both very tired too. How much longer should we wait? We don’t know. Will they still come? We also don’t know.

That time I really really really wanted to give up. If only I have money then, I would really hop on the next flight back to Manila, go home, and lie down on my bed.

However, fellow fans from everywhere continue to cheer us up. DC, Facebook, me2day, soompi. Also fellow Filipino fans too keep sending us cheer-up and encouraging text messages.

So I held on.

We have almost memorized all the coasters and vans from different hotels, resorts and tour groups since we look at every vehicle that stops by. And strangely, none of them looks the same with the coaster they are riding one on their photos. There was even a time when I stood side by side a van, holding my netbook up and comparing the seat covers on their me2day uploaded photos to the van’s seat.

Are they really riding a coaster? Could it be a van?

At around 11pm, a certain giant bus appeared and stopped right in front of us. And the seats on the bus were EXACTLY THE SAME as the seats on the photos they posted in me2day. My heart started beating fast! Automatically, our eyes darted to the last couple of seats at the rear of the bus.

And we saw Eom Ki Joon. It’s THEM! It really is THEM!!! 

[세부에서생긴일] Part 3 of 7: We found them!

2011.09.18

I woke up early the following morning. I was planning to prepare for my exam. But that morning, I heard of a different news.

I left messages on soompi on facebook, and also on other Korean websites. I received messages from Korean fans in my me2day and at DC Inside. They were telling me that the SOAW team were sighted at Plantation Bay resort by a Korean. And they were telling me it’s 100% sure. Those who told me were actually long time Korean friends too. But I think they got the information from that certain Korean who posted on his/her twitter that he/she saw them at Plantation Bay.

Since they said they were 100% sure, I got excited… over-excited perhaps. Thus we changed our plans and went to Plantation Bay instead.

A BIG MISTAKE! But of course, we didn’t know it then.

Actually we weren’t allowed to go in at first. There is an event and there are some areas that are closed, so they said we won’t get our money’s worth. We should’ve taken it as a sign that they are not there. But we insisted. So they let us in.

For the same reasons (afraid of being chased-out and “eyed-on”), we didn’t tell the hotel staff that we are looking for the SOAW team. We just checked-in. We arrived there at around 11:00am. And we have until 5PM to look for them.

Plantation Bay is beautiful, isn’t it? (too bad, since we have lots of worries, we didn’t really get to enjoy the place. 😦 )

We went around and around and around the resort. Wennah had a good idea the night before. While we were walking around, she played the SOAW OST on her phone. She said if someone hears it and looks at us, then they could be from the SOAW staff. So it was fun. It actaully feels like we were Lee Yeon Jae vacationing in Okinawa (especially when You and I and Blue Bird plays while we were walking around the resort).

After walking and walking and more walking, we still didn’t find them. Maybe they were inside their rooms? Or maybe they went out? We then started asking other Korean guests (in Korean!) if they happen to see or notice Suna Unnie or Lee Dong Wook (I was a bit uneasy at first because I’m so bad in speaking Korean, but after a few tries I became more comfortable. I think that if I moved to Cebu, my Korean will improve so much!). But everyone says they didn’t. In fact they were surprised with our “news”.

When we got tired of circling the resort multiple times and asking Korean guests, so we finally decided to ask the Korean hotel staff (There’s one Korean staff that takes care of Korean guests). We talked to her in Korean (Wennah’s Korean is so much better than mine! I’m envious! ㅋㅋㅋ). And she said they didn’t check-in in Plantation Bay. Of course she could be lying for confidentiality and privacy of their guests, but she looks really sincere when she said they didn’t check-in there. In fact she looks surprised, especially when we mentioned Lee Dong Wook. She even immediately and excited turned the computer to check if Lee Dong Wook indeed checked-in (seems like we met a fan girl!).

We went back inside as our hearts sank. But since we already spent money to get in that resort, we decided to just enjoy the place until 5 PM as we think of other plans. The place was really nice anyway and the food is simply great! But how can we enjoy if there are lots of thoughts are bugging us.

They could really be in Imperial Palace then.

We called our friend once again to see if we can confirm if they are still in Imperial Palace. We can’t afford to make any more mistakes since we are also running out of money . She simply said that that’s what her friend told her – that they are in Imperial Palace.

We didn’t know what to do next.

And coincidentally AGAIN! Suna Unnie appeared on me2day.

Although she didn’t say anything about their exact location, we were somehow reminded that they could be just anywhere around us… somewhere… near.

A photo inside a coaster… hmm… they could be going somewhere… Maybe a city tour. But what if they were to go to a different place or province or island (Bohol perhaps)? What to do? And worst, what if they are going to the airport already? Although the news said they’ll return to Korea by the 19th, the news could be wrong… or it can change.

Eom Ki Joon too posted and uploaded a photo on his me2day. And Suna Unnie again posted a photo.

We’re lucky to have our netbooks with us and to be able to access the internet.

They seems like playing. They didn’t post in me2day during their entire stay in Cebu. The last time any of them posted in me2day was Lee Dong Wook’s “Setting off to Cebu” post. And that was on the airport on the way to Cebu. Could it be… that they are on the way to the airport too?

Although we can never tell that the photos were “real-time” photos (like it could be taken earlier… or a few days ago and they were just posting them that time or something like that), we have a feeling that they were real-time. And the more we realized we must not waste time.

We didn’t wait until 5pm anymore and immediately left Plantation bay and went straight to Imperial Palace. Although we want to check-in to Imperial Place, we actually don’t have enough money to do that anymore. We only have enough for one of us to check-in. So, we decided to ask around first, before we spend our last money.

We approached the reservation staff. A Filipina. We inquired first about their packages but we later on explained to them the situation – truthfully and in details. We told them that one of us will really check-in, but we just wanted to know if we are really in the right place this time. So we asked them if they saw them. It seems like they were impressed with us going all the way from Manila to Cebu just to meet those actors. We said we have no intentions to bother them. We know that they went to Cebu to rest. We just want to see them even for a brief moment.

And she, along with her two other colleagues confirmed they saw them. They said they saw Seo Hyo Rim… and maybe Lee Dong Wook… and probably Suna Unnie too. We actually have some photos of them that we showed to them as we asked if they have seen them (the official poster – the one that have all four of them). It’s actually difficult for Filipinos to recognize them. To Filipinos’ eyes, all Korean look alike ㅋㅋㅋ. And since it’s a hotel with lots of Korean guests, having a group of Koreans around is nothing new.

They asked us to write down the names of the people we were looking for and they’ll try to find them on the guest list. We wrote down Kim Sun Ah, Lee Dong Wook, the writer and the director’s name. But they didn’t find them. First, it’s difficult to know how they actually input their names on the registration. Surname first? And how did they romanize their names? Second, they mustn’t have registered with Lee Dong Wook nor Kim Sun Ah’s name on it.

One of the three lovely ladies’ boss is a Korean, who is probably in charge for reservations of Korean guests. She told us to wait as she talk to her boss. After a few minutes her boss went out and we saw her talking to him. I noticed him signalling her assistant with a nod – probably telling her it’s ok to reveal information to us. At that moment, he has become our Daddy Long Legs.

He went to us and we greeted him and we explained to him, briefly (in Korean – somehow we feel that even if they are definitely good in English, if we talk to them in Korean they will trust us more, and I think it worked. though we didn’t really plan to talk to them in Korean, me and wennah are just used to talking to Koreans in Korean, so it was kinda automatic), why we were there. We showed him their photos and he confirmed he definitely saw Seo Hyo Rim, Lee Dong Wook and Kim Sun Ah. But not Eom Ki Joon.

Interesting though, all of them easily recognized Seo Hyo Rim right away. Maybe because she looks pretty and a bit different from the average Korean girl. Some recognized Lee Dong Wook, maybe because he is really handsome *^^*. They said it seems like they saw Suna Unnie too. And no one has ever confirmed that they saw Eom Ki Joon – maybe because his looks as Dr. Poopie Seok in SOAW is really different from how he looks right now.

Finally!!! We found them!!!! And they were indeed at Imperial Palace!!!

But we were told that it seems like they’ve gone out and they are not sure when they are coming back. But of course it doesn’t matter to us what time they will come back. As long as they haven’t checked out, we can wait for them even if it takes us all night long. We asked him if it’s ok for us to just wait in the lobby until they return to the hotel.

But the hotel staff were really nice. They said, why don’t we look around INSIDE the resort. They gave us a free pass!!! So we were able to go inside the beautiful resort. But we weren’t able to look around for a long time. And we weren’t even able to take any photos inside (too bad!).

Since it’s going to be Suna Unnie’s birthday, I wanted to buy a cake for her. So we just went inside and walked for like a minute then we looked around for a pastry shop and we found one in the lobby. While we were choosing a cake, we were our Daddy Long Legs approached us and told us that he is sorry to tell us that he just found out, from the front desk, that the SOAW has CHECKED OUT already at around 2PM!

Oh no!!! What to do? What to do?

He made a quick phone call, then he told us that we can try catching them at the airport for their evening flight though.

So without second thoughts, we hailed a cab and rushed to the airport.