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Filipinos’ loyalty moves Kim Seon-ho to tears

Kim Seon-ho in Manila

The screams were deafening when Kim Seon-ho entered the stage of the Mall of Asia Arena last Sunday. It was the only way the fans could express how much they wanted to see him after waiting for so long.

That long wait is different for every fan who was there.

Some became fans of the South Korean actor when he played the good boy Han Ji-pyeong in “Start-Up” in 2020; others fell in love with him in the healing drama “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” in 2021. Some took notice of him when he became one of the funniest members of the variety show “2 Days & 1 Night.”

He drew an overwhelming crowd of 10,000 fans to the venue—the biggest audience in any of the fan meets that he would hold in his “One, Two, Three Smile” Asian tour. His fans made it clear: If there was any place in the world that he could claim as his stronghold, it would have to be the Philippines.

The Manila leg of the show was promoted by Pulp Live World and Happee Hour.

Photos by Bunny Javier

He came out looking very handsome, showing off his bedimpled cheeks and megawatt smile that made fancam holders weak in the knees. Some of his fans said that he only needed to do that for the entire two hours of the show and they would be happy. But he didn’t do just that.

The prepared activities had him interacting with the fans for most of the show. But he probably didn’t expect that Pinoy Seonhohada—what the fans call themselves—would also make him laugh.

Wedding dresses and tumblers

He got the shock of his life when the first fan to come up on stage to reenact a scene with him wore a wedding dress, complete with a bouquet. Kim couldn’t resist laughing, appreciating the effort. He was rendered speechless.

He met another fan wearing a wedding dress. Kim had to play the staring game with her. This was one of the highlights of the night.

When the game started, the host Kring Kim told her to do some actions that would charm the actor. She gamely followed. She looked at the actor seductively, putting a finger on her mouth, and moving her shoulders cutely. It reduced him to another fit of laughter, he covered half of his face as he recovered.

Seon-ho Pinoy

One of the games had him jumping ropes with his fans, too. Earlier, Kim said that he exercised every day in preparation for the fan meet. But he was short of breath after this game, making him drink from a black Stanley tumbler.

The tumbler is now sold out in online stores in the country. There are even fans ordering the same tumbler from abroad. Even the

black Sharpie that he used to draw on a white baseball cap was sold out after the show.

Another challenge had him say Filipino words such as “Manigong Bagong Taon,” “Masaya akong makita kayo,” “Pusuan kita/Pinusuan kita.”

His fans were evidently pleased when Kim chose pancit over other dishes such as calderata, lapu-lapu and sinigang.

“I heard that pancit is similar to Korea’s japchae,” he said. It was the first meal that he ate when he arrived in Manila.

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Fans, led by the host, started chanting pancit. Kim’s influence over them was pretty obvious because a few days after the event, the fans declared that they now prefer the noodle dish over anything else.

Kim sang two songs in the show. The first one was “Every Day, Every Moment” by Paul Kim, then “Reason.” He wrote the lyrics for the latter while Epitone Project produced the song. The love song goes, “My heart starts fluttering/Whenever I think of you.” It continues, “Even though I am not good enough/I want to show you all.”

When a fan came up on stage in a wedding dress, Kim Seon-ho was rendered speechless.

Fan project

The fans responded with their fan project. Their messages were projected on the screen, as the song “Here Always” by Seungmin of Stray Kids, from the original soundtrack of “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha,” played. Kim did his best to hold back his tears during the touching tribute.

“I promised myself that I won’t cry,” he said. He added that he was grateful for the messages. But what struck him, he said, was the fans’ promise. “I appreciate that you promised that even during hard times, you will always be there for me.”

To this, he responded by making his own: “I promise to be a good actor, a good person, and to always be here for you.”

This was what made Kim Seon-ho’s fan meet in the Philippines a memorable one. It was a give-and-take event. Kim gave as much as he took. He repaid the fans’ love with his own.

Afterward, he waved goodbye to all the fans seated in the VIP and lower box sections. He met their eyes and mimicked their actions, making the short interaction unique.

He was supposed to fly back home immediately after the fan meet and they were running late. Kim was seen signaling to his manager to calm down. He chose to stay longer for his fans.

This is why even days after, his fans still couldn’t get over Kim Seon-ho. And they don’t intend to.

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