In the middle of the Kanlungan ng Sining Garden (Artist’s Haven), Rizal Park in the Philippines capital of Manila, a Sapphire Blue bench sits inside the Super Junior Garden, a pocket garden measuring approximately 10 sq.m. built by ELFs (Everlasting Friends, Super Junior’s fandom), to celebrate the K-pop group’s 18th anniversary.
SJ Events Ph, the group that spearheaded the fan project, said they encourage everyone to use the bench when they visit the garden. It symbolizes Super Junior, whom ELFs consider their strength and comfort. A place where they can rest whenever they feel tired and weary.
The park, named after Dr. Jose Rizal, the country’s national hero, is rich in culture and history. It is the perfect location for a pocket garden named after a group with immense contributions to K-pop history.
According to SJ Events PH, the plan to adopt an area of the park and convert it into a pocket garden began in July 2023 after the Super Junior fan party in Manila. Previously, they have conducted donation drives and fan projects for good causes such as animal welfare and anti-bullying initiatives.
They decided on an eco-friendly project by creating green spaces in Metro Manila where people can relax and meditate. Furthermore, they also hope the project can inspire other fandoms.
A donation drive began and a call for volunteers were spearheaded by the group. The construction of the garden happened on Nov. 5, a day before Super Junior’s 18th anniversary. The National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) took over the management and maintenance of the garden on Nov. 11 in an official turnover ceremony.
GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE
Surprisingly, the concept for Super Junior’s 2024 Season’s Greetings shared on their social media accounts on Oct. 24, showed Leeteuk, Heechul, Yesung, Shindong, Eunhyuk, Siwon, Donghae, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun in Plantito-inspired costumes.
In addition, on Nov. 17, Donghae uploaded a photo on his Instagram account, of old but majestic trees that appear to have withstood many seasons yet continue to exude dignity and wisdom. He captioned it with a profound quote from American novelist Chuck Palahniuk: “The goal isn’t to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.”
Maybe it’s a coincidence or perhaps a reminder. Great things take time. Building a garden needs patience and commitment. But, more importantly, everyone needs to do what they can to make the world a better place.
Super Junior began as little seedlings, but they persevered, and with the love and support of those who believed in them, they bloomed and grew into a lovely garden where ELFs can find joy and healing.
The Super Junior Garden is open to the public and searchable on Google Maps. For other activities, those interested may get in touch with the NPDC.
Follow Super K on Facebook and Inquirer Super on Instagram and X app for more updated news and events.