Last Saturday, I went to the bar with my husband. When I have nothing to do in the house, I usually go with him to his workplace. It was a weekend, so there were so many customers. It was getting crowded in the bar, so I thought of staying in the kitchen to call my Mom. After a while, my husband came looking for me, and told me to go back to the bar and see Jumong. There’s a big flat screen TV in the bar, so I thought he was asking me to watch the Korean drama, “Jumong” (주몽), but later he told me that it was Song Il Guk he was referring to, the actor. I got excited to see him, because I have watched him in a few episodes of “Jumong”. The historical drama “Jumong” became quite popular in the Philippines. The story is about the life of Jumong Taewang, founding monarch of the kingdom of Goguryeo. Before I came to Korea, my family in the Philippines was getting crazy about this Korean drama which was dubbed in Filipino. In fact, my cousin Barry even copied Jumong’s hairstyle, so my husband and our Korean friend Chan call him “Jumong”.
I was told that Korean celebrities don’t like signing autographs or having their pictures taken when they are in public places, but I wanted to give my Cousin Barry a snapshot of his idol, so when Song Il Guk finished drinking and he went to the cashier to pay for their bill, I came up to him, greeted him and asked if it was all right to pose for a picture with him. I thought he would refuse, because he looked a bit confused, but my husband translated in Korean what I told him in English. Song Il Guk smiled and said it was okay… so here’s the photo. ^^
Isn’t he handsome? My sister-in-law is a tall woman, but posing next to Song Il Guk, she looks shorter… ㅋㅋㅋ. He’s a really tall guy. With my husband’s help, I told him how popular “Jumong” has become in my country. He said thank you and asked where I’m from. We thought nobody recognized him except us, or maybe the other customers were too drunk to know that Song Il Guk was there, but just as we were saying goodbye, one of the customers in the bar approached him, congratulated him and shook hands with him. I’m not gaga over celebrities, but I was happy that night I met one of the friendlier ones here in Korea.
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- My First Pojang Macha Experience in Nandaemun (runawaymaria.com)
- Glocalization of the Korean popular culture in East Asia: Theorizing the Korean Wave (udini.proquest.com)
- Harlem Students Gets Chance to Learn Korean Skills (harlemworldmag.com)
- Gangnam Style: “Nobody knows what it means.” UC Berkeley Prof (cynicalkpop.wordpress.com)
- It’s Not Like on TV: “80% of Korean Men Without a Car and Home of Their Own Never Find Love” (en.rocketnews24.com)