Thanks to Unnie Lyd and Liz for this great fan account! Rather long, but.... super inspiring to read!
DAY 1 of their Kim Hyun Joong Journey to Korea!
By: Lyd & Liz Pedernal
More than a year ago on June 18, 2010, we were fortunate to have attended Kim Hyun Joong’s “Meet and Greet” here in the Philippines at the Crowne Plaza and his charity concert at the Araneta Coliseum on the 19th. It was quite an experience for us, a REAL treat (an experience that needs another fan account). Who would have thought that we will celebrate our “1 year anniversary” as KHJ fans in Seoul?
When KeyEast announced that Hyun Joong was going to hold a Showcase for his comeback album, Breakdown, on June 7 and it was going to be for free, we took the opportunity to send in our application. You guys cannot believe how chaotic it was sending in 2 applications just to meet the 12nn KST deadline. And they are going to accept only the 1st 1,600 applicants. You also probably know that from previous events, online registration for anything (fanmeets, etc) about KHJ or SS501 members for that matter will be gone in minutes. We were expecting our acceptance within the day or the next day at the latest. As of that time, May 26, we still do not have a Korean Visa but we already inquired about the requirements to have one. On May 31, an officemate who’ve been to Korea just last March informed us that it will take five (5) working days for a Korean visa to be processed. On the morning of June 1, 2010, we were both resigned of not being able to go because of time constraints. Anyways, our original plan was to go there when SS501 makes their group comeback, whenever that maybe. And because of his popularity in Asia, meeting KHJ again is really possible. Lo and behold, at exactly 1:00pm that same day, we both received an email from KeyEast/Henecia, our Invitation to attend the Showcase. To cut the long story short, we were not able to attend the Showcase because our Visa was released only on June 9. But we still decided to push through with our trip the next weekend.
On June 16, on the way to the airport, I, Lyd, received twits that Leader won at Mnet Countdown. We both couldn’t contain our excitement because it was what Hyun Joong and we Henecians were waiting for. Equally exciting is fellow SS501 member and friend Heo Young Saeng was there with him on stage! An added treat for us, both SS501 fan. We both came from the office so we arrived early. Had our pasta dinner at Pancake House before checking-in. Both our phones were out of batteries so we had to charge them while waiting for our 1:15am flight. Got our updates and contemplating if it will be possible for us to attend Music Bank, the day of our arrival in Seoul. Time was spent twitting people asking how to get into the Music shows.
On June 17 at exactly 5:45am KST, our Cebu Pacific flight touched down at Incheon International Airport. WOW! We only read about Incheon, Gimpo airports in the internet and see them on YouTube. We never imagined setting foot on Incheon airport this soon.
Before we could get going with our “watch KHJ trip”, we had so many things to do first, check-in and get rid of our bags, call home, call friends in Seoul and most important, ask for directions to KBS, MBC and SBS. Since there will be a fansign event on June 19, we have to buy CDs (AGAIN!) at Hottracks in Times Square, which we also need to locate.
After doing the first three on our to-do list, now armed with the map of the Korea Train System (whatever they may call it), we set off to find the MBC Studio in a place called Yeouido. We learned that MBC has 2 offices, one there in Yeouido and another one at Ilsan, called the MBC Dream Center where all the entertainment shows was held.
MBC Building in Yeouido
MBC Dream Center in Ilsan
We were back to square one. We don’t know how to get to Ilsan. We hopped on the next train that will bring us to the venue of the fansign event, Times Square Mall. We had our late lunch at Pizza Hut across Lotte department store and then walked to Times Square. Got 3 CDs, 2 for the both of us and another for Tita Lina, a friend from the Philippines living with her daughter’s family in Korea. We dropped our stubs and hoped to get picked during the lucky draw. Having no decent sleep in the last 24 hours, we had to go home and get some needed rest. We have our “work” cut out for us in the next 2 days. And we also have to catch the Music Bank broadcast. But alas, when we were walking from the Myeongdong Station, there was this store that sold K-pop items and we were like, WHOAH! Kids inside a toy store. And to top it all, KHJ’s Breakdown album was being played. Stuffs you only see during Kpop conventions here in Manila were all around the place. Stickers, posters, lightsticks, CDs, DVDs, photobooks, notebooks, playing cards. You name it, they have it. You can just imagine how excited we were to be there. But we had to hurry because of Music Bank. It was such a long day that we were both dead tired when we arrived. Watching KHJ perform Breakdown and him winning Music Bank capped our 1st day in Seoul. HYS was also there, his goodbye stage for “Let It Go”. I’m (Lyd) a big HyunSaeng fan. So you can just imagine how ecstatic I was when Leader prompted YS to stay beside him on stage when the winner was going to be announced.
Big thanks to a friend whom we “met” only thru FB and introduced to us by a good friend from Manila (who is also a big HJ fan), we got directions to go the MBC Dream Center. His win at the Music Bank made us even more excited. We are in Seoul and we are going to see him perform live the next day.
(To be continued....)