K-pop, K-drama, merch and ice cream in quarantine

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MANY upper middle class and middle class Filipinos have found comfort in two things—K-pop and/or K-drama and ordering food—in quarantine.

As far as I know, the first K-pop concert took place in the Philippines in 2010. Someone told me this wasn’t the case  since SHINee (minus member Taemin) had been here a year before that. But it was for the Korean Cultural Festival, which wasn’t technically a concert.

Since then, K-pop has become part of the Philippine entertainment scene, particularly at this time when many people are just home and waiting for the pandemic to be over or the vaccine for Covid-19 to be developed, whichever comes first.

Globe Kmmunity PH started out as a Facebook community group for Globe’s K-pop concert goers. If you don’t know yet, Globe Telecom has sponsored many K-pop concerts for years. The Facebook group has since evolved into a platform where fans of Korean culture can mingle with each other and share their love for all things Korean. The Facebook group also shares exclusive members-only perks.

Here is more good news for those who are part of this community: Globe Kmmunity PH is expanding its content with new and exciting channels and partners. “Globe Kmmunity PH is excited to have more K-fans be part of our growing community, where they can enjoy exclusive perks and gain new friends. Likewise, members will also be able to access more quality content from their favorite K-idols with our amazing new content partners, such as VLive, Viki and DIVE Studios,” said Globe Vice President for Get Entertained Tribe Jil Bausa- Go.

Social media and messaging channels will have exclusive content for fans to enjoy:

  • Twitter. The official “KCulture Stan” account that posts about the latest and trending topics on anything about Korean culture
  • Shopee. The marketplace for exclusive merchandise, deals and experiences from Globe and its partners
  • Viber. A community that aims to organize exchange of limited-edition Korean culture items among members
  • YouTube. Exclusive video content on Korean music, drama, beauty, food and travel
  • VLive. Exclusive events, fanship experiences and content featuring Korean idols. Note: Singers and members of boy and girl groups are called “idols” in Korea
  • Kmmunity PH partners. Globe Kmmunity PH is also introducing new content with exclusive global platform partnerships to bring Korean culture closer to Hallyu fans.

The company recently teamed up with VLive, the No. 1 South Korean live video streaming service. Globe is VLive’s first telecommunications company partner in Southeast Asia. Under the partnership, both companies will provide exclusive K-pop idol content to millions of Globe subscribers in the Philippines.

Aside from live concerts and music videos, VLive also showcases personalized idol livestreams and even allows fans the opportunity to interact with them through chat.

Globe Kmmunity PH is also the first and exclusive Southeast Asia telecommunications partner of Viki, an on-demand video streaming app. Viki has a rich library of Korean dramas including certified global hits, such as Fight for My Way and Suspicious Partner, as well as a wide selection of other Asian content.

To further strengthen its content, Kmmunity PH is also engaging DIVE Studios, a podcast production network with  studios in Seoul and Los Angeles. DIVE creates content for international K-pop fans and features artists like Eric Nam, Tablo of hip-hop group Epik High, Jae of the group Day6 and Jamie Park.

“Globe Kmmunity PH is the first community to unite Korean culture  fans in the Philippines. It has been bringing the best K-culture content and K-idols closer to Filipino fans since 2015,” said Globe Vice President for Strategic Platforms and Partnerships Coco Domingo.  Because we’re not going to any live concerts or fan meetings in the near future, joining Kmmunity PH is the next best thing. Even if you’re not much into interacting with others on social-media platforms, you can get news and updates about your favorites here.

A Korean drama that has kept a lot of people entertained was the recently-concluded It’s Okay Not to Be Okay. I’d describe it as the journey of three people who are all mentally and emotionally scarred toward healing. This is one of the few times that a mainstream Korean drama has tackled mental illness face on.

If there’s one thing that makes Korean entertainment unique, it’s the merch. In It’s Okay Not to Be Okay, actress Seo Ye-ji plays book author Ko Moon-young so, of course, some of the merch includes books that the character wrote in the drama. Pop Market (bit.ly/3iAtPnp) has a bundle set for all five books for P4,200 on a preorder basis. You can also get Mang Tae and Teary Key Rings, or the special Story Illustrator Package to complete your It’s Okay Not to Be Okay collection. I actually want the dinosaur key ring.

Now onto food. One of the things I miss doing is having bubble tea or a yogurt drink at Black Scoop Cafe in Maginhawa Street or SM City North Edsa after work with my daughter. With the quarantine and all that’s happening, this is something I haven’t done in a while. So we recently ordered some drinks and food (their chicken wings are quite good) via Lalamove. You can also order Black Scoop from Foodpanda and Grab Food. If you live far from a Black Scoop Cafe, you can order using Grab Pabili or Lalamove’s Pabili Service. 

We discovered Black Scoop’s Pints-To-Go collection in Okinawa Brown Sugar with Pearl, Black Mascarpone with Graham, and Halo Halo Surprise. My favorite is Halo Halo Surprise because it really tastes like halo-halo.

We had a feast at home that night with our sandwiches, chicken wings, drinks and ice cream from Black Scoop Cafe. We’re still dreaming of the day when we can go there and enjoy the things we love but for now, we’re lucky and privileged to be able to stay at home.

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