Life of a K-Pop Fangirl

10:00 AM

What is K-Pop? 

The term is derived from Korean Pop Music or Korean Popular Music. It has been a cultural phenomenon through the years. It's a music genre originating from South Korea consisting of R&B music, electronic, hip-hop & pop. In addition to music, K-pop has grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults throughout Asia, resulting to the wide interest of Korean fashion and style of korean idol groups & singers.

Regine Dumlao, also known as Rin to all of her close friends, has been one of the first friends I have here in Manila. It's crazy how we became close because of our common love for K-pop. And later on we discovered, we had more in common than we thought. I only knew a few groups back then, Big Bang was my ultimate fandom. But when I met Rin, I was introduced to a lot of groups & music.

Rin is the first k-pop friends I know who's hobby is really through the life of the hallyu wave. This was just a fun idea me & my friends came up with since I dedicate the whole month of November to anything Korean. Then I thought what better example to show how influential Korea is, is through an interview of a life of a k-popper for 8 years!

Prior to my interview with Rin, I asked her this question first. 

Is there another word for K-poppers? 


HAHAHAHAH!! What does "Byuntae" means??

Byuntae = Pervert. So literally, Bloodsucking Pervert Fangirls.

So if you happen to be like Rin, read more of the nuisance and funny interview below!

Rin On K-pop (In General)

1. First off, Why k-pop?

Why not? (HAHA!) I don't know actually. It's kind of like the genre chose me. Because obviously I can't (but now I can!) understand the lyrics (mostly words and a few phrases) but I just got into it. It's like my friend told me when she started being a k-pop fan, "there's no escape".

2. When did you start loving k-pop? And what made you love it? 

I started loving this genre after getting to know more and more groups and that started in 2007. I love it because it's unique, different; the music videos have amazing story lines and choreography; the song itself -- basically everything about k-pop made me love it. It brought thrill to my semi-boring life (HAHA!)

3. How many years have you been into kpop?

This is my 8th year of being a k-pop fan

4. Can you explain what a "Bias" & a "Bias wrecker" is? 

Bias is like your most favorite person in that group. And when you have a bias you actually start doing your own homework (/tosses aside algebra/). You research on his/her profile, old photos (aka pre-debut photos) and if possible facebook account (not roleplayers or posers). EVERYTHING that you can find out about your bias, is your homework. 

A bias wrecker is the most annoying person you'll ever discover -- but at the same time he/she can be the most handsome/beautiful person you'll ever see and it will make you wonder why he/she isn't your bias. A bias wrecker is not literally wrecking your bias, but kind of like this person can make you change your mind about your original bias. And I have more than one bias wrecker (HAHAHA.)

5. So then, who is your ultimate bias? 

Kwon Jiyong aka GD, GUDO, GDRAGON, KwonJi, my one and only, my forever -- of Big Bang.

6. How many groups are you following right now?

40? 41? No escape!!!

7. What does "multi-fandom" mean?

Literally from the word "multiple". Different groups. This means you don't just belong to one fandom (unlike in Korea. 1:1) you belong to multiple fandoms. Which also means, frequent money loss from your wallet. 

8.  What is your top 3 ultimate fandoms? 

Big Bang, 2NE1 --

9. I know you do k-pop dance covers, can you explain what is a cover group is?  

Kind of like a crew but we dance to K-POP songs, we bite (kind of like copy) their choreography and it's either we do a video cover or we perform it live on k-pop events. And cover group members depend on which k-pop group you'll be covering.

10. Are you a proud k-popper?

YES! No shame.

Dealing with people (From haters, family & friends)

1. So when you meet new friends, do you naturally tell them you're a k-popper? Or you just keep it lowkey?

It depends on where I am. Like if I'm in an event for K-POP then it'll just flow from there. But when I'm outside, I don't naturally tell them. I sorta let them figure out that I'm into k-pop because I'm not really the type of person to say something like, "Hey! I'm a k-pop fan! Are you a k-pop fan? Let's be friends!" The person who you're talking to might find you weird, especially if that person isn't into the genre.

2. Do you encounter people who looks down on k-pop? How do you deal with them? 

Hm, I haven't encountered those who look down on k-pop. So far, I've only encountered those who say who isn't a fan, or who doesn't like k-pop. But dealing with those kinds of people, I'll just brush it off. People who look down on k-pop should just respect the person who likes it. It's all about maturity nowadays anyway, so just give back respect. That's it.

3. "You don't even understand that music? Why do you listen to it?" What are your thoughts about that?

Like what CL said before in an interview in MYX, "Music is Universal". Some people listen to Japanese music and yet they don't understand it either. Some listen to chinese, thai, french, german, belgian, african and they don't understand it either. THE FACT IS, MUSIC IS MUSIC. LANGUAGE IS LIKE THE 2ND IMPORTANT THING WHEN IT COMES TO MUSIC OKAY. But, seriously, you don't need to always understand what the lyrics say. What about those EDM's? Or classical music? They don't have lyrics and yet people listen to them. Gets? It doesn't matter. Music is music.

4. Have you been teased because you're listening to music that isn't your native language?

Does "haha kpop" count as teasing? (HAHA!) I haven't been teased like to the point where I get so mad because my whole family doesn't mind. In fact, some members of my family watch Korean dramas. (Some relatives of mine too.) They've also gotten used to it since I play Korean songs 24/7 at home *laughs*. So, I haven't had any major teasing about me listening to k-pop.

5. You said you're a staff of GOT7 Ph & the Head/Founder of Mark Tuan PH. Can you tell us your experience being a part of a staff? 

Pros (for being part of GOT7PH): We have exclusive entry to KCON (because we usually have a booth), we get meet fellow fans of GOT7, if we're lucky enough we might be able to meet the artist if a events company affiliates us with them.

Cons (GOT7PH): your co-staff. eventually there's going to be someone who you won't like; Fans not respecting us (happens in the group page, mostly); Issues.

6. Are all your friends into kpop? 

I have a wide variety of friends. So, it's kind of like 50/50. Half are into KPOP and the other half isn't.

7. Does your non-kpop friends understand your hobby? (*cue Rianne*) 

Yep. It's just like being into Cody Simpson, One Direction, 5SOS -- difference is the language, culture, genre, and style.

8. What does your family think about you being into K-pop?

They don't mind (HAHA.) They've gotten used to it.

9. Do your family support your hobby?

Yes. But they tell me when to tone it down or something like that.

10. What difficulties does a k-pop fangirls go through?

Mostly some friends not understanding. Bias gets bashed, fanwars and people don't understand is kind of already normal haha. So does "bias getting married" or "in a relationship". It's just that some fans don't understand that they are also like us at the end of the day they just have special treatments or they just have the job or the life what every fangirl/fanboy wants.

Personal (Lessons, Learnings & Advice)

1. Has your life changed because of k-pop? How? 

I wasn't who I was back in grade school most definitely HAHA. I've "upgraded" a lot. Like, how I dress, the make up I wear, my standards for guys (lol). I became more strict with myself in terms of choreography (like the details of each step, movement, etc). K-POP added thrill in my life. It gave me ups, downs, happiness, sadness, frustrations -- almost all the emotions I can think of. Definitely one hell of a roller coaster ride. 

2. Did K-pop open a lot of opportunities for you?

Yep! I became an event photographer. I am currently a staff of Hallyu Dream Philippines (we hold k-pop events). I was able to cosplay a few times in big k-pop events. I had the opportunity to work with "known" cover groups in the Philippines. And I'm super thankful for everything!

3. For 8 years being a k-pop fan girl, for sure you've been to a lot of K-pop concerts here in the Philippines. Which concerts have you've been to so far?

Bigbang, 2ne1, Girl's Generation, EXO and Infinite. 

4. You were part of Ella Cruz's k-pop video? Can you tell us about that?

It was a one time thing hahaha. I'm glad to be a part of it, thanks to my friend Maj Nolasco. She was the one who recruited us and told us the songs, the details and when to meet and shoot with Ella. I joined in, not just because of Ella Cruz, but because it's dancing. I love dancing so much, it's already a part of me, I can't just remove it from my life. 

5. Do you have any other hobby besides k-pop?

Dancing! I read once in a while. I write fanfics when I can. Photography too, of course. 

6. What is your top 5 on loop jam right now? 
  1. iKON - My Type
  2. Monsta X - Rush
  3. GOT7 - If You Do
  4. Taeyeon - I
  5. DIA - Somehow
7. Advice to new k-poppers out there who just joined a k-pop fandom.

GET YO SH*T STRAIGHT. (1) Most important, research. THIS IS WHY THE INTERNET WAS CREATED AND GOOGLE WAS CREATED. Instead of asking around (unless you really have to) you can always do things ON YOUR OWN GDI. (2) Don't act like you know everything, because the person before you knows so much. (3) Don't be an immature fan. Accept everything that your bias decides. YOU DON'T OWN YOUR BIAS. YOU'RE JUST A FAN GIRL/BOY. The truth hurts, I know, but seriously when you're bias goes into a relationship be happy for him/her. Get really mad if he/she turns out to be a drug addict or a serial killer.

8. And to non-kpop people who has friends who listens to k-pop?

All I ask is respect. No need to bad mouth us. We're all in the same race, we're all human beings, our difference is just our taste in music.

9. What have you learned throughout the years of being a k-popper? 

Nothing. (Joke. Haha!) I learned that through the years, you'll really understand what k-pop groups and solo artists go through. Think about it, when you start becoming a fan, at an age where you don't know what to do yet, you think of becoming a celebrity. I had that phase. I discovered k-pop during the 7th grade, I wanted (I still do) to be a celebrity (either local or international). But as years passed by, I realized how hard it is to become a k-pop idol. The auditions, the training, being away from their parents, debuting or not debuting, issues circling the web, hate messages, anti-fans, being stalked, etc etc. They are normal people yes, but they can't be normal people. That's their "punishment". They have to sacrifice their privacy, their time with their family and friends, their relationship with their lovers. They can't be normal like us because they have a name all over the world. One mistake, the whole word knows about it in a span of .1 seconds? Another thing I learned is being mature, learning to accept this and that.

986,321 heartbeats left.

All photo's courtesy of Rin Dumlao's facebook.

Follow more of Rin at her social media accounts:
Instagram: @rindomo
Twitter: @itsRINning

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All photos in this blog are from © Monica Chavez unless stated otherwise. Please do not steal them & use without permission. Comments & Suggestions are welcomed.