Yesterday was the first day of ticket selling for the Manila leg of Super Junior’s Super Show 7.
Yesterday – actually, for the past several days – there’s this thing being brought up by the younger generation of K-pop fans. That is, the current K-pop acts are more successful because they are raking in millions of views in record time on YouTube compared to the “old” K-pop artists.
Yesterday, the hashtag #TITASOFKPOP surfaced on Twitter.
And yesterday, I realized that I am a Tita of Kpop. (Note to non-Pinoys: ‘Tita’= ‘auntie’)
During the height of BTS at the 2018 BBMAs where they *almost* broke the Twitter record set by AlDub and Eat Bulaga, one of my beloved bashers Tweeted that there’s no indication that me, Agent P, is a K-pop fan. Therefore, more than a decade of me blogging about Korean entertainment is what… just me being a troll?
Don’t answer that.
A brief history for the new readers of this blog: I started becoming a staunch supporter of anything Korean in 2005. June 2005, to be exact. My baptism of fire with K-pop happened in July 2005 when I made an impromptu trip to Hong Kong just to see Rain. In fact, the monicker Agent P was borne out of my being a fan of BiKyo (Rain and Song Hye Kyo of Full House fame). It was given to me by a fellow Soompier (Bambiina, who’s a big BTS fan now), when Soompi was still a haven for fans of Korean entertainment as it was a place where we could freely discuss anything about our biases and we will not be judged for it. I became Agent P because I can spot things about Rain and SHK that most fans do not notice.
I have this whole blog as testament of my being a Kpop/Kdrama fan. However, I’ve kinda lost track of anything Korean in 2015 when I became an active fangirl of Alden Richards. I only get my updates from socmed posts of friends who are still into it, and my teen-aged nieces who are now into it.
Going to that topic of current Kpop acts being more successful than old Kpop acts because of YouTube hits: first of all, you cannot use that as an accurate measure of success because YouTube back in my day (which is 13 years ago) is nothing like the YouTube of today. Back in the day, YouTube – social media, in general – was not considered an influential marketing tool. We only upload videos for entertainment and media sharing, and nothing else.
Back in the day, only a few countries have really fast internet connection. Most of us cannot keep up with the ultra-fast internet connection of South Korea, that the only way we catch our favorite Korean shows and MVs was through downloads. Very, very few outside Korea were able to stream in real time. Streaming wasn’t even considered when talking about TV ratings and record sales back then. It is for this reason why the extremely popular drama You Are Beautiful had low TV ratings. Its target audience was the younger viewers who watch TV via real-time streaming; their viewership was not included when ratings were calculated.
Back in the day, the term HD was non-existent. By HD, I meant High Definition and not ADN’s favorite HD, Hidden Desire. For us Lumang Tao ng K-pop (Ancient People of K-pop), HQ (High Quality) was the most prized video resolution. HQ meant a video size in 640×480 pixels. When HD came along, it was 720p. And because high-speed internet was quite rare for the ordinary non-Korean netizen, a person who possesses internet connection that can quickly download a HQ video with a 700mb file size was considered a hero. Said hero would have to invest in that God-given invention known as a CD/DVD burner because she would be everyone’s source of MVs and K-drama/variety show episodes. I still remember when I had to learn how to edit, hardsub and convert video files to be shared to those who cannot watch videos with soft subs. Oh, and remember when we searched high and low for that perfect media player that can play any video format that’s burned on DVDs?
The younger generation will never understand all these, because they never experienced it. Nowadays, they can just click away and that’s it. Consider yourself lucky, kids.
But for us Titos and Titas of K-pop, those were good times. We’ve had many ‘difficulties’, so to speak, but as a result many real-life friendships blossomed because of it. Don’t count us out; these veterans have battled many wars that most of you might never go through. In fact, some of them are still there battling with you.