Aftermath: Nam Joo Hyuk Private Stage [Close-Up] Fanmeeting in Manila
23 September 2017 – Kia Theater, Quezon City
True confession: I attended the Nam Joo Hyuk fanmeeting without knowing who Nam Joo Hyuk is. I mean, I know who he is, like what dramas he’s starred in. But that’s just about it. I’ve never seen any of his dramas. So when I say I didn’t really care about the guy, it’s because I don’t know him at all.
You may ask: why did you spend good money for this fanmeet if you don’t care about him? Three reasons.
(1) Blogging purposes. My longtime blog readers know this. I usually spend good money even on Korean artists that I’m not a fan of just so I’ll have something to put on this blog aside from my usual subjects;
(2) I missed covering K-pop/K-drama events. So why, you may ask, did I not spend that good money on Korean artists that I at least know, like G-Dragon and Taeyang? Actually, I asked that several times, myself; and
(3) My Voltes friends (aka. my friends from the Rain/K-entertainment fandom) are going, and I really missed them a lot. This is really more about me reuniting with friends rather than the actual event itself.
However… Right now, I admit that I’m super-glad that I went to this fanmeet. I didn’t expect much because, as I’ve said, I didn’t really care about Nam Joo Hyuk. But after seeing how he is with fans, I decided that I like him.
I admit that I got a bit bored during the first part of the fanmeet. Nam Joo Hyuk was a bit stiff and reserved during the interview, which is actually normal for Korean actors. Remember when Kwon Sang Woo hardly ever smiled during his The Face Shop events here eons ago? This is why I ended up amassing more than 1,000 photos for this event. When I get bored, I end up taking tons of photos just to keep myself entertained.
The only time I perked up a bit was when he was talking about his action figures collection and Sam Oh asked the audience for recommendations on what item from the Philippines should Nam Joo Hyuk add to his lot. We at Voltes started chanting, “BAR-REL-MAN! BAR-REL-MAN!” Sorry, I know it’s inappropriate (then again, we were at Lodge so it’s not like they heard us, and Nam Joo Hyuk has no idea what it was, anyway) but like I said, we’re bored. We needed to be entertained.
Then, things turned a complete turnaround and that’s when I started liking him.
Around the middle part of the interview, he was already relaxed around host Sam Oh and started injecting lil’ snippets that, as he said, he just thought about right that minute. (Do remember that it’s customary for interviews with celebrities, more so Korean celebrities, to be prepped up beforehand.) When Nam Joo Hyuk is spontaneous, he’s adorable. It’s quite obvious that he loved how the Filipino fans are very responsive towards him, so he fed off that warm response and gave it back to his audience. The guy sure knows a thing or two about fan service.
Then came the ‘Nam Joo Hyuk’s Kitchen’ segment, and that’s when he became full blown adorable in my eyes. This guy is a kid at heart. His reaction when he successfully completed the bottle flip mission in record number of tries which took him by complete surprise was just so… normal. If you get what I mean.
And then came the kimbap-feeding part. Nam Joo Hyuk was asked who would he like to feed with his kimbap – naturally, the audience started chanting Lee Sung Kyung’s name – and he chose his manager. The thing is, he lost the Staring Mission so his kimbap has to have wasabi on it. He added a thick layer of wasabi on the kimbap. Essentially, he did that because he wanted to bully the poor manager.
At that point, it suddenly hit me: Nam Joo Hyuk is exactly like Alden Richards. People think they’re boring during formal interviews, but if left to their own volition, they’re such playful kiddos. And they both love bullying their managers/handlers/PAs. (Also, pareho silang mahilig mambasag. )
I also noticed that this guy is inherently kind to his fans. To people, in general. He was profusely apologetic because he didn’t expect that his wasabi-loaded kimbap would be fed to a fan, as well, so when he saw the poor fan tearing up because the kimbap was too spicy, he not only brought her water. He also autographed his apron and gave it to the fan.
I also loved how he took photos with lucky winners of the acting contest. The way he leaned over and put his arm around the fans’ shoulders is unusual for a Korean celebrity. But it all came out naturally for him.
Another highlight for me was when he was presented with the surprise fan project: an AVP showing greetings from fans all over the world, to the tune of his favorite song, Coldplay’s Yellow. He was very touched by the gesture and got pretty emotional. You can tell that he sincerely loves his fans and fully appreciates their support.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Nam Joo Hyuk’s fanmeet even if I wasn’t a fan.
There were a lot of lovely moments that simply can’t be put into words. So I’ll just let the photos do the talking. (Yes, this is Agent P being lazy and covering it up using the “let the photos to the talking” strategy. hahaha! ) Please do visit my Facebook photo album for all the Nam Joo Hyuk in Manila goodies. You’re also free to share them, but please retain all credits when re-posting. Thanks! Enjoy!