If you’re a KPOP fan in the Philippines, you’ve probably already heard a lot of cringe-worthy comments about the idols you stan and the lifestyle that comes with it. Such comments include: “Why do you like listening to their music when you can’t even understand their language?”
“You only like them because of their looks.”
“You’re not patriotic because you like KPOP and not OPM.”
It’s just the tip of the iceberg. Trust us, if we would list down every condescending comment every KPOP stan has ever received, then this would be an hour-long read.
Instead of getting mad and lashing out at those people, sit down with them and make them listen to our reasons. Make it painfully long. That’ll teach them.
If you don’t know where to start or you have a hard time articulating yourself, let’s help you get started.
Reason #1: Talent + Hard work = Excellence
Not to be shady but the entertainment industry here is pretty... well... mediocre. We’re not saying that everything is bad, but a lot of the good get thrown in with the bad. What do we mean by this? We take everything at face value. “Oh, she’s pretty! She should be an actress!” As if a pretty face equals talent. Now, don’t get us wrong. People can be pretty and talented.
However, the difference is in the dedication. A lot of Filipinos don’t know that KPOP groups and idols train for years (sometimes, decades) before they can debut. They have to be excellent first before they can break through the surface. Here, you don’t need training. You train when you have to, but it’s not required.
Let’s take the Queen, BoA, as an example. BoA was scouted at 11 years old. She debuted at 13. It’s a very short training period compared to say... Jinho of Pentagon, who trained under SM Entertainment for 8 years and under Cube for two years before finally debuting. But BoA had been a dedicated idol ever since and until today, at age 32, she’s still hailed as one of the most successful KPOP idols ever. And she’s not done. She’s still an active singer.
KPOP idols never see themselves as good even though they're already excellent to their fans. They can sing, dance, act, rap, produce, compose, and choreograph. One of the most talented self-producing groups is Seventeen. See their amazing choreography in 2x speed below!
Idols always think they’re lacking in some way. They always say they will do better next time. These are some things most Filipino celebrities lack: the humility and the desire to do better.
Reason #2: Idols-fans relationship
Each group or artist have their own fandom. Fandoms do a lot for the artists they stan. They make fan projects during concerts, hold fan meets to meet other fans, and even donate in the name of the artists.
There is so much more to the fandom than buying concert tickets or merchandise. If the artist has a positive influence on their fandom, the fandom can actually do a lot of good to the community.
KPOP Idols always express their gratitude to their fans, knowing that without them, it’s hard to break into an industry that keeps producing new idols.
GOT7 is probably one of the most active groups on social media. They make sure to include the fans to their posts. Some say they even lurk on the internet to see what their fans are up to. Kim Yugyeom, the maknae, always include the #igot7 hashtag to his posts. IGOT7 or ahgase is the name of their fandom.
They also have a nice relationship with their fans. GOT7 isn’t afraid to call their fans out or make jokes with them. The fans, in return, fight back in the most comical way.
Take this video of Jinyoung reciting an acrostic poem from a fan, for example:
Reason #3: We get the music before we even get the language
Music speaks to the soul. You don’t have to understand what they’re saying to appreciate their music. Their music calms us down, hypes us up, makes us emotional... Yes, the lyrics matter too. bUt iT’s iN kOReaN. We thought you might say that so we prepared one word for you: translations.
Yes, in this day and age, it’s not impossible to understand another language. It takes some effort, but if you want to know the meaning behind a song, you look it up. You don’t shame it for being in a language you don’t understand.
We appreciate the culture. We love the language. We love their music. We make adjustments because the artists are already doing more than enough.
And there’s beauty in a little mystery, don’t you think? You get to appreciate it as it is before it even makes sense. If you liked it like that, then they’re doing it right.
Also, contrary to what some Filipinos believe, KPOP fans actually like OPM. We love OPM, but songs with quality. We also like JPOP. See, it’s not about the language. Music transcends language.
A good example is this new song from JUS2, a GOT7 subunit. A lot of westerners reacted to it and liked the music and style of the music video.
Reason #4: KPOP helps us meet new friends
Mutuals, or moots for short, are some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet. You might not have a lot in common, in real life, but you share the same kind of love for an idol or an idol group. Finding mutuals is one of the best things a fangirl or fanboy could ever experience. It makes you feel assured that you’re not alone and although your IRL (thatr’s in real life for you) family and friends might not understand you, someone from across the globe that you met through Twitter will.
It’s always nice to belong to a group. It’s nice to feel accepted. KPOP fans are probably one of the most welcoming bunch of people you’ll ever meet. The love for the groups you stan make you allies... friends. Having mutuals or belonging to a fandom is a big part of being a fan.
Reason #5: KPOP makes us happy
We find it hard to understand why people don’t understand this about us. As people, we have different interests, hobbies, and past times that make us happy. Some like cosplaying. Others like listening to bands. Some people are enthusiastic about superhero movies.
We are the same. We like KPOP music. That’s literally it.
Not to be too dramatic, but KPOP made our lives better. When a KPOP fan tells you it took them out of the band place they were in before, believe them because it’s actually true. Most of us can share a similar experience.
And honestly, if you don’t like what we like, then move along. It’s not that hard. Leave people be and let them be happy by doing what they like.
Hey, guys, thanks for reading until here! Yes, the writer is a KPOP fan. Particularly, an ahgase. If you have more to add to these reasons, feel free to do so. If someone calls you out for being a fan, send them this link. If you have any topic you want us to write about, as long as it's about anything Korean or Filipino, please comment it down below.
And lastly, remember that we are all friends. No matter what fandom. No matter the group. We share one common thread: we’re KPOP fans. Let’s always try to be nice to one another!