Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Myeongdong, Seoul's No.1 shopping district

Where would you go to find a pair of the latest Nike running shoes, a sequined purse for under 20 dollars, and a spiral potato all in one street? There is only one place in Seoul. 
Seoul has already received ten million tourists this year, which compares markedly with 9.8 million visitors for all of last year. Hallyu and increased global recognition have made Korea an increasingly appealing destination for more and more tourists around the world. 

Myeongdong (Photos by Jonathan Hicap)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Psy Makes Cover Of Billboard Magazine

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Korean rapper Psy will be gracing the cover of the Nov. 3 issue of Billboard magazine, thanks to his viral hit "Gangnam Style" raking in 531 million views since July.
Billboard's main story titled “500,000,000 PSY FANS CAN'T BE WRONG” spotlights on "How the K-Pop breakout star harnessed the power of YouTube, Ellen, SNL, The Today Show, and more to become music’s new global brand."
Psy on the cover of the Nov. 3 issue of Billboard magazine. (Photo courtesy of Billboard)

Jang Dong-gun, Super Junior Lead Style Icon Awardees

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Hallyu actor Jang Dong-gun was declared as Style Icon of the Year at the 2012 Style Icon Awards (SIA) held on Oct. 25 in Seoul, South Korea.
The awards ceremony honored Korea's "Most Stylish Icons that Brightened 2012."
(Clockwise from left) Style Icon of the Year awardee Jang Dong-gun and Style Icon winners miss A's Suzy and Seo In Guk and Jung Eunji (Photos courtesy of www.newsen.com and www.enewsworld.mnet.com)

2 Pinoy Teens In Seoul For 'K-pop Star Hunt 2'

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin 
MANILA, Philippines - Two Filipino teens left for South Korea on Oct. 24 to compete in the reality TV talent show "K-pop Star Hunt 2," sponsored by the Seoul City government and organized by cable channel tvN, CJ E&M and Cube Entertainment.
Sheila Mae Eunice Ona, 21, from Quezon City and Liahona Flores,15, from Cagayan de Oro City are the Philippines' representatives to the TV contest. They're in Seoul to compete with other 14 hopefuls from seven other countries.
K-pop Star Hunt 2' Philippine leg winners Sheila Mae Eunice Ona and Liahona Flores with judges Park Jae Hyun, Kim Jong Min, Eddy Tan and Happee Sy (Photo courtesy of tvN and Liahona Flores' Facebook account) 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sandara Park, Big Bang go to Tagaytay

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - 2NE1's Sandara Park is in the Philippines and she's busy acting as tour guide to fellow YG Entertainment artist Big Bang.
Sandara reportedly arrived in the country last Oct. 22. She and the and Big Bang members reportedly went to Tagaytay yesterday, a source said.
It's more fun in the Philippines. (Left) Big Bang's G-Dragon, Taeyang and Daesung enjoy a swim at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel
while Sandara Park (right) makes a pose at Greenhills Shopping Center.
(Photos courtesy of G-Dragon's Instagram and Sandara's Twitter)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sandara Park Tells Big Bang: Have Fun In PH, Try Jollibee Spaghetti

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - As members of boy band Big Bang make the most of their stay in the Philippines in the next few days, 2NE1's Sandara Park tells them to have "good memories" and offers to help them if they need anything.
Sandara, of course, knows more about the Philippines, having lived here for many years before going back to Korea to become a member of 2NE1.
Big Bang members G-Dragon, Daesung and TOP arriving at their hotel in Mandaluyong from the airport where fans (bottom)
waited to welcome them. (Screen grab by Bulletin Entertainment and photo courtesy of Big Bang VIP Philippines)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Big Bang Arrives In Manila

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin

MANILA, Philippines - Members of Korean boy band Big Bang arrived in Manila this afternoon for their concert slated on Oct. 24.
The band arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 1 at around 3:30 PM and Filipino VIPs (the collective name of Big Bang fans) were there at the airport since morning to wait for the arrival of the group. Guards were deployed to secure the arrival area.

Gangnam Style' Achieves 500 Million Views, Dubbed As 'The Future'

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Korean rapper Psy has set another milestone when "Gangnam Style" achieved 500 million views on YouTube.
With this, "Gangnam Style" has become the third most viewed video on the website's history.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Meet-And-Greet To Spice Up Dream K-pop Fantasy Concert In PH

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Fans can expect a lot more when the Dream K-pop Fantasy Concert is held in the Philippines in January next year, especially that meet-and-greet events will be held.
This will be the first time that a K-pop concert in the Philippines will feature six K-pop idol groups.
Photos courtesy of www.newsen.com and SM Entertainment

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Super Junior plans a picture book

Super Junior will release a photo book to celebrate its seventh year in the spotlight. SM Entertainment announced Tuesday that the limited-edition book will go on sale across Asia starting Nov. 6.
Photo courtesy of Korea JoongAng Daily

Ex-Spice Girls' Mel B Dances 'Gangnam Style' With Psy

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The "Gangnam Style" dance craze has hit Australia and former Spice Girls member Mel B did it with Psy himself.
Psy flew to Australia on Oct. 15 for a promo tour. His first appearance was on "X Factor" Australia on Oct. 16 where he showed judge Mel B how to do the signature horse-riding dance.

Style Icon Awards 2012 Nominees

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Who will be crowned Korea's style icon this year?
From K-pop stars to sports figures, the nominees for the Style Icon Awards 2012 are a mix of the most popular celebrities in Korea.
Billed as a search for the "Most Stylish Icons that Brightened 2012," the Style Icon Awards will culminate in an awarding ceremony on Oct. 25.
Photos courtesy of www.newsen.com and YG Entertainment

Wonder Girls Joins Christina Aguilera, Others In Special Christmas Album

By JONATHAN M. HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - K-pop quintet the Wonder Girls has participated along with global stars in a Christmas album that will benefit the Special Olympics.
The "A Very Special Christmas" music series will be issued in the US on Oct. 16 in two albums: The "A Very Special Christmas 25th Anniversary" and "A Very Special Christmas: Bringing Peace on Earth."
Photos by www.newsen.com and Wonder Girls Facebook page

Monday, October 15, 2012

Korean Star Lee Min-ho Coming To Manila In November

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin 
MANILA, Philippines - Korean superstar Lee Min-ho is bound for the Philippines next month to meet fans as the new endorser of a local clothing brand.

JYJ Suffers Another Humiliation In South Korea

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin 
MANILA, Philippines - Fans are angry that one of Korea's most popular hallyu stars has suffered another humiliation in his own country when he was left out in the TV broadcast of the opening ceremony of the 32nd National Para Games in Korea.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

'Gangnam Style' Reaches 1 Million Downloads In US

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Korean rapper Psy's viral hit "Gangnam Style" has achieved another milestone, getting 1 million downloads and 1 million on-demand streams in the US, according to Billboard.
Billboard.com says based on this week's Digital Songs chart, "Gangnam Style" has attained the feat.
Psy (www.newsen.com)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

'Full House 2' To Premiere In Korea

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The sequel to the 2004 hit Korean romantic comedy "Full House" will premiere in Korea on Oct. 22 on cable channel SBS Plus.
"Full House Take 2" stars actress Hwang Jung Eum and actors No Min Woo and Park Ki Woong.

K-pop Agencies Venture Into Managing Actors, Hosts

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Two of Korea's biggest K-pop agencies have expanded their empires into managing actors and TV hosts, and TV production, a move that will keep their stronghold in the business.
SM Entertainment and JYP Entertainment, which handle K-pop's hottest singers including Girls Generation, Wonder Girls, Super Junior and 2AM, have ventured out of their core business.
Jang Dong-gun and Kang Ho Dong (Photos by www.newsen.com)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Psy's Appeal To Fans: Help Me Get No. 1 On Billboard

Psy is appealing to fans to help him get to No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 as his "Gangnam Style" reaches 400 million views on YouTube
By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - Korean rapper Psy will not settle for second place as far as his ranking on the Billboard Hot 100 chart is concerned.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Korean Dramas, K-pop Helped Reshape Philippine TV, Music

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin
MANILA, Philippines - The hallyu, or Korean wave, that has swept Asia and other regions has helped in changing how Filipino dramas are made and increased the popularity of K-pop in the Philippines.
This was according to a paper presented by Prof. Ma. Crisanta Flores of the University of the Philippines Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature.
Korean dramas (clockwise from left) "My Name is Kim Sam Soon," "Full House" and "Stairway to Heaven"
(Photos courtesy of MBC, KBS and SBS)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Psy stays at No. 2 on Billboard Hot 100, takes shirt off at his Korea concert

MANILA, Philippines - Korean rapper Psy didn't wait for his hit single "Gangnam Style" to reach No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 to fulfill his promise to perform shirtless.
Psy held a concert before a massive crowd at Seoul Plaza in Korea on Thursday evening to celebrate the achievements of "Gangnam Style" and thank the public for supporting him.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Cha Tae-hyun & Uee Cast in New KBS Drama Jeon Woochi

Actor Cha Tae-hyun and Uee from the girl group After School have been cast in the new historical drama, Jeon Woochi which is slated to air in November.

Cha Tae-hyun and Uee (www.newsen.com)

Lee Byung-hun To Attend Busan Int'l Film Festival 2012

After wrapping up the filming for the movie "Red 2" in Canada, actor Lee Byung-hun will return to Korea to attend the 17th Busan International Film Festival, kickstarting on October 4th.

Cebu Dancing Inmates Do 'Gangnam Style' As Psy Conquers UK Chart

By JONATHAN HICAP, Manila Bulletin 
MANILA, Philippines -  The famous Cebu dancing inmates have gone "Gangnam Style."
About 1,000 prisoners at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) braved the rain last Sept. 29 to show their awesome performance of Korean rapper Psy's "Gangnam Style," culled from the viral video that has accumulated 332 million views since its upload on YouTube last July.

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