Thursday, March 5, 2015

[PHTOS] Park Shin Hye's 25th/26th Birthday Party

credit: @star_lightangel OFC

Park Shin Hye’s Official (Korean) Fans Club threw a party for Park Shin Hye and a handful of us international fans squeezed ourselves in and got to see how Shin Hye is with her Korean fans!

Sorry for this uberly delayed fan account! As one can guess fangirls are fun-loving girls and having a few days more to stay in Seoul, it was too good a chance to waste. This fan account by all measure will not cover everything that was said on the fan meeting. If that is what you want then please refer to a soompi translated version of what was said there. This fan account is about what it was like for a non-Korean/Hangul speaking fan to attend Star_lightangel’s birthday bash for Shin Hye.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.”~Alexander Pope

It didn’t enter my mind what if there would be no translator until I think the night before the FM. I honestly didn’t. That is how open I was to everything that could happen! All I was thinking was that I just wanted to be there! Doesn’t matter if I meet her personally, though of course I hoped I would, but no I didn’t. I just wanted to be there! Just like my attending Shin Hye’s FM in Manila, every step of my way to get to and from Bear Hall has been riddled with trials and miracles that small bumps are nothing to worry about. 
credit: @star_lightangel OFC
So here goes my tale…

My friend, fellow Starlight Angel from the Philippines and I arrived at the Bear Hall 3ish on that Saturday afternoon. We had rushed that morning to get her a bouquet of flowers and had wanted to attend her Agatha fansigning event but heeded organizer’s advice about the inadequate travel time so there was just a few fans at the venue when we claimed our tickets. Good thing too for we would have been dragging our bags and bouquet for Shin Hye and some goodies all over the place and it weighed like a ton!

We got to meet one of the pillars, literally and figuratively, of Shin Hye’s official fans club who graciously ushered us inside Shin Hye’s waiting/dressing room where we placed PSH_IFC’s big bag of gifts and bouquet. We took some pictures and let ourselves out soon after.

              PSH_IFC bouquet                              PSHIFC’s bouquet and gift in PSH’s waiting room

On the lobby is the L-shaped bar/reception counter where you claim your tickets on one side and ogle and buy Shin Hye’s merchandize on the other. Far off on one corner of the reception area was a long table for KFHI or Korean food for the Hungry International with paper bags on the table. For every KRW xx donation you get a surprise gift of Shin Hye’s souvenirs- an apron, stationeries, stickers, pins, towels etc.

There was a chance to mingle as we waited for the doors to the auditorium to open but I think it was just me going around (LOL) but then that was only because I was handing out small packets of dried mangoes as PSHIFC’s goodwill presents for other fellow Starlight Angels. Some were very cordial and gave me PSH’s stickers, small PSH’s memo pads and food and a marshmallow (thank you!). Like the fan meeting in Manila, I saw some groups too in Korea. There was I think one big group and smattering of smaller ones.

There were tall round cocktail tables on the center. It wasn’t for eating though. It was for the fans to have a surface to put their cards on for easy writing. See they have this game- a sort of bingo. Upon getting your ticket we were given a card and an instruction sheet. It was in Hangul, of course, but one of the staff kindly explained through verbal and action cues that we were to choose 25 from the 30 phrases printed and to write them in any order of our choosing on to the card with 5x5 squares. Not knowing how to write and so lucky my friend brought her double sided tape and a scissor we ended up cutting the phrases and taping them on to the squares. This is when we met a Russian SA, Kate, a really nice and pretty girl of Korean-descent who came to Seoul to study after watching “You’re Beautiful”.

credit: @5pring_day

It didn’t feel like a long wait for me as I shamelessly went around with my packets, weaving here and there around my fellow SAs. I was trying not to look too giddy but I was really happy seeing all these people gathering together to throw Shin Hye a party. Even with the doors to the auditorium already open we stayed back for awhile until we were told that they were showing last year’s birthday party/fanmeeting. Before going in we met two Thai SAs who we were so envious of as they were able to go to Shin Hye’s fansigning event. Lucky them! They were so nice too and gave us Shin Hye’s Agatha cards.

On the stage was a table with all the gifts arranged on and around it. Our big bag was there with our header/logo.

credit: @star_lightangel OFC
The contents of our bag are the following:

Oh no! Definitely not a dog! Would have been great but can’t buy a dog on our budget or fit him in the bag!

Sorry if it sounds sappy but I wrote what I believe all of us Starlight Angels would want Shin Hye to know

Because she wants to go backpacking in Europe, Italy specifically, two of the latest and best travel books that Kyobo has to offer- one is a backpacker’s guide for Europe and the other are travel stories and tips on specific places in Europe, that’s what my cousin’s Korean friend told me. Felt so blessed she helped me look for and buy the gifts PSHIFC admins have decided on.The books weighed a ton! Each!

Blue Moleskine notebook, similar to those “used by Oscar Wilde, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse”, Cebu Best Mango Chocolate, dried mangoes slivers dipped in Belgian chocolate  

Herschel Supply Co. 'Little America - Black Portal' Backpack and Packable Travel Tote. No the tote isn't as big as the backpack! Lol! backpack's 20 x 11 x 6.5 inches. Gray for dirt friendly.

Oops! I forgot to take out the tote from the backpack! So I placed everything inside the backpack, wrapped it in gold crepe paper and placed it in a big bag

So the party/fanmeeting started with the showing of last year’s fanmeeting. Managed to catch the video greeting of PSH Philippines. Then the emcee rehearsed the fans on the song, actions and greeting for when Shin Hye comes. Then the emcee introduced Shin Hye and we all did as rehearsed and the program went on- there was a dance number by the fans, a game, Shin Hye picked out gifts and the givers stood up to identify themselves, video greetings, a surprise thing that malfunctioned and almost hit Shin Hye when it “chose” to function minutes after it was supposed to making every one laugh, and the one that I like the most was the question and answer portion.    

Until the number of international fans starts to go up and maybe equal the Korean fans attending then I would have to say that no there should be no translator there. The easy flow of the “conversation” between Shin Hye and her Kfans during this segment made me envious and wishing I knew Hangul. The candidness and fast uptake and volley of words and expressions and vibe is what I think was lagging in our FM in Manila (Can whoever hires the interpreter please choose a lively person with strong clear voice and who likes to talk? Please?), those things that gets lost in translation.

credit: @star_lightangel OFC

credit: @star_lightangel OFC

We read therefore those translations written on Soompi. Of course we can make out some terms and words like Pinocchio (which Shin Hye keeps mentioning)Eomma and Appa (mother and father), Minamishineyo (coming from a teenage fanboy, which I surmised he’s saying he started becoming her fan after watching You’re Beautiful?) and the only time I asked the lady beside me what was being said was when a girl mentioned Lee Min Ho. The lady said the question was who the fan thinks is Shin Hye’s best leading man. I think Shin Hye just said “Ahh!” and nodded to that (was the girl a shipper? Kkk…)

Erratum/Correction: Talked to Kate to ask some things after writing the above and chose not to edit to show what it is like. During the question and answer portion it was Shin Hye and the emcee asking the audience questions and not the other way around. It was only at the last part that Shin Hye said something.

The questions and answers as told to me by Kate, and they do not come in this order, are:
1-      who is your favorite among Shin Hye’s character- Minanishineyo Kominam,
2-      which partner is better for Shin Hye- Lee Min Ho.
3-      The Eomma part Kate cannot remember what the question was but I remember this part because it was during this part that Shin Hye cried, Shin Hye mentioned that a few days previously she was a little bit rude to her mom and she apologized for it and then she said that because of Pinocchio she couldn’t see her parents for 3 months, that she only see how they were sleeping.
4-      Another Pinocchio part is when she said that Pinocchio is like YB. After YB she said she was in deep depression for 6months because she could not control her feelings and had a big pain because she needed to leave Kominam. Now she feels the same and try to be busy or do something everyday to forget In Ha because she does not want to be in that depression again.
5-       MC asked one guy to say 3 words about Shin Hye- he said “you’re beautiful… kind… and beautiful” and Shin Hye joked like “why can’t you say that I’m acting gooooooood?”

credit: @star_lightangel OFC
credit: @star_lightangel OFC

So the bingo game was played. We did not win but the lady beside me was again so kind and helped me with my card. Then some more questions and that was it I think. Oh I almost forgot Kate was so lucky to be called upon to ask a question and so brave to ask for and was granted a selca with Shin Hye.

For the same reason, Kate was asked and not the other way around. Kate’s story, “I tell her about me. That I started to learn Korean because of her... And now I'm studying in university (in Korea) on master program... And I said that it will be great if my story will be hope for her when she feel sad or SMTP like that. Then she asked me to take a photo together. Because I said that I wanna give her a hope, she take a picture with to give the same hope to me.”

Kate and Shin Hye’s picture of hope (credit: Kate)

Shin Hye extended the Q&A portion for about ten minutes then the perfunctory selca shot and we bid her goodbye and she was gone.

A short story on Shin Hye’s selca shot with the audence. As most fans who followed the FM announcements know all attendees were requested not to take pictures inside the auditorium. Shin Hye’s Official fanclub has a photographer of their own for this and at the last part he took shots of Shin Hye with the audience. After he took his shots Shin Hye looked at his camera and asked for a reshoot, maybe she wanted a copy of her own or wanted a shot that can get everyone in cause she had her coordinator take a panoramic shot from her own cellphone. I do not know if the shot below is the one taken by Star_lightangel OFC or from Shin Hye’s phone but at the very back is me and SD doing a John Travolta pose(if you’re too young to know what that is I refer you to google and search for “Saturday Night Fever the movie”). Can you see us?

credit: @star_lightangel OFC
Yeah we sat right at the very last row of that auditorium and yes that too is a miracle! See we almost didn’t get a ticket! The other miracle(for me!) is I sat next to the couple with a baby who greeted Shin Hye on both 2014 and 2015 birthday messages video and yes the baby is not a baby anymore but a toddler and he likes to talk and walk. He was not crying but baby-talking as Shin Hye was answering question. He’s probably so used to hearing Shin Hye’s voice that he kept talking as Shin Hye talked as if he was having a conversation with her. His parents could not shush him and had to carry him out twice. They would point at Shin Hye and talk to him and I overheard them call Shin Hye “imo”! Yes Shin Hye would coo and baby-talk back at him too. That is Shin Hye imo!

So we slowly trickled out after, got small fruit boxes at the lobby and went out. I approached an Arabic fan to ask if he knows Mohamed Sunbae who has been a loyal and generous member of PSHIFC and who we have a small present for. He said they were friends and that Mohamed Sunbae was supposed to attend but couldn’t so I gave the present to him instead. Yes more dried mangoes from Cebu. LOL! He said he’s married to a Korean lady and has been living in Korea for 10years already. We were too excited we didn’t remember to ask him and Kate what was said during the FM or what he said. Yes, they called him too. No we didn’t get called. Good thing too for we would have asked Shin Hye a question which we were not supposed to do. Yay! That would have been very embarrassing!

The after FM fruit pack  (credit:5pring_day)

Ilsanman/Ibrahim, the very friendly Arab fan we met (credit:5pring_day)

We were standing out in the cold waiting for Kate and the two lucky Thai SAs who we’ve agreed to have dinner with, and wondered why there were fans there milling on the side. Turns out Shin Hye hasn’t left yet and that her van was just waiting for her. She boarded on the other side so I wasn’t able to see her but other fans did.

Our night did not end there. We went on to Shin Hye’s mom’s restaurant after the FM with the Thai fans for dinner. We were supposed to meet up with Kate at the restaurant but got indisposed. The staff of PSH Official FC and other fans went there too. The “imo” couple and their toddler were there as well! You must have seen videos and pictures of Shin Hye’s dad and then her dad and mom playing the flute for everyone there. The restaurant was full. Shin Hye’s dad used the standard metal flute while her mom used a stout, squarish, woody-native looking one. Yes almost everyone milled around to watch, listen, take pictures and videos of them. 

Oh my goodness the food that we had was sooo good!!!

How do I end this super long FA? Should I talk about how Shin Hye’s dad cleaned the tables? Or how her mom took and carried out the hot and heavy pan full of dying ember from our grill and comes by our table every now and then checking on us? Should I mention how charming and genuinely solicitous her eomma is? (It’s not really surprising why Shin Hye would want to get married so early and have her dad as her ideal guy. With just glimpses of how her parents are to each other and their customers/audience, of course Shin Hye would want a marriage like her parent's! It is not surprising at all.)

credit: @star_lightangel OFC

credit: @star_lightangel OFC

So my best-est girlfriend asked me if my trip met my expectations. I only wanted to get to Bear Hall and see her right? But I saw her other fans too, saw how Shin Hye was with them, how they were with her, and now, hearing from Kate what was said- seeing her wit, her sense of humor, her honesty and forthrightness, her ability to ride the tide and still do things that she thinks is right, her going the extra mile with Kate to take pictures.. it almost feels like I was made to see that whole night twice with two different eyes and it made me appreciate her even more! So did my trip meet my expectations? OHHH YESSS!!!

p.s. Of course I researched and planned and dreamed of the places I wanted to see, food I wanted to taste and things I wanted to experience but after praying over it and letting it go, my God was truly kind and merciful, but those subway stairs were pure torture! I made holes on my socks, almost killed my legs from all the walking but... I would do it again if I were given another chance to!... Only this time I would work out 6 months prior, bring twice the money and make sure I get 30pounds baggage allowance both to and from Seoul! I wonder how many people reached this part! Hehehe! So yeah Park Shin Hye and Seoul was and is AWESOME! 

by @Vira65 for PSHIFC