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[Traveling Fangirl] Xia Tarantallegra

30 Dec

Sometimes, 8 minutes is all you need to like someone this much. So much indeed that you would gladly hop on a plane, brave a city even hotter than Manila, spend a month’s salary and spazz to the fullest on just about anything he does.


5 months ago, I don’t even know who Kim Junsu is. I’ve been to Seoul twice, been riding the Hallyu wave for 3 years but I was completely oblivious to Junsu or JYJ. But now, he turned into someone who could make me wait for 4 solid hours! I took my chances to see him up close for the very first time at the VIP section of Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok and it paid off. I didn’t care if I haven’t eaten or if my luggage has been circling on the conveyor belt for hours… a few seconds of airport Junsu is worth all of it.

My fascination with him started when he had a cameo on SBS’ drama Scent of a Woman. After 13 hours of drama-marathon, the plot lines bored me to tears but his 8 minute scene stood out and kept me intrigued. After some research, I found out that he was a member of DBSK and now JYJ. I began to deeply admire his vocal prowess but at that time it wasn’t enough to call it an addiction. It’s never an addiction for me until I started planning how to see that person in the flesh.

Then, I got a hold of 30 GB worth of DBSK/JYJ videos courtesy of hardcore Junsu fan friend, Timi. I became insanely addicted afterwards. I didn’t have a decent sleep for a week because I had this need to watch every single video as soon as possible. And oh my god sun, he is one hilarious guy!

He’s not just an artist whose talent I adore;

he is my moving and breathing happy pill.

 Everything he does appeals to me.

The way he talks, the way he makes up excuses,

his dance moves, his killer voice, his distinctive laugh,

his facial expressions, the way he treats his family and friends,

his failed English, his fascination for soccer, his love for coconut trees

and anything tropical, his competitive nature, his addiction to video games

and his kind heart.

After all that I realized, I need to see him up close. I need to see him in a concert. I need to experience his awesomeness on stage live!

April 16, 2012. CJES announced that he will be releasing his first solo album and he will be having a concert in Seoul and 6 other cities. After weighing all options like airfare and tour dates, I figured that the most convenient place to see him is in either Hong Kong or Taiwan. Out of curiosity, I tried to purchase tickets at Interpark for his concert in Seoul. And holy mother of god, it was fierce. The server crashed after merely 2 minutes!!! At that moment I realized that getting a ticket to see his concert is no joke. Fan girling is serious business after all. Plans were revised; I am now willing to go to any county where I could get a VIP ticket. A blessing came in form of Oat, Timi’s Thai friend who happens to be one of the admins of Junsu’s fansite in Thailand.  She agreed to book VIP tickets for us! We’re saved from the ferocious online battle. Hallelujah! Junsu, here we come.

May 25, 2012. A few hours before our flight, we got confirmation of Junsu’s flight details. It turned out that we could actually wait at the airport to see him as soon as he gets off the plane.  We naturally zoomed in to the airport information counter to verify the gate number for Asiana airlines. Timi and I were losing our minds because there’s no working internet connection at the time we needed it the most! Furthermore, all restaurants were outside the immigration. There’s no way we were going out of that area before we see him. Competition is too fierce outside! And any fan girl would probably risk getting ulcer than miss this chance! That’s just the way it is.

We had no choice but to position ourselves at Gate E3. We talked about how we would approach him just in case we get the chance. We even agreed that if he looked tired, we’ll just walk behind his team and will not attempt to say a word. After about 3 hours, a fellow fan approached us.  It turned out that she works at the Suvarnabhumi airport that’s why she got a special access. She got insider info too that Junsu might use the VIP exit hence there’s no way he would come out of Gate E3. She kindly led us to Immigration Premium Lane. There were more or less 30 people waiting there too. The situation was still good, the chances of seeing him up close is still high than waiting outside the airport which was surely filled with hundreds of fans!

Then came the moment we’ve been waiting for…

Airport XIA!


Clad in all-white with his perfectly styled blonde hair, my heart jumped out of my chest. How can someone be so hot and charming with minimal effort is beyond me!!!  No matter how brief that encounter was, it truly made a mark.

May 27, 2012. Concert day!!! The word “excited” was not even close to describe what I felt when I woke up that day.

We had the chance to meet Mama Xia at the Grand Centera Hotel the night before so that moment even intensified the emotions!


My biggest thanks to the helpful and friendly Thai fans who gave us some info that led to an instant meet and greet with Junsu’s beautiful mother. Others had to wait for 5 hours, but we managed to do all that in 30 minutes. Timing is everything.

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We arrived at Royal Paragon Hall about 2 hours before the concert. While waiting, we purchased concert goodies, left notes on the message board, and had a short appearance on a local music program.


At Royal Paragon Hall
[photo credit: Timi Toledo]

At 5:30 pm, the ushers opened the main door to venue. When I saw our seats, my heart did a backflip. I never expected to be that close to the stage! Thank you, OAT! THANK YOU!!!!


The one and only picture I took during the concert. Full concentration is required when Junsu is on stage ^_^

XIA TARANTALLEGRA CONCERT. The concert was all positive adjectives under the sun. Every move he made and every song he sang was heartfelt. He gave more than what an audience could ask for. From the moment he literally popped out on stage to perform BREATH up to his heart-wrenching FALLEN LEAVES, he was on top form. I probably screamed more than I intended to. And yes, I cried.


That moment when my heart stopped from beating ~ Lullaby and Intoxication in BKK. [photo credit: OHMYJUN.COM]


Genie Time… Junsu Time! So Cute [photo credit: OHMYJUN.COM]

It’s hard to pick a favorite part because every single moment was intense. LULLABY and INTOXICATION probably squeezed the life out of me. Junsu, why did you perform these songs back to back?  Do you have an idea how many noonas, including me, suffered from minor heart attack? The moment I heard the intro for YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL, I got goose bumps. I was able to sing along but mostly I was just gaping at Junsu, hands on my chest, tightly gripping my red light stick with this wide smile on my face. And then I chuckled and whispered, “It’s the song that got me here”. Truly, a Go Mi Nam moment for me.

During Junsu’s talk time, he granted three wishes from the audience. 1st request: Do the Angel Xiah pose. 2nd request: Write his name using his butt. 3rd request: Do the bbuing bbuing. Nothing could possibly turn me into a puddle of goo more than Junsu acting all cute and shy. He did all three in the most endearing way I have to hold on for dear life as I was this close to bursting into pieces.


Fierce Junsu [photo credit: OHMYJUN.COM]

As expected, witnessing TARANTALLEGRA is beyond marvellous. This song is meant to be experienced live. It’s safe to say that we all went ballistic on this one. Though I have to say, I got a little worried (ok, a lot worried) when I saw him dancing with all his might on a moving platform. My concerned noona instinct kicked in. I said to myself, “I appreciate the showmanship Junsu, but please take care and do not fall from that platform!” FEVER is another blood-pumping performance! Where did he get this kind of energy? Intense dance numbers in rapid succession!

If the dance numbers pumped up my energy, the ballads completely wrenched my heart. Seriously, nobody could do heartfelt ballad the way Junsu does. His voice contains emotions that could melt even the most jaded person. He also sang a few songs from his hit musicals.

I came out of Royal Paragon elated, satisfied, impressed and deeply moved. Kim Junsu is a world class artist indeed. I may have gone through a lot for the sake a 2-hour concert, but given a chance, I will definitely do it again.


Postcard to self #1

8 Sep

[Coffee Project] Hello Kitty Cafe

5 Aug

It was love at first sight…

Hello Kitty Cafe ~ Hongdae

Situated in the hip Hongdae area in Seoul, this lovely cafe is bound to get anyone’s attention. Especially, if you are like me who tends to like anything pink.


The interior just melted me, I almost didn’t want to leave this place. I am very glad to say that the food and the coffee didn’t disappoint; both your eyes and taste buds would definitely be satisfied. It was reasonably priced too.

Bursting with all things pink and cute


How to get there: Get off Line 2 Hongik University (Hongdae) station exit 9. Walk straight to the intersection. Turn left and walk up the street then turn at your second right. You’ll find a narrow street and Hello Kitty Cafe is right there.

Tiramisu + Cafe latte