Are face-to-face events really back just like the old times?

You’d be surprised at how many Korean idols and actors have lived in the Philippines when they were young or have relatives here.

Idol and actor Sungjae of BTOB once lived in Cebu, while Cha Eun-woo studied for six months in the country. Other actors and idols who have connections to the Philippines, meaning they lived here, are iKON’s Jin-hwan, Dong-woon of Highlight, Kino of Pentagon, Yooh-yeon of Dreamcatcher, Solar of Mamamoo, and, of course, Sandara Park or Dara and her brother Thunder.

Actor Hwang In-youp is probably one of the Korean celebrities who spent the most years of his life in the Philippines. He studied Fashion Design at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao. The True Beauty star also went to high school in Davao City, at the Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School.

Hwang In-youp said he lived for four years in Davao and in case you want to know, he remains in touch with the friends he made there.

“It has been 10 years since I saw my friends in person but we still keep in touch. Some of them have become professors. Some of them are living abroad, working abroad.”

He said he loves Davao but he also likes Metro Manila.

“I haven’t been to Cebu yet. I haven’t been to Boracay. I have been to Baguio so I would love to go to Cebu and Boracay. When I take that secret trip to Davao, I will also swing by Cebu and Boracay,” said Hwang In-youp during the press conference for his BYS Fun Meet in Manila held on June 19 at the New Frontier Theater.

The context of the “secret trip to Davao” is Hwang In-youp had said earlier he would take a secret side trip to the city.

Hwang In-youp came to Manila to meet his sizable fandom in the country, thanks to beauty brand BYS Philippines. BYS Philippines signed up Hwang In-youp as its endorser and headlined the #UncoverTrueBeauty campaign that coincided with the launch of the Skin by BYS Minis. Would Han So-hee, another BYS ambassador, be next?

During his fan meet, Hwang In-youp also shared that he loves the Philippine weather, even if it is hot, plus Jollibee, dried mangoes, pineapple, and kwek-kwek (fried eggs coated in an orange batter).

Hwang In-youp, 31, debuted as an actor in 2018. He became very popular among Korean drama fans when he appeared as the second lead in the 2020-2021 webtoon-based drama True Beauty.

It was actually very nice to be in an offline event again but the truth is, I had myself tested two days after just to be sure. So, yes, events are back but I’m not sure if they’re really really back as so many of my friends and colleagues are still hesitant to attend events just like the pre-Covid days. I’m also not sure if I can be comfortable events-hopping again. I wish we had a tracing app, like they do in Singapore so you’re informed if anyone in the places you’ve visited has tested positive. Right now, the situation is such that it’s all guesswork and speculation.

Anyway, back to Hwang In-youp: everybody was asking him about his skin-care routine and what his favorite BYS product was.

He said it’s not one particular BYS product but an entire regimen that includes toner, serum, lotion and cream to get the full effect.

“When I take a shower at night, I always make sure to finish with a cold wash on my face. That is cold water always. And then lip balm is essential. I like to put on a lot of it. That is probably because in Korea, there are four seasons. In the Philippines where it is hot, you probably don’t need that much,” he said.

If you’re a fan of Oreo cookies, you’d probably be surprised to know that it’s 110 years old. In connection with this, the brand has launched an Augmented Reality (AR) Facebook filter that invites people to blow out 110 candles from an Oreo Birthday Cookie.

“Oreo has been sparking joy for 110 years, bringing playful experiences to families around the world. And, what’s a birthday without cake? We’re inviting Oreo fans across Southeast Asia to join the celebrations. We’re delighted to debut a festive new flavor, supported with a unique AR experience that’s inspired by the universal act of blowing out candles—a tradition that transcends cultures and generations. We hope fans take a moment to blow out the 110 candles, make a wish for the year ahead, and enjoy our most playful celebration yet,” said Nikhil Rao, senior marketing director for Mondelez Southeast Asia.

Lucky Oreo fans also have the chance to win birthday gifts from the brand. One hundred and 10 lucky winners who get to blow out all 110 candles within 15 seconds using the Oreo AR filter on Facebook will have the chance to win up to P1,000 worth of Oreo products and more.

A limited-edition Oreo Birthday Cookie, the first Oreo flavor to feature rainbow sprinkles and a birthday cake flavored cream sandwiched between two delicious cocoa cookies, is being sold in the Philippines until December 31.

Image credits: BYS Philippines

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