Korean female group 2NE1 member Sandara Park, previously called "Pambansang Krung-krung," has finally fulfilled her wish of performing at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, June 4, in a concert dubbed as "The Party."
Dara is with the award-winning K-pop group, 2NE1, composed of Chae Rim or CL, Park Bom and Gong Minzy. The group is known for the hit songs "Fire," "I Don't Care," and "Lonely."
"Sobrang namiss ko kayo. Isa sa pinakamalaking dream ko ang magpunta dito at magperform sa Araneta. At ngayon kasama ko ang 2ne1 kaya kita-kits mamaya at mahal ko kayo," Dara told the entertainment media at a press conference Saturday afternoon at Hotel Intercontinental Manila.
It has also been a recent buzz that Christian Bautista, one of the concert's front acts, is expecting to be booed by 2NE1 fans, per an article by Giselle Sanchez. To clarify the issue, Giselle, also the event's host, asked Dara what she thinks about Christian's dilemma. "Nabasa ko nga 'yun. Ganoon pala ang nasa isip nya. Sabi ko sa kanya, 'Don't worry kasi hindi mangyayari 'yun. Ako mismo sobrang fan ni papa Christian Bautista," Dara explained.
Everyone laughed when they heard Dara use the word 'papa.' Truly, Dara has not yet forgotten her Filipino and still speaks it fluently.
To prove her admiration for Christian, Dara rendered a line from his song, 'The Way You Look at Me,' and blurted out, "Sorry, hindi ko na memorize ang lyrics. Sobrang excited na ko," after the song.
Dara, known for her pop novelty song "In Or Out," also sang a line from the hit song, and press sang along with her.
"Naalala nyo ba ba yung song?," she asked.
Dara first gained popularity in the Philippines when she emerged a finalist in the now defunct ABS-CBN talent show "Star Circle Quest."
Since she has been away from the Philippines for a couple of years, Dara admits she misses her Filipino fans. "Sobrang namiss ko sila, ang mga Parkers. Andito pa rin sila. Medyo nervous ako kase akala ko hindi na nila ako maaalala."
2NE1 is more than excited to meet their Filipino fans who have long been waiting for them. 2NE1 fans are called Blackjacks. "I heard that they're like really energetic and they like to party. We had rehearsals last night and we're really excited," 2NE1 leader CL said.
Although the girls looked a bit shy at first, 2NE1 talked about their impressions of their Filipino fans, the other bands they like, and the stories Dara tells about the Philippines.
"We haven't met them (the fans) yet. But we really feel welcome at the airport. Our fans are really warm. We love them," CL added. CL is known for her fierceness and avant-garde fashion sense.
There was a translator for the group, but CL spoke confidently in English. She also speaks French.
2NE1 is under YG Entertainment, which also handles the famous male group, Big Bang. Aside from their cutting-edge music which is a bit different from other K-pop groups, 2NE1 is known for its eccentric, highly-visual music videos and stylish fashion. CL said they all contribute in giving ideas to the group.
Aside from Big Bang, who among the male groups in Korea do the girls like most?
"Ako, MBLAQ, kilala nyo ba sila?," Dara said. MBLAQ is a male Korean group handled by Rain, where Dara's brother Thunder is a member.
CL, Minzy and Bom remained loyal to their entertainment agency as they mentioned singers from YG Entertainment. CL chose 1TYM which includes their music producer and composer Teddy. Bom chose Big Bang and Seven for Minzy.
The girls obviously like Filipino food as Minzy even tweeted about food on Friday when they arrived. Dara said she misses pinakbet, sinigang and sisig. Minzy, 2ne1's youngest member said she would love to come back here for a concert and tour the beautiful places. "Ako ang magiging tour guide nila," Dara said quickly.
Dara always had good words for the country as the girls said that she talks about the Phlippines all the time. CL told the press that Dara would always talk about the Philippines and her friends and fans here would also bring food and local souvenirs to Korea. This is how they got to sample some of our Filipino dishes.
"Thank you so much for inviting us here. We're so glad to be here. We want to have fun and we wanna come back," CL said.
"The Party" is produced by Pulp Live Productions.