2NE1 continues their winning comeback strategy on YouTube

Top Korean idol girl group 2NE1 continues their winning comeback strategy. YG Entertainment, 2NE1’s management, uploaded the group’s three Inkigayo debut performances on their official YouTube channel. These include 2NE1’s debut stages for Can’t Nobody, Go Away and Clap Your Hands, all from their new album, To Anyone.

Numerous international fans who have no access to Korean music shows are growing tired of uploaded videos being taken down due to copyright claims. By creating an official online venue for 2NE1’s performance videos, YGE allows international fans to enjoy 2NE1’s performances anytime.

Using online resources to spread 2NE1’s music and news is not new to YGE. It may be recalled that YGE officially launched their YG-Life Blog ( with 2NE1’s comeback album tracklist and teaser photos. The artists themselves foster online relationships with their fans through their minihompy accounts, a Korean social network. Sandara Park, a member of 2NE1, is known as the “Queen of Minihompy.” With their effective use of online strategies, it is not a surprise that 2NE1 has topped and continues to top several music charts since their comeback.

Super Junior breaks silence over controversial members Kangin and Hankyung

The remaining members of Korean supergroup Super Junior finally broke their silence and shared their feelings about controversial members Kangin and Hankyung. Fans of the formerly thirteen-member idol group are familiar with controversies involving these two members: Kangin was involved in an assault case shortly followed by a drunk driving incident, while Hankyung abruptly resigned from the group to pursue a solo career in China. This break was particularly infamous because he ended up suing SM Entertainment, Super Junior’s management and record label.

During the Chuseok special of MBC’s Radio Star Super Show, the members expressed that when Kangin was first involved in the assault case, they felt the need to shield and protect him. However, they felt betrayed after he was involved in a drunk driving incident just a month later. The members continued, “We believed that we are all one, so we tried to protect him as much as possible. They say that time heals, and as time passed, our feelings softened as well.” Kangin is currently serving his mandatory military service.

As for their feelings for Hankyung’s decision to sue SM Entertainment and leave the group, the members stressed they were close to him. However, given the circumstances, they have not been able to contact Hankyung. Lee Teuk, Super Junior’s leader, said, “It would have been nice if he discussed his problems with the members first because we honestly had no idea.” The members further said they were quite disappointed when they learned of reports about how difficult Hankyung’s life was in Korea and how the Super Junior members did not take care of him.

Fans can still hope for a reunited Super Junior as Lee Teuk, once voted best leader of an idol group, said that “We leave an empty space for Hankyung. My one dream is to stand on stage with all 13 of us and perform before I leave for the army. I hope for it to happen.” With their loyal fans behind them, the leader’s dream will not be impossible to achieve.

Rain Fugitive and Intensity Press Conference: A Blow by Blow Account

I got the opportunity to attend the “Runaway and Intensity Press Con” for Rain, Daniel Henney and others. This is my blow by blow account of my experience covering this event. This entry is dedicated to all my K-pop and K-novela fangirls specially my Shinhwa Philippines friends.

The Night Before

A dear friend from Yahoo Philippines called to ask my husband if he can cover Rain’s press conference for them. Since Ganns has a previous engagement, he told them that he can send me to cover the event and that we can write the story together. Since I am also a blogger and a kpop fan, it would be good to have someone like me cover the event. It was settled and I got a call from Yahoo about the details of the event.

I prepared for the interview by researching more details about Rain. I do know him but not that well. I wanted to prepare unique questions for him. I also emailed my Shinhwa Philippines friends to send me suggested questions if they have any. I watched some of his YouTube interview videos just so I don’t ask the usual questions. Since I already covered Elliott Yamin before, I knew how press conferences work. No autographs, no photos, structured questioning…

The Day Itself and the Presscon

Since I was instructed to be at Manila Hotel by 530PM, I was there by 445PM. I know, I know. I was too early but I did not want to be late and I wanted a good seat. The problem was I was really too early so I went to Cafe Ilang Ilang to have the famous Manila Hotel putobumbong before the press con. While eating, I reviewed my interview questions. At around 515PM, I paid my bill and went to the Champagne Room where they were holding the event.

Surprisingly, they were not very strict. I was able to enter the room after a quick register. The people manning the registration area did not even offer me a press kit after knowing that I am representing Yahoo Philippines.

I went in and took a seat on the second row. There were some press there already but I just sat there to wait until the press con starts. Little did I know that it will be a 2 hour wait. I mean, the press con actually started at 730PM. At some point during the wait, the cameramen who were there early were already starting to heckle impatiently. Mo Twister hosted the press con which was a surprise to me since he was involved in a gigantic controversy when he described the U-KISS members as “gay”. I guess someone in ABC-5 wasn’t doing their homework or is this an indirect peace offering from Mo? Whatever. I am speculating.

At around 730PM, the person handling the presscon started giving out pre-set interview questions to members of the press. I am so blessed to have gotten one question to ask Rain. The question was “You received international acclaim as a singer, dancer and actor. Is there still anything you’d like to do with your career?”

At around 745PM, the presscon officially started. Since it is for both “Fugitive” and the “Intensity” show, there were a total of 6 celebrities who appeared before the press. These included Lee Jungjin (“Love Story in Harvard”), Yoon Jin Seo (“The Return of Iljimae”), Lee Na Young (“High Kick Through the Roof”), DANIEL HENNEY!!!! (“Seducing Mr. Perfect”, “My Name is Kim Sam Soon”), and Jihoon Hung aka RAIN (“Full House”, “Ninja Assasin”). Please note that all guests except DANIEL HENNEY spoke in Korean.

The press questions start with the first question being for the director. He was asked about why the drama “Fugitive” crosses genres since it is described as a drama, action and romantic comedy. He said that since they have a varied audience with different ages and points of view, they try to make a drama that fits their varied tastes. The next question was for Lee Jung Jin, he was asked about his role in the drama. He said that he is playing a detective that is chasing Rain. He plays the key detective opposite Rain. Carlo Orosa representing Philippine Star asked him next. He asked Lee Jung Jin about what kind of roles he like to do. Lee Jung Jin said that every time he is doing a role, he focuses on that so he is currently focused on his role in the “Fugitive”.

Someone from Manila Bulletin asked the next question. Her question was for Daniel Henney and Rain. Her question was obviously a “marketing question” for Manila Hotel. She asked them what sets Manila Hotel apart from other hotels they stayed in. Rain answered simply by saying that his stay was comfortable and that the food is good. Daniel Henney said that the food is “very” delicious and that he went to Baguio and thought it was nice there. He also enjoyed the music at the bar the night before.

Yoon Jin Seo was asked next. She was asked about the three leading men she was working with and who is her favorite. She answered very nicely by describing the characters of the actors in the drama but ultimately picking her drama partner, Lee Jungjin as her favorite. She said that Rain’s character is a naughty and mischievous guy, and that Lee Jungjin is wild and tough guy who also knows how to love.

Lee Na Young was asked next. She was asked about what challenges her as an actress. Interestingly, she said that she not just as an actress but as an actor meaning not just a female. She said that she concentrates on every character that she gets.

Someone from the Philippine Star got to ask Daniel Henney an interesting question. She asked him what traditions from Britain, America and Korea does he embrace. Daniel said that this is a difficult question and charmingly corrected her by saying that he is not British but Irish (His dad is Irish). He said that from his Irish descent, his love for beer, from the Korean side, his respect for elders and that this is incorporated in their language and from America, his free spirit.

The next question was for Rain and what his character in the drama is. He gave a straightforward answer. He said he plays a detective who is able to solve a case.

Lee Na Young was asked next about the cities she visited in the course of shooting the drama. She was asked what memories she will take from the experience. She said that she likes the food even if the schedule is hectic. She appreciates the director who tries hard to allow them some personal time. Each country has different colors and that she tries to show the colors for each country.

Grace Lee from GMA got to ask next. Since she is able to speak in Korean, she was very animated in asking her question and translated Rain’s answer for everyone. She should have been the official translator! She said that she worked with Rain before when he first visited the Philippines. She asked him what he thinks is his biggest achievement so far. Rain said “De…” Like saying “Yes”. It elicited laughter from the press. He answered Grace by saying that it was nice to see her again and that he is very happy to be back in the Philippines. He said that when he arrived, he was very naive. He just released his first single at that time. He has achieved a lot since then and he is very very proud about his achievements and that he is happy to be back in the Philippines and that he had missed it a lot.

The next question was for Daniel. She asked him about his band since he played lead vocals and guitar and if she thinks he will have something kpop fans will like. He said that he doubts kpop fans will like his music because his music is like the Doors, Pearl Jam (“Rock Music”) He said that he had a band in New York about 5 or 6 years ago. But he said a promising…”You never know…these things” SING FOR US, Daniel!!!

I got to ask my question next and I improved the phrasing by saying: “Hi! I am Caths Deen from You received international acclaim in the areas of singing, dancing and acting. Is there still anything that you would like to do with your career? What else is there for you to conquer?” Rain actually smiled a big smile after hearing my question and I can prove it on video! He said that right now he wants to do more television dramas as an actor. He said that he wants to show his capabilities.”

The next question was for Daniel Henney about his other Hollywood plans. He said that there’s always scripts and scenarios but it is always about the character for him. He said that he liked his last role “David” since he thinks it’s important for an Asian actor to do that kind of role. He said he has turned down some roles and that he tends to wait patiently for good roles.

The next question was from Philippine Daily Inquirer. She said if it is necessary for an artist to struggle to be successful. Rain said that he is not thinking of struggles and that he is focused on his role and doing his best as a performer. He said he is happy to see us and that he promise to do his best in all that he does.

The Philippine Star asked him if he’s only here for work and if he had a chance to see the city and what his favorite spots are. Rain asked the person to repeat the question. After he understood, he said that as long as the food is good, he is happy and he goes anywhere.

Ginger from ABS-CBN got to ask her question next. She asked him what drives him and what motivates him as a performer and artist. Rain said that he does not think of difficult things and that his focus is on his fans. He wants to meet his fans’ expectations.

Rain was asked the final question by Mo Twister. He was asked what his fans can expect this Saturday. He said that since it is his first show in the Philippines, his fans can expect “Anything”. I think something was lost in translation here….He may have meant “Everything”.

The presscon ended and the press were asked to vacate the premises for an “Exclusive KBS Conference” with the stars.

The Aftermath

After going out of the Champagne Room, I waited for my husband while reviewing my recording, videos and pictures. I had some messages on the cell asking me about the presscon and this was what I texted. “I think Daniel Henney stole the show”. I also posted on my facebook that I think Daniel Henney stole Rain’s thunder (Did you get the pun?). Overall, it was a great experience seeing the stars but I have to be truthful and say that it was Daniel Henney who made the presscon so unforgettable for me.

For my Yahoo article, click here.

If you want to see the photos, visit this album: