Bond with K-pop fans at these Hallyu-themed exhibits, pop-up stores, studios across Metro Manila

Rappler Lifestyle Team

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Bond with K-pop fans at these Hallyu-themed exhibits, pop-up stores, studios across Metro Manila
Fancy learning K-pop dance choreo? Or spazzing over photocard pulls while sipping on an icy drink?

Fans know that one of the best things about being part of a fandom is the friendships you form along the way. 

Aside from finally seeing your favorite artists perform live together, your stan-Twitter-mutuals-turned-real-life-friends also become your go-to persons for other fan-related activities. You gift each other with merchandise, attend cupsleeve events for birthdays and anniversaries, and even visit the locations that your favorite stars have gone to. 

And with the amount of concerts and fan-led events happening in the Philippines, being a Filipino Hallyu fan never gets boring. In case you and your friends are looking for more Hallyu-related activities to do, here are some events to consider: 

Celebrate art and talent in ‘BTS x James Jean: Seven Phases Exhibition’ in Manila 

Good news, Filipino ARMYs! The well-loved artistic celebration between music juggernaut BTS and Grammy-nominated visual artist James Jean is finally in the Philippines. Located on the fourth floor of Building A, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City, the BTS x JAMES JEAN: SEVEN PHASES EXHIBITIONwill run until December 3. 

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For P800 per ticket, fans will be treated to a visually-appealing “journey through artistry, creativity, and the world of BTS.” It is divided into two main exhibition areas wherein visitors can get a glimpse of the creative brilliance of both James Jean and BTS. 

The first area, which focuses on the art of James Jean, opens with a recorded video of the artist explaining where he draws inspiration for his masterpieces.

“I researched every member and discovered that they each had unique personalities and characteristics. I tried to bring it out into paintings and create stories based on their nicknames and unique traits,” he said. 

Boasting around 30 pieces by James Jean, the area is full of his sketches, scans, and intricate paintings. A guide will also facilitate the walk-through and give attendees additional information and explanations behind James Jean’s pieces. 

The second exhibition area, meanwhile, is a haven for ARMYs as it is fully dedicated to BTS’ illustrious career. At the BTS Asset zone, visitors are treated to actual wardrobes (yes, that Dior ensemble) that the members wore during stage performances and music video filming, as well as the audio equipment – color-coded microphones, in-ear monitors – that the members used onstage. 

There’s also a specific area dedicated for the many awards that the K-pop powerhouse has received over the years. On the wall are the certificates from Guinness World Records, while several trophies from the group’s wins at the Billboard Music Awards, MTV VMAs, and American Music Awards are displayed across the room. They also have several special memorabilia that ARMYs will recognize: the Butter albums that were customized by fans, as well as the sneakers painted from In The Soop. 

Do note, though, that photos and videos are not allowed in these areas so you can just focus on admiring each and every memorabilia you see. 

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But, ARMYs can take pictures to their hearts’ content at the fan zone where they can also leave messages for BTS on the black walls! 

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Get budol-ed at the NewJeans x LINE FRIENDS pop-up store

No need to be super shy in admitting that a hefty chunk of our allowances and savings go to our fanboy/fangirl shenanigans. And who can blame us when these merchandise are not only adorable but functional, too! 

Take the items at the NewJeans x LINE FRIENDS pop-up store on the 5th floor of Mega Fashion Hall at SM Megamall, for example. There are plushies, pillows, and keychains that closely resemble all of the NewJeans members: Minji, Hanni, Danielle, Haerin, and Hyein. 

Plus, the group’s Get Up EP is also front and center, as they have books, phone cases, caps, and shirts that draw inspiration from manga and the group’s collaboration with the Powerpuff Girls.

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While the majority of the items are from the NewJeans collection, multi-fans can also buy items from other LINE FRIENDS collaborations such as BT21 and TRUZ. The store will be up until December 23.

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Pose with your favorite K-pop stars

Admit it: we’ve all dreamt of having a photo with our favorite K-pop idols. And while that’s a far-fetched fantasy, you can still fulfill your wishes, in a way, at several photo booths across Metro Manila. 

Studios such as Life Four Cuts and Photoism, which both have branches in multiple malls across the metro, have special frames that allow fans to look like they got their photo taken with their idols. Usually, these special frames are related to an artist’s comeback or special events, which is why they’re only available for a limited time period. There will also be a video recording of you posing in the booth on top of the printed photostrip!

Attend K-pop dance classes

Fans know that K-pop music releases now are almost always partnered with TikTok dance challenges. And while you wait to see which idol from another group your bias will rope into doing these challenges, while not trying joining a dance challenge, too? 

Or, you can also take it up a notch and learn the whole choreography – not just the 15-second highlight. 

Several studios, such as 808 Studio PH at the Podium in Mandaluyong and Zero Studio PH on Scout Borromeo Street in Quezon City, hold classes for K-pop dance routines. Sessions range from a few classes to week-long lessons that will be capped off by professionally-shot dance performance covers. It’s almost like being an actual K-pop idol, too!

Bond with K-pop fans at these Hallyu-themed exhibits, pop-up stores, studios across Metro Manila
Go to K-pop themed cafés

Cafés have easily become one of the go-to places for friends to hang out. But what makes these K-pop-themed cafés different is that it’s a safe space for fans who just want to spazz over their idols without being judged. 

Compared to the usual cafés, fans are more comfortable getting excited over their photocard pulls when they unbox albums in these K-pop-themed cafés. Which is why they’re often the venue for cupsleeve events and listening and watching parties. 

Among the well-known K-pop themed cafés in Metro Manila are Purple 7 (BTS-inspired) along Tomas Morato, Quezon City and Café 408 (EXO-inspired) at the Rock Lifestyle Hub, also in Quezon City.

Aside from them, Chingu Dachi Café in Sampaloc, Manila is also famous as it doubles as a K-pop store. Here, fans can enjoy their drinks and food while treating themselves to new merchandise! 

So, where are you and your stan bestie going next? – Rappler.com

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