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MANILA, Philippines – I am a “pandemic ARMY.” Like many fans, I discovered the supergroup BTS in 2020 while COVID-19 condemned us all to stay at home. Something about their songs made me happy during such a depressing period. I also found myself glued to their reality and variety shows, finding myself laughing as I watched episode after episode.
It was a rabbit hole, and I jumped right in. After two years of fangirling, I was so happy when I saw the group perform live in Las Vegas in April 2022. Taehyung or V, who has always been my bias, proved to be the ultimate performer.
I couldn’t believe my luck when I won a ticket to his exclusive fan meet at the Kyung Hee University in South Korea. I was one of only 1,400 BTS ARMY who got to join “Vicnic” with V on October 14.
He will enlist in the military soon. The “Vicnic” may be one of the last opportunities to see him before he serves.
Here are my own videos of my favorite moments from the fan meet.
V performs his new songs
I was lucky to see him perform his new songs live. He sang “For Us,” “Slow Dancing,” and its remix version. He also sang parts of “Love Me Again” and “Blue.”
Birthday boy Jimin joins V
It was a double treat as we saw Jimin join the Vicnic as special guest. The two BTS members sang “Friends,” which was the first time they performed before an audience. V also led the ARMY in singing the happy birthday song to celebrate Jimin’s special day.
V dances to NewJeans’ ‘Hype Boy’
It was fun watching V dance to hit BTS songs “Run”, “Go Go”, “N.O”, and “Mic Drop.” He also danced to NewJean’s viral song “Hype Boy.” The girl group is under the same company as BTS.
Bart Simpson makes an appearance
Every ARMY knows V loves The Simpsons. He once asked ARMY to draw versions of him as one of the characters in the US show, so it wasn’t a surprise when he picked an ARMY dressed as Bart Simpson to join him on stage.
We all got a photocard and a tin can of cookies from V. I hesitated to eat them at first because they were so pretty. It rained before the Vicnic so they also gave us rain coats and cushions for our seats, which we were able to take home.
It's a VICNIC with BTS V this afternoon. 💜— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) October 14, 2023
Lucky Filipino BTS Army @NoelleFonbuena, one of only 1,400 who won a raffle to attend the event, is sending us photos from Kyung Hee University Global Campus. #TaehyungFanMeeting
For more K-pop stories: https://t.co/FomwGYmlPI pic.twitter.com/xA0L4vQlL1
V’s managers join the fun
It was nice to see the BTS managers join the fun during the fan meet as they usually just remain behind the scenes. ARMYs know them so well because we see them with BTS wherever they go!
Meeting Pinoy ARMYs in South Korea
Last but not the least, it was so fun to meet fellow Filipino ARMYs in South Korea. I met one on my flight from Manila, and she happened to be my seatmate. A Filipino ARMY was also very lucky to be seated in front of the stage during the Vicnic and even got to take a selfie with V.
I also met ARMYs from other countries. I shared a taxi with three US ARMYs I met online going to the venue. A group of Korean ARMY sponsored a coffee truck to welcome us. Other ARMY gave away banners, wet wipes, and water. During the fan meet, I was seated between an Australian and a Korean ARMY, which was great because she translated what V was saying.
Meeting Pinoy and other global ARMYs in South Korea! 💜 pic.twitter.com/KaF48kCFwM— Noella Ann Fonbuena (@NoelleFonbuena) October 20, 2023