Balut, beaches, and all the Filipino things Momoland wants to try
MANILA, Philippines – It feels like only yesterday that the Momoland girls made their Filipino fans swoon when they wore baro’t sayas and danced in front of a jeepney in their “Baam” music video. Now, the stars behind the viral “Bboom Bboom” dance are in the country for the first time as a group, and it seems they’re ready to go beyond the baro’t sayas and basketball jerseys and immerse themselves even more in Filipino culture.
Ahin, Jane, Taeha, Daisy, JooE, Nancy, and Hye Bin arrived in Manila on August 16, and while they haven’t been in the country long – and may even be leaving soon – they already have quite a list of local things they want to try. (Two of their members, Yeon Woo and Nayun, were not present. Yeon Woo is in Maldives, while Nayun is on hiatus for health reasons).
When it comes to local cuisine, the member Hye Bin said that they haven’t had a chance to try any local dishes, but there are a few they’re interested in – and one of them is particularly daring.
“Actually, we haven’t tried Filipino food yet, but we want to try adobo because I’ve heard of it,” Hye Bin shared at a press event on August 17. (Aside from Nancy, Daisy, and Ahin, the girls spoke in Korean, with an interpreter translating their responses.)
“I also want to try balut,” she added, leaving the crowd impressed at her audacity.
JooE’s choice is safer and sweeter “Mangoes!” she said excitedly.
The group – who is in the country for a mysterious “exclusive and private event” – hasn’t posted much about their Philippine stay so far. A Liza Soberano meetup isn’t on their schedule yet – Nancy, Liza’s supposed lookalike said there are no plans to meet the actress – though they were able to meet Manny and Jinkee Pacquiao.
During their stay, they also paid a courtesy visit to the Korean Embassy in Manila, and had a chance to meet former Ilocos Sur governor Chavit Singson, who plans to take them on a “mini-vacation” around Ilocos, Manila, and Cebu.
“We should be there too,” Ahin said of Cebu when it was mentioned during their press event.
Ultimately, anywhere with the beach and the ocean is a go-to for the girls.
“We don’t really have much time to spend outside so when we come to other countries we really want to go out to see the seaside and surf and do some activities,” Ahin said.
“We know that the Philippines is full of islands. We don’t really get the chance to see the ocean and water, and we really all enjoy going to see the ocean and going to the beach so if we get a chance, it would be lovely if we could visit a beach in the Philippines,” Daisy shared.
In fact, some of Momoland’s members have already seen some local beaches.
Hye Bin shared that she once visited the famous Boracay island, which is currently closed for rehabilitation. “I know it’s closed, but it’s opening this year so I want to go there with all our members,” she said.
Meanwhile Nancy talked about her experience on Bonito Island in Batangas, where she saw the “pink cheek fish” she once raved about in a Facebook live video.
“I’ve been to the Philippines before and I went to a small island called Bonito Island. It was my first experience here, and it was so great,” she said. “I got to do scuba diving, and fishing. I ate a lot of mango and pineapple so I’d like to do that experience again.”
“That’s where I saw the pink cheek fish, but I still don’t know what the name of the fish is,” she added with a laugh.
JooE chimed in saying that she wants an authentic local experience: “I want to walk the streets where it really feels like it’s the Philippines.”
Of course, as part of the full tourist experience, the girls also shared some of the Filipino words they learned so far: “salamat,” “Mahal kita,” and, for JooE “po,” which she excitedly repeated throughout the event.
While the beaches and local cuisine have caught Momoland’s interest, it was ultimately their Filipino fans (officially called Merries) that drew them to the Philippines – and the fans that they will remember after they leave.
“A lot of Filipino fans always send so much love so we really wanted to actually come here and see how they really act in person,” Nancy said.
She expressed her gratitude for the support their group has been getting from Filipinos: “Thanks for listening and loving our songs ‘Bboom Bboom’ and ‘Baam’…we’re so honored to be here today and I hope we have a lot more time to see our Merries here in the future.”
Hye Bin hinted at a future visit: “I know that our event could not accommodate all the Merries that wanted to come so we’ll try our best to make sure that there will be another event in the future that more Filipino Merries can attend.”
“I always wanted to say that even when we’re in Korea, we see Filipino fans’ comments on our videos and pictures, and we also see how you vote for us. We see Philippines as the top voters and we want to say thank you,” JooE added. “We know that you exist, and we acknowledge that we are so thankful for the love that you are giving us, and we will not forget you even when we go back to Korea.” – Rappler.com
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