As a K-pop newbie, I’m still learning the rounds of Korean pop culture. From discovering groups to stanning them, there is a lot to uncover — starting with the fandom itself. So upon stepping into the UP Sunken Garden last April 27, I was immediately greeted with all things K-pop — K-pop music was blasting through the speakers, cover groups were rehearsing backstage, booths with faces of countless idols were spread throughout the area, and fans were dancing and hanging around. It was a local K-pop delight.
The sun was shining and the sparkles were felt too, as UP Diliman’s premiere K-Pop org, HallyUP, chose to go retro with the sixth installment of its flagship event, and this year, it’s HallyUniverse: ReVIbe. The annual event is a celebration of Korean pop culture and its strong community here in the Philippines, giving them an avenue to hone their skills and passions. There were activities, games, performances, and surprises that went on for the whole day. So for a K-Pop enthusiast like me, it was a full-on immersion.
The booths were filled with K-Pop merch from beloved groups like BTS, Twice, Blackpink, NCT, Red Velvet (all of whom are all having an exciting comeback!), and OGs like SNSD, Super Junior, 2NE1, SHINee, and newer groups like TxT, IZ*ONE, and ITZY. There were games within the booths as well. Think of a cultural fair, but instead of local souvenirs, you get to take home pins and posters of your favorite groups.