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Monday, July 22, 2024

Ode to joy

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After being so totally engrossed with a symphonic orchestra’s flash mob performance of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” the classical piece from the German composer has become today’s column title because it is about the man of the hour who gives us doses of kilig that make us giddy and happy. Yes, no other day but today, let us talk about Hyun Bin.

Who cares about confidentiality clauses and advertising protocols that must be followed to the dot and letter? Definitely not Manuel V. Panglinan who first announced via his official Twitter account that the South Korean superstar is the newest brand ambassador of Smart Communications.

Whatever were the supposed hush-hush reminders of his underlings and that we must contain the information with restraint and poise, all went for naught since it was their boss who spread the word about this casting coup.

South Korean heartthrob Hyun Bin is Smart Communications’ first international celebrity ambassador.
Photo from Metro Style

Of course, the public’s response to Hyun Bin is “electric.” Crash Landing On You fanatics, and those who knew him since My Name Is Kim Sam Soon, are deliriously overjoyed. He being the telco’s talent acquisition is likened to mana from heaven which we all so deserve for being quarantine survivors and all.

And, the possibility of the Korean oppa visiting Manila, is indeed a slice of heaven on earth. We may safely predict that once a vaccine is found and the pandemic’s havoc is all clear, Bin might be the perfect Christmas aguinaldo or the New Year wish granted by the Universe, and we have the telco giant to give thanks, of course.

I have no doubt that the media mogul and his team did not remiss on their corporate social responsibilities. If they can afford to splurge so many million won on an international star, for sure they have also allocated billions of pesos for the needs of their employees, frontliners, subscribers, and those who suffered during the quarantine season.

What kind of activities can we expect then once Hyun Bin is here? His legion of fans will definitely wait for him at the airport. A grand press conference will surely be in place as his welcome feast. A fan meeting in a massive venue, I suppose. And maybe, Bin spending time with COVID-19 survivors or giving donations to institutions that are at the forefront during the pandemic. For sure, the moment the date of his Manila arrival is confirmed, the inevitable countdown begins.

Meanwhile, according to an online story, the fiercest competitor of the telco will throw their support for the online fanmeet of Bright Vachiwarit and Win Metawin, the BL pair from the phenomenal 2gether series. Is this support just the tip of the iceberg and we can expect a double celebration? Is it safe to assume that the probability of these two upstarts will be their brand ambassadors? If this becomes a reality, we can definitely expect that the Sarawat and Tine fandoms will make their presence felt.

Bright Vachiwarit and Win Metawin of the massively popular ‘2gether’ series.

Are we all going to be witnesses to a Hyun Bin versus Bright and Win telco battle? Wow! This is one war that screams win-win for all.

The only thing lamentable about these megawatt endorsements is that after so many years, and I believe so many attempts, our movie companies and television networks have not created an actor like Hyun Bin, or for that matter the BL pairing of Vachiwarit and Metawin. Not only are they popular in their countries of origin, they are also well known, with tremendous fanbases in other nations as well, such as ours.

We have the likes of Lea Salonga, Christian Bautista, Jericho Rosales, Regine Velasquez, and Jaclyn Jose, who somehow made a mark in the international performing and acting arenas (most especially Salonga) but we cannot deny the fact that we have not found the actor or actress and the formula to earn the mass adulation given to Hyun Bin, Bright and Win, and other Asian and Southeast superstars.

That is why it truly makes me cringe when we say that Vice Ganda is an Asian Phenomenal Box Office Star, and they call minuscule stars with monikers like Asia’s Pop Star and Asia’s Multimedia Star when in fact they are no match to the likes of a Hyun Bin, Song Hye Kyo, Cha Eun Woo, Bae Suzy, and they are no way near the immense addiction and clamor of their public to anything and everything that is Bright and Win.

Should we hold on to the old saying that hope springs eternal? Can we see it becoming a reality in the nearest future? One of these days, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,”  a Filipino actor or actress is the main reason for us humming the immortal classic, with a smile plastered on our faces, and we are filled with that undeniable sense of Pinoy pride?

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