Korean actor Hwang In Youp is no stranger to the Philippines having lived in Davao City during his teens. In fact, the 31-year-old actor finished his secondary education at Philippine Nikkei Jin Kai International School, and received his degree in fashion design at the Philippine Women’s College of Davao.
“It has been 10 years since I saw my friends, but we still keep in touch. I love to go back to Davao. Although I love Manila too, Davao has a special place in my heart because I lived there for four years. The schedule for this trip is quite tight, so I will not be able to go to Davao. But I will probably make a side trip.”
During BYS Fun Meet in Manila recently held at the New Frontier Theater, Hwang shared that it was in Davao when he started dreaming of becoming an actor.
While watching Korean dramas such as Boys Over Flower, Coffee Prince, and The Heirs, the young actor thought about the possibility. But being an introvert, Hwang wasn’t sure if he was made for the limelight. He took the modeling route before debuting in the web series Why in 2018.
His fans could not be any happier that he pursued his acting dream. Truth is, he never thought he would be back in the Philippines as an actor.
“I am very happy to be back in the country that I love. Last night (June 18), I arrived at 10:30 p.m., and I was so surprised to see my fans waiting for me. I am very excited to be back and see my fans,” he shared.
“But I’m also waiting for the day when my Filipino fans and friends could come to Korea and spend time over there. I would love to take all of you. Do you want to go to Seoul? Where would I take you? To my house,” he added.
Hwang might be just starting his acting career, but he has already made a great impact and has won the hearts of fans worldwide with iconic characters he amazingly brought to life.
He had a couple of bit roles including in web series Freshman and historical drama The Tale of Nokdu, portraying a tough warrior escorting and protecting a prince with his life. He played a school bully in JTBC fantasy drama 18 Again, a remake of the American film 17 Again.
Hwang rose to global stardom through his breakout role in True Beauty, the hit drama based on webtoon of the same title where he played the second lead, acting opposite Korean actor Cha Eun Woo and actress Moon Ga Young.
His two dramas aired this year – The Sound of Magic, a musical drama with actor Ji Chang Wook, and Why Her, which marked his first lead role on a terrestrial TV station.
“As you know, it has not been that long since I debuted. More than the role I would like to portray, the focus right now is what genre I would like to explore. It is more about me wanting to show my skills as a talented actor,” he enthused during the media huddle hours before his BYS fan meeting in Manila.
Aside from drama, Hwang has been named the brand ambassador of BYS (which means Be Your Self) Philippines. With his stiking looks and edgy personality, the actor is just the perfect endorser for its Skin by BYS Minis.
Hwang recommended the Skin by Mini line of products, consists of toner, serum, cream, and lotion, to get that glass-skin that Koreans are known for.
When asked how he takes care of his skin, the actor shared that he usually finishes his shower at night with cold wash on his face. Lip balm and sunscreen are essentials for him.
“When I was young, my mom would akways put sunscreen on me everytime I would step out. Now, when I had an outdoor shoot and I was under the sun a lot, I would put a hydrating mask when I get home at night,” said Hwang.
Aside from the beauty regimen, it is important for the actor to have a positive attitude. “I think as you live your life, you get to a point where you lose confidence, maybe even hate yourself. But I think it is important to love yourself. It is only by loving yourself that you will be able to go love others.”
When he is not busy with acting, Hwang would often find himself taking a drive with his car around Seoul alone (yes, he put an emphasis on the word alone). He loves the night view.
If he has more time in the Philippines, the Korean actor hopes he could visit Cebu and Boracay. Of course, aside from Davao.
“I haven’t been to Cebu and Boracay yet. I have been to Baguio. The Philippines is a little hot but I actually really love this kind of weather. I find it a little drier here. And when you are under the shade, it is actually very pleasant. I saw the pool here and I would love to take a dip,” said the actor.
Aside from the weather and his friends, the actor admitted that he misses some Filipino food.
“The Philippines has good food. I really liked Jollibee when I lived here. I miss mango float. When I was learning English here, I had a tutor and she would make mango float for me. I would keep that in the fridge. I miss that a lot.”
He continued: “I think Philippine pineapples are very delicious. I also like dried mango. In fact, when my friends found out I was coming to the Philippines, they wanted dried mango. I also miss kwek kwek. I used to eat that in the street.”
Hwang will be coming back to the Philippines for his first fan meeting tour, which will start in South Korea on July 24 and culminating in Thailand on September 10. He will also do fan meetings in Singapore and Indonesia.
“I wasn’t expecting this kind of love. I’m very thankful for the love I’m receiving from the Philippines. It is especially close to my heart personally because this is a country where I lived in. To be receiving this kind of love is fascinating, and I am grateful. I’m asking for your support for my current show. I wish you good health,” Hwang concluded.