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Fan Account: Lee Seung Gi’s Vagabond Voyage in Manila

This first-hand account of the Luckiest Fan who tasted Lee Seung Gi’s Kimbap in Manila proves that dreams do come true. With Lee Seung Gi, it does!

By: Rose Hyacinth, AirenPh

October 15, 2019, 3 AM

Since 2009, I have been a fan of Lee Seung Gi from his 2 days 1 Night days. I couldn’t help but admire this person who has such great wit and charm. The way he performs the challenges and the games shows how diligent he is and how unafraid he is to make mistakes, but he does this in such a way that is just so cute that you couldn’t help but smile and laugh with him.  Watching him in a variety show will make you see his true personality.

For almost 10 years now, me and my older sister, have been members of Lee Seung Gi Philippines (AirenPH). Although we couldn’t do more active roles due to logistics and time since we live an hour and half plane ride from Manila and very busy with our work, we are always willing and active to give our support in whatever way we can to help the fandom. Be it financial support for all the activities of LSG AirenPH like foodtrucks, giving gifts and flowers for LSG special days and stalking around social media and telling the entertainment industry to please bring our idol Lee Seung Gi  to the Philippines.

All the hard work from the admins and fans of LSG AirenPH finally paid off when we heard that our Lee Seung Gi was coming to the Philippines for his Vagabond Fan Meeting on Oct 12, 2019. My sister and I immediately blocked off our schedule from Oct 11-14 and bought our MVP tickets, booked our flight and hotel.

D-Day
After 10 Years of Waiting and Hoping for LSG

Oct. 12, 2019, Saturday – The big day finally arrived. I was putting on the last touches of my make up and my sister was urging me to hurry up because we are meeting another fan, Mayora RR at the New Frontier Theater at 3 PM and it was already 2:50 PM. Mind you the gates will not open until 4:30 PM and our hotel is just a minute walk from the theater! But we are fans, and being one and a half hour early is perfectly reasonable for us. We have time to take our photos and talk to other fans. But I told my anxious sister to be patient because I have to make sure that my make up was placed just right since I will have a date with Lee Seung Gi later today. Famous words, indeed!

So the gates were finally opened, and after waiting outside for 30 minutes on the sidewalk and being a little wet from the heavy downpour, we were allowed inside the theater. Going inside and seeing all the bouquets of congratulations from the different global Airen groups  displayed on the lobby, made it all real. This is it. Lee Seung Gi was here and I will get to see him in a little while.

I was teary-eyed when I saw the stage. 10 years of wishing and hoping is finally here. Even though I already saw him in person since I attended his other fan meetings – twice in Singapore last 2012 and 2013 and when he got out of military service last 2017, him being in my country made it more special.

The Luckiest Seat in the Vagabond Voyage Manila Fan Meeting Hall – Row 10 Seat No. 28

 At about 6:15 PM, the show started. Suddenly, Lee Seung Gi was there singing his famous debut hit song “Because You Are My Woman”. The audience went nuts.  Fans screamed and shouted, basically letting him know that we were there and we loved him. I was just there, siting in my seat, watching him and soaking up his presence.

The program went on and I was just smiling the entire time. Then a segment called: Date with Lee Seung Gi came up in which one lucky fan will get to come up the stage and eat the lunchbox that LSG painstakingly, albeit happily, made before our eyes. LSG drew a number from a box.

“MVP Center, row 10. Where’s row 10? Row 10, twenty—–eight!”

Oh my God! That was me! I stood up and raised my hand.

Row 10 Seat No. 28

An organizer immediately checked my ticket to verify that I indeed have the correct ticket. I couldn’t remember how I was able to walk up in stage. I felt like I was floating. I saw the LSG AirenPH admins in front row  going wild. Then Seung Gi ssi was there, shaking my hand then hugging me! He hugged me then he patted my shoulder—like they do in kdramas!  Maybe he understood how I was feeling especially my tears that he felt the need to pat my shoulder and make me calm.  I was in heaven. I can’t believe I was that lucky.

Up-close with Seung Gi ssi
What is he like?

So how did his hands feel when I shook it?

He had a firm handshake but his hands were definitely soft.

Did he have abs?

While I was hugging him, I can feel the silkiness of his shirt and my arms (not my hands!) can feel how firm his abdominal muscles are!

Perfume?

I think he did not wear perfume, but he smelled really fresh and clean.  He smelled like he just took a shower instead of being halfway into his fan meeting. No hint of sweat whatsoever. I then took my glasses off because with Seung Gi ssi so near, I don’t need it anymore.

What about his skin?

I saw how smooth his skin was. Although there was a little make up on because he was performing, I can still see his flawless skin.

Lee Seung Gi’s face up close

He has such pretty eyes and perfect nose. His face was just so symmetrical and so perfect.  He was very tall, that I had to back up a little bit so that I won’t have a hard time looking up at him. When he smiled, his cute dimples would pop out and the butterflies on my stomach went haywire.

Chitchat with Lee Seung Gi
A Fangirl’s Wildest Dream Fulfilled

Then the host, Ms. Sam Oh was asking me my name and where I’m from. I said “I’m Hya” and “I’m from Butuan City”. The audience went “ooohhh”.  I can see in my peripheral vision that Seung Gi ssi was asking his interpreter where Butuan City is due the reaction of the crowd. And he was nodding his head. I think he realized that I came a long way just to attend his FM.

Butuan City is in Mindanao and one and a half hour by plane from Manila.  Then Sam Oh said “If you can manage to say something, why don’t you tell him why you like him so much?’. Then LSG apologetically interrupted. “First of all, I’m so sorry to give you this.” indicating to his kimbap. I told him “It’s ok, no problem, I’m ok with it”. But he was smiling at me. Assuring me “This is safe. You can eat. Yeah. You can eat it.”

Then the host again said “Do you wanna tell him, before tasting the lunchbox, why do you like him so much?”.  This was easy. I always say this when people ask me why I like him. “I like him so much because he has a good personality”. The audience went ‘’yeah!”. LSG was nodding his head solemnly.

I couldn’t stop myself and continued on with my voice cracking up. “ Thank you so much for coming to the Philippines’. LSG said something in Korean(?) “ your welcome (?). Then I continued, “I saw you in Singapore twice”. LSG said “Twice?”. I said “Yeah, twice. When you umm came out of the army, I went there also”. The audience went “woah”. LSG just gave me a grateful look and hugged me again! Again, that hug and chest tapping thingy.

Feeding Time with Lee Seung Gi

I wanted to say more but I was just so overwhelmed and could not get words out of my mouth anymore that I just gave the mic back to the host. Then LSG said “ Well this would be a very meaningful present to you then”.  I was nodding my head off and placing my hands over my heart. The host went “I am so impressed. I cannot think of a better person to be here with us on stage. We’ll have her taste it. Let’s have her taste one. Do you wanna try one?  I nodded and then LSG said “There is only six…so…do you wanna try one?…”.

Then Sam Oh said the life changing sentence:

“Why don’t you feed one to her?”

The crowd went wild!

Then LSG said something about us taking a photo and pointing to the camera in front. So we had our picture taken with both our hands holding the precious kimbap. LSG then said “Ok, I’ll give you. Do you want…do you want original style or special item?” (pointing to his dip made of mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard sauce). Of course I said “Special item.”  Then he went on and said “ Special item”.

Then he did a small gesture with his hand and gave me his embarrassed and cute smile saying… “I want to recommend you the original.”.  What can I say. I’m a fangirl. I’ll always support him. So I picked the original. May I just say that during this time, his dimple was popping all over the place and I had a hard time focusing in the moment.  He was just smiling a lot and laughing a little bit.  My heart was beating so hard and fast. My fingers were ice cold.

THEN SEUNG GI SSI FED A SLICE OF KIMBAP TO ME!!! — While I Was Holding His Wrist…

Lee Seung Gi feeding me!!!

I was trying so hard not to open my mouth so much and to focus on just not dying. This is just so surreal. I saw in one of the fan pics later on that I was holding his wrist (the hand that was holding the kimbap container) while he was feeding me. Maybe I just need an anchor because I was in such a high place, to keep me on planet earth???

Then I chewed carefully and he was looking at me intently and genuinely curious how it tasted. I then had to look away. I can’t taste anything with him looking at me like that. No fan can. Then I gave him a double thumbs up sign. I said it’s masarap.

Then LSG gave me a thumbs up also then he ask me “What is masarap?”. The host said “It tasted good.”. LSG then said “Masarap? Masarap?”. I gave him another double thumbs up. Then he said “ You liar. Are you sure? You’re sure?”. He kept on giving me his cute smile. I just kept on nodding. Then he said “ah jinja? (really)’’. I said “You taste it.” The crowd laughed.

Then the host asked me how it tasted like. I said “It tastes sweet… with cheese. I like cheese.”  As I fan, I know I would find it tasty regardless of the taste, just because of the fact that Seung Gi ssi made it by his own bare hands and sincerity. But honestly, it really tasted good.

I can taste the sweetness of the quail eggs and grapes offset by the saltiness of the kimbap wrapper and cheese. It has the salty-sweet taste that I like. The host then said. “I think the flavor combo can work. So, congratulations! I’m so happy for you”.

But there’s more for my lucky sister…

Seung Gi during this time was busily covering the container carefully and giving it to me. I said “Is this for me?”  He said “ Yeah it’s yours”. Inside my mind, I was thinking thank God he gave the rest of the kimbap to me because I really have to have my sister taste it too.

Souvenir of a Lifetime
A Signed Polaroid Photo with Lee Seung Gi

Me and Seung Gi ssi – together, forever!

Then LSG was given the polaroid photo of us together. The host said “We have a polaroid photo and he’s gonna sign the photo for you”. I was jumping up and down by this time. To have this all happen to me and to have a polaroid photo of us together signed?  How lucky can I be? It was just too much. I was ecstatic.

He then signed his name and then asked me how do I spell my name. Lee Seung Gi was so tall that he had to bend down a bit and I tiptoed a bit and said it to his ear “H-Y-A”. He confirmed, H-y-a? I said yeah. He then wrote it on the polaroid and then gave me a cute smile and then added a heart sign after my name. OMG. My heart melted.

He then gave it to me and I said thank you so much. He said you’re welcome and shook hands with me. This was when I remembered all the Filipino Airens and know that they would want me to say, “Please come back to the Philippines” which I did.  He said yeah. Then he hugged me again. I gave him a small bow and exited the stage.

The host then said “You are the only person in this room who get to taste this exclusive lunchbox of Lee Seung Gi. Let’s give her a round of applause everyone. And LSG clapped his hand also.

Back to the Luckiest Seat in the Vagabond Voyage Fan Meeting Hall

Meanwhile back in my seat, I gave the kimbap box to my sister and she said she’s going to taste it at the hotel later on and to guard it with my life! So I watched the rest of the FM with my left hand holding the priceless kimbap lunchbox while my right hand was waving a lightstick!

My heart was still beating very fast, the butterflies in my stomach were still going wild and my hands were still ice cold the entire time I watched the rest of the FM.  Inside my head, I was still saying “Oh My God!” over and over again.

Just the fact that I was watching a FM of Lee Seung Gi in the Philippines was more than enough to gladden my fangirl heart. But having all that happen to me? Dreams do come true. With Lee Seung Gi, it does!

By: Rose Hyacinth, AirenPh

(thank you for this space, The Philippine Forum)

TPF Admin: No, fangirl Rose Hya, thank you for sharing your story with us and the rest of K-pop fans!

Photo credit: Thanks to Gigi Dacara for the featured photo

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