BTS is currently on world tour, entitled Love Yourself. And it’s sad there’s no Philippines on the list.
I am no stranger to fangirling. Growing up, I idolized Wham, Boy George, Duran Duran, A-ha, Menudo, Madonna, Cindy Lauper. I was in high school during that time. Living in a rural part of the country without a decent record store, with only one FM Station and only two TV channels, my source for my stash were those cheap magazines in a newspaper shop and rented VHS tapes for their shows crudely recorded on TV.
Fast forward to almost twenty-five years later, and I have a teenage daughter who somehow rolled into the Kpop culture by the influence of her friends in school. I cannot keep track of her many idols from Girls Generation to Twice, Big Bang to BTS, to name a few.
They say today’s millennial generation has a sense of entitlement, so that’s probably the reason why my daughter would just casually ask me to buy CDs all the way from Korea, or beg to watch their concerts, or suggest a family trip to Seoul. Whenever she does any of that, I try to remember my youth and how hard it was for me to even buy a poster of A-ha not because I had no money but because it wasn’t readily available where I live. When I put myself in her shoes, my heart melts and find myself giving in to her wishes.
Being the mother, my role is to help her still concentrate on school and keep the fondness for Kpop at a minimum. She needs to follow simple but strict rules like no gadgets on school nights and limiting her time on the internet during weekends and vacations. It is expensive to be a Kpop fan, because these fans do not resort to pirated copies; they buy the original to support their idols and that’s not cheap. A CD would probably be around P 1,200, excluding shipping. The concerts are way expensive because she wants to sit nearest the stage. And a trip to Korea is a highlight for meaningful achievements.
Even then, I somehow find myself supporting her ‘hobby’ but she doesn’t get them for free. She has to earn the money for her CDs fund by doing chores in the house. A concert ticket is a prize for any major achievement in school during the school year. A trip to Seoul is a graduation gift as reward for being a diligent student and an obedient daughter.
Kpop has its perks in our relationship. It actually made us closer. She would excitedly tell me about her Oppas and we stay up late at night awaiting the release of an album or the opening of ticket sales for a concert. I line up for her in the concerts when she’s still in school. I even find myself humming to the tunes of the Twice and BTS.
Loving Kpop is not a bad influence on her. I have seen my daughter take her studies seriously and work hard in the school year so that she can get her rewards by the end of each term. She is not into ‘boys’, but only ‘oppas’ who (sorry to say) do not even know she exists.
It’s been many years since my daughter’s first Kpop CD. She is now in college, still a Kpop fan and currently learning Korean. Talk about Korean addiction to the highest level.