Sandara, forever a Filipino darling
It’s inevitable. When you’re interviewing Sandara Park, you will end up switching to Tagalog. It shouldn’t be a surprise, really, because long before she became 2NE1’s Dara, she was the Philippines’ “Pambansang Krung Krung,” who first stole hearts with her tearful Star Circle Quest audition.
Penshoppe flew Sandara to Manila last week for a series of events.
“Even while still at the airport, I already felt like ‘I’m home!’ When I got off the plane, a lot of people were already calling out to me, ‘It’s Sandara, it’s Sandara.” Wow, I’m back.” she told members of the media at her press conference.
Penshoppe signed Sandara as one of their ambassadors last year, adding her to their lineup of supermodels and Asian superstars. “Who wouldn’t say yes to Penshoppe? I love their clothes and I love Penshoppe even more because they’re (the management and staff) really funny, they’re really cool. They’re very easy to work with.”
Sandara, who has been wearing Penshoppe since her high school days in the Philippines, added, “I’m really happy that I became a part of Team Penshoppe. It’s like a dream come trye. I feel like Penshoppe and I really match each other.”
“Dara’s fun and quirky personality and take on fashion represents very well what Penshoppe stands for,” said Jeff Bascon, Penshoppe’s brand director.
It’s remarkable how real, grounded and endearingly unassuming Sandara has remained despite her fame.
“This is Sandara,” she introduced herself, first at the press conference at Edsa Shangri-La Hotel and then later that day at Penshoppe’s DenimLab fashion show at Trinoma’s Activity Center, as if they didn’t know who she was, like she wasn’t the reason people had flocked to the hotel and the mall in droves, like she wasn’t the cause of their fervent screaming.
AT THE Meet and Greet at SM North Edsa’s Sky Dome
The next day, at her Meet and Greet event at SM North Edsa’s Sky Dome, she expressed concern for her fans. “Do not push so no one gets hurt… I saw your pictures when you were at the queue outside where it was very hot, so I’m worried about you guys.”
She had talked about her Filipino fans at the press conference too. “My fans are very passionate and kind, cute. Especially the fans here in the Philippines, they’re really something else. Since 2004 when I was still at SCQ, and until now, they’re still here. So every time I see them, I get so touched and thankful. We have a really unique friendship.”
GREETING one of her fans
When her fans sang to her at the Meet and Greet, she said, “You guys are the best!”
She was grateful for the chance to see them, she said. “There are so many people! There’s only a few chances that we see each other, so I’m very grateful.”
She showed her gratitude in many ways. First, by accommodating 50 more fans for the meet and greet than the originally planned 100, gamely posing with them and greeting each one with hugs and her trademark warmth. And then by making the effort to get out of the car to say hi to the fans who weren’t lucky enough to get inside the venue and who had waited for her for hours outside.
When the meet and greet was over, she didn’t want to go. “I don’t want to go just yet, what to do?” she asked host Robi Domingo. Then she turned to her fans, “I really, really love you all.”
The feeling is mutual. Seventeen-year-old Angela Breze said, “My love for Sandara is really great because of her Filipino heart. Everywhere she goes, she brings us with her and it’s the same thing with us, she’s always in our hearts.”
Chris Althea Macaisa, 15, was still holding a placard as she gushed about Sandara after the meet and greet. “I really, really like her cuteness and her being so kind all the time, and it’s also like she doesn’t get older. “
Sandara may have left the country but she is looking forward to coming back for her future projects with Penshoppe. “More pictorials, also I hope for meet and greets in other cities like Cebu, hopefully, I wish.”
FIVE MINUTES WITH SANDARA
INQUIRER: How does it feel to be back in the Philippines?
DARA: It feels so good. This event was the only thing I waited for in Korea. I was looking at the calendar thinking ‘one more day, one more day.’
INQUIRER: You’ve worked with Penshoppe for a while now, what do you like about the brand?
DARA: First of all, I like the clothes and the people at Penshoppe are very easy to work with and hardworking. Every time we have a photo shoot, the concepts are really good so I enjoy it a lot.
INQUIRER: Do you have other favorites from the new Penshoppe collection?
DARA: Earlier I got the wide-leg and pants and cropped paints… Their jeans have a lot of various styles. I wear them with T-shirts, simple T-shirts with sneakers.
INQUIRER: Are you excited about the meet and greet tomorrow?
DARA: Of course! I’m excited but so nervous at the same time. I texted the manager of Mario Maurer earlier and asked, ‘What do you usually do during meet and greet?’ and the manager told me, ‘We play and take pictures,’ so wow, I’m really, really excited.
INQUIRER: Do you know some of the fans who will be going tomorrow?
DARA: I know them, I know their faces, I saw them earlier during the press con. I’m expecting them (to come) tomorrow, and the new (fans) as well.
INQUIRER: Your Filipino fans are incredibly loyal, what would you like to tell them?
DARA: “That’s just it, they’re really very loyal. Sometimes I really want to cry when I think, ‘what do I even give them that they’re still there (for me) until now?’ I don’t even have a lot of projects in Korea and our group is kinda mysterious, so we don’t have a lot of TV shows, but they’re still there. I can’t say much more than ‘thank you’ and that I love them.”
INQUIRER: How long are you staying on this trip?
DARA: Only for four or five days. Because I have a TV show in Korea called “Sugar Man,” and the taping/recording is every Wednesday.
INQUIRER: What other projects should your fans watch out for?
DARA: My upcoming movie. I would also like to try different things like Koreanovela (K-Dramas).
INQUIRER: Tell us about the movie.
DARA: The movie is about the music. We’re done filming, we’re editing it now. Very interesting, it’s about music. For my role, I have a disease where I can’t hear music. When there’s music around, I see it all as colors, so it’s like ‘stop it, stop it.’
INQUIRER: I know you always meet up with old friends, what else are you doing on this trip?
DARA: I’m planning to meet some of my friends, but aigoo, I hope that the others don’t get upset with me, because I have a lot of friends but I don’t have the time to meet all of them. But I’ll come back. I realized that Korea is really near the Philippines anyway, just three hours and twenty minutes. I can come back any time I want.
INQUIRER: We know you love Filipino food, what was the first thing you ate when you landed?
DARA: Yesterday? First, someone gave me Jollibee’s peach mango pie. So I ate it at once. Then after, we went to Luneta Park and I ate sinigang and sisig.
INQUIRER: What else do you want to eat on this trip?
DARA: There’s a lot. But I’m sure I’m going to eat sisig and sinigang again.
Translated and re-uploaded by: OhDara
T/N: We translated the Tagalog bits because we know that OhDara has a lot of non-Tagalog speaking visitors.. ^_^ For the original article with Dara’s totally charming Tagalog answers, please check THIS LINK. ^^