June 25, 2019 – Vinz Lamorena
Park Bo Gum’s got range. It’s no secret that the Korean heartthrob’s biggest dream is to become a singer-songwriter, and there was nothing quite like the charisma he had shown on stage.
When he met his Filipino fans during the Good Day in Manila fanmeet, the crowd was prepared to be disarmed by his charms. What they didn’t expect, though, was a 2-hour concert. Bo Gum introduced another side to him, one that is perfectly comfortable being the center of attention—his usual timidity disappeared as he performed song after song.
We got used to Korean celebrities singing a handful of tracks when we meet them, but Bo Gum does things differently. This multihyphenate took no breaks, except for a few wardrobe changes. Every one of his numbers were adorably sensational. His notes had power. His moves were filled with energy. It certainly wasn’t like those cutesy performances on Music Bank.
Bo Gum didn’t hold back when it came to dancing, and while he sang there was an undeniable swag in the way he carried out his tunes. Bo Gum had an incredible cover of Cho Yong-pil’s “Bounce,” a groovy and upbeat track where he took command of the beats and reined in the sleekness of the rhythm.
He also pulled out a song from JYP’s 1998 archive and didn’t even exhaust any of his swagger when he sang “Honey.” Bo Gum picked up the tempo and revealed the sultriness of his voice as he ended the song with a string of solid adlibs—and, boy, could he growl.
He began his set with a cadence of pulsing beats, but out of all the songs he brought to the stage that night, it had to be Psy’s “Entertainer” that was perfectly attuned to the experience he gave the crowd. As he went through the song’s verses, he belted out “I’ll be your celebrity and always entertain you. Acting, singing, and even comedy—I’ll do it all,” come the chorus. And that he did.
Speaking of Psy, of course Bo Gum’s fans wouldn’t dare be in the same room with him and not see him dancing to “Boombastic” in person. As the crowd started chanting the song title, the 26-year-old actor gave out a slight pout. “Ah, Boombastic!” he exclaimed. “I thought you were booing.”
Manila was the last stop of his Asia tour, and when asked about what’s on the top of his Philippine bucket-list, he gave an unforgettable sweet response: “I’m doing it already,” Bo Gum said. “Just having a good day with you guys.”
In the TNT-sponsored event mounted by Ovation Productions, there were endless moments of revelation. For one, we witnessed just how real Bo Gum’s thoughtfulness is. He was spotted passing bottles of water to the people he shared the stage with, and even helped out with the moving of props.
He had his awkward share of moments, but nothing his warm laugh can’t save him from. As he was making a diffuser for one lucky fan, he came across a figure he wasn’t so familiar with. He quickly asked the host, Anne Curtis, what it was. “It’s Durian,” she replied. “Do you like it? It smells really good, right?”
Bo Gum gave a hesitant grin and an uneasy “yes,” which sent the audience laughing. He also got to share the three things he wants to achieve before turning 40. He wants to get married and have kids, study abroad, and star in a foreign film.
It was during the encore when we proved that the actor knows how to have fun and make fun of himself. Performing a dance cover of TWICE’s “What is Love?” was pure fan service, but Bo Gum had a mischievous look on his face—he was truly enjoying every bit of this extended aegyo. He had no signs of being embarrassed, instead he showed just how comfortable he can get in front of all his supporters.
As he carried out the dance routines of SEVENTEEN’s “Pretty U” and BTS’ “Boy With Luv,” we can’t help but reimagine Bo Gum as a K-pop idol. The way he moved on stage assured us of this conclusion: He’ll be equally popular as one.
“Am I good at dancing?” he asked the crowd. It was a rhetorical question for the fans. However, being the humble man that he is, Bo Gum admitted he learned a lot from his dance teacher but still had a lot to improve on. Knowing just how thorough this guy could get, we knew there had to be a catch. “I met Taehyung in Busan and he taught me a bit [of Boy With Luv],” Bo Gum finally revealed.
We could all agree that Park Bo Gum is precious. The more you try to find his flaws (to prove he’s human just like the rest of us), the more you’d discover just exactly how great of a person he turns out to be.
His sincerity is swoon-worthy, but we already knew of this hypnotic Bo Gum magic going into the fanmeet. But it is his stage presence that we’ll remember. His energy is certainly insane—nowhere near the personas he has shown on television. With his resurgence of energy, he gave his fans a night that never seemed to end. And when we finally big our goodbyes, there weren’t any doubts that it was indeed a good day.
Photos by Charles Villaruz
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