LAST DAY IN SEOUL. We left the guesthouse at around 10AM and went to Myeongdong to meet up with Mabee. We stopped at a convenience store and I found a MANGO MILK DRINK!
I bought a banana muffin near the Myeongdong subway station and we(Mabee and I) went to Holly’s coffee.
We were supposed to buy NBA caps at NBA store in Myeongdong but we unfortunately didn’t find it.
We then decided to just go to the main NBA store in Apgujeong. We walked along the Apgujeong Rodeo drive but we couldn’t find the NBA store but we spotted Bambam’s birthday bus.
Since we’re already near the JYPE area, we end up going to the building(where we saw JYP PD-nim) and some places that GOT7 usually visits. While we were in front of JYPE, we saw a Chinese fan carrying a NBA bag(I assumed she bought something from the store) and I kindly asked her for the direction and she showed me a screenshot of her map.
We took the other way(the one near Han River) back to Apgujeong Rodeo station and also brought Mabee to other agency building saround Apgujeong(FNC Ent, and SM ent). When we were at a convenience store near FNC, there were some random handsome kids who went inside to buy snacks and I was pretty sure they are part of FNC’s new boy group SF9(they haven’t debuted yet that time).
The NBA store was actually really hard to find but we still did thanks to the Chinese Ahgase’s map. We bought the caps and went back again to JYP to meet Cami.
<to be continued>
Day 3 – April 29
D-Day! I woke up extra early to get a good spot for the Music Bank arrival. While on my way I spotted someone carrying a ladder and I was 100% sure she’s a fansite master and was heading to KBS too.
I arrived at the KBS parking but I unfortunately didn’t get a good spot. There are lots of fansite masters and fans which I actually already expected because popular artists were scheduled to perform that day. To make it worse, I wasn’t able to bring my zoom lens and Seventeen’s Pretty You sofa blocked my view almosy the entire time.
I was able to see Eunji, Twice, NCT, Vixx, Seventeen, WSJN
and other artists. My fave arrival moments are Twice wearing their MV costume and Vixx wearing Harry Pother themed costumes. I will try to write a separate blog for this KBS experience.
I still feel so sad about JB’s herniated bish so I ended up having breakfast at Holly’s coffee(the café near KBS which JB usually visits).
I went back to the hostel to drop off my stuff and went to Myeongdong again to buy the rest of TWICE albums. I had to buy a new trolley for the albums just because all 50 albums won’t fit on my luggage.
I went back to the hostel, had lunch and took a nap while waiting for Ina to arrive. I woke up after two hours and started preparing for the concert and that’s when Ina finally arrived from the airport. We headed to the venue at Olympic Park which is one hour away from our guesthouse.
As soon as we arrived at the venue we immediately went to JYP store to buy light sticks and other concert merchandise. At that moment almost all of the merchandise were already sold out. Some of my friends woke up as early as 6am and started lining up as early as 7am just to make sure they’ll get the merchandise that they like.
While Ina’s in line for the concert goods, I met up with Mabee and also claimed concert tickets at the Interpark booth. I also finally met Cami for the first time. We went back to the JYP store and I got a light stick(with Yugyeom’s photo card).
After that, we went around to get freebies from fansite masters and other generous Ahgases. We didn’t arrive early but we’re still able to get lots of freebies. Lucky us!
We were also able to meet and take photos with Jackson’s fellow Go Fridge casts.
Mabee’s ticket seller has an extra ticket(seat next to her) and because we wanted to sit together, I agreed to switch tickets with the buyer which was the cause of the major concert mishap.
We were already on our seats at Zone 32 when a staff approached as and told us that our seats were already taken by someone. She then got our tickets to verify. At that point the concert was about to start but we’re still outside. The staff then went back to us and confirmed that the tickets(from the Chinese sellers) were already cancelled. I honestly don’t know what to do that time. We were able to take photos of the sellers and we also told the staff about her and we asked them to find her and etc. because there’s no way I will miss the concert… the first GOT7 concert! The kind staff suggested that we can still buy concert tickets from the Interpark booth. She went with us and we were all running because the concert already started. When we wen’t back GOT7 was already performing the first song(Put Your Hands Up (손들어)). The new seats that were give to us were on the 2rd floor center, second row which were wayyyyyyy better than our previous seats. I think that section was meant for friends or other important guests. On that row, it was just me, Mabee and some handsome kids who we think are JYP trainees or celebrities but they were wearing face masks actually so it’s hard for us to tell. Anyway, the concert was surreal! Finally seeing them performing the songs I’ve been listening for months was truly amazing. Being on the third floor gave us a good view of the dance formation and also was able to get a good view of all of them (unlike when I was on the standing area which I will tell you later). My favourite parts are their composed songs and the Girl Group dance. I really like Jaebum and Youngjae’s ballad song, 1:31. Too bad Youngjae had to perform it alone. When he cried while performing the song, I cried too. The song is about telling someone you like to avoid being sick. MarkJin’s Higher performance lifte up the mood of everyone after the dramatic 1:31 performance. The unit performance that I like the most is definitely WOLO my JackBamGyeom. That song was LIT ASF! There’s a part when fans get to play games. There’s a roulette wherein they have to choose a song whatever song they picked there will be a video of the boys dancing a part of that song and the chosen fan needs to copy it. After this part, the boys suddenly appeared on the third floor! On our side! It was crazy. They were riding these moving lifts and they moved around our section. This is when I got a good closer glimpse of all of them. They were all really really realllly gorgeous up close especially Jinyoung. I was really in awe of his beauty. They sang two songs in the third floor before they went back to the main stage. When they were giving their final messages, Jaebum suddenly appeared. That’s when I totally lost it and cried to Mabee. He was so sorry that he couldn’t join the first concert. It was evident that he’s in pain and couldn’t even walk properly. Even though he’s not there most of the time, the other boys maked up for his absence and still made it such a memorable first concert. Flying to Korea was so worth it. Any forms of recording was strictly prohibited but during the last song, for some reason the staff weren’t that strict and so some us were able to take videos.
After the concert, we immediately asked our ticket sellers to meet up with us. To be completely honest those two girls look really nice so Mabee was doubtful if they’re aware that the tickets aren’t valid anymore. We talked to them and they told us that they also bought those tickets from someone. We then got our money back and we agreed to help them to get theirs. We left the venue at 11PM and went to Myeongdong first to drop off Mabee. Since we took the subway really late, they had to made us get off the train at ___ station which was fortunately already close to Myeongdong. Before going to Mabee’s place we stopped by at a nearest convenience store and had our very late dinner.
Day 4 – April 30
We don’t have anywhere else to go to and since we slept at around 3am the previous night, we woke up really late(especially Ina who woke up at 11AM HA HA). I started preparing at around 9AM and we left Orange Guesthouse at 1PM.
We first stopped by at a nearest convenience store nearby to have lunch.
The concert was scheduled to start at 4PM(2 hours earlier than the 1st one). While we were on our way to the venue we got lost(rode the wrong train) which happened to Cami, Miew and her friends too. We all end up meeting at the subway station.
Mabee had to meet her friend in Gangnam but I’m glad I convinced her to watch the 2nd night! We went to the JYP store again for our second round of merchandise shopping and I gave in to temptation and bought the JB USB.
For the second day, I was on standing zone which was both good and bad. Good because I was able too see them much closer and bad because the other fans around me are so tall which made watching the concert a struggle not to mention the fact that I got pushed a lot. While waiting for the concert to start, I was able to see GOT7 parents and family members, Day6 boys, Jimin and Ryeowook. I also saw several fansite masters who got caught and were DRAGGED out of the venue. But there are other fansite masters who already practiced the art of taking photos in a ninja-kind-of way. The best thing that happened to me is during This Star and Playground, all of them were lifted and Yugyeom was on our side, he was really close and I really got a good view of him. After the FLY Remix, JB appeared again and they started showing the fan project. They showed baby photos of GOT7 with messages from their Moms. It was really touching and JB sang a bit of Playground too!
After the concert we all went at the back of the venue to see GOT7 for the last time. I spotted Papa and Mama Tuan near the exit and I grabbed the opportunity and had a photo with them. At the back of the venue I also saw Baby(Bam’s sister), Jimin, Ayeon, other GOT7 parents and Day6!
I lost the footage of GOT7 leaving the venue so here are Mark and Jackson’s video of us!
오늘 FLY IN SEOUL 공연 끝났어요!!! 어제랑 오늘 정말 여러분 많이 와주셔서 정말 감사해요. 응원소리 도 우리 마이크 보다 크게 해주고 정말 헐 엿어요.. 😔고마워요 ㅠㅠ 정말 여러분 아가봉 들고잇는 그 모습 보고 정말 뿟뜻했어요. 그리고 노래 마다 항상 따라불러주고 그런거 하나하나 때문에 정말 우리 아가새 랑 갓세븐 진짜 하나구나 라고 느꼈어요. 정말 고마워요!!! 우리 앞으로 더 좋은 노래 더 좋은 모습 보여줄테니까 오래오래 가장 !! 사랑해!! 我们 FLY IN SEOUL 就这样结束了😔 太快了！ 昨天跟今天你们那么忙还来看我们，真的要谢谢你们❤️ 还有你们的尖叫声比我们的microphone声音还要大！还有眼看你们拿着鸟宝宝棒的时候真的感到很感动。而且每一首歌你们都跟着唱。我今天真的感到我们跟IGOT7 是一体。谢谢你们。我们会带给你们更好的音乐，更好的舞台！我们一直一直走下去吧。 Our FLY IN SEOUL concert ended today. 😔 It's too fast ! Thanks for coming even though you guys are really busy. And thanks for showing love and support, thanks for cheering louder than our speakers. And watching you guys holding on to our 아가봉 makes me feel so touched. And singing along together. All these made me feel that I GOT7 and GOT7 are one as a whole.( dont know if that makes sense but you get what i mean…lol) And also… we are going to produce better music and better performances ! Thank you again. #FLYINSEOUL #GOT7 #IGOT7 #jacksonwang #王嘉爾 #잭슨
After that , Ina, Cami, Mabee and I went to Hongdae for some post-concert celebration. We had unlimited Korean BBQ at Meat-ing and went to Mango Six café where I ordered my fave coco mango drink.
I’m glad to watch the first GOT7 concert with these guys!
<to be continued>
This blog post is actually more than a year late. Anyway I’ve finally decided to write about this trip to commemorate my first music show, first time seeing GOT7 and most importantly my first GOT7 concert which all happened in April last year.
DAY 1 – April 27
I took the Air Asia flight from Manila and arrived at Incheon airport at around 12MN. As usual it took me more than 1 hour at the immigration/claiming baggage area. I was also expecting for the weather to be much colder but it wasn’t.
I arrived at Orange Guesthouse at around 3PM. I really like the home-y vibe of this place. I was welcomed by the owner who’s really really nice and friendly.
Aside from the fact that Orange Guesthouse is a cozy place, they have the cutest pets too. Anyway I’ll try my best to write a separate blog post for the review of Orange Guesthouse.
After I checked in and settled my stuff, I met up with HJL언니 for my pocket wifi(I will write about this too). After that I went to Yeoungdeongpo to get our concert tickets which I bought from a Korean Ahgase.
I then went to Myeongdong to exchange some cash and buy Twice albums. Twice’s comeback was also at the same time as GOT7’s concert that’s why I decided to open a group order which I regret. K Twice’s Cheer Up album was really huge compared to other kpop albums and I got 40+ orders so the struggle was indeed so real. In addition to Twice albums, I also bought GOT7 albums.
I also spotted two birthday ads of Sehun; first one in Hongdae station and second one in Myeongdong station.
I went home, unboxed my albums and got JB’s photo card first!
After the unboxing, I went to Hongdae to walk around and had Spicy Chicken Skewer for dinner.
I went back to the guesthouse and washed up and just I’m about to enter our room, I saw two girls at the common area using the computer and one of them was wearing Mark’s Just Right jacket. I actually thought at first that they are GOT7 fans and like me also went to Korea to watch the concert. I ask them if they’re GOT7 fans and well as expected they were. That’s how I met my very first Thai friends(special shout out to Miew!). I asked them what are they doing and they said they’re were checking the list of those who made it to the MCOUNTDOWN “This Love” prerecording. Turns out there was a sign up for a pre recording that I wasn’t informed about. I was originally planning to go to COUNTDOWN live show for Twice but since I found them I decided to try to get into the pre recording. Miew(and her friends) and I agreed to leave the guesthouse at 5 am. They told me to bring one of my albums since it’s one of the requirements to enter.
Day 2 – April 28
Digital Media City, the place where CJ&EM is located(the venue for the prerecording) is just a 20 min away from our place in Hongdae(via taxi). As soon as we arrived, we were greeted by other Thai fans who were also waiting for the prerecording. I was actually not sure whether I will make it or not because Miew, Nan and their friend were able to sign up and I wasn’t.
Call time for the fans was at 8AM and while waiting in line, I was able to find other Thai Ahgases(who later on became my friends too) who also weren’t able to sign up but we all brought our albums so we were just hoping that there are people who won’t show up in order for us to get in.
The English speaking 언니 (the one who usually handles fans) finally showed up and cross checked those who were on the list and those who are at the waiting area.
Luck’s really on our side because there are lots of fans who didn’t show up. All of us were able to get our number stamp which means we’re finally allowed to enter the venue and watch the prerecording!
We waited for hours before they allowed the gold members to enter, followed by silver members and finally our group.
It’s my first music show experience and I really have no idea what to expect aside from mobile phones and cameras are strictly not allowed and should be put inside the bag ALL THE TIME or they might kick you out. English speaking 언니 reminded us about this over and over again the moment we enter the studio. Contrary to what we see on music shows, the stage isn’t actually that big and it was just thank-you-camera-effect. Inside the studio, I saw them playing GOT7’s previously recorded performance. They probably recorded the boys without the fans first and another one showing the fans. We waited for 5 minutes before GOT7 appeared and I honestly totally lost it! Aside from the fact that this is my first music show performance, it was also my first time seeing them in person! The experience was so surreal. The guys that I’ve been admiring for the past few months are breathing and dancing in front of me. I just can’t put into words the feelings I had that day. They were all really handsome like seriously! I will never forget Youngjae’s black hair and amazing vocals, Yugyeom’s red hair amazing dance skill, Mark and Jinyoung’s godliness(I also witnessed a MarkJin monet at the end of the recording). If I remember it correctly, they recorded three times; the first one was a complete performance, the second one they had to cut, and the third one is when they asked us to shout louder. It was really a fun experience! It’s too bad JB’s not around. That time he’s my fave next to Yugyeom.
After that amazing experience, Miew, Nan and the other Thai Aghgases and I went to Ehwa University/Edae which I’ve always wanted to visit but never got the chance. We first had brunch and went shopping after that. They have really nice and cheap clothes and shoes but it’s hard to find something that will fit me. LOL.
We went inside the campus and was totally amazed by how pretty this university is. I bet this place is 1000000x better during Autumn just like what I’ve seen on travel blogs.
After our quick Edae tour, all of us went back to our hotel and sleep more. I was able to sleep for two hours and I woke to the news of JB not attending the first concert because of his herniated disc. I was so devastated that time. I went to Myeongdong again to buy second batch of albums and went to Myeongdong Cathedral first to pray for JB’s speedy recovery.
I was walking around Myeongdong when I spotted the cat café mascot and it reminded me how much Jaebum likes cats and that’s when I ended up walking in Myeongdong..crying….I had to buy the 32cm ice cream to cheer myself up.
Anyway, after I bought the Twice albums at Myeongdong subway, I got a DM from Miew asking me where was. I told her I’m in Myeongdong and she told me they’re on their way to Myeongdong too to buy some merchandise. I waited for them at the subway, and we went to the Kpop store together.
After they bought everything, we decided to go to JYP to see if there’re any JYP artists at that moment. When we arrived, Miew’s Thai friend(If I remember it correctly it was Naniluz) told us that they saw Day6 left JYP building to have dinner. Just the thought of finally seeing Day6 for the fisrt time made made me excited and happy. We waited for like 30 minutes before Day6 left the restaurant.
We first saw YoungK, Jae, Dowoon followed by Wonpil and Sungjin. It was Wonpil’s birthday that day so he stayed a little longer to take a photo with his birthday banner outside of the building.
After that amazing experience, we then went Hongdae and had Korean BBQ for dinner. My friend made try the rice wine for the first time which well actually good but I don’t drink that much so I only had 2 sips.
<to be continued>
Last year for my 25th birthday, I went to South Korea for 2 weeks and decided to go to Jeju Island for 3 days. Here’s a “not so short” video of that. 😛 Shout out to all the amazing people I met during this trip! Also thank you to Yeha Tour for the amazing Jeju experience!
FIRST VISA APPLICATION – NOVEMBER 2012
I graduated from college in April 2012 and my scheduled trip to Korea was in December 2012. That time I wasn’t sure whether or not the Korean Embassy will approve my request because 1) I don’t have that much savings yet for the bank certificate requirement 2) I don’t have ITR which is another requirement 3) I’ve never been to any country before. I won’t put into the details the requirements I submitted that year since the Korean Embassy already changed those anyway. What I remember is that, for the ITR requirement, I only submitted a letter explaining why I can’t provide it along with my Certificate of Graduation which includes the date of my graduation. For the “show money” I only have around 40,000Php on my bank account. As for my father’s case, he also submitted all the requirements for business man and also had around 80,000Php in his account. Aside from the usual requirements, he was also scheduled for an interview with the consul. This is actually not the usual process and just a “special case” it’s because he’s traveling without my Mom which is well “unusual” for them. I told the consul that it’ll be hard for my parents to travel together because we have a family business and one of them should be left to handle it. In the end, the consul understood our situation and both gave us single entry visas which were valid for 60 days.
SECOND VISA APPLICATION – APRIL 2014
My second visa application is the easiest. I still submitted the same requirements I submitted on my first application(with ITR). My money on my bank account was around 33,000Php. I was still nervous but wasn’t as nervous as my first time probably because I already have an ITR and also I already traveled to Hongkong, Macau, Singapore and Malaysia. That time I got a multiple entry visa which was valid for a year. My other friends who applied for the first time got a single entry visas which were valid for 60 days.
THIRD VISA APPLICATION – OCTOBER 2015
Korean Embassy changed the requirement in March 2015 and my scheduled travel to Korea was in November 2015. My second visa, which is a multiple entry visa but only valid for a year expired in April 2015. So here are the documents I submitted for my 3rd visa application.
Korean Tourist Visa Requirements
- Application Form
- Passport size colored picture [1 copy] (Make sure to attach this on your application form)
- Original Passport (Should be valid for more than 6 months)
- Photo copy of Passport Bio-page (The page with your photo, birth date, passport number and etc.)
- Original and photocopy of valid visa/s and arrival stamps to OECD countries (Kindly refer to this link for the list of OECD countries)
- Original Certificate of Employment
- Important details that should be included
- Applicant’s position
- Date Hired
- Office Address
- HR landline number (cellphone number is not allowed)
- HR email address
- Important details that should be included
- Original Personal Bank Certificate
- Important details that should be included
- Account type
- Current balance
- Account opening date
- Bank Statement
- Original or certified true copy of bank statements/passbook for the past 3 months
- ITR [Income Tax Return] or Form 2316
- Unlike other embassies in the Philippines, Korean Embassy made the tourist visa free if you will only stay in Korea for less than 59 days. If you plan to say longer than that, there are certain fees that you need to pay.
- There’s also no need for appointment. You just have to visit the Korean Embassy at Upper Mckinley Road in Taguig. They accept visa application from 9:00AM-11:00AM ONLY from Monday to Friday. Please check the Korean Embassy website for holiday notice prior to submission.
- Upon arrival, you have to write your name on the log sheet before the guard gives you the gate pass. They will ask you to enter the visa processing area and once inside, someone will double check your requirements and will give you a queue number(for either window 1, 2, or 3.) Windows 1 and 2 are for first time travelers and Window 3 is for frequent travelers and for those travelers who have a valid visa from any OECD countries.
- At these windows, your requirements will be checked and once verified complete, you will be given a claiming slip which includes the date when you can claim your passport. Please make sure that you will not lose this slip.
- For first time travelers, processing will take 5 days and for frequent travelers/OECD visa holder travelers processing will take 3 days.
- Releasing time is from 2PM-4PM. They will then ask you to fall in line on windows 1, 2, or 3. They’re also not strict with the releasing date. If you weren’t able to go to the date that they indicated on the slip, you can still claim your passport on other days.
What should be the exact amount of my savings? How about the ADB (Average Daily Balance)?
There’s actually no exact amount for the bank certificate. I remember someone from Pinoy Exchange who only had 15,000Php on his account but still got approved and there’s also someone who had 250,000Php on his account but still got denied. Based on my experiences and as well as my friend’s experiences, I think any amount greater than 30,000Php is a safe amount.
Why are applicants getting declined?
I actually have no idea what is the Korean Consul’s basis for declining visa applications. Based on what I read before, some applicants get declined PROBABLY because of the following reasons:
- Your current job is related to teaching. Due to lots of Filipinos illegally teaching in Korea, they became more strict to those applicants who are currently working as teachers/professors.
- They weren’t able to contact your company HR and verify your employment details.
- You don’t have enough savings on your account or your savings/bank transactions are too sketchy for them
As long as you can prove your economic ties and as well as you can prove to them that you have no intention to work illegally, yo’ure good.
How many days before our trip should we apply?
The single entry visa is valid for 60 days. It’s safe to apply one month to two weeks before your trip.
List of OECD countries: