Viva’s singer-actress Jeankiley Manguera just recently had one of the most memorable experiences of her life.
Jeankiley, who loves all things Korean, flew to Seoul as a sole Philippine representative tapped to promote the 2020 Korea Grand Sale, which according to its official website, is an avenue for international visitors to fully experience Korea at its best. It is an “integrated festival that combines tourism, Korean Wave, and shopping.”
The event also offers the first-hand experience to diverse K-Culture activities such as learning more about K-Pop, K-Beauty, K-Food, K-Heritage, and K-Winter.
“Na-invite po ako ng Korean Government Organization and Visit Korea Committee para mag-represent ng Philippines” Jeankiley told pikapika.ph. “Para i-promote, as an influencer, ’yong Korea Grand Sale, na magla-last ng buong winter ng Korea.
The invitation came with a lot of perks including Jeankiley touring around South Korea and indulge herself in several Korean-related activities for five days.
We were invited for five days, four nights (January 14-20) para mag-attend ng opening ceremony and then magkaroon ng tour.”
She had the chance to meet a lot of people from different parts of the globe, who were also invited, as foreign influencers, to the Korea Grand Sale festival.
“Ako lang ’yong mag-isa from the Philippines na invited, meron din invited na iba’t-ibang country. Bale, one representative from each country. Meron from Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, meron din sa Europe like Germany, Spain, India and Malaysia. Basta 10 kaming representatives.”
Jeankiley said she was in cloud nine upon knowing that she was the only Filipina to be invited at the said festival.
“Sobrang excited ako!” Jeankiley beamed. “Kasi I’m a fan of K-Pop, I’m a fan of K-dramas as well and culture of Korea. So to get to experience all of that in one event, sobrang saya. We get to meet K-Pop idols and we get to watch M Countdown pa!”
[M Countdown is a weekly love show devoted to all things music, including sales charts and rankings.]
Among the many K-Pop groups that she saw during the M Countdown show are girl group MOMOLAND and boy group SF9.
She then narrated how she was selected to represent the Philippines in the exclusive Korea tour.
“Nag-join ako for Talk Talk Korea, Korean competition siya, noong 2019 by third quarter,” she began. “Tapos nakita nila ’yong video ko, nakita nila na nagper-perform ako and I’m an artist here in the Philippines. Tapos, alam nila na influencer din ako.”
She continued, “I won third place for Talk Talk Korea, I actually joined two categories. The first one ’yong for whole Korea lang and then pang-fifth place ako doon; and the other one is pang- third place ako.
“After the competition, medyo matagal...siguro by November, they emailed me, invited me, and sent an actual invitation for the Korea Grand Sale tour.
“So, itu-tour nila kami around Korea, ’yong mga food nila, mga places, at s’yempre ano ’yong mga p’wedeng gawin ng mga tao during Korea Grand Sale.”
For five days, all ten representatives visited the popular Lotte World Tower, enjoyed Seoul’s nightscape, explored the National Museum of Korea, and toured around the South Korean entertainment and media company, CJ E&M, where they were able to watch the K-Pop performance, M Countdown.
They also had the chance to attend K-Beauty and K-Pop dance classes. But the highlight of their tour was roaming around the streets of South Korea while wearing Hanbok, the country’s traditional attire.
Not only did Jeankiley create amazing memories during her trip but she also built lasting friendships with other international representatives.
“Sobrang nakakatuwa kasi for only five days and four nights sobrang naging close kami,” she recalled.
“Sobrang tight talaga both ng staff and representatives. All of us speak in English so medyo nagkaka-intindihan din kami. We also got to speak in Korean despite having different languages, we get to learn new languages din.
“Naging close kami kasi nag-stay kami sa isang hotel, we wake up and we see each other at 8:30 AM and then we get to go home at 10 or 11PM.”
She added, “The night before our last day, we had an interview and I cried...I don’t know why and there’s a lot of questions na pa-tungkol sa friendship namin.”
What made the whole thing even more memorable for JeanKiley was experiencing snow for the first time!
“And in the morning, our last commemorative photo and our last meeting together, nandoon kami sa lounge area then suddenly it snowed. Wala sa forecasts na mag-i-snow... it’s also my first time to see snow. So, excited ako makakita ng snow!” she said, chuckling.
“Bumabagsak lang ’yong snow habang nagme-meeting kami. Two of the invited guests from Germany and Indonesia, maaga ’yong flight nila compared sa amin na gabi pa. Nauna sila umalis, so lahat na naman kami umiyak na naman kami.
“After that, we went back to our rooms to pack and then pagkalabas namin natapos na ’yong snow. Parang sabi sa’min ng mga staff ‘the snow is for you.’
“Suddenly, rain naman pero sandali lang. When we cried, it rained and when we get to say goodbye, it snowed. Timing na timing talaga kaya mas lalo kami nalungkot.”
According to Jeankiley, Korea Grand Sale paved the way for her to achieve her long-time dream of going to Korea. And through it, she got to experience Korea at its best.
Above all, she went home receiving the most beautiful gift from her trip—memorable friendships she created with her co-representatives.
“And then sabi ng staff, ‘Say goodbye to the camera,’ and we were like ‘No! We’re not gonna say goodbye to Korea...’ Instead, we said, ‘See you soon, Korea!’ So that’s how we ended.”
Jeankiley is a former member of the fourth batch of the Filipino girl group P-Pop Girls and she is now an active singer and actress managed by Viva Artists Agency.
She recently starred in Director Darryl Yap’s debut film #Jowable. She also worked side by side with actress-dancer Ella Cruz in Viva TV’s 2019 series, A Not so Fake Love Story. And this January, she’s about to release a new song entitled “Ako Na Lang.”
Korea Grand Sale started last January 16 and will officially end on February 25.