TRAVEL: RIDE THE K-POP WAVE IN BU­SAN

AT BUS AN ONE ASIA FES­TI­VAL 2017

Sun.Star Cebu - - FRONT PAGE - TIF­FANY L. NERI / Writer

As the sec­ond most pop­u­lated metropoli­tan area of Korea and the coun­try’s busiest port (among the Top 10 busiest in the world), Bu­san has been crowned by many trav­el­ers as the ‘Cebu of Korea’, de­light­fully mar­ry­ing mod­ern city with the quin­tes­sen­tial al­lure of a provin­cial area.

Home to iconic land­marks, nu­mer­ous shop­ping cen­ters, var­i­ous beaches, ex­trav­a­gant tem­ples, and charm­ing folk vil­lages--it is dif­fi­cult not to find some­thing to ex­plore in Bu­san every day.

One of the big­gest fes­ti­vals the prov­ince holds--which is their ver­sion of a Sin­u­log-sized event--boasts of a flash­ing spec­trum of col­or­ful lights, a 360-de­gree stage, and Korea’s ris­ing K-Pop idols per­form­ing their top hits in a non-stop mu­sic fes­ti­val ex­trav­a­ganza. If you’re look­ing to tour Bu­san and are hun­gry for a mu­sic fes­ti­val ex­pe­ri­ence with a unique and eclec­tic cul­tural twist, you might want to book a ticket in Oc­to­ber, in time for this year’s Bu­san One Asia Fes­ti­val (BOF). Con­sid­ered one of the great­est pop-mu­sic con­certs in Asia, it is a week-long cel­e­bra­tion, in­volv­ing a se­ries of con­certs at­tended by fans fly­ing in from all over the world in the hopes of catch­ing a set of their fa­vorite up and com­ing Korean artists in var­i­ous gen­res of mu­sic.

Through the ef­fi­cient and ac­com­mo­dat­ing co­or­di­na­tion of Cebu Di­rect Club Travel and Tour’s Lyan Park and the Bu­san Tourism Or­ga­ni­za­tion, a com­fort­able yet af­ford­able flight with Jin Air took a group of five—in­clud­ing a writer (Tif­fany Neri), pho­tog­ra­pher (Ted Madamba), vlog­ger (Leo Jeong of An­nyeong­has­sa­leo), an­other guest (Mary­lou Neri), and guide (Kyle Lee of Cebu Di­rect Club Travel and Tour)—to Bu­san to wit­ness the 2017 BOF grand open­ing dubbed “Make It Real BOFLand”.

In a mas­sive dome-like

sta­dium packed with a rav­ing crowd of fans, Bu­san’s Oc­to­ber air was cool and crisp enough not to let the enor­mous num­ber of peo­ple af­fect the venue’s tem­per­a­ture. Prior to the show, LED screens dis­played “red car­pet” in­ter­views of the K-Pop artists broad­casted live for those who were wait­ing. Each time one of the artists would make hand signs (such as the fin­ger heart and peace signs), the crowd went crazy—with some hold­ing up their hand­made posters while jump­ing and scream­ing the names of their idols.

The whole show was built around the theme of a fan­tasy land and was lit­er­ally 5 on fire—with sparklers, fire­works, and ac­tual flames burst­ing up from the stage. Paired up with the daz­zling LED lights, the spec­ta­cle lit up the sta­dium with a mes­mer­iz­ing light show.

In the lineup were K-Pop groups like Nu’Est W, Gfriend, NCT 127, USW, B.A.P., APink, Mo­moland, GOT7, SF9, Astro, Black­Pink, and what was seem­ingly the crowd’s fa­vorite, Wanna One. The groups sang and danced along to the track of their best songs, leav­ing the crowd mes­mer­ized with their syn­chro­nized move­ments and pow­er­ful voices that made the show noth­ing short of play­ful, en­er­getic, and mag­i­cal.

The BOF 2017 Open­ing Con­cert had an amaz­ing stage and reper­toire of artists that lived up to its prom­ise of: “The fan­tas­ti­cal world of K-pop where every dream be­comes a re­al­ity, and only the best K-wave artists will per­form on stage.”

CON­TRIB­UTED FOTOS / TED MADAMBA

ALL AROUND. The 360-de­gree stage of the BOF 2017 and hun­dreds of fans ex­cit­edly wait­ing at 6 p.m. at the Bu­san Asiad Main Sta­dium for their fa­vorite K-Pop stars.

SF9 look­ing un­can­nily like mata­dors while per­form­ing their O Sole Mio song.

WORK IT. The iconic Black­Pink mem­bers strik­ing a pose af­ter their song Play­ing With Fire + As If It’s Your Last.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / TIF­FANY L. NERI

PRO­GRES­SIVE. Bu­san is home to many ports and ur­ban de­vel­op­ments.

FOTO / TIF­FANY L. NERI SUNS­TAR

VIEW of the light­house from the APEC Con­fer­ence Cen­ter, Bu­san.

FOTO / TIF­FANY L. NERI SUNS­TAR

AES­THETIC cor­ri­dors at the Hil­ton Ho­tel, Bu­san.

ASTRO HEARTTHROBS singing their song Baby and danc­ing their way into the hearts of their al­ready be­sot­ted fans.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / TIF­FANY L. NERI

DRAGON PALACE TEMPLE, Hae­dong Yong­gungsa, in Bu­san is a beau­ti­ful temple where you can hear and see the roar­ing waves of the ocean.

SUNS­TAR FOTO / TIF­FANY L. NERI

BOF POP-UP DIS­PLAY on the com­mer­cial streets of Bu­san.

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