In 2003, our world came to a stop: Filipinos from all walks of life eagerly waited to go home for the clock to strike 5:30 p.m. I wouldn't be surprised if the crime rate in the country decreased during that time because we were all pinned on our seats, eyes glued to the television screen, and with hands firmly grasping the remote control. Everyone was ready to witness a love story unfold and watch the Asianovela that started it all, Meteor Garden.
The 2001 Taiwanese spin-off of the popular Japanese manga series, Hana Yori Dango (translating to "boys over flowers"), was an instant hit and cemented itself in the Asian drama industry. The endearing plot tells the story of a deprived yet strong and independent young woman named Shan Cai, who entered a prestigious university. In there, she met the F4 or Flower 4—composed of Dao Ming Si, (the group's arrogant leader but will make you weak in the knees), Hua Ze Lei (who started the second lead syndrome), Mei Zuo (long hair, don't care) and Xi Men (who redefined the word playboy)—who changed her life forever.
No matter how many years have passed, reminiscing Meteor Garden never fails to make us feel the warm embrace of nostalgia. We know you're still curious about the OG cast, so check out what they've been up to in recent years!
1. Vaness Wu
Our resident fashionista is quite busy with all his brand collabs these days and recently attended Paris Fashion Week. Vaness Wu also bagged a significant role in the IP Man 4: The Finale movie, where he showcased his superb acting skills (which stayed consistent from his Meteor Garden days).
The Taiwanese superstar was the first to get hitched in the OG F4 but called it quits with his then-wife, Arissa Cheo, in 2018.
PS: Did you know that he visited the Philippines in December 2019? He posted an Instagram Story while he was in an airplane and placed Manila in the location tag!
2. Ken Chu
The series' playboy-with-a-heart used to wear different hats in the early 2000s as a singer, actor, and writer. He's been off-cam these days and spends most of his time with his lovely wife, Chinese actress Vivien Han.
Ken Chu is known for expressing his love for his wife as he usually mentions her in interviews. He once said that he is very thankful for Vivien for being there during his toughest times—especially when he was criticized for his weight gain (a side effect of the medication he took when he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia).
PS: Did you know that he once filmed a movie with Filipino actress, Iza Calzado, titled Batanes? We're also shookedth when we found out about this!
3. Vic Zhou
Our puppy-eyed Hua Ze Lei graced several magazine covers in 2019 and proved that he's more than the flower boy. His acting career soared high in the past years which made him bag various awards. Nowadays, Vic Zhou is busy taking care of his daughter with his wife Reen Yu.
PS: In 2013, Vic was chosen as one of GQ's Men of the Year—the only entertainer on the list!
4. Jerry Yan
With an appeal that will make you weak in the knees, our Dao Ming Si has been all over the internet with his never-aging looks. The 42-year-old actor recently starred in the drama, Count Your Lucky Stars, with Shen Yue who took the role of Shan Cai in the 2018 version of Meteor Garden.
PS: As the remaining bachelor of F4, Jerry Yan admitted that it's quite hard for him to meet girls and find the right one for him. Aww!
5. Barbie Hsu
We're not sure what her skincare routine is but the feisty Shan Cai is also one who seems to never age. The 43-year-old mother of two was part of the 2019 reality show Friends On The Go, along with her sister and two other BFFs. Just like Ken, Barbie Hsu is also pretty low-key these days.
PS: We are totally IN LOVE with Barbie's June 2019 Cosmopolitan China cover!