6 Guys Who Prove That Being A K-Pop Fan Is For *Everyone*

Because oppas can fanboy, too!
PHOTO: (LEFT) COURTESY OF RAD NOVALES, (RIGHT) COURTESY OF ROZZ CADAVILLO

What's the first image that pops in your mind when you think of K-pop fans? For the uninitiated, there's the stereotypical picture of screaming girls, probably in their teens or early 20s. But while fangirls do make up a huge portion of the K-community, there's no shortage of fanboys that are also into this music genreand it's about time we put the spotlight on them, too! Below, six *oppas* share what it's like to lead the fanboy lyf.

Rad Novales, 26

Occupation: Risk Analyst

Courtesy of Rad Novales
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When did you start getting into K-pop and who do you stan?

2012; SISTAR, TWICE, Red Velvet, GFRIEND, LOONA, LABOUM, and AOA

What made you get into it?

I wanted to immerse myself in Korea's culture before my visit there back in 2012. I ended up getting addicted to the music, among other things.

What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

I could not single out one reaction, but each time people discovered that I followed K-pop they would be surprised. They would ask questions like: "How did you get into it?" or "Isn't it awkward to follow or rave about these celebrities knowing that you're a guy?" Eventually, they got used to it.

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

That K-pop stans don't care about local music. Loving these two genres are not mutually exclusive. We all could love music with different genres and different artists from different sources. Supporting K-pop does not mean that we are looking down on our country when it comes to our own craft.

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Christer De Guia, 26

Occupation: Social Media Supervisor

When did you start getting into K-pop and who do you stan?

2019; TWICE, fromis_9, and Red Velvet. I also keep myself updated on LOONA, ITZY, BTS, Gugudan, and April

What made you get into it?

I was going through a tough time in life and my friends introduced me to it. I became so curious about the groups because I've also been hearing about them a lot from my niece. I guess when you find yourself at a crossroads, you can easily get influenced by thingsand I don't regret it one bit.

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What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

Nothing too crazy! But coming from an alternative music background, most of my friends were surprised about my sudden interest (and investment) in K-pop. My mother was also surprised when she found out that I was willing to shell out a lot of money for concert tickets. LOL.

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

That K-pop is just about good-looking idols. It can actually go pretty deep once you find the right content. Also, you don't have to understand the language to appreciate it! Some are just really into the music, others for visuals and choreography.

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Jake Dellomas, 30

Occupation: Workforce Analyst

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When did you start getting into K-pop and who do you stan?

2019; EXO, Super Junior, Big Bang, and iKon

What made you get into it?

I saw a clip of Vhong Navarro dancing to "Love Shot" and found the song enticing. I researched it right then and there and got immediately hooked.

What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

That they are all gay and that these artists are nothing more than their good looks.

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

It's not just about the aesthetics. K-pop has character, depth, and meaning. These artists are no different from the local and Western musicians we love.

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Rozz Cadavillo, 27

Occupation: Accountant

Courtesy of Rozz Cadavillo
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When did you start getting into K-pop and who do you stan?

2016; BTS.

What made you get into it?

I was introduced to it by my nephew. One time, I checked the YouTube feed on my phonewhich he always borrowsand saw all the BTS music videos he was watching. I decided to check them out and got into it since then.

What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

TBH, I was the one who gave others crazy reactions about K-pop back then. I was even weirded out by my nephew! That all changed when I got hooked into it though. 

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

There is more to K-pop than just well-coordinated dance choreos. Their music is also full of meaning. BTS' Love Yourself album, for example, made such an impact on me. I even went as far as getting a Love Yourself tattoo to remind myself of the message.

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Viki Milanes, 31

Occupation: Subtitler/Editor

Courtesy of Viki Milanes

When did you start getting into K-pop and who do you stan?

2009; MOMOLAND

What made you get into it?

The amazing dance choreos, MVs, and catchy electronic music! The very first K-pop MV that my sister introduced to me was Super Junior's "Sorry Sorry." I was mesmerized by the boys' footwork and synchronization that I wanted to learn the dance routine! Not long after that, I found myself getting to know other second-gen groups. The next thing I knew, my iPod Shuffle became a whole Kpop playlist!

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What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

Fortunately, I've never met anyone who frowns upon K-pop. Most of my family, relatives, friends, and officemates were indifferent to it back then, but that changed pretty quickly when it continued to expand worldwide.

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

Many people think that K-pop fans, in general, are teens who are obsessed with their idols but that isn't the case. My mom, a senior citizen, loves BTS. My boss at work is a proud Shawol. During MOMOLAND's PH fan meeting in January, I saw some elderly people enjoying the girls' performances together with the younger fans! K-pop connects with people of all ages, regardless of language barriers.

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Riel Reyes, 24

Occupation: Associate Product Designer

 

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When did you start getting into Kpop and who do you stan?

2012; I'm a proud multi-stan but I especially love the chemistry of Mamamoo, Seventeen, and SISTAR

What made you get into it?

My cousin influenced me since she would always watch K-pop performances whenever I'm at their house. I also decided to listen to the songs left by my block mate on my PC when she borrowed it to transfer the files to her phone. As a creative, I always seek inspiration from K-pop now for my projects.

What's the craziest reaction you got from people about you liking K-pop?

I think being a K-pop fan isn't really frowned upon these days. There are some though who still think that listening to it is emasculating.

What's one misconception you want to correct about K-pop and its fans?

It doesn't make you less of a Filipino if you listen to K-pop. Also, I think this social norm where we put stereotypes on people who prefer to listen or like a specific thing should stop. Let people like what they want to like.

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*Answers have been edited for clarity

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