FYI, if you’re a little confused, Sandara isn’t technically Filipino. She was born in South Korea and her family moved to the Philippines when she was in elementary school. She spent her teen years here in the Philippines and rose to fame after joining Star Circle Quest's season 1 in 2004 (she was a runner-up). She moved back to South Korea in 2007 (but not before stealing our hearts as the Pambansang Krung-Krung!).
It's honestly so nakakakilig to witness her talk about the Philippines every chance she gets! She did grow up here, of course, but it's still so heartwarming to hear her speak fondly of her humble beginnings pre-Dara. Here are some of them:
1. She featured the Philippines in a Korean travel show.
Battle Trip is a Korean show where its MCs and celebrity guests get to choose a “go-to destination” to see beautiful sceneries and eat great food. In an episode where Sandara was the celebrity guest, she brought her friend Kang Seung Hyun to the Philippines. They went to Metro Manila, Laguna, and Coron, Palawan; she even got to reunite with Joross Gamboa and Ryan Bang (her Star CIrcle Quest friends) in the Laguna episode!
2. She defended the Philippines from negative comments.
Unfortunately, the Philippines doesn’t really have a good rep in other countries. In an episode of Battle Trip, she says the reason she chose the Philippines is because a lot of people ask her about how dangerous the country is and how there isn’t much public security, especially with all the things happening in the news. She chose to showcase the Philippines because she wanted to prove that it’s actually pretty safe here. Awww!
3. She’s almost always present when a labelmate goes to the Philippines.
Apart from all the other personal trips she took to be back in the country, Sandara would usually tag along when her labelmates from YG Entertainment would hold concerts in the Philippines. For instance, earlier this year she was in the Philippines for WINNER and for former BIGBANG member Seungri’s concert back in 2018. She was also here as a special guest at the solo concert of BIGBANG's G-Dragon in 2017.
4. She craves for Jollibee, just like us!
Only a true-blooded Pinoy will crave for Jollibee and visit its branches available in other countries!
5. She spoke in Filipino in a 2NE1 song.
In their first mini-album, you’ll find a track titled “Let’s Go Party,” and in the intro, you’ll hear the 2NE1 members asking the people to “go to a party” in different languages and you’ll hear Sandara saying “Punta tayo sa fiesta!” Cool, right?