Monday, February 14, 2011

Power Korean: Rookies!

Early morning, I found myself walking around the Gwanghwamun area with the kimbap I grabbed at the store near the subway, looking for the bus that would take me and some foreign students to probably Korea and Japan's most controversial island/s, Dokdo (Takeshima in Japanese). But this is not what I'm gonna talk about in this entry. Actually not related at all... only that I met one of them during the program.I will be introducing 3 of my friends who are in a band. 

Bits About the Members
Lee Bokkil, 26, the main vocal, was our tour guide/ interpreter/ co-tourist/ beer buddy/ rock concert buddy etc. during our Dokdo trip. Interpreter, meaning he's fluent in English and of course Korean. He worked in Canada for a year after his military service. I don't know how he studied English but he really surprised me a lot. Anyway, he was literally my best buddy during that trip. We talked a lot about life and what's in it hahaha. Then he told me about his band and how music rocks his life. hehe. He told me that his journey to Canada made him realize many things like his dreams and his thing for music. He's the main vocal of the group.

Yoo Minsae,26, is Bokkil's childhood friend. They grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same high- school. Music seems to be genetic in his family. He has a brother who's also into music and who continuously supports him with his quest for a career in the music industry. Minsae has been playing base since middle school until now. I heard he's very popular with girls. I first saw him in one of the band's performances and girls were screaming when he was introduced. Well, go judge it by yourself. 

Jo Gyohyoung, 21, is obviously the youngest in the group. He got interested in music through his father. His mom was initially against the idea of him into music but knowing his passion, he got the support of both parents. He started to learn guitar when he was a middle school student and decided to pursue a career in the music industry after high school.  He is also very popular with girls.

Rookie Story!

As we know Bokkil and Minsae were already friends. The three of them met in a music school called Powerhouse somewhere in Sinsa. I heard many popular Korean singers and singer wannabes trained here too. They studied guitar and decided to form a band. The school has a music festival, probably sort of practical exam for the students. That was the time when Bokkil and Minsae discovered Gyohyoung's impressive guitar skills. They formed the band in May 2010 and started to practice on a regular basis. They are also making their own songs, something that would create a signature for the group. I hope to see them on the big stage soon. Please support them

 Just a brief background about the “Power Korean” entries. I try to feature my Korean friends’ here which I think worth sharing to the public. I believe this will give everyone a glimpse of normal Korean people’s lives as they dream and take challenges on the path they’ve chosen. Since power Korean is synonymous to potential Koreans, most friends featured here are aspiring artists.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drama Location: Seaes Hotel (Secret Garden)

The Seaes Hotel in Jeju, the two souls switch their bodies

At the beautiful blue seashore, Joo Won and Lime confronts their destiny that inevitably ties their relationship; their souls switch bodies of each other. This happened right at the Seaes hotel in Jeju, a place of traditional and sophisticated aesthetic where Joo Won frequently visited for his stay. Later the switched souls returned back to their bodies with a kiss, and the bench on which they sat on at that moment as well can be found at this hotel site. The hotel located by Jungmun seashore, Seogwipo-si is a special resort hotel which embraces the beautiful scenery and taste of traditions of Jeju.

The Seaes Hotel is unique for keeping the regional features of the traditional housing culture of Jeju i.e. Doldam (traditional gates built with stones) and traditional straw-roofed houses. The guest rooms have private terraces where sunrises and sunsets can be seen and facilities such as open gardens and outdoor pools are offered for the guests. Even Traditional Han Room, a private villa house is offered as a guest house for those who want more privacy during the stay while two types, Ko-dang and Cho-dang is available.

In addition, eight Jeju Olle courses that pass by the hotel is another benefit. This well shows how much the hotel harmonizes with the natural environment. For the excellent scenery, besides Secret Garden, it has a number of TV dramas that took location at the site; Boys Before Flowers, The Snow Queen, and Sorry I Love You. It surely is one of top attractions of Jeju.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Drama Location: Petite France (Secret Garden)

Secret Garden, a Korean TV drama that won favorable attention from the audience for the actors’ excellent performance and its famous lines, has just come to end. As the TV drama of the moment generating a lot of talks, not only its storyline but also the fashion, props and even NG takes became a great interest among the fans.
In particular, the location sites of the TV drama where the main characters’ scenes have been taken were what aroused the audiences’ curiosity the most. Let us have a closer look to the places Secret Garden invited their fans; the workshop location where Joo Won (Male leading charater) and Lime (female leading character) looked through the eyes of love of each other, Jeju hotel site where the two souls were switched and Petite France where the couple has first met.

Petite France, Joo Won first meets Lime

Do you remember the place where Joo Won first meets Lime, mistaking her as Park Chae Rin who Oscar asked to find for him? The romantic and fairytale village that often appears on TV or movie screen is from Petite France, a French village located in Gapyeong-gun Cheongpyeong-myeon, Korea.

The place combined with Goseong Youth Training Center, has sixteen French-style architectures and provides various activities to experience French culture during the stay. The site has a gift shop themed on Little Prince, a representative novel of a renowned French writer Antoine Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry and a gallery where an exhibition on the theme cock - the symbol of France is on show. Every month they have various events offered, so it would be worth to check out the website at for more information before your visit.