By: Nestor Cuartero
JUST A THOUGHT: “When words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen
KOREANS IN SHOWBIZ: Good to know that the ongoing Korean invasion of Philippine pop culture isn’t treading a one-way street.
Just as Pinoys have been embracing Korean pop songs, singers, actors and telenovelas, several full-blooded Koreans are pursuing their own careers in Manila.
Ryan Bang, a wonderful comedian and co-host on It’s Showtime, is one of them.
Sandara Park first made a name as a singer-actress in Manila before going back to Korea where she joined a popular girl band. The band has disbanded and Sandara is doing it solo now.
Now comes Korean charmer and “I Love OPM” Grand Touristar Yohan Hwang who walked his way to PH music industry as he releases his debut album under Star Music. The album features a unique mix of Pinoy covers and their Korean versions which will be available on Melon, South Korea’s popular online music store.
YOHAN THE OPM SINGER: The chinito heartthrob, who has made Philippines his home for the last three years, highlights his heartfelt renditions of three Tagalog songs in his self-titled album. He also personally translated the lyrics to Korean language in his renditions he hopes both fellow Koreans and Filipinos will enjoy.
Yohan’s touching interpretation of “Kung Ako Na Lang Sana,” sang originally by Bituin Escalante, is the carrier single of his first album. Its Korean version is entitled “Nayotdamyon.”
The 21-year old singer also includes his covers for Yeng Constantino’s “Ikaw” with its Korean version “Noege,” and Regine Velasquez’s “You Made Me Stronger” or “Annyeong” for his much-awaited album. “Noege” was the theme song of the recently aired Koreanovela “Love In The Moonlight” on ABS-CBN.
Aside from said OPM hits, the song “Du Sa Rang,” the Korean version of one of KZ Tandingan’s biggest hits “Mahal ko o Mahal Ako,” is also part of the tracklist.
This is a milestone in Star Music’s history as the leading record label taps the music portal Melon for the first time in hope to introduce OPM, translated in Korean, to the South Korean market through Yohan’s songs.
The singer earlier rose to fame when he joined and eventually won ABS-CBN’s original singing competition “I Love OPM” in 2016, and got a Star Music recording contract as part of the prizes he received.