While she is pure Korean and a K-pop phenomenon, Sandara Park never fails to make it known that when it comes down to it, the Philippines will always be special to her.
When Sandara Park first came into the collective consciousness of the public in the Philippines during her audition for Star Circle Quest, one of the early contentions was if she was willing to practice speaking in Tagalog. The reason was simple: It will prove to be more challenging in her quest for enduring stardom in the Philippine show business if she was limited to only English and Korean. Not that there is anything wrong with knowing only just that, it’s just that there would be more opportunities locally, and most importantly, the fans would not only be able to understand her more, but relate to her as well. “I promise that this moment, I will try to speak Tagalog…every time,” she guaranteed.
By this point, Sandara Park had already been living and studying in the Philippines for quite some time and has considered herself a Pinoy at heart. (Remember the funny quip of her explaining what the abbreviation of her barkada name PPG stood for?) Picking up the language well enough, even more so coming into the auditions, she would eventually go on to make a good impression on the judges of the reality talent search competition beyond her initial mission of looking like her idol, Regine Velasquez and shooting her own music video, to the tune of Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw, no less.
The rest, as they say, is history. Proving herself worthy as one of the top talents of Star Circle Quest, we all know what happens here, Sandara Park left an indelible imprint on the entertainment industry and Filipino pop culture as well. Who could forget her working through her jitters and tears, uttering the now famous phrase: “Mahal ko kayo”—waving hand and all?
Pinoy At Heart
After her time in Philippine show business, stacking up TV series and films of her speaking in fluent Tagalog, the self-confessed pambansang krung-krung would pack up her life and risk the fame she built here for a chance to pursue even bigger dreams in the mecca of entertainment in Asia, South Korea.
Proving to be a good, nay, great decision, Sandara Park trained and eventually debuted as a quarter of the super girl group, 2NE1, who despite disbanding years back, still maintains an indomitable stronghold on K-pop to this very day. But despite amassing a phenomenal superstar status, Sandara Park stood true to her being Pinoy at heart, never once forgetting her time in the Philippines. In fact, every chance possible, she will insert a bit of Filipino in, just like she did in the 2NE1 track, Let’s Go Party where she said, “Punta tayo sa fiesta!”
Whether it’s speaking in Tagalog, talking fondly about the Philippines, or visiting the place she once called home every now and then, Sandara Park will always find time to champion anything and everything Filipino. Vlogs? Check. Song covers? Check. Jollibee and Red Horse? Check. Heck, she could very well be an ambassador of the country to Korea and the rest of the world for all the times she would join fellow K-pop acts (2NE1, Seungri, G-Dragon) back in a pre-pandemic life. Now that’s whole-hearted dedication and to think, she is pure blooded Korean. How do the kids say it these days? Sana all.
No Tears, Pure Love
It is no secret that Sandara Park loves the Philippines, so much so that it can be said that she left a part of her heart here. (“Galing pa ako sa Pilipinas,” she once said on a variety show.) But despite charting global success as a Korean entertainer on the verge of her proper solo debut and possibly more projects, Sandara Park will switch to her Pinoy at heart self effortlessly with something random but true to her irresistible charm and candor.
While she initially persisted at the language beyond the truncated Tagalog and English, Sandara Park steeled her resolve to learn and live it to be relevant and respectful of the audience and country she loves so dearly. Sharing a common insecurity with some Filipinos on the accent while speaking English, Sandara Park revealed in an interview on MBC Every 1’s Video Star that she was embarrassed by it at first. “The Philippines’ English has a unique accent,” she shared. But since realizing it is an affectation that connects her even more to the country, she began to appreciate it. “Many people told me it was cool and matches me well,” she said. “I became more confident thanks to them.”
Now, she would slip in and out of Filipino, the most recent being at the 2021 Asia Song Festival where fans were quick to notice that she possibly said “po” and even noted that it was as if she was hosting a segment in the beloved noontime Sunday concert show, ASAP. She was already an honorary Filipino then but the nudge in Star Circle Quest really proved why she was, still is, and will forever be Pinoy at heart. Now, allow us to return the favor and wave back, “Mahal ka namin, Sandara Park.” No tears, just pure love.
Want to see more of the times Sandara Park flexed the Philippines and being Pinoy at heart? Scroll down to see more.
Alam nyo ba mas mainit ang Korea ngayon compare sa Phil?! Grabe… ?????????— Sandara Park (@krungy21) July 24, 2021
Ano kaya bagay sakin na tagalog song?! If gagawa ako ng cover song sa Dara tv?! Suggestion pls~ ?— Sandara Park (@krungy21) October 7, 2020
So funny! Dara won vs her ‘mother-in-law’! ?— 알렉사 (@ALEXAsaki) July 29, 2020
Scene was MiL said she didn’t like Dara’s dress. MiL said she never really liked her & showed hate.. Dara suddenly spoke in Tagalog & all were taken aback. She ended up saying she’ll file for divorce and fled. pic.twitter.com/pVYv19DsJa
Sisig & kang kong & garlic rice & red horse! Ang dinner ko ngayon~ ang sarap!!! ??? take out ko~ ? may nahanap akong masarap na Pinoy resto sa Seoul. Super happy ako!!! ??? pic.twitter.com/cDUsd9aWYG— Sandara Park (@krungy21) December 12, 2020
#superlatepost last yr pa itong video greeting from Super Junior for my friend in the Philippines! Ngayon ko lang ito post! ? Thank you Super Junior for the best bday gift for my friend!!! ?????? pic.twitter.com/vJ76MhJpMG— Sandara Park (@krungy21) April 13, 2021
Thank you sooooooo much for all your support~!!! Mahal ko kayo~!!! ?????? pic.twitter.com/U7sET0OzX0— Sandara Park (@krungy21) April 17, 2021