Book It: 7 Fun Things To Do With Your Friends In Seoul That Won’t Break the Bank

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So when's the trip?

Seoul is a great destination for travelers, Hallyu enthusiasts, foodies, families and barkadas. Here are a few fun, unique, budget-friendly things to do in the capital of South Korea!

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I don’t know about you, but my favorite trips are the ones that aren’t so wild, crazy, and exhausting, but aren’t too relaxed either. I don’t want to camp or kayak, nor do I want to just spend all day lounging around in a hotel room. Exploring cities is where it’s at for me, and I assume for many people as well. Seoul was perfect then, in that it’s chill enough to warrant a simple stroll but busy enough to be enjoyably lively. South Korea has been steadily rising in popularity as a must-visit place, and whether you’re solo-tripping or spending time with family or friends, it’s a great place to put on your travel bucket list.

We spent five days in Seoul, staying in the Myeong-dong area—a busy, tourist-y area of the city that had plenty of shops, restaurants, landmarks, and places to explore. And while going to Seoul is the dream for many, the funds required to do so is no joke. Plane tickets, in this economy? But if you spent most of your money getting there, worry not, because while trips are expensive, there are plenty of things to do in Seoul that’s totally worth it but are definitely not a waste of money. Scroll down for some of them.

GO ON THE ULTIMATE STREET FOOD TRIP

Everyone says to do it—and they’re right. Street food, particularly in Myeong-dong, offers a wide variety of excellent food from full meals to desserts, steak to tanghulu, chicken skewers to souffle pancakes, cheese tteok-kocchi to Korean marshmallow ice cream. When the streets come alive at night with lights, food stalls, locals, visitors, and all sorts of delicious scents waft through the air, you can bet you’ll find yourself walking around with armfuls of food and even little trinkets, stuffing your face with all the delicacies available.

GET ACORN CARICATURES

seoul caricatures
acorn caricatures myeongdong seoul

Acorn Caricature (@uncles_painting on Instagram) has plenty of branches around Korea. I saw it go viral on social media before we went to Seoul, and luckily, I spotted one near where we stayed—a storefront and bench decorated with their signature yellow and bold marker caricatures on a small street in Myeong-dong.

There, my sister and I sat for at most five minutes as we got our caricatures done (9000 KRW per person or around 386 pesos) and chatted with the sweet Korean artist who mentioned that she visited Mactan, Cebu back in 2015. The caricatures were well-made and adorable, and it’s definitely a fun, cute experience to have!

SHOP UNDERGROUND

Okay, maybe this one will do some damage to your wallet. But we won’t blame you if you spend hours shopping in Seoul’s underground malls, particularly in the Myeong-dong Underground Shopping Center. You can access the basement shopping center from the Myeong-dong Station Line 4 Exits. The “mall” offers everything from the latest Korean fashions to K-pop merchandise for affordable prices—definitely more affordable than the shops or department stores aboveground. Score deals here on trendy knitwear, shoes, down jackets, albums and photocards, and so much more.

TAKE PHOTOBOOTH PICTURES

What’s a Gen Z trip without endless new and creative ways to take photos? Photobooths dot the streets of the city (there’s even one up on Namsan Park near the N Seoul Tower), so you can take so many photos and get them designed however you want!

There are even photobooths with unique, distinct brandings like DON’T LXXK UP. There, the photos are taken from a high angle for an edgy, youthful set of photos where you can look your coolest. Photobooths cost around 3,000 to 6,000 KRW and have a variety of styles, concepts, and designs to choose from.

EXPLORE THE NIGHTLIFE

itaewon seoul
itaewon seoul

City nightlife in Seoul is marked with bright lights and chilly wind in the fall. Make the most of it by taking a quick trip to Itaewon or similar bustling areas to check out the sights, bars, and restaurants frequented by the young people of Seoul!

RECREATE YOUR IDOLS’ PHOTOS

Whether it’s cycling along the Han River or eating at a famous restaurant, visiting places idols and actors have been to is a fun way for a K-pop or K-drama fan to spend some time in South Korea. Recreate your faves’ photos for selca days, or just for fun, and get a glimpse of why they love and enjoy these places in their home country.

HIKE UP TO N SEOUL TOWER

n seoul tower
seoul fall

South Korea in the fall is stunningly picturesque. When the sun graces you with its presence and hits the green, yellow, orange, and red leaves just right, the city skyline is breathtaking. The N Seoul Tower in the heart of the city is a local landmark atop Namsan Mountain.

Did we get a little confused going there? Yes. Did we stumble upon a bridge that gave us a gorgeous view of the fall foliage and the tower without a lot of people around? Also yes. You can ride the subway or the bus to get to stations near the area and make your way up the mountain on foot (for free if you’re just planning on getting to the base of the tower), or take a taxi to get to the cable car station and ride up for around 14,000 KRW. There’s also a free shuttle from Myeong-dong Station Exit 1 or Seoul Station Exit 9. Get up there for panoramic views of the city and to see the “Locks of Love” placed around the plaza!

Photobooth photo in thumbnail used with permission.

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The Asia Artist Awards Will Be Held In The PH For the First Time—Here’s What We Know So Far

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Get your lightsticks ready.

You read that right. The Asia Artist Awards, one of South Korea’s biggest awards ceremonies, is being held in the Philippines for the first time ever! Here’s what we know, who’s coming, and how you can watch!

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Have you ever watched a Korean awards show and wondered what it would be like if the Philippines was chosen as a host nation? Well, wonder no more because one is finally coming to the Philippines. The Asia Artist Awards, organized by Korean newspaper Money Today and media brands StarNews and MTN, celebrates the best of the best in music, film, and television. And on August 30, StarNews dropped the, well, news that the ceremony will be held in the Philippine Arena on December 14!

The first edition of AAA were held in Seoul in 2016 while subsequent ceremonies have been held in South Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. This year, its 8th iteration will land in the Philippines for the first time, and undoubtedly to the shock and joy of countless Hallyu fans all over the nation. The event will be hosted by the AAA organizing committee, TONZ Entertainment, and PULP Live World.

Happee Sy-Go confirmed the development by reposting the news on her X (formerly Twitter) page and sharing with Manila Bulletin that PULP is “very honored to have been chosen as the Philippine partner to host this year’s Asian Artist Awards.”

The Awards sees a mix of Korean idol groups, artists, actors take the stage to accept awards, host, or perform. Last year, the star-studded attendees included NewJeans, SEVENTEEN, TREASURE, IVE, Han Sohee, Bona, Lee Jae Wook, and so much more. Other most-awarded artists include BTS, SEVENTEEN, Lim Young-woong, TWICE, and Kang Daniel. International artists have also won awards, such as MAX and Anne-Marie winning the Best Pop Artist Award in 2020.

Social media is already buzzing with anticipation for this year’s awards as it’s a massive moment in K-pop culture that is sure to have incredible performances, fun interactions, friendly competition, and a grand celebration of Asian culture—and it’s going to happen right here in the Philippines!

To kick things off, the first lineup for AAA was announced on September 2 by Starnews. So get ready to see world-renowned girl groups LE SSERAFIM, NMIXX, and NewJeans, as well as 5th generation boy groups BOYNEXTDOOR, and ZEROBASEONE at the Philippine Arena this December!

Next up, the hosts of the awards! Wonder no more who’s going to take the red carpet interviewer gigs as IVE’s Jang Wonyoung, Kang Daniel, and ZEROBASEONE’s Sung Hanbin are here to host the grand event!

K-Drama enthusiasts—get ready! The next wave of attendees have confirmed they’re walking the carpet in the Philippine Arena: actors Kim Seon Ho (Start-Up, Home Town Cha-Cha-Cha), Ahn Hyo Seop (Business Proposal, Dr. Romantic), Kim Se Jeong (Business Proposal, The Uncanny Counter), and Moon Ga Young (True Beauty, The Interest of Love)! And to add, more attendees include artists Lee Dong-hwi, Lee Jun-hyuk, Cha Joo-young, and Lee Eun-sam.

You won’t believe who else is coming. K-Pop groups ITZY, Stray Kids, THE BOYZ, soloist Kwon Eunbi, and Japanese boyband &TEAM have confirmed their attendance at AAA 2023!

The second musical lineup revealed groups Dreamcatcher, KARD, STAYC, Kep1er, TEMPEST, Lapillus, as well as soloists and rappers Kim Jae Joong, Dindin, Lee Youngji, Ash Island, and YAOCHEN will be in attendance!

Next up! The star-studded lineup includes SEVENTEEN’s sub-unit BSS (BooSeokSoon), ONEUS, KINGDOM, ATBO, LUN8, Filipino groups SB19 and HORI7ON, EXO’s Suho, and chart-topper Lim Young Woong! And if that’s not enough, local big names joining them will be Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, and Melai Cantiveros.

Ticket selling starts November 12! Stay tuned for more news about the Awards, and get ready for a great December.

Bookmark this page for updates as we learn more about AAA in the Philippines!

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Uncovering True Beauty: Hwang In Youp Proves He’s More Than Just Another K-Drama Actor

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With the recent success of ‘True Beauty’, who knows what else this dashing actor has up his sleeves?

En route to becoming one of South Korea’s rising actors of this generation, Hwang In Youp joins BYS Philippines as he continues to make us swoon with his flawless skin and impeccable talent

Isn’t it just soul-stirring when our favorite stars and celebrities are standing up for necessary positive change? What’s even better is if they’re doing so alongside forward-thinking brands that aim to uplift us all in more ways than one! That’s exactly the case for South Korean actor and True Beauty lead Hwang In Youp who’s not only gratefully basking in the spotlight of television and film, but is also smashing stereotypes one beauty product at a time as BYS Philippines’ newest Ambassador.

True Beauty revolves around the self-esteem that’s built through makeup and skincare. Lim Ju Kyung poses as a high school student who initially used makeup as a mask before eventually turning it into a confidence-booster. Towards the end of the show, along with her fellow protagonists Lee Suho and Han Seo Joon, she finally accepted herself for who she truly was behind all those products. Needless to say that the three leads were able to unravel and uncover beauty and what it actually stands for as the show progressed.

Our favorite new bad boy has arrived

The second that Han Seo Joon, played by the captivating Hwang In Youp, took off his motorcycle helmet in the second episode, I knew I was done for it. From his ever-so-fitting leather jacket all the way to his piercing gaze, I was mesmerized. His mischievous yet lovable and protective personality would make anyone want to have playful banters with him all day long, but it was also his silky smooth and clear skin that got Cupid’s arrow flying straight to my heart.

That Filipino connection

Out of sheer admiration, I decided to look up Hwang In Youp’s background. While innocently scrolling through the results, I realized that the 30-year-old actor was the one being immensely talked about all over social media a while back after it was announced that he lived and studied in Davao, Philippines for a few years.

I had no idea that the show that would pull me back into the world of K-Dramas was starring the same person who would want another taste of the Philippines’ classic pork dish: Lechon. During an exclusive chat with BYS Philippines, he mentioned that should he have the opportunity to return to the country after more than a decade, he would fly to Davao City again, while adding, “I really liked Lechon. If I can visit again, I really want to eat Lechon.” I guess we can all say he’s got a little bit of Filipino in him, doesn’t he?

Stereotypes are now on their way to being a thing of the past

When talking about beauty, we tend to recall the standards that Philippine society has ingrained in us ever since we were little kids. We have to have white skin, have little to no pimples, or only get fine lines once we reach a certain age. We were also told that only women can use makeup and skincare because it was seen as feminine, and just not what men should engage in. That certain stereotype has crushed the feelings and self-esteem of countless people, and Hwang In Youp is just over it. Now standing as the new face of BYS Philippines, the rising star is crushing stereotypes one step at a time.

“I’m very pleased. I think it’s thrilling and meaningful,” shared by Hwang In Youp himself about being part of a beauty brand that encourages us to confidently be our truest selves. Now, he is stepping with BYS Philippines–yes, even with Skin by BYS–to let the world know that men are free and more than welcome to do what they want to take care of their skin. When asked about the must-have skincare product he thinks should be included in every man’s regimen, the K-Drama oppa said, “I apply sunscreen everyday. I think that applying sunscreen to block UV rays is the most basic and healthy formula for the skin. I think sunscreen is what I need the most.”

Initially pursuing modelling before entering different web and tv screens, the soon-to-be Netflix Original actor is completely familiar with the importance of having clean and healthy skin. With BYS Philippines previously highlighting that we should all love ourselves harder, Skin by BYS allows us to become comfortable in the skin we’re in, and it’s in loving ourselves even more that we become empowered to uncover true beauty, whether we’re a man, a woman, or whoever and whatever else on the spectrum.

iFace General Manager Angie Goyena reveals that the story of True Beauty and the tied-up journey between Ju Kyung, Suho, and Seo Joon struck a chord with BYS Philippines’ 2021 campaign, Uncover Beauty. She adds, “Signing on Hwang In Youp as our endorser is a statement about our stubborn assumptions concerning gender and beauty. This is an opportunity for us to smash stereotypes and shift away from standards, as well as be that voice to help shape the way we see beauty.”

Hwang In Youp is uncovering true, unapologetic beauty

Along with the enormous launch of Hwang In Youp joining the team of BYS Philippines comes the introduction of Skin by BYS Minis less than six months after the release of Skin by BYS. This makes it a lot easier for us to get a full skincare regimen without having to commit to acquiring all full-sized bottles. The Skin by BYS Minis are also so much lighter on the pockets that some might even call it a steal! Thanks to the effectiveness of each product and the loyalty gained from their makeup users, the brand has now strengthened their foothold in the local skincare scene as well.

Skin by BYS Minis is a collective of some of the products initially released–only handier and more affordable. The set includes the following: Extra Gentle Milk Jelly Cleanser that creates a smoother and brighter complexion; Extra Hydrating Balancing Toner that restores the skin’s elasticity while reducing fine lines; Extra Glow Brightening Serum that makes the skin brighter, plumper, and more youthful; Extra Glow Face Cream that brightens the skin for a more glowing complexion; Extra Brightening Eye Cream that diminishes puffiness around the eyes; and Extra Effortless Pore Perfecting Sunblock that protects the skin against harmful UV damage while preventing photoaging and weakening of collagen and elastin fibers. Seeing as the actor considers sunscreen as his skincare must-have, I bet he’s just in love with the weightless Skin by BYS Sunblock with broad-spectrum SPF 50 PA+++.

The serum, face cream, and eye cream all have been reformulated as BYS Philippines added BuleResisterWE, which is a polyphenol component of wine that helps in protecting the skin against exposure to high-energy blue tint radiated from various screens.

Not only are the six Skin by BYS products the only things included in the Skin by BYS Minis set, but it also comes with two limited edition Hwang In Youp photocards that even I might lose my mind over, what more long-time fans of his? It goes without saying that Skin by BYS Minis is a treat for the skin and the eyes, indeed.

Climbing his way to the top

With his raw talent and unmistakably clear, smooth, and healthy skin, Hwang In Youp is undeniably on his way to become one of South Korea’s most inspiring actors. From being on a show that, in the end, encourages us all to be comfortable in our own skin to being the face of a brand that is more known to cater to women, this is only the beginning for Hwang In Youp and his journey towards a more fruitful career, whether that’s in the form of a bad yet soft boy on screen or a skincare aficionado that aims to uplift us all to love ourselves harder for us to uncover true beauty off screen.

Hwang In Youp Smashes Stereotypes With BYS Philippines One Skincare Step at a Time

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Who says women are the only ones who can have clear and healthy skin? This 'True Beauty' actor certainly doesn't think so.

Hwang In Youp uncovers true beauty as the new face of BYS Philippines.

While it’s the exciting storylines and heart-stopping plot twists that keep us in the loop of all past, present, and even future K-Dramas, we can’t deny that having eye candy actors and actresses play a big part in it as well. A perfect example of this is the rising actor who most recently played supposed bad boy Han Seo Joon of the fictional Saebom High School in True Beauty, Hwang In Youp. His piercing gaze and chic mullet had us falling head over heels for him, but it was also his clear and silky smooth skin that captured our hearts every single time. This is why it comes as no surprise that he graces us as the new face of BYS Philippines.

Being thrown into the spotlight because of his natural talent and captivating looks, it’s clear that Hwang In Youp is making a name for himself. The 30-year old actor who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Fashion Design initially wanted to have his own clothing line before pursuing a career in modelling. A year later, he made his acting debut that eventually led to his breakout role in True Beauty, a K-Drama based on the webtoon of the same name, that aired from 2020 to 2021. On the show, his character’s fellow students were just fawning all over him, and BYS Philippines did, too. Thus, a breathtaking collaboration was born.

Smashing stereotypes through skincare

Initially known for being a makeup brand, BYS eventually launched their own skincare line this 2021. Skin by BYS has emphasized the importance of loving ourselves harder with the help of their 10 skincare products, and through their latest venture with Hwang In Youp, they aren’t just here to guide us in uncovering true beauty, but to also break stereotypes and say men can have their own skincare routines as well.

According to iFace General Manager Angie Goyena, “Signing on Hwang In Youp as our endorser is a statement about our stubborn assumptions concerning gender and beauty. This is an opportunity for us to smash stereotypes and shift away from standards, as well as be that voice to help shape the way we see beauty.” Skin by BYS Minis is a specially curated package of six products that offer men and women high-quality skincare that’s light on the packaging and on our pockets.

The set contains the Extra Gentle Milk Jelly Cleanser that yields smoother and brighter complexion with its non-irritating formula suitable for all skin types, the Extra Hydrating Balancing Toner that reduces fine lines while keeping moisture locked in, and the Extra Glow Brightening Serum that helps achieve a more youthful and healthier glow. It also includes the Extra Glow Face Cream that illuminates the skin, the Extra Brightening Eye Cream that brightens the skin around the eyes, and the Extra Effortless Pore Perfecting Sunblock with SPF 50 PA+++ that protects the skin from the negative effects of UV rays.

Similar to Hwang In Youp’s remarkable journey to the top, Skin by BYS Minis creates a clearer and brighter way for us, men and women alike, to uncover true beauty.

Along with the six Skin by BYS products, fans will be ecstatic to receive two limited edition photocards of Hwang In Youp himself! Head over to your nearest Watsons or The SM Store, or visit Amorfia, Watsons, and ShopSM to get yours online.