Meet the Super Junior
By Sary Valenzuela
Photos courtesy of Bench
Many of the Super Junior diehards, nicknamed “Elves,” arrived ten hours early just to get a good view of the stage area. Indeed, there were so many people (most of them, unsurprisingly, teenage girls) that the escalators were closed off for crowd control.
It was like a congregation for K-Pop fanatics as they sang Super Junior songs in unison while holding up homemade posters with messages written in Korean characters. It was fascinating to see the dedication of the Super Junior fandom in spite of the heavy traffic and inclement weather that afternoon.
When the two new “Benchsetters” humbly emerged from the wings of the stage, the Elves practically exploded in ear-splitting screeches. The fans could not seem to stop screaming. Every gesture, every smile, every word would elicit a shriek of excitement and kilig.
Well, having seen Siwon and Donghae up close (I had front row seats!), it was easy to understand why they cause traffic jams (and I am not exaggerating!) everywhere they go. These undisputed ultimate heartthrobs of Asia had flawless porcelain skin, great built, and too cute, though slightly disheveled, bowl-cut hair. Their smile could literally melt you on the spot. No wonder they made all the young ladies in Trinoma swoon.
But they are not only attractive and talented, they were also quite charming, endearing even, gamely answering questions onstage. Here’s an excerpt from the interview.
Campus Paper (CP) : This year, Bench is celebrating its 25th birthday. Could you wish Bench a happy birthday message?
SIWON: I’m very happy and honored to be celebrating this milestone with Bench and I wish I could celebrate with Bench for 250 years!
CP: It’s been quite a long time since you visited the Philippines. When was the last time?
SIWON: The last time we were here, we were with the members of Super Junior for a commercial shoot together.
CP: A few years ago, we heard that a few Super Junior fans actually requested for Bench to have Super Junior as their presenters. Who would have known that it would actually happen! How do you feel about being the Bench presenters?
DONGHAE: I’m very honored to be one of the Bench presenters and it’s all thanks to you, the Elves, for making it possible. I love you all!
CP: You had already shot the summer and autumn Bench collection, and today, you’ve shot the new collection. How was the experience?
SIWON: Since it was our second time, it was much easier to work together. It went really well— no problems or issues whatsoever. It was a fun, quick shoot.
CP: Is there a particular color of clothes you like?
DONGHAE: I like the pastel color of blue!
CP: Is there any particular item that you bring with you wherever you go?
DONGHAE: Well, I always bring the love of the Elves with me everywhere!
CP: Is there anything you want to do or a particular place you want to see in the Philippines?
SIWON: I would love to go to Cebu!
DONGHAE: I would like to take everyone here and go to Boracay! All expenses will be paid for by Mr. Bench.
CP: Could you tell us a few Filipino words you know?
SIWON: Ang Philippines ay maganda! Mahal ko kayo!
DONGHAE: Mami-miss ko kita! Mahal ko kayo!
CP: What’s your message for your fans in the Philippines?
DONGHAE: I am very honored and happy to be here. I just really love all the Elves right now. Also, don’t check out any other boy band— just the Super Juniors!
SIWON: When I come back, I would like the entire Super Junior group to come and have a super concert in the Philippines!