The Manila leg of Kim Bum’s 2023 Asia Fan Meeting was held last September 22 at the New Frontier Theater. He opened with “Wind Rain,” and immediately followed it with “Kiss the Rain,” both from the soundtrack of the Korean drama “Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938.”

“Ako po si Kim Bum. Kumusta po kayo? Na-miss ko po kayo!”
Fans who filled up the theater squealed in glee as Kim Bum greeted the audience in Filipino, and he was clearly amused as he gave his signature boyish smiles.

Host Sunny Kim revealed that Kim Bum was very hands-on with the planning for his fanmeet tour, planning all segments, selecting the songs, and even going as far choosing the fonts used for his event materials.

Connecting with Kim Bum
The first half of the event had different segments where fans learned more about Kim Bum.
In Bum’s Update, he shared that it took him months to prepare and rehearse for the fanmeet tour. An interesting fact he revealed was his Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type: INTJ. When asked for real life incidents that could prove his personality type, he said he thinks he’s a “super J,” and he’s probably overly honest, certain about what he likes and doesn’t like.

Prior to the event, voting areas for fans were set up in the lobby where fans could vote for their choice among Kim Bum’s past acting roles per category. This was for the Kim Bum Awards segment where it was revealed if his choice matched the audience vote. For the words that suited him best, fans chose “Cute,” and he chose “Cool.” He shyly said it was embarrassing to choose the other options and laughed along with the fans.

Kim Bum said that he smiles more because of his fans. When asked about the three similarities between himself and his fans, he said, “I hope you smile well. I hope you stay happy. I hope you won’t get hurt easily.”

Among his memorable roles, he mentioned Lee Rang from his most recently-concluded drama “Tale of the Nine Tailed 1938.” He also added that his So Yi Jung role in the hit drama “Boys Over Flowers,” is a precious memory and made it possible to meet all his fans.

The Dancing Bum segment was definitely one of the highlights! Partial photos of Kim Bum’s past roles were flashed on screen and fans had to guess the character’s name. The Pinoy fans being very dedicated and passionate meant they guessed all characters correctly, so Kim Bum’s “punishment” was to dance three times. He did “ETA” by New Jeans, “Flower” by Jisoo from BLACKPINK, and “Eve, Psyche & the Blubeard’s Wife” by Le Sserafim. He looked nervous and shy at first but managed to execute the choreography for all the songs, to the delight of everyone in attendance.

“Isa pa, isa pa!” Fans cheered, but obviously a bit winded, Kim Bum cutely declined saying there are more fun parts to look forward to. He admitted that he planned the dance segment for himself, and while he regretted it, he thought fans will have fun. He had never even danced in front of his mother, so thankful and relieved for the fans’ response.

Behind the Scenes with Kim Bum
Before the second part of the fanmeet, a video showing Kim Bum’s preparations for the fanmeet was shown. He wasn’t lying when he said it took him months to prepare, and his efforts were definitely fruitful.

A short video upon his arrival in Manila was also shown, where he revealed that he wasn’t feeling well upon arrival but now felt better. He thanked the fans for waiting for him, and said he hopes the fanmeet will be a happy memory for everyone.

Fun with Kim Bum
For the second half, Kim Bum opened with the song “Because I’m Stupid” from the Boys Over Flowers soundtrack. Scenes from the drama were also shown on screen, so it stirred a lot of good memories of the drama for everyone in the audience, this writer included!

After the song, host Sunny Kim said Kim Bum had a surprise for everyone: He was going to go down from the stage and walk around the audience area on the first floor to say hello. Oh wow, that was definitely a good surprise! Kim Bum admitted he was really stubborn because the production team did not want him to do this at first, but he insisted and made fans so happy.

Fans finally got the chance to get closer to Bum through several games. In Bum’s TMI, fans participated “Last Man Standing” style as they guessed his preferences. The lucky winners had the chance to go onstage to have a photo taken with Kim Bum. In Challenge with Bum, two teams of fans did physical challenges including “sipa” and arrow throwing with Bum. The team who won the fastest not only won for themselves, but also their seating section! Fans were given special photo cards as a prize.

Even more prizes were given out: a tumbler personally designed on the spot by Kim Bum, and more lucky fans were chosen for a selfie photo opportunity and even bonus hugs.

As a last treat, Kim Bum serenaded the fans again with his rendition of “When I Get Old” by Christopher and CHUNG HA, and “My Universe” by Coldplay and BTS.

On a personal note: Over a decade ago Kim Bum visited the Philippines to film a TVC for a local brand and do some TV interviews. I was lucky enough to see him back then, and it was so good to see him in person after a long time! While looking more mature and confident, he still looks very cute with his signature charming smile. Hope it doesn’t take another decade before he returns to the Philippines! Thank you for a good memory, Kim Bum!

Thanks to VIU Philippines for a memorable evening with Kim Bum.

Kim Bum’s 2023 Asia Fan Meeting in Manila & Cebu: [Between U and Me] is presented by VIU’s Scream Dates.
Words by R. Enriquez
Photos by Althea Planta
See more photos here

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