Lee Min Ho in Manila for Kyochon!

Korean superstar Lee Min Ho in the flesh at Greenhills Theater Mall

Korean superstar Lee Min Ho in the flesh at Greenhills Theater Mall           (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

KOREAN pop superstar Lee Min Ho rocked Greenhills Shopping Center in San Juan last night, February 24, 2015, when he showed up in the flesh to cut the ceremonial ribbon in the formal opening rites of Kyochon at Greenhills Theater Mall. Fans, young and old alike, filled the lobby of Greenhills Theater Mall, the driveway and the parking lot in front, and their screams of adoration filled the place.

Despite the fact that the area was cordoned off—no, make that blocked off with metal barriers usually used in political rallies!—crowds started building up as early as 2:00 p.m. for the scheduled 6:00 p.m. appearance of the Korean superstar. Kyochon, one of Korea’s leading chicken restaurant chains that has successfully created a presence in other countries including the Philippines and which Lee Min Ho endorses, set up a stage in front of the Kyochon store to hold a short program and allow more people to catch a glimpse of the Korean superstar. Although the primary reason for Min Ho’s visit to Manila was to grace the formal opening of Kyochon’s third store in the Philippines (located at the Greenhills Theater Mall), he was also meeting the winners of the Fun Meet and Greet contest sponsored by Kyochon Philippines on its Facebook page.

Crowds started to gather by mid afternoon

Crowds started to gather by mid afternoon               (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Lee Min Ho waves to the crowd upon arrival

Lee Min Ho waves to the crowd upon arrival            (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Event host Sam Oh interacting with Korean pop superstar Lee Min Ho

Event host Sam Oh interacting with Korean pop superstar Lee Min Ho          (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Adoring fans among the crowd

Adoring fans among the crowd                                       (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

It was a long wait, but it was all worth it for avid fans of the Korean superstar. Screams broke out in the crowd occasionally during the long wait. False alarms, you may call them. But the screaming reached feverish magnitude when the crowd finally caught a glimpse of the Korean superstar upon his arrival. As if it wasn’t loud and long enough, the deafening scream went an octave higher and louder and seemed likely to last forever when event host Sam Oh, herself a Korean, officially introduced Lee Min Ho and the Korean superstar hit the stage and waved to the crowd. The metal barriers nearest the stage had to be reinforced to hold back the maddening crowd.

Lee Min Ho receiving a warm welcome 'gift' from San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora

Lee Min Ho receiving a warm welcome ‘gift’ from San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora        (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Kyochon's third Philippine store is located at Greenhills Theater Mall

Kyochon’s third Philippine store is located at Greenhills Theater Mall                 (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Lee Min Ho signing tables intended for display in Kyochon stores in the Philippines

Lee Min Ho signing tables intended for display in Kyochon stores in the Philippines         (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Fireworks lighting up the night sky end the 'blast' of an event in Greenhills

Fireworks lighting up the night sky end the ‘blast’ of an event in Greenhills               (Photo by Rafael R. Zulueta)

Very humble and appreciative of the attention that the crowd was giving him, Lee Min Ho was all smiles and kept waving to the crowd even as Sam Oh engaged him in a conversation—in Korean language—and translated what he said to the crowd, which responded with more screams. But the best messages he reserved for himself and delivered in charming Tagalog, opening with “Magandang gabi!” and ending with “Mahal ko kayo!

It was Lee Min Ho’s third time to visit Manila, and he expressed his wish to be able to perform again for his Filipino fans the next time he came around. The brand ambassador of Kyochon, he intimated that his favorite Kyochon chicken variant was the Honey Chicken and that when he was stressed out he liked to eat its Spicy Chicken. It has been a year since the last time he was in Manila, and his movie, Gangnam Blues, is set to open in Philippine theaters on March 4, so he invited everyone to go and see it.

Asked by Sam Oh what his favorite memory of Kyochon was, the Korean superstar said it was right that moment when he was standing in front of the huge crowd in Greenhills. His answer endeared him even more to his Filipino fans.

He proceeded to cut the ceremonial ribbon of Kyochon at Greenhills Theater Mall, met the winners of Kyochon’s FB contest and handed them signed posters, and signed tables of Kyochon which shall afterwards be displayed in all Kyochon branches in the Philippines before he finally left the place with a warm ‘Thank you’ to all his Filipino fans and for everyone who went to Greenhills to see him. Fireworks served as a fitting end to the ‘fiery’ event.

So if traffic was really bad in Greenhills last night, you now know why.

 

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