Filipino fans of Sandara Park rejoice now that the 32-year-old Korean pop star has renewed ties with them months after the dissolution of 2NE1.
Then again, it’s not as if she was remiss in acknowledging their role in the development of her career. Sandara has consistently said it in the years she was enjoying success with the all-girl group behind the hits “I Don’t Care,” “Fire,” “Go Away,” “Lonely,” and “I Am The Best.”
Her occasional visits to the Philippines in the past were always anticipated. And in one of them, she even sat as judge on defunct “Pinoy Boyband Superstar.”
Now, she returns with her new film, “One Step.”
“I hope my Filipino friends will support my new movie,” she said in a recent interview. “I consider it really special.”
As Pambansang Krung-krung, Sandara appeared in several Filipino films. These include “Bcuz Of U” in 2004, which earned her the Best New Actress plum at the 21st Philippine Movie Press Club Star Awards; “Can This Be Love” in 2005, which reportedly grossed at least P100 million; and “D’ Lucky Ones!” and “Super Noypi,” both released in 2006.
Is she pressured to repeat her box-office success with the latest offering?
“Wala, hindi (ko iniisip ’yon) kasi parang I consider this na parang first step ko ulit in making movies,” she said. “Siyempre, mas masaya kung magustuhan ito ng mga Filipinos. I could only hope.”
Directed by Juhn Jai-Hong and now in theaters, “One Step” is about Si-hyun, a simple girl who suffers from amnesia after getting in a car accident, which also causes her to see sounds in color. She then meets Ji-won (Hong Ah-reum), whose brother, Woo-hyuk (Han Jae-suk), will hear Si-hyun humming a strange melody in her sleep. Writing it down as a score, Woo-hyuk will give it to Si-hyun, hoping it would help her remember her past. Meanwhile, Jee-il (Cho Dong-in), a failed songwriter stumbles upon the score and agrees to help Si-hyun embark on a healing journey.
Sandara said, “Hindi ito ’yung movie na parang boom, boom, boom. Ito ’yung movie na relaxed lang but in the end you’d be inspired, sasabihin mo ‘Ah, kaya ko rin ’yan.’”
Early this year, Sandara was seen in a cameo role in the hit film “My Ex And Whys.” Asked if she wants to do more films here, she said, “Actually napag-usapan na (ng management ko) with ABS-CBN. So, hopefully matuloy.”
Busy as ever
The singer, songwriter, actress, DJ and TV host is still based in South Korea, having been named public relations director of YG Entertainment, her management team.
She admitted, “Grabe ang schedule ko, so busy. Actually wala akong tulog ilaw araw na dahil sa promotion ng film ko.”
“But I just keep positive and smile a lot. Kahit stressed ako, kahit walang tulog, sinasabi ko na lang ‘Okay lang, okay lang.’ Siyempre, I want to meet my Filipino fans din. I’m so happy to be here.”
Sandara hopes to hang-out with some of her Filipino friends during her stay.
“Sana pero kasi mahirap ’yung schedule ko,” she said. “Pero sigurado ako kakain ako ng maraming Filipino food while I’m here.”
Apart from enjoying a movie career, Sandara was also successful as singer here. Her eponymous debut album under Star Records sold over 100,000 copies. It holds the record as the only album by a Korean-born act to be certified platinum by the Philippine Association of the Record Industry (PARI).
Sandara recalled her many memorable moments promoting that album.
“Naalala ko kinakanta ko ’yung single ko na ‘In Or Out’ all over the Philippines, tapos lahat kumakanta din, ang saya,” she shared.
Would she want to record another album in the Philippines?
“Of course, pero kasi mahirap lang hindi ako based dito. Siguro someday.”
This early, many fans clamor for her reunion with the rest of 2NE1.
But Sandara said, “Let’s just wait.”
“Who knows? Maybe someday we will all work together again but for now kanya-kanya muna kami.”
She too felt sad when the group was dissolved but she has learned to accept it.
“Siyempre sobrang lungkot kasi kahit paano parang family ko na sila,” she related. “We’ve been together for 10 years, we lived together, experienced so many happy and sad moments together, very close kami.”
Sandara happily reported both Minzy and CL have resumed their music careers.
“May mga solo albums sila and I’m happy for them,” she said.
With her hectic shedule, Sandara has no time for love life.
She’s not losing sleep over it, though.
“I’m not in a hurry,” she said. “Pero open ako (magkaroon). I mean, kung meron diyang prince charming na talagang magustuhan ko, why not?”
What does she look for in a guy?
“Gusto ko ’yung same kami ng interest sa music, fashion. Tsaka gusto ko slim na cute. Ayoko ’yung macho kasi maliit lang ako, hindi bagay.”
But what about G-Dragon? A few months back, the two were rumoured to be having a thing.
Sandara laughed and said, “Part siya ng YG family ko. Kilala ko na siya totoy pa lang siya. Hindi kami pwede. I know him too well na parang kung maging kami parang ‘Yuck!’ We’re like siblings na kasi talaga.” (With report from Jojo P. Panaligan)
Tags: 2NE1, fire, I Don’t Care”, Inspiring return, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, One Step, Pambansang Krung-krung, Sandara Park, With report from Jojo P. Panaligan, “Bcuz Of U”, “Go Away”, “Lonely”