To many people, “Meteor Garden” is their first favorite Asian drama. Remember the days when you would drop whatever it was you’re doing at exactly 4:30 p.m. just to catch the show? Still memorize the Taiwanese theme song – and still don’t understand a single word? Yes, it’s that show.
The building where San Chai and Hua Ze Lei usually meet (All photos from Suzanne Dolorito’s Facebook account)
The group posing in front of the National Chung Cheng University
The tranquility lake where San Chai and childhood school friend Shing Ha first met
The first date of Dao Ming Su and San Chai happened in PS Bubu Restaurant, located at the Shilin District in Taipei City.
The iconic lockers on ‘Meteor Garden’ where San Chai received her own red card
Ying De's cafeteria
‘Meteor Garden’ fans had the chance to visit the shoot locations of the 2001 hit Tawainese series that launched the careers of Barbie Hsu, Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Vanness Wu, and Ken Chu.
Based on the Japanese comics “Hana Yori Dango,” “Meteor Garden” aired in the Philippines 16 years ago and, as they say, first love never dies. The story and the characters have stayed with us that we even remember some of the iconic lines and kilig moments.
When it was rerun in 2014, the series – which launched the careers of Barbie Hsu (San Chai) alongside Jerry Yan (Dao Ming Si), Vic Zhou (Hua Ze Lei), Vanness Wu (Mei Zuo), and Ken Chu (Xi Men) – commonly known as the Flowers Four or F4 – still received warm response from Pinoy viewers.
Indeed, “Meteor Garden” remains one of the most-loved series of all time with Pinoy fans doing outrageous things in the name of fangirling.
Take a look at Suzanne Dolorito.
Just recently, Suzanne trended on various social media outlets when she posted photos of her “Taiwan 2017: Meteor Garden” tour.
She, alongside friends Mara Claire Salamat, Angelica Bigkas, and Lyd Iris Ilicito “relived their childhood” feels by visiting the famous Taiwanese series’ shoot locations even through the rain.
Dubbed her “ultimate fangirling experience,” Suzanne wrote: “Before Kdrama, we fell in love first with F4 and San Chai. And for our case, we fell hard! Haha!”
In a Facebook chat with Bulletin Entertainment, Suzanne said she and her friends made it a point to save up for the trip.
“It’s our childhood dream talaga to go the shooting locations of ‘Meteor Garden.’ I was thinking kasi na kung fan ka talaga, kailangan mo siyang mapuntahan once in your life,” she said.
Among places the group visited are the National Chung Cheng University, P.S. Bu Bu restaurant and National Taiwan University.
The University of Sto. Tomas alumna shared that her fondest memory of “Meteor Garden” was when she missed one episode and ended up crying.
“During that time kasi, sobrang precious ng bawat episode kasi ’di pa uso ang Internet. So hindi mo siya mare-replay,” she explained. “Also, immediately after school, baba lang ng bag tapos diretso nood ng TV.”
So how does it feel now that she was able to visit the shooting locations of her all-time favorite series?
“It felt surreal. It’s like ‘Meteor Garden’ happened only yesterday. As if we were also studying in Ying De (the fictional school where San Chai and the F4 met). And we all feel like watching it again,” she maintained. “Wherever we go, the scenes kept on flashing back. Tapos parang may lukso ng dugo bawat area du’n sa university.”
Given the chance to meet the cast of “Meteor Garden,” Suzanne shared the first thing she will do is give her idols a hug and say thank you for all the memories.
“And if it’s not too much, we’ll ask them to sing together,” she said. I will say na ‘Thank you for being our first love,’ then of course we will ask for pictures and fan signs.”
Meanwhile, to totally relive the memories of “Meteor Garden,” Bulletin Entertainment also asked Suzanne and her friends to name their favorite scene and line from the series.
For Suzanne, it’s the scene where Hua Ze Lei is advising San Chai to control her tears.
“You can stand upside down, in this way, the tears that would fall will stop,” she said, reciting the English translations of Hua Ze Lei’s line in the scene.
Mara on the other hand, shared, “The parlor scene where Dao Ming Si crazily dances because she assumed that San Chai has feelings for him.”
“The first bus scene of San Chai and Dao Ming Si, wherein San Chai went off the bus and ran towards Dao Ming Si,” Lyd related.
Meanwhile, Angelica said, “The beach scene of San Chai and Hua Ze Lei wherein Lei said, ‘Why can’t the person I like be you?’ and then they kissed.”
Last April, “Meteor Garden” creator Angie Chai announced the Taiwanese TV drama is set for reboot.
Strait Times reported the show’s new version will be a “fuller and flashier” adaptation of the books.
It also said the reboot will be made for 720 million New Taiwan dollars ($23.74 million), or 15 million New Taiwan dollars per episode. That budget is 30 times larger than its 2001 predecessor.
When will it air? Well, we could just patiently wait.