If there is one person who feels very Filipino despite having a different nationality, it would be South Korean superstar Sandara Park.
Also known as Dara, Park lived in the Philippines for some time as an actress, where she learned a lot about Filipinos and how to speak Tagalog fluently. Now, she gets to use her celebrity status in South Korea to promote the Filipino culture among her fans and fellow celebrities. (Read: The Filipino Comfort Food: Sisig, Its History, And Its Variants)
Not only does Dara impress everyone in South Korea whenever she speaks Tagalog on camera, but she also influences them with her love for everything Filipino—including food! As a matter of fact, just last year, the singer tweeted a Filipino restaurant that she found in Seoul, saying that she was super happy because she is now able to eat Pinoy food in South Korea.
“Sisig & kang kong & garlic rice & red horse! Ang dinner ko ngayon~ ang sarap!!!take out ko~ may nahanap akong masarap na Pinoy resto sa Seoul. Super happy ako!!!,” Dara wrote.
Dara’s Filipino “roots” seem to be rubbing off on her friends. As a matter of fact, her closest friend, South Korean actor Jung Il Woo, recently vlogged about Filipino food!
Jung Il Woo Tries Sinigang
Jung Il Woo, who is known for starring in Korean dramas such as “Moon Embracing the Sun” and “Cinderella with Four Knights,” recently posted a vlog where he cooked seafood sinigang and beef caldereta for the singer. “Today, I’ll be cooking Filipino food for Dara. I’ve never been there [the Philippines], but I tried my best to search for information on YouTube,” the 33-year-old actor said.
Dara was obviously very excited when she heard what they were going to do for the video, “Sinigang is my favorite! It’s my favorite menu out of all the Filipino food, and I never had my meals without it,” she said. Il Woo also disclosed that they have been friends for over 13 years already, that’s why he decided to cook her favorite Filipino food for her. (Read: 3 Pinoy Recipes That Do Not Require Pork as an Ingredient)
The actor actually ‘failed’ with the sinigang because Dara said it might be missing the sinigang powder, which was crucial to the dish. “Sinigang is hard to make,” Il Woo said. But all in all, the pair was successful in recreating Dara’s favorite Filipino dishes; Dara was obviously super excited to eat them!
Filipina at Heart
Dara is a product of the 2004 edition of ABS CBN’s Star Circle Quest where she placed second in the competition. She also had stints as an actress in several movies and released a six-track self-titled album, where the iconic song ‘In or Out’ was part of.
However, despite her success as both an actor and singer, Star Magic decided not to renew her contract, forcing her to go back to South Korea with her family. (Read: 5 K-Pop Fans Share Why They Support Korean Artists)
But this proved to be a blessing in disguise as she was then signed to YG Entertainment— one of the biggest entertainment companies in South Korea. There, she was grouped with Bom, CL, and Minzy, and they became global superstar group 2NE1.