We have a special treat today!
Princess Jasmine, whom you’ve likely seen around the blog, recently went on a cross-border adventure, to see her One True Love, Ji Chang Wook in person, during his fanmeeting in Jakarta, and generously offered to share the experience with us.
Isn’t that so very sweet of her?
Thank you, Princess Jasmine, for thinking to take us on your Ji Chang Wook adventure, so that we can feel the feels with you. 🥰
Please enjoy, everyone!
PS: For more Ji Chang Wook, you might like to check out my Ji Chang Wook Pure Pretty post here!
From Singapore: With Love
On a very specific day in mid-Sep (3 years ago), I was browsing through Netflix to take my mind off from certain memories and that is when I chanced upon the K-Drama “Healer” and decided to give it a watch.
The first 30 minutes of the show were super-random but what unfolded after that was pure magic in terms of story, performances, songs etc and last but not the least “Healer” himself as “JI CHANG WOOK”.
I must confess here that I have had my “fair share” of “fangirl” moments with the boybands of the 90s, Bollywood of the 2000s and few other music groups in the past.
But nothing had prepared me for what followed in the last 3 years in terms of my love, affection, respect and regards for JCW both as a performer and as a human being.
Hence when I decided to attend his fan meeting in Jakarta in Dec 2022 (flying out all the way from Singapore for 2 days) I myself was amused at my energy and enthusiasm.
I am glad that I made it because the whole experience was so beautiful and precious that I will remember it fondly in the final moments of my present life (and in my afterlife, and for whatever lifetimes that follows…)
Having landed in Jakarta and checked into the hotel next to the event hall, I quickly got ready and ended up in the lift only to be met by two “fangirls” who were busy editing their videos with the voice of JCW singing the now very famous “I will protect you”.
Quick to act, I asked them if they were going for the event and that if I could accompany them and they smilingly obliged (How I wish I was this proactive in my work meetings 😜).
They brought me all the way to the event hall (which by now was filled with some 1200-plus local “fangirls” who had put on their best possible appearance for JCW) and left me at the redemption counter.
I have much to thank them for I would have been very hassled in trying to locate the hall in an unfamiliar country.
After redeeming the ticket, I joined the queue to deposit my belongings only to be met by another “fangirl” who had travelled all the way from Australia just for the event (she runs a fan account for JCW and we both decided to meet-up at the event hall).
Promptly at 6 pm, we were allowed to enter the hall and get seated.
I was surprised to see quite a bit of “items” placed on every seat and that included water bottle, chocolate, hand-fan, banner printed with his name and a postcard with JCW’s message to his fans hand-written in Bahasa.
For sure this guy knows how to spoil his fans.
With occasional screaming every now and then, everyone was busy taking selfies and enjoying the vibe.
And by 6.45 pm, the MAN himself appeared on stage singing the very beautiful “Do you believe in Magic”.
Amidst all the screaming and phone flashes going on, I was smiling widely and just simply starring at him 😇.
My first impressions: he is very handsome, is skinny (in-spite of his broad shoulders and muscles built up), has sharp features, is photogenic and has a mesmerising voice.
He did take off his right-side earphone to hear all of us screaming and missed a few lines of the opening song but then gestures like these are what makes us fans feel “special” and JCW nails that perfectly.
A summary of what happened next:
He enacted scenes from some of his dramas that included pillion ride from Backstreet Rookie; proposal song from Lovestruck in the City; magic show from The Sound of Magic; and the iconic umbrella scene from K2; A fan was picked up randomly to join him for each of these acts and they all happily obliged (and got to hug him as well).
He answered questions on his work from the dramas If You Wish Upon Me, The Sound of Magic, Lovestruck in the City, Suspicious Partner and K2 (yes you read it right – Healer wasn’t in the list and I don’t know why – time constraints maybe).
The loudest cheers were reserved for K2 and we all know why 😉.
Looks like we will get to see him again in action genre (with shirt both on and off) in his up-coming drama in 2023.
I was personally happy to see him talk about “Noh Ji-uk” from Suspicious Partner as that’s my favourite character of his.
Three lucky ones were chosen to take selfies with him and all the three made the most out of it. I noticed that when he obliges to hug the “fan”, he hugs them with such warmth and without hesitation.
He sang 6 songs in total which are: Do you believe in magic; To the butterfly; 101 reasons why I like you; Kissing you; Even though I loved you; I will protect you.
His vocals were amazing for a K-drama actor, and I could feel that he genuinely enjoys singing for his fans.
This is why I think his “fan-meetings” are always going to be more enjoyable and intimate compared to that of other actors (no offence here to any other actor – they are all good in own their way 🙏).
Special mention on the high notes he sang for “Even though I loved you” – watch it to believe it. And props to that mike as its design absolutely complimented its holder.
[Not from the fanmeet, but I found a version of Ji Chang Wook singing “Even though I Loved You” on YouTube. Please enjoy. ~KFG]
I absolutely loved the “sight-seeing video” that featured JCW wherein he is checking out the local places, trying out the local food, etc.
Looks like he is shooting this video for every country wherein he is performing. Whoever came up with this idea must be appreciated because it connects him to the local fans in a special way as they can see him enjoying what their country has to offer.
And when he read out the fan letter, it really hits you at a different level because the words are so meaningful.
Honestly, we are all going to love him anyway and that’s why we are there but to see someone of his stature reciprocate that “love” makes me like him even-more 😇.
Also, I have seen him look good in varied designer clothes in the photos shared online yet he managed to make such an “impression” in that simple green shirt/white pants.
Either I am exaggerating here or this guy is simply the best out there.
Finally, he came on stage to sing the evergreen “I will protect you” and by-now I was emotional and all teared up.
He can sing this song a million times and I bet I will be as moved as the first time listening to it because I genuinely think that it’s my late father singing it for me personally through JCW.
With curtains coming down, I am sure that given a chance every one of them in the hall would have wanted to take him home. That’s how gobsmackingly charming he is, and you don’t want to go apart.
But alas the reality of life hits you and it is time to say goodbye. I am not going to talk about the “meet and greet” session after the event because it’s the only “30 seconds” personal time I ever got to be with him alone and hence that’s only for me to cherish.
And the adage “everything happens for a reason” holds true for JCW.
I remember watching his video that he shot days before he joined the military service way back in mid-2017.
He looked very emotional in it not knowing what would await him after he returns from the service in mid-2019. And with the world going into lock-down, he had to cancel his proposed tours in 2020 and 2021.
Hence to see him finally meeting his fans and entertaining us backed up by such “remarkable work” that he did in the last 2 years is probably what destiny had in plan for him.
Note that he may not have delivered blockbuster/trending dramas in these 2 years but whatever work he did were so realistic, humane, meaningful and showcased his diverse range of acting.
Now keeping fingers crossed for all the awards he is going to win in 2023.
Women have come a long way since the Dark Ages.
In that context it was nice to see all of us (teenagers, 20’s/30’s aged-girls, mothers, married, single, above 40’s and 50’s women) having fun and living out our “fangirl” moments (for at least a few hours in our life) without being judged and in a safe and secure environment.
For that I want to thank the event organisers, security officers, JCW’s agency for conducting this event safely and without any hassles.
And to all the “fangirls” who were so well-behaved, followed the orders, respected the queue despite our over-flowing enthusiasm for JCW – well-done girls 🙌.
Finally, though my husband is no “Ryan Gold”, yet I thank him for giving me the space and freedom to “feel” this way about JCW and listening to all my “fangirl” stories.
And to the man himself – JI CHANG WOOK – saranghae…oppa…saranghae – for all that you were, are and will be.
PS: I got very emotional once I reached my room, couldn’t sleep much and had severe withdrawal symptoms in the morning. Future attendees just be aware of this and prepare accordingly.
I had to force myself by late morning to go “window shopping” in the nearby mall to get myself back together.
That’s is so cool you got to see him in person! He’s one of my favorite actors! I adore his deep voice and wonderful smile 😍 Suspicious Partner and Healer are my favorites of his works.
On a side note – any idea about why Beez is missing in action. I hope everything is ok with her.
@Princess Jasmine @merij1 Beez is ok! She’s been more active on Patreon than here on the main blog of late, is all. 😃
From the man himself for you with loads of love 😍
Princess Jasmine – that is totally awesome!
Many many thanks for posting this one amidst your hectic schedule 🙏. I know I came to you “out of the blue” but you were so kind enough to not only accommodate my post but also take care of the pics editing, visual content, intro etc. Thank you dear. Hopefully this a good beginning for me to finally start writing my book 🤞.
Looking forward to some great group watches in 2023 and many more reviews and related discussions👍.
Wish you a very Happy Healthy Mindful and Prosperous New Year 2023 💐🥳🌟.
My pleasure, Princess Jasmine! Thanks for sharing your experience with us! ❤️
Pretty awesome dedication to fly to another country! But really sounded like it was worth it!
I love that you chose not to share your 30 seconds of one-on-one time. Very classy. Yes, definitely keep that for yourself!
I also enjoyed the “Ryan Gold” reference to your husband, who may not fully encourage your fangirling, yet also doesn’t block it.
I believe we’ve also discussed that Healer was mostly big outside of Korea, for whatever reason. Yet, despite having deep flaws, those classic scenes in The K-2 still thrill me — not just the umbrella but also the back-to-back scenes when he first confronted the evil noona in her home about why she’s trying to have him and those he cares about murdered. Who’d have thought it could be swoony to see a man hold a gun to a woman’s head while stating his intention to pull the trigger? lol
Not as off-topic as you might think: my wife and I are in the middle of watching It’s OK To Not Be OK.
There’s a secondary romantic FL nurse played by Park Gyu-young whose tentative smile totally makes me think of JCW.
I don’t see “it” in the photos of her on the ‘net, so I may have to get back to you with a screencap. But it captures that same shy/sweet vulnerability that JCW conveys from time to time, even in his alpha action hero roles.
This is not the best shot of her, but the similarity lies in how their teeth appear between their slightly parted lips.
It’s kind of nothing, yet also one of the subtle somethings that endear me to JCW:
I don’t quite see the similarity but I can agree on JCW awesomeness and Park Gyu Youngs beauty
Ha. It’s a known thing that I think I see these similarities when no one else does. @Beez calls me on it regularly.
Oh there is more? Now I am curious ^^
Hwang Jung-eum — at least as she appeared in Kill Me Heal Me — often reminded me of Han Ji-min as she appeared in One Spring Night:
Woooooooow that is quite far fetched. But I can see why you might think that ^^
Admittedly, for those two roles it’s partly the haircut.
Happy New Year merij1 and family!!! 💥⭐🎅🎉❄
I also think Hwang Jung-eum and Han Ji-min resemble each other, In fact I went a whole 1/2 an episode of a drama thinking the FL on my screen was Hwang Jung-eum when it was really Han Ji-min.
Thanks for your comments and the pic from IOTBNO. I will look into this lot more in detail in leisure. And it is the subtle things/vulnerabilities that actually connects me with JCW. In fact 2022 was an amazing year as both dramas TSOM and IYWUM had him at the best of his vulnerability as a character. I thoroughly enjoyed his work in both of these dramas.
Rightly said – We are done and dusted with both “Healer” and “K2”. Only thing is I was surprised by the popularity of K2 in the fan-meet. Guess if they had showed this much love when the drama aired, it would have been a trending hit. Or maybe this drama came in too early to be appreciated fully.
Finally on “Ryan Gold”….well that is indeed gold standards especially with Kim Jae-Wook portraying him and hence I would not trade him even for my husband. Actually KJW would be the only Korean actor that I can think of as my life-partner as we share some common interests….music, love for U2, love for Japan, well-read yet not dominating, calm demeanour and I really like his off-screen zen-like vibe/persona. In contrast JCW would be the family/friend that you are very affectionate/fond of and hang out all the time. So there I go with all my confessions 😀.
Happy New Year 2023 💐
Just to clarify – I like the work of Song Joong Ki, Lee Jung Suk, Hyun Bin, Jang Hyuk, Gong Yoo etc but I wouldn’t want to do anything with them off-screen but with KJW I think I will enjoy his company/vibe and talk on varied things.
Aside from “kitchen ramen,” for some of us the problem with The K-2 was that we thought there would be romance between him and the evil Noona. And she was a compelling character.
So when that didn’t happen, and instead the romance was with her much less interesting stepdaughter — as written I mean, not the actress — it felt too thin.
Also, it was never clear whether the show was about actually JCW’s K-2 character or the tragic failed marriage of the Noona. Ultimately, it seemed to be about her and her husband, and was indeed interesting on that count, with JCW serving only as a catalyst. But expectations…
Sorry to be so compulsive, but I wrote that description of The K-2 inprecisely.
Romance between them did happen, but it was unrequited. She totally fell for him but he did not reciprocate in the least, nor even notice her feelings for him.
Which led her to suddenly grow as a human being. Too little too late, but I thought the show succeeded as a poignant story about an impressive woman who went tragically sideways early in her marriage . . . and then steeply downhill into full-on evil.
“Wicked” would have been a better name for the show, given how liberally K-Dramas borrow the names of Western dramas!
Totally awesome is the K2, merij1 😎😉😊
I captured it, right?
Absolutely! Song Yoon Ah is my all time favourite 🤩🤩🤩
Thanks merij1 and Sean. K2 is a tricky one. I think we had talked about this long back. In any case I might be in the minority as I don’t have any issues with that drama (Watched 2 times closely enough) in terms of the story, characters etc including non-reciprocation of love between Je-ha and Song Yoon’s Ms.Choi. (Agree that “kitchen ramen” was not done well but I will give that much leeway for the director of Chuno who directed K2). Also Je-ha was well aware of Ms.Choi’s affection and he did convey subtly his non-reciprocation. For a woman of Ms.Choi’s calibre (I hold her character in high regards in this drama) I am sure she did know that hers was unrequited love but she kept chugging along (I guess that was what that led to her downfall eventually). Also it defeats the whole character arc of Je-ha if he were to fall for Ms.Choi who clearly has hurt people knowingly or unknowingly. Actually Je-ha was as much vulnerable as Anna and though he may not be the next best good person out there but he clearly was uncomfortable to see innocent people being hurt since his Iraq stint days.
I read JCW’s interview on this and looks like he was supposed to be killed in the end in the original ending. It was a last minute thing that he was kept alive. Also I read somewhere that Anna is equally strong as she walked away from everything in the end and not be tempted to replace Ms.Choi (as the will left everything to her). I thought about it and agree with this view. (the only thing I have not done yet is to call up the director and writer of this drama for their direct views 😂). Also I saw Little Women drama recently and Sang-Ah character reminded me of Ms. Choi from K2. Only thing is Ms.Choi was done better in my opinion.
For now let’s close on this and take it up during the group watch (if it makes the cut). Hope that helps.
Oh, I didn’t realize it was being considered for a group watch. Would’ve said less had I known that.
Ah I am just suggesting it (not sure if there are any takers for it). Feel free to write in here anything pressing on K2 for the time being. Hope that helps.
OH, Princess Jasmine, how amazing!!! Your post made me smile (almost) as much as I bet you were through that whole event 😊 I’m glad Suspicious Partner is your fave as I’ve always thought it was a tad underrated – I mean, I guess the premise is a bit daft / scary but the OTP is magnificent!! Ah, he is gorgeous. Thank you so much for sharing! xx
Thanks and glad that you liked it. Well what do I say about Suspicious Partner – I could be in the minority as for me it is a good drama as I have read law and the drama portrayed the difficulties of young prosecutors accurately within the “romantic” setting. I thought they did the cases/evidences part very well. Also the OTP was great but again for me personally I just liked the characterisation of “Noh Ji-Uk”. It was written well and would have worked on anyone just that JCW portraying it was icing on the cake. Also I am a bit like that character or I want to imbibe many abilities of that character in real life and hence it clicked with me the most of all the JCW characters. Also recently I came across an article that mentioned that Ji-Uk could be “autistic coded” (after the new found light on autism with EAW) and I saw the whole drama all over again with that mindset (4th time watching) and it made lot more sense to me.
That article link: https://www.tumblr.com/treesswayinginthewind
My only complaint is that Kwon Nara’s and Choi Tae’s characters were terribly under-written. I mean both are brilliant minds but they were being judged harshly for a minor transgression. I can understand that judgement from Ji-Uk POV but from viewer’s POV it was a let-down.
Happy New Year 2023 and hope to see you around in this blog.
My wife and I thought Suspicious Partner was very good.
Oh, @PrincessJasmine, he was totally autistic, yes! There are so many characters in Asian drama I feel complete affinity for because (though never explicitly stated, unlike Attorney Woo) of their predominantly autistic features. It’s probably what I most enjoy about kdrama and cdrama and anime. Autistic ML and autistic FL is something that’s not ever really represented in the West (unless it’s a period drama by Jane Austen 😊). But in Asian TV, the characters just are, no fanfare or particular ridicule, or patronising. I love that. Ji-wook is an excellent example, I agree.
Ele and Princess – Dong Ha scared me half to death in Suspicious Partner in his role as Jung Hyun Soo. He was so good!
Yes, @phl1xrd He was very scary!! But I really liked the way his vulnerability came through. I mean, he was bonkers, terrifying, but also (if I remember rightly) kind of pitiful.
Ele – that is an excellent description of his character! He has been quiet since 2020 so I hope he is A-Ok, I would like to see him in more , happier roles!
Thanks for sharing, Princess Jasmine!
Sounds like you had a wonderful experience!
I agree that it doesn’t mayter how old you are, fangirling is for everyone 😂
Fingers crossed that JCW’s next project will be a smashing success!
I just finished “if you wish upon me” and he was excellent in it imo!
Thanks Kate for your lovely comment. Happy to know that you liked IYWUM and agree that JCW was brilliant in it. In fact all the actors did a good job and I really hope that someone gives an award to Won Ji-an as she was equally excellent in her character.
Happy New Year 2023 💐.
Thank you for sharing, Princess Jasmine!! This was so fun to read and I can only imagine how AMAZING the experience was for you. I’m so glad you had a chance to go and see him.
You made me laugh at “How I wish I was this proactive in my work meetings” LOL.
I have to confess that I’ve never seen Healer and so haven’t fully experienced the swoon over JCW but folks are nudging me towards it. Your post helps 😉
Hello Uyen – Thanks. If my post can really motivate you to watch “Healer” then it was worth writing this 😇. I left a comment in your blog on the post “Kdrama OST” and hope you can read that. From what I read through your blog I have a feeling that you might end up liking JCW and more importantly many of his dramas. Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
Take care and Happy New Year 2023.
Wow, I had no idea how here were so many Kdrama fans in Indonesia! And specifically Ji Chang Wook fans too! Thank you Princess Jasmine for sharing this wonderful write up wiht us, and all the special stellar things Chang Wook did to show appreciation to his fans. Your husband is wonderfully understanding indeed! Hahahaha (I chuckle cos I don’t think my hubby knows how much I fangirl sometimes! Lol)
Thanks for your comment. I myself was surprised by the Indonesian fans. You had to see it to believe it. And not just JCW looks like K-pop and K-actors are quite popular there and Mecimopro agency is doing a great job of promoting and organising these events safely in Indonesia. I am attaching the summary video clip posted on the Jakarta concert to give you an idea.
Link – https://www.youtube.com/shorts/326cweX1Hms
On my husband – yes he is but at times there are genuine challenges as well. But as I have realised through the years, if we are going to wait/expect for our partners/family to understand/appreciate all our personal interests, then mostly we are going to get disappointed or it will take time and we need to be patient. Very few are lucky in that aspect especially concerning K-Dramas. Instead let’s enjoy our space and me-time as long as it lasts and you have all of us here cheering you on 💐.
And on the most important stuff – Jjang mentioned that you might do a swoon-worthy post on Wi-Ha Joon in 2023. I am eagerly waiting for that…Fighting. He is my current fave (JCW is all-time fave) and honestly I can’t wait to see both of them together in the “Worst Evil”. In fact my first New Year watch is going to be “Romance is a Bonus Book”.
Happy New Year 2023 and Best Wishes for a great year ahead.
Great video! I am with you on Wi Ha Joon as we need more of him everywhere.
Pure awesomeness, Princess Jasmine. Your post put a smile on my face today 😊😊😊 I’m looking forward to JCW’s next drama: The Worst of Evil
Ah Sean – Many Thanks 🙏. I hope that smile continues through this New Year weekend. On his next drama – I don’t want to be all hyped up and then face any disappointments. So I am going to take it at best neutral and see what happens as the first episode unfolds. But I am hoping that he (along with Wi-Ha Joon) visits Singapore during the promotions as Disney+ unveiled the drama logo here in Singapore few weeks back along with Jung Hae’s new drama Connect.
Happy New Year 2023 and look forward to many more discussions with you here.
A very Happy New Year to you, Princess Jasmine. Yes, the smile has continued!
Well, I hope you get to be a part of JCW’s next promotional visit. I remember him saying after completing The K2, that was his last action role. I also note in rereading my MDL notes he won a “Best Dressed Actor Award” at the 2016 Korea’s Best Dresser Swan Awards for The K2. So, Mr Right has popped up as well – it seems he is in for a busy drama year ahead 😉
I’m looking forward to how 2023 unfolds and already of to a good start with my drama year 🥳🥳🥳
Wow. This is a great recounting of your fabulous fangirl experience, Princess Jasmine. Isn’t it amazing how sincerely attached we can get to these people who come into our homes (via screens) for several hours at a time? Thank you so much for sharing. It’s a trip to remember, for sure! 😍
Glad that you liked what I wrote. Honestly in my case I have a very deep personal connect with JCW from the very beginning (in terms of the characters he portrays, his personal life, his off-screen vibe, his music, the way he treats his fans etc) (specifically he came in my life at a time when I finally cut myself off from my toxic family and he genuinely helped me get past that trauma through his work and presence…much indebted for that) and hence it was given that I would go for his fan-meet definitely in this lifetime. The only question was when and I am happy that it happened this year.
I do wonder how it is for other fangirls though. And not just for JCW but for all other K-actors and K-pop stars. Hope someone can do a post on this or share their experience.
Happy New Year 2023.
Wow Princess Jasmine – this was very cool. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful evening with all of us! 😘😘😘
Thanks phl1rxd ✌️. Looks like you had a great time with C-Drama in 2022. I have bookmarked your write-up for all my future C-Drama watches if and when it happens.
Happy New Year 2023.
LOVE this–thanks so very much for sharing. I always wonder what these events are really like and clips on Youtube just don’t capture it. I loved the way you combined your review with your very own videos.
Just curious: Did you have to pay extra for the “personal time?”
Thanks again, Happy fangurling and Happy 2023!
Happy New Year 2023. Glad you liked what I wrote. No need to pay anything extra. I guess it just comes with the highest priced ticket. Even better is the “mecimapro” membership (for Indonesians to enjoy many of the K-pop/K-actor fan tours organised in Jakarta) where you get the front row seats and most importantly group photo with JCW. I am not a member as this is just a one time trip for me. May I know which country are you from. He will be in Singapore in 2023 and I am hoping it will be lot more fun as it’s my home ground.