by: Patty Ramirez
Korean pop star Sandara Park recently went on a five-day vacation in the Philippines, but avoided the public eye ever since she arrived last January 8, with her sister Durami. Set to debut with the rest of the girls of 2NE1 this February in Japan, Dara (as she is also called in Korea) had some rest and relaxation and saw some friends in the country she treats as her second home. However, she had to follow the directive of her management, YG Entertainment, not to have any public appearances or interviews including photos taken with fans as it was vacation time for her and she is not to concern herself with work-related activities.
Sandara, of course, had to see her Star Circle Quest friends first and foremost, and fortunately had the chance to meet Melissa Ricks on the eve of her birthday. She was also able to meet up with soon-to-be married Roxanne Guinoo and see her friend’s three-month-old baby during an out-of-town trip. Joross Gamboa also took her to Melissa’s party too, where she met the birthday celebrant’s rumored boyfriend Jake Cuenca and talked to long-time fan, actor Enchong Dee. She also caught up with the ABS-CBN Star Magic and ASAP staff at their offices. She was also able to meet Jed Madela, Sam Concepcion, Young JV, Drei Felix, Nyoy Volante, RJ Jimenez, and fellow Korean, Pinoy Big Brother teen Ryan Bang, who was overly hyper when they were introduced to each other. Dara took the time too to see her high school barkada.
The singer also bonded with her sister and some friends in Subic Bay in Pampanga, where she watched dolphins, sea lions, tigers, and other animals she missed visiting during the time she shot for 2NE1 TV’s first season. She also went boating at one of Bataan’s private resorts. She went shopping for her favorite Filipino treats such as dried mangoes and inipit and pasalubong for 2NE1 members Park Bom, Minzy, and CL. Dara also stuffed herself full of her favorite Filipino dishes such as sinigang na hipon, sisig, and pakbet, and spaghetti and chicken from a fast food chain.
As much as Sandara wanted to extend her stay for friend Roxanne’s wedding, she was also keen on going back to Korea yesterday, January 12, since her brother Sang-hyun (or Thunder as he is now known in Korea) is making his comeback stage in Korea with the idol group MBLAQ today, January 13. She wants to give him her all out support as his group launches their first full album. But before she left the Philippines, Dara left a very special message for her Filipino followers, old and new. “Kamusta? Pasensya na kayo sa ‘kin. This time ‘di ako nagpakita sa inyo… private vacation ko kasi with my sister. Kaya sana ‘di kayo tatampo sa ‘kin. Hope to see you guys next time and sana kasama ko na ang 2NE1 girls din. Yeah! Thank you sa support niyo! Mahal ko kayo!”