BTS is not your ordinary boyband

Tuwing umaapak ang Korean boyband na BTS sa entablado ay sinasalubong sila ng malakas na hiyawan. Alamin mula sa ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ alum na si Vivoree Esclito kung anong hiwaga ba ang taglay ng grupong ito.

Their group’s name stands for Bangtan Soneyondan—which, when roughly translated, means “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”—and they’re winning hearts not just in their native Korea, but all over the world, too. Recently, BTS had an album debut atop the Billboard 200 chart, which ranks the most popular albums in the United States. They also became the first Korean group to perform at an American stadium, and their concert movie ‘Burn the Stage: The Movie’ outperformed One Direction’s ‘Where We Are’ at the US box office.

Iba sila. Kahit anong gawin ng seven-man pop group na ito, mahal na mahal sila ng fans nila. Isa sa mga fans ng BTS ay ang ‘Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7’ alumna na si Vivoree Esclito. Ayon kay Vivoree, nu’ng una ay hindi siya mahilig sa K-pop.

“I discovered them way back when I was still studying in Bohol,” ani Vivoree. “High school pa ako nu’n. I found out about BTS kasi ‘yung ibang members ng barkada or squad ko, super fans nila. But I didn’t like K-pop at the time, so whenever my friends would fangirl over BTS, I BTS is not your ordinary boyband Tuwing umaapak ang Korean boyband na BTS sa entablado ay sinasalubong sila ng malakas na hiyawan.

Alamin mula sa ‘Pinoy Big Brother’ alum na si Vivoree Esclito kung anong hiwaga ba ang taglay ng grupong ito. TEXT: JULIAN MAURICIO would just ignore them lang.” It took a while for Vivoree to catch the BTS fever that had swept the halls of her high school. But when she came down with it, there was no going back for her. It happened when Vivoree—a talented musician in her own right who writes her own songs in her spare time—was surfing the internet, looking for something new to listen to.

“I was bored, so I went online. While I was scrolling sa social media ko, nadaanan ko ‘yung isang music video nila and I watched it. Nagustuhan ko ‘yung kanta, so I watched one more music video and then another, until umabot na sa point na ang dami ko na palang napanood na videos nila, hindi ko lang namamalayan. That was when I became a fan. I don’t really have a bias or favorite member as of now. When people ask me who my bias is sa BTS, I get confused. I have a hard time choosing just one. I love them all so much. They’re all so different kasi, which is why I don’t know how to pick a bias.” BTS’ members range in age from 25 to 20. “Worldwide Handsome” Jin is the eldest at 25; next is the idealistic and soulful rapper Suga, 24; followed by former street dancer J-Hope and their leader RM, both 23; modern dancer Jimin andmaster impressionist V, both 22; and Jungkook, the baby of the group at 20. Each member is vastly different from the next, which is why Vivoree can’t pick a favorite. Para sa kanya, there’s a reason to love all seven of them.

To say that BTS’ fans are devoted to the group would be a major, major understatement. Western media believes that the ARMY—short for “Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth”—is largely responsible for BTS’ meteoric rise. The ARMY translates lyrics and even videos of their Korean media appearances. It also rallies its members to help the group pick up clicks, likes, retweets and views to get BTS trending worldwide on social media. Ganyan ka-devoted ang non-Korean fans ng BTS sa kanila, kahit hindi naman nila maintindihan ‘yung mga kanta ng naturang grupo if walang mag-tatranslate ng mga ito.

Pero ayon kay Ivana Joyce Cabatbat, isang Filipina na miyembro ng BTS
ARMY, “I really believe that music transcends language. So I don’t think
that the language matters. If you’re really interested in what their songs mean, you can just run a quick Google search. I actually recommend you do
that because it will make you see that there’s much more to BTS, especially their songs, than good beats.” Totoo ‘yan. Malalim ang subject matter ng mga kanta ng BTS. Hindi nila nili-limit ang mga sarili nila sa love songs or the usual topics artists write whole albums about. Instead, their songs talk about things like the education system in their native Korea, materialism and the media. Two of their earliest singles, “No More Dream” and “N.O.,” were about Korean students who approached their studies like zombies, going to school and attending classes without a real sense of purpose. In addition to all the material BTS has released as a group, some of the members have put out solo projects. Si Suga may mixtape kung saan ilan sa mga kantang sinulat niya ay tungkol sa kanyang struggles with mental health. Layunin niya ang magraise ng awareness tungkol dito through
his music. Diyan pa lang ay obvious na na hindi basta-bastang boyband ang BTS. They’re out to help people through their music.

Dagdag ni Ivana Joyce, nakatulong sa kanya ang pinakabagong album ng BTS na pinamagatang LOVE YOURSELF ‘Answer. Released earlier this year, it became the first album by a Korean group to turn Gold. This happened on November 9, 2018, when it shipped 500,000 units, earning that certification from the Recording Industry Association of America.

“One of the songs there goes, ‘Let’s be honest, your standards are higher when you impose them on yourself.’ That’s so true. We can easily forgive others or tell them it’s alright to make mistakes. But we tend to beat ourselves up over our own mistakes. But BTS taught me that it’s all in your head and that good or bad, you are who you are. You deserve to be loved, no matter what.” Dahil sa BTS, nagkaroon si Ivana Joyce ng lifelong friends. “I grew a lot as a person, but more importantly, I found other BTS fans who are now my best friends for life. We have a group called BTS Noonas and we hold sleepovers and viewing parties to support them. We even organized three block screenings for their movie. The BTS Noonas are important to me. We’re like family already, and without the group, I never would’ve met them.”

Para kay Vivoree naman, kasama ang BTS sa mga naging inspirations niya to do well in her own showbiz career. Alam naman ng lahat kung gaano ka-intensive ang training ng Koreans when it comes to their artists. Yun ang dahilan kung bakit nagsisipag si Vivoree sa acting, dancing and singing workshops niya—goal niyang abutin ang standard ng excellence na meron ang BTS. Not for her idols, at maka-inspire din siya ng ibang tao tulad nila.

“Sobrang laking tulong ng BTS sa showbiz life ko,” she says. “There was one point in my life where I stopped writing songs because I couldn’t think of anything interesting to write about. I also lost my motivation. I don’t know why. Then, when I listened to their new songs and studied the meaning of their lyrics, I felt the fire in me burn again. I started wanting to play and write music again. So I jumped back into my music a hundred times harder than I did before. They inspire me so much and I hope that I can inspire others the way BTS inspired me.” Siguradong matutuwa ang pitong miyembro ng BTS kapag nalaman nila kung gaano kalaki ang naging impact nila sa buhay ng fans nila, tulad nina Ivana Joyce at Vivoree. Nawa’y magpatuloy ang success nila, so they can continue burning up stages and touching lives all over the world.

BTS is not your ordinary boyband, and the global music scene needs them now more than ever.

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