Cover Rowoon in "She Would Never Know". Photo: iQiYi

Besides looking dapper in Barong Tagalog and falling in love with “taho”, the South Korean actor and SF9 lead vocalist impressed his Filipino fans with his optimism in life and his soulful voice

At 6’2” tall, it is impossible not to notice the South Korean singer-actor Rowoon (or Kim Seok-woo). Additionally, he is one of the angelic voices of K-pop sensation SF9, a multi-awarded actor, and one of the most in-demand models and brand ambassadors in the Hallyu world. So, when the 25-year-old celebrity entered the stage of Mall of Asia Arena on a rainy Sunday, it was not surprising to witness the deafening excitement of thousands of his fans who flocked to Manila from all corners of the Philippines for the exclusive event held by telco giant, Globe. 

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While it was not his first time in the Philippines, Rowoon was eager to learn more about the country. In one of the segments of the event, he was asked to try Filipino snacks, including turon (banana fritters), puto bumbong (purple rice cake) and taho (silken tofu in syrup), of which he particularly liked the latter. In Korea, silken or soft tofu (commonly known as sundubu) is often cooked as a savoury stew, and it was the first time the actor had tried it as a sweet snack.  

The debonair singer also looked stunning in Barong Tagalog (traditional Filipino formal shirt), which the host asked him to put on, on the spot. Of course, it was a visual feast to the fans' delight.  

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He captivated the audience with his irresistible charisma when he started speaking about how he handles failures and his stress management tactics. 

Despite the confidence that we see on camera and onstage, the talented performer admitted that, like many others, there are times when he feels anxious, especially if he is working on new roles and projects. For him, stress is inevitable, and you just must face and live with it. "Whatever happens, just go with the flow. We can do this, just trust yourself and go with the flow,” Rowoon said in his sultry Korean accent. His perspective is remarkably similar to how his character (Chae Hyun-seung) in the 2021 web novel-inspired office drama, She Would Never Know, handles the challenges he encounters as a young intern in a cosmetics company. 

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On his language of love, he revealed he is not good at expressing his feelings, even to his friends, something that is quite the opposite of his role in the 2022 fantasy series, Tomorrow, where he played a young grim reaper, whose emotions often interfere with the job that he must do. In the same series, he was very caring and affectionate to his straightforward and cold-hearted teammates Koo Ryeon (Kim Hee-sun) and Lim Ryung-gu (Yoon Ji-on), which sometimes puts him in trouble.  

Rowoon also talked about the importance of giving meaning to life, saying, "We must live every day like it is our birthday. Make every day a special day." In a previous exclusive interview with Tatler, he said, "I'd say Ji-un is a character that wants to send the message: live and feel today to the fullest," speaking about his character in the 20-episode Netflix series, The King's Affection. He played the role of Jung Ji-woon, a physician at Samgaebang hired to be the Royal Tutor for the Crown Prince. He is also the voice behind the series' original soundtrack titled No Goodbye In Love, a song he performed to conclude the exclusive fan event in Manila.

Rowoon believes that there might be challenges in life, but for him, it is important to undergo this phase in order to gain valuable lessons and learn to give love. In his own language, he explained that he looks up to those who fail because they have the room to grow and achieve more. When we surpass ordeals, we end up being happy. There is no way but up.  

 

When asked what is next for him, he divulged that he is busy working on a new project now, so we must stay tuned. For now, we can revisit his previous shows like the 2019 rom-com Extraordinary You, the 2018 melodrama Where Stars Land, and the fantasy romance series About Time

 

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