Nelson Obrador lives the dreams of some fans. He goes on fan pilgrimages on his days off. He even started a group called K-pop Hunters. The group is made up of Filipino workers in Korea who are also fans of Hallyu.
Obrador works as a machine operator in Korea. For fun, he goes to filming locations of different dramas and music videos. The 26-year-old Batangueño became popular on social media after posting information on how to get to those places. Think of any K-drama you love; he’s probably been to one or two of its locations.
He is back in the Philippines after his contract expired, but he’s waiting for the pandemic to be over so he can return to Korea.
He started liking K-pop when he saw Super Junior and 2NE1 videos on the music channel MYX. Their style of music was something new to him and he’s been riding the Hallyu wave ever since.
For the superstar band BTS, Obrador experienced getting to the venue early for a fan sign event in the morning and waiting until nighttime—during winter.
“But when I saw them, it was worth it. I have a lot of crazy stories, but that one is at the top of my list,” he said.
Like many fans, he does not compute how much he has spent on merch. You can’t put a price tag on happiness.
“The most rewarding part of it is pushing to do what I want in life. Being a fanboy is food for my soul,” he said.