Imee "Mee" Aresta-Lee felt like Yoon Se-Ri of Crash Landing on You (CLOY) for a day when she visited the set of the K-drama series on February 11, 2020.
A Pinoy K-Drama lover since 2009, the 29-year-old blogger said it was one of the most unforgettable and kilig moments of her life.
Like Se-Ri—the lead female character of CLOY who landed on North Korea through a paragliding accident—Mee's visit to the set came as a surprise.
She narrated it in an interview with PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) via Facebook Messenger on February 20, 2020.
Mee said she learned about the place on February 10, when a Korean man posted a photo of it on Instagram and the Korean website Naver.
"I asked him where is that place, then I showed it to my Korean husband.
"He said it's far away from our house," she recalled.
Although Mee discovered the exact location of the set just recently, she had been dreaming to go there since she started watching the series.
"Matagal ko na iyon sinasabi sa kanya, na gusto ko makita iyong North Korean village na ginamit nila sa drama.
"Alam kong hindi talaga iyon sa mismong North Korea. Dito lang din iyon sa South Korea shinoot."
On February 11, 2020, Mee's husband asked her out of the blue if she wanted to visit the set.
"And I said 'yes!'" she beamed.
Right then and there, Mee's husband drove her and their one-year-old child to 141-1 Janggok-ri, Gonam-myeon, Taean-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, otherwise known as the village where CLOY lead male character Captain Ri Jeong Hyeok resided.
The village was portrayed to be in North Korea, but according to Mee, it was actually in South Korea, just a three-hour drive from Seoul.
Mee posted photos of her surreal fangirling moment on her Facebook blog, Mee in Korea, the day after her adventure.
It has earned 2,900 shares and 5,300 reactions at press time.
Although Mee's hour-long tour of the site happened when the cast already finished shooting, she still felt lucky.
"Hinimas ko nga ang gate at yung bike niya. Haha," she said in the comments section of her post.
She also uploaded a video that could serve as a virtual tour of the area.]
"Kung fan ka ng CLOY tulad ko at andito kayo sa Korea, worth it ang pagpunta sa lugar na eto kahit malayo dahil makikita mo talaga ang mismong lugar at mga gamit na ginamit nila sa drama," Mee wrote in her post.
Aside from the dreamy feeling of standing where her idol was before, Mee felt proud to be the first Filipino to visit the set in Korea.
She told PEP.ph, "It's a dream come true din talaga iyon para sa akin as a fan na makita ko ang lugar kung saan nag-shoot ang isa sa paborito kong drama.
"And knowing na ako iyong unang Pinoy na nakapunta sa filming location, iyon ay sobrang saya po talaga."
If you're planning to fly to Korea and visit the same set location of CLOY, Mee posted a heads-up on her blog on February 15: "Yesterday, February 14, some fans were not allowed to go inside this filming location since they said it's closed already, but some are lucky to go inside this village...
"I really hope that they will open it again so you can also experience what I experienced and feel 'kilig' when you see this North Korean village while remembering those scenes in the drama."
FANGIRL MEE AND HER K-DRAMA adventures
Visiting filming locations had been an annual event for Mee since 2015.
She told PEP.ph, "April 2015—that was the first time I visited Korea and that's the start of visiting K-Drama locations.
"After that, I fly here to Korea every year until I lived here last 2018."
Aside from the North Korean village of Crash Landing on You, Mee had visited filming locations of other popular K-dramas.
"I visited some filming locations, such as My Love from the Star, Goblin, Descendants of the Sun, Legend of the Blue Sea, Weightlifting Fairy, I am not a Robot, Sky Castle, Touch Your Heart, and many more."
Like any K-drama fan, Mee didn't dare miss any opportunity to meet her favorite stars.
"I saw Shownu of MONSTAX and Lee Min-Ho last October 2017 in Korea...
"Then, Park Hyung-sik also in 2017 when I went to his fan meet. Then, I saw Song Joong-ki also last 2018 when I went to his fan meet here in Seoul...
"2019, I saw Gong Yoo and Cha Eun-woo," Mee gushed.