Sandara Park still uses the tag “Pambansang Krung Krung ng Pilipinas” even if she's no longer active in local showbiz.
She opened the press conference of One Night Food Trip last night, September 26, with this introduction: “I'm Sandara Park, ang 'Pambansang Krung Krung ng Pilipinas.'”
The former Star Circle Quest runner-up and now a popular South Korean star is in the country with her younger brother, Park Sang-hyun a.k.a. Thunder, to promote the finale episode of the tvN Asia's travel show.
The Park siblings will compete with local celebrities, Grace Lee and Sam YG, in the “foodie battlefield” set in the Philippines.
Although Sandara, 32, frequently visits the Philippines, she considers this particular trip as extra special because she is joined by her 26-year-old brother, who is revisiting the country after 10 years.
She said, “It's our first time to do a show together.
“I was really happy that I can bring my brother to the Philippines again, with me, to Palawan.
“Noong una, I was really worried because this show is about food.
“It's a food competition and we both have small appetites.
“I know what's gonna happen, so I said, 'Let's just try our best and really have fun.'
“Pero medyo nabusog talaga ako and I gained weight, and medyo may problem sa digestion.”
BABY BROTHER. Sandara further related she was not really able to bond with Thunder when they were younger.
“Our age gap is kinda big, it's six years,” said the former member of all-female group 2NE1.
“Before, he was still a baby, so I would always carry him and feed him.
“Now, I cannot believe that he's this tall.
“We're not that close, I mean, we don't go out together or go to vacation together, so this time it's really been special.”
She added in jest, “But we never fight. He's been really a good boy.”
Thunder, on the other hand, talked about the good times they shared in Palawan.
“Actually, it was really fun because it was my first time going to Palawan.
“It was really a nice place, so I really enjoyed the show.
“The Philippine foods that I ate when I was young, and I ate with my sister again.
“That was really a happy moment for me,” said Thunder about his food trip in Palawan and in Manila with Sandara.
Thunder, like his sister, is also a celebrity in South Korea.
He was a member of the all-male group MBLAQ, which disbanded in 2015.
Sandara and her family lived in the Philippines for 12 years, from 1995 to 2007.
PHILIPPINE AMBASSADOR. Sandara is leaving the Philippines with a promise to promote the country to her friends in South Korea.
“It's like really like my second home,” she said.
“I think a few years ago, when I came back to Manila, I was really surprised because ang daming nagbago.
“Before, this place used to be empty. Parang there's no Mall of Asia, City of Dreams...
“Ang dami nang magagandang buildings, so I was really amazed.
“I can tell my Korean friends, 'You, guys, visit Manila right now.'”