Arriving in the country a few days ago, Sandara Park said she has always felt welcome in the Philippines even after relocating back to Korea over a decade ago. “In my case I am in Manila every week, every month. So it’s like really my second home and 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 and now there’s Mall of Asia, City of Dreams. Madaming magagandang buildings so I was really amazed and I can tell my Korean friends, ‘You guys should visit Manila right now (laughs).’ I think 80% of my friends are all Filipino,” she shared during TVN Asia’s presscon for the One Night Food Trip International media launch held last September 26 in City of Dreams in Pasay city.
Adapting the format of a popular Korean travel/food program, Sandara and her younger brother Thunder traveled to two local destinations to accomplish missions involving food, culture, and local attractions. “It’s our first time to do a show together and I was really happy that I can bring my brother to the Philippines again with me and to Palawan. Nung una I was really worried because this show is about food. It’s a food competition and we both have small appetites. So we just have fun and try our best and really have fun there. Medyo nabusog talaga ako and I gained weight and medyo may problems sa digestion (laughs),” she admitted.
Dara said her brother has grown a lot since leaving the Philippines in 2007. “He’s the one who grew taller. The school is the same. Actually it was kind of awkward because our age gap is kind of big, it’s like six years. So before he really used to be a baby so I always carry him, I feed him. So now I cannot believe that he’s grown now. We’re not that close. I mean we don’t go out together or go on vacations together. So this time it’s very special. But we never fight. He’s really a good boy,” she explained.
During the shoot, the two Korean stars admitted they had to come up with a plan in order to win challenges. “We really needed a strategy because we knew we couldn’t eat that much. In my case I cannot finish one burger, one ramen. Lahat ng kasama ko tumataba sila kasi I used to order a lot and I taste little by little like buffet style. So the rest yung mga kasama ko yung kumakain so tumataba sila. We negotiated with the director to give us more stamps so I danced for them. Sumayaw ako mga Spaghetti, Otso-Otso just to get the stamp. But since they are Malaysian they don’t know that it’s uso in the Philippines. We also played bato bato pick and the loser will finish the food,” she said.
During their 48-hour shoot around Palawan and Manila, Dara said there were many enjoyable moments while shooting. “Actually everything was fun. Travel with my brother. The most memorable thing was at the crocodile farm in Palawan. We went there and we met hundreds of crocodiles. It was my first time to meet them so parang I was sweating. Nakakatakot talaga eh. So after saying hi to them and picture-taking and I was touching them, ‘Okay nice to meet you.’ And when we came out, this is the shocking part, they were selling crocodile sisig. So they said, ‘Do you want to try?’ I said, ‘Huh? I just met them and you want to eat those? No, we’re friends. I’m sorry I can’t,’” she added.
One Night Food Trip International Edition will premiere on TVN Asia on October 10, Tuesday with the Philippine segment with Sandara Park and Thunder airing on December 5, Tuesday.