Korean actor Lee Dong Wook was greeted by loud screams from fans who came to see him at the launch of the Korean Tourism Organization's #LoveKOrea Travel and Culture Fiesta last October 5.
It has been 13 years since Lee Dong Wook visited Manila to promote his TV series My Girl and film Arang and he was quite surprised to see the crowd that had gathered to catch a glimpse of him at the SM Megamall.
"It's been 13 years since my last trip to Manila. Do they still remember me? I am so happy you all came to see me," he told the crowd through event host and interpreter Sam Oh.
As an ambassador of tourism in Korea, Lee Dong Wook said it is a good time for visitors to experience the country right now.
"The Philippines is a tropical country and it's hot all year round. Now is the time for you to visit Korea because it's fall, you can experience autumn. And soon it's going to be cold, it's going to snow. It would be a great experience also. Now would be a good time to make a trip to Korea," he stated.
The Goblin star said he thinks it's great people are coming to his country because they wanted to see and experience where the TV series filmed.
"I'm very happy that people enjoyed the show and went further, to come to Korea and enjoyed the place. I feel there is a positive effect and I am very happy with that."
Lee Dong Wook also shared fun trivia regarding one of the scenes they shot in Goblin, where they walked like super models from a tunnel carrying grocery bags. He said he was very late that day and made his co-star Gong Yoo wait.
"I was very apologetic to Gong Yoo but it was a parody scene so we had fun shooting that day."
On what keeps Korean dramas and music popular abroad, the Hell is Other People star explained the business always innovates itself to keep people interested.
"The secret to the Hallyu wave staying strong is that We don't stagnate. We keep trying to innovate, we try new things. It's the constant innovation that keeps everybody interested. The actors and singers get better and better at their craft and that's what the fans enjoy."
With his 20-year-experience in show business, as well as being the host of talent search Produce X 101 in Korea, he also imparted wise words for budding artists.
"The most important thing is for you to trust in your ability. If you do that, when the tough times come, you will be able to overcome it. And practice is also very important," he shared.
On what milestones he is celebrating on his 20th anniversary, he said, "The fact that I debuted in the industry is a milestone. Second is that I kept challenging myself over the years to do different things. And third is that I am still in the business and facing the fans, meeting them in person."
As for other 'dream' roles he'd like to do, Lee Dong Wook has only this to say: "There are so much roles that I haven't done yet in my 20 year career. i think there is still much work to do."