Sandara lives on the spotlight


A few hours before Sandara Park’s awaited Penshoppe fan meet at the Kia Theater, the local fashion powerhouse’s brand director, Jeff Bascon, enters the waiting room.

“I’m so excited for this!” is his greeting.

“I’m such a fan of Dara and watching her rehearse these past three days, I realized why they’re called superstars in the first place,” Jeff says.

No one in that room had any doubts that the former “fresh vocals” of girl group 2NE1 can pull of a show on her own.

She beams brightly the second the lights reveal her on stage. Sandara knows how to start a show with the fierce and upbeat medley of “Fire” and “Do You Love Me.” And yes, of course, they love her.


As Sandara’s Blackjack fans coin it, the opening act of their favorite “krung-krung” (or crazy person) is nothing short of “krung-grabe.”

Sandara prepared her own versions of 2NE1’s hits, and she was to perform them with new choreographs, too. It’s her first time singing these songs without the help of Bom, Minzy and CL, and she tells her fans how much she misses all the girls.

The K-pop sensation then slows it down with some ballads that are accompanied by guitar strings. A lover of acoustic versions herself, the singer says the night is due for some “hugot” songs, each dedicated to the 2NE1 fans.

She sang “Missing You,” “Good To You” and “It Hurts” in a melodramatic mood. Sandara also tells Super her favorite song to perform live is “Gotta Be You” as it is 2NE1’s ultimate composition for their fans. However, she is unable to sing it on Penshoppe Presents Dara as the track has whole verses of rap.


Sandara’s reappearance on stage came with heart-shaped balloons and the surprising number of “Kapag Tumibok ang Puso.” She taught the crowd her finger heart moves for this number, and everyone had their hands in the air.

It was the cutest number you’ll see a K-pop star perform, and it spells out the theme of the evening: candid, hilarious, pure fun and intimate.

As she performs this adorable number, Sandara wears her favorite outfit of the night—the white Penshoppe hoodie that’s part of the 2017 Holiday Collection. She pairs it with a cream belt that highlights her enviable figure.

The performer also makes this old school piece unique by having the hoodie band slightly distressed, with a huge rip on the right side. (We know what we’re doing next with our white hoodies and a pair of scissors.)


“Gusto ko sana mag-perform ng songs ni Ms. Regine, kaso na-realize ko hindi ako birit queen. ’Dun lang ako sa cute-cute at pa-krung-krung,” Sandara tells the crowd and making them laugh.

This superstar also admits that her humor is very much Filipino, and she shares that it’s actually difficult for her to come off as funny whenever she guests at Korean variety shows.

The audience teases her to sing her previous hits “In or Out” and “Walang Sabit.” Sandara shrugs them off and jokes: “Wala ’yun sa setlist eh! ’Di ako prepared at mature na ako.”

She is the main act, the singer, the dancer, the entertainer, the audience’s choreographer and her own show’s host—the only star of that stage.

Sandara has been used to the spotlight being in showbiz since her teenage years.

She let out heavy sighs as each song finished, not really because of exhaustion. But with every track, she was conscious that time was ticking away.

She didn’t want to leave that stage—and no one in the crowd wanted her to.


Sandara told the Blackjacks that singing and dancing to live music kept her alive. It’s what she wants to do the most. Not only could they hear the sincerity in her cracking voice, they felt it.

She then sang “Can’t Nobody” and “Go Away,” and it was when the audience sang the loudest.

She closed with “I Am The Best” for her encore and it spoke volumes.

It was ultimately an empowering reminder for herself as she ventures on to the proverbial new chapter of life. And there was nothing like an eager crowd to help this artist realize that she is the best as she does the best that she can.

The songs that were once sang by four ladies suddenly find a new sound as Sandara’s voice emerges alone. But Sandara doesn’t have to worry about a thing, as the Blackjacks—with thousands of them singing their hearts out in the audience—continue to back her up whether music is played or not.

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