Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Manila Visit 2013 Nichkhun for BENCH

Words and photos by Lara Cartujano

After signing Korean superstars Lee Donghae and Choi Siwon of Super Junior, as well as Lee Minho, Philippine clothing brand BENCH had just added another K-Pop star in their roster of global benchsetters. He may be of Thai and Chinese descent, but the name Nichkhun Horvejkul is a resident name in the K-Pop scene as one of the members of the boy group 2PM.

On 8 November 2013 Nichkhun graced the press conference held at the Bench Tower in Bonifacio Global City, a day before his “Benchsetter Fun Meet.”

As the first and only Thai benchsetter, Nichkhun expressed his excitement in endorsing a Philippine brand saying, “It is something to be proud of because not a lot of K-Pop artists are endorsing Filipino brands, right? Since I’m chosen for this top Filipino brand; I’m proud of it. So I come by and tell my members that there’s this top Filipino brand that wants to use me and I’m like, ‘Heck yeah!’”

Deciding to be a benchsetter had been easy for Nichkhun for he disclosed that the clothing brand matches his own personal style. “My personal style is simple, clean, and appropriate to the occasions. And just very BENCH. BENCH is really me in a way because BENCH is not flashy. BENCH is something that normal [people] can wear, not just like people who want to be on camera. So that’s why I’m grateful to be a part of BENCH because it is really me and it is what I want to wear in my normal life.”

Nichkhun even recalled that when he was in Germany, he saw a BENCH store there and after seeing the clothing designs he declared, “That’s my brand!”

As for the fashion style that he finds catchy in women? The new benchsetter prefers girls who are simple, but not too predictable, saying that he is fine with them dressing up in T-shirt and jeans. He also finds uggs cute for girls, too.

Nichkhun also conveyed his excitement in meeting his Filipino fans, imparting that his last visit in the Philippines was for a concert so he was not able to meet his fans up close. This time around he looks forward to meet his fans up close, talk to them, and know how they feel about his group 2PM.

As a well-rounded idol who sings, dances, acts, and models, Nichkhun stated that he enjoys everything he’s doing and is “trying everything.” But despite all the success he has attained as an artist, Nichkhun admitted that he used be “a really shy boy,” who never dreamed of becoming a star at first. And if he had not pursued his K-Pop career, he would have been a chef or an interior designer.

Behind the fa├žade of an artist lies the charitable side of Nichkhun. In light of the earthquake that hit Bohol, Nichkhun wanted to make his Fun Meet to be even more meaningful. “When I first heard about the earthquake, I already had plans to come here. A part of me was already here in the Philippines. So when I heard about the earthquake, it really shook me so I really want this event to be meaningful to the Filipinos. So I like make some donations to the victims through this event,” he said.

Since the press conference was also held at the same time when super typhoon “Yolanda” was wreaking havoc in the Philippines, Nichkhun expressed his concern towards the typhoon victims. “I really hope that this typhoon is just gonna pass without any damage. Because it is heartbreaking to become a victim of this. So I really hope our families and friends are safe with this disaster. And I hope that the people of the Philippines are safe and those of you who are victims, keep your hopes up, never give up. I’m sure that when everything clears up, everything will go back to normal.”

All throughout the press conference, Nichkhun spoke fluently in English as he conversed with the host, Ms. Grace Lee. He relayed how his language skills are as he currently studies Chinese and Japanese on top of being fluent in Korean and Thai, as well. “Before I went to Korea I was more comfortable with speaking English. My Thai was getting a little bit rusty. But now that I’m in Korea, my Korean has become pretty good. And then, my English is turning weird. And my Thai is getting weird. But a lot of people say I speak Korean-English. My accent’s all different now.”

When asked how he finds the Philippines compared to Thailand, the multilingual idol answered, “Everyone was so welcoming. And they’re all smiling. They’re all really nice. I know that every country has its own different cultures and traditions. But Thailand and Philippines are really close, and too bad I haven’t been here a lot. But the ladies are pretty.”

As for his future plans, Nichkhun said that he wants to work more in the Philippines. “I’m hoping to see a lot more of me in the Philippines And I actually want to maybe put out a single, too. I heard there are a lot of beautiful beaches in the Philippines. So one day I will go.”

The “Benchsetter Fun Meet” was Nichkhun’s third visit in the Philippines. The first one was for a charity work in Payatas, and the second one was for the concert of his group 2PM.

The “Benchsetter Fun Meet” was held at Trinoma and SM Mall of Asia last 9 November 2013.


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