Lapu lass lives out K-Pop dream
The danceable music of the Korean pop (K-pop) group Girls’ Generation fills the air in the small house of the Malahay family in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City nearly every day.
“Geuraeyo nan neol saranghae eonjena mideo~!” (That’s right, I love you. You can always believe me~!),” croons Shine Malahay, a K-pop fanatic who formed a dance group with her high school friends.
“I remember watching a cousin of mine and his classmates who were practicing a Korean pop music dance.
The song was titled Run Devil Run by Girls’ Generation. They were rehearsing it for a big presentation at his high school,” she said.
It was that day that Shine, the second of three siblings, said she fell in love with K-pop music and all things Korean.
A student taking up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) at the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu Mandaue (UCLM), Shine plans to take up medicine in college.
Usually shy and timid at school, Shine lets loose when she dances to her favorite K-pop songs.
“I have always loved singing and dancing. I used to practice singing a lot with my family’s karaoke as a kid, but I became more focused with dancing as I grew up,” she said.
Her sisters, Shan and Sansai, would normally watch her dance practices.
Aside from Girls’ Generation, Shine would dance to the music of Korean groups like BTS, EXO, Red Velvet and 2NE1.
On September 2013, Shine met with her close friends Ling, Yohan, AJ, and Wayne and formed a group they called GirlsXtreme.
“We spent a lot of time figuring out a name that fits the image we wanted to project. Eventually we just stuck with GirlsXtreme because it sounded, well, cool!” she said laughing.
Since 2013, their group joined 14 K-pop competitions in venues like JY Square Mall and SM Seaside City in Metro Cebu.
Prior to the event, Shine said they prepare every little detail in their performances right up to their costumes.
“Weeks before the dance contest, we talk among ourselves about the costumes: This is the style, this is the concept, these are the clothes, and so on. If all else fails, we go to the ukay-ukay (flea market),” Shine said.
Shine said she and her dancers would browse through pages of Korean magazines and watch music videos and live performances on YouTube.
Due to budget constraints, they had to improvise and create their own costumes.
Shine said they had to save money to pay the P150 per hour rent to practice their moves at a dance studio in Barangay Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City for two to three days prior to the competition.
That means having to ask money from their parents which Shine’s mother Nanette “Tata” Malahay, would make a fuss about.
“It can be frustrating, sometimes. She usually ends up asking for money from me. I tell her to just use her savings, but then she says that she has used it up,” the elder Malahay said.
Tata said she always worries about the late schedules her daughter and her friends keep prior to the competition.
Shine would come home at 10 p.m. and Tata said she would get calls from the parents of Shine’s friends asking for their whereabouts.
“But I feel happy for her. Whether they win or lose in contests, I still feel happy for her. It’s good that she is spending her time well by developing her talent and enjoying her youth with her friends in a healthy way,” Tata said.
She said she always reminds Shine “not to waste time and money” and to always “prioritize her studies.”
The GirlsXtreme was named Best Female Cover Group in the 2016 Cebu Cover Gayo Awards, which recognizes the best K-pop dance cover groups in Cebu.
Their most recent victory is at the Star Music Center for Talent and Cebu K-pop Convention (SMCT x CKC) K-pop Dance Cover Competition held at the Cyberzone in SM Seaside City last April 22.
They performed Superfly by 24K and bested 24 other groups to top the competition.
Shine said she is having the time of her life with her ongoing stint at GirlsXtreme.
“It’s true that we feel nervous before going on stage. But as we perform, all our fears just melt away. We just give our best and have fun, especially when the crowd cheers as we dance. We just love it,” she said.
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