CEBU CITY, Philippines — The sudden demise of Moonbin, one of the members of the popular K-pop boy band Astro, shocked the group’s fans, Arohas.
Aroha is the official fandom name of the Astro’s fans, which meant love in Maori. That is according to aroha.fandom.com
In Cebu, Cebuano supporters of the group, especially these two Arohas or Bisayarohas, were hit hard by sudden death of Moonbin.
They said that Astro and Moonbin helped them through the hard times of their lives and they could even say that the K-pop boy band saved them.
“Dugay ko nakaprocess, in denial pa ko at first kay everything was so sudden and nag anticipate ko na naa pay lain na news na different sa akong first na nabasa,” Sylvia, a 21-year-old student, said.
(It took me a long time to process. I was in denial at first because everything was so sudden an I was anticipating that there is another news different from what I had read.)
This was also the same feeling that one of the Bisayarohas, who asked that she just be called a Bisayarohas, felt.
“We were all in denial. We were hoping that it was just fake news. We were waiting for an official statement from fantagio. We were holding on to that 1 percent hope that it was all a dream,” the 28-year-old Bisayarohas said.
How Astro, Moonbin touched their lives
Both fans recalled how Astro touched their lives and helped them and even saved them.
“2019 I had depression. Like grabe jud na bisan maglingkod ko maghilak ra ko kalit. Then I met Astro. They became my refuge. My solace. Because of them I started to laugh again and be happy. Seeing them happy became my happiness too,” Bisayarohas shared to CDN.
(In 2019, I had depression. Like, it was really bad that even if when I was just sitting alone, I would just suddenly cry. Then I met Astro. They became my refuge. My solace. Because of them, I started to laugh again and be happy. Seeing them happy became my happiness, too.)
Bisayarohas, who is a private sector employee, started supporting ASTRO after she heard Eun-woo’s version of “Kathang Isip” by the popular Filipino band, Ben&Ben, and this was followed by the K-drama series where Eun-woo was a lead actor in the “My ID is Gangnam Beauty.”
Eun-woo is one of the members of Astro.
What is Astro?
According to the New York Times, with the release of ASTRO’s debut EP “Spring Up” in 2016, the originally six-member male K-Pop group, was included in Billboard’s top 10 list of new K-Pop acts that year, which eventually helped them to stardom.
The group originally has 6 members, namely, MJ, JinJin, Cha Eun Woo, Moonbin, Rocky, and Sanha.
On February 28, 2023, Fantagio announced that Rocky would be departing ASTRO after his agreement with the company expired.
How Astro came into their lives
“I fell in love with (Moonbin) in the song, ‘All Night’. And then I got to know Bin and Eunwoo as a ship. And started shipping them,” Bisayarohas added.
According to Bisayarohas, shipping is just the fans’ way to playfully pair Astro members as close buddies with each other.
On the other hand, Sylvia said that even though it was hard for her to process Moonbin’s passing, she believed that Moonbin would not want seeing his supporters sad and too hard on themselves.
“I know di ganahan si Moonbin nga mao na ang effect sa event sa amoa. I mourn his passing but I have to continue to live for him and with his memories,” she said.
(I know Moonbin would not not like it that this will be the effect of his passing to us. I mourn his passing, but I have to continue to live for him and with his memories.)
Sylvia also looked back on how Moonbin came to her life in 2017, leaving her with memories to cherish in her lifetime.
She, however, did not elaborate.
Rest in peace, Binnie
Still in mourning, both supporters of Moonbin expressed their condolences to the family of Moonbin and their fellow AROHAs.
“Let’s continue to remember him for the great things he has done when he’s alive, and not reduce him to his death because he’s so much more than this day,” said Sylvia as she encouraged fellow AROHAs, Bisayarohas, and Moonbin supporters.
“Bin-ah, wherever you are, I hope you are happy. I pray that you feel no more pain. We love you. Always, in all ways,” the 28-year-old Bisayarohas also said.
According to an Inquirer report, Moonbin’s label Fantagio confirmed his death on Thursday, April 20, in an official statement on social media.
Moonbin was found dead inside his home in Gangnam District on April 19. He was 25.