The Philippines started the uncertain days of the lockdown of 2020 crash landing on a series that took most of its titas, plantitas and platitas to seventh heaven. Even millennials were not immune to its addictive allure.
And it virtually ends the two years of strict lockdown with a seeming sequel to the series.
Crash Landing on You, albeit written, directed and starred in by Korean actors, was as universal as Bridgerton and as Filipino as Be Careful with My Heart (with Maya and “Sir Chief”). Its theme was relatable — no matter what race or creed or social class you belonged to, because it proclaimed the time-honored verity that true love conquers all, if you worked hard enough to overcome all that hinders it.
The lead male character, too, if I may go back down memory lane, evoked the kind of protector we all needed in our lives in the time of a silent war when we ourselves needed refuge and broad shoulders to lean on. Capt. Ri Jeong Hyeok, as portrayed by the tall, silent force Hyun Bin, dimples included, embodied that need, that hope, that fantasy?
And the leading lady, Son Ye-jin as South Korean heiress Yoon Se-ri, was the perfect damsel in distress that needed Capt. Ri.
Episode 17 came to pass with Hyun Bin walking down the aisle of the garden of Aston House in Seoul, and waited for the heiress to his love to meet him.
Their chemistry was so swoon-worthy, such a magnet for the next episode that binging on CLOY kept many sane, cured of cabin fever and happily hoping for an “Episode 17.”
Well, Episode 17 they got!
The hit series on Netflix ended on Episode 16, a conclusion that, however, made the yearning for “closure” (read: a wedding) even more pronounced. It’s like the first bite of chocolate. You can’t stop with one.
One spring day
Thus, one fine spring day, Episode 17 came to pass with Hyun Bin walking down the aisle of the garden of Aston House in Seoul, and under a canopy bedecked with spring blooms, waited for the heiress to his love to meet him.
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Hyun, handsome in his black tuxedo, looking relaxed and very fit, walked down the aisle to a burst of applause and to the tune of I Was Born to Love You, originally sung by the late Freddie Mercury. He took a deep breath as he waited under the flower-festooned canopy that served as the altar and applauded as his bride walked down the aisle to meet him. At one point, in a video taken probably by a guest, she seemed to wipe away a tear.
The radiant bride was ephemeral in her lacy off-shoulder Mira Zwillinger gown, her hair in an updo, a crown of lavender and white flowers holding up a veil that cascaded down her back. I think the choice of lavender may not have been coincidental as she was in a lavender jumpsuit as she crash-landed on Capt. Ri’s arms and she was wearing a lavender cardigan, with a suspected baby bump (Capt. Ri wanted twins, remember?), in post-shoot photos that were said to be never released officially.
On the arm of her father, she glided down the aisle to the tune of Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis (but originally by Elvis Presley), as sung in the wedding scene in the movie Crazy Rich Asians.
Then Hyun Bin bowed to Ye-jin’s father, looked into his bride’s eyes before leaning closer to her as she whispered something to him. Then he took her hand to happily-ever-after.
Snippets of their vows were captured on video.
She said with a girlish giggle: Jagiya (“Babe” or “Darling” in Korean), hello. It’s finally our wedding day. I still cannot believe it.”
He said: “I think thankfully of the moments of us getting to know and understanding each other, enjoying each moment and laughing through it together.”
Then they put rings on each other’s fingers — with Hyun Bin hopefully getting it right this time, unlike during their exchange of couple’s rings in CLOY.
Photos from their pre-wedding shoot were splashed on the front pages of Philippine broadsheets, making the son of a friend ask his mother bemusedly, “With all that’s happening in the world, these make it to the front pages?”
I would say, precisely because of all that’s happening in the world, these photos were the mega-dose of endorphins needed by a world that had struggled with two years of an unprecedented war with a lethal virus that claimed the lives of millions, and a current heartbreaking war in Europe. They were the fresh breath of spring air amid the toxicity surrounding us.
A spring of hope, buoyed by low numbers of COVID-19 infections in the Philippines (around 200 as of this writing), has indeed, come in the blistering summer.
Joining this bandwagon of a new spring is PeopleAsia magazine, which has the BinJin couple on its double-cover issue (with pretty entrepreneur Anne Barretto on the other cover), in a photo released by both Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin’s agencies, Vast Entertainment and MS Team, respectively.
Their smiles seem to say, “Fairy tales do come true, it can happen to you.”
It’s actually harder for people like them who live in a goldfish bowl to have fairy tales come true.
“In an age where rabid fans become extreme haters of any love interest of a celebrity, what Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin pulled off in their dating, engagement, and wedding was a major miracle,” says K-drama expert Lisa Mapua, who, like me, belongs to a group of Assumptionistas called the “Noona-tics.”
“They are indeed blessed by the stars,” she added. “And we hope that this goodwill and good fortune continue into their happily-ever-after.”
Photos of the couple arriving at the LA Airport last week for their honeymoon, without security or alalays was grounding, indicative of how perhaps they underestimated their popularity. Or perhaps they knew the risks, but wanted to feel ordinary despite their extraordinary circumstances. Oh, those photos of the couple on their phone probably trying to reach the person who was going to pick them up (they could have requested for a tarmac pick-up or a waiting car in a private entrance or simply a waiting car) as they were virtually mobbed by fans (including Pinays) showed how patient they are, and most of all, how protective Hyun Bin is of his fragile bride.
Just like in the movies.
As Lisa noted, they’re really OTP and MTB.
One true pairing. Meant to be. *