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Filipino K-pop stans fear for safety following theft incidents: ‘We want to be safe again’

In the latest episode of “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho” (KMJS), the weekly news magazine show featured senior high school student “Bea” (not her real name) who reportedly stole more than P2 million from her grandmother in order to buy K-pop merch for her collection.

Days after it aired, many K-pop stans are now calling the attention of “KMJS” after collectors are now being “targeted” by thieves because of the episode. The issue surfaced as several incidents started appearing on social media. One of them was when the Sunghoon Engene Zone photocard of one Enhypen fan was snatched in Cubao, Quezon City. “Ang bilis ng pangyayari (It just happened all of a sudden),” the reported victim said in the conversation posted on Twitter.

As reported in the show, the “most expensive” photocard Bea has in her collection are the three NCT photocards that could be priced at “P50,000 each.” According to stans, this could have instigated the spate of theft cases involving K-pop fans.

The NCT photocard in the KMJS episode

Generally, one original photocard can be bought for as low as P100 (even below or free). But in some cases, you might pay a premium, especially if the card is rare and of a well-known idol. The fans however emphasized that not all photocards could cost up to P50,000 per piece.

The K-pop stans are also expressing their dismay online over the episode. Based on their sentiments, it seemed that the show “spread misinformation” about a photocard’s price; thus, “prompting theft” targeting their circle. 

Among the concerns attached in the discussion too is that they were put in a negative spotlight, painting K-pop fans as “irresponsible,” “compulsive buyers,” and worse, “thieves.”

Besides the incident at MRT Cubao station, another Twitter user shared a similar issue. According to Mela—who was seated on the first row of a bus—a middle-aged man snatched the fan’s BTS Jimin photocard and ran immediately after the doors opened. “[I’m] literally crying right now because [that was] my favorite PC and I bought [it] with my hard-earned money,” Mela said in a tweet.

“Just a reminder for those who plan na magnakaw, hindi lahat ng photocards ay worth 50k (Just a reminder for those who plan to steal, not all photocards are worth P50,000).”

Apart from this, photocard holders are being singled out too. One Twitter user reported that the PC holder they ordered was stolen from its parcel.

The members of the K-pop community here in the Philippines are now spreading awareness following the recent spate of incidents. With the fear of experiencing the same issue, stans are reminding fellow fans to keep off their photocards hanging around their bags and be extra alert in these times.

On Mar. 7, the “KMJS” team released a statement saying that the episode only aimed to “impart lessons” to its audience. It also added that they would take legal action against netizens “trolling and harassing” the team behind their latest episode.

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The statement of KMJS posted on social media

The statement stirred different emotions within the Philippine K-pop circle. Many stans are firmly calling for another episode of “KMJS” that highlights the positive side of their community: “We want our community to be safe again.” In addition, they requested the show to clarify that not all photocards are priced at P50,000.

Photocards are indeed a prized possession among K-pop stans. Whether or not you feel the same excitement as they do, it brings them unthinkable joy. It’s the same feeling of fulfillment when you finally experience or own something you’re fond of, especially when it happened because of your hard work. 

Now that these incidents are taking over their community, how long will they stay vigilant over expressing endearment for their fandom that is completely harmless in the first place?

Read more:

How I went from being a K-pop skeptic to a superfan

A year in Hallyu: Looking back at the best in 2017 K-pop culture

A UP Diliman graduate explored Blackpink’s impact in this thesis

Screenshots from @lhszumi and @kwonjiminlover on Twitter


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