This is an article from The Philippine Star, a local newspaper.

The Evolution of Sandara Park
ARMY OF ME By Gino De La Paz @ 11/07/09

She started burning her perky, Korean self onto our collective retinas as a 19-year-old also-ran in Star Circle Quest, ABS-CBN’s contribution to the reality circus that was 2004. Like an awkward exchange student, she struggled with the nuances of Tagalog but eventually spoke it better than most Manila-born colegialas — and Martin Nievera. Those quirks made Sandara Park an unlikely star, the token underdog the mid-00s sorely needed.

Enjoying the banana boat ride of youth, Sandy went on to warm — some would say annoy — Pinoy moviegoers’ hearts with four movies. The expat-turned-entertainer’s string of competitive karaoke hits like Ang Ganda Ko, In Or Out? and Walang Sabit also made her a money-making, award-winning triple threat. But just when it seemed like her imaginary E! True Hollywood Story was golden, fans started flaking and showing how fickle they truly were.

Dwindling Stardom

In 2006, after a self-imposed hiatus, Sandara returned to find that the showbiz landscape had changed. A series of films and TV shows would do little to distract a public that had moved on to worship another chinita. It seemed that Kim Chiu had taken the Sandara Park template — approachability, unabashed earnestness — and ran with it. From predictable endorsements to novelty albums, Kim was Sandara, only younger. Ouch.

Efforts to reposition herself as a mature twentysomething Sandara posed in a couple of cheesy men’s magazines — reeked of desperation. Regal Films’ Super Noypi and C/S9’s Dalawang Tisoy — I kid you not — were her last attempts at recouping her dwindling stardom before deciding to head home to Korea in 2007.


Now 24 — the new 17 — Sandara Park is one-fourth of 2NE1, a wildly popular girl group in South Korea. Signed to Seoul’s hitmaking YG Entertainment, the foursome was previously known as 21 (To Anyone) before management changed it to 2NE1. Dovetailing nicely with Sandara’s own growth as a performer, the “NE” stands for "new evolution".

The girl once doomed to spend the rest of eternity living up to her “krung krung” nickname (Filipino street slang for “crazy”) is on the cusp of newfound fame. Sandara Park, shortened to Dara, is turning out to be quite the K-Pop star. Weaving and bobbing in a more sophisticated — and presumably professional — environment has definitely done her good.

On May 6, 2009, two versions of 2NE1’s “Fire” music video were unleashed to an unsuspecting world. Styled by Yang Seung Ho and Lee Hyun Jung, graduates of Central Saint Martins and Chelsea College of Art, respectively, both videos featured the girls as fashion icons-in-training. A bigger budget equals a more of-the-second wardrobe: Jeremy Scott for Adidas Originals trainers, hot pink dhotis, hairy-shouldered jackets Carine Roitfeld would approve of. Filipinos have been getting bug-eyed at her current incarnation because the Pinoy Sandara was baduy; Korean Sandara is Teen Vogue.

From Star Circle To Full Circle

Oddly enough, going back to her roots has pushed her forward. I mean, look at Sandara Park now. From acting opposite Hero Angeles — who? — to conquering a more worthwhile market, she is showing local critics that success is totally the best revenge.

In many ways, this marks a full circle moment. As a naïve newbie, Sandara Park loved the Philippines. It’s only right that Filipinos love her right back. Again.


  • colegialas Manila’s version of California’s valley girls.
  • Martin Nievera Filipino singer with questionable Tagalog. (yes , Dara does speak better tagalog than him)
  • Tagalog one of the Philippines’ many dialects, and on which Filipino, the national language, was founded on.
  • krung-krung crazy, Filipinos’ affectionate moniker for sandara, equivalent to what koreans call 4D
  • baduy – uncool, corny
  • Hero Angeles the guy she was paired with in a couple of movies and shows (remember the pics that came out?), they were in a love team — what’s a love team? think “we got married".
Credits: soomejaejin @ wordpress.com



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