It’s easy to say, “All.” And it’s true. When I talk about my favorite moments during Byeon Woo-seok’s “Summer Letter in Manila” fanmeet, I’ll say that I love all of it. But like everything else, there are still those shining moments that you’ll cherish forever – a standout among the rest.

He came out like a dream – in that upbeat tempo music, he ran across the stage and the screams were an octave higher the more he ran and sang and waved and smiled. In every way, he seemed like Eclipse’s Ryu Sun-jae. I think I started getting a headache at one point, but I didn’t care. I screamed just as loudly and I held my blue lightstick as we made a blue ocean for our Byeon Woo-seok.

Some of my favorite moments during the fanmeet were moments he had with his fans. There were some lucky fans who got to reenact some unforgettable “Lovely Runner” scenes with him, including the photobooth scene, the scene where Sun-jae sipped from the drinks that Sol carried when they watched the game, and the catching of the cherry blossom petal with 10CM’s “Spring Snow” in the background. The “kilig” and the screams were so intense. And all you can really say is: “Sana all.”

Another top fanmeet moment was when he played the Filmography: Bingo Challenge Game, where he had to do certain challenges based on the K-drama series that he starred in. He had to complete and win six challenges for him to win the bingo challenge. One of the cutest moments was when he had to ride a tiny bicycle across the stage. This was inspired by his “Lovely Runner” scene where Sun-jae taught Sol how to ride the bicycle. Another adorable moment was when he had to play “sipa” five consecutive times to win the challenge. He failed twice and kept saying, “It’s just practice.” The host then asked the crowd if we should give him a final chance and we all screamed, “Yes.” The host teasingly said, “Ang rurupok ninyo!” And I mean, who wouldn’t be? It’s our Byeon Woo-seok! He won the challenge that third time and was so happy. There’s another cute moment that he did – when he had to do a runway walk and pose in the end. This was inspired by his role in “Record of Youth.” Before he did the challenge, he smiled and said, “Okay. Easy!” And he did it with so much confidence, like it’s the most natural thing in the world – that you just know it’s a craft he has mastered for years.

After winning all the challenges, there were also lucky fans who got to win a signed poster. But what happened next was so pleasantly surprising that it made our hearts melt – Byeon Woo-seok asked if he could take a selfie (a “selca”) with these lucky fans using his phone. It’s just the best fan service of all.

During the fanmeet, there was also a Q&A session where he answered some questions from fans. Towards the end of the Q&A, the host gestured for Byeon Woo-seok to look at the “question” on the screen. But it was a surprise video from his fans. He was smiling, and laughing, and then towards the end – he started crying. And as fans, we cried with him. I don’t usually cry in fanmeets, but for some reason, I cried a lot in this one. I never met an actor like him. His “Lovely Runner” appa, Mr. Ryu, is right – he is pure like oxygen. He is just this genuine, warm yellow light that radiates over everyone that is lucky enough to meet him and know him, or even come across him. It’s a light that you want to illuminate your life for as long as it can. And it’s a light you want to protect forever.

Byeon Woo-seok might have cried because of all the overwhelming love and support that he is receiving throughout a career that had moments of rejections and trying and failing and trying again. In this fanmeet, he said that one of the reasons he cried was because he was not feeling all that well and he was worried that he might not be giving his best to his fans. We cried and said, “Gwenchana.” This man thinks he has not done enough, but has actually done so much. He loves his fans so much and you can see and feel this love.

And of course, the most precious moment of all – when he sang “Sonaki.” It’s like a full circle moment for us fans – from hearing and watching it in the drama to hearing and watching it live. I think that there is no moment as surreal as that.

The fanmeet was one for the books. The hi-bye session gave the fans the opportunity to see him up close. It was so fitting – to have him as the last person we see before we leave the venue. I walked out smiling because it was a moment I’ll remember forever.

Kat Mallari, the author of the article, was Hallyudorama’s guest during the “Usapang Hallyu” episode on the “2024 Byeon Woo Seok Asia Fan Meeting Tour: Summer Letter in Manila” and “Hierarchy.” This episode streamed on June 23, 2024 a day after the fan meeting.

Kat Mallari – a 21st century woman – is a daughter, a sister, a friend, a co-worker, an activist, an advocate, a lover of love and life, and a dreamer.

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