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[Star Diary] Sandara Park (4) “The truth about the sexy photoshoot controversy..”

After initially becoming famous with ‘Star Circle Quest’, Sandara Park began to speed through the highway that was the Filipino entertainment industry.

She was even confirmed to appear on 4 programs a week! And as the number of her TV appearances increased, she gained more and more popularity. But some of the unique customs of Filipino broadcasts were difficult to understand for Koreans.

“In order to be a TV star in the Philippines, you had to be active as a couple with a star of the opposite sex who was chosen for you by the broadcast companies. And most Filipino celebrities considered hiatuses deadly to a star’s career.”

Like you have to follow Roman rules when visiting Rome, Sandara faithfully followed the rules of the Filipino celebrity industry.

“To tell the truth, even during ‘Star Circle Quest’, I held on even when things got hard, thinking ‘I’ll be able to relax after this’. But as soon as ‘Star Circle Quest’ ended, I was put into four different programs. Sigh~ I didn’t get a day off for a whole year. I even had to sleep in the car. But I must have a lot of stamina. I was hardly ever sick. (Laughs).”

Sandara Park, who has a huge amount of stamina despite her frail girlish looks, was able to make it through her endless schedule with her optimistic personality. When we saw Sandara smile brightly as she talked about how she made a lot of memories while running around the broadcasts stations to follow her hectic schedule after her debut, we could feel the love and affection she feels towards the Filipinos.

The person that the Filipino broadcast company chose for Sandara to be paired up with for her ‘love team’ was Hero Angeles, winner of ‘Star Circle Quest’. Next to Sandara always stood Hero Angeles.

“I did most broadcasts with Hero. In dramas, movies and CFs etc, Hero was always the counterpart to my role.”

Though she did form a ‘love team’ with Hero thinking it was all part of the custom, it caused an uncomfortable situation for Sandara because of her honest personality. She dropped a bombshell when she said on one Filipino TV show that ‘Hero isn’t my type’. On Korean variety shows remarks like this would’ve been considered nothing more than humorous material, but it was different for the Filipinos.

“All our fans at the time cried. I think I didn’t understand enough about the whole ‘make-believe couple’ concept.”

It became a chance for her to see for herself how deep the roots of Filipino customs really were in their fans. Another questionable custom for Koreans is sexy photo shoots. At the time, such photo shoots were considered necessary as part of the process of child actresses maturing into adult actresses.

Sandara also received an offer for a photo shoot. She accepted as it was the suggestion of one of her seniors who worked for a broadcast company that also ran a magazine. She believed it when she was told she would just have to wear a skirt and a top. ‘UNO’, the magazine that offered Sandara her photo shoot was actually a prestigious male magazine.

“I’m on the petite side so I was called a ‘primary school kid’ in the Philippines a lot. I accepted the photo shoot offer because I wanted to show a different side of me.”

But when she arrived at the scene, they demanded a bikini shoot. Though she was hesitant, Sandara had been working without a manager and lacked the experience to amend the situation, especially when all the preparations had been made. It was just one result of a just-matured young lady working in the entertainment industry without a manager.
But the photo shoot that passed by without any problems in the Philippines was made a big deal back in Korea. It was revealed too late in Korea last April and started up the ‘Sandara Park sexy photo shoot’ controversy.

The pictorial showed Sandara Park in the Philippines in 2006 wearing heavy make up, a black corset and bikini etc. for ‘UNO’. Some people said cruel things like ‘Sandara must’ve really needed the money’. They do say that the most unexpected crises hurt the most. Sandara had remained calm talking about herself until now, but she showed sorrow and regret while recollecting these events.

“I was really upset when people said things like ‘She did it because she needed money’. I was just trying to follow their customs, they didn’t even tell me I had to do the shoot.”
It made her even sadder to see her family in pain because of her.

“My parents were really shocked. I’d never regretted becoming a celebrity. I’d never even felt sad or angry that I had to give up my privacy. But when I saw my family watch as the public made assumptions and misjudged me, I felt regretful. It was really hard for me.”

Translations Credits: sjay.x @ YGLadies.com


26 Responses

  1. its her choice! she was never tricked. she definitely agreed to it before shooting the photos. I’m not saying that she’s lying but I just wanna make it clear that here in the Philippines its always the choice of the actors or actresses. and meetings are set before photo shoots for agreements.

  2. Poor Sandara…

  3. I hope this news is true, because I’ve a filipino friend, he said to me that sandara park is an AV (adult video) star back in philiphine… >.< I try not to believe in him..

  4. what i dont understand why does she have all this star diary articles come out recently ….

  5. poor her!!
    it’s harsh to say that ”she must really needed the money!”
    whatever it is,u have come a long way..so,LET’S PLAY!!

  6. Dara hwaiting! Being in 2NE1 will probably be the best time of your life!

  7. I’m not doubting Dara’s words per se, but there are things that I do find odd. I think there are some things that didn’t translate well to korean news.

    First off, I beleive during this time, she was still a contract artist in ABS. It is possible that she won’t have a manager as Star Magic has one general manager overseeing major things. But, each artist there do have “handlers” — these are the people who are assigned to watch over the talents given to them. It’s almost impossible that she didn’t have a handler because contract artists there couldn’t be contacted about certain offers without telling the designated handler of the artist. If I remember correctly, contract artists there are strictly prohibited to do/accept things alone without notifying the handlers, manager, etc.

    Secondly, I think it’s highly unlikely that she’s tricked, as a part of the article implied. Maybe she lacked understanding, but not necessarily jipped. Magazines like that do send offers to certain artists. If the artist is interested, the magazine staff would usually have a meeting with the artist (w/manager or handler in tow if ever) to lay out the plans and proposed concept. Bear in mind that usually, it is up to the artist — she can usually voice out her opinions or say her limits once the concept is laid out. That’s why sexy photoshoots here vary a lot — legit magazines like this one do make adjustments.

    Secondly, this magazine I believe is under her management’s (ABS) publication wing. Given that, there is almost assurance that she is taken cared of more than usual.

    This is something a bit common in the Philippines nowadays. Yes, mainly this is a tool for actresses to get better roles, or to be heard once again. However, these magazines are aware that some of these actresses get nervous and shy; that’s why they usually offer pre-meetings to show ideas and things. If the actress refused, they don’t really force them, as there are still a number of actresses out there that they could send offers to. Covers like this one takes long discussions between the artist and the magazine.

    Dara during that time may have lacked understanding. Or better, she knew the concept from the start but she didn’t expect that it would be too risky for her when she finally did it — y’know, something like cold feet. It’s her first time, after all.

    Sorry for the long post, it’s just that I follow Filipino entertainment (particulalry talents of Dara’s former management) so, yeah.

    • “After last night…” Eunhyuk murmured, “Let’s have no more restrictions, okay? Tell me what you want and I’ll get it for you. Tell me where you want to go and I’ll take you there. Tell me you love me and I’ll tell you the same thing?” The last sentence came out like a question. In the reflection of the glass, he could see Donghae smile.

      “I love you, Eunhyuk,” Donghae announced.

      Eunhyuk smiled, brushing his lips against Donghae’s neck, “I love you too, Donghae.”


      The very next day, Donghae awoke next to Eunhyuk. He was happy sleeping in Eunhyuk’s room with the older male. It felt warmer, safer. Especially when Eunhyuk pulled him into a hug in the middle of the night.

      He got up, heading into the bathroom to take a quick shower and brush his teeth. He came out to see Eunhyuk on the bed, leaning against the headboard and reading a book…or rather manga. Donghae came over with a bright smile.

      “Hey, Hyukkie,” Donghae greeted with a smile as Eunhyuk looked up and that gummy smile of his instantaneously graced his lips.

      “Morning, Hae.”

      Donghae sat down on the bed next to the red-haired male as he put the book down.

      “I was wondering if you wanted to go out today,” Eunhyuk said, glancing off to the side with a faint blush painting his cheeks. Donghae grinned at the sight of Eunhyuk’s shyness. It was a new face to the older male that Donghae hadn’t seen yet.

      “Okay,” Donghae agreed practically instantaneously. Eunhyuk’s gaze snapped back to the younger one. A smile turned the corners of his lips upward.

      “Alright then,” Eunhyuk said, “Where do you want to go?”

      Donghae pretended to ponder this. Pretended because he already knew where he wanted to go. However, he loved seeing Eunhyuk’s eager eyes. Donghae found it cute of the older man to look so eager in taking him somewhere. He also found it really touching – considering that for those two years, no one ever cared for him like Eunhyuk did. No one asked him what he wanted. They just had their way with him – and they didn’t care whether or not it caused him pain or not.

  8. her life was very colorful in deed . she deserve to be happy and successful so be strong little girl. sayonara

  9. she’s not just a pretty face, she’s talented and the pictures was done beautifully and nice. when i reAd this article i felt very sad TO her and i thought she’s very tough girl.

  10. I do wonder why the need to pose in bikinis to get rid of the cute image, there are other ways. I guess Dara loved the Philippines so much she just tried to fit in even if she didn’t like it.

    I’m glad that I know the truth behind that now but at the same time saddened because I never thought such exists in Philippine showbizness. I guess I owe a tiny bit more respect to the current actresses here then.

  11. People don’t seem to understand that there are culture differences in different countries.

  12. poor dara.~
    because of that sexy photoshoot i hated dara very much.
    but i relieved that i don’t hate dara now, because i can understand her now 😀

  13. With the whole photoshoot thing, America is exactly the same. You have to prove yourself as a mature adult, and that you shouldn’t be ashamed or coy about your adolescence anymore.

    Echoing the comment above me, it’s the cultural difference. I’m glad she feels cares how her family was affected, but she shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

  14. Cultural difference…nothing you can do about it -_-

  15. she is borderline bashing the Phil. Entertainment ..,way to go Dara!

    • She is not bashing.. Every one must admit that Philippines Ent really work that way..

    • That’s not bashing. She’s just explaining how the Philippine Ent Industry works because she got SO much flack in Korea when pictures of Dara being all lovey dovey with Hero Angeles circulated and that infamous Uno magazine spread. What she said about the loveteams and sexy photoshoots is really true anyway. We’ve seen so many teen actresses pose for mags like FHM, Maxim or Uno when they want to shed their child-like image and move on to mature acting roles.

    • Not exactly bashing. She is just stating the facts. From what I see, the translator sorta picked the wrong words though which made it seem kinda off & rude in a way. Y’knowwww?

    • I didn’t think she was bashing the Philippines. But, I do think her words got lost in translation. Dara did have a hard time during her later years here, but I can feel that she’s sincere about how close the Philippines is to her — I mean she almost grew up here.

    • Dara isn’t bashing the Philippine entertainment industry. She loves the Philippines and still has many friends there. She is just being honest about what she went through due to the cultural differences.

  16. a much better article than what allkpop has… but that’s nothing new. haha. kudos for telling it like it is and not manipulating stuff just to get more traffic or stir up controversy.

    • Yeah… I agree with you….alllkpop twisted the story…. It mislead the readers of the article!!!! The writer of that article is suckssss… SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!

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