My first visit to Seoul was in 1988 as a newspaper reporter covering the state visit of the late Philippine president Corazon Aquino.
The city was dominated by kinetic new structures built for the Summer Olympics it had just hosted. The two colorful wings of the World Peace Gate adumbrated the proverbial dove of peace.
At the Olympic Park, big screens still played highlights from the event, like the pop group Koreana singing a translated version of Giorgio Moroder’s uplifting song, “Hand in Hand”.
Between then and my second visit to the capital city three decades later, South Korea has become a global cultural force that’s impossible to miss.
In the Philippines, Korean movies and TV shows are now as ubiquitous as those from Hollywood. But my personal favorite would have to be Korean pop music.