EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Sandara Park
At the VIP lounge, Dara arrived clad in her black-and-gold costume and braided hair, welcoming this writer with her warm and amiable smile. She appeared incredibly younger than her 29 years, looking just as fresh and vibrant as she did during her Star Circle Quest days a full decade ago.
Even more remarkable was the fact that she still spoke Tagalog fluently and with the same characteristic lilt that Filipino fans have always found endearing.
To break the ice, I handed her a small packet of dried mangoes as the customary pasalubong from home. Her eyes widened as she clutched the humble gift as though it was something utterly precious.
“Paborito ko ‘to! [This is my favorite!]” she shrieked as she thanked me in a manner so disarming, it made me wish I had brought an entire crate. It left a mighty good feeling to know that fame has not spoiled the nation’s favorite quirky girl.
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