I will be transported back in time tonight at 8pm.
Baffled? I hope not. I am just happy that ABS-CBN will be showing re-runs of the very first Taiwanese soap I fell in love with. Yes, they're showing #Meteor Garden again.
Meteor Garden is the Taiwanese version of the famous Japanese comic book series "Hana Yori Dango." The plot is very simple - spoiled rich boy meets courageous poor girl. Its a story about getting into a relationship, its joys and sorrows and the triumph of love over all odds. The twists of a snotty rich matriach disapproving the relationship, the secret feelings of love by the lead's best friend towards the girl, the bullying at school. Nothing out of the ordinary, however I guess the reason this soap got so popular is the introduction of new faces - and good looking ones at that.
The cast is made up the lead female, Barbie (Hsu Hsi-Yuan) and a boy band called #F4. They are Jerry (Yan Cheng Xu), Vic (Zhou Yu Min), Ken (Zhu Xiao Tian) and Vanness (Wu Jian Hao).
|The cast of Meteor Garden. (L-R) Jerry, Vanness, Barbie, Ken and Vic|
I was drawn by the simplicity of the story, the sad moments when the lead characters had to fight for their love, the insecurities, and of course, the light hearted and funny scenes in the show. Meteor Garden got so popular in the Philippines that the group F4 held several concerts here. Me and my daughter watched every single one of them! Jerry and Vic even became product endorsers of a clothing line (Bench Philippines) and they were the company's poster boys for a loooooong time.
In 2004, I had the opportunity to work in Taiwan for two years. With a weird twist of fate, I found out that I was working 3 blocks away from the apartment building where Vic (Zhou Yu Min) lives. There was one time I saw him on his big Yamaha motorcycle speeding away. Major freak out! (faints).
In my own opinion, this soap taught people some realities - that money isn't the be-all and end-all of things; that being steadfast in your beliefs can take you to your dreams; and that love conquers all.
Oh my, I can go on and on talking about Meteor Garden, F4 and the Mandarin experience. At 8:00 pm tonight, I will have a repeat of a happy time in my life.