This post is going to be sappy. I recently figured out that EXO brings that out of me.
Five years of burning passion.
Five years of flourishing hard work.
Five years of bliss yet patched with gloom in places.
Five years of mutual respect and love between EXO and EXO-Ls.
Five precious years spent with us.
Happy 5th Anniversary, EXO!
I was not here since Day One. Or even during their first, second or so anniversary. People may say that I’m being overly dramatic with even blogging about this while only being a 7-month old EXO-L but I believe celebrating this momentous event is a must for every single EXO-L out there. Old or new into the fandom must rejoice, be proud and be thankful for this day. Five years may be a small number for others but in an industry where people could basically come, go and be forgotten, it is an outstanding feat already. I’m so proud of EXO and this fandom and I know my words wouldn’t be able to encompass all of my thoughts and feelings.
To SM Entertainment, thank you. Thank you for bringing these boys together and thus far, the greatest achievement your company has done in my eyes. Thank you for believing in these boys from the start. Despite all the issues, I got to give thanks to you for the existence of EXO.
To all the Korean EXO-Ls & to those who were present from year one (two and so) and who chose to stay until today, thank you. Thank you for being with the boys through thick and thin. Thank you for expressing love and being their support system when they were experiencing the low points of their career. I know the earlier years were such a rough path and there were several stumbles along the way but you chose to hang on to them and fully believed that these boys could make it big in the industry. Look at where they are now? With EXO’s talents & perseverance and EXO-L’s unwavering love, together you’ve achieved (and will continuously walk through the path to achieve) something beyond magnificent and something that will truly be imprinted forever. I could only imagine what you are feeling today. Though, I’m sure it’ll be five times the intensity as to how I’m feeling right now. All the lengths you went through to show love to them have come to fruition and I know it is such a fulfilling sentiment. I look up to every single one of you and hope to achieve at least half of what you’ve done for the boys.
To PH EXO-Ls, I may not have a lot of mutuals on Twitter & still get shy when talking to you but thank you for making me feel welcome and part of the family. I can attest as to how welcoming you are when I attended EXOrDIUM in Manila. Even when we don’t know each other’s names, most of you shared a smile and even carried on a conversation with me. Knowing each other wasn’t even a big deal. It felt like if you love EXO and it’s a done deal, we’re friends.
As I’ve written in my previous post about EXO, I have come to realize that EXO-Ls (KPop fans) are the most passionate set of fans I have ever encountered. For years, I’ve been searching for the fandom which can level with my passion and I haven’t found the perfect fit for it. But attending the concert back in February, confirmed my hunch. This was what I’ve been looking for.
This is it.
With EXO and EXO-Ls, I feel at home because I AM HOME.
To all the cynics and critics, thank you. Thank you for questioning the existence of their talents because surely it all the more added fuel to their fire and in return little by little diffuses your impressions by proving you wrong. Thank you for us, EXO-Ls, are reaping the benefits of this whole ordeal. Being gifted with talent isn’t enough, continuously honing it and pushing through limits are the best ways to go. We see the members pursuing acting, singing, composing, dancing, studies and other endeavors that we may not know of and being known in those specific fields. A realization to that are the numerous collaborations, advertisement campaigns, magazine covers, web dramas, movies, night time drama and more are being tapped, offered and acquired by the members. From year one projects until the present, you can pinpoint the distinctive growth each one of them has gone through.
To all the antis (Ha! You’re a special mention in this post, congrats!), thank you. With every single hurtful word you throw our way, my need to protect the boys double or triples. All the drags won’t shake my loyalty but will only make my love for EXO definite and even fiercer. Is it that hard to just support our respective favourites, stay in our lanes and appreciate music altogether?
To Kris, LuHan and Tao, thank you. Thank you for being a part of EXO. I could only wish I was there when you were still members of the group and be able to bask in our OT12. The three of you might have left the group but we’ll always have those few years worth of memories that we could look back on. We’ll treasure it. I really don’t dwell much on the what ifs, seeing how successful all three of you are now. I just wish all the very best for your careers and all the ventures you pursue in life.
Lastly, the reason why we are celebrating this day, EXO, thank you. Thank you for not giving up. Thank you for choosing to stay with us. Thank you for continuously making us happy, feel warm and loved. Thank you for inspiring us. Sometimes I would lay in bed and think, “What if I didn’t stumble upon EXO? What would my life be like?” and I come up with nothing. I just cannot imagine not stanning them. When? How? No matter what the specifics, I know that in this lifetime (or the next one) I was bound to become an EXO-L.
To be honest, it was Chanyeol’s visual that initially captured my attention. I thought I could just keep tabs and admire him as a silent fan. That’s it. But it wasn’t enough and my need to know more about him was the reason for me digging deeper and ultimately leading me to the information that he’s part of EXO.
I was familiar with the name of their group. I constantly hear and see articles about them. But I didn’t have any idea as to how popular and how they are such a household name in the Korean music industry. So their popularity didn’t even factored in when I decided that I would stan them. It was funny because what basically drove me to the point of saying “they are worth my time” was when I started watching their variety show, EXO’s Showtime. I was filled with happiness and really felt so warm while watching them. They captured my heart with their personalities, talents, how funny they are, the quirks of each member and just by looking at how they are as a group. The next thing I know, I was looking for their discography, listening to their music and watching Youtube videos of their performances. I stumbled upon their song “Don’t Go” and I got teary eyed with their emotionally-packed voices.
That was the moment when I knew why people are fussing over them.
That was the moment when I knew that I was hook, line and sinker for them.
EXO is a well-packaged group. They were the perfect combination of talents, visuals, charm and attitude and I cannot imagine if one of them didn’t make it to the group. Kim Min Seok, Kim Jun Myeon, Zhang Yixing, Byun Baek Hyun, Kim Jong Dae, Park Chan Yeol, Do Kyung Soo, Kim Jong In and Oh Se Hun were meant to be bonded together and form an exceptional group called, EXO.
When I was learning more about their group and reading award after award under their name, I was beyond amazed that they were able to tick off those feats considering the complications they’ve encountered. It actually endeared me more to them when I learned about the ups and downs in their career, how they successfully stood back up and brought their 110% in each and every performance after those stumbles. That says a lot about the core of their group. For a five-year old group the achievements they’ve accumulated are truly no joke. I may not have a first-hand experience on a lot of things when it comes to them but getting acquainted to it made me feel like I was there and it enveloped me with the immense feeling of being proud.
I know the boys are way too thankful for this day too. Just thinking of everything that we’ve witnessed from the side-lines, they were experiencing it front and center and it is a tough position to be in with having all eyes on them. With all the road blocks they’ve experienced, I bet they felt fleeting moments of tiredness, frustration and hopelessness in the past. But as they look at what they have right now, I know they’re fully satisfied and thankful for everything. One of the things they surely have to be thankful for is the friendship bond that they formed with each other which is something irreplaceable. Just like the bonds that we’ve formed with our fellow EXO-Ls and the ultimate bond we formed with them.
There were moments that I became hesitant if I’m going to do this for real and get into it because it felt like I’m way past my age of fangirling and I know KPop world can get toxic with all the fan wars happening. But when I look at EXO; I know without a doubt that they are worth my money, time, effort, love and everything.
They were easy to fall in love with.
They are so easy to love, get attach and be loyal to. I think it has to do with how humble, warm-hearted and genuine they are towards their fans and the people that surrounds them. Most of the times, my heart feels like it’s about to burst because of the wide range of emotions that I feel for them.
Never would I regret being an EXO-L.
When I’m old and grey, I know I’d look back on this with a smile on my face and see how a part of my youth (twenties, actually) was spent in bliss with EXO. I’m so blessed to be born and have lived in the same generation as them.
We are all blessed to witness this.
Cheers for five years and for more fruitful years to come, EXO and EXO-Ls! We’ll always be here for you and we’ll certainly continue to walk alongside with you, EXO.
We Are One. 엑소,사랑하자!