The Hammingtons Go Naughty and Cutie in First PH Fan Meeting: a Fun Fan Experience
The Australian-Korean superstar family who gained fame and recognition from the show, ‘The Return of Superman’ recently met and bonded with their Filipino fans last July 17 at the New Frontier Theater for THE HAMMINGSTONS IN JUANDERLAND: FAN MEETING IN MANILA. The Manila stop is one of their Asian tour spots and lucky fans like me witnessed how adorable the Hammington family is in the flesh.
Fans screamed at the entrance of Sam Appa while William and Bentley entered cutely with their pajamas on. The Hammingtons greeted the fans and posed for a photo opportunity.
The first part of the fan meeting is catchup with the Hammingtons. Visiting Manila is a first for the Hammingtons and Sam Appa said that it’s been a great stay so far. He already tried the Sinigang na Bangus and he liked it so much. When asked about the inclusion of Manila in their Asian tour, Sam Appa said that Filipino fans are very welcoming and, “We received so much love from the Filipino fans since the beginning.” He added that “We appreciate you all, and without you, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. This is our opportunity to thank you in person and hope to meet as many of our fans as possible.” Just then, fans screamed even louder. The reason why Ben was seen covering his ears. The energy and love of the Filipino fans in the hall for the family were unmatched. Bentley and William then showered the fans with finger hearts and cute poses. As a token of gratitude, the Hammingtons were gifted with traditional Filipino costumes—a Barong Tagalog for Sam Appa and Kamisa de Tsino for WilBengers.
The Hammingtons were also asked about their recent projects such as their animated superhero film entitled, “Wilbengers: Suspicious Camping Commotion.” Sam Appa expressed how the process went beyond expectations but at the same time, it was fun to be able to experience such work. He also teased fans that a live-action film—which it should be supposedly—is to be considered. In Hammington's new variety program, “Hammingtons’ Dream Closet” wherein the kids will take up various professions, William shared he enjoyed being a model the most. He then gave fans a cute runway walk featuring a sleeping pose at the end to match his pajama look. As for Bentley, he enjoyed being a zookeeper…and he liked cleaning the poo off the elephant. Such a cute answer from Ben! The interview with Sam Appa was quite something, but the real showstoppers were the boys playing around the air hockey station. You can't take your eyes off them because of their cute antics.
As a prep for the classic newspaper dance game, Ben and William showed us their moves first to the tune of Jessi’s Zoom. The kids were so adorable imitating the zoom poses of the choreography. A lucky chosen fan from Singapore—which was their previous stop in the Asian tour—played alongside William, while Sam Appa and Ben paired up for the game. William and the lucky fan won the game and Ben could be seen almost crying with the loss. They proceeded to play air hockey next so Ben could have a shot at his victory dance. Two lucky challengers from the audience were also chosen to play against the kids. Both William and Ben won against the fans in a commanding 2-0 victory. The kids danced to the tune of BTS’ IDOL for their celebration and Ben just couldn’t stop until he was ushered by the staff backstage.
Host Sunny Kim chatted with a fan spotted by Sam Appa earlier. Joshua from Makati brought the dolls from the Hammingtons’ animated film. Sam Appa included Joshua’s love and dedication earlier as one of the reasons why they visited Manila. Sam Appa said that as far as he knows, the dolls aren’t available outside Korea, yet Joshua had his hands on them and that’s why he is grateful for the love of Filipino fans. The fans also gave Pinoy nicknames to William and Ben. William was given ‘Kulet’ and Bentley with ‘Bentong’ which earned a laugh from the audience.
For the second segment, the Hammingtons tried Filipino food recommended by fans while wearing the traditional costumes they were given earlier. William liked everything—banana cue, orange juice, lechon, and chicken adobo—except for the champorado. His food descriptions were so innocently adorable that you cannot hate his comments and Filipino food slanders. Meanwhile, Sam Appa couldn’t get enough of the lechon as he took another bite before it was taken away. He said that it’s one of the most tender pork he’s ever had in life. I guess it’s another win for lechon then! I reckon he liked the turon more than the banana cue which he had the day before. Sam Appa said his favorite was chicken adobo. Ben, though he did not try any dish, loved the juice that William was praising. Surprisingly, they loved the orange juice from a branded manufacturer.
The next portion of the fan meeting is discovering Filipino tourist spots and words. The Hammingtons expressed they would like to visit Boracay, Cebu, and Palawan next. Tagaytay and El Nido, Palawan were also recommended should they come back soon. Host Sunny Kim also taught the Hammingtons some Filipino words. They learned ‘pogi (handsome), makulit (naughty), and mahal ko kayo (I love you).’ Host Sunny Kim taught the kids to say, “Makulit ako.” When Sam Appa asked its meaning, he laughed hard and asked Ben to say it again because it’s very fitting. I couldn’t count how many times Ben randomly said he’s makulit in the cutest way possible while also doing adorably silly actions.
The last segment was a snack shopping spree for WilBengers. The kids cutely demonstrated their sprints to show us how fast they will be in the game. An audience member will help the kids shop for the snacks with their respective pictures on for 30 seconds. The most number of correct snacks shopped will be the winner. Ben won in a 14-8 lead with his cute little cart as opposed to William's big bayong. The kids designed a card for the lucky audience member as a gift.
Before the fan meeting ended, Sam Appa prepared a gift for the audience. Lucky fans chosen randomly by WilBengers received an exclusive beanie that it’s not for sale but only given to hockey players’ family members and close ties. Of course, I did not get one because I’m kind of far from the stage and the kids’ throwing strength could only reach the front. Nonetheless, it was fun having them in flesh and witnessing their silly antics. For their parting message, Sam Appa once again thanked the fans for coming and he couldn’t contain his tears. He said that it means so much to him since the last three years weren't easy for everyone. He ended it with, “I appreciate all your support.”
A second little media con was prepared for the media peeps after the fan meeting. Sam Appa shared that they already produced content for their YouTube, ‘The WillBen Show’ while they will be away for two weeks to visit their Nana in Australia right after the Manila event. Sam Appa also teased us that content with K-pop idols is in the works and hopefully will be pushed through soon. Before they said goodbye, Sam Appa was asked about how the fan meeting was today. He again became emotional as he expressed his gratitude towards the Filipino fans who continuously shower them with love and so much support. Sam Appa said, “I am overwhelmed. It means so much to me and I’ll never forget this day. And hopefully, we’ll get the opportunity to do it again in the future.”
In addition, THE HAMMINGTONS IN JUANDERLAND PH: FAN MEETING IN MANILA has partnered with Good Neighbors Philippines, a humanitarian NGO that provides educational assistance to underprivileged kids from Kinder to Grade 12. They are kindly asking fans to donate the gifts to the said charity instead.