Local Tinseltown’s emerging ‘oppa’ – Manila Standard


Don’t let his K-Pop looks deceive you. Despite being tagged as a dead ringer for Goblin stars Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook, actor-turned-director/producer David Chua is very much Pinoy—and proud of it.

Blame it on his long disheveled hair, chinky eyes, glass complexion, and sassy fashion sense. 

It’s a look that definitely spells capital ‘K,’ a shifting fashion paradigm that has become a pervasive trend among some of today’s pop superstars, including the globally renowned Korean superband, BTS.

Actor-turned-director/producer David Chua

Like it or not, the oppa look is slowly overshadowing the much-clichéd “tall, dark and handsome» stereotype as the benchmark for male fashion, even in Manila›s temperate climes where most of these en vogue staples seem impractical for everyday wear.

Even before he earned the tag as local showbiz’s emerging oppa, David proudly clarifies that he had already defined his signature fashion statement even long before the K-Pop trend started, and even before Gong Yoo and his ilk became the rage.

He recalls, “When I first joined showbiz, I recall I was medyo too clean-cut, with side-parted hair and all. I was projecting Tom Cruise for a bit. But then I thought, I surely don’t look American.”

“And then, the Korean trend became the in thing. It found me! Haha! I must admit that I identify with it because I do have strong Asian features. I’m inspired by it, but not really taken over. I still prefer to be known as myself and not some look-alike.”

David Chua side by side with K-Drama superstar Gong Yoo (right)

“I like clean, simple lines and colors for clothing to balance off my rugged head of hair. I identify more with the fashion of K-Drama actors more than K-Pop performers. I wish I could wear more of those turtlenecks, jackets, and trenches. Haha! Unfortunately, it’s hot here.” 

It’s not surprising that David happens to be a self-confessed fan, not just of K-Pop and K-dramas, but also of most Korean art and cinematic forms.

He adds, “Just as the world has discovered and gotten hooked on them, I am an admirer of the originality of their story plots and the unpredictability of their twists and outcomes. Think Goblin, Train to Busan, or Parasite. Even their romantic movies and series are fresh and memorable. Crash Landing On You, My Sassy Girl, World of Married Couples are just a few that viewers have gotten obsessed with.»

Despite his strong Korean references, David is wise enough not to ride on its coattails, and refuses to be seen as a mere copycat of a passing fad. Read full story on manilastandard.net.

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