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


Doesn’t David Chua (left, and extreme right) look a lot like Goblin star Gong Yoo? (middle)

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.

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.”

“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.

He asserts, “Well, I never aspired to be just some copycat. I play roles with as much authenticity as possible. All my roles in the 30-plus TV shows I’ve done with ABS-CBN were hardly copies of anything or anyone. And I’ve won an award for something I believe I portrayed uniquely, and am thankful for the recognition. It tells me I’m on the right track.”

But still, David can’t deny that he’s such a big Gong Yoo fanboy.

He admits unabashedly, “I’m such a big fan. I think I’ve watched his series Goblin three times. Works for me each time. It’s my dream to play a Pinoy adaptation of Goblin. Great story, great acting, so memorable.”

“He’s so talented. His facial expressions are so truthful and natural and they’re never the same. He’s versatile and good-looking too.”

Given Goblin‘s popularity among Pinoy televiewers, does David feel that there’s a strong clamor for a Pinoy Goblin reboot with him as the resident oppa?

He exclaims, “Definitely! All the elements of what Pinoy televiewers want is in this storyline: romance, fantasy, good versus evil, a supernatural being in love with an ordinary mortal, ultimate sacrifice in the end, unrequited love.”

Because of his recent hands-on training and immersion as director/producer, David feels that he and his Dark Carnival Productions team are more than capable of pulling off a convincing Goblin remake.

“That would be a dream come true,” says the rumored boyfriend of current Miss Eco International PH contender Kelley Day. “It’s a big idea worth pitching to any of our leading networks, and as soon as we clear all the necessary licensing issues, that would be a challenging project to mount. I would definitely love to play Goblin’s role! It’s always been my big dream to portray the role of Goblin or the Grim Reaper!”

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