By Miggy Gimena
If there was one show that could've started our obsession with Asian dramas, it would be none other than Meteor Garden. The Taiwanese version (although the manga it was based from originated from Japan) defined our childhood. We copied the way they dressed, the way they styled their hair (braids and pineapple hair were so cool back then, admit it!) and we imagined our crushes walking down the halls in slow motion, as a cool group who owned (literally and figuratively) our schools.
With recent news that the iconic show will have a Taiwanese reboot slated for a 2018 release, we can't help but be hit with nostalgia and look back at the actors that we have rooted for for so long. We cried with Shan Cai, we were torn between Dao Ming Zi and Hua Ze Lei, we laughed with Mei Zuo, and our hearts melted at the sight of Xi Men. Long before K-Pop groups became popular, we were already stanning F4—with our own biases! So we can't help wonder, where are these men and woman that we used to stan now?
She was the only rose among the thorns. In Meteor Garden, Barbie Hsu as Shan Cai set the bar for heroines to fight back when it's needed. Back in the day, she was every kids and teens' spirit animal; she taught us that we shouldn't let anyone step on us. Now, the actress is married to Chinese businessman Wang Xiaofei with whom she has two children. She's announced before that she is putting her career on hold so she could focus on her family, and is currently enjoying motherhood as the couple raise their daughter Wang Xiyue, 3, and son Wang Xilin, 1. But no matter what happens she will always be Shan Cai in our hearts!
Meteor Garden's resident bad boy has changed a lot since his stint on the show. Gone are the bandannas on his head, and he also bid goodbye to the pints of gel that he once used to achieve his infamous pineapple hair. Now, Jerry Yan is like the Taiwanese Piolo Pascual—his looks keep getting better with age! The successful singer-actor, who has released a number of hit albums and headlined various Taiwanese dramas since the show ended in 2003, looks younger than ever, and the best thing about this is—HE STILL ISN'T MARRIED! We still have a fighting chance! LOL.
It's general knowledge that Barbie Hsu and Vic Zhou dated for three years, right? If you didn't know, then you can now revel in the fact that even if their characters didn't end up on the show, Vic and Barbie were once head over heels for each other IRL. Both are now happily married with their respective partners, and Vic is enjoying life as a father and husband while still balancing his schedule as a successful singer, model, and actor in Taiwan.
He's considered the quietest member of F4, preferring to shy away from the spotlight. Despite that, Ken still has a successful solo career across Asia. After Meteor Garden, one of his most notable works to Filipinos is starring in a local film in 2007 titled Batanes: Sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan with Iza Calzado. He made waves again in 2016 when he got married and had a mini F4 reunion with Jerry and Vaness—they even sang one of their hit songs, "Meteor Rain!"
Without a doubt Vanness' long, straight hair back in the day made you kilig, or it made you envious because, damn, his hair was fine! He might have had a playboy reputation on the show, but he's already tied down and loyal to her Singaporean wife, Arissa Cheo. Plus, he has had no qualms about sharing his faith and how God has changed his less than benevolent ways ever since he embraced Christianity in 2009. To this day, Vaness is a successful singer-actor, and we regularly see him because of his stint as a judge on AXN's Asia's Got Talent.
Did nostalgia hit you hard? While we've accepted that the Meteor Garden 2018 reboot belongs to the kids and teens of this generation, the original will always be the best for us and will always give us fond memories. What's your favorite Meteor Garden moment? Tell us in the comment section below!
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Banner photograph from Meteor Garden.