Before there was Captain Ri and Se-ri from Crash Landing on You, Kim Bok-joo and Joon Hyung from Weightlifting Fairy and PSJ from Itaewon Class, every millennial Filipina (those born in the 80s and 90s) screamed and fawned over F4 and Shan Cai from the hit TV series ‘Meteor Garden’.
It was certainly an era to remember in the Philippines when the Taiwanese drama first hit TV screens during the 2000s *Alexa play “Ni Yao De Ai” by Penny Tai*. 5:30 PM meant putting down anything you’re doing and opening the TV to follow the story of love and friendship between independent damsel Shan Cai and the F4 gang who will change the course of her life: Dao Ming Si (bad boy leader), Hua Ze Lei (second lead that everyone is secretly hoping to end up with Shan Cai), Mei Zuo (long hair guy, that’s it, that’s the tweet) and Xi Men (the flirty playboy everybody loves).
You can ask pretty much any 20-something Filipina if they know Meteor Garden and they will not only say yes, they’ll also reply with their favorite F4 guy!
Fast forward to today, we are still not done fangirling with the OG of C-dramas, which is why we look closely at our four favorite heartthrobs plus the girl of their dreams *or at least two of them* and see what they are up to today.
Barbie Hsu (Shan Cai)
Every Filipina who watched Meteor Garden probably wished to be Shan Cai at some point (we know we did!), as she is the love interest of the two cuties from F4 and eventually became a close friend of the boy group. Shan Cai’s bubbly personality did not just melt the hearts of the boys but the viewers as well.
Wondering where she is now? Barbie Hsu, now 45 years old, found her own happy ending after being married to entrepreneur Wang Xiaofei in 2010 (but not before being involved in a romantic relationship with one of the F4 boys in real life, which is a story we’ll save for another time lol!). This was not the end though as the two ended their marriage but Hsu found the love of her life three months later: her old time friend and previous lover, South Korean musician DJ Koo. The two are happily married until today.
Jerry Yan (Dao Ming Si)
Donning a turban and with his iconic intimidating stare, Dao Ming Si lives up to his reputation of being the bad boy of the group. It also proves that bad boys are also lucky in love as he is the one who successfully steals the heart of the show’s damsel, Shan Cai, but is he also lucky in real life?
Jerry Yan is still in the entertainment industry as he starred in the rom-com TV series Count Your Lucky Stars and Chinese TV program Call Me By Fire. In terms of love life, the stars (or the meteors) are yet to align for Yan as he is still single right now at 45 years old. He has previously dated two stars, Chiling Lin and Karen Mok, but both eventually ended. Don’t worry though, we’ll be on the lookout for any news that he is dating someone new, so ready your tissues for tears of joy (or heartbreak!)
Vic Zhou (Hua Ze Lei)
Are you guilty of falling for a sadboy? Don’t worry, we won’t judge! We also fell in love with a sadboy ourselves in the name of Hua Ze Lei. His puppy eyes and soft demeanor surely captured the hearts of millions as we all rooted for him and Shan Cai. Second lead syndrome is as real as it gets though, because it’s still bad boy leader Dao Ming Si who snags the heart of Shan Cai. We’re still happy for you Hua Ze Lei! (are we really though? *cries in second lead syndrome*)
Don’t feel sorry though as his career is at an all time high as well! Vic was nominated and won Best Actor in Taiwan’s prestigious Golden Bell Awards in 2013. He starred in numerous dramas after Meteor Garden such as Black & White, The Flame’s Daughter and Poetry of the Song Dynasty which are period films.
We know what you really want to ask though: is he in a relationship? Well, we are happy to announce that his loss in love stopped at Meteor Garden as he is happily married right now to his girlfriend of four years, Taiwanese actress Reen Yu. They tied the knot in 2015 and are blessed with a baby girl after a year. Aw, now we’re really happy for you Hua Ze Lei!
Ken Chu (Xi Men)
We all know Xi Men: the serious kuya of the group who keeps all the other boys in check with their love life, fights, friendship and pretty much everything else. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies as it was in Meteor Garden for Xi Men though as he faced his own battles in real life.
In 2017, he was cyberbullied for his weight gain and to everyone’s surprise, he announced his medical condition called fibromyalgia that was the reason behind it. Nevertheless, he overcame this through the help of his loving wife, Chinese actress Vivien Han. Today, Chu can be watched in his Youtube channel where you can see him not just as a sweet husband but as an adorable fur parent as well! We love to see it!
Vanness Wu (Mei Zuo)
Last but not least is the sporty guy of F4, Mei Zuo. With a permanent playful smirk on his face, this guy never fails to cheer everyone up with his friendly banter and funny remarks. Mei Zuo definitely prophesied with that smile as his successful career skyrocketed to the meteors.
Out of all the F4 members, it might be Vanness Wu who you’ve seen around social media or on TV for quite some time. This is because he is the most active in Western and Asian entertainment, case in point: Vanness being a judge for America’s Got Talent alongside Spice Girl member Melanie C., Indonesian singer Anggun and producer David Foster. He is also successful in the music industry as he has launched a number of albums in China, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. The fashionista in him also landed Vanness endorsements from big brands such as Levi’s and Reebok.
As for his love life though, he follows the footsteps of Jerry Yan and is currently single. He’s been focused on his career after being divorced from Singaporean heiress Arissa Cheo in 2019.