Thousands of Filipino fans showed their love for K-Pop when they flocked to the Mall of Asia grounds on Saturday, Jan. 19, for the Dream K-Pop Fantasy Concert.
Idol groups Girls’ Generation, Infinite, EXO (EXO K and EXO M), U-Kiss, Tasty and Tahiti wowed Manila as they performed their biggest hits before their Filipino fans.
Like in most K-Pop concerts, fans were at the venue early in the morning and waited until the afternoon before they could get in. Of course, it wouldn’t be a complete K-pop concert experience without fans bringing in banners and light sticks.
Hosted by K-Pop enthusiast Kring Elenzano, the concert also showcased performances by local cover groups.
Indeed, the concert was a dream come true for many fans because the groups, except for U-Kiss, were visiting Manila for the first time.
Infinite: Showmanship despite technical glitches
The seven-member boy band Infinite opened the show on a high note with “The Chaser.” Infinite members Hoya, L, Sunggyu, Dongwoo, Woohyun, Sungyeol and Sungjong charmed their fans with “Before the Dawn,” “Paradise,” “In the Summer,” “Be Mine” and “Nothing’s Over.”
Fans were happy to see Infinite H’s Hoya and Dongwoo, who arrived on the concert day itself because they were busy promoting their new single in Korea.
There were a few technical glitches—the music stopped a few times and the volume of the mics was too low—but the group carried on and demonstrated their showmanship and professionalism. The fans, of course, cheered loudly and made their fan chants to support their K-pop idols.
Tasty: Confident and charismatic
K-Pop duo Tasty interacted well with their fans because they spoke English more proficiently.
Twins Jung Daeryong and Jung Soryeong showed so much confidence and charisma on stage with their songs “You Know Me” and “Solo.”
U-Kiss: A special spot for Manila in their hearts
U-Kiss seems to have made Manila their second home as they have been here four times already. Still, members Eli, Kevin, Dongho, Kiseop, Soohyun and Hoon received loud cheers and support from their fans.
Kevin told the audience that Manila would always have a special spot in their hearts as this is where they had their first concert.
“Every time we go here, the fans give us so much love. The energy is always very high,” Eli and Kevin told their fans.
Tahiti makes their international debut in Manila
Girl group Tahiti, who was making their international debut, was touched by the warm response of their Filipino fans.
In fact, a few of the members of the group were seen teary-eyed during their last song.
Aside from performing their singles, Jisoo, Jungbin, Minjae, Ari, Misu and Jinhee also did the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” and Psy’s “Gangnam Style.”
EXO sings an OPM hit
One of the concert’s highlights was EXO’s touching rendition of Yeng Constantino’s “Hawak-kamay.” Many were moved by the fact that now, it was the turn of K-Pop idols to sing an OPM song.
EXO’s Kris played percussion, while Chanyeol and Lay played the guitars. Other members Kai, Suho, Baekhyun, D.O., Sehun, Xiumin, Luhan, Chen and Tao roamed the stage as they sung the OPM hit.
“Learning a new language is fun. It’s our first time learning Filipino. We’ll go here whenever you call us, Please continue loving us,” the members said.
The very charming Chanyeol conveyed a message to their fans in Filipino, quoting the lyrics to Yeng’s song: “Laging isipin may makakasama ka.”
The 12-member EXO, who went onstage amidst shrieks of ecstatic fans, also performed “Mama,” “History,” “Open Arms” and “What is Love.”
Yeng later gave the group a shout-out, tweeting: “Thank you EXO for singing my song Hawak Kamay... :) God bless all of you.. :) #kilig.”
Girls’ Generation finally makes Manila
Another high point of the show was the appearance of Girls’ Generation, who took a long while to visit Manila.
The group behind the hit songs “Gee,” “Genie” and “Boys,” made the long wait worth it for their loyal Sones (fans).
Although the group was in the midst of promoting their new single “I Got a Boy” in Korea, they didn’t show any hint of fatigue, despite arriving in Manila just few hours before the concert.
“It’s so sweet to see all of you here. We thought you’ll never come. Thanks for giving us so much love,” Tiffany said.
Jessica also sung a line from Nina’s “Someday,” which she previously performed in a Korean variety show. Girls’ Generation performed their hits “Gee,” “Genie,” “Boys,” “I Got a Boy” and “Dancing Queen,” as the fans danced and sang along.
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