Winner, iKON Heat Up Manila with Back-To-Back Concerts

Filipino Inner Circles and iKONICs were given a double treat as YG Entertainment’s next generation of boy groups wrapped up their first back-to-back solo concerts at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last November 11 and 12.

Winner and iKON brought the house down with their performances at the Manila leg of their “Everywhere” and “Continue” tour, respectively.

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It’s been more than a month since their unforgettable stages, but many are surely not yet getting over with their PCDs. Below are the exciting details and concert experiences from our Krew members Jean and June.

CONCERT PREP

Jean:  The only thing that came to my mind was the fact that I needed to be at the concert, no matter what! I rushed all my work before the concert but I still wasn’t able to finish them all. Still, I pushed through because I don’t know when they are going back to PH.

I just like how versatile they are because aside from music, the members are also talented in arts, modeling, acting, and more. If loving them means sacrificing, then I guess the 2 AM bus ride from Pampanga to Manila was not so bad after all.

June: When I first heard that they will have a concert here in Manila, I felt overly excited and a bit anxious for I know I will have to master the Kpop fans’ golden rule of #iponing. Come the ticketing day, I wasn’t able to buy one for me, as in nothing from any of the seat sections. However, days passed and a co-iKONIC sold her ticket to me (hallelujah!), and my almost a month of ticket hunting come to fruition.

Honestly, I am not the biggest iKONIC there is (multifandom alert!) But I can proudly say that I have been “stanning” the group even before their debut. For K-variety show junkies, you’ll understand if I say I have been rooting for Team B since the “WIN: Who Is Next” and the “Mix and Match” eras.

SEAT SECTION EXPERIENCE

Jean: It was my first time to purchase Gen Ad (because I’m poor huhu) and contrary to the popular belief, the said section has some nice view. Moreover, I really like the spirit of the people who were there because I felt such amazing connection when we screamed and joined other fans in singing with the band.

Everything was magical except for the people who ended up not following the seating arrangement and blocked the view of other fans by standing in front while taking videos. I really hope those few will learn discipline and respect on their next concert experience.

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June: Lowerbox B was not my first choice but I am still thankful that I caught the “Continue” tour, and experienced the hype during the concert. I had a good view of the main and extended stages, and I was also near a screen. Actually, I entered the arena 15 minutes before the show started. Way before showtime, almost all seats are occupied already and the fan chants of iKONICs every time a music video is being played was just giving me goosebumps.

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SET LIST

Jean: I loved that they started the show with “Empty”. After the whole setlist was done, all I wanted to have was to hear more of them!!! I wish we could’ve had more time to process everything. They performed their hit singles such as “Everyday”, “Really Really”, “Island”, “Love Me Love Me”, and “Don’t Flirt”. I also liked their solo stages and to be honest, I don’t know who my bias is anymore after the concert. But definitely, Hoony’s solo stage really caught my eye (if you know what I mean).

Indeed, it was a feel-good concert and at the same time explosive. I just went out of the arena feeling so happy and proud that I made the right decision. I really hope they will come back! YG better take care of them because they are all so precious.

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June: In terms of the set list, I would say the concert was satisfying. Not too short, not too long, but of course, I wish we had more time with them. The boys opened the show with “Bling Bling,” “Sinosijak,” and “Rhythm Ta.” The vocal line including Jay, Song, DK, Ju-ne, and Chan sang “Perfect.” Rappers B.I and Bobby also had their solo stages. iKON sang most of their most-favorite songs like the iconic “iKON is coming to town!,” “B-Day,” “Goodbye Road,” “Killing Me,” and the much awaited “Love Scenario.” We were hoping for them to sing “Climax” but I guess we have to wait for their next concert here.

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UNFORGETTABLE MOMENTS

Jean: I love that they were like little kids when they talked about Jollibee and how good it was. But what made me laugh every now and then was Mino’s version of “sigaw” which he pronounced as “shigaw”. He did it repeatedly, it was so funny!!! On a more serious note, I felt indescribable kilig when they said, “Namiss namin kayo”.

I appreciated Jinu so much because he had the most practiced lines in saying Filipino sentences as opposed to others who memorized or read some phrases. But don’t get me wrong, I felt electrified by all of their messages.

I also absolutely fell in love with their funny video skit where all of them imagined what their futures would be like after they find the treasure. It was silly but it had the WINNER trademark on it. But what made the night more heartwarming was their appreciation of the fan project (btw, good job fellow ICs) and how everyone in the arena sang to the chorus of “Movie Star” while all the cellphone lights became like twinkling stars in the night. All of them took their time to hold the banners and really gave those who were at the concert an awesome fan service.

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June: First of all, Jay was so EXTRA that night. It’s not a secret that he stayed in Davao for some time before, but coming from his own words, that he has a special tie with the Philippines, ugh surreal! Double B prepared a “Love Scenario” battle and when Bobby lost, he shouted “Saranghae!” without his microphone. I bet people in the GA heard that clearly. I love Jay, he is my bias ever since Day-0, but Bobby, the way he interacts with the fans, and his “Tendae” performance, I am calling it, he captured half my heart.

The boys also mastered some Filipino phrases to make us kilig. Jay adorably told us “Sakin ka na lang!” during their “My Type.”  Ju-ne showed his abs! Song boasted “Pinaghirapan ko pagkagwapo ko!” iKONICs showed their love to the boys by filling the arena with rainbow lights. The bright red color of Konbats and flashing yellow fabrics mimic a burning fire as iKONICs jumped and sang to “B-Day.” The boys also asked the fans to put their phones down so they could see their faces. It was a moment worthy of being treasured forever for both iKON and Filipino iKONICs. Everything about the concert was the highlight for me!

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WAY AHEAD

Jean: More blessings. Next album. Next concert. Basta, wherever they go, I will always be there for them and I just hope that their direction in the near future will always include the four (4) of them together!!! Everywhere Tour was astonishing and I know the next will exceed expectations.

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June: iKON did not disappoint and made their first Manila concert really worth the wait. Their passion and hard work transcend to their fans, and I definitely felt that. The boys obviously had fun as much as we do. I’m sure their next tour and concert in the Philippines will be another sold out.

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Written By KREW MEMBERS: Jean Singian and  June Olivar

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Will Travel For Fandom: What You Should Know Before Making Your Dream Trip Happen

Ever wondered what it’s like to fly out of the country for the love of fandom? Here, we give you the lowdown on traveling for what you’re most passionate about – K-Pop!

 

It’s not impossible.

The first thing you should know about traveling for fandom is that it’s not impossible. If mutuals on your feed can do it, then so can you! As cheesy as it sounds, believing that you will be able to travel to see your faves someday will motivate you to achieve your goal.

Traveling while achieving some #FanGoals sounds like a great idea!

 

You don’t have to be rich.

This is probably the biggest misconception of most fans. While traveling will always involve money, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be rich to be able to do so. Being wise with your spending habits is the key to feed your travel fund. For more helpful tips on saving up for fandom, read this: IPONING 101: The K-Pop Stan’s Guide To Saving Up.

Former Krew member Lei, a Melody, travels whenever she can to support BTOB. “I work two jobs. I scrimp on other things like clothes, shoes, bags, and others. I’ve learned to let go of them. I use just one bag for work and don’t buy a new one until it’s broken. I’m also my family’s breadwinner. I cover my brother’s tuition, our house loan, and other expenses. It’s hard to balance life with fangirling, but if you really want to, there’s always a way.”

 

Don’t be afraid to travel alone.

For some, especially first-time travelers, traveling alone can be more daunting than exciting.

If you’re going on a solo fan pilgrimage and the nerves are catching up on you, go and find ways to get some company during your stay. Book a shared dorm at a hostel and make friends with your roommates. Chances are, one of them is also a K-Pop fan!

I opted to stay at a hostel in the zippy neighborhood of Itaewon. There were six people (me included) in the room I occupied, and there was not a day that went by that I didn’t have a K-Pop fan for a roommate. The first one was a huge Wannable from Taiwan and another, who came later, was a Chinese NCTizen.

You can also check on mutuals if any of them will be in Korea around the same time as you or search on SNS if there are fans who are also looking for a concert buddy on D-Day. Of course, you still have to be cautious of who you talk to online, so run a thorough check on their profiles and never disclose any of your sensitive information to them. If you don’t want to fuss over looking for a companion, you can simply make new friends at the event!

 

Be smart. Avoid scams.

The situation: Tickets to the concert or event you wish to attend sold out in a flash. Don’t panic! Before resorting to resellers, wait it out and revisit the ticketing website after a few days. Some people may have cancelled their tickets, which you can now avail.

Ms. Nicole, the Public Relations Officer of KCC, scored tickets to G-Dragon’s Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour in Seoul after slots re-opened, due to people cancelling their ticket purchases.
G-Dragon Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour in Seoul

Also, it’s best to have your name printed on the ticket, as some organizers are stricter than others and will definitely check if you personally bought the ticket you’re holding. There have been instances when fans who bought from resellers were denied entry to events, since the name on the ticket they have doesn’t match with the ID they presented.

Now, if resellers are your only hope, check on their legitimacy before paying for the ticket. Visit their page and read reviews of customers who have purchased from them. Are the reviews positive? Negative? Mixed? Questionable? You may also drop the reseller a message to strike a chat with them. Are they accommodating? Do they sound trustworthy? Are they the type who’d be open to price negotiations? These are questions you have to ask yourself when purchasing a ticket from a reseller.

Here’s a clever technique Krew member Dawn used to check the legitimacy of a reseller’s claims: “I gave the the reseller a condition. I asked her to send me pictures of her holding the ticket next to a glass of water just to make sure that she actually has the ticket and that she’s not just fooling me into buying a ticket that does not exist.”

Fansigns are a bit more complicated to get through; however, buying in bulk will give you higher chances of getting a fansign pass, so be ready to shell out a chunk of your money, as trying your luck at fansign lotteries can get extremely costly.

Ms. Pao, KCC’s Events Coordinator, suggests buying in stores that are not near the city center for increased odds of winning in the fansign lottery. She met her ultimate idol Kim Jaejoong at a fansign event in Korea in 2013.

 

Timing? Play it by ear.

Ms. Nicole, a Hottest, didn’t miss the chance to be part of 2PM’s 6Nights Concert, just before members Taecyeon and Jun. K enlisted for Korea’s mandatory military service.

Needless to say, the best time to travel for fandom is when your fave group is holding a series of concerts, celebrating their anniversary, or making a comeback. But it’s not everyday these happen, so it would be smart of you to review your bias group’s past schedules, see if there’s a noticeable pattern in their activities, then plan your trip accordingly.

I just really wanted to be in Seoul for the anniversaries of my two favorite groups – SHINee (25 May) and SEVENTEEN (26 May). I’m glad I got to celebrate these special days in the company of fellow Shawols and Carats.

Any avid K-Pop stan would know that some events are announced out of the blue, so always stay tuned for event updates from entertainment companies, official SNS pages of the group you follow, and reputable news sites.

Here’s a tip: Be on the lookout for events happening on the dates you chose to travel. I was beyond thrilled when it was announced that Day6 and Nell would be holding separate concerts at the 2018 Seoul Jazz Festival (SJF), which fell on the first weekend of my trip last May. While SJF wasn’t the main reason why I went to Seoul, attending it definitely made my visit even more memorable. Never did I think I would see two of my favorite Korean bands perform full concert sets live on the same day!

There are some fans who wouldn’t book plane tickets until they score tickets to the event they want to attend. But if you’ve already bought return tickets and no event falls on the dates you’ve chosen, don’t be discouraged! There are a lot of fun activities for K-Pop fans that you can try on your trip like taking a walking tour of the entertainment agencies’ offices (Who knows? You might be able to spot a celebrity!), taking a stroll down the K-Star Road in Gangnam and snapping a pic with the Gangnamdol of your bias group, singing your heart out at a noraebang, and dining at an idol-owned or idol-themed restaurants and cafés among many others!

 

JYP Entertainment’s former office building in Gangnam. The agency has just relocated to a new HQ in Gangdong-gu.
The K-Star Road is home to a line of “GangnamDols” – statues erected in honor of some of the most popular K-Pop acts today.
Take a bite of these sweet artist cupcakes sold at the SUM Café in SMTOWN@coexartium

 

Being part of the official fanclub of your bias group has its perks.

If you’re dead set on visiting Korea to participate in your bias groups’ activities, you might want to consider signing up for the official fanclub. Every group has their own recruitment period, but most happen in the first half of the year, when things are just about to pick up steam.

Some of the advantages that official fanclub members have are being able to access exclusive content in the Fancafe, getting first dibs on artist merchandise and certain event tickets (including concerts and fan meetings), being prioritized at music show recordings, and more!

I capped off my recent Seoul trip at 17’s Cut, an exhibit organized by Pledis Entertainment to commemorate SEVENTEEN’s third anniversary and to showcase the artwork of members Mingyu and The8 (Xu Minghao). The event was announced a few days before my trip, and its opening day coincided with my last full day in Seoul. As an official Carat, I got to participate in the preselling period. Ticketing was still intense, though, and tickets for my chosen day sold out in a minute! I ended up extending my trip, since I scored slots beyond the duration of my intended stay in Korea.

 

Widen your horizons.

Sure, South Korea is the mecca of K-Pop, but it’s not the only place where you can experience the hype of your fandom while traveling. Every year, countless K-Pop concerts and events happen around the world, some of which you can attend for cheap and visa-free too!

The first time I traveled for fandom, I flew to Taiwan for SHINee. I was a K-Pop newbie when they kicked off their fifth world tour in Seoul during the second half of 2016 and I knew nothing about how ticketing went abroad, so I missed a couple of their stops. By early 2017, I was getting hopeless. Although I saw them at One K Global Peace Concert in Manila, all I could think about back then was how I had to see them in a solo show before any of them enlisted in the military, which I knew would be soon. So when it was announced that they would come to Taipei in June last year, I didn’t dare miss it. Not one bit do I regret taking that trip. It was the last time I saw all five members of my first love in K-Pop share a stage live.

Dawn, a die-hard EXO-L, on a post-concert high in Thailand. “Attending an EXO concert in Korea is the dream, but airfare is too expensive and I’m really worried about being denied a visa. Availing the S.M. Global Package wasn’t an option either, as there’s no guarantee that I will get a visa. So following friends’ recommendations, I went to The EXO’rDIUM in Bangkok, and it was really fun! I got to experience everything I wanted at an EXO concert: lightsticks changing colors, water effects for certain stages like “Light Saber” and “White Noise”, and, for the first time, Zhang Yixing! I couldn’t ask for more.”

Lei meeting her ultimate bias, BTOB’s Ilhoon, in Japan. I was supposed to leave Japan after a week of attending BTOB promotions, but I missed my plane. I had even said goodbye to Ilhoon already, so he was taken by surprise when he saw me again at Tower Records’ polaroid event. I was really happy, since we were wearing outfits of the same colour and he initiated a heart pose!”

 

This is YOUR trip.

“Sayang pera!” “Di naman yan praktikal!” “Puro ka K-Pop!”

Those who travel for fandom, especially for K-Pop, are often met with snide remarks from people who have never felt a strong urge to take a trip for something they are truly passionate about. Don’t let what they say spoil your plans. First and foremost, they’re not paying for your trip. You worked (and dreamed) hard enough to deserve this, so go and have fun!

Traveling for fandom is more than just seeing your faves staging a concert. It’s also an opportunity for you to widen your worldview, heighten your appreciation for other cultures, connect with people from different walks of life, and experience something out of the ordinary.

 

Don’t rush it.

If things around you aren’t favorable at the moment, don’t force yourself into taking a trip that might compromise your academics, your job, your financial state, or even your safety and security.

Travel only when you’re completely ready and able, so you can make the best out of your trip.

 

PS.

If you need some advice on traveling for fandom that you can’t find here, don’t hesitate to drop me a message on Twitter (@andybidibidis_) or Instagram (@lilili.right.here). I’d be more than happy to help you! 🙂

 

Words by Krew member Andy Flores | Photos from Andy Flores, Lei Reyes, Nicole Del Rosario, Dawn Naval, and Paola Ebora

Brimming talents featured at the 2018 Pinoy K-pop Star

Not even an orange nor a red storm signal warning from NDRRMC could stop K-pop fans from supporting their favorite performers and contestants as they poured inside the venue of this year’s Pinoy Kpop Star competition held at Samsung Hall, SM Aura last July 22, 2018.

Despite the chilly weather, the audience warmed up the event by filling every corner of the hall with loud cheers, supporting all the contestants and performers. Dance Choreographer and Artist Coach, Vincent Igno, hosted the event which started around five in the afternoon.

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Several guests were present in the event including Korea Ambassador Han Dong-man, who started his Opening Remarks with few Filipino phrases in which he delivered in an almost fluent Filipino accent. He talked about the 20 years of diplomatic relationship between South Korea and the Philippines and how he witnessed the Korean Wave become widely accepted in the country, mentioning few worldwide favorite groups and personalities lately such as EXO, BTS, Momoland, and PSY.

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Performances (4)

Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano was also present and gave her Honorary Speech, which talks about the friendly relationship between South Korea and the Philippines, the increasing number of Korean nationals in the country, as well as the massive interest of Filipinos towards Korean culture.

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Special Guest and Hanbok Traveler Kwon Mi Ru was also spotted at the event, offering free on-the-spot chibi portraits of the attendees.

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Kpop Dance Diva, Dasuri Choi; PULP Live World Vice President, Happee Sy-Go; PKCI Vice President, Jesmah Mananquil; Territory lead for Asia Pacific and Canada GMA International, Virna Canete; and KCC Director, Mr. Lee Jincheol were also present in the event as panel of judges.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCES

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Showcasing the talent which made them win last year, 2017 Pinoy Kpop Star Performance Category Grand Champion Volo Pro Veritas opened the stage for Performance Category competition as they performed their winning choreography of Blood, Sweat, Tears by BTS.

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Trained under a Korean Entertainment Company, ShowBT Philippines’ first boy group SB19 delivered a special performance featuring two of their original songs Tilaluha and LG (Love Goes) from their yet to be released album. Much like in Kpop, fans of SB19 showed their support by singing fanchants and raising banners while the group performs on stage.

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Event host, Vincent Igno, also claimed the spotlight for a while as he danced to Rainism by Rain and Lip n Hip by Hyuna.

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2015 Pinoy Kpop Star Second Place winner in Vocal Category, Val John, also performed an original song titled Giliw and a dance performance with Lethal Dose and Marmalade.

CONTEST PROPER

Out of hundreds who sent their audition videos online, only ten groups and individuals on each category are lucky enough to compete against each other in the Grand Finals and only one from Performance Category and one from Vocal Category will be representing the Philippines in the online semi-finals of the 2018 K-POP World Festival in Changwon, South Korea.

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MIX’IN’s dance performance on WJSN’s Dreams Come True, and Venisse Nicole’s vocal performance on Wind Song by Sohyang has led them into bagging the Grand Prize of 20,000 PHP and will be representing the Philippines in the online semi-finals of the 2018 K-POP World Festival.

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Winners in Performance Category were (K)-Idle (2nd Place), Kaiju X (1st Place), and Mix’in (Grand Winner); and John Paul Manuel (2nd Place), Sandra Dela Cruz (1st Place), and Venisse Nicole-Siy (Grand Winner) for Vocal Category.

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Other participants

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Performance Category 

Acethetic who danced to Cactus by A.C.E., followed by Nonagon to What is love by Twice, CLASS B to Red Flavor by Red Velvet, KAIJU X to Jealousy by Monsta X, (K)-IDLE danced to Latata by G-Idle, GREAT to Bboom Bboom by Momoland, Fatal to Fake Love by BTS, ALPHA with the song Get In by Pristin V, MIX’IN to Dreams Come True by WJSN, and Magnitude 7.2 with Latata by G-Idle. 

Performances (173)

Vocal Category

Christelle Tolisora sang Shine by Pentagon; Dennis Mangubat, Talk Love by K. Will); G.Na, Bad Boy by Red Velvet; John Paul Manuel, My Apology Letter by Kim Yeonwoo; Karyl Legrama, My Star by Lee Hi; Melosky, I Miss You by Mamamoo; Merry Mia Sinaguinan, Shut Up by Unnies;  Racianne Castro Elorde, Midnight by Suzy; Sandra Dela Cruz, Breathe version by SoHyang; and Venisse Nicole Siy, Wind Song by Sohyang.

………

KCC Director Lee Jincheol delivered his Congratulatory Speech to all the contestants, performers as well as the audience and the staff in the whole event. Reminiscing back to 2011 when Korean Wave all started, he said he’s delighted to see fans gather in such events to promote Kpop in the country.

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“Not perfect but very passionate and dedicated” — KCC Director, Lee Jincheol

Congratulations, everyone!

Written by KREW member Yara De Guzman

We Were at The ElyXiOn in Manila and Now We’re Battling PCD

Annyeong! We are Dawn and Andy, and we’re both nursing a major bout of post-concert depression after attending EXO Planet #4: The ElyXiOn at the SM Mall of Asia Arena last 28 April, Saturday.

Dawn: I have been a fan of EXO ever since I saw them at Manila Hotel last 2013. I gradually forgot about the other K-Pop groups I stanned and just focused on them. The group has been a great inspiration for me since college. I even put “we are one” in our thesis! I started attending their concerts when I started working.

Andy: Truth be told, I don’t consider myself an EXO-L. I would, however, call myself a huge fan of Suho. I first saw him on the show “Exciting India” just when I was starting out in the K-Pop fandom almost two years ago, and I instantly fell for his charm and awkwardness. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the other members, though, because I’ve come to like them, too. I wouldn’t have caught The EXO’rDIUM and The ElyXiOn otherwise.

THE SET LIST

Dawn: I think The ElyXiOn’s set list was a bit shorter than The Exo’luxion’s and The EXO’rDIUM’s, but I like this set list because they had a chance to perform individually and also because they got to perform my all time favorite “나비소녀 (Don’t Go)” during the encore.

Andy: I didn’t notice how much shorter it was than The EXO’rDIUM until friends on my feed pointed it out. Perhaps, it’s because I just really enjoyed the concert through and through – from “The Eve” to “Angel.” Also, like Dawn, I loved how almost every member got a solo stage. It gave them the opportunity to prove that a member, alone, can bring a show.

WRECKERS

Andy: Okay, may I just say na-Jongdae ako??? Like, damn. Had I known I’d be in for a gun show courtesy of muscle shirt-clad Chen, I would have bought life insurance before attending the concert. He surprised me. He really did! He looked so damn hot that night. Summer na nga, pinainit pa niya, bes! Seriously, people, beware of Kim Jongdae. He’s a dangerous man. I still love Junmyeon, but Chen is a revelation. Haha!

Dawn: I didn’t even know who my bias in EXO was before, but after “Growl,” I finally made up my mind, and my heart told me that my bias is Junmyeon. I can’t help it. He is just so angelic. BUUUUT this concert made me a SeKai trash because of the interactions I had with them.

Andy: OMG! Lucky you!!! In a crowd of 10,000, you got noticed! How was it?

Dawn: I was just holding my phone, calling their names, and making gestures to get myself noticed. I threw a finger heart then waved, and they waved back at me . I felt visible after that and realized, “Shocks…nag-eexist pala ako!” Haha!

THE PIT

Andy: I like sitting in comfort during K-Pop concerts. Before The ElyXiOn, the only time I chose to stand in the pit at a K-Pop concert was during SHINee World Concert V (SWCV), and I could say that both experiences were different for me.

SWCV was exciting because I got to see my ultimate bias group in the flesh for the second time. But the concert being held in a foreign country also meant that there’s somehow a divide between me and the people around me. Moreover, the stage was a lot higher and the barricades were comparably farther, so even though I was pretty close to the fences, I had to tiptoe and crane my neck just to see SHINee whenever they performed on the main stage.

For The ElyXiOn, it was really fun because I was in my home country and in the company of (mostly) Filipino fans. The stage was a lot lower and the barricades were closer to the stage, too. I don’t think I have ever been THAT near K-Pop idols before. I had to leave my much-coveted spot at the barricade during Suho’s “Playboy” performance, though. I was squished in front of the extended stage, and couldn’t see a thing when I turned to my side. I didn’t want to watch the entire performance on the LED screens or other people’s smart phones, so I made my way towards the main stage. Didn’t regret my decision.

Dawn: I have been attending EXO’s concerts ever since their first solo show in the Philippines. I’ve even experienced The EXO’rDIUM in Bangkok! I always chose to stand because I like the proximity. I meet a lot of friends in the pit, but this con gave me body aches. EXO comes here just once in a while, that’s why I truly understand the excitement of PHIXOs. They really wanted to get closer to the stage, so they tend to push everybody out of their way just to be nearer.

Of course, a little run-ins can’t be avoided. My hair was even pulled by a Korean fan because she thought I was pushing them.

Andy: Oh, yes. I have been warned by friends about this, which is also one of the reasons why I don’t really choose the standing section when purchasing tickets. I didn’t think things would actually get rough, but they did, and I’m kinda scared of being in the pit again, but, hey, it’s all part of the experience.

Dawn: But given the chance will you stand in the pit again at EXO Planet 5?

Andy: If the opportunity presents itself, I don’t see why not!

FAVORITE STAGE

Dawn: I don’t want to be biased, but I like Junmyeon’s solo best. HAHAHA! I have three favorite performances – first is “The Eve” (KYAAAAHHH! JUNMYEON’S high note before the chorus!!!). Second is Kyungsoo’s “For Life” – I need a full version of this song so I can play it on my wedding day. The silence of the crowd made me cry. Kyungsoo’s smile was so genuine. I wanted to hug him. My last favorite performance was of course their latest song, “POWER!”

Andy: Suho’s “Playboy” for sure, BUT I loved “For Life” too, coz damn Kyungsoo’s voice… You really can’t deny that he’s among the best vocalists in K-Pop today… or ever! Chanyeol playing the piano is an extra treat. EXO-CBX’s stage was also super fun! I found myself dancing to “Ka-CHING!” It couldn’t be helped.

THE ELYXION VS. PREVIOUS EXO PLANET CONCERTS

Andy: I don’t think I am in the position to compare in detail, because I have attended just two of EXO’s concerts so far. But if I were asked which one I enjoyed more, I would say The ElyXiOn. EXO keeps getting better at their craft, and it shows in the performances they put out. Though I have to say I missed their acoustic set, which they had last year during The EXO’rDIUM. I love chill EXO. Haha!

Dawn: I think the stage in The ElyXiOn is nearer than ever. The ElyXiOn is not just about EXO’s concert, but also an avenue to showcase the fan projects that EXO-Ls have in store for EXO. The fan projects before were too many and too grand. I didn’t even know what to do and just forgot about the project, and, looking back now, I think I failed as a fan because I did not participate in those projects.

That said, I find this concert’s project simpler, yet it had a strong impact. I like it that way.

This year’s con also exuded a matured EXO vibe. I saw that they ditched the cute musical elf costumes and just wore the ever-sexy white suit.

They got sweeter too. From Chen’s ment last year “Filipinos are warm, passionate and beautiful” to Suho’s “You are our paradise.” – nothing can get sweeter than that.

Also… BAEKHYUN is so extra… as always.

LOOKING FORWARD

Dawn: I am looking forward to a longer concert. And more Junmyeon interactions LOL! Soooo greedy. Haha! One day was not enough but it is enough for our budget. Haha!

Andy: I’m actually worried… worried about my bank account. Lol! I feel like the next time I see EXO, I might actually become and EXO-L. But, whatever! I am always up for a good concert, and I’m sure EXO Planet 5 will be nothing short of amazing.

Words and photos by Dawn Naval and Andy Flores

 

SF9 Be My Fantasy in Manila

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The beginning of 2018 was truly a fantasy came true for all the Filipino fans of the sensationally talented idol group, SF9. This nine-member group under the management of FNC Entertainment is the first kpop group to hold an event in Manila this year. It was the boys’ first time in the Philippines and it was made memorable by their beloved fans or known as fantasies who gathered at the Solaire Theatre last January 06, 2018 for their first-ever fan meeting here in the country.

As the boys showed up on stage, the entire venue was filled with excited shrieks of fans who had been waiting for that opportunity to witness SF9’s captivating beauty. Their visuals along with their synchronized performances on stage were truly a breathtaking sight to see.

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They performed their hit songs “Fanfare”, “Roar”, “K.O.”, “Jungle Game”, “Easy Love”, “Let’s Hang Out”, and of course their latest single, ‘O Sole Mio”. Apart from performing as a group, each member also took turns showcasing their individual appeal. Youngbin went first with his powerful rap skills; Inseong danced cutely with his version of heart dance; Jaeyoon surprised everyone when he sang and danced to the famous Filipino novelty song, “Ocho-ocho”; Dawon successfully made everyone swoon over his aegyo; Rowoon and Hwiyoung graced the stage with their melodious voices through a song; Zuho was packed with swag when he was doing his rap; Taeyang serenaded the crowd with the song, Boyfriend by Justin Bieber; Chani kept his performance short but sweet, by saying “Mahal Kita” whilst doing finger hearts to the audience.

If you think those were the only things the boys have prepared, they further made the night even more exciting by revealing a pre recorded video of themselves pretending to be on a date with fans. The hype continued on with their spontaneous short dance covers of AOA’s “Like a Cat” and “Excuse Me.” Fun facts regarding the boys were also unveiled in one of the interactive games where in the fans had to determine whether the statements given by SF9 were true or false. In the end, one lucky fan was able to win, but a true fantasy would feel like a total winner upon learning the following through the game:

– Youngbin can actually whistle.
– Inseong has a mole on his ear.
– Inseong’s shoulders are broader than Jaeyoon’s.
– Dawon has never bungee jumped before.
– Rowoon cannot knit.
– Zuho does not eat corn.
– If Taeyang is a woman, the member he would want to date is Youngbin.
– Taeyang’s hands are bigger than Hwiyoung’s.
– Youngbin’s arms are longer than Chani’s.

Before the event ended, Filipino fantasies surprised SF9 with a touching video expressing all the love they have for the group. The boys could not be anymore thankful for what they saw and expressed their desire to once again come back to the Philippines.

With that, Filipino fantasies better be prepared because we can expect SF9 to return with more explosive performances.

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Written by Krew member Cham Hidalgo

PH K-Pop Community Comes Together to Remember SHINee’s Jonghyun

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On average, 40 people commit suicide every day in South Korea. Last week, 18 December, Monday, SHINee’s lead vocalist Kim Jonghyun became part of that statistic, sending a wave of shock and grief not just to his family, friends, and colleagues, but also to fans, also known as Shawols, who have come to love the multi-talented artist.

In an effort to commemorate the life and work of Jonghyun, memorial services across the globe were organized by fans who couldn’t make it to the funeral in Korea, where a separate hall was opened to fans who wished to pay their final respects to the beloved idol.

A makeshift memorial was created in front of the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in Chile on the day the news about Jonghyun’s passing broke out, while fans in Bolivia sent white balloons to the sky. Shawols in Miami, Florida also came together for a candle light vigil on the beach.

In the Philippines, various memorial services in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Zamboanga – among others – were held following Jonghyun’s death. And on the day before Christmas Eve, SHINee World Philippines, the first and largest fanclub of the five-member Korean pop group in the Philippines, held the country’s final memorial service for Jonghyun at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines (KCC).

Nearly 800 Shawols and K-Pop fans filled KCC’s Wave Hall and Exhibit Area to find comfort in each other’s company. Guests were encouraged to bring flowers, write letters to Jonghyun, and share their fondest memories as fans of SHINee.

Some took the opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of mental health, telling fellow fans to never hesitate to seek help and support if they feel alone or bothered by crippling thoughts of loneliness.

Towards the end of the service, the somber mood was lifted when a compilation of SHINee’s funniest videos was played, reminding the attendees of the vivacious Jonghyun they all know and love.

Check out some clicks from the event here:

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Words and photos by Krew Member Andy Flores

CNBLUE, so “PETMALU”

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The Korean pop rock band CNBLUE saved the best for the last as they end their “Between Us” tour in Manila last December 9th, 2017. Held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, last Saturday was indeed a “Boice-night-out” for their Filipino fans.

CNBLUE meaning “Code Name” and “Blue” having a backronym of burning, lovely, untouchable and emotional, consists of lead vocalist and guitarist, Jung Yonghwa; lead guitarist and vocalist, Lee Jonghyun; bassist, Lee Jungshin and drummer, Kang Minhyuk.

The quartet is known for their unique musicality, matched up with their good looks. The members are also quite familiar to the Filipino masses due to being part of hit dramas like “You’re Beautiful”, “The Heirs” and “Heartstrings”, which were shown in various local networks.

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The boys started the concert with their headbanging track “Radio”, a song originally released as a Japanese track which later on was produced in Korean and was included in their album, “2gether”. The members performed a total of 23 songs, including their hit tracks “LOVE”, “I’m sorry” and “Can’t Stop” which were definitely a fan favorite!

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Asides from being musical geniuses, the boys also showed off their quirky sides. Fans laughed out loud at Jung Yonghwa’s witty English and not mention his up-to-date Filipino lingo, saying words like “petmalu” and “lodi”. Everybody probably had an aegyo (acting cute) overload as the boys couldn’t stop smiling while shooting hearts at their fans.

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After the encore, the boys gathered at the center of the stage to perform their acoustic track, “Love Light”. The night ended with “Forever Young” as the last song, with Jung Yonghwa leaving a sweet message to the fans saying “Remember that we will always be young. Maraming salamat po Pilipinas. Always your ‘lodi’. I promise we will be back again. See you soon.” 

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CNBLUE has gained a lot of international fans, of all ages, ever since their debut in 2009. From girls as young as 12 years old, Allysa, to moms who “fan-girl” alongside their daughters.

Asked why she listens to CNBLUE, Allysa reasons out that the band’s songs make her energized! Another reason is that their song lyrics are “relatable” according to CNBLUE Philippines Admin, Mirza.

Some of their fans from China, Japan, and Hong Kong even went to Manila just for the concert.

“I always try to go to wherever CNBLUE performs, I’ve been their fan since 2010!”, said Asami from Japan.

“I like their ‘faces’ and music. I think I’m a little ‘crazy’ for even going here!”, said by Lee from China.

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Throughout the years, CNBLUE has proved that they are definitely a band worth keeping an eye on. Offering quality music, written by the members themselves. Their passion for music, shown through their outstanding live performances, earned them the respect and trust of their Boice (fans). Indeed, CNBLUE is so “petmalu” and we look forward to their future projects!

 Pictures from Max Chua and Jann Lorence.

Written by Max Chua