Photos by Trisha Yalung
It was a Sunday, and the SM Mall of Asia Arena was full of K-Pop fans of all ages, buzzing with energy as they watch their favorites perform at the K-Pop World Music Festival 2019.
Organized by DnM Entertainment and All Access Production, the concert featured Sohee, ELRIS, Kim Donghan, NCT 127, and Red Velvet.
First-timers in Manila
Most of the artists in the line-up could boast that they have been to the Philippines before, but KWMF marks ELRIS’ first time in the country.
Member Sohee, who also performs as a solo artist, opened the show with her hits “Mannequin,” “Spotlight,” and “Hurry Up.” She also delighted second-generation K-Pop fans with her version of Gain’s “Bloom.”
Sohee later joined her group to perform “Summer Dream,” “We First,” “Heart Bank,” and “Pow Pow.” Unfortunately, member Bella sustained an injury when she arrived, and had to sit out of performances.
Long time no see
For Kim Donghan, it was his second time in the Philippines. His first time in the country was when he was promoting as part of the idol group JBJ.
However, this was his first time promoting in the Philippines as a solo artist. He delighted his fans by showing off his amazing dance skills to “Sunset,” “Goodnight Kiss,” and “Focus.” The audience was delighted and sang along when he mellowed down with a ballad, “Record Me.”
And the crowd goes wild
The last two performers were definitely the highlight of the night as the screams and cheers became louder throughout the arena.
First up: NCT 127. The last time NCTzens got a glimpse of them in Manila was at the K-Pop Republic 2 held in 2017.
This year, the group returned with a changed line-up. Winwin is absent from the group, while Jungwoo was recently added in 2018. That, however, didn’t stop the group from putting on an explosive performance with their hits “Fire Truck,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Simon Says,” “Regular,” and “Superhuman.”
Members Johnny and Taeyong have nothing but praises for the crowd, saying that they are always overwhelmed with how loud the cheers are whenever they perform in the country.
And finally, Red Velvet. The girl group hadn’t been in the Philippines since 2015, and Filipino Reveluvs made sure that they received the warmest welcome possible.
Instead of the usual fanchants, fans were heard singing along as Red Velvet performs “Red Flavor,” “Power Up,” “Bad Boy,” and “Really Bad Boy.” The crowd only went as quiet as they could to appreciate the girls’ vocals as they sang their ballad “Moonlight Melody.”
Promises to return
It was clear that the artists enjoyed their brief visit to the Philippines and promised fans that they would return.
ELRIS’ Bella promised that she would be fit enough to perform with the rest of the group when they come back.
As for NCT 127, it was Mark who announced to the arena that the group will be back. Whether it’s for a Neo City in Manila tour or some other event, it’s unknown.
And of course, the entire arena chanted “Solo con!” during Red Velvet’s time at the concert. Leader Irene, just to make sure, asked the crowd if Filipino Reveluvs will be watching when they decide to hold a concert in Manila.
“Yes!” the audience cheered.
“Promise?” Irene asked, holding out her pinky finger.
“Yes!” the audience repeated, some of them holding out their pinky fingers in promise.
The artists at KWMF 2019 can definitely be sure that an eager crowd will be waiting for them when they return.
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We would like to thank DnM Entertainment and All Access Production for inviting us to cover the event.