Before the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic spread in the Philippines, several K-pop stars were able to visit and perform in the country in January and February.
Eric Nam (Jan. 10) – Multitalented singer-songwriter Eric Nam held his first K-pop show in the Philippines, “Before We Begin” Asia Tour 2020, on Jan. 10 at the New Frontier Theater. Manila Bulletin interviewed Eric before the show. His message to his fans: “Thank you for coming. It took me eight years to get here and I know people were waiting for a very long time. Thank you so much for waiting, thank you so much for coming. Hopefully this is the beginning of many more times here in the Philippines.”
Kim Myung Soo (Jan. 12) – Korean actor and K-pop idol Kim Myung Soo held his 2020 “Come with Me” Fan Meeting in Manila on Jan. 12 at the New Frontier Theater. At the show, he told fans, “I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome. I’m looking forward to my next trip in Manila to spend time with you again. It was very funny as I was very surprised because of your passionate cheers. I’ve never felt it in a long time. The staff at the backstage are very happy as well. I would love to be back with Infinite here in Manila. I love you, guys. Wait for me.”
Tiffany Young (Jan. 25) – Korean-American singer Tiffany Young’s first solo show “Open Hearts Eve” Part Two in Manila was held on Jan. 25 at the New Frontier Theater. During a press conference on Jan. 24, she said besides her fans, what she also loved about the Philippines was the weather: “Apart from my fans, the weather. I’m a Cali girl at heart, I’m a Leo. I was born in August so I live for this weather. It’s beautiful and it just makes me wanna like dress up. I live for this weather.”
WINNER (Jan. 25) – K-pop boy band WINNER held their second major solo concert in the country, “Cross Tour in Manila,” on Jan. 25 at the Mall of Asia Arena. The boy band danced to Sarah Geronimo’s “Tala” and dedicated a song to Filipinos affected by the Taal volcano eruption. “Always take care of yourselves. I love you, Manila,” said Mino while Jinu told fans, “I will miss this moment. Please stay safe everyone. I will come back.” Hoony said, “Nag-enjoy kami lahat. Sa totoo lang, matagal na namin kayong gustong makita. Babalik kami. Huwag ninyo kaming kalimutan, promise” and Joon said, “We’re so happy and grateful to be with you guys at the beginning of the year 2020. Looking back, every time, every day, every second with you, it was the most brilliant moment in my life. Thank you for making the brilliant moments today.”
Seventeen (Feb. 8) – K-pop boy band Seventeen returned to the Philippines and held their “Ode to You” World Tour in Manila on Feb. 8 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Due to COVID-19, it was feared that Seventeen’s concert would be cancelled just like other K-pop shows in Manila. Proper measures were implemented and the concert puK-pop boy band NCT Dream’s first group concert in Manila turned out to be momentous and fun-filled for them and their fans.
NCT Dream (Feb. 29) – K-pop boy band NCT Dream held their concert “The Dream Show” in Manila on Feb. 29 at the New Frontier Theater. SM Entertainment and Pulp Live World implemented measures including temperature check and wearing of face masks for all concertgoers. “Maraming salamat sa inyo. Gusto naming babalik sa Manila muli. This is our first concert in Manila but we truly appreciate your support. Hope to see you again,” said Renjun. Jeno told the crowd “Sobrang masaya ako. Czennie ang best. Last year we went here but we really wanted to come back to Manila. Thank you for the opportunity that will make us return to the Philippines.”