‘Manila is the best’: K-pop boy band iKON’s holds ‘Take Off’ concert in PH

K-pop idol group iKON returned to Manila for a one-night concert that hyped up the crowd whose screams and cheers made a great impact on them. 

The  “2023 iKON World Tour Take Off in Manila” on Aug. 5 at Araneta Coliseum marked their first group concert in the country in more than four years since their “Continue Tour” in Manila in November 2018. 

IKON’s Bobby, Song, DK, Ju-ne and Chan opened the show with “Tantara,” “Sinosijak,” “At Ease” and “Killing Me.” 


K-pop group iKON at their Manila concert on Aug. 5 (iKON's Twitter account)


K-pop group iKON performing at their Manila concert on Aug. 5 (Jonathan Hicap)

“We are in the middle of our tour, first time of a world tour, and we have (visited) places like Europe, Japan but we are so excited to finally visit Manila,” said DK. 

DK made updates about the members, saying, “Ju-ne is an actor,” to which Ju-ne replied, “Not yet, not yet.” Ju-ne acted in a supporting role in the drama “Bo-ra! Deborah.”

He also said Bobby is coming out with a new album while iKON will release two new songs this month. 

IKON continued their set with “Rhythm Ta,” “Bling Bling,” “Love Scenario” and “U.” For the solo spots, DK performed “Kiss Me,” Ju-ne sang “Want You Back,” Bobby had “Heartbroken Playboy” and Song sang “Fighting.” Ju-ne and Bobby also performed “Deep Night” together. 

They also performed “Why Why Why,” “Goodbye Road,” “What’s Wrong,” “Dumb & Dumber,” “B-Day,” “Freedom” and “Driving Slowly.” 

Jinhwan was not part of the Manila show due to his military enlistment last July 20 but members said they talked to him and he said he missed the Philippines. 

“I remember one thing when we say the Philippines. Jinhwan said he is the prince of the Philippines [in iKON]. That is why he was so excited to be back here. Earlier we were on the phone together. He told me to say to Philippine iKONICs that I missed them,” said Chan.


K-pop group iKON performing at their Manila concert on Aug. 5 (Jonathan Hicap)

Speaking in Filipino  

During iKON’s 2018 concert in Manila, Jinhwan said he lived in the Philippines when he was in high school. 

“I stayed here, actually not here (but) in Davao City during my high school days and I have such good memories. At the time, I was a little bit popular in Davao. So many girls liked me,” he said then. 

“Jinhwan said he is good in Tagalog,” said Chan at the “Take Off’ concert. Chan and Bobby tried saying Filipino phrases and the audience picked who was the best. 

Chan said Jinhwan taught him the phrases, “Sakit ako tiyan (My stomach hurts)” and “Sakit ako ilong (My nose hurts),” eliciting laughter from the audience. 

Bobby said Jinhwan told the phrases to his teacher in the Philippines so that he could go home early.

For his part, Chan said, “Philippine Manila iKONIC, ikaw lang ang nasa puso ko (Philippine Manila iKONIC, you are the only one in my heart).”

Bobby said, “Hello, maganda. Gusto nyo ba mag-inom mamya? Mahal kita (Hello, beautiful. Do you want to have a drink later? I love you).” Between the two, Bobby got the louder cheers from the audience and won. 


K-pop group iKON performing at their Manila concert on Aug. 5 (Jonathan Hicap)

‘Manila is the best’ 

During the concert, Filipino fans sang along with iKON, drawing a comment from Bobby who said, “The truth, you are better at speaking Korean than me.” 

DK said, “Manila is the best.” 

Chan was the only member who had no solo spot in the concert but he promised that “in our next world tour in Manila, I will prepare for my solo stage.” 

DK said since Chan had no solo stage, he wanted to see him try his version of “Kiss Me.” 

As they were saying their final messages for the fans, Bobby, happy with the response of the crowd, took a banner with a Philippine flag and the words “See u again” from the audience and wore it as a cape. 

“We have been in different countries in our world tour right now but I think this is the first country that I see that all of you are happy partying with us. That is why we changed our minds and we will be singing more songs in our encore. You are great at having a party. Thank you because you are all here for iKON. Next time we will come back with all six members,” said DK. 

Ju-ne said, “It’s been a while before we came back to the Philippines but thank you very much for your hot welcome for all of us. Because of you, I really enjoyed being on the stage. Mag-eenjoy ba kayo hanggang sa dulo (Are you going to enjoy until the end?).” 

“Thank you for welcoming all of us. We will try our very best to be with you forever,” said Song. 

Chan said, “I’m really happy to see the Philippine iKONICs because you are great in having fun together with us. It’s really warming to our hearts that you have prepared so much for us.”

“Thank you so much for coming out today. We are not the ones who make this show 100 percent. You guys are like the most important structure of this world tour,” said Bobby. 

As they posed to take a picture, a fan video was shown on the screen. 

“IKON, always remember that, we’ll be with you until the last,” according to the video. 

DK commented, “It’s really great that we are here in Manila.”

IKON wrapped up the show with encore performances of “B-Day,” “Rhythm Ta,” “Love Scenario” and “Freedom” with DK, Song and Bobby going down to the audience area. 

The  “2023 iKON World Tour Take Off in Manila” was presented by Pulp Live World, Happee Hour, 143 Entertainment and ACM.


K-pop group iKON performing at their Manila concert on Aug. 5 (Jonathan Hicap)