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MANILA, Philippines – Oh Sehun and Park Chanyeol proved to Filipino EXO-Ls that EXO is really worth waiting for, as they returned to the Philippines on May 20 for the Manila leg of their BACK TO BACK fan concert.
Presented by PULP Live World, the BACK TO BACK fan concert served as Sehun and Chanyeol’s return to the Philippines in four years, but this time as the EXO-SC sub-unit.
The BACK TO BACK fan concert also marked Chanyeol’s first tour since his military discharge last September 2022.
During the press conference held before the actual show, he answered Rappler’s question on what it was like touring again. He shared, via a translator, that he was excited to be back on the road and looking forward to meeting fans in person. Sehun, meanwhile, added that he missed touring with Chanyeol “a lot.”
The “Back to Back” fan concert serves as Chanyeol’s first tour since his military discharge. He said that he’s very excited to perform in front of EXO-Ls again. Sehun shared that he missed performing with Chanyeol a lot. #EXOSCinMNL | via @ysa_abad pic.twitter.com/1VMU1lhUkE— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 20, 2023
The two also recalled how their sub-unit started, with Sehun saying that he was in disbelief when they first learned that they were to be paired up. But now, almost five years since, he shared that they really enjoy doing activities as EXO-SC, and that they still have more plans in the pipeline.
Compared to their full group activities, Chanyeol said that being in the EXO-SC sub-unit gave them more freedom to experiment with different music genres. He added that working with Sehun, EXO’s youngest member, also helped broaden his perspectives on musical styles. As to what’s in store for them in the future, EXO-SC said that they have yet to show their fans everything that they can offer.
Both stars also talked about their flourishing acting careers – Sehun stars in the ongoing series All That We Loved and Chanyeol appeared in the film The Box. Sehun shared that there are a lot of roles that he’d like to try in the future, with Chanyeol recommending that he do “killer roles” because of his sharp features. Meanwhile, Chanyeol said he’d prefer a more quiet and chill character for his next project.
It has been 11 years since Sehun and Chanyeol made their debut through EXO, and the group and individual members still continue to be one of the leading K-pop acts worldwide. Their secret to a long-lasting career, Chanyeol said, is just to have fun and treat each other like family.
And have fun they did during the two-hour BACK TO BACK fan concert at the Araneta Coliseum!
The duo was met with resounding cheers when they opened the show with their track “What A Life.” From the get-go, both idols were astounded by the loud screaming from Filipino EXO-Ls.
“Filipino fans are really the best. We expected a lot coming here,” Sehun said via translator after their first performance. Chanyeol added that they weren’t even able to hear themselves because of the crowd’s cheering.
For their opening ment, the two expressed how much they adored their Filipino fans. “It’s been a long time since we came back here in the Philippines; we really missed you a lot,” Sehun said, while Chanyeol impressed the crowd with the Filipino phrases: “Kayo ang best. Mahal ko kayo (You are the best. I love all of you).”
Compared to concerts that are packed with numerous intense performances, fan meetings like BACK TO BACK sees the artists and fans interacting more intimately, participating in fun segments and activities.
In “Catch Up Talk,” the show’s first segment, Chanyeol and Sehun shared never-before-seen photos that they’ve personally taken, as well as the stories behind them. Sehun shared photos of him swimming in a pool and playing at the monkey bars, while Chanyeol shared a photo of him posing with several stuffed toys and lounging in a hotel room.
They also played a telepathy game in the “Can You Hear My Heart” segment, wherein they had to choose the same answer in a series of questions.
Concertgoers were also delighted when the two participated in physical games like the traditional Filipino sport sipa and bottle flips. Sehun won this games segment, and as a treat, he was able to try Filipino delicacies such as sapin-sapin, pichi-pichi, and biko. Both Sehun and Chanyeol found the treats so yummy that they were able to finish the whole plate.
In between segments, Chanyeol and Sehun entertained the crowd with their hits “1 Billion Views” and “Borderline.” Filipino EXO-Ls couldn’t help but sing along to the duo’s performances, and Sehun even said: “I was very surprised because even though the song is in Korean, all of you were still singing with us.”
“You’re the best,” Chanyeol added. “When you’re singing with us, it makes us feel really good.”
Sehun and Chanyeol also did the Ladder Game, a segment that draws inspiration from EXO’s variety show, wherein they comply to fan requests.
Another highlight of the show was when Chanyeol surprised the crowd by singing “Hawak Kamay,” a Filipino song by Yeng Constantino. “Sing it, Manila,” he told the crowd. The kilig moment also sparked nostalgia among Filipino EXO-Ls, as EXO as a full group had actually performed the said track during their first visit to the Philippines in 2013.
The surprises didn’t end there, as Chanyeol granted the fans’ request for another performance, delivering an acoustic cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
LOOK: Chanyeol serenaded the crowd with “Hawak Kaway.”— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 20, 2023
This is extra special for Filipino EXO-Ls as EXO once performed this song during their early visit to the Philippines. #EXOSCinMNL | via @ysa_abad pic.twitter.com/xEovEmDrQ7
After Chanyeol, it was Sehun’s turn to get fans all sentimental, when he danced to EXO hits such as “Love Shot,” “Growl,” and “The Eve,” with Chanyeol joining him in “Love Me Right.”
Two lucky attendees were also chosen to receive customized tumblers personally designed by Sehun and Chanyeol.
EXO-SC then serenaded the crowd with “Fly Away” and crowd favorites “We Young” and “Rodeo Station.”
It was then Sehun and Chanyeol’s turn to get surprised when Filipino EXO-Ls sang a full cover of their track “1 Billion Views.”
“I never expected it. I was shocked because it made me realize how much you love us. It was really touching,” Sehun said.
Meanwhile, Chanyeol praised Filipino fans’ singing prowess. “Why are you so good at singing? It’s because you’re fans of the best singers, too. As expected!”
The rapper said that this made him feel so good, he didn’t want to end the show. He joked that he might even have to buy a house in Manila so that he could get to spend more time with Filipino EXO-Ls.
This is EXO-SC’s reaction to the fan project prepared by Filipino fans.— Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) May 20, 2023
Sehun said it’s unexpected and touching. Chanyeol said that PH EXO-Ls are good singers because they’re a fan of good singers, too. He jokes that he’ll even buy a house here in Manila. #EXOSCinMNL | @ysa_abad pic.twitter.com/Lf6STPfJPS
However short the program, it was evident how both EXO-SC and Filipino EXO-Ls shared love and gratefulness for each other. Sehun promised that they would return to the Philippines this year with the rest of the EXO members, while Chanyeol said that he wanted to visit the country more often, not only for concerts, but for a quick vacation, too.
“I really enjoyed tonight with all of you guys. Please continue watching out for us. We will come back with all the EXO members,” Sehun said.
Sehun and Chanyeol wrapped up the show with “Just Us 2,” with Filipino EXO-Ls only too glad to have made new memories with their favorite group. – Rappler.com