MANILA, Philippines – It was a decade ago when Korean dramas first aired in the Philippines, and from there, a few years after, Filipinos became fond of South Korea’s pop music, also known as K-pop. Whether it is on radio or television, you could hear songs such as PSY’s “Gangnam Style,” Super Junior’s “Sorry Sorry,” 2NE1’s “Fire” and Wonder Girls’ “Nobody,” all growing in popularity.
One by one, K-pop groups started to visit the country to promote their music. All, whether at the airport, mall or concert venue, were welcomed by screaming fans.
In January last year, K-pop proved its massive following in the country with the first Dream Kpop Fantasy Concert which featured not one, but six groups-namely Girls’ Generation, EXO, Infinite, U-KISS, Tasty and Tahiti. This year, unreal as it may seem, the K-pop fan’s wish will be fulfilled again as some Korean boy groups are set to perform at the Dream Kpop Fantasy Concert (DKFC) 2 on February 2, 2013, 7PM, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The line-up includes Super Junior M, B.A.P, BTOB, Block B, A-JAX and A-PRINCE. Han Seung Yeon from the girl group KARA will also be participating. A day prior to the concert, two of the groups, A-JAX and Block B, presented themselves at the DKFC press conference as a preview of what was to come.
A-JAX: “Filipino fans are jolly, cheerful and nice”
A-JAX was the first group to meet the press and the fans. The group is under DSP Media, home to veteran groups like SS501- wherein the popular Kim Hyun Joong a.k.a Jihoo of Boys over Flowers is a member, along with KARA, one of the top girl groups in South Korea. Because of the success of their predecessors, there were high expectations for their debut. In June 2012, A-JAX rocked the K-pop scene with the heart-pounding track, One 4 U. The group has 7 members namely Hyeongkon, Jaehyung, Yunyoung, Hyojun, Sungmin, Seungin and Seungyub.
Although the group first had a rock concept, Sungmin shared that they are “not limited to one kind of music” and are open to “singing ballad, rhythm and blues, electronic, pop and funky rock.” He continued saying, “We are trying various kinds of music and we are of course looking with a comeback of other kinds of music.” To date, they have released three other singles, the latest of which is Snake. Compared to their previous tracks, Snake has a lighter and youthful appeal. According to their leader Hyeongkon, this song is the one that they would like to dedicate to their Filipino fans.
Wathc: A-JAX’s music video for “One 4 U”
As their first time in the Philippines, A-JAX expressed their thoughts about the country. Sungyub shared their surprise upon seeing many fans that greeted them at the airport. “We saw how Filipino fans are jolly, cheerful and nice,” he adds. Upon being asked on what they think of Filipino girls, Seungjin gave off a big smile and said, “Filipino girls have pretty eyes.”
The members also did their research on the country. When it comes to food, members Yunyoung, Hyojun and Seungjin want to try sinigang, and halo-halo, respectively. They also want to visit tourist spots like Boracay while in the country.
Lastly, A-JAX shared that they wanted to have more concerts after DKFC. They promised to put up a good show as they have prepared English pop songs and an SS501 song for their performance.
Block B: “We communicate with fans onstage”
Members Zico, P.O., Kyung, U-Kwon, Jaehyo, B-bomb and Taeil of Block B have already performed in the country at the Korean Cultural Concert last September 2011 – back then, they were still considered rookies, with their song “Freeze!” debuting in April of that year.
Their unique sound, which features a strong hip-hop influence, is part of what sets this group apart. “Each of the members has different characteristics and are very appealing. We try to enjoy every performance and try to communicate with fans onstage,” says Zico, the leader.
Watch: The music video for Block B’s “Freeze!”
Kyung ended the press conference with a short but sweet message saying, “Philippine fans, mahal kita.” –Rappler.com
Dream Kop Fantasy Concert 2 is brought to us by MBC Plus Media, MBC Music, All Access Productions, JU Entertainment, Crowne Plaza, Magnolia Kpop, Lumos, Tony Moly, Ticketnet Online and Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketnet.com.ph.
Camille is a K-pop fan and a writer for Hellokpop.