k-pop

#SS9inManila: When it’s your source of comfort that needs comforting 

Ysa Abad
#SS9inManila: When it’s your source of comfort that needs comforting 

Rima Quitain

Super Junior gave us the opportunity to treat them as friends and give back the comfort and love we’d been receiving from them

I grew up watching Super Junior.  

My high school self would sometimes be late for our flag ceremony because I was waiting to find out if their song “It’s You” would top MYX’s Daily Top 10. Their hits “Sorry, Sorry,” “Bonamana,” “Mr. Simple” – which arguably played a huge role in starting the Hallyu wave in the Philippines – were often performed by my guy classmates for school events.

There were 13 members when I first met them, then 15 members, and then the numbers kept changing until they started promoting as the nine active members we’re familiar with now. 

My journey as an Everlasting Friend (or ELF) hasn’t always been pretty and I’ve had my fair share of heartbreaks as their fan. But Super Junior was also there in some of my darkest times and has been my source of comfort whenever I hit rock bottom.

There are so many things I’m thankful for because of Super Junior, but Super Show 9 in Manila on Saturday, August 6, definitely topped the list. 

Being a fan of a group known to be loud and chaotic, I never thought that I’d experience a stage so intimate and personal – especially since three days prior, we were still looking forward to seeing their hilarious skits. With Siwon testing positive for COVID-19 and Eunhyuk’s loss, it was understandable why Filipino ELFs clamored for the postponement of the Manila stop. 

But considering the logistics and expenses of postponing a show, and the fact that the rest of the members had already arrived in Manila, us fans were just worried that the group would be forced into the hard situation of pretending to have fun onstage. Thankfully, hours before the actual start of the show, it was announced that the concert would not push through and a fan meet would take its place instead. 

The somber atmosphere inside the arena was a far cry from how previous Super Shows in Manila usually started, with the pre-show playlist mainly playing the group’s ballads – tearjerking hits “One More Chance,” “So I,” and “Islands” among them. 

We really didn’t know what to expect when they said it was going to be a fan meet. In fact, most of the fellow fans I’ve talked to in the arena just wanted the members to fly back to South Korea as soon as possible. But since they decided to appear in the Manila stop, we hoped our presence during their show would at least help the members somehow. 

Apparently, the Super Junior members wanted to personally apologize for the abrupt postponement of their concert, citing that most of the audience had traveled from several parts of the country and waited a long time to see them again. 

“We agreed that we will still come and say hello to the fans who had been waiting for us,” leader Leeteuk said. “We believe that the Super Show is a place of happiness, fun, and hope. So we’re not canceling the show. We’re postponing it to make sure that we can really give you the perfect amount of happiness, fun, and hope.”

Member Ryeowook said, “A lot of you have come today from afar but I’m really sorry that we can’t proceed with the concert today. We will make sure to come back with Eunhyuk and Siwon next time.” 

Yesung added, “It’s been so long since we’ve seen each other. It’s really unfortunate that we can’t pay you back with very good performances…. Sincerest apologies to all.” 

Others might not understand this, but seeing the members – who’ve been our source of strength – being vulnerable on that stage just made our love and respect for them grow exponentially. They could have announced the postponement of the event through a statement, but they decided to meet us instead. That alone speaks volume of their professionalism and loyalty to the fans. 

The opening ments were already more than enough, but Super Junior also performed three of their recent ballads “My Wish,” “Callin’” and “More Days With You.” And as ELFs continued to chant Gwaenchana (It’s okay) and Saranghae (I love you), that’s when I realized why our fandom was called Everlasting Friends to begin with. Because at that moment, we weren’t just their fans. Super Junior gave us the opportunity to treat them as friends and give back the comfort and love we’d been receiving from them. 

It might have been one of the quickest events in Super Junior’s history, but I sure do know that it might take a while for me to move on from that. As the youngest member Kyuhyun promised ELFs that they’d return, I was already looking forward to seeing their happy smiles again.

After Super Junior left the stage, concert host Kring Kim told fans to keep their tickets as they will still be honored for the rescheduled show. Concert producer PULP Live World also assured fans that a detailed explanation on the new show schedule will be announced in the coming days. – Rappler.com 

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