‘Kayo ang langit ko’: A recap of IU’s sweet reunion with PH fans in ‘HEREH’ concert

Ysa Abad

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‘Kayo ang langit ko’: A recap of IU’s sweet reunion with PH fans in ‘HEREH’ concert

HEREH. South Korean soloist IU held her concert at the Philippine Arena on June 1.

IU on X

The soloist performs a cover of Sunkissed Lola's 'Pasilyo' and praises the Filipino crowd for their three-octave high note for 'Good Day'

When South Korean singer-actress IU, Lee Ji-eun in real life, made her first visit in the Philippines in 2019, she revealed that the Manila crowd surprised her the most because of how loud their screams were. 

Almost five years later, her passionate MAAENAs (Manila UAENAs, IU’s official fandom name) proved once again they were a force to be reckoned with and were ready to give the singer-songwriter another “perfect concert.” 

“You guys are really amazing,” she told the Filipino crowd on Saturday, June 1. With her HEREH stop in Bulacan, IU made history as the first Korean soloist to perform at the Philippine Arena. 

While the organizers have yet to issue a number for the total attendees in the show, it can be recalled that tickets for the concert were sold out within just eight hours after they were made available to the public. The arena was filled to the brim and even before the artist began her three-hour show, the MAAENAs were already singing along to her hits. 

The chart-topping singer and award-winning actress took the attendees on a colorful ride through her diverse discography, dividing the show into four sets. 

The first part, the “hypnotic” set, includes some of her most infectious songs “Holssi,” “Ah puh,” and “BBIBBI,” was a lively way to open the night. 

Before moving on to her next set, IU showed off the Filipino phrases she learned, including “Mahal kita (I love you),” “Namiss ko kayong lahat,” (I missed you so much) and “Napakasaya ko (I’m very happy).” She was also quick to pick up when the crowd later started chanting “Walang Uuwi!”

For her “Energetic” stage, IU performed hits “Celebrity,” “Blueming,” and “eight,” among others. Throughout the whole show, the live band and VCR heightened the attendees’ overall experiences. 

In between breaks, she gamely interacted with the crowd – praising them for their cheers and prompting them to sing along. At one point, she also talked about the gifts that her mom prepared for all the attendees – a practice they’ve been doing in all of her shows. 

For the Philippine stop, MAAENAs received a keyring, keychain, a mini photo holder and three photocards. “Itago niyo nang mabuti (Please keep them safe),” the singer said in Filipino. 

She performed “Through the Night” and “Havana” in her “Romantic” set and “Love Wins All” and “You and I” in her “Ecstatic” set. 

One of the highlights of the night, though, was when IU surprised the crowd with her full rendition of “Pasilyo,” an original song by Olongapo-based rock band Sunkissed Lola. According to Spotify Philippines, the said track was the country’s top local song of 2023. 

On X, Sunkissed Lola reposted clips of the singer’s performance and quipped: “Mareng IU naman, bakit nanggugulat (Sis IU, you surprised us!)”

But it wasn’t only IU who had several surprises under her belt as MAENAs also prepared a lot of fan projects for the singer. 

During the sing-along event for “Good Day,” a track known for its three-octave high note, Filipino fans were able to pull off that hard part perfectly that even IU was left astounded. 

“I’ve been singing this song for a decade but this is the first time na nasurprise ako nang ganito (that I was surprised this way),” she said through a translator. “My eyes are very big behind the backstage.” She also praised the crowd for being very confident in the song’s chorus despite it being the most difficult part. 

Similar to her previous shows, IU capped off the encore segments of her concert with a more spontaneous finale as she performed the audience’s song requests. Among the wishes from Filipino fans that she granted were performances of “Someday,” “Lilac,” “Strawberry Moon,” and “Palette.” 

Kayo ang langit ko (You are my heaven),” she told the crowd as the night came to a close. “Kita-kita uli tayo (Let’s see each other again),” she said, even promising that it wouldn’t take her another five years to return to the Philippines. –

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