Pinoy pop

Summer of ‘Pantropiko’: The BINI craze continues

Gelo Gonzales

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Summer of ‘Pantropiko’: The BINI craze continues

A fan shows a portrait of BINI member Stacey Sevilleja at the P-pop group's mall show in Antipolo, Saturday, April 20

All photos by Mark Cristino/Rappler

The girl group and their hit song 'Pantropiko' make their mark on Pinoy pop culture

RIZAL, Philippines – In Antipolo on a Saturday afternoon, April 20, P-pop girl group BINI continued to draw the crowds.

The group officially debuted in 2021, but it was a late 2023 single that would propel their meteoric rise – “Pantropiko,” a summer anthem curiously released on a “Ber” month, which now, thanks to its success, looks no less than a stroke of genius by the group’s label Star Music.

The cheery tune actually had a slow start. Released on November 17, 2023, it wasn’t until February 11, 2024 that it would break into Spotify Charts’ Daily Top Songs for the Philippines list, landing on the 173rd spot, before eventually hitting the top spot on April 18.

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Spotify’s list of daily top songs in the Philippines shows BINI’s ‘Pantropiko’ taking the top spot on April 18, 2024

But as luck would have it, pop juggernaut Taylor Swift’s latest album, The Tortured Poets Department, would come out on April 19, with 5 songs immediately taking the top 5 spots, brutally cutting short Pantropiko’s time at the top – on this one specific chart at least.

(“Blooms,” the name of the group’s fans, had been aware of Swift’s album, and online, there was at least one post campaigning to push the song to the top, aware that the immensely prolific American pop icon’s album would inevitably take over.)

More on BINI’s rise, the group’s monthly listener count on Spotify, from their 2021 debut to late 2023 had been flat, hovering in the 100,000 range, before starting to pick up on January 27, 2024 when they reached a count of 202,189, the first time they broke the 200,000 mark.

Since then, it’s been a dramatic, steep-angled rise that saw the group progressively break through milestones: 252,878 on February 3; 531,110 on February 22; 1,013,783 on March 10; and 2,088,405 on April 3.

A chart from shows BINI’s monthly listener count on Spotify (represented by the bottom line) seeing a big spike starting in early 2024

And finally, on April 19, the group broke through the 3-million barrier, breaking the the record set by SB19 at 2,823,832 in August 2023 for the contemporary P-pop genre.

As it should, numbers hardly tell the whole story about an artist’s talent, dedication, and creativity. But for any artist in the grind, just like any creative seeing their work resonate with an audience, numbers – chart figures in the case of music artists – are certainly a moment to relish.

On TikTok, BINI’s journey is recorded. From their training days that started in 2018 as part of Star Hunt Academy – Star Magic’s Kpop-inspired “idol”-style training system – to moments handing out flyers in the street a la Kpop icons BTS, to their older mall shows that are certainly far less chaotic than their recent ones, to their candid livestreams on the platform Kumu that have made them relatable and endearing to fans, it’s all there.

Now, it’s sold-out, multiple-date concerts, and frenzied mall show crowds that the group now has to ask to calm down slightly at times.

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BINI member Aiah Arceta is led through the crowd at an Antipolo mall show, Saturday, April 20

There are candid moments as well of some members that show them being surprised and overwhelmed like the outwardly expressive Maloi Ricalde holding back tears at a BGC mall show where an estimated 8,000 fans gathered on a Sunday evening, April 14; or the more nonchalant Colet Vergara mouthing “Wow” hearing the crowd’s booming collective voice singing along with them at an event by Samsung – a brand for which they are endorsing midrange A35 5G and A55 5G phones, among several brand endorsements this year.

The clips are below.

Laurenti Dyogi, the head of Star Magic and head of ABS-CBN TV Production and executive producer of the popular Pinoy Big Brother reality show, told Rappler in a 2021 interview: “When I saw them [BINI and fellow Star Hunt Academy trainees SHA Boys now known as BGYO] perform [on ASAP], I thought to myself: ‘Wow, sulit ‘yung hirap. And you can only say na ‘di pwede ‘di mo suportahan ang mga batang ito (All the hardships were worth it. And it’s hard not to support them). Imagine, 2 to 3 years from now, how good they will be.”

For BINI right now, fans, observers, and management will no longer have to imagine.

It’s the summer of Pantropiko, and indeed, the group’s moment in the sun.

“We will all be so proud because we’ve tested their personalities, their dedication to their work. The training process was not easy but they braved it, and they really have the talent,” Dyogi also said then.

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BINI member Mikha Lim points to a staff member a fan trying to give a gift to the group. After their performance, several fans hand out gifts to the girls.

Here are more photos at the group’s mall event at Robinsons Place Antipolo where the group was brought in by napkin brand Modess. Click on the images to enlarge.

For BINI fans, the group’s last few stops in April are a mall show in Zamboanga City on April 26, and at the Bangus Festival in Dagupan City on April 30. –

Editor’s note: The article originally said that BINI debuted in 2020. The correct year is 2021. This has been fixed.

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Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.