Why the Philippines is ‘best place to run away to’ for SHINee’s Minho

Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 31 2023 06:41 PM | Updated as of Feb 07 2023 04:14 PM

Choi Minho of the K-pop boy group SHINee during his first solo fan meeting in the Philippines, January 28, 2023. ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Choi Minho, a member of the veteran K-pop boy band SHINee, considers the Philippines as an ideal place to escape to.

During his first solo fan meeting in Manila last January 28, the 31-year-old artist admitted that he was drawn to the country’s weather, food and people.

“I think if I were to run away somewhere, the Philippines would be the best place,” Minho said before scores of Shawols (short for the fandom name SHINee World) at the Mall of Asia Arena.

He was responding to a question posed by TV personality Sam Oh, who hosted the fan meeting, in relation to his song “Runaway,” which he performed at the event.

“Since I enjoy the hot summer and weather here in the Philippines, and there’s great food, kind people, I think the Philippines would be the best place to run away to,” Minho said.

The event, titled “2023 Best Choi’s, Minho Lucky Choi’s” and presented by Ovation Productions, marked Minho’s reunion with Filipino fans in nearly six years. He previously visited the country with SHINee in 2017, performing at the One K Global Peace Concert, also at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Minho said he was “very glad” that the Philippines was the first stop of his Asia fan meeting tour after Seoul.

“Being here after a long time is making my heart flutter,” he said.

Asked about what moments make him feel “lucky,” in reference to the fan meeting’s title, Minho said: “I think I’m luckiest and happiest when I get to go far distances to meet the people I love, like you (fans).”

During the two-hour fan meet, fans got up close and personal with Minho, playing a game in which they had to come up with poses with the K-pop superstar.

Minho also danced pandango while wearing a barong Tagalog, and hopped on a dance challenge based on Sarah Geronimo’s new single “Dati-Dati.”

He showcased songs from his debut solo extended play “Chase,” released just last December. These include the lead single of the same title, “Heartbreak” and “Runaway.”

Minho also delighted Shawols as he performed a medley of SHINee’s recent songs, including singles “Atlantis” and “Don’t Call Me,” and album tracks “Kiss Kiss” and “Code.”

Watch more News on iWantTFC

‘Unforgettable memory’

Minho admitted that he was both nervous and excited while preparing for the fan meeting.

“[But] now that I've been able to show you my performance, it’s an unforgettable memory for me,” he said near the end of the event.

Minho also promised to “do my best for me to be able to come to you” in the future. And after seeing a fan-made banner asking for a SHINee concert in the Philippines, he gave a thumbs up and said, “Okay. I got it.”

“I’ll also make sure next time, I’ll come together with the other members,” he said, prompting an eruption of cheers from the crowd.

Minho, a talent of K-pop powerhouse SM Entertainment, debuted in 2008 with SHINee. Often considered the “Princes of K-pop,” the group is known for countless hit songs such as “Lucifer,” “Sherlock” and “View.”

He has also starred in television dramas such as “To The Beautiful You” and “Hwarang.” Most recently, he landed a lead role in the Netflix series “The Fabulous.”