MANILA -- (UPDATED) South Korean girl group Mamamoo brought the party to a sold-out crowd in their first-ever concert in the Philippines, capping the Asian leg of their "My Con" tour.
The super quartet composed of Solar, Moonbyul, Wheein and Hwasa proved to be one of K-pop's powerhouse vocalists with a packed three-hour show that rocked The Big Dome -- at times quite literally with the crowd thunderously stomping their feet in delight.
The group performed some of their hits such as "Mr. Ambiguous," "Decalcomanie," "Hip," "Egotistic," "gogobebe"and 'Taller Than You," all the songs from their latest EP "Mic On," and medleys that included "Dingga" and "You're The Best."
They also energized the audience by covering each other's solo works -- with Solar covering Wheein's "water color," Hwasa with Moonbyul's "Eclipse," Wheein performing Solar's "Honey," Moonbyul with Hwasa's "Twit," and the group performing Solar's "Spit It Out" and Hwasa's "Maria."
"Masaya ba?" group leader Solar asked the fans, affectionately called Moomoo, who responded with deafening cheers. The group also occasionally uttered Filipino slang words and expressions including "Diyos ko po!" and "Shot puno!"
Incidentally, Filipino Moomoo prepared a surprise for Solar's upcoming birthday with a money cake or a cake that contained plastic-wrapped cash, to the group's amusement.
Solar, who spoke Filipino phrases the most, recalled that she briefly lived in the Philippines when she was in elementary school.
"It took around 10 years before I returned here in Manila. From our trip going here, I felt something strange. When I first came here, I was still little... Now that I'm older I think I can come back here receiving all the energy from you," Solar said through a translator. "We will make sure we will return to the Philippines, so I hope you will wait for us."
Hwasa said the support of the fans is fueling her, as she admitted that she recently considered slowing down and taking a break.
"While performing in front of you all, what I thought of was I will work harder," Hwasa said through a translator. "We will take back to Korea the heart-touching moments that we feel now and give us joy and we will do what we can to improve as artists and we will return."
Moonbyul and Wheein turned emotional after seeing the fan-made video project shown during the concert, which included a message from Filipino fans that said they were "destined to be with Mamamoo."
"I didn't plan on crying today. I didn't want to cry, but you made me do it," Moonbyul said through a translator. "I don't know why but every time I see Moomoo, I feel sorry. Because we really feel how you waited for us for a long time, we are really sorry for that. We thank you for giving us your time."
To recall, the group was supposed to perform in Manila alongside other K-pop acts in 2019, but the show was ultimately cancelled.
Wheein. meanwhile. shared that the tour gave her "meaningful and precious" moments, lessons and feelings.
"If Manila will be our last tour stop, we are very thankful because we are overwhelmed and filled with love. We will always remember your passion for us, and we will be back. Please wait for us," Wheein said also through a translator.
It remains to be seen how their promise of returning to Manila will be fulfilled. In 2021, Wheein left the group's management company RBW Entertainment seven years since Mamamoo's debut, but agreed to continuing activities with the group until December 2023. Wheein, however, assured fans in a handwritten letter [hyperlink: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQAwi7GjQW9/] that "All four members of Mamamoo will always be with you."
For now, Filipino Moomoo will have Mamamoo's word to hold on to, as well as their remarks during their encore performance of 'Um Oh Ah Yeh': "Mamamoo, tuloy-tuloy!"