MANILA — Filipinos continue to be swept by the Korean wave as made apparent by the slew of fans that packed the Mall of Asia Arena Sunday night to see five K-pop acts perform their hits.
Much of the ear-splitting shrieks at the 2019 K-pop World Music Festival was devoted to the headliners, NCT 127 and Red Velvet, who were both performing in the country for the second time.
NCT 127, which first visited Manila last October 2017 for “K-pop Republic 2,” opened their set with their 2016 single “Fire Truck” and 2017 hit “Cherry Bomb.”
The 9-member boy group also performed their more recent singles “Regular,” “Simon Says,” and “Superhuman.”
Actress Sharon Cuneta, a self-confessed fan of NCT, attended the concert wearing a black shirt that bore the words “NCTzen,” the boy group’s “fandom” name. The “Megastar” was even caught on camera cheering on member Jaehyun.
The audience was then treated to a “fruity” taste of summer with Red Velvet, which kicked off their set with the bright and bubbly songs “Red Flavor” and “Power Up.”
The female quintet also displayed their impressive vocal abilities with “Moonlight Melody.” They capped the night by showing off their chic side with “Bad Boy” and “Really Bad Boy.”
Red Velvet first performed in the country in 2015 with labelmates Super Junior and Girls' Generation.
While there was much anticipation over NCT 127 and Red Velvet, the crowd also went wild for soloist Kim Donghan and the girl group Elris.
Elris’ member Sohee, who rose to fame as a contender in the reality competition “K-Pop Star,” opened the concert, setting the energy high with an alluring dance to Trish’s “Mannequin.”
Sohee also performed her solo songs “Spotlight” and “Hurry Up,” and a cover of Gain’s “Bloom.”
Donghan, meanwhile, opened his set with his song “Sunset” followed by “Good Night Kiss,” “Focus,” and “Idea.”
It was Donghan’s second time to perform in Manila but the first time as a soloist. He visited the country last year as part of the now-disbanded group JBJ.
The girls of Elris were a radiant sight on stage, melting the hearts of Filipinos with their catchy songs “We First,” “Summer Dream” and “Pow Pow.”
Only four of the five Elris members performed as Bella suffered an injury.
Philippine-based Korean host Ryan Bang served as the emcee, interpreter, and comic relief.
As he interviewed the artists in between their sets, Bang would crack sarcastic jokes in Filipino, drawing laughs from the crowd while leaving the artists seemingly clueless.
At the end of the show, Bang revealed that there would be another K-pop World Music Festival but said he was not aware of its date and which artists would be included in the lineup.