MANILA - Bambam of K-pop superstar group GOT7 was reunited with his Filipino fans in an exclusive fan event in Manila.
Thousands of Filipino ahgase (the official fandom name of GOT7) flocked to Ayala Malls Manila Bay on Thursday to see the Thai-born idol in the flesh.
Bambam and the rest of GOT7 members last performed in Manila during their Keep Spinning World Tour in 2019.
Amid thousands of cheering fans who waited for hours just to meet him, Bambam shared his thoughts about the possibility of collaborating with Filipino artists and everything he loves so far with his experience in the Philippines.
Before Bambam could answer the question, fans quickly chanted the name of Filipino artist James Reid.
"James? Actually, we've been talking about... Nothing happened yet. James is one of my good friends. I think if I have a chance, I would be happy to have a collab with James," Bambam said.
Speculations about a possible collaboration have been swirling online since early July after a photo of Bambam with Reid and Filipino actress Liza Soberano surfaced on the internet. Soberano is now being managed by Reid and is also under his record label Careless Music.
Hours before meeting the fans, Bambam tweeted a photo with Reid and Soberano in a restaurant in Manila. The K-pop shared that they ate Filipino dish sisig.
Reid previously worked with another GOT7 member JayB and Taiwanese-American rappper ØZI in a collaborative single "Hello 2.0 (Legends Only)." It was a remix of Reid's 2021 hit song "Hello" with an additional Korean verse from JayB and a rap from ØZI.
Bambam is no stranger to Filipino music. In 2015, during GOT7's visit in the Philippines, he sang a few lines of the Filipino hit song "Ngiti" (Smile). Seven years later, the K-pop star finally gave the Filipino audience a full performance of the song when he sang it during the K-pop Masterz in Manila at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday.
In 2020 during one of his VLive sessions, Bambam was shown listening to Ben&Ben's single "Leaves." He said he really like the song and that he has to learn about Ben&Ben.
Before meeting his fans for a signing event in Manila, Bambam also held a similar event in Cebu.
Aside from sisig, Bambam said he was able to try lechon and bangus (milk fish). The K-pop star loved bangus so much that he even put up a caption that said, "MilkFish is the best."
On Instagram, Bambam also shared a photo of him with former 2ne1 member Sandara Park in a local restaurant and holding bottles of Filipino beer.
Both Bambam and Sandara are now signed with ABYSS Company after leaving their respective former company — Bambam from JYP Entertainment and Sandara from YG Entertainment.
And because his time in the Philippines was admittedly short, Bambam shared that given the chance, he wants to explore more and experience the local scenes.
"I want to go to the beach," he said. "I also really want to go to night market here in Manila."
But aside from the famous Filipino hospitality, the warm welcome of Filipino fans, and the tasty Philippine dishes, Bambam also got a taste of something that is notorious in Manila — heavy traffic.
Minutes before arriving for the fansign event, Bambam tweeted: "Manila! I'm on my way, so much traffic!"
In 2021, Bambam released his first solo mini-album "riBBon," which featured six diverse tracks. He quickly followed this with his sophomore mini album "B" which was released early 2022.
Bambam, along with fellow GOT7 members, have been promoting as solo artists since they left their former agency.
The group did not disband. In fact, GOT7 is now a self-owned group, a rarity in the K-pop industry, after acquiring the rights to their music and trademarks.
Last May, the group made a comeback with a self-titled extended play (EP) featuring the now hit-song "NANANA."
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