EXO comes to Manila a week before comeback

IN the past few weeks, fans of EXO, known as EXO-Ls, had been waiting for updates on the SM Entertainment boy group’s comeback on social media. When EXO’s official Twitter account

(@weareoneEXO) released the teaser for the comeback in early October, the hashtag #EXOComingSoon immediately landed on the worldwide trends list.

At press time, EXO, with all nine members, was set to release their fifth studio album, titled Don’t Mess Up My Tempo, on November 2.

Last weekend, fans of EXO in the Philippines got lucky as the group performed at the MBC Music’s TV program Show Champion in Manila with five other acts at the Mall of Asia Arena. Aside from EXO, K-pop fans got to see The Boyz, Weki Meki, MXM, Xeno-T and Hyeongseop x Euiwoong performing their hits.

Show Champion airs every Wednesday in South Korea with Kim Shin-young as the emcee.

In the afternoon before the show, the artists took part in a press conference and walked the red carpet.

It was my first time to attend a K-pop event where the artists had to walk the red carpet and one of my colleagues warned me to take pictures quickly as it was going to be fast.

I missed the red carpet in the afternoon with the five groups and only stayed for EXO in the early evening. From the time the group members descended the Hyundai vans (everybody was hoping they would be on Angkas bikes as it was an event sponsor), it took the boys a minute to pose for pictures and disappear from view. I didn’t time it but it really seemed like a minute. You’ve got to appreciate how fast they move without sacrificing the time they’ve allotted for their fans. I’m glad I listened to my colleague.

For most of the groups, it was their first time in the Philippines. “It is our first time in Manila and this will be a very memorable experience for us,” said Xeno-T, formerly known as Topp Dogg.

The group, which opened the show, is composed of Sangdo, Xero, Sangwon, B-Joo and Hojoon. They performed “Perfume,” “Oasis” and “Forever.”

Hyeongseop x Euiwoong, former contestants on the survival audition TV show Produce 101, were also first-time visitors. One of the two duos in the show performed “It Will Be Good” and “Spring Rain.”

“I really wanted to come to the Philippines before and I really feel so happy to meet you. I’m thankful I was able to join Show Champion in Manila,” said Hyeongseop. The second duo was MXM composed of Youngmin and Donghyun, also former contestants on Produce 101. They released their first studio album

More Than Ever in August. During the show, they performed “Diamond Girl,” “Gone Cold,” “Checkmate” and “Ya Ya Ya.”

“We are happy to be here in the Philippines for the first time,” said Youngmin.

The Boyz, a 12-member idol group composed of Sangyeon, Jacob, Ju Haknyeon, Hwall, Younghoon, Hyunjae, Juyeon, Eric, Kevin, New, Q and Sunwoo, were also in Manila for the first time. The group debuted only in December 2017.

“When we first found out we were performing on Show Champion in Manila, first we were excited and nervous, and for most of our members, it’s their first time in the Philippines. We are very excited to meet our fans and to show our performance, and we hope we can come back,” said Eric.

The Boyz performed “Boy,” “Giddy Up,” “KeePer” and “Right Here.”

Girl group Weki Meki is composed of Doyeon, Yoojung, Sei, Suyeon, Elly, Lua, Lucy and Rina.

“It’s our first time in the Philippines and we are very excited,” said Doyeon. They performed their latest song “Crush” along with “La La La,” “I Don’t Like Your Girlfriend” and “True Valentine.”

“I would like to thank Show Champion for bringing us here before our comeback. I think we’ll receive a lot of energy from you guys for our comeback,” said Kai.

Show Champion in Manila was presented by MBC Plus together with Lumos E&M and All Access Productions.

Image Credits: Gianna Maniego

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Dinna's dream is for every child in the Philippines to be well-fed, well-shod and be in school on the way to getting a college education. If she didn't have to work for a living, she'd probably be taking care of 10 dogs, all of them long-haired chihuahuas.

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