Paradise: 2018 Yook Sungjae
Fan Meeting in Manila
July 13, 2018, ABS-CBN Vertis Tent
YOOK SUNGJAE is only 1/7 of the Korean boy band BtoB (Born to Beat) but he is arguably the most popular member. Aside from his activities with the group, he has a flourishing acting career which shot up several notches when he joined the cast of blockbuster K-drama Goblin, and played the nephew of Gong Yoo from Train to Busan fame.
So when Viu Philippines announced that he would be holding his first fan meeting in Manila, there was a frenzy among his own fans as well as BtoB loyalists (called Melodies).
But the 23-year-old celebrity — who has performed in the Philippines at least four times with BtoB — came across as very humble and amiable despite his status as one of the most sought after K-pop idols.
He was the first Korean star to hold a fan meeting at the Vertis Tent in Quezon City. The venue was the perfect size — big enough to accommodate over 1,000 fans, but small enough to feel his presence.
Sungjae opened his fan meeting by singing “Paradise,” which he composed and was released as one of two songs in the 2017 digital single project, Piece of BtoB. Pitch-perfect, easy on the ears, and looking crisp in a gray and black ensemble, Sungjae sang effortlessly, definitely impressing the fans who paid good money to see him.
“Salamat sa pagpunta kahit malakas ang ulan sa labas (Thank you for coming despite of the heavy rains),” was his greeting to his supporters, adding that he wished “sama-sama tayo palagi (We should always be together).”
The All the Butlers actor said he tried to learn Filipino to better communicate with fans, but he joked that he also has a few Visayan phrases up his sleeve. He said that he went to Cebu years back to learn English, which is why the Philippines is close to his heart.
As expected, he played some games with his fans, giving advice to select fans on some of their personal concerns, and testing them on who knows the most about him. He cutely apologized to every eliminated contestant — it was obvious that he wanted them all to win. Winners were treated to selfies with him and one lucky fan even went home with a voice recording on her mobile phone.
Sungjae also sang “Beautiful,” from the official soundtrack of Goblin, and his version is comparable with the original sung by Crush.
The stage was sparse with only an LED display as a backdrop, on which his videos and K-drama clips were shown. Kring Elenzano-Kim made the fan meeting more interesting with her lively hosting.
The We Got Married’s virtual husband carried the whole show perfectly. He promised to return to the Philippines with the rest of the BtoB members, hopefully in a long-overdue concert. Their last scheduled group show in Manila was cancelled at the last minute.
“This fan meeting is unforgettable for me but I hope to bring my members next time,” he said.
During the “hi-touch” (where he does high fives with the fans) and photo sessions, the School 2015 lead was visibly open to his fans and even took time to briefly chat with them.
He was later quoted as telling his manager and production staff that he should have been informed beforehand that he had a PWD (person with disabilities) fan present — he would have personally greeted her where she was seated instead of her having to come up on stage.
Gentle Sungjae certainly won the Philippine Melodies’ hearts. — Cecille Santillan-Visto