[NEWS] Pinoy fans get up close and personal with 2AM

May be taken out with full credits.

MANILA, Philippines - For four days, thousands of Filipino K-pop fans were in a tizzy. Their wish to see popular Korean boy band 2AM in person was granted when the group visited Manila last April 27 to 30, the first leg of their Asian tour in support of their first full-length album “Saint O’Clock.”

“Parang 'di po ako makapaniwala,” said 17-year-old Juvilyn, one of the 500 lucky fans who bought the album and had it signed by 2AM at the meet-and-greet event at Newport Plaza, Resorts World Manila last April 28.

2AM—composed of Jo Kwon, 23; Jinwoon, 21; Changmin, 26; and Seulong, 25—was the latest K-pop group to visit the Philippines. The group, chosen recently by vocal trainers as the best singing idol band in Korea, was completely astonished when they found out that they have so many supporters in the Philippines.

As soon as 2AM arrived in the country on April 27, fans already gathered to meet them and show them their love. On the first day of the promo tour, April 28, fans that bought the album waited for as long as 10 hours at the enclosed area for the rare chance of getting the album signed by the group.

Grace Antoinette from Las Pinas, whose favorite is Jinwoon, tells Bulletin Entertainment that she likes 2AM because the group is full of charisma and has strong vocals.

“Very unique ang style nila kasi puro singing lang,” added 17-year-old Elaira from Navotas.

Janine Samaniego, 16, from Cavite City, noted, “Magaganda ang [mga] kanta nila.”

In an interview with Bulletin Entertainment, 2AM’s Changmin explained how different they are from other idol groups.

“If you listen to our title song, it’s usually [a] ballad, not an upbeat song. We have a variety of music even though our main focus is ballad and slow music,” said Changmin, who wrote the song “To Love You Again” in the album.

Wild cheers from fans greeted 2AM at their succeeding shows on April 29 at the Venice Piazza at McKinley Hills, The Fort, and during the grand showcase on April 30 at Eastwood Mall Open Park.

During the three-day Manila tour, 2AM wowed the audience with their superior voices. They sang cuts from the “Saint O’Clock” album including “You Wouldn’t Answer My Calls,” “Like Crazy” and “I Did Wrong.”

The response of Filipino fans didn’t go unnoticed, as the surprised Jo Kwon, 2AM’s leader, told Bulletin Entertainment.

“We were very happy to have our first show. There were so many passionate fans. We were amazed by the atmosphere and ambiance; how the fans loved us and shouted even when we were singing. We are happy to know that there are a lot of 2AM fans in the Philippines. We are happy that the Korean wave is spreading around Asia,” he said. Jo Kwon trained for eight years under JYP Entertainment before debuting as member of 2AM in 2008.

At the grand showcase, there were surprises for both 2AM and the fans.

Jo Kwon did his signature fan service by performing his hilarious “kkap,” a wild and crazy dance, to the delight of I AMs, the collective name for 2AM fans.

The record label, meanwhile, surprised three of the group’s members whose birthdays were coming up with a birthday cake. Changmin (May 1), Jinwoon (May 2) and Seulong (May 11) blew out the candles on the cake that was presented on stage while Jo Kwon got cookies as an early birthday present.

And to double the fans’ delight, the 2AM members also spoke Filipino during the event. “Babalik kami. Diyan lang kayo,” quipped Jo Kwon after finishing “This Song,” a single that was released in 2008.

The promo tour showed just how much work 2AM members put into their numbers. Jo Kwon and Changmin said they make sure they always exert effort to convey the meaning of each song despite the language barrier.

“We put our hearts into our music so even if they might not understand the lyrics of the song, they know the emotions. We want to give more music and put more effort into it so that more fans will appreciate our music,” they said.

Fans quickly took to Facebook to express their feelings about the unforgettable three-day tour.

“It was worth waiting for them. I hope they will come back,” wrote Joyce Ann Castro.

Cyril Beatriz Pita said, “I'm incredibly happy to see them up close. I still can't get the hang of it. Thank you so much for bringing them here!”

“The Filipino fans really had fun. Thank you so much,” added Nerissa Urbano.

2AM left Manila for South Korea Saturday night, taking with them the memories of the successful first stop of their Asian tour. The tour’s next leg will be in Malaysia on May 21, followed by Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia.

Jo Kwon expressed his appreciation to Filipino fans for the wonderful treatment 2AM received during the tour.

“Philippine fans thank you!!” Jo Kwon posted on Twitter.

2AM Live in Manila was presented by MCA Music Inc. and Megaworld Lifestyle Centers along with Manila Bulletin, Garage Magazine, MYX, Barangay LS (97.1), KPOP Live, Orangemagazinetv.com, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Maxima Machineries & Hyundai Truck and Bus, Big Hit Entertainment Korea, JYP Entertainment Korea and 2OneDay Philippines.

Thank you to the writer, @jonah_writer for sending us the article! Here's a pic of what it looks like in the newspaper too! ^^ http://yfrog.com/z/gzp264j