Heavy rains snarled traffic in Metro Manila but that didn’t stop fans from trooping to Araneta Coliseum on the day K-pop boy band Wanna One held their fan meeting.
The 11-member rookie boy band debuted just a little over two months ago last August but they have already legions of fans, thanks to their participation and eventual win in the survival audition TV show “Produce 101” Season 2, which ran from April to June this year.
“Wanna Be Loved,” presented by IME Philippines, provided the chance for Wanna One to meet their fans in the country.
“It is our first time here in Manila, Philippines and through this fan meeting and through this time, I hope we can get to know you more and spend quality time here before we go back to Korea,” said Wanna One member Hwang Min-hyun during the boys’ press conference held at Novotel Manila Araneta Center before the fan meeting.
Kang Daniel, Park Ji-hoon, Lee Dae-hwi, Kim Jae-hwan, Ong Seong-wu, Park Woo-jin, Lai Kuan-lin, Yoon Ji-sung, Bae Jin-young, Ha Sung-woon and Hwang Min-hyun debuted on Aug. 7 with the album “1 X 1=1 (To Be One),” which has sold 726,155 copies to date, according to Gaon Chart.
The Manila fan meeting showcased Wanna One’s performances and talents, question-and-answer portions and games.
The boys opened the two-hour show with “Never” followed by “Energetic,” the lead single of their debut album. They also sang “Wanna Be (My Baby),” “It’s Me (Pick Me),” “Hands on Me” and “Always.”
At the press conference, the boys talked about the Philippines, their fan meeting tour, their soaring popularity, fans, career and goals.
They were excited to visit the Philippines.
“I look forward to meeting the Wannables here in the Philippines because when we arrived at the airport, a lot of fans were cheering for us so we also look forward to performing for you, guys,” said leader Yoon Ji-sung.
Ong Seong-wu said, “I’m also excited for our performance later because everyone here is really cheering for us.”
For places they want to visit in the country, Park Woo-jin said, “I’m not familiar but I’ve heard about Boracay all the time” while Yoon Ji-sung picked Cebu.
“There’s a street that is famous in Manila. I saw from a Korean TV show. You know Sandara Park, right? She introduced the street to the Korean fans,” said Lee Dae-hwi referring to Bonifacio High Street in Taguig.
When it comes to Filipino food, Bae Jin-young said, “I really like mangoes so I want try (it)” Lee Dae-hwi wants to try “sinigang.”
Two members chose EDM [electronic dance music].as their music genre of choice.
“Because we go on tour nowadays, I’m very fond of party music. That’s the kind of genre that I try,” Ong Seung-wu said to which Lai Kuan-lin responded, “Just like Ong Sung Woo said, we would like to try some EDM.”
To date Wanna One has held fan meetings in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei and Manila.
“First of all, we can experience the different culture of each country that we visit. And second, we get to know that there fans who are cheering for us,” said center Kang Daniel.
According to Yoo Ji-sung, “We are really touched when fans from abroad would recognize us when we made our debut from ‘Produce 101.’ We are fascinated and amazed by the fact.”
“The love by our Wannables abroad is something very interesting and is really acknowledgeable,” Ong Seung-wu added.
Even before they became Wanna One, the members already experienced exploding popularity when they were trainees on “Produce 101” and it continued after their debut not only in Korea but also overseas.
They have endorsed about 15 brands including sports wear, cosmetics and food, and have been invited as guests on many TV shows including “Infinite Challenge” and “SNL Korea 9.”
“Since debut, every time we go abroad, we are fascinated and amazed with how many fans we have. Up to now, we can’t believe what’s happening,” said Kim Jae-hwan.
Bae Jin-young explained, “We’re always thankful and grateful for fans’ unconditional love and support. We always think that we should give back with our own efforts.”
Debuting in Wanna One really changed their lives.
“Before debut, we really didn’t have schedules, TV programs and concerts. After ‘Produce 101,’ we’re fully booked and now we see our Wannables and fans. That’s a great part after the debut,” said Park Ji-hoon.
According to Lee Dae-hwi, “Before debut, I never got love from so many people. (After our) debut, we’re getting love from Wannables . . . so much love.”
For Park Woo-jin, “The best part is having brothers.”
Ha Sung-woon considers learning as one of the best parts of being in Wanna One.
“Getting to know members in detail, about their strength, is also a good part of being in Wanna One,” he said.
For Kang Daniel, he said they all go through experiences together.
“We are happy together and we suffer together. That’s a phrase in Korean. And doing all these together we made a tighter (bond) with one another,” he said.
When asked what they want to achieve as Wanna One, Bae Jin-young eyes the rookie award.
“In my opinion, I really want to make (it) to the rookies’ award for the year,” he said.
Park Woo-jin said, “Our goal is to really give back all the love and support our fans, Wannables, have given us.”
Wanna One advised all aspiring singers to pursue their dreams.
“Never give up. Don’t ever give up because when you wait, opportunities will come,” said Ha Sung-woon.
For Ong Seung-wu, “We learned how to try our best so that when you wait, time will come and opportunities will come.”
Tags: Bae Jin Young, fan meeting, Kang Daniel, Kim Jae Hwan, Lai Kuan Lin, Lee Dae Hwi, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment, mb.com.ph, Ong Seong-wu, Ong Seung-wu, Park Ji Hoon, Park Woo Jin, Produce 101, Sandara Park, Wanna One, Wanna One makes memorable night with PH fans, Yoon Ji Sung, “Wanna Be Loved”