Here’s Why Filipinos Go Loco Over ITZY

Here’s Why Filipinos Go Loco Over ITZY


From a press meet to back-to-back sold out concert days in the country, ITZY proves their impact in the hearts of Filipino fans

Returning to the Philippines for their Checkmate world tour this time around, K-Pop girl group ITZY captured more Filipino hearts than ever before. Turning their sold out one-day concert into two, members Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong, and Yuna commence the Asian leg of their tour in the country with a press meet at Glorietta Mall in Makati. As of writing, their Manila stop is the biggest one yet with an accumulated number of around 30,000 audience members for both days.

Hwang Yeji, the quintent’s leader and once dubbed as “JYP’s Secret Weapon,” expressed her thoughts on this. “We are really, really happy that the Philippines is our first stop in the Asian tour.” 

Meanwhile, main vocalist Choi Lia added, “We were very surprised even today because we heard that this is a big mall. We did not expect this many people. We’ll make sure that you’ll all have a great time.”

Filipinos are already known for their devotion to their idols and the list goes on when you ask them why. There is a great comfort that K-Pop idols bring to their supporters in every interaction, song, and post. Stanning can easily uplift one’s loneliness after a hard day in school or at work. Despite the language barrier that occurs, the connection between them is no less meaningful on both sides. 

Two members of the maknae (youngest in the group) line, Lee Chaeryeong and Shin Yuna, showed their eagerness to immerse themselves in Filipino culture, starting with the language. 

Yuna, the youngest and visual member of the group, introduced herself with one of the most common questions every Filipino asks. “Kumain na kayo?” she asked the crowd, eliciting loud cheers from the audience yesterday. It seemed like the secret to Yuna’s natural charm is also her eagerness to build stronger connections with fans. 

ITZY’s main dancer, Lee Chaeryeong, can set a stage on fire with her dance moves, but also uses the same burning passion to charm Midzys. With a big smile on her face, she mentions that halo-halo is the food she wants to try in Manila.

“I want to go to Boracay and stay there,” she answered eagerly. Certainly, this came from a place in her core memory of sharing good memories with other members at the beaches in Jeju and Los Angeles. 

Four years after their debut, ITZY continues to grow and explore more concepts and sounds. When asked about hints for their next comebacks, the girls could only smile sheepishly with Yuna responding, “It’s a secret!” 

With the group’s growth, of course, comes the maturity of each member. Even with individual activities and differences, the five members still remain intact because of the bond they built even before they debuted as ITZY. But as performers under one group, main rapper and center Shin Ryujin revealed the secret to their showstopping choreographies and powerful live stages. 

“We practice a lot, but it comes naturally,” she said with a relaxed vibe, finding a balance between her cool girl vibe and her childlike excitement in being surrounded by lots of fans. 

Even with her chill composure, Ryujin definitely has a soft spot and a good memory for the moments they share with fans, particularly with Filipino Midzys. “When we first came here in the Philippines, it was Yuna’s birthday so they prepared a song for her and she cried. We felt the love, so it was a great day for us.”

ITZY’s staying power is slowly but surely cementing itself worldwide, and with that comes the pressure of expectations set by people who seem to always want more. What gets them through everything? Lia answered candidly that it is really the support that gives them the motivation to give their best. 

“For the past three years, we’ve received so much love not only from the Philippines, but also around the world, and we are so grateful for that. Our MIDZYs are very precious to our hearts. We are very thankful and grateful. We want to give back all this love and energy on stage, and we want people to enjoy our music,” she said furthermore. 

Devotion can translate in the form of words, but of course, more so through actions. Surely, with every stream, vote, and edit of a fan is an expression of gratitude from idols that come in the form of their stellar stages. Because even when words miss or fail to capture what idols want to say to us, their effort in giving us a good show never does. 

Catch ITZY live in Checkmate World Tour happening today and tomorrow at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Photography KIERAN PUNAY

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