SHINee’s Choi Min-ho holds first solo fan meet in Philippines

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
SHINeeâs Choi Min-ho holds first solo fan meet in Philippines
South Korean star Choi Min-ho wears a Barong Tagalog during his first solo fan meet presented by Ovation Productions at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

From dancing Sarah Geronimo’s Dati-Dati to wearing a Barong Tagalog, South Korean star Choi Min-ho delighted his Filipino fans (called Filo Shawols) when he held his first solo fan meet at the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday.

“Hello, Philippines! Long-time no see,” he greeted the screaming crowd holding pearl aqua-colored light sticks.

The K-pop-idol-turned-actor was so “excited” for his first fan meet that he prepared a lot for his presentation. “To be honest, while I was preparing for it, I was very nervous and excited at the same time to show you all these. Now that I have been able to show you my performance(s), it’s an unforgettable memory for me,” he said through an English translator.

Choi believed that it was “destiny” that he was able to spend time with the fans again after a long time. “The last time I came to the Philippines was so long ago. And that time, (I was with the boy group) SHINee, we were here. And finally being here after a long time is making my heart flutter.”

He was “very glad” that the first country he got to visit for his first solo fan event was the Philippines.

“Did you miss me?” he asked the crowd who responded with a resounding, “Yes!”

He reacted, “Really? I miss you, too. Right now guys, you made me feel that it’s such good news that I come back so quickly.”

The 31-year-old has been in the showbiz industry for 16 years now. In 2008, he debuted as a member of the K-pop boy group SHINee. As an actor, he first appeared in the Korean drama series Pianist and later on starred in various television shows such as Salamander Guru and The Shadows, To the Beautiful You, Medical Top Team, My First Time, Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth and most recently, The Fabulous, as well as the film Canola.

Choi is currently filming the variety show Ticketing with Two Feet. He shared, “We are currently doing the shoot for the show and recently we went to New Zealand. We got to go to many beautiful places. I won’t be able to tell you everything that happened there but I fulfilled a lot of missions. I had a lot of different experiences and for me, it was a very meaningful time.”

Last year, he dropped his debut solo EP Chase composed of six tracks — Chase, Prove It, Choice, Runaway, Waterfall and Heartbreak.

Heartbreak was his opening number during the fan event and his 2019 single I’m Home was the closing song. Choi also rendered a SHINee medley with Atlantis, Don’t Call Me, Kiss Kiss and CØDE, and his very own Runaway and Chase.

Since it was the first time that he performed Chase to the Filipino crowd, he hoped fans would “listen to it more and more.”

Other highlights of the almost two-hour-long show include Choi performing Sarah Geronimo’s Dati-Dati dance choreography and his Philippine version of the Heartbreak dance, doing the waltz and reenacting some scenes from K-dramas.
Photos courtesy of Manuel Chua and Ovation Productions

“First of all, thanks to all of you guys, I got to make this first solo album. It’s possible because of you. And I feel really good that I get to come here in the Philippines and perform (Heartbreak) in person,” he said.

Some of the highlights of the almost two-hour long program included Choi performing Sarah Geronimo’s Dati-Dati dance choreography and his Philippine version of the Heartbreak dance, donning a Barong Tagalog, doing the waltz, wearing a crown on his head and reenacting some scenes from Alchemy of Souls and Descendants of the Sun.

He was so cute dancing the Dati-Dati challenge that the audience requested him to do it again which he gladly did.

Choi “felt honored” to be wearing the Barong Tagalog for the first time, saying, “Knowing that this is such a meaningful clothing (for Filipinos), this is also meaningful for me.”

He also prepared exclusive and unreleased photo cards that were distributed to lucky fans after the show. Kapamilya actors Seth Fedelin and Francine Diaz were spotted among the crowd.

The title of Choi’s first Manila fan meet is 2023 Best Choi’s Minho with the subtitle Lucky Choi’s presented by Ovations Productions. When asked what he considered as his “lucky” moment, he simply replied, “I think I get luckiest and happiest when I get to go far distances to meet the people I love like you.”

If there was a place he would like to “run away” to — Runaway is the title of one of his tracks — it would be the Philippines.

“I think what’s more important is who you traveled with,” Cho said as the audience giggled.

He continued, “I think if I were to run away somewhere, the Philippines would be the best place. And since I enjoy the hot summer and the hot weather, and here in the Philippines, there are kind people and great food, I think the Philippines would be the best place to run away to.”

The crowd was pleased with his answer and they cheered one more time.

Choi also recommended this itinerary for any Filo Shawol who would be interested in traveling to South Korea: Go to Seoul, eat kimbap and samgyup and take photos at four-cut photo booths.

“It’s a photo booth where you get to take four pictures. (You can) choose four pictures and print (them) right away. If you come to our company, there’s something there that looks like me. (If you take a photo with that) you feel like you took a picture with me already,” he said.

Towards the end of the show, Choi expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the supporters who attended the fan meet and for being with him throughout his journey.

He said, “I always do my best to show my best (to you all)… Thanks everyone for (spending) time with me today.”

Choi then read a poster from the crowd that said, “We want SHINee World concert in Philippines,” in which he responded, “OK I got it. I will make sure that next time, I’ll come to get the other members (and perform). Until then, I hope you always stay healthy and always have (a) good (year).”

He then exclaimed, “I love the Philippines! Saranghae! Let’s meet again!” and added, “Also, I like you to know that you guys are my hope.”


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