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AAA 2023 in the Philippines |


AAA 2023 in the Philippines

OMG - Gracie Go - The Philippine Star
AAA 2023 in the Philippines
The Asia Artist Awards 2023 in the Philippines have been highlighted as a remarkable exhibition of skill, style, fanfare, and enjoyment, garnering various talented artists from different Asian countries.
Joel H. Garcia

Last December, Pulp Live World made history with the 2023 Asia Artist Awards (AAA). Held at the Philippine Arena complex in Bulacan last December, it marked the first time the country hosted a South Korean yearend award show.

The atmosphere was electric even before the awards ceremony began. The Philippine Arena complex was a hive of activity, with fans arriving as early as 8 a.m. to participate in various fan-driven activities. Some set up booths at the Philippine Sports Stadium, where they distributed fan-made banners, photocards, and other merchandise. Others took pictures at the designated areas. The centerpiece of the Fan Zone was a giant blue wall where fans left heartfelt messages for their idols.

Choosing Ryan Bang as the red-carpet emcee was a brilliant decision. Ryan is Korean through and through, but he has lived in the Philippines for over a decade. He seamlessly switched between Korean and Filipino,z engaging with the artists in a relatable manner. His interaction with K-drama heartthrob Kim Seon-ho was especially memorable.

Presenting P-pop and Filipino representation at the prestigious event, SB19 walks the red carpet with a modern take on suits, fusing the structured silhouette with the semi-sheer effect and black beaded symbols of a barong.

“Do all the heart poses you want, take your time,” he playfully instructed the actor, eliciting laughter from the crowd. As a comedian known for his quick wit, Ryan kept up a running commentary as all the artists walked the red carpet. For instance, his remark on the costumes of girl group Sakurazaka46, which resembled Japanese schoolgirl uniforms — “Mukha silang papasok sa klase (They look like they’re on the way to class)”— added a welcome, light-hearted touch to the proceedings.

The main show opened with an electrifying performance by Filipino boy band SB19. The highlight of their set, which included a medley of their hits, was their collaboration with Japanese-Korean boy band &Team for Gento, a song that had previously sparked a viral dance challenge among K-pop idols. The group later clinched the Best Artist (Singer) and Hot Trend awards, underscoring their expanding influence in the Asian music scene

Comedienne Melai Cantiveros infused the event with her signature humor. When emcee Jang Won-young asked about her feelings on attending the AAA, Melai quipped, “Attending AAA is an honor... I feel like I’m the first honor, a valedictorian.” Her acceptance speech when she took home an award later in the show also kept those present in stitches. “If someone questions why I have an award, don’t worry, I question it, too,” she joked. Her witty remarks went over well, even with the Korean attendees.

“Oh, say it, ditto!” New Jeans enters the stage once again to receive their Song of the Year Daesang for their hit track Ditto.

The AAA served as a reunion for many Korean stars and their Filipino fans. Artists like Akmu, Itzy and others returned to the Philippines, reconnecting with their fans by performing their latest releases. The AAA also marked the first time some K-pop acts met their Filipino fans. Girl groups Le Sserafim and NewJeans were met with passionate screams during their performances. Le Sserafim performed Perfect Night before segueing into the viral hit Eve, Psyche & The Bluebeard’s Wife, while NewJeans had the crowd singing along to OMG, ETA, and Super Shy.

K-pop boy band Stray Kids, known for their high-energy performances, lived up to their reputation. After a successful two-day concert in Manila earlier in the year, they returned to the Philippines for the AAA, where they received the grand prize for Stage of the Year. Their 12-minute performance included hits like Maniac, Get Lit, Topline, and Lalalala.

A humorous moment involving Stray Kids members Han and Seungmin caught the attention of fans. During a lull in the proceedings, the duo excused themselves to go to the restroom. As they were heading out, the emcees announced that 3Racha, a Stray Kids production team that includes Han, had won the Best Creator award. Caught off guard by the announcement, Han momentarily stood still, while Seungmin nudged him, seemingly to remind him to accept his award. Quickly snapping out of his surprise, the two sprinted back towards the stage, with Han leading the way.

ZB1 appear exquisitely stylish in their black and red attire as they make a dashing presence on the red carpet of the AAA 2023 event.

Meanwhile, the other Stray Kids members at the table were astonished when 3Racha was announced as the winner. Initially uncertain about how to respond, they slowly stood up from their seats as Han and Seungmin made a hurried return. Bang Chan and Changbin started moving towards the stage, quickly followed by Han, who was slightly out of breath. Stray Kids fans, also known as Stays, found this moment endearing yet hilarious.

The night concluded with a show-stopping performance by Seventeen’s sub-unit BSS, who received an AAA grand prize for Performance of the Year. Their set began with the mellow 7PM, performed alongside actors Kim Se-jeong, Lee Dong-hwi, and Kentaro Sakaguchi. They took things to the next level with the hit Fighting, performed with rapper Lee Young-ji, and their debut single Just Do It. The performance had everyone from the artists to the audience on their feet, ending the night on a high note.

The 2023 Asia Artist Awards was more than just an award ceremony. It was a night that showcased the best of what Asian pop culture has to offer, leaving an indelible mark on all who were part of it. — Julian Mauricio

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