Super Junior’s unexpected fanmeet gave ELFs another reason why they’ve lasted for 18 years—and counting.
Before the “Super Show 9: Road” tour started, it was announced that Heechul would not participate due to health matters. The show, however, went on. But just when Super Junior was set to fly to the Philippines, Siwon tested positive for COVID-19. Things went from painful to heartbreaking when Eunhyuk’s father passed away.
“Super Show 9” started on a bittersweet note but ELFs and Super Junior wanted to make the most out of their time together. The group’s unexpected fanmeet on Aug. 6 at the Mall of Asia Arena showed that K-pop idols—as mythical as they seem—have their limits too.
Super Junior’s concert in the PH was eventually postponed to a later date, but the group decided to meet Pinoy ELFs to thank them for their support. The arena erupted in cheers and chants of “gwaenchana” (it’s okay) as Leeteuk, Yesung, Shindong, Donghae, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun stepped onstage. Contrary to their usual bright personas, they were heartbroken.
Shindong was supposed to give his message first, but he started to cry as he gestured the rest of his members to take over. Holding back their tears, Yesung, Donghae, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun were also shaken up as they apologized to fans in their own ways.
Annyeong, ELFs! 💙— PhilSTAR L!fe (@philstarlife) August 6, 2022
We’re here at the Mall of Asia Arena for #SS9InManila. The concert was postponed at a later date but #SuperJunior wanted to interact with Pinoy ELFs despite the unforeseen circumstances. pic.twitter.com/DNOJvp0VQF
“It’s been so long since we’ve last seen each other. [However], it’s really unfortunate that we can’t give back with very good performances but with this opening ment [instead]. I would like to give my sincerest apologies to you all,” Yesung began, as he asked fans to send their love to Eunhyuk. “I hope that we will express the sadness that Eunhyuk is feeling right now.”
But being the leader that he is, Leeteuk kept himself together as he revealed that the group and PULP Live World decided to postpone the show after hours of discussion.
“We actually had a discussion until 3 a.m. on what we’re supposed to do. And we decided that it’s better to postpone the show. It’s not canceled. Just think that you’ve bought your tickets earlier,” Leeteuk said, adding that he requested the local concert promoter to “add a second show in the Philippines.”
The audience (and even my fellow media colleagues) thought that the show would end by then. However, Leeteuk said the group prepared “special gifts” to thank Pinoy ELFs for sending their love. The gifts turned out to be heartfelt performances of their ballads: My Wish, Callin’, and More Days With You.
“When we come back, Siwon will be in the center. Eunhyuk, ‘my duo’ (or doppleganger) will be right next to me. I will be happier that day. In a way, we’ve been blessed with more opportunities to see ELFs in the future,” Leeteuk said.
The fanmeet ended on a comforting note as a choked-up Super Junior joined hands to bid an emotional goodbye. Leeteuk even had a moment to bow solo in front of the fans as a thank you.
To end the night, it was announced that fans can “hold on” to their tickets since they will be honored on the new schedule that’s yet to be finalized. Additional details on ticket refunds and updated dates will also be “announced soon.”
'Everlasting Friends' indeed
Since Super Junior has been in the industry since 2005, the Mall of Asia Arena was filled with fans of all ages. We’ve met up with teens crying together in groups, careerwomen talking about work schedules should the updated SS9 schedules be announced, and even middle-aged adults wearing SuJu-themed merch.
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Jessy Gabrinez, who traveled from Cebu to see Super Junior live, said the fanmeet gave her “mixed emotions”, especially since she didn’t attend the group’s previous concert. She also revealed that she’s been a fan since her college days, saying the group “motivated me to do well and to make my parents proud, kahit ano mang mangyari.”
“I’ve been waiting for so long tapos ito pa ang nangyari. But siyempre, need natin silang i-understand kasi hindi naman nila ginusto ang nangyari. Hindi naman nila sinasadya. Malungkot ako, pero masaya pa rin kasi nagpakita pa rin sila. Despite what happened, we appreciate kung anong ginawa ng SJ para sa amin,” Gabrinez added.
Katrina Martinez, on the other hand, admitted that she couldn’t stop crying during Super Junior’s fanmeet. “Hindi naman natin sila masisisi. Even so, happy ako na ‘yung co-ELFs ko ay understanding din. Kasi ako rin naman, hindi ko mae-enjoy ang concert kung ganito ang nangyari.”
Martinez also shared that she’s “thankful” that her ticket will be honored in the next show, saying that she trusts PULP Live World COO Happee Sy and her “love for Super Junior and ELFs.” It's worth noting that Sy is known to be a huge fan of Super Junior.
We also had a chance to speak to Nacee Trinidad, a middle-aged woman spotted with young adults who were helping her get a nice photo with her Super Junior-themed headband, mask chain, and other merch.
“Masaya pa rin ako kasi naging gracious [ang Super Junior]. Thankful ako kasi naging generous pa rin sila. Kahit malayo si Donghae sa akin, nakita ko pa rin siya,” Trinidad gushed. “Naging ELF ako noong 2018 at nakilala ko sila dahil sa mga estudyante ko. Since then, pinapasaya nila ako. At tingnan mo naman, ang dami nilang napapasaya talaga. Hindi lang ako."