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ITZY makes hearts flutter in Manila

By Arian Yupangco Published Jan 18, 2023 5:00 am

In the competitive and colorful world of K-pop, more and more groups find themselves singing and dancing their hearts out to make it to that coveted global stage. Artists like Blackpink and BTS have already got everyone from your favorite auntie to your office co-workers dancing to their hits. So what exactly does one need to reach the mega heights of mainstream fame and get K-pop connoisseurs to scream “Saranghae”? Well, one group already has the answer and it’s all in the name. Their name, to be exact.

A powerhouse group since their debut in 2019 and once hailed as “monster rookies,” ITZY got millions of shoulders shaking with their viral hit Wannabe and have their fans, affectionately known as “Midzys,” hyped for their three days of activities here in the metro. Their name, ITZY, refers to a Korean phrase meaning “There is” and the reason is simple: whatever you can think of that makes a K-pop group great, it’s there and they’ve got it. Outstanding vocals, stunning visuals, and killer dance skills all come together in ITZY to make them a triple threat in both the Korean and global music scene. But don’t just take my word for it. They’ve got over 40 (yes, 40!) music show wins and other prestigious awards under their belt. And with more relaxed restrictions, they were able to kickstart their very first world tour in South Korea last year.

Itzy loves local: The K-pop sensation sporting shorts from Bench as part of their concert couture

Having taken on their hometown and with a successful streak of shows across the US, they’re finally back in the Philippines after three years to the delight of thousands of Filipino Midzys, including yours truly! With two nearly sold-out shows on Jan. 14 and 15 at SM MOA Arena, ITZY first graced Glorietta on Jan. 13 for a presscon as part of their agenda and set a record for having the mall’s biggest event ever.

Fans definitely went home hoarse-voiced but happy, holding onto Itzy’s last words—that they can’t wait to be back again—to cap off the night.

After singing along to Sneakers and one of their latest comeback songs, Cheshire, prior to the presscon, fans of all ages screamed their lungs out to greet members Yeji, Lia, Ryujin, Chaeryeong and Yuna as they stepped out onstage. Naturally, these K-pop “it” girls had to flex and get fans’ hearts fluttering as they introduced themselves and shared affectionate words in Tagalog. I might have screamed a little bit too loud when my bias (a term used to refer to your favorite member), Ryujin, said in perfect Tagalog that she was happy to see everyone. Even with a ton of topics on the table, all five girls couldn’t help but reminisce about their last trip to the country and a grinning Chaeryeong expressed her desire to visit other locations like Boracay and try some good ol’ halo-halo. When asked about their reaction to a second concert day being added to their originally one-day Philippine stop, Lia said it was completely unexpected and even the crowd at the mall was a pleasant surprise.

Itzy at Glorietta: Biggest mall event ever

As their local concerts have been on everyone’s lips (and social media accounts) for weeks, Yuna only amped up the excitement by stating there’s a lot to look forward to, including their best and well-loved hits as well as solo performances from each member. For every Midzy that was in attendance, it was surely a night (or two) to remember as ITZY pulled out all the stops for their 2.5-hour concerts with electric and energizing stage design that kept the fans jumping and on their feet the entire time. The pain was totally worth it, I promise! As we all expected, the entire production was top-notch and as eye-catching as their variety of performance outfits, including trendy cutoff shorts from Bench. Fans definitely went home hoarse-voiced but happy, holding onto ITZY’s last words—that they can’t wait to be back again—to cap off the night. We’ll wait as long as it takes, girls!