Story time: ElyXion in Manila

In the Philippines, there’s this saying that goes, “Kapag biglaan, (mas) natutuloy!” It basically means that some things unplanned are more likely to push through. I’m kind of a believer of this saying since I’ve had my fair share of experiences that were the epitome of this, but I never thought the day would come where it’ll also apply to my concert experience. Nakakaloka, teh.

The Plot Twist

I woke up on the morning of April 28 feeling incredibly positive. I dressed up, wore make-up, even wore my favorite bra (charot na maharot!), and texted my friends, “I’m on the way!” For some reason, just the mere thought that I’ll be breathing the same air as EXO on that day made me feel good, even though I knew I had a bleak chance of attending their concert.

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EXO’s ad in the MOA Arena.

I wasn’t really planning to watch the con because of personal circumstances, but the night prior, I told myself I’ll just wing it. If I manage to find a Gen Ad (the cheapest admission) ticket on the day itself, then good. If not, then I’m also good. That morning, I just withdrew a certain amount of money and told myself hindi ako lalagpas sa budget ko, haha. If I don’t get a reseller, then I’ll just spend the rest of the day watching a movie or shopping for a swimsuit.

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Baekku & Dambi

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The OG Baeksoo squad: Me, MG, Shie, and Mika.

Now, eto na. I headed to CBTL to claim fan goods and in doing so, I ran into my friends. I finally met my long-time mutual Ingrid in person and said hi. Told them that I want to watch the con but I still don’t have a ticket, and then Ingrid told me Alex (another friend of ours) said she was selling extra ones for a very reasonable price and I was like, YASSSSSS, BITCH.

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Me after scoring that ticket.

At that point, I was already jumping and screaming in joy in the middle of the coffee shop, shame be damned. Then, Ingrid told me that the reseller of the ticket apparently knows me and I was like, “whaaaat?” Tapos, ayun na, I got a call shortly after and it turns out the reseller is a former co-worker of mine. She got her complimentary tickets from work and with her being a non-fan, she had no one to sell it to until the very last minute. GIRL. She was my life savior HUHU.

I got my tickets delivered during lunch and by that time, I was reeling. My section was in VIP Standing E, and I was told by my friends that it’s the section that Kyungsoo frequents. I was practically walking on cloud nine. Like, what kinda luck? Since the announcement of EXO’s Manila stop, I had already programmed my mind that I won’t be seeing Kyungsoo this year. I’ve already asked friends to please enjoy the concert on my behalf. I’ve comforted myself several times that it’s okay, it’s just a one-day con, I could always make up for it and see them again when they come back (hopefully!) next year.

And then suddenly — plot twist. It’s like the universe worked extra hard that day to make this happen for me. Thank you T___T

Getting inside

My friends and I started queueing around 4 pm. I finally got the chance to meet Alex after so long! I think it was the first time for me, Alex, MG, and Ingrid to gather in one place. It’s a little insane, knowing we’ve been mutuals on all our fandom accounts for around a decade already, have gone through several fandom shifts (from jpop to kpop) and didn’t meet until that day, on an impromptu con attendance nonetheless. We were still in high school when we first met, and now all of us have earned our degrees and are already part of the workforce in our respective fields.

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While queueing, I also got to see AC! He’s my favorite social media influencer from the Philippines because of his wit and funny videos. He was interviewing other con attendees in the line and even asked one of the girls, “Do you know what AlmoKyung means?” Me being the Kyungsoo fan that I am tried to discreetly whisper the answer “unpredictable” to the interviewee, but she didn’t hear me. I knew he’s an intellectual.

It was my first time being in the mosh pit of a kpop con, and I was pretty amazed at how close it was? Unlike my past EXO con experiences, my heart was strangely calm at that time. I didn’t feel fuzzy or anything, I was just patiently waiting for the con to start. I think it was because it still felt surreal to me because it was so sudden? I don’t know.

At the last minute though, during the last song right before the con started, I sent a little prayer to the heavens and asked God to make Kyungsoo’s hair be styled up. I did it because I knew his bald head has now grown back its hair, but now that I think about it, I think it has just become a yearly tradition of mine, HAHA. I did exactly the same thing two years ago when I attended Exo’luXion for the first time. And boy. BOI.

God came through.

The Con

I was totally unprepared because I had no lightstick, no Kyungsoo slogan (HUHU). All I had was myself and my Kyungsoo transparent fan. But girl. The moment the con started, this girlie went screaming her head off every time Kyungsoo appeared on the screen, haha! I wasn’t familiar with the ElyXion setlist, so everything came as a surprise of some sort. EXO’s vocals and performance were amazing as usual, and I found myself easily singing and jumping along. Now, let me just talk about the members and my experience of seeing them up close!

Sehun

Out of everyone I saw in the concert, I think it was Sehun who really blew me away. His visuals are on a whole another level. He has porcelain skin. His lips are so pink. He’s like an angel! Believe me when I say pictures don’t do him justice at all. He came close to our section a lot and each time he did, I found myself just staring up at him, haha. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of looking at his face.

Junmyeon

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Junmyeon just exudes this manly and mature aura and one look at him will really tell you why he’s the leader, lol! The daddy, daddier, daddiest meme is made for him. He’s just a whole ass papi, I tell you. I was told to raise the Junmyeon playboy fansupport slogan during his solo stage, but instead of raising it up for him to see, I just ended up biting it instead while watching him, HAHA. He’s the kind of idol who makes you grit your teeth for the good. He did this whole scrunching nose thing that made him look fiercer during his performance and boy, this man definitely knows he’s hot.

Minseok

Minseok is an ice fairy! He’s so small and ethereal in person. And he looks like he has no pores, haha, his skin is that beautiful! You really have to see him up close just to know how good-looking he is because again, pics don’t do him justice. I didn’t see a lot of him though because he was on the opposite side of the stage most of the time.

Jongin

Jongin is the master flirt of EXO. Everything about him is enigmatic, from the way he dances to the way he interacts with the fans. Whether he’s acting cute or acting cool, you could tell he really knew the effect he had on people. I think almost everyone cursed at him at one point because of how flirty he was, haha. This man is an expert at fanservice! He also came to our section and waved a lot.

Chanyeol

Chanyeol is so soft 😦 People who have been with me for a long time know I was a previous Chanyeol stan HAHA and I think ElyXion rekindled my adoration for this guy..somehow. He came by to our section a lot and interacted with fans, I’m 😦 His skin is so beautiful and his dimple looks even cuter up close, I wanted to pinch his cheek T__T But he’s so easy to spot because he’s so tall. I thought I’d cry during his solo because it was such a heartfelt song and the English translation of his rap was really sending me, but I didn’t. He’s such a giant bub.

Jongdae

I have so much love for this guy T___T Like the Kyungsoo prayer, I had also made it a tradition of mine to shout “I LOVE YOU JONGDAE” at him in every Manila con. Y’know the iconic Toni & Piolo Sprite CF? Genern. I thought I’d miss my chance this year but no! I was so lucky because he came to our section several times so I got to shout it a lot too! He’s so good-looking and he blessed everyone with all that bicep and armpit exposure. What a guy, this guy.

Baekhyun

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Baekhyun is the definition of uwu! He really reminds me of a puppy. So small and playful and funny during the entire con! He kept playing with toys (even wore several of them!) and kept singing the baby shark song. He came to our section a few times and waved a lot when he did I was so T__T. I think at one point during the con I just found myself staring up at him, basking in the moment as I realize that I am watching him dance in person. He’s so beautiful, too. This man is too precious. I can’t, Jhemerlyn. I can’t.

**Ang susunod na pahina ay Rated SPG. Striktong Patnubay at Gabay ng magulang ang kailangan. Maaaring may maseselang tema, lenggwahe, karahasan, sexual, horror, o droga na hindi angkop sa mga bata.

(Breathes deeply. Inhale. Exhale. This is going to be LONG.)

KYUNGSOO

Everyone knows I have extreme Kyungsoo tunnel vision and my eyes have never left him the whole time. It was a battleground out there in the mosh pit, but I really tried my best to follow him wherever he went. I thought I’d break my neck from trying to spot him even when he was on the opposite of the stage, but I don’t regret it, lmao.

My first thought when he came out on the stage was “hair!” followed by “so handsome!”. I screamed so HARD every time the screen showed him, I think a couple of non-Kyungsoo stans in my section got deaf from my screams.

A few minutes into the concert, I noticed a few things about Kyungsoo’s performance. One, he cranes his neck a lot, whether it’s while performing (you know that move he does when he sings ‘goddess’ in Monster?) or while he’s scanning the audience.

Two, he always wears this cool and confident look on his face like, he knows he’s hot? During that speakeasy bar stage, he sat like he owned the whole place and that was so hot!! It doesn’t help that his lips naturally quirk to the side whenever he smiles so it starts as a smirk first ;(

I honestly thought I’d cry during his For Life solo performance, but I didn’t. It was so beautiful, though! His voice really has a good timbre. It was so funny how people went out of their way to sshh the crowd so the entire arena could hear him better. But when his high note came on, everyone just lost it and screamed. There was even a fanboy who shouted, “I LOVE YOU KYUNGSOO!” with all his heart, lmao.

Kyungsoo is a man of many adlibs, and in this con, he did a lot of them too. He never lacked in doing his fair share of “hey, hey”, “make some noise” and other silly sounds. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a Kyungsoo stan, but I think he’s actually the member who does the hyping up the most? Or maybe his voice just stands out to me because it’s loud and deep and my ears have always been trained to hear his sounds, haha. Still, I think this is such an underrated trait of his! People have this notion that he’s super quiet and reserved but boy, this man is a performer. He KNOWS how to lead the audience.

He also stareat the fans a lot. He always stares at the crowd with this fond and wistful look in his eyes and it’s so endearing because he just seems so serene while taking in everything. I love him, mom.

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Kyungsoo during Walked On Memories. Hello, angel.

My favorite part of an EXO con is always the party stage because I love dancing and just turning up so much and gurl, this is the advantage of being in the mosh pit! Kyungsoo was quite elusive because even though he came to our section several times, he never came as close as much as Sehun and Chanyeol did, so I had to chase him all the way to the farthest wing of the extended stage just to see closer. And mumsht, sobrang thankful ako na naisip ko yun!

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He was there for the entirety of Drop That and it just felt so euphoric jumping along with him T____T It’s like having this fan-artist connection where you have that shared energy at the same time and space as the two of you just dance along to the music. I LOVED IT. I’ll never listen to Drop That the same way again.

Appearance-wise, he’s really small! And skinny. He was a lot thicker the last time he was in Manila so I was quite surprised. So handsome, though! Unlike Sehun and Minseok, I don’t think he has that ‘ethereal’ look on him; he looks more earthy and mature and SO HANDSOME. He looks as small as photos make him out to be, but his facial features are a lot more distinct and prominent irl. That jaw? Amazing. Those forearms? Stunning. My pics are low quality as hell but I swear he was closer in person in these pics that I could make out his protruding veins even from a distance, haha.

EXO, in general, didn’t speak a lot until the last ment, but I really liked what Kyungsoo said! He talked about how he thought it’s a shame that the ElyXion in Manila was only for one day (they always had two-day cons in here for their previous tours), that he’d love to visit Philippines again to eat Filipino food, and how he wishes everyone to always be happy (it was so sweet, I shouted “Ikaw rin!”).

As if that last sentence wasn’t enough, he ended his talk by saying “Mahal Kita” (with a hard emphasis on T, haha), which translates to “I love you” in Filipino. I think this was the most Filipino he’s spoken in the past three instances they held a solo concert here? I was dead. Everyone was dead. Cause: Kyungsoo love bug.

I wish I was kidding but I mean it with my entire being when I say this man has my whole heart. He’s so handsome, so precious, so goddamn beautiful I’m so thankful to the ancestors that I stan this man? I admire him so much. I never expected I’d get in my feelings like this after seeing him for the third time, but after this con, I think I just grew to love him more T__T

Overall, ElyXion in Manila was such a wild and touching experience for me. I think I already maxed out my luck on this day, but I truly feel thankful it happened. Thank you, universe.

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