Tuesday, May 27, 2014

21 Things We Loved About 2NE1's AON In Manila!

Words by Kris Rocha

It ain't over 'til it's over! 

10 days after the much awaited concert of 2NE1 in Manila, a lot of fans still has the #AONHangover.

To relieve this, we listed down the 21 things we loved about All Or Nothing in Manila!

1. Krungy - Since the day she touched down Manila few days before their ”All or Nothing” World Tour, 2ne1's Sandara Park did not fail her fans as she was all over the local news and television shows promoting and doing her job as the group's  Director Of Communications. With interviews and TV guestings left and right, it just shows how much she missed Manila. It seems only yesterday when she captured the hearts of the Filipinos with her fresh look and witty personality. She still was the same Krung-Krung from Star Circle Quest 10 years ago; funny, down to earth, humble, CRAZY and can speak in straight Tagalog! In fact, she even requested to be interviewed in Tagalog! How's that for a Korean superstar with no Filipino blood? Sandara genuinely loves the country and considers Philippines as her hometown. No wonder why even she has been gone for a while, she always has a special place in Filipinos' hearts.

Photo grabbed from Jollibee's twitter: @Jollibee
2. Jollibee - Sandara loves Jollilbee and she always makes it a point to eat here if she has the opportunity. During their visit here in Manila, Jollibee threw them a “Jollitown Kiddie Party”. As seen on Sandara's instagram posts, the 3 other members of the group, CL, Minzy and Bom together with their crew had a fun time with the happy bee. Jollibee even had a showdown with the girls while dancing to CL's “Menboong”. And guess who won? Some photos of Jollibee with 2ne1 were also posted on Jollibees' official twitter page.

Photos by Kris Rocha
Meet & Greet Photo by Ferdie Arquero
3. Scream - A special mall appearance was arranged by the organizers and an Open Press Conference was held at Shangri-La Plaza's East Wing the night before the concert. Kring Elenzano and Jimmy Kim hosted this event. Cover group “Sapphire” opened and performed some of 2ne1's hits. Fun games and activities hyped up the program as fans were waiting for 2ne1’s arrival.  Prizes were raffled off to fans who participated in the Shangri-La Plaza's special promo and 30 of them were given a rare photo opportunity with 2ne1! Special right?

As expected, the crowd went wild as the girls arrived and stepped on stage. Shang's East Wing was surrounded by running and screaming fans. Every time the girls waved at their fans, do cute things with each other and answered questions from the media, fans screamed! We couldn’t even hear ourselves anymore! A huge screen was set-up in the old wing near the fountain area in order for more people to watch the live feed from the open press con.

4. NOLZA! - During the press con, we personally congratulated the girls as they celebrated their 5th year anniversary and asked them to describe their experience with 2ne1 in ONE WORD. Leader CL quickly acknowledged and answered, “NOLZA” which means "Let's Party!" in Korean. With just that one word, it seemed like every Blackjack in the venue connected with each other and with the girls. Screams filled the venue. If only we could see the hearts of all Filipino Blackjacks who were there, they were all probably jumping and partying inside as they were all hyped up for the big concert the next day! 

Photos grabbed from 2NE1PH
5. Filipino Blackjacks - 2ne1 fans are called Blackjacks. Filipino Blackjacks were probably the luckiest this year as the 2ne1 AON fever started early with Sandara Park arriving days ahead and appeared on local TV shows. Since the day rumors has spread that 2ne1 will be having a concert in Manila, dedicated Blackjacks started preparing for the girls arrival! Pre-event activities were held and different projects were planned. Loyal Blackjacks participated and contributed money, time and effort to make every project a success. Some projects were organized by local fan bases like 2NE1PH such as, Project Message Book, Project Banner, where different banners were displayed inside the concert area and outside the venue; Project Care, on the other hand, gave the girls a cake in celebration of their 5th anniversary; Project Light-up MOA Arena gave away light clappers to the crowd; Project Back To School Wreath -  it is a tradition in the K-pop world where fans share their blessings through charity by offering a wreath during concerts. In Manila, a special Back To School wreath was offered and school supplies were donated to less fortunate children.

6. Soundcheck Party - Not all sound checks are open for fans to watch and 2ne1 is one of the few artists who we know holds a Soundcheck Party. It is also a great treat to Blackjacks to see the girls in their casual wear and sing in a more relaxed environment compared to what they usually see during their public appearances and full production performances. Some of the lucky Blackjacks who were able to purchase VIP Packages enjoyed a 30-minute exclusive sound check with 2ne1. The girls sang 3 songs and the Blackjacks cheered like it was the actual concert.

7. MAY 17 - This date marks the special day for 2ne1, their anniversary! 2ne1 celebrated the 5th Anniversary of their debut in Manila and arranged a special stage during the concert. Cakes from fans were displayed on stage and the girls placed icing on each other's faces! They also acknowledged the 2ne1 team up on stage and introduced them to the audience. Minzy together with Dony of Hi-Tech dancers, did a "sexy dance" while the crowd sings Happy Birthday to the group.

Top Photo by Gerley Quilala
Bottom Photos grabbed from 2NE1's Official Facebook Page
8. Fashion - Aside from their songs, fans also loved 2ne1's fashion! Their public appearances and concerts are also considered fashion shows. To name a few, during AON, the girls wore outfits from Jeremy Scott's Moschino and Adidas creations, SAM MC London and Virgil Abloh's Off-White. And it is not just the girls! Blackjacks also came in fashionable outfits and some flashed their own collections of the same brands! Some of the die-hard 2ne1 fans also cosplayed and re-created their own version of 2ne1's famous outfits and get-ups!

9. Winner - AON in Manila started 8:00pm on the dot. With no opening act, 2ne1 themselves opened up the show. The girls brought a special guest to entertain the fans during intermission, YG's newest boy group Winner! The boys were both talented and good looking! They definitely won the hearts of the Filipina fans! They performed 2 songs, "Just Another Boy" and “Go Up". We have our eyes on this group, another product of YG Entertainment to look forward to.

10. Hi-Tech -These talented guys had been backing up 2ne1 during live performances for so long and have gained countless of followers too. No wonder why during AON in Manila, they had their own share of fans from the crowd! Screaming fangirls and fanboys (who are girls by heart) went crazy every time they flashed their intense moves and well-toned bodies! The Kwon twins who are the cutest from the group did not disappoint fans during CL's solo performance of GZB & MTBD as they danced topless showing off their six packs!

11. Menboong - During the press conference, CL beyond words promised her fans that she will just show in the concert how she truly feels about being Manila... and she really did! We were blown away with just her stage presence... she is really the baddest! Just imagine how we all had a mental breakdown every time she danced, sang, rapped and flipped her hair! Her solo stage is probably one of the highlights and most awaited part of AON. Blackjacks went wild as she performed "GZB" (The Baddest Female) and "Menboong/MTBD" (Mental Breakdown). As what Sandara always say about CL, "SEXY!"

12. Best In Fan Service - From their open press con and special appearance in Shangri-La Plaza up until the night of the concert, Minzy has probably returned smiles and waved over a thousand of Hi!s and Hello!s to their fans. The maknae (Korean term for youngest/bunso) of the group is all grown up and has embodied more grace, beauty and confidence. "Dalaga na talaga si Minji!" And so we award the Best in Fan Service to "not-a-baby-anymore" Gong Minzy! 

13. I Love You - Since there's no baby in 2ne1 anymore, the girls spiced things up a little and showed fans their sexy side! Sandara called some of her local celebrity friends on stage, Sam Milby, Joross Gamboa, Jason Abalos and Ram of G-Force. The boys got a lap dance from 2ne1 as they performed I Love You. Sandara on Sam, Bom on Joross, Minzy on Jason and CL on Ram. Lucky fellas!

14. In Or Out - Together with 2ne1 and Hi-Tech dancers, Dara performed her 2004 single In Or Out during the encore. Bom sang some lines in Filipino which was impressive! Minzy and Hi-Tech perfected the dance steps, while CL was kind of lost doing it. As per Sandara, she missed the practice because she was in the restroom during rehearsals! 2ne1 promised to give their Filipino Blackjacks a special treat and this was a real treat as it is refreshing to see them perform a Filipino song. 

Video grabbed from Youtube: mcopioso

15. Boom Panes! - Sandara learned a new song “Boom Panes” from Vice Ganda, a local comedian during her guesting on his TV show. During the concert, Dara showed her "Boom Panes" moves which drew cheers from the crowd. Blackjacks then started chanting for other members to show their "Boom Panes" moves. CL was hesitant at first saying "I know what you guys mean, but I'm gonna pass!" But persistent Blackjacks together with self-proclaimed CL Fanclub President Sandara was able to persuade her. Though she ended up saying "Boom Vaness, boom boom Vaness Vaness," the crowd still cheered as it was cute to see the baddest female do funny things on stage.  Bom and Minzy also did their own version of Boom Panes!  Vice Ganda probably was the proudest person in the arena during this moment! Boom Panes!

16. Bom Mais! - We've heard a lot of people say, "She’s so beautiful in person", "her voice is really great live" and "she is too funny and cute with her…corn!" Blackjacks know this for a fact, Bom loves corn or mais in Tagalog. Honestly, during the encore we are waiting for some fans to throw corn on stage as a gift for Bom. We were not disappointed as one fan gave her a corn stuffed toy! Bom looks cute holding and playing with her corn on stage during encore. Looked like she wanted to eat it! Bom Mais!

Photos grabbed from 2NE1's Official Facebook Page
17. Come Back Home - AON in Manila can be considered as Sandara Park's homecoming. With all the fame and success, she still considers Philippines as her home. During the encore, Dara expressed how happy she was to celebrate their 5th anniversary in Manila. CL then who was busy checking out their anniversary cakes captivated the hearts of the Filipinos when she said, "We're gonna do this," puts icing on Sandara's nose, "and no one else because it's your hometown. But I'm gonna do this…" puts icing on her nose and said, "Because I wish this was my hometown too!" Bom and Minzy started out putting icing on each other's faces and all four girls run around the stage chasing one another. 

To show how much they are welcome here, a banner from fans saying "We Will Always Be Your Home" was displayed in the arena. Indeed, 2ne1 has found their 2nd home in the Philippines and they can always Come Back Home here, anytime they want!

Photos grabbed from 2NE1's Official Facebook Page
18. Fire - From start until the end, 2ne1's energy did not go down a single level and showcased a top notch performance. Blackjacks were left in awe as they were no longer watching 2ne1 on the internet; it was all happening LIVE! Everyone was on their feet. Waving light sticks filled the whole arena. Hit after hit, Blackjacks danced and partied with 2ne1 knowing the choreography and even the lyrics of each and every song by heart. Both 2ne1 and the crowd were on Fire that night, seemed like cameras and mobile phones were the only ones left battery empty.

19. Can't Nobody - What we loved most about AON in Manila is the connection and interaction between 2ne1 and Filipino Blackjacks. Compared to other Korean artists who has been here, 2ne1 need no interpreter anymore, with CL who is very fluent in English and Sandara who is flawless in speaking in Tagalog. This probably is the reason why there's no dull moment during the press conference and concert. We saw how comfortable the girls were on stage every time they interacted with their fans… especially Sandara! There came a point when Sandara talked to Bom in Tagalog and quickly realized, "Ay hindi ka nga pala marunong mag-Tagalog!"  Funny moments like this are very rare and priceless for Blackjacks. 

Photo grabbed from
20. Charity Ball - After the concert, a K-pop charity ball was held in Solaire Grand Ballroom with 2ne1 as special guests. Like what CL said, they were just supposed to drop by and say hi. But the girls decided to stay longer and performed "Falling In Love" for the fans. Part of the proceeds from the charity ball will go to the PKCI's Student Beneficiaries. 

21. Gotta Be You - Blackjacks were very thankful to Pulp Live World for bringing AON in Manila. The show was a huge success probably because of Pulp's Happee Sy-Go, who is considered as the Fairy Godmother of K-pop fans in the Philippines. There's no other person in the concert industry in Manila who we know who fully understands the world of K-pop and most importantly, its fans. She has gone beyond her way to cater all the needs of Filipino Blackjacks and to give everyone a great production. So if it's K-pop, it's Gotta  Be You Happee… it has Gotta Be Happee!

Congratulations and Special Thanks to Pulp Live World

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