Up close with AxisB
Text and photo by Piakat Fernandez
IT HAS been weeks but I still cannot stop talking about the Korean boy-band whose performances during the Otakufest and fan meet captured the hearts of female fans, mine included.
AxisB–Kim Doah, Choi Daeyoung, Choi Junghoon, Oh Yeongheon (Honey) and Moon Junho (Juno)–blew the audience away when they performed their newest songs during Otakufest 2017 at the University of Philippines-Cebu in Cebu City on Feb. 18.
Before the AxisB went on stage, the crowd of more than 1,000 people–mostly women–gathered at UP-Cebu soccer field were unresponsive to the performances, visibly tired from the day’s events.
But they broke into hysterical screams as soon as Doah, Daeyoung, Junghoon, Honey and Juno went on stage to perform.
But nothing beat the fanmeet at K-Pub restaurant at the Ayala Terraces the next day.
I was surprised to see the presence of Japanese fans who followed AxisB to Cebu just to see them.
Although there was a language barrier between the Filipino fans and Japanese fans, it didn’t stop them from forming a friendship over a common interest–AxisB.
One Japanese fan even gave out cookies that had pictures of the AxisB members on them to almost every Filipino fan as a token. Except me whom they mistook as Japanese.
While in K-Pub’s lounge area, fans saw AxisB’s playful side when they repeatedly walked in and out of the other room from the lounge area that was separated only by a glass wall to tease them.
The fanmeet officially started by AxisB singing few songs including two popular Pilipino songs–“Nasa Yo Ang Lahat” and “Mahal na Mahal Kita.”
The heat of the stage and the dancing made AxisB members sweat profusely.
A worried fan seated in the front row quickly grabbed a tissue box from the table and offered it to the members who gratefully took them from up stage.
The fan proceeded to keep offering the tissue box every time they finished performing which the members happily accepted.
They also entertained a few questions from the fans like their favorite Filipino dish.
The response: San Miguel Beer, Halo-halo, Filipino chocolate (sikwate), Sisig and Chowking.
Honey accepted a request to perform “Gwiyomi (a popular K-pop single by South Korean singer Hari in 2013)” dance. Juno followed suit and did his own sillier version of the dance.
Five Platinum ticket holders (most expensive tickets priced at P2,500 a piece) were chosen at random.
The lucky winner got to sit at the center of the stage while being serenaded by an AxisB member.
One fan who was serenaded by Junghoon shyly accepted his hand when he reached for her. But she quickly took it back, thinking he would only hold her hand for a bit. The singer smiled warmly at her and took back her hand as he continued singing, and held it throughout the whole song.
The fan was both overjoyed and embarrassed after the song.
Later a contest was held where members played a game similar to Pinoy Henyo with a twist–one AxisB member would dance while their partner would guess which K-Pop song the dance belonged to.
Their partners were selected among the Platinum ticket holders–the perks of buying an expensive ticket.
The prize was a copy of AxisB’s first album “Curious.”
Juno’s partner for the game became obviously distressed on stage, and kept apologizing and shaking her head during the Kpop star’s dance charade due to her lack of knowledge of popular Kpop songs.
When the pair came out with zero points, the fan kept apologizing over and over in embarrassment to her partner who then tried to console the upset fan with a hug.
The fanmeeting was running late and had to end soon so the organizers announced not to chat to the members during the fan signing.
The time constraints did not stop AxisB from engaging with their fans, joking with them and making light conversation before shaking their hands conversing in Japanese and with some difficulty in English.
It became apparent how friendly Junghoon was with his constant handshakes and smiles throughout the fan signing. Although Daeyoung looked aloof, he was actually kind and easy to talk to.
Some fans also gave AxisB members gifts like stuffed toys and food items.
Each platinum ticket holder had a selfie with a random member–another perk of the event.
Doah had to coax a fan to come nearer to him for the selfie when the fan was too shy to come closer to him. She ended up staying behind him.
AxisB was able to touch the hearts of their fans in Cebu. And one thing is certain, they all look forward to seeing them again.
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