Last June 27, TWICE had their first-ever fan meet with Filipino ONCEs, under the global Philippine fashion brand, Bench. Filipino ONCEs gathered to show their overflowing love and support for TWICE at the TWICE x Bench Fun Meet, The Benchsetter Summer Hangout, broadcast live on Kumu, a Philippine live-streaming platform.
The fun meet started with a performance of their latest hit title track, Alcohol-Free. TWICE had the same vibe as the Filipino young when going out, dressed the way Pinoys do—in trendy Bench apparel. They looked so Filipino in those outfits.
As fan meets go, TWICE played games with their fans, one of them entitled Make Me Go Pinoy. They were divided into three groups: Jihyo and Nayeon in Team Yamangdeu; Mina, Momo, and Sana in Team Mimosa; and Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu in Team Sigdan. In this game, TWICE needed to match the Pinoy word with the photo flashed on screen; seeing and hearing them say Pinoy words like aso, kamisa, sayaw was truly a healing experience for Filipino ONCEs.
Fans were also given the chance to interact with them through the chat box, and the fans did not miss the opportunity to teach TWICE some catchy Filipino phrases. “Sana all” was one of those phrases, and since Sana is the name of one of the members, they looked really curious; when they learned what it meant, the smiles on their faces were priceless, and they looked really cute saying “Sana All” altogether.
They also made Filipino ONCEs’ hearts full by performing two tracks from their latest album Taste of Love. The chat box was filled with heart emojis as they performed First Time and Scandal, and what made it more special was the fact that it was their first live performance of those B-side tracks.
Filipino ONCEs, with TWICE, played a game called “Going Once, Going Twice,” like a pop quiz where the fans were challenged to show how much they knew about their idols through Kahoot!, a popular game-based learning platform. The game was about getting the answers not only right, but also as quickly as possible, as you would be ranked according to how fast you tapped the right answer.
One question was about Dahyun’s dream Philippine destination, and most Filipino ONCEs would agree on this: “Well, it’s a really beautiful place, especially with the blue sea, so when I visit the Philippines, I’d really like the opportunity to go to Boracay.” She definitely wants to visit Boracay soon. like most Koreans do. Surely Dahyun will fall in love with the island’s fine white sand beach.
‘When I visit the Philippines, I’d really like the opportunity to go to Boracay,’ said Dahyun
As they wrapped up the fun event, TWICE performed their hit title track, I Can’t Stop Me, from their Eyes Wide Open album, making Filipino ONCEs jive with the groove in the comfort of their homes. They ended the event by thanking Bench and Filipino ONCEs, which surely made each ONCE’s heart flutter. Momo said, “Pinoy ONCE, mahal na mahal namin kayo ONCE,” and ended with a finger heart gesture.
After the fanmeet, a 30-minute online presscon was held exclusively for Philippine media, and I had the chance to ask them some questions.
TheDiarist.ph: Alcohol-Free has a different vibe from your previous title tracks; how did you prepare for it?
Momo: This song was given to us by director Jin Young Park, so thanks to him we were able to try a new vibe, Latin style, for the first time.
TheDiarist.ph: About debuting at #6 on Billboard 200, how does it feel to be part of the chart’s top 10?
Nayeon: When we first heard the news, we couldn’t believe it, and as much as we were surprised, we were also really thankful. We also realized that there are so many ONCEs all over the world, so we really want to go meet them after the COVID pandemic ends.
The Q/A from the rest of media:
Metrodotstyle: What do you think is the best thing about South Korean and Filipino fashion combined?
Nayeon: We’re not really aware of Filipino fashion overall, but based on looking at our Filipino ONCEs, I think they like colorful styles.
If you could dress a ONCE fandom member, how would you dress him or her?
Sana: Since we are idols, we would style our ONCE like a girl group idol from top to bottom.
Cosmo.ph: What’s your favorite comeback concept so far?
Nayeon: Cry For Me!
Jihyo: Dance the Night Away! Tsuyu: Feel Special!
What do you want your fans to feel every time they listen to your songs?
Momo: When they are going through difficult times, we hope they can be cheered up by listening to our fun and energetic songs. And we have various songs of different themes and feelings, so we hope they can listen to our songs according to the theme or vibe they’re feeling.
You.ph: Which member’s part is your favorite from Alcohol-Free?
Nayeon: Chaeyoung! Her rap part is very addictive. Chaeyoung: Thank you, Nayeon!
Among the three versions of the album (Fallen, Taste, In Love), which one is your favorite concept?
Mega: The last time you were in the Philippines was 2019. If you were to perform here again, how do you think it would be different from the last time?
Sana: Compared to the last time, we have more mature songs so I think the fans would be able to enjoy the concert in a different style.
Which of your new songs do you think your Filipino fans will enjoy the most?
Nayeon, Momo: Alcohol Free
Jihyo: and also, Baby Blue Love because it’s summer and these songs give you a cool feeling.
TheAnnyeongOppa: You’ve tried a lot of concepts on your comebacks, What’s your dream concept you want to do in the future?
Nayeon: Princess! Like Disney Princess!
What’s the song you really want to perform after this pandemic?
Jihyo: It would most probably be our new songs that we weren’t able to perform because of the pandemic. Like Alcohol Free, More and More and I Can’t stop Me.
Manila Korean Times: Having visited the Philippines, what is something that you would like to do again on your next visit?
Momo: We would like to try the delicious Filipino foods. And also, we may have gotten new ONCE members, so we would like to meet our new ONCEs in the Philippines.
Other than the title track Alcohol-Free, what other songs from your new album would you highly recommend?
Jihyo: The members participated in the songwriting for the other songs in the albums, so we would like to recommend all the songs besides Alcohol Free.
Push: Your song Alcohol-Free became an instant hit among fans. Can you take us through the whole creative process (recording the track and shooting the music video)?
Jihyo: We filmed our music video in Jeju Island, and the beach and scenery behind us was very beautiful. There were people surfing and people who came to travel, so we felt like we were on a trip as well while shooting.
Do you have any messages for the PH ONCEs?
Chaeyoung: It’s already been two years since we’ve had our concert in the Philippines. We really want the COVID to end soon, so that we can do a concert tour and meet our Filipino ONCEs, and when we get to visit the Philippines, we want to travel and eat some delicious local food
Preview.ph: What K-drama series are you watching? Any recommendations?
Jihyo: “Hospital Playlist”
Which wardrobe from a specific performance was your favorite?
Nayeon: It’s Alcohol Free, because the concept and style match each of the members very well.
Preen.ph: What specific songwriting themes do the members want to explore more that Twice as a group hasn’t sung about?
All: Jazz and hiphop
Where do you see Twice five years from now? Still performing together?
All: Same as right now!