International stars graced Metro Manila at I-POP U Manila 2022 held last October 21 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. ALICE, Xdinary Heroes, Golden Child, WayV, and NCT DREAM wowed the Philippine crowd with their impressive talent and wonderful stages. Here’s a recap of what happened at the star-studded festival.

ALICE Open the Show

The seven-member girl group, ALICE, kicked off the beginning of the festival. Returning for the second time to the Philippines this year, the IOK Company girl group showed their charms as they performed three songs for their set.

Capturing the heat of Manila, ALICE performed “Summer Dream,” the title track from their 2018 EP of the same name. Despite the last-minute announcement of their appearance, the audience gave them loud cheers at every performance. The only K-pop girl group of the night made a statement with their sweet performance of “This is Me.” For their last song, they performed “JACKPOT,” a festive song that signified the official start of the festival.

The Manila Stage is Set for Xdinary Heroes

For the first time, K-pop superband Xdinary Heroes performed in the Philippines. The crowd went wild while their VCR played and their instruments were being set up on the stage. They opened their performance with the song “Test Me,” followed by an electrifying performance of “Sucker Punch!.”

Xdinary Heroes also flipped the whole arena “upside down” as fans sang along to “Pirates” and “KNOCK DOWN.” The crowd was in for an even sweeter treat when they performed a surprise cover of “Zombie” from their fellow labelmate in JYP Entertainment, DAY6. Performing more songs from their recent EP Hello, world!, Xdinary Heroes played “Strawberry Cake,” which made the crowd shout with excitement.

During their talking segments, the band members expressed their excitement about visiting the country and shared emotional messages about the support from their Filipino fans. At one point, member Gaon shed some tears in admiration of the crowd. To end their set, they performed their debut single “Happy Death Day.”

Golden Child Shine at The Big Dome

Another first-time performer in the country was the K-pop boy group Golden Child. During their VCR, the crowd showed support by chanting the group’s name. They opened their segment with a fiery performance of “Burn It” and “Ra Pam Pam” from their second album Game Changer.

The group knocked on the Filipino crowd’s hearts by serenading them with “Knocking On My Door,” which showcased the members’ powerful vocals. It was followed by the first live performance of the fan favorite “3! 6! 5!.” The group also took the audience’s breath away with their powerful performances of “Breath” and “Bottom Of The Ocean.”

Notably, Golden Child’s segment was filled with playfulness and high energy which was matched by their Filipino fans. The crowd surprised Seungmin by singing a happy birthday song. During their talking segments, the members had fun interacting with the crowd. Ending their set, they sang “Replay” from their latest EP AURA.

A Warm Welcome for WayV

Next on the line-up was one of NCT’s sub-unit, WayV. Though the group was incomplete, the four WayV members stood proudly on stage as they got a warm welcome from the crowd. They danced a bit to their hit title track “Kick Back,” which hyped up their fans. The C-pop group from SM Entertainment brought the heat in the dance battle with songs of their labelmates such as Girl’s Generation’s “Gee,” Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor,” aespa’s “Next Level,” and SUPER JUNIOR’s “Sorry, Sorry.”

WayV also played three games to entertain the crowd. The first one they played was a classic Filipino game called Sipa, where the members tried to outnumber the times they kicked the lead washer. In this game, the four members were divided into two groups where team Double 99, consisting of Hendery and Xiaojun, won over team Maknae on Top, consisting of Kun and Yangyang.

Of course, the handsome men of WayV didn’t miss the chance to show their stunning visuals and wits as they battled among themselves by doing aegyo. With how the fans screamed after each member’s turn, it is safe to say that all members won on their own cuteness.

The last game they played tested their knowledge of Filipino dishes as they tried to guess the names based on the description. The game showcased the teamwork between WayV and their fans, who coached their idols on getting the right answer. Despite the members’ unfamiliarity with Filipino cuisine as first-timers in the country, they managed to answer each round perfectly except for Xiaojun, who did a sexy dance as punishment.

The atmosphere in The Big Dome became emotional as the power vocalists of the group, Kun and Xiaojun, sang their song “Back To You” while Hendery and Yangyang showed their support for their members by swaying their hands along the beat.

Their fans didn’t forget to sing a birthday song to the group’s October celebrants, Yangyang and Winwin, though the latter was not present due to health issues. WayV interacted with their fans one last time for the night and gave out red roses to express their gratitude to fans while their song “Love Talk” played. Up until the end of their segment, the cheers for WayV never faded.

NCT DREAM Captured the Manila Stage

Last but definitely not least, another NCT subunit, NCT DREAM, headlined the show. After performing in the Philippines last May for Begin Again: K-pop Edition, the five members were happy to be back again on the same stage to perform their latest release “Beatbox,” which was followed by their other hit title track “Hot Sauce.”

During their talking segment, they were surprised by the loud cheering of the crowd, which was mostly composed of their fans with NCT’s green-colored lightsticks. For their next song, they brought the iconic couch for their performance of “Dive Into You,” which got the crowd singing along.

Without a doubt, the NCT DREAM members gave their best as they performed “Hello Future,” which captured the whole arena with its lively beats. Before they ended their set, they gave their goodbyes and thanks to their Filipino fans. They performed “Glitch Mode” to wrap up the whole festival.

It was a night to remember for Filipino fans, who watched five different international groups perform live for I-POP U 2022 Manila. The Filipino fans did not fail to show their support for their favorite group as each artist promised to come back again to perform in the country.

Enjoyed reading this concert recap? Check out our recap for Popstival 2022 here!