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Enhypen in Manila: No Engene left behind

Enhypen Fanzone

The Engene fan zone became a safe place for all fans of Enhypen.

It was a fan zone unlike anything we’ve seen before. Engenes, K-pop group Enhypen’s fandom, filled the parking grounds of the SM Corporate Building in front of the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena over the weekend. Fans of all ages were clad in orange and black to celebrate “Manifesto” in Manila, the group’s first full concert in the country. 

On Feb. 3 to Feb. 5, show promoters Pulp Live World collaborated with local fan clubs to create the ultimate Engene experience. In front of the concert venue was an array of stalls that would be officially dubbed the Engene fan zone.

Read: Enhypen’s ‘Manifesto’ in Manila is a story of growth, pursuit of greatness

Fans playfully called it “Manilafesto” and “Engene Fiesta,” and the mood was exactly like that. The idea for the fan zone came about because getting tickets for the show wasn’t easy. The first two dates of “Manifesto” sold out so fast that Pulp Live World and Enhypen had to add another date, which predictably sold out as well.

“Manilafesto” was part of an effort to accommodate fans who weren’t successful in securing tickets, an effort to make sure no Engene was left behind.

It’s part of K-pop fan culture to give out free banners, slogans, photo cards and albums on show day. It was a token for everyone who made it to the venue to show their love and support for Enhypen. It’s something by the fans for the fans, and witnessing it come alive at the Engene fan zone was an honor.

Safe space

The fan zone was their safe space. Dedication walls for the members filled with different Filipino iterations of “I love you” were also launched so Filipino Engenes could declare their own “manifesto” for Enhypen. Photo stops were available all over the area.

“This really is for the fans who weren’t able to get tickets, the ‘Team Labas,’” Cha of Enhypen Asia related, as she described the several projects they had for fellow Engenes.

The fan club filled the parking lots of MOA with banners of the members. Stepping into the area felt like seeing the boys of Enhypen everywhere all at once, as Engene spilled over every crevice of the mall.

Meanwhile, “Engene Fiesta” was inspired by Happee Hour’s K-Fiesta, and of course, the local festivals of the Philippines. Colorful flags decorated the once bare parking lot, with customized Pinoy bilao to keep up with the “fiesta” theme.

Read: Enhypen’s Kyocera dome debut proof they’re on same path as K-pop legends

Organizers made sure to showcase the best of Filipino culture, holding classic Pinoy games and serving the classic merienda. “The boys of Enhypen deserve to see everything that is beautiful in the Philippines,” Yvh of Enhypen Philippines said.

Local fan clubs, supported by global fanbases, had their own dedicated stalls, accommodating fans despite the sweltering heat. Fans gave out free water bottles, covered in a sweet “Stay Hydrated” message for Engenes.

Heeseung stans, who dub him as “Mr. Romantheeko,” put their own twist on “sorbheeetes” (sorbetes), giving away free ice cream in honor of the member. Another project offered free transportation to the Arena. They rented jeeps for free rides.

Jay’s fans rented a food cart and served cups of corn to their fellow Engene, playfully dubbing it “Mais con Jongseong,” which is Jay’s real name. The member is also known for his uncanny love for corn, which inspired the fan base. 

Unique bond

Meanwhile, Sunoo and Ni-ki’s fans helped other Engenes beat the heat, serving snowcones and ice cream with the Korean fish-shaped bread, bungeoppang.

Engenes even played the classic Pinoy games for their “Handaan ni Jungwon,” a birthday party dedicated to the group’s leader. The member’s birthday was on Feb. 9, but Engenes celebrated it early to make sure they could have more fun together. ‘

“Even if I didn’t know my fellow Engenes on a personal level, I think our bond was really different,” Yvh said. “During the pandemic, the fan community gave me support,” she added.

Lors, a fellow organizer, also related how she found lifelong Engene friends who helped her out during the lockdown, ones she only first met while preparing for the fan zone.

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“We witnessed their journey, how they cultivated their dreams, how they cried, how they doubted themselves, and we connected with them on that level,” Yvh and Lors both said. “We really felt that we could relate to them.”

Hard work

It bears no question why these fan bases worked day and night to make sure that the Philippines had the best to offer for Enhypen and Engenes. They drew up proposals and presentations on top of their day jobs, contacted sponsors and coordinated with show handler Happee Hour to make sure that their dreams would be turned to reality. Raising funds for the fan zone was another hurdle altogether, as they came up with different projects to make sure Filipino Engene had the time of their life.

“This really wouldn’t be possible without the support of Engenes,” Cha shared, a sentiment shared by all organizers of the fan zone.

Two digital mobile billboard trucks that played music videos of Enhypen the entire day also lifted the mood.

The best part was when the fans came together to sing with Enhypen, filling the air with their voices and fan chants. It was a powerful moment, a declaration of an unconditional love, friendship and family that they found over the weekend.

There is no one that can match the dedication and passion these Filipino Engenes brought to “Manifesto,” except maybe for Enhypen themselves.

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