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TWICE is twice the fun in the Philippines

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We knew that the Twice concert was going to be a good one even before we found our seats. The excitement was tangible in the parking lot, amongst the Team Labas (people without tickets who stayed in the vicinity), and as we climbed the stairs of Philippine Arena.

“Feel Special” welcomed us when we reached the top landing. Onces (Twice fandom) bounced in time with the beat as they walked past the gates. They sang as they raised their lightsticks above their heads.

Some lined up at the Smart booth to dance to the group’s hits and get a photo souvenir. They dressed up in memorable outfits worn by the members. Member fan chants were recited simultaneously. It was the kind of energy that foretells how a concert is gonna be.

TWICE setlist Philippines
Twice managed to keep the energy high throughout the night. Photo by Charisse Tacang

Onces have probably watched the same concert in another country or streamed it online before going and yet they were still excited. They were there to see the music and the performances of Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun and Tzuyu. Chaeyoung was unable to attend due to health reasons.

“Manila is the best,” group leader Jihyo declared twice on the first day of the concert. This was no lip service. Her eyes twinkled as she swept them across the crowd, as if committing to memory every corner of the Arena. She even whipped out her phone and took a video of the audience. The Filipino Onces are saved on her phone.

Former Inquirer Research section head Kate Pedroso watched the concert at multiple stops in Asia. She said that it was the second time she saw Jihyo do this. The first time was in Osaka.

Exchange of adoration

Sana would later update her Instagram account and say in a story that the Philippines is “pinakamagaling na bansa.”

“Ready to Be” in Bulacan was a fair exchange of adoration and love between the Twice and their fans. The Candybongs (lightsticks), also dubbed by Onces as “Public Enemy Number One” for being present in all K-pop events, glittered proudly throughout the night.

And the Philippine Arena stood witness to everything.

TWICE Bulacan, Philippines
Candybongs are the stars of the night. Photo by Charisse Tacang

It is not the most commuter-friendly but it is the biggest concert space in the country. The Arena has become a marker of a K-pop group’s popularity in the Philippines. Twice sold out both days of the concert, including the obstructed view seats.

The show boasted one of the most beautiful backdrops seen at a concert held in the country this year. The massive screen wrapped the main stage from end to end. It had a rounded cove opening in the middle, looking like a soft wave in an open sea. The screen was ideal for the arena for it supersized everything.

Crowd-pleasing setlist

The concert lasted almost three hours. Its set list covered over 20 albums, including Jihyo’s “Zone” and Nayeon’s “Im Nayeon.” Their medley performance had “Yes or Yes,” “What is Love?,” “Cheer Up,” “Likey,” “Knock Knock,” “Scientist” and “Heart Shaker.”

It opened strong with “Set Me Free,” the title track of “Ready to Be,” before proceeding to the crowd-pleasing “I Can’t Stop Me,” “Go Hard,” “More & More,” “Moonlight Sunrise” and “Brave.”

But who are we kidding? Every song that Twice included in the set list of their fifth world tour made everyone stand on their feet, jump and sing with them. It is a testament to the talent of Twice and their ability to come up with music that will resonate with their fans and those who don’t even know them.

Solo stages

The solo stages showed the colors of each member, their musical preference and the side that they want their fans to see as individual artists. Dahyun looked angelic in her flowy green dress as she performed on a white grand piano and played the intro of “Let it Go” before transitioning to “Try” by Colbie Caillat. Nothing compares to barking at Dahyun in person and watching her respond by grinning ear to ear and saying “salamat po” and flashing a heart.

Tzuyu showed her sexy side with her performance of “Done for Me” by Charlie Puth feat. Kehlani. Sana showcased her vocals and moves by taking on “New Rules” by Dua Lipa.

As she performed “Move” by Beyonce feat. Grace Jones and Tems, Momo drove the crowd wild when she took off her white jacket and a pole appeared at the center. She easily divided the crowd into two kinds of people: the screaming ones and one those who needed to pick up their jaws from the floor.

Mina, whose parents attended the concert, twerked to Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” and her backup dancers used the money gun to send Mina dollars flying in the air. Jeongyeon was very wholesome with her “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” by Justin Timberlake.

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Jihyo sang “Killin’ Me Good” from her own album “Zone” while Nayeon performed “Pop” from Im Nayeon.

Colors of Twice

TWICE Nayeon
Nayeon glitters like a star among the Candybongs that surround her. Photo by Charisse Tacang


TWICE Jeongyeon
Jeongyeon’s charms are overflowing. Photos by Charisse Tacang
TWICE members are telling the truth that they could hear Momo’s performance from behind the stage. They could tell from the screams of the crowd. Photo by Charisse Tacang
All eyes on Sana! We can’t even look at anything else even when we try. Photo by Charisse Tacang
Let’s talk about charisma. Let’s talk about Jihyo! Photo by Charisse Tacang
We are obsessed with Mina in “7 Rings” Photo by Charisse Tacang


TWICE Dahyun
We love her expressive face especially when she yelled “Sumigaw!” We love our dubu Dahyun! Photo by Charisse Tacang
Goddess Tzuyu blessing us with her beauty. Photo by Charisse Tcang

Special feeling

It was exhilarating to watch Twice having the time of their lives onstage. They were feeling themselves and their moves and the crowd loved them for it. Onces had their moment to shine in “Feel Special” when they were able to nail the fan chant. It’s unfortunate that Jihyo’s microphone was not working on Day 1.

However, her moment was given back to her as the Onces insisted they prefer this song over other songs from the Twice roulette. They performed her part, but it also feels like Jihyo wanted her fans to have a complete experience before they went home.

The ballad “When We Were Kids” stood out for its powerful lyrics. Their childhood photos projected behind them as they sang “I wish that I could meet/Could meet the younger me.” This is comfort in the form of a song.

“Ready to Be” is not just a concert or a dance party. It is an empowering show that features Twice—women doing exactly what their male counterparts are doing, only in heels. And they did it so well.

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