Home BLOG A Weeknight to Remember: When did the sun start shining at night?

A Weeknight to Remember: When did the sun start shining at night?

July 4, 2024, MANILA – The day every Jjinggu has been waiting for has finally arrived. Since the fanmeet was announced last April, we know just how hard Onew’s fans worked to make their schedules fit just to be able to see him in his first official solo event here in Manila. Some had to file a couple days off from work because they will be flying from all over the Philippines; some came the day before/evening before, and had to leave immediately after the fanmeet trying to catch a red-eye flight so they can still get to work on time on Friday; and some even had to fly in on the actual day of the fanmeet and leave immediately as well. In the end, approximately 2,000 Jinggus turned up to fill the New Frontier Theater just to welcome our dear SHINee leader – our soloist ONEW; even on a Thursday evening.

Pre-Fanmeet Festivities

Even before the actual fanmeet started, shawols gathered at places around NFT as early as 10am to give out freebies they’ve created just for the event – meeting old and new friends; and welcoming new fans into the fandom. Everyone’s excitement and love for Onew was really evident even in the smallest trinkets each Jjinggus designed to give away this time.

Onew PH, a Philippine fanclub dedicated to our SHINee Leader, led the charge in providing a space for Jjingus to gather – partnering with EATAEWON at Gateway to host a Cup-sleeve event at the restaurants, so that shawols can have a dedicated space to interact before the event. You can check out these posts for a run-down of some of the projects OnewPH and our team put together for this event:  

The highlight of the pre-event festivities came, though, at around 7pm when the soundcheck started. As soon as Onew stepped on the stage, it felt like the sun was shining again. He sang two (2) songs for his soundcheck – “CIRCLE”, and his new song “All Day”.  

On the spot, Onew taught Jjinggus the fanchant to his new song. His considerate heart was on display as he taught us different alternatives to doing it since singing in Korean might be a bit difficult. Little did he know that we’ve been preparing for this for a long time already, surprising him as we sang in Korean flawlessly.

Fanmeet Proper

Okay, before I continue with the narrative, first I’d like to apologize because… try as I might, I won’t be able to give everyone a very objective runthrough of this fanmeet, since I was also fangirling the whole time — only reveling on the “here and now”. There are a lot of articles that came out which were able to provide a comprehensive .summary of what happened that night, so you can also check them out. 

What I remember, though, was that emotions were at an all-time high inside NFT when the clock finally struck at 8pm, signaling the official start of the fanmeet. Onew opened the show with CIRCLE, the title track for his full-length album with the same name which Billboard named the No. 1 Kpop album for 2023. 

We also had so much fun during the game section, as we really did get to know Onew better. We got to hear him sing a few more songs during the “GUESS Favorite Song” segment, among them, notably: Harry Style’s As it Was; and SHINee’s “Love Like Oxygen”; got to see unreleased photos from his recent activities; witnessed his artistic side with the painting game; heard first-hand his dad jokes – which I 525% believe really matched Pinoy humor perfectly – and saw Onew sangtae unraveling before our eyes (something every Jjinggu really dream of seeing first-hand).

We really could not have asked for a better way to have experienced his first solo event here in the Philippines. A big shoutout to Ms. Karen Bordador for spotlighting Onew very well during the whole show. From the moment they met on stage, until they were delivering their closing ment, their sibling energy was so evident, and she really put Onew at ease. I believe that she’s a big factor why we were able to witness a lot of Onew’s wacky and flirty sides that night.

Just to give everyone some context here – for the past 16 years, Onew was known to be the most savage member of SHINee who ALWAYS “Jjinggu-zones” his fans. So, to make him say things like “No, only me!” when the MC said we (his fans) got two (2) options; to making him say “Jojowain mo ba ko? (Can I be your man?)”; “Pa-kiss? (Give me a kiss)” and “I’m your man”? That was, virtually, unheard of in the fandom… So, thank you, Ms. Karen, for making us the most envied Jjinggus in SHINee World at the moment lol

Onew sang a few more songs for us during the fanmeet including his most favorite song from his discography “Sign” which is from his debut mini album, VOICE; his new, unreleased song “All Day”; and an unplugged version of “DICE”, the title track of his 2nd mini album with the same name.

Post Fanmeet Activities

The event lasted for a good two (2) hours; so you might think that all the love, energy, and smiles would’ve already been exhausted by then, right? Wrong. At the end of the event, everyone at the venue had a chance to see our artist up-close through the hi-bye session prepared by the organizers.

Since we were not allowed to come very near him, fellow Jjinggus really racked their brains trying to make sure to get their messages of love across – some wrote them on banners; some shouted their messages; some even dressed up (yes, I’m talking about you – Jjinggu bride). Our representative human lightstick (who’s an Onew bias, may I just add) also had the chance to show up donned in the same costume he also had on for Key, Minho and Taemin.

Finally, the group photos. Words cannot express how happy I was for those who won this opportunity. Some of them have been shawols for as long as SHINee’s careers – waiting for the chance to finally meet them here in the Philippines. I, myself, have only been a shawol for around three (3) years, but even then, I did not have to wait very long to see them in person. I can just imagine how it must have been for these long-time fans.

Onew’s kindness was also showcased by some stories I’ve read of him going to people in wheelchairs, so they wouldn’t have a hard time going up the stage – of him being so unassuming, and humble that people didn’t realize that they were standing beside him already until they actually do… and stories even from some of the people working behind-the-scenes who got to encounter him one way or another.

It was, indeed, a night full of tears, laughter and total chaos – the good kind of chaos – as the fans showcased their love for their artist; and the artist evidently reciprocated this love (and even gave so much more). With our sunshine-personified gracing our stage for the first time, it really felt like the sun was shining at night for all of us at the venue.

We’d like to extend our gratitude to everyone who has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this event possible – to the security people stationed at the venue, for taking good care of the show attendees, there are many anecdotes from shawols showcasing your kindness and professionalism; to LSquared Productions for providing us with a solid program for the fanmeet, and for choosing a great MC who matched Onew’s and Filipino Jjinggu’s energy really well; to Hy Live for choosing Manila as a stop for this fanmeet; to Griffin Entertainment for taking good care of Onew, and allowing us to meet him up-close during the fanmeet. Words cannot express how grateful we are for this chance to meet Lee “Onew” Jinki in person.

We, Filipino SHINee World, are all hoping that this recent string of SHINee solo activities here is just the beginning of their visit here. Our dear leader did promise that he will come back again – and more often, he also said – so we will be holding on to this, the same way that we are holding on to Key’s, Minho’s and Taemin’s promises that they will come back here also as a group.

With this latest addition to SHINee solo activities, we can now safely say – SHINee tingi version, complete!

ONEW GUESS in Manila is presented by L-Squared Productions Inc.

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