MANILA, Philippines - Their chinky eyes and singsong voices are distinctly Korean. And they say salamat, mahal ko kayo, astig and bongga with a different accent.
You can tell how much K-pop band 4 Minute wants to fit in, now that they’re in Manila for the first time to promote their debut mini-album For Muzik (MCA Music, Inc.).
Sohyeon Kwon, Hyunah Kim, Jihyun Nam. Jiyoon Jeon and Gayoon Heo Jiyoon wish they could learn more Tagalog words, but their short stay in the country prevents them from doing so.
The girls are so busy, they will return to Korea right after the last leg of their promo tour today, 5 p.m. at SM North EDSA Annex Event Center.
We want Filipinos to invite us again,” they chorus. “We will memorize more Tagalog words next time.”
That’s welcome news for members of the band’s fan club which attended their presscon the other day at Shangri-La Hotel. The six fans who came to see their idols up close even shelled out funds from their student allowance to print white T-shirts with the words 4 Minute proudly emblazoned on them.
Berna, who went straight to the hotel after her classes, sang a few lines from 4 Minutes’ hit song What a Girl Wants, with her fellow fans.
And what, exactly, does a girl want these days?
Nothing spectacular to us past uh, the teen years, actually. For the girls of 4 Minute, it’s something as simple as the freedom “to hold hands with a guy I like.”
Their answer shouts girl empowerment — something every teenager will say yes, yes, yes to. Figures why the song is getting heavy airplay in music channels and radio stations.What a Girl Wants, plus two more hits off their album, Hot Issue and Muzik are whisking the girls to places they have not been to, like the top position in KKBox, Taiwan’s number one music spot.
And, just like most celebrities, the girls observe that “we don’t get enough time to do things teens usually do.”
“It’s hard to roam around town,” they explain. “So we just stay home.”
It’s a sacrifice, especially for typical teens like them who find shopping, watching movies and eating out simply irresistible. But it’s a sacrifice they’re willing to make — together.
The girls have gotten so close one of them even said she would like to be with her band members on stage if she were given only four minutes to live.
But isn’t the name 4 Minute a misnomer since the band has five members?
“We’ve got four minutes to give our all every time we perform. That’s why we’re called 4 Minute,” they explain. “And we give our best every single minute.”
Their equally young audience seems to agree. The fans buy 4 Minute’s album, dance to their music, applaud their videos.
“Music is more powerful than any kind of communication,” the girls of 4 Minute declare. “It goes beyond what language can do.”
Despite the language barrier, which an interpreter tries her best to break, 4 Minute is making its point loud and clear.