Making its debut in the Philippine concert scene on Dec. 9 and 10 at the SM Festival Grounds in Parañaque City, US-based music label 88rising brought to the country 26 Asian and Asian-American talents, with Grammy winner DJ Zedd as special guest.
Clad in a sexy body-hugging red body suit, Korean singer-rapper Jessi set the stage on fire with her energizing performances, including her recent hit “Zoom.”
The singer-rapper further amusled the Manila crowd when she read Filipino curse words on fans’ placards. The performer then took to social media to tell fans to “stop setting me up and teaching me bad words and telling me it means ‘I love you.’”
WATCH: Korean star Jessi turns it up here at #HITCMANILA! 🔥 @ABSCBNNews pic.twitter.com/MLBJSoWcX4
— Kevin Alabaso (@KevAlabaso) December 9, 2022
With Zedd blasting his hit songs like “Break Free,” “Stay the Night,” and Clarity” while standing tall on an elevated stage, the fans’ roar echoed through the concert grounds and even fellow HITC performer, Korean-American singer-songwriter Eaj, mingled with the crowd as he partied to the award-winning DJ’s set.
With a guitar hanging across her body, Indonesian singer-songwriter Niki closed the two-day star-studded concert with her hit songs like “La La Lost You,” “Lose,” and “Every Summertime,” even changing into a school girl uniform to be in theme with her performance of “High School in Jakarta.”
Other headliners were Indonesian rapper Rich Brian and Chinese artist Jackson Wang. Former “Pinoy Big Brother” housemate Ylona Garcia and R&B act August 08 were not able to perform due to inclement weather.
Fans proud, thrilled of Pinoy acts
For Filipino fans, aside from watching internationally acclaimed artists perform, the inclusion of homegrown talents like Zack Tabudlo and P-pop superstars SB19 in the line-up made them proud.
HITC attendee Anton Magallanes said the music festival was a “gateway” for Filipino talents to a bigger global audience.
Even for concert-goer Trisa Valerio, who has never watched SB19 live before, the performance of the 5-member group was something to be proud of.
With the pandemic putting on hold live performances, countries around the world have been bereft of the fun from jumping and dancing in concert grounds, so HITC Manila goer Carlos Sanil said he is “extremely happy” that he got to see his favorite artists as live performances have returned with a vengeance.
Indonesian singer-songwriter @nikizefanya, the last act for #headintheclouds Manila, graces the stage with her song “Before.” @ABSCBNNews @hitcmanila pic.twitter.com/xcO8hUqXTd
— Ianna Agus (@iannagayle) December 10, 2022
Concert-goer Amiel Pazcoguin shared the same sentiments, saying it is about time that the Philippines experience HITC especially that “we get to experience real Asian talent na na-experience ng US and it’s nice to see homegrown talents be part of it.”
Magallanes also felt sentimental, saying he is proud for his favorite artists’ growth as he feels that he is “part” of it, having witnessed them progress from being front acts to being the concert’s final acts.
Fans usually thank their favorite artists for their music and performances, but Eaj proved that the gratitude fans feel could also be reciprocated.
“Without you, I would have died in January,” Eaj said, while pointing to the audience. “So don’t thank me but I wanna thank you,” he added.
The HITC Manila stage was also graced by other artists like Jinx Zhou, Adawa, Stephanie Poetri, Manila Grey, Atarashii Gakko!, Manila Killa, Warren Hue, Milli, Yoasobi, DJ E-Man, Denise Julia, Spence Lee, Guapdad 4000, Akini Jing, and Elephante.