SS9 in Manila: A proof of Super Junior and ELF’s beautiful connection

3 years since Super Junior last visited the Philippines, they announced recently that they will be coming back to Manila for Super Show 9 this August. Everyone was excited. Both Super Junior and ELFs were excited to meet again and have the best night ever. Everyone was excited to be a part of the pearl sapphire ocean again!

Image courtesy of Super Junior

Unfortunately, Siwon tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to come to the Philippines. And the day before their concert in the Philippines, Eunhyuk didn’t go on his flight. Only the 6 members (Leeteuk, Yesung, Shindong, Donghae, Ryeowook, and Kyuhyun) arrived in the Philippines and ELFs were wondering why Eunhyuk was missing.

At around 2 AM on August 6, the day of Super Show 9 in Manila, Super Junior announced that Eunhyuk’s father passed away.

All PH ELFs were worried. Worried about Eunhyuk because he lost a family member so suddenly. All ELFs around the world were mourning with him and making sure that they are praying for Eunhyuk and his family.

PH ELFs were also worried if the 6 members would still push through with the concert. Wouldn’t it be hard for them to perform and be happy when their family member passed away? As an ELF myself, I couldn’t bare to enjoy the concert with this thought in mind.

At around noon that day, Super Junior finally announced that they will be postponing and rescheduling SS9 in Manila. Everyone was relieved. It felt like everyone was waiting for this announcement because ELFs know that Super Junior won’t be emotionally okay on stage.

The concert was postponed. But since Super Junior was already in Manila, they decided to say hi and greet their fans who traveled just to see them. So they asked all those who have tickets to still enter the venue at the said time.

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ELFs started to come into the venue. They also put black ribbons on their lightsticks to show the members that they are mourning with them.

It was actually an emotional experience for me. Entering Mall of Asia Arena and not attending a concert but rather being there for Super Junior and fellow ELFs. It was PH ELFs duty at that moment to make sure Super Junior would feel that they are not alone in this. This decision was hard for them to make but it was the right thing to do. They needed to know that we support them. That’s what I was thinking before we actually met the members on stage. I kept telling myself that I have to be strong so Super Junior would be strong.

Then, it was 5 PM. The host, Kring Kim, entered the stage and greeted the fans. She explained that it was postponed and said that Super Junior wanted to meet us and apologize personally for what happened. Then, Super Junior comes to the stage.

They greeted their fans. They apologized for the postponement of the show and ELFs kept saying 괜찮아 (It’s okay) whenever they say sorry and felt bad about the postponement.

Super Junior’s leader Leeteuk explained that they believe that Super Show is a place of fun, happiness, and hope so they won’t be canceling the show. They will be postponing it so they can give us a perfect amount of fun, happiness, and hope in the next show.

Leeteuk also mentioned that he is trying to suggest a 2-day show exclusively for Manila to make up for the postponement of their show. ELFs was so happy to hear that!

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For what we thought was a short fan meet, Super Junior even performed 3 of their recent ballads, “My Wish”, “Callin”, and “More Days With You”.

In a crowd where you would usually hear fans singing along and shouting, it was quiet. ELFs quietly listened to Super Junior as they sang. ELFs would also cheer for them because we know they needed that. Even with their hearts aching, Super Junior flawlessly sang their songs. That’s how professional they are.

Whenever they were talking, I couldn’t help but cry. Seeing them in their most vulnerable state must be the most human I’ve seen them in my 13 years as an ELF. I realized then that the Super Junior that I met that night was more than the performers that I know. This was them being apologetic when they don’t even need to. This was them showing their love for their fellow members and all the ELFs that came that night. This was them being a normal person just like any of us: a person who is hurting and not emotionally okay. They are a group of people who needed a shoulder to lean on. And that night was a chance for ELFs to be just a friend to Super Junior and let them know that they have us. I’m glad that I was able to do that for them.

Before they leave the stage, Ryeowook promised that they will be back soon together with Siwon and Eunhyuk.

Super Junior said their last goodbyes and made sure to wave at all the ELFs present at the venue. It was very emotional. You can see how sad they were but they still wanted to do this: to face all their fans so they can deliver the explanation themselves and not just through their social media pages.

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Also, Leeteuk proved that he is really the best leader. He did most of the talking and lead the short fan meet. He explained everything right to the point and without sugarcoating. Leeteuk has always been great in being Super Junior’s leader. The way he speaks, I can truly feel his heart and desire to let ELFs know how he really feels. He did a final bow before leaving the stage.

It was such an emotional night but I guarantee you, the bond between Super Junior and ELFs just got stronger than ever. Nothing can beat the relationship between Super Junior and ELFs. We are not “everlasting friends” for nothing. This is more than just an artist-fan relationship. That is pure love right there. As soon as you became an ELF, you are in this forever.

It might be the shortest time we’ve seen them but it was the most memorable for me. Growing up with Super Junior, I’ve gone through with them a lot. Through ups and downs, I’ve been with them. I wouldn’t trade that for anything else. This is where I’m meant to be.

Despite the unfortunate events, it was still a memorable night. It was a night full of love and respect between Super Junior and ELFs.

Thank you Super Junior for letting us be there with you in this very hard time. We hope you will feel better soon and PH ELFs will wait for you until the time is right!

Finally, Kring Kim explained that the tickets that were used that night will still be honored on their next schedule so make sure to hold on to the tickets. A further announcement will be delivered by Pulp Live in the coming days.

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