Last May 27, 2023, HallyUP successfully launched HallyUniverse 8: The Infinite Beyond, at Salazar Hall of the UP Bahay ng Alumni. The organization’s flagship event finally returned as an onsite K-Pop convention after four years of online activities.
Despite the initial worries about the day’s rainy weather, fanbases, shops, and Hallyu fans still flocked to the venue in anticipation of HallyUP’s return to the event scene. It did not hinder their eagerness to come and spend their day celebrating their mutual love for K-Pop in the familiar presence and guidance of the student organization HallyUP.
Familiar beats and K-Pop tunes marked the start of the event and attendees were seen rushing to center stage for a chance to dance to choreographies they all knew by heart. It was certain that by just the first 10 minutes of the convention alone.
HallyUniverse 8 surely was not about to let the opportunity of gathering a large audience of Hallyu enthusiasts go to waste. After all, HallyUP’s events aren’t ever complete without a random play dance segment.
With more than 40 partner shops and fanbases, HallyUniverse 8 made sure to provide Hallyu fans with a booth that’s meant for them. The various concessionaires present during the convention ranged from food and drink stalls to official and fanmade K-Pop merchandise local shops, and K-Pop and K-Drama fanbases. To add to the fun, some booths even organized their own mini-games and raffles for event-goers to participate in, as well as commissioned photo booths to commemorate the day’s festivities.
HallyUniverse 8 delivers a star-studded lineup
HallyUP is known for always bringing in a powerful roster of performers for HallyUniverse, and this year’s onsite comeback is no different. The event was brought to life by K-Pop cover groups Wildcards, Principium, XPG, æons, and FAVE: as they covered songs from 2nd generation K-Pop artists like 2NE1, 3rd generation K-Pop artists like TWICE, and all the way to recent 4th generation K-Pop artists like æspa and ATEEZ. Soloist and HallyUP member Dee Omega performed BOL4’s Galaxy and Taeyeon’s INVU showcasing her vocal range, while local artist Joshua Kim performed an acoustic rendition of BTS’ Permission to Dance. Kim also performed his original songs, tempo, and ANNA, giving the audience a taste of the different genres he’s capable of.
Special guests like SFU professor Dr. Dal Yong Jin and Tiktok sensation Junjun Salarzon were also part of the event’s lineup. Dr. Jin prepared a video presentation about K-Pop and Transnational Fandom in the Digital Platform Era. On the other hand, Junjun Salarzon prepared her renditions of NewJeans’ hit song Ditto and TWICE Nayeon’s POP!, entertaining the crowd with her sense of humor and unwavering confidence.
To complete the strong lineup, HallyUniverse 8 brought in the P-Pop scene’s hottest girl groups today: Calista, G22, and BINI. These rising stars got the loudest screams of the night as they performed covers and original songs, and gracefully accepted K-Pop dance challenges from the hosts and the crowd.
Calista, the 5-member girl group, started their set with a cover of Little Mix’s Salute. Their powerful opening was followed by a performance of their newest single, Ugnayan. They ended their set by dancing to 4th gen girl group NewJeans’ debut song, Hype Boy.
Despite showing up as a trio for HallyUniverse 8, the female alphas of P-Pop, G22, still delivered a performance that lived up to their title. They performed a cover of XG’s Left Right to begin their stage, followed by charismatic and captivating performances of their songs Boomerang and BANG. Jaz, Alfea, and Aj also did a short cover of LE SSERAFIM’s ANTIFRAGILE.
Completing the 5-star lineup for HallyUniverse 8, the Nation’s Girl Group, BINI, began their performance by giving all eight members a chance to showcase their talent and charm with their captivating introductory spiel. The girls wowed the HallyUniverse 8 crowd with their stages of Strings, Na Na Na, and No Fear. Similar to Calista and G22, BINI also took on the mini challenge as they danced and sang along to Blackpink’s Shut Down, earning roaring cheers from their Filipino Blooms. To end their set, the girls also sang an acapella snippet of their song, Huwag Muna Tayong Umuwi. To make their appearance even more special, their Blooms prepared a surprise for the birthday girl, BINI Maloi, by giving her gifts and singing ‘Happy Birthday’.
To catch a glimpse of the performances that night, an event thread is available on HallyUP’s official Twitter account, @officialhallyup. Clips are also available on HallyUP’s official Instagram account of the same name.
More than just a K-Pop convention
While HallyUniverse 8: The Infinite Beyond may have primarily been an event celebratory of all things Hallyu, it was more importantly a fundraising concert for the children of the Kopino Children Association Inc. With the support of everyone involved in this production, the event achieved its goal of celebrating K-Pop while helping those in need.
With months of preparation leading up to the moment, there truly could not have been a better event to relaunch the HallyUniverse series of UP Diliman’s HallyUP, one of the most dedicated student K-Pop organizations in the country. HallyUniverse 8: The Infinite Beyond reached greater distances by gathering people from different fandoms to share their mutual love for Hallyu, as HallyUP continued to stay true to their roots of serving with passion and giving back to the community. There was no doubt that the night, and all pre-events leading up to the spectacular night, was beyond the most infinite of imaginations.
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