From Sandara Park, iKON’s Jay, EXO, and more, we list down some of the memorable times when K-pop idols have covered a Filipino song.
While K-pop is currently enjoying a moment of success in all four corners of the world, the genre has been popular in the country for years. Before K-pop reached the heights it is in now, Filipinos were one of the first people outside of South Korea to truly enjoy it. The love of Pinoy fans towards their idols is real and intense and K-pop idols in return have recognized the country’s love for the genre. So much so that quite a few K-pop idols have even attempted to cover Filipino songs when they traveled to perform in the country. It is a sight to see these idols learn to sing in a language they don’t know all for their Filipino fans. Here then are covers of Pinoy songs done by K-pop idols that you need to see.
BTOB – ANAK BY FREDDIE AGUILAR
Anak by Freddie Aguilar is a timeless and iconic song. It’s a song many Filipinos know or have heard of and its popularity even extends beyond our borders. Case and point, BTOB’s Eunkwang and Hyunsik performed the song back in 2017 when they performed in the country. Not only did they kill it, but their pronunciation was pretty good. And bonus points for how Cesar Montano joined them on stage to play the guitar. It seems that the song left an impact on the group as they’ve been caught on a few occasions singing lines from the song.
SANDARA PARK AND IKON’S JAY- DAHIL SA’YO BY INIGO PASCUAL
Even though Sandara Park doesn’t have any Pinoy blood, she is as Filipino as they come. That includes her fondness for singing Filipino songs. And the best part is that she brings along her idol friends to sing it with her. That was on display when she and iKON’s Jay sang Dahil Sa’yo by Inigo Pascual. Released on Christmas Day 2020, the cover was a real present for Blackjacks and iKONICS. Dara is as good as always and were impressed with surprisingly good Tagalog pronunciation.
TXT – AKIN KA NA LANG BY THE ITCHYWORMS
@emp_reyes akin ka nalang ver.2 feat. hyuka and beomgyu #taehyun #heuningkai #beomgyu #txtinmanila #txt #act_love_sick #moasinmoa ♬ 디어 스푸트니크 – 투모로우바이투게더 (TOMORROW X TOGETHER)
At first, it was just Taehyun who treated us to his sweet vocals with his cover of this The Ichyworms classic during day one of their two-day concert in Manila in 2022. But it’s what Taehyun, Beomgyu, and Heuningkai did in day two that really stole our hearts. It was like the harana of our dreams the way they all joined together as they sang track and delivered maximum kilig to the MOAs in MOA. No wonder the moment went viral with The Itchyworms’ Jugs Jugueta even shouting out the group during an episode of It’s Showtime.
EXO – HAWAK KAMAY BY YENG CONSTANTINO
An oldie but a goodie, this is a performance that OG Pinoy EXO-Ls remember. All the way back in January 2013, less than a year from their debut, EXO, as in all 12 members, performed in the country and as part of the show, they did a cover of Yeng Constantino’s Hawak Kamay. It was a very sweet gesture for them to do that for the fans in attendance, especially since they did the Tagalog version. This is a classic performance honestly and we’re here for Baekhyun and Chen’s near-perfect diction.
2NE1 – IN OR OUT BY SANDARA PARK
Before she became a K-pop idol, Sandara was already an idol to many Filipinos. During her short but iconic tenure as a local celeb, she released music that included the hit In or Out. When 2NE1 performed in the country back in 2014, the group took the chance to perform Dara’s hit. By the concert’s end, the group went into a full-blown performance of In or Out, choreography included. From Dara’s energy to Park Bom’s vocals, it was a very fun performance. And let’s not forget to mention how lost CL was since they taught the choreography while she was in the washroom.
CHA EUN WOO – KATHANG ISIP BY BEN&BEN
Not only does Cha Eun Woo have god-tier visuals, a great singer, and a talented actor, but he also can kill a song in Tagalog. Back in 2019 when he had his fan meeting in Manila, Eun Woo performed the Ben&Ben classic Kathang Isip and got everyone talking. It’s no wonder why his performance went viral. If you’re surprised that his pronunciation is so good, that’s because he went to elementary school in the country.
GOT7’S BAMBAM – NGITI BY RONNIE LIANG
Is it just us or are you getting butterflies after watching this performance? All the way back in 2015 during GOT7’s fan meet in the country, BamBam shared that he knew one Filipino song. And that was the heart-fluttering Ngiti by Ronnie Liang. Even though he’s mostly known as a rapper, he showcased his sweet voice on this cover. 7 years later, he fulfilled his promise to sing the song again in Manila by performing it at the 2022 K-pop Masterz in Manila concert.
IU – SAY YOU LOVE ME BY MYMP
Vocals, check. Guitar skills, check. Emotions, check. Taking on this OPM classic, IU slayed her cover of Say You Love Me. Her soothing voice is a joy to listen to and made us wish she made more songs like this. It suits her so well.
MOMOLAND – SALAMAT BY YENG CONSTANTINO
For a period in 2019, Momoland held some extensive promotions in the Philippines which included stops in some variety shows. During ABS-CBN’s Christmas Special, the girls sang a special rendition of Salamat by Yeng Constantino as a thank you to their fans. Learning how to sing in a different language is not easy, and this performance showed just how serious and sincere Momoland was in showing gratitude to the fans who have supported them.
JESSICA – SOMEDAY BY NINA
Even if you never have heard of Nina Girado, or just Nina as she is known professionally, you have at least heard of her music. Songs like Someday and Foolish Heart are modern classics. Her songs are so popular that even K-pop idols have covered her music. That was on display when former Girl’s Generation member Jessica did a cover of Someday on a show. With just her and a piano, Jessica did justice to the original. What makes this more special is how her sister, F(X)’s Krystal, is the one playing the piano.
PURPLE KISS – TALA BY SARAH GERONIMO
The legend herself, Tala remains as one of Sarah G’s most iconic songs. So much so that it has been recognized abroad. For a video for 1theK, three members of the girl group Purple Kiss sang songs from different countries. When it reached the Philippines at the 3:40 mark, they sang Tala and did so well. The only thing we would have wanted was it to be longer than the less than 30-second snippet.
NCT’S TAEYONG – PAGTINGIN BY BEN&BEN
If you want to know how NCT’s Taeyong would sound like if he made harana, then watch this video. During one of Taeyong’s Vlive’s, a fan suggested that he listen to Pagtingin by Ben&Ben, which he did. He then proceeded to straight-up vibe to the song and sing some of it We’ll be needing a full cover from him because his short snippet sounded really good.
BONUS: WINNER – TALA BY SARAH G
While technically not a song cover, this is too good to not include. When WINNER held their concert in Manila in January 2020, each member proceeded to do the choreography of Tala. At the time, the song was going viral and the group decided to give the song’s moves a try.