We Need To Talk About How Wholesome Lay Zhang Was During His Manila Fanmeet

Our thoughtful king.

If you imagine what a walking green flag would look like, it would be Lay Zhang.

Related: 7 Moments At Chanyeol’s Manila Funmeet That Proved How Much He Loves His Filipino Fans

Believe it or not, the last time Lay Zhang was in the Philippines was back in 2013. In the decade since, the musician has reached global star status but has sadly left out travel to the Philippines in his plans, until now, that is. Last December 4, Filipino XBACKs (the name of his fandom) rejoiced as Lay made his long-awaited return to the Philippines for a fanmeet and listening party for a select few hundred of his fans. 

While his trip was sadly shorter than most of his Pinoy fans would have liked, he left an undeniable impression on many, especially with the way he treated his fans and the people he worked with. The amount of green flag energy he displayed just made us stan even harder. Check out the most wholesome moments from Lay’s short but sweet return to Manila. 


Given how it’s been ten years since his last visit to the country, his Filipino XBACKs were already excited to welcome Lay the moment his plane landed at the airport. But even if he had a busy schedule and security was trying to stop him, Lay still made sure to get the letters and other little gifts his fans had at the airport.


Lay opened his fanmeet with performances of Boom and Right Back. It’s the latter where Lay saw how the fans were singing along and asked them to sing the chorus. The Chinese superstar got a taste of the Filipino concert experience and we loved the genuine surprised expression on his face when he realized how loud they were. It’s been ten years, and XBACKs were ready to sing at the top of their lungs. 


One thing about Lay Zhang is that his global star status doesn’t mean he’s above everyone else, far from it. As he was leaving the venue, he still had his fans on his mind as he asked to stop the car so that he could open the window and wave goodbye to the fans who were waiting for him. He’s the absolute sweetest. 


It wasn’t just Lay who had surprises at his Manila fanmeet (such as playing snippets of two unreleased songs, Psychic and Step), so too did Filipino XBACKs. As the event came to a close, a special video prepared by fans was played as his supporters shared their love for the artist and welcomed him back to the country with open arms. Seeing Lay go from where he was back in 2013 to where he is now is enough to warm a cold heart, and you could tell he appreciated the gesture as he told the crowd afterward that the video made him feel snug. 


Given his star status, some would think that Lay might not have the time to do mundane tasks. But he’s a humble artist who appreciates the people he works with, no matter how big or small. Case in point, during the fanmeet, he was the one who threw the tape that was covering the fan questions even though staff was there to do it for him. He even thanked the staff who carried the board as they walked off the stage. 

And as shared by Ai dela Cruz, who served as the event’s host, Lay requested to meet her before the fanmeet. “I only mentioned my name ONCE when we had a quick meet-up/introduction before the show, but after that, he kept on calling me by my name every time he walked past me in the hall. “See you later, Ai!” “Thank you again for helping me, Ai!” “You did a good job, Ai,” she wrote on Instagram. It’s those little things that make us love Lay even more. 


In a fanmeet that included Lay asking fans which local acts he should work with (Sarah Geronimo, Al James, and Lola Amour were top picks) and teasing that he might return to the country next year, our favorite has to be his advice for XBACKs who hate their job. When asked what keeps him motivated to do what he loves, he shared that he loves his job, which caused many fans to say “sana all”. To that, Lay said that if you don’t like your job, you should just give up. We love a practical king. 

Continue Reading: We Weren’t Ready For This Throwback At EXO-SC’s Fancon In Manila