Young Pinoy talents crash-landing on K-pop

Filipinos are making waves in the K-pop scene — the latest being Gehlee Dangca and Filipino-Korean Cignature’s Belle (Jin Hyeonju) who have both secured a spot in the debut group of the South Korean survival show “Universe Ticket.”

In November of the previous year, SBS introduced Universe Ticket, a fresh addition to the survival show genre, promising to craft a “global K-Pop group.”

Elisia Parmisano became the first Filipina to nab the top spot in a K-pop survival show when she was announced as the inaugural member during the 17 January finale.

The final lineup, revealed amid much viewer anticipation, includes Elisa, Bang Yunha, Nana, Gehlee, Lim Seowon, Oh Yoona, Kotoko and Cignature’s Belle.

These talented individuals earned their spots through a combination of fan ticketing and earlier points, with Filipina Gehlee impressively securing the fourth spot with 2,464,526 points.

Universe Ticket chronicles the journeys of 82 contestants vying for a spot in a new global K-Pop girl group through a series of missions. The selected eight winners will form a project girl group, engaging in activities across the real world and the metaverse. Although initially targeted at ages 10 to 19, the audition criteria later extended to include any girls born before 2011

The new group formed under F&F Entertainment is called UNIS, an eight-member powerhouse inspired by the captivating narrative of Universe Ticket. The “5th gen” girl group has been signed up for a hectic two years and six months.

In 2022, Filipino-Argentinian Chantal Videla marked her debut in the K-pop scene as a proud member of the girl group Lapillus. HORI7ON then achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first all-Filipino boy group to debut and promote in South Korea last year.

Finally, there’s Filipino talent Sophia Laforteza who clinched a spot in Katseye, a multinational girl group co-created by K-pop giant Hybe and American label Geffen Records through the survival show The Debut: Dream Academy.