The Cast of ‘Running Man’ Runs Back to their PH Runners last July 6 for RUN 2 U in Manila

Christian Melanie Lee
Last July 6, 2024, the Mall of Asia Arena buzzed with anticipation as fans gathered for Running Man's 'RUN 2 U' event, presented by PULP LIVE WORLD. Fans enjoyed an unforgettable evening filled with fun-filled performances, hilarious games, and heartwarming interactions they surely won’t forget.

The night kicked off with the Running Man PH cast setting the stage ablaze with their impressive performances of popular P-pop songs. The whole cast opened with “Turn Up” by KAIA, followed by Buboy Villar captivating the audience with “Raining in Manila” by Lola Amour. Miguel Tanfelix and Kokoy de Santos delivered a cool performance to “Maharani” by ALAMAT, while Glaiza de Castro dazzled with her performance of “Tala” by Sarah Geronimo. Lexi and Angel energized the crowd with a remix of “Pantropiko x Salamin Salamin” by the nation’s girl group BINI. Miguel Tanfelix and Kokoy de Santos returned to the stage to perform “Gento” by the kings of P-pop, SB19.

Following the PH cast, the original Running Man cast from Korea made a grand entrance with their opening song, “Spring Day” by BTS. The audience erupted into loud cheers as each member greeted the PH runners in Tagalog. Haha charmed the crowd with “Mahal Kita,” Ji Sukjin said “Salamat po, magandang gabi,” Yang Sechan professed “Salamat po, Philippines. I love you,” Yoo Jaesuk expressed “Salamat po, mahal kita,” Kim Jongkook thanked everyone with “Salamat po, thank you for coming tonight,” and Song Jihyo introduced herself with “Ako si Song Jihyo, salamat po!”

The cast shared their excitement about being back in Manila. Yoo Jaesuk expressed their joy, saying, “It’s been a year since nakabalik kami. Sobrang saya namin na nandito kayo to see us.” Ji Sukjin, who had been a bit worried before coming, had a cute interaction with a fan named Dana, which charmed the audience. The cast promised to do their best, hoping to meet the high expectations of their fans. When asked about the collaboration stages, Yang Sechan revealed his excitement for Jongkook and Jihyo’s collab stage. They also shared their love for Filipino food, mentioning dishes like lomi, misua, lechon, and sisig. The fans cheered as Yang Sechan showed his tummy and Jongkook displayed his abs.

The fun continued with a game where the cast had to guess the real message or conversation in a video dubbed in Tagalog. Yoo Jaesuk emerged as the winner of this hilarious game. The energy in the arena remained high as the cast participated in the “All About Kpop” segment, where they had to identify three K-pop songs mixed into one. Jaesuk predicted that Jongkook and Haha would excel, and the first song mix included “Playing with Fire” by Blackpink, “Nobody” by Wonder Girls, and “Fantastic Baby” by Bigbang. Following this, the cast showcased their dance moves, guessing the choreography of popular songs like “Bboom Bboom” by Momoland, “Fantastic Baby” by Big Bang, and “Next Level” by Aespa.

Each Running Man member then took the stage for solo performances, starting with Song Jihyo performing “Bam Yang Gang” by BIBI. Ji Sukjin followed with a heartfelt rendition of “All of Me” by John Legend, while Yang Sechan delivered a hilarious version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by QUEEN. Haha performed his song “Ice Bottle” with U-Kwon of RBZ, and Kim Jongkook sang his own hits “One Man” and “Spring Has Come.” Yoo Jaesuk entertained the crowd with “Redevelopment of Love” by Sandeul.

The event’s excitement peaked with the relay cosplay game, where teams Sechan, Jaesuk, and Jihyo faced off against Haha, Jongkook, and Sukjin. Haha's team emerged victorious, and the losing team had to dance a dance challenge, much to the delight of the fans.

Lucky fans cosplaying as Running Man members were also called on stage for the cosplay awards, receiving personalized gifts from the cast members they portrayed. In the telepathy pose game, lucky PH runners joined the Running Man cast to act out words like Jongkook, Panda, and Blackpink. The winning fan was rewarded with a solo photo with the cast. The group SGP then performed “Treasure” by Bruno Mars and their own song “Baby Be Mine,” captivating the audience.

The collaboration stages were a highlight of the night. Haha and Sechan performed “Kalla” and “Dang Diggi Bang” with SGP, while the beloved Spartace couple, Jongkook and Jihyo, performed “We Need to Talk” by The Jadu, drawing loud cheers from the crowd. Between performances, a Running Man highlights video played, adding to the nostalgia and excitement. The final collaboration stage featured Sukjin, Jihyo, and Haha performing “Beach Again” by SSAK3, and Jihyo, Sechan as Freddie Mercury, and Haha and Jaesuk as Centaurs performing “Y” by Freestyle.

The night concluded with the entire Running Man cast performing a series of energetic songs, including “I Like It,” a new song from Episode 705, “Time of Our Life” by DAY6, “Lovable” by Kim Jongkook, and “Busan Vacance” by RGP. The cast went the extra mile to meet the audience up close, taking selfies, and signing fan art to show their endless gratitude for the unwavering support from their fans. Although a planned VCR and fan sing-along of “I Like It” was cut due to time constraints, PULP ensured that the cast members received these messages of love and appreciation.

Overall, ‘RUN 2 U’ in Manila was an unforgettable night filled with laughter, music, and memories that the fans and the Running Man Korea cast will surely remember for a lifetime.

Words by Cha Jaramilla
Photos by Christian Melanie Lee
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    The Cast of ‘Running Man’ Runs Back to their PH Runners last July 6 for RUN 2 U in Manila

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