We’re not starting a cult but some followers on Instagram would be nice. Thank you.
A new seven-member Filipino boy group Hori7on is set to debut in South Korea in June 2023, according to KpopStarz.
The group is made up of the top contestants from the Korea-Philippines joint global audition program Dream Maker, an idol reality-survival show not unlike their famous South Korean counterparts Produce 101 and Boys Planet.
The group will debut under MLD Entertainment, the company behind popular girl groups MOMOLAND and Lapillus.
You can watch their introduction here:
“Half-Singaporean” part of Hori7on lineup
Among the seven is 21-year-old Ng Kim Huat, who introduced himself as “half-Singaporean” in a video on his YouTube channel.
He is from Bacolod City in the Philippines, though he also used to reside in Clementi (yes the one along our green MRT line), according to sister, Sonia Ng, 28, who lives and works in Singapore.
As the youngest of six siblings, the decision was made for Kim Huat to follow his mother back to the Philippines when he was just four, after their parents split up.
“Our mum is Kim’s number one fan, and she is the person who really encouraged Kim to audition for Dream Maker,” Sonia tells us.
And even though the family is split across two countries, Kim Huat can count on them for their support.
Sonia and her father flew to Manila, Philippines recently to catch the live finale of Dream Maker.
Going by “Kim” in the show, Kim Huat ranked sixth in the competition overall, behind bandmates Jeromy, Marcus, Kyler, Vinci and Reyster, and ahead of seventh-placed Winston.
But this is not his first foray into survival shows.
Kim also participated in 2022 P-pop (Pinoy pop) reality survival show Top Class, but was eliminated in Episode 6.
Aside from YouTube, Kim also makes dance videos, among other content, on TikTok, where he has 2.7 million followers.
His latest post on Instagram was on Nov. 16 2022, but that has not stopped adoring fans from descending upon it to offer their congratulations.
The band will first promote in the Philippines until March, according to Korea JoongAng Daily.
After that, they will move to South Korea to prepare for their debut, scheduled for mid-June 2023.
More Filipinos in Korea
Before Hori7on, there was TEM5IVE and SB19.
TEM5IVE is a girl group that debuted in the Philippines in August 2016 with the Korean song, Miracle.
While Koreaboo reported in 2018 that the group was hoping to make their South Korean debut, not much has been reported about the girls since.
SB19, on the other hand, is the first Filipino boy group to be trained under a Korean entertainment company.
While Nextshark describes them as the “first all-Filipino K-Pop boy group”, their debut music video TILALUHA was performed in Tagalog, albeit with K-drama influences.
The group continues to be active today, with 2.77 million subscribers on YouTube.
In 2021, the Philippine National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) named SB19 as its newest Youth and Sentro Rizal ambassadors, representing Filipino culture and stories in the global scene.
Other Singaporeans in South Korea
Kim isn’t the first (half) Singaporean to seek out stardom in the home of K-pop either.
Remember SKarf, a girl group that debuted in August 2012 under Alpha Entertainment?
They were the first K-pop group to have Singaporean members, Natasha Low and Ferlyn Wong.
The group eventually disbanded in 2014 after Ferlyn’s departure, but you can still watch their first title song, Oh! Dance here:
Fans of survival reality programme Physical 100 may also recognise Elaine Wong, a 34-year-old Singaporean actress.
Elaine was supposed to be in the SKarf lineup alongside Natasha and Ferlyn, but dropped out “due to medical reasons and there being too tough”.
The actress, who has been based in South Korea for 13 years, has starred in movies and several other variety shows, including a dating series.
Top image via @hori7onofficial/Instagram anmd @kimhuatng1702/Instagram.
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