The members of 4Minute at a press conference in Manila.
/ Korea Times Photo by Jonathan Hicap
By Jonathan Hicap
Korea Times Correspondent
MANILA ― K-pop girl group 4Minute ended their first Philippine tour Sunday after promoting their first mini-album, "For Muzik," in the Southeast Asian nation where K-pop is gaining popularity.
In Manila, 4Minute held shows in shopping malls, had autograph signing events for fans, and appeared on TV variety programs from February 5 to 7.
"For Muzik" contains the hit songs ""Hot Issue", "Muzik" and "What a Girl Wants" and was released in the Philippines on CD-DVD format.
The members of the idol group ― Hyun-ah, Ji-hyun, Ji-yoon, So-hyun and Ga-yoon ― met the Philippine press on February 5.
However, besides arriving an hour late for the press conference, the girls were barred by the organizer of the event from answering personal questions, particularly regarding Hyun-ah and her past association with K-pop girl band the Wonder Girls.
Hyun-ah was an original member of the Wonder Girls but had to quit the group just six months after they debuted in 2007 due to her deteriorating health.
On January 22, JYP Entertainment announced that Sun-mi, another member of the Wonder Girls, was quitting the group to resume her studies in South Korea.
With Hyun-ah and Sun-mi experiencing similar misfortunes with the Wonder Girls, The Korea Times asked Hyun-ah if she would consider going back to the Wonder Girls if Park Jin-Young, owner of JYP Entertainment, asked her to.
However, even before the interpreter could translate the question, a staff member for the organizer stopped her from answering the question.
The press also failed to get Hyun-ah's reaction on Sun-mi's decision to quit, when the organizer again prohibited her from responding.
The questions 4Minute members did answer were mainly about their diet and lifestyle.
Answering a question from The Korea Times on their health, 4Minute admitted that they are on a special diet to maintain their sexy image as K-pop idols.
But they said they were having a hard time controlling their diet in Manila since they love the food.
When asked about their friends outside the group, 4Minute said they are close to the members of K-pop groups BEAST and f(x).
4Minute and BEAST are managed by Cube Entertainment, an affiliate of JYP Entertainment.
4Minute debuted in Korea last June with the digital single "Hot Issue" which became a hit and earned the group two Rookie of the Month music awards. "For Muzik" was released in Korea last August.
They received the Golden Disk Newcomer Award alongside girl group T-ara last December.
This year, 4Minute won the Newcomer Award at the 16th Korea Entertainment Arts Awards and the Popular Artist Award at the 2010 Asia Model Awards.
Hyun-ah is currently appearing on the TV variety show "Invincible Youth" (a.k.a. "Incredible Youth").