MANILA, OCTOBER 4, 2011 (STAR) By Ricky Lo (PHOTO - Members of the band Westlife Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan and Nicky Byrne arrive at the NAIA for a concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum yesterday. RUDY SANTOS)

Did Westlife forget about American Time and keep Filipino Time?

You see, the group’s welcome presscon was scheduled at 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon at a function room of EDSA Shangri-La where the four guys were billeted but they showed up at way past 3:30 p.m.

Some of the media had left but some stayed to hear the guys apologize for the miscommunication between them and the organizers/ producers of the concert staged last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“We didn’t know that there would be a press conference,” admitted Nicky Byrne who, at 33, is the oldest among the members.

Westlife used to have five members but one of them, Bryan McFadden, has gone solo. The three other remaining members are Shane Filan, 32; Kian Egan, 31; and Mark Feehily, 31.

The boys arrived before midnight Wednesday from Hong Kong where they had a show. From Manila, they will go to Hanoi today for another concert which is part of the promo for their album Gravity (released locally by Sony Music).

In an exclusive interview with The STAR two weeks ago, Nicky Byrne publicly invited Manny Pacquiao to watch their concert, saying, “I do hope that we could do a song with him, preferably ‘You Raise Me Up.’ During the day, I would love to do a bit of boxing training with him and at night, we could do more singing. You see, I’ve been boxing as part of my workout, part of my conditioning.”

But due to his tight schedule training in Baguio for his return bout with Juan Manuel Marquez, Pacquiao begged off from watching the concert.

“He would have loved to but he was really pressed for time,” somebody close to Pacquiao told The STAR.

Other boy bands have split up and new ones have cropped up, but Westlife has managed to stay on top these past 14 years. Asked how they do it, Nicky said, “Honestly, I don’t know. You know, maybe we know what buttons to push and what pushes each other’s buttons. There’s really no magic formula. If there was, we would have put it in a bottle and sold it.”

It’s not the quartet’s first time to visit the Philippines. They first came here in 1999.

“We love coming back to the Philippines,” said Nicky. “I think we’ve been here five times for promo visits and for concerts. We always look forward to coming back because the Philippines has always been very welcoming to Westlife.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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