Statement.

Aftermath: Alden Richards ‘Adrenaline Rush’
21 September 2018 – Kia Theater

I had difficulty figuring out how to begin this Aftermath report. My blogging skills have been really rusty these days and the concert has so much feels, I don’t know where and how to start.

To warm up, I re-read the beginning part of my blog re: last year’s Upsurge concert. Guess what, the first paragraph basically said the same thing: I don’t know how I’ll write about the concert. :lol:

This is my overall takeaway from Adrenaline Rush: Alden Richards made a statement. That statement being: “This is me. This is what I want. This is what makes me happy. I will do things my way from now on, and I hope you’ll still be there with me and believe in me as I proceed with this journey.”

Alden made a brave move with this concert. Personally, I was wondering why he decided to ‘torture’ himself and stage a major concert while in the middle of filming an ongoing drama series (among many – and I mean MANY – other things). I guess a simple interview or social media post is not enough for him to send his message across. In the midst of it all is the fact that he staged this concert at a most challenging time, when his marketability as a solo artist is being questioned and fandom loyalties have been doubtful. I believe that Alden has hurdled that challenge with Adrenaline Rush.

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Going into this concert, I had wondered how different Adrenaline Rush is going to be from Upsurge. I tried not to expect too much. Upsurge was so good, it’s going to be hard to top.

I’m glad to be proven wrong. Adrenaline Rush is not just different, it’s better than Upsurge. In my opinion, of course. :smile: The production team certainly outdid themselves with this concert.

And because it’s almost 1:30am as of this writing, I’ll be presenting my points using the tried-and-tested-when-I’m-lazy Random Bullets list.

1. Production aspects: The stage design was simple, but the lighting… AWESOME. :clap: It’s not just a sight to behold. It’s a delight to capture on cam. Some of my photos looked super-HD even if I used my old Canon DSLR, and it’s because of the excellent lighting.


Everything on this concert has leveled up, production-wise. Even Alden’s clothes are much better here. It suits him more, and I’m not just referring to the style. The actual fit of the clothes is perfect. He usually looks bulky when he wears suits but this time, he looked lean even on cam.

I also liked the song selection more on this concert compared to last year. The inclusion of Haplos on the repertoire received a very positive reaction from the audience. I also like that they launched the new song, Kapag Malapit Ka, here. I didn’t have the chance to listen to the new album before the concert so it’s my first time to hear it when Alden performed it. My verdict: The sound is something that you might hear from a Viva artist instead of Alden Richards. But it fit his voice well. The tune is catchy and very R&B contemporary. I love it!

Random side note: I’m the happiest fangirl when Alden and One Up sang *NSYNC’s Bye Bye Bye at the boyband medley. It’s one of my favorite songs way back in the 90’s. I even danced along in my seat during rehearsals, which I was only able to do because taking footage was prohibited, hence, I’m not saddled with my camera.

2. Alden has mentioned that he had a say with everything involved in this concert, including the songs and the guest line up. It showed in the way he performed those songs and the camaraderie with his fellow performers. Another random side note: I was bashed a few days ago for saying that Alden seemed happy despite the insane work schedule that he has. Someone even remarked that I failed to see how huge his eyebags are. Well, yes, he has huge eyebags. But beneath those huge eyebags are a pair of sparkling eyes that would only appear when a person is truly happy.

I’ve been regularly taking photos of Alden since 2015. I know a pair of happy eyes when I see them, whether he’s physically tired or not. And besides, Alden himself said that he’s happy doing what he’s doing. Who are we to question that?

3. There is a very noticeable improvement in Alden’s vocal technique. I think he had a different voice coach this time and the positive changes were evident. He has a fuller sound now. I also noticed when I was reviewing the photos that even Alden’s movements and facial expressions while singing had more variety compared to last year. He crunched his face, dropped his jaw (hence, the fuller sound), and I even spotted a couple of “ugly faces” (that face that singers have when they’re being particularly expressive when singing that they don’t care how their faces look) among the photos. Of course, we’re talking about Alden Richards here so his “ugly” is not really ugly :hihihi: , but I hope you get my drift.


4. Another noticeable improvement is Alden’s confidence as an overall performer. His dancing has leveled up, as well. And of course, the ‘buwis buhay’ stunt. Who could get over that?

5. Here’s another facet of Alden that had a noticeable improvement: his comedic skills. It’s not easy trading banters with the likes of Betong Sumaya and especially the Comedy Concert Queen Ms AiAi Delas Alas, but Alden held his own with these comedy veterans. The dance-off with Betong and his nearly-SPG exchange with Ms Ai were hilarious. :lmao: And who could miss his little interpretative dance to the tune of Basang-Basa Sa Ulan as sung by Ms. Ai?



6. And speaking of confidence, last year I noted Alden’s bravery to tackle Bruno Mars songs at Upsurge. This time, he not only sang Bruno Mars. He opened with a Michael Jackson song. He sang a couple of Aegis tunes. He did a duet with THE Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. His OPM medley included songs by VST & Co., The Dawn and Bamboo. You got enourmous guts for a non-singer, dude!

7. Ang cute-cute nila ni Songbird. :dream: Seeing them together onstage reminds me of those movies Regine made with Aga Muhlach.


8. I’m just gonna leave these here.


9. It’s my first time to see Ex-Battalion perform and I’m impressed at their ability to work the crowd. Even my almost seatmate Kyline Alcantara, who came in just as Ex-B was performing their spot number Hayaan Mo Sila, was dancing and rapping along with them.

Can I just say: seeing Alden and Ex-B perform Superhero Mo in the flesh made me realize how powerful that song is. The opening strains alone creates an impact. Para kang nahampas ng Mjolnir.

Also, it’s nice to see the ever-humble Alden taking a step back at times to let Ex-B shine.

10. Here With You, Alden.

This photo shows his face when he first noticed the banners and realized what was written on them. He became emotional after that. But what strikes me is that he may be teary eyed and at one point was close to crying full on but unlike in previous similar instances, he didn’t bawl his eyes out this time.

This is just my take, so please don’t throw the “kala mo kung sinong close kay Alden na alam ang lahat” card on me: I think Alden is telling us, no more tears. You’re all here with me. I’m not alone in this journey after all.

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Actually, the one who bawled her eyes out at the concert was me.

I’ve been contemplating as soon as the concert ended if I should write this part and share it to the public. As I was looking at the photos and recalling everything about my Adrenaline Rush experience, I realized that this part is really the one that created a major impact on me that night.

“Napakalungkot pong mag-isa. Pero mas malungkot yung feeling na, may mga taong kasama mo nga, pero pinaparamdam sa ‘yong mag-isa ka lang.”

I don’t know what is behind Alden’s motivation when said this. I do know that after he said this, I replied with… “shit, Alden, why?”

I said this because it’s exactly what I’ve been going through as an Alden fan for the past few months.

Since the early part of this year, I have been going through a personal crisis. I think I’m having a mental health issue. (Yes, I have always been insane, but this time it’s personal.) I tried to be strong and hurdle it, but it came to a point where I felt like everything I do is a total failure. I felt like everything I do is not enough. I had random bouts of extreme sadness wherein I sometimes cry at the lamest of reasons. The only reprieve I have from this mental issue that I’m having is fangirling for Alden.

The thing is, one of the worst things that could happen to someone with a mental health issue is to be cyber-bullied. I’ve been regularly bullied in this fandom since 2016, but it’s different when you’re dealing with something akin to depression. Also, the trolls are at their absolute worst now. They’d bash me even if I didn’t say anything particularly bad or particularly about their idol in the first place. And because I don’t engage, some of them would have the liberty of spreading all sorts of speculation and gossip for their lot to feast on. The sad part is some of those posts came from people whom I’ve personally encountered at some point in my being an Alden fan (or at least, they claim to be). And because they claim to know me, people believe them. It came to a point when someone called me an outright liar when I told him that his statements were referring to another person who is not me. I also received messages telling me to quit being an Alden fan because I’m not worthy, or I’m not needed anymore, or Alden has learned about my being a ‘basher’ of that girl that he doesn’t allow me to be anywhere near him (this one’s totally laughable because it’s certainly not true). Even worse, there are people telling me to just go and kill myself. I know I should just ignore them, but in this mental state, it’s difficult to do so. At some point, it will get to you. The worst part is I can’t just talk about this to anyone without them thinking that I’m just being shallow and ridiculous because in the first place, it IS shallow and ridiculous.

I developed some sort of extreme paranoia from the fandom that whenever I attend Alden’s events, I felt so alone even if I’m in the middle of a crowd and I have friends with me. Heck, at the concert, I got very obvious “you’re not welcome here” looks from my original seatmates before I decided to steal someone else’s seat at SVIP center. I get a reprieve once I see Alden onstage, but before and after that is torture.

Now here come those words saying exactly what I’m going through, and it came from Alden himself.

I was dumbfounded.

Two segments later, Alden was telling us fans to continue believing in him. Wag n’yo po akong iwan. Samahan n’yo ako hanggang dulo. Hindi ako bibitiw, sana kayo rin. I think I blacked out somewhat; I just remember taking photos, and then singing along to the next two songs: Yeng Constantino’s Salamat and Keep Holding On. When I reached the first line of the chorus, “keep holding on…” I suddenly realized what the song is saying. I stopped singing and the tears just came out. I stuck my camera close to my face to hide the tears.

Corollary to my “I feel alone” story: It was at the Marquee Mall event for Victor Magtanggol when I realized that my stress-reliever is now my source of stress. I’m tired of being sad. I felt so down that I declared to my little circle of Alden fan-friends that after September 21, I am retiring from being an active Alden fan. I’m still a fan, but I won’t be making the effort anymore as it’s taking its toll on me. I’m just one fan who’s not particularly special, anyway. Nobody will notice if I disappear.

But now, here comes Alden telling me, “‘wag mo akong iwan.” Keep holding on. Sure, he said that to everyone in general. But this is my blog and I’ve always been delusional Agent P, so…

I still haven’t fully decided on what to do. I just know that I got a major wake-up call from Alden on that one.

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Not like it used to be.

Hi! I’m Agent P, and I’ve just been addicted to online TV.

Yes, I am slow. :lol:

It started when my local cable provider sucked big time. Coincidentally, Globe offered to upgrade by net connection at home and threw in this lovely contraption called an Android box which allowed my not-too-smart TV to connect to the internet via WiFi and let me install these lovely streaming apps and watch it on the big screen. Since then, I dropped my cable subscription and signed up for everything that’s available in my country: Netflix, iFlix, HOOQ, Fox+, with YouTube and Viki thrown in for good measure. Thanks to these apps, I was able to update myself with the latest on K-entertainment. I haven’t really plunged myself back to the world of K-dramas, though; too much commitment for that. :P But I have been watching a lot of Korean variety shows and music clips, so I’ve been a little bit abreast with the latest trends.

Nowadays, I’ve been literally hooked on HOOQ. True confession: the only reason why I signed up on HOOQ is because they have Alden’s drama series, Victor Magtanggol, on their line-up. :hihihi: However, I discovered that HOOQ has a vast collection of classic Filipino movies and TV shows as well as a good number of indie films. It’s the classic movies that had me deciding to continue my subscription after the free trial period expires. Finally, I can watch those movies any time I want instead of waiting for it to be aired on Cinema One or PBO. I have practically the entire roster of Regal Films movies from the 80’s on my playlist. :hihihi:

Which brings me to this anecdote. (Damn, I sound so random. :grin: Then again randomness has always been my blogging style, so whatever.) One of the first old Pinoy movies which I watched on HOOQ is Ten Little Indians, released in 1982 and starring William Martinez; Herbert Bautista (now Mayor of Quezon City) and his two siblings Hero and Harlene; and the WEA Twins. (How classic is that? :lol: )

I just remembered seeing it at a movie house when I was a little kid and remember crying buckets over it, so I checked it out.

I got the shock of my life.

The movie started out just like a typical Regal movie in the 80’s (although this one was actually released by Good Harvest Films, a subsidiary of Regal). William’s character was a mentally-challenged guy who has fantasies of being a cowboy who hates Indians (as in Native American Indians). At one point, while in his cowboy fantasies, he kidnapped a bunch of children and their teacher, because they wore costumes as the ten little Indians for a school program. That alone is reeking of political incorrectness.

And then it gets uglier.

While in the mountains, cowboy and Indians eventually developed affinity with one another until they chanced upon a group of gangsters. The gangsters beat up the cowboy; raped the teacher in front of the kids (!); verbally abused the female children through sexual innuendos; attempted to rape one of the girls because the gangster wasn’t satisfied with the teacher (!!!!!) (there’s even a cringe-worthy scene where they were asking the girls’ ages and found the 8-year-old ‘too young’ while the 10-year-old ‘pwede na‘ Oh God that was disturbing); shot and killed one of the boys point-blank, in front of the others; and two other boys got killed so that the rest of them can escape.

I was thinking: if this was shown today, it would definitely be slapped with an R-18 rating. That is, assuming it gets shown at all. I’m pretty sure it will generate a lot of disapproving buzz from netizens who always find something to complain about.

And then it hit me: I saw this film when I was a child. At a movie theater. I don’t even remember who I saw it with, but most probably my cousins who were also minors at the time.

I don’t remember finding it offensive at all. Or did I even understand what was going on then?

Times have really changed.

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Speaking of things that have changed…

I saw these from my social media feeds today.

1. Mr Weatherman’s fanmeets now have mandatory group photo ops with the attendees;
2. One Filipina Shinhwa Changjo was recognized by some Shinhwa members at an event in Korea. As in the members know her by face and name;
3. Shin Hye Sung wore a Penshoppe hoodie, given by a Pinoy fan.

I wonder: if I didn’t give up on the Kpop scene, maybe someday I’ll finally get my moment with my Korean idol? In 20 years, maybe? Most of my fellow Clouds got it at the 13-year mark…

This last paragraph is random as hell. :lmao:

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Starting over.

Hello, blog readers! Are you still there? :razz:

I think I should be the one asking myself that question: Hello, Agent P! Are you still here?

I think it’s about a week ago when I received an email notification from Google Adsense telling me that my subscription has been terminated due to non-activity. Basically, it’s telling me that my blog has been dead, so they’re pulling out.

I honestly didn’t know what to feel when I read that email.

To be quite honest, I have been seriously pondering on whether I should still continue maintaining this blog. I have been amiss with updating it, and the few times that I have updated it, I wasn’t sure if people are still reading. I was thisclose to posting something ‘controversial’ just to check if it’s still generating site traffic. :lmao: The only reason why it’s still up is because my domain and webspace are paid until April 2019. After that, I’m still not sure if I’m still willing to pay good money to have it renewed.

It will all depend on what will happen within the next few months.

Why am I updating this now? Well, there’s a lot of things happening in the next few days, so I needed to refresh my blogging skills. Alden’s concert is this Friday. (Not sure if I have the drive to blog about this, though. I’m kinda traumatized from writing/posting about him and either getting ignored, or receiving a ton of ridicule and messages telling me to go kill myself in return. :neutral: ) The week after that, I’m going back to K-pop for Seventeen’s Manila concert. (Yup, surprise! I’m watching Ideal Cut in Manila. One of these days I’m going to blog about how it happened.) Next month, I’ll be reviving my passion for travel, photography and food-tripping. That should keep this blog busy before I plunge back to that stressful environment known as my day job…

Of course, blogging all of that will only be possible if, and only if, I have the drive to write. I need some motivation. No. A LOT of motivation. A little push, please? :razz:

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‘I Will Be Here’ on Spotlight.

When you have a ton of work deadlines that are yet to be met, and you dropped everything just to listen to Alden Richards sing a piano acoustic version of I Will Be Here.

It’s SOOOOO GOOD. So good, that I looked like this -> :dream: the entire time that I was watching the video. So good, that I had to write a blog about it even if I haven’t written anything here for quite some time.

The thing with singing with just an acoustic instrument as accompaniment is that, the singer has no place to hide the flaws in his voice. For a non-singer like Alden, this is such a fearless thing to do: sing with just the piano to back him up. He did so well here. No bum notes and just a slight hint of hoarseness on some parts. It’s actually a brilliant idea to not edit out that short part where he missed his cue because that only proves that he sang LIVE. :clap:

Finally, that last note: SUBLIME. :drool:

Who is his vocal coach these days? I want to treat him/her to dinner. Seriously.

Dear GMA Records: can you please release this version as a single? As in this LIVE piano acoustic version. I’ll be more than willing to buy it. Including it on the next album would be nice, too.

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Titas of K-pop.

Yesterday was the first day of ticket selling for the Manila leg of Super Junior’s Super Show 7.

Yesterday – actually, for the past several days – there’s this thing being brought up by the younger generation of K-pop fans. That is, the current K-pop acts are more successful because they are raking in millions of views in record time on YouTube compared to the “old” K-pop artists.

Yesterday, the hashtag #TITASOFKPOP surfaced on Twitter.

And yesterday, I realized that I am a Tita of Kpop. :lol: (Note to non-Pinoys: ‘Tita’= ‘auntie’)

During the height of BTS at the 2018 BBMAs where they *almost* broke the Twitter record set by AlDub and Eat Bulaga, one of my beloved bashers Tweeted that there’s no indication that me, Agent P, is a K-pop fan. :ehh: Therefore, more than a decade of me blogging about Korean entertainment is what… just me being a troll? :think:

Don’t answer that. :lmao:

A brief history for the new readers of this blog: I started becoming a staunch supporter of anything Korean in 2005. June 2005, to be exact. My baptism of fire with K-pop happened in July 2005 when I made an impromptu trip to Hong Kong just to see Rain. In fact, the monicker Agent P was borne out of my being a fan of BiKyo (Rain and Song Hye Kyo of Full House fame). It was given to me by a fellow Soompier (Bambiina, who’s a big BTS fan now), when Soompi was still a haven for fans of Korean entertainment as it was a place where we could freely discuss anything about our biases and we will not be judged for it. I became Agent P because I can spot things about Rain and SHK that most fans do not notice.

I have this whole blog as testament of my being a Kpop/Kdrama fan. However, I’ve kinda lost track of anything Korean in 2015 when I became an active fangirl of Alden Richards. I only get my updates from socmed posts of friends who are still into it, and my teen-aged nieces who are now into it. :hihihi:

Going to that topic of current Kpop acts being more successful than old Kpop acts because of YouTube hits: first of all, you cannot use that as an accurate measure of success because YouTube back in my day (which is 13 years ago) is nothing like the YouTube of today. Back in the day, YouTube – social media, in general – was not considered an influential marketing tool. We only upload videos for entertainment and media sharing, and nothing else.

Back in the day, only a few countries have really fast internet connection. Most of us cannot keep up with the ultra-fast internet connection of South Korea, that the only way we catch our favorite Korean shows and MVs was through downloads. Very, very few outside Korea were able to stream in real time. Streaming wasn’t even considered when talking about TV ratings and record sales back then. It is for this reason why the extremely popular drama You Are Beautiful had low TV ratings. Its target audience was the younger viewers who watch TV via real-time streaming; their viewership was not included when ratings were calculated.

Back in the day, the term HD was non-existent. By HD, I meant High Definition and not ADN’s favorite HD, Hidden Desire. :rolleyes: For us Lumang Tao ng K-pop (Ancient People of K-pop), HQ (High Quality) was the most prized video resolution. HQ meant a video size in 640×480 pixels. :lol: When HD came along, it was 720p. And because high-speed internet was quite rare for the ordinary non-Korean netizen, a person who possesses internet connection that can quickly download a HQ video with a 700mb file size was considered a hero. :clap: Said hero would have to invest in that God-given invention known as a CD/DVD burner because she would be everyone’s source of MVs and K-drama/variety show episodes. I still remember when I had to learn how to edit, hardsub and convert video files to be shared to those who cannot watch videos with soft subs. Oh, and remember when we searched high and low for that perfect media player that can play any video format that’s burned on DVDs?

The younger generation will never understand all these, because they never experienced it. Nowadays, they can just click away and that’s it. Consider yourself lucky, kids.

But for us Titos and Titas of K-pop, those were good times. We’ve had many ‘difficulties’, so to speak, but as a result many real-life friendships blossomed because of it. Don’t count us out; these veterans have battled many wars that most of you might never go through. In fact, some of them are still there battling with you.

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