I’ve been out of the loop with everything Korean for the past year and a half, but this is the one thing that I’ve been looking forward to ever since Rain started hyping about it.
Those flawless dance moves. That haunting voice. And that cute surprise at the end. This is Vintage Rain, the Rain that most of us loved. He’s back, bitches. The fact that the song is produced by Psy is an added bonus.
It’s just sad that this is just a single and is not even a part of a mini-album. I wanna hear more!
At my year-end post last year, I had wondered how much closer will I get to Alden Richards come 2016. At the time, I was only wondering if I’ll get to attend more events and hopefully take more photos with him, and not necessarily solo.
And then another month after that… I transitioned. Actually, the whole Alden fandom transitioned. Alden International came along and things were never the same again.
2016 was one big roller coaster ride. There were so many high points, and quite a number of low ones. It came to a point that I barely posted blogs, not because I got lazy/lost my drive like last year, but because I got pushed into a fandom that relentlessly destroys anyone who has a opinion that does not fit their own. Even if it’s on something as legit as wanting more substantial projects for our idols. Say something like that, and you’re dead meat.
It irks me that in this fandom, you are not allowed to have a mind of your own. You simply can’t just do your thing. Someone is just watching from the sidelines, waiting to pounce at even the smallest mistake that anyone will make. This fandom has so many geniuses. They can manipulate the nation by making them hate anyone whom they will decide as The Enemy, even if that someone is not doing anything wrong. Pag nakainggitan ka, humanda ka na.
It got so tiring. Exhausting, actually. I got to a point where I wanted to give Alden up. A week will not pass where I didn’t utter the words, “ayoko na” (I give up) to people I confide with. I even declared to my FC admins, “tatapusin ko lang ang mga commitments natin hanggang end of the year. Pagkatapos nito, ayoko na. Lalayo na ako.”
Alden International is a small, quiet group that got even smaller and quieter. But however small we are, this bunch can surely be relied on when it comes to giving their full support to Alden. We may not be the type that are always visible wherever Alden is (ironically, I am being tagged by bashers as “laging nakabuntot” – always tagging along – when I’m hardly present in most of his events and I can count my close encounters with one hand) but we show our support where it matters most. We’re just here, on the sidelines, cheering him on.
That above paragraph was supposed to be my speech at the Joint Thanksgiving Party last December 27. Not exactly in those words, but along those lines. However, it seems the universe didn’t want me to give up. When the one you’re supporting tells you himself not to give in to bashers and that he believes in you, who am I to say NO to that?
I don’t know how much uglier it will become in 2017. I just know that I’m here to stay. Alden Richards is here to stay. You bitter fools will just have to swallow that.
It all started when I volunteered to become a correspondent – again – for GMA Pinoy TV at Alden Richards’ Hong Kong concert.
Saturday afternoon. I was in Macau with my friends when my contact from GMA International messaged me on Viber to ask if I have plans of welcoming Alden at HK airport the following morning and if I will, if I can cover it for GMA Pinoy TV. Without batting an eyelash, I said yes. I actually was contemplating on doing it since our hotel was relatively near the airport. The only thing that’s stopping me is the fact that his flight will arrive at 7:10am, which means I have to be there before that time, which means I have to wake up as early as possible to be able to make it. The fact that it became an official assignment as volunteer correspondent compelled me to do it.
The thing is, we weren’t able to leave Macau until 11:30pm and we arrived at our hotel in Hong Kong at almost 3:00am. Long story short, I ended up going to the airport with barely an hour of sleep and no breakfast, not even a coffee fix. Good luck to me!
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
I was able to reach the airport a few minutes before the plane carrying Alden and his management team landed. I found a spot at Exit B and waited there. After thoroughly observing the area, I realized that there were two arrival exits: A and B. I quickly scanned the arrivals board for the flight status and which gate its passengers will exit. It clearly said “B”, so I stayed there. A few minutes later, I saw that a group of Alden/AlDub fans along with the welcoming committee have assembled just a few steps behind me. It gave me some assurance that he will, indeed, make his exit there.
For some reason, paranoia kicked in. The thought that he will go out at Exit A kept on pounding in my head. There were two big screens just in front of me showing footage of exiting passengers from Exit B and Exit A. I kept an eye on both screens, just in case.
Just then, Alden, Mama Ten and Leysam appeared on the screen… of Exit A. Sh*t!
My brain only processed one thing: RUN! As fast as you can, before he quickly gets escorted out of the airport!
As soon as I sped off, I heard the other fans saying, “sa kabila sila lumabas!” (they took the other exit!) so they took off after me. I later on learned that they realized this fact when they saw me running, because they told me, “ikaw ang unang nakakita sa kanila” (you’re the one who saw them first).
Now here’s a basic fact about me: I don’t run. It’s simply not my thing, as evidenced by the fact that I’m on the heavy side. Fortunately I couldn’t find my leather boots and it’s too cold to be wearing Fit Flops sandals so I ended up wearing rubber shoes in Hong Kong. I wouldn’t be able to run at all if I was wearing boots or sandals. Exit A is at the other end of the building, which spans around a kilometer or so. Actually, I have no idea. All I know is that it’s far. Halfway through the run, my legs, knees and feet started to give up. I was panting like crazy and I started seeing spots which really scared me as I might collapse or worse, have a heart attack. Add to that the fact that I was carrying GD-TOP the 3.5kg DSLR on my bag and it’s really weighing me down. I switched to very difficult brisk walking, which allowed the other people to pass through me and it made me kinda sad.
And then I saw Alden just about a couple of meters away. He was just standing there on one side with Leysam and Mama Ten, and there’s no one else with them. Apparently, the people who passed through me didn’t see Alden, et al and totally missed them. Therefore, the first face that Alden and co. saw in Hong Kong was Agent P.
Once I was within his hearing distance, I told him in between short breaths, “******* bakit kayo nandito? Andun mga sundo mo sa kabila!” ([expletive deleted], why are you here? Your welcoming committee is at the other exit!) Alden looked a bit befuddled; I don’t know if he didn’t recognize me at once or he was surprised to see me instead of the concert producers. And since I was close to collapsing right there and then, I gave Alden a big hug, which I don’t normally do. Then I told him – barely – that I need to take pics for GMA Pinoy TV, so he posed for my camera:
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
I’m not sure, though, if he understood then that I was taking footage for GMA Pinoy TV, or for Alden International; or it’s simply a standard thing for him: see Agent P with a camera, pose for a pic. Because despite the obvious fatigue, look at that smile. Then the other fans started mobbing him, so the welcoming committee decided to start making their exit towards their shuttle service. I decided to brisk-walk along with them. But since they walked really fast and I have to be ahead of them to be able to take good footage, it’s really more like a (not-so) fun run for me.
A video posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
Note: I muted the video because the background audio was of me breathing heavily.
As I was recalling that incident, I realized one thing: I actually didn’t have to run because he’s not going anywhere without his welcoming committee, and his welcoming committee was with me at Exit B. Then again, this blog entry won’t be as interesting without the fun run part…
Moral of the story: if you intend to become a serious fangirl-slash-volunteer-correspondent, start doing cardio exercises and work on your endurance.
Aftermath: 21st Asian Television Awards
01 December 2016 – Suntec Convention Center, Singapore
I have been a blogger for almost 12 years, and a fangirl for about two decades. But never in my wildest dreams will I find myself covering an event of international magnitude, and that opportunity was made possible through Alden Richards.
A little back story: I actually got to know about Alden’s ATA hosting through Alden himself. (Yes, I will be gloating. Bear me with me.) It was on September 20, 2016, when Alden International hosted a dinner/meet-up with him. As soon as I greeted him by the door at Concha’s, he made beso and said, “Ate Pau, Singapore ako uli sa December, host ako sa Asian TV Awards” (Ate Pau, I’ll be coming back to Singapore in December to host the Asian TV Awards). And I was like, “whoa!!!!” followed with this thought: so what are you telling me, exactly? Of course, the next immediate thought was that I will do everything in my power to be there. It’s a milestone event in Alden’s career, and I needed to go back to Singapore, anyway, because I wasn’t able to tour much the first time I was there in July. I just never thought that it would be this soon.
The formal announcement was made about two weeks later, so you could just imagine the amount of effort we had to exert in controlling ourselves not to blab about it in public.