From last year’s Team Hagdan…
…to this year’s Team On-Camera Talent, real quick.
Lemme tell you what happened…
From last year’s Team Hagdan…
…to this year’s Team On-Camera Talent, real quick.
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!
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:
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.
(Facebook Live video credit to SingPhil Events)
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.
Be careful what you joke about. It just might happen.
Saturday, around 2:00pm. We were lining up for the Pampanga leg of Alden Richards’ Say It Again album tour at Marquee Park in Angeles City. The guidelines said that only 400 CD buyers will be given ‘seat stubs + photo op stubs’ for the show. The rest can still buy a CD and get a photo op, but they won’t have seats. The line was already quite long when we got there, so somewhere along the way I joked that, “what if it’s finally my turn to get the CD and they tell me, ‘sorry ma’am, we’ve already reached the quota and you didn’t make it’?” I swear, there will be bloodshed!
A few hours and much chaos after that: Me and a few other people from various Alden fan clubs (among them members of Alden International, Alden United and Aldenatics Taguig, around 20 people all in all) were lining up for the photo op with Alden. Just as Jho from my FC was about to enter the stage area, one of the guards blocked it off and said the magic words: “admin po muna” (the mall admins will have their photo op first). After the mall admins had their photo op, we saw Alden being led down the stage, meaning that the photo op is over.
Now waitttt a minute. What the hell was that???
Look. We did everything that their rules told us to do. We queued early. We bought the CD. We silently took our designated seats even if it’s already far from the stage. We endured the rain. We were promised a photo op for the simple reason that we bought the CD and we got it early enough to be included in the magic 400. Why were we denied of our right to have our photo taken with Alden?
It’s just a few people left, just enough for last two batches. We heard someone say that the fans were getting wild so they had to stop the photo op, but they were already wild much early in the night and security did not do much about it. In fact, at some point I found myself right there on front row center because nobody bothered to control the people at the back from approaching the stage. The queue for the photo op was about to end, and only then did they decide that the crowd was getting too wild that they have to halt the proceedings?
Give me a freakin’ break. I’m sorry, but that was totally unacceptable.
Some people might say: “hey Agent P, it’s not like you people haven’t had a photo taken with Alden before!” That’s not the point. We are PAYING CUSTOMERS. As paying customers, it is our right to demand what we have paid for.
Midway through the photo op, the event host even announced that those who still haven’t bought a copy of the CD can still do so and they can still join the photo session. If they’re going to make announcements like that, they have to make sure that they will accommodate EVERYONE. The thing is, they haven’t even finished taking photos of the Magic 400 and yet they are inviting more people who, apparently, will end up getting a false promise, anyway. Just like what happened to us.
It’s only fortunate that the ones who got this bad end of the deal are FC members who are smart enough to know that it’s not Alden’s fault that it happened and he shouldn’t be blamed for it. Imagine if among us were fans who will be seeing Alden for the first time. I couldn’t fathom how disappointed they will be.
I’m probably the only person who will be noisy about this incident. But I am blogging about it not only because I want answers but also because the people in charge should know. And hopefully, for Alden’s sake, they will avoid this situation from happening again.
Aftermath: Alden Richards and Ely Buendia – One Phenomenal Night
Island Cove Resort and Hotel – 28 October 2016
Friday night has got to be the craziest night, ever. If there was a roller coaster of emotions, that night was it.