Aftermath: Nam Joo Hyuk Private Stage [Close-Up] Fanmeeting in Manila
23 September 2017 – Kia Theater, Quezon City
True confession: I attended the Nam Joo Hyuk fanmeeting without knowing who Nam Joo Hyuk is. I mean, I know who he is, like what dramas he’s starred in. But that’s just about it. I’ve never seen any of his dramas. So when I say I didn’t really care about the guy, it’s because I don’t know him at all.
You may ask: why did you spend good money for this fanmeet if you don’t care about him? Three reasons.
(1) Blogging purposes. My longtime blog readers know this. I usually spend good money even on Korean artists that I’m not a fan of just so I’ll have something to put on this blog aside from my usual subjects;
(2) I missed covering K-pop/K-drama events. So why, you may ask, did I not spend that good money on Korean artists that I at least know, like G-Dragon and Taeyang? Actually, I asked that several times, myself; and
(3) My Voltes friends (aka. my friends from the Rain/K-entertainment fandom) are going, and I really missed them a lot. This is really more about me reuniting with friends rather than the actual event itself.
However… Right now, I admit that I’m super-glad that I went to this fanmeet. I didn’t expect much because, as I’ve said, I didn’t really care about Nam Joo Hyuk. But after seeing how he is with fans, I decided that I like him.
Aftermath: ‘San Juan Para sa Marawi’ Benefit Concert
September 20, 2017 – FilOil Flying V Centre
A couple of days ago, I had the opportunity to witness the best and the brightest in Philippine Music perform in one stage for a good cause.
Ms. Celeste Legaspi. Mr. Basil Valdez. The CompanY. Esang De Torres. Under the helm of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab. All for the benefit of the survivors of the Marawi Siege.
It was truly one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen.
Save for Edith Piaf’s La Vie En Rose which was sung in three languages (Filipino, French and English), it was an all-Original Pilipino Music repertoire. It was lovely listening to these classic Filipino songs and realizing the beauty our music then. The lyrics were pure poetry, and the melody was exquisite. We don’t get that much often these days.
The show kicked off with a rendition of Vehnee Saturno’s Awit Sa Marawi, sung by Esang De Torres and The CompanY. The CompanY was wonderful, as expected. But I was pleasantly surprised at Esang. The girl has raw talent which has improved by leaps and bounds, thanks to her theater training and constant guidance by her The Voice Kids coach, Ms. Lea Salonga.
I have always loved Ms Celeste Legaspi’s voice. She has such a hauntingly pure tone that’s pleasant to the ears, and she still possesses solid, powerful vocals despite her age. Also, she’s such a delight to photograph. Her facial expressions and her body language are so camera-friendly.
The whole show was eargasm personified, but my most favorite number of the night has to be Basil Valdez’ version of George Canseco and Louie Ocampo’s Ikaw. I’ve known that song to be originally sung by Sharon Cuneta, then revived by Regine Velasquez. It was only now that I learned that the real original version was by Basil Valdez, and his version was simply the BEST of the lot. It was… BEAUTIFUL. Just beautiful.
Concerts nowadays usually showcase special effects, complicated staging and choreography, and/or vocal acrobatics. Sometimes, it’s wonderful to take a break from all that and see something that focuses more on just the music. I’m very thankful that I was able to still experience something like this, and for good cause at that.
Aftermath: “Thank You For 30” Cebuana Lhuillier 30th Anniversary Concert
01 September 2017 – Mall of Asia Arena
This is one of those beautiful accidents that I didn’t plan on happening, but it did.
Around 2:00pm, 1st of September. I was busy twiddling my thumbs at home when I received a message from a certain someone, asking me if I’m watching the Cebuana Lhuillier concert happening that very same day. I said no, I don’t have a ticket. She said she has some, and she’s giving it to me and my fellow ‘no-group’ friends. Her only reason: she wants me to be there. Ok, then. Who am I to say, ‘no’ to that? I’ve been really wanting to see this show because, hello. Alden Richards and Sarah Geronimo. And then JaDine was announced as surprise guests just the night before. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score tickets #longstory but I guess the universe – or certain, uhm, *someones* – really wants me to witness this.
So I took a quick shower, grabbed my super-zoom cameras which were, thankfully, fully-charged, and hurried towards Mall of Asia Arena for the Thank You For 30 concert.
I think I shouldn’t be attending events when I’m sorely lacking in sleep. I went to bed at around 5:00am Sunday morning because of a K-drama marathon – something I haven’t done for the longest time – and I got up less than three hours later because I have to be at Wilcon Depot Quezon Avenue as early as possible for Alden’s Meet and Greet for Yale Locks. (Take note, I never said “slept” and “woke up” because while my eyes were closed, my brain was wide awake. ) I have to be early because I haven’t bought the required purchase yet, and it’s first come, first served. I just downed a huge mug of coffee and off I went to the event.
So this is what happens when Agent P is running purely on caffeine:
While on the queue, a Yale staff laid down the ground rules for the Meet and Greet. To quote:
“Bawal po mag-selfie, bawal ang autograph. Bawal po kumandong kay Alden, bawal kumiss! May tanong po ba?”
(No selfies, no autographs, no sitting on Alden’s lap, don’t kiss him. Any questions?)
I raised my hand – in front of everyone in the queue, if I may add, which may or may not include people who hate me with a passion – and said, “kuya, paano pag si Alden ang kumiss sa amin? Tatanggi na lang ba kami? Choosy pa kami, ganon?” (what if it’s Alden who kissed us? Should we say, ‘no’? Are we going to be choosy?)
The look on the staff’s face was priceless as he struggled to find answers to my questions.
So we’re finally allowed to go up the 3rd floor, where the Meet and Greet shall be. Senior citizens and PWDs were already let in ahead of the rest of us and were given seats in front of the mini-stage. Meanwhile, the rest of us were lined up way beyond the cordoned off area (pretty much like the Yale event at Robinson’s Manila the week prior) and have this wonderful view of the mini-stage:
Uh… care to tell us what’s going on? The stage was completely blocked from this vantage point.
When we moved to a spot where we can see the stage, the view was still blocked by the people inside the cordoned-off area which included super-tall security people and Yale/Wilcon staff.
You bet there were lots of complaints about this. I mean, we all followed the required purchase, so why should the rest of us be deprived of seeing Alden a bit longer just because we’re neither seniors nor PWDs? Fortunately for them, I was not in the mood to argue; I was more in the mood to calm the irate customer down. Yep, me, Agent P, was the calm one. What happened?
Ok, so Alden has arrived and it’s time for the Meet and Greet. Did you think that everyone became good citizens of this country and abode by the rules set forth by Yale? Na-ah. Everyone was trying to out-ninja the others, so I figured, what the hell. If I insist on being obsessed with following the rules, I’ll be a total loser. AGAIN.
When my batch’s turn came, I took out my phone, set it to video, and filmed our entire meet and greet by stealth. When I approached Alden, we gave each other a beso. Hey, that’s basically how we’ve been greeting each other since last year, and he initiated it. I didn’t break the rules, right? And since one of the people in my group got an autograph and a selfie, I was like, no way I’m leaving this place without a video greet for my friends. I aimed my camera towards Alden and asked him to say ‘hi’ to them, which he did, nevermind that security was already dragging me by the arm.
This is a screengrab from that video greet. Said video greet is not for public consumption, though.
After our turn, I stayed within the cordoned off area because I’ve noticed that the people who were supposed to be done with their M&G didn’t leave the premises, anyway, so why should I? I haven’t taken any decent photos of Alden yet! Naturally, the guards were shooing me from that spot. I told them pointblank, “paalisin n’yo muna sila dito. Pag napaalis n’yo sila, aalis rin ako.” (Tell the others to leave first. If you can do that, I’ll leave, as well.) Of course, they weren’t able to (geez, I wonder why) but they left me alone after that so I’m cool. Hence, I was able to take more decent photos of Alden despite the bad set-up and the even worse lighting.
Alden Richards - Yale Meet and Greet at Wilcon Depot, QC
I didn’t check my cellphone camera’s settings prior to the event, so I didn’t realize until later that it was taking 2-second video clips every time I take photos using my phone. I was able to collect a few adorable snippets from the Meet and Greet, which I compiled in a single video.
All in all, I had a great time even if I was (technically) alone at this event. Would this be a start of a new Agent P – The Pasaway Version? We’ll see.