When I wrote that blog entry two months ago where I declared that I will just be an Alden Richards fan from a distance, I didn’t mean to take it too literally. Like what I did today.
I’m currently in the boondocks for some work-related stuff when I’m alerted that tickets for Alden Richards’ upcoming concert will be available online. It’s quite a long and complicated story, but to put it simply: they launched it yesterday, they announced that the first 300 ticket buyers will get some extra stuff like sound check access, and they said “buy your tickets now” but online ticket selling was not available.
I literally was constantly reloading Ticketnet since yesterday because I wanted to be part of that lucky 300. And because I was trained for it by Kpop, I know that one second may very well be one second too late. I also know that other groups have been working on their tickets for days now; being on hiatus from this fandom and being literally up in the mountains, I have to (1) double the effort, and (2) work on this on my own.
To add more to my anxiety: the task of buying tickets for the rest of Alden International lies on my shoulders. Why? Because I’m a masochist like that.
Around 11am today. We were in transit when the selling page for Alden’s concert went up on Ticketnet. I quickly fished out my card and selected our seats. Which was not an easy task because I was in transit at the boondocks, and signal was intermittent. My anxiety came from mixed sources: the fear that good seats might run out; that we might miss the first 300 slots; that signal might go kaput while payment is being processed. Add to that the constant beeps from Messenger because my friends were also panicking regarding the tickets. I hope none of my travel companions were filming me because, omigad, I’m damn sure it wasn’t a pretty sight. I was definitely not a picture of calmness at that time.
Long story short, we got the tickets without any hassle, just a few short moments before the site went down.
I should’ve been relaxing. I should be living a peaceful life. Didn’t I say I’m already retired from active fangirling? But nooooo…! I simply can’t let Alden International be left out in the cold! We may be down, but we’re not out. Yet.
One year ago, Alden International was officially launched.
One year ago, what I considered to be the single greatest moment of my fangirl life happened.
It was certainly a tough year. We faced a lot of challenges, from simple criticism to outright bashing. We’re still facing them until now even if the group have decided to keep things low. Personally, if I analyze those 12 months, majority of it would be filled with heartbreaks, frustration, disappointment.
But the good parts? They were really, REALLY good.
A lot of ‘greatest things’ has happened since then. On a personal note, I have experienced so many things in the past year that I never thought I would get to experience as a fan. Those precious moments, while less in number, are more than enough for me to say that being with Alden International is so worth it.
More than anything, I gained new friends through AI. I gained enemies, too, but that comes with the territory. One will never be able to weed out the real ones without sorting through all that plastic.
Cheers to us, Alden International. We may be small and silent, but we’re not out just yet.
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.