My 2016 can be summed up by this photo:

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.

Ironically, less than a month after I posted that blog, I posted a rant about the state of his fandom.

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. :phew:

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. :blink:

Have a great 2017, everyone! :soju:

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Today, October 17th, marks the anniversary of my being an active supporter of Alden Richards.

Exactly one year ago, I plucked myself out of fangirl retirement to attend the launching of Alden’s Wish I May album. It was my first time to see him in the flesh, and also the first of many of his events that I covered for this blog and the fan clubs that I belong(ed) to. At the time, I never thought that things would come this far. In fact, I came across this post of mine on Facebook about my experience at the WIM launch that had me shaking my head and laughing in amusement. I was just looking for my group photo from the event, but when I saw the caption, I just had to immortalize the entire thing:

wishimaylaunch

Note to my non-Filipino readers: basically, I was just telling on the caption that one day, I will have a photo where I’ll be beside Alden.

One year later, I attended the launch of his next album, and here’s what happened:

sayitagainlaunch

Yup, hindi ko pa rin siya katabi. Ang saklap. :cry:

So many things had happened to me this past year that I sometimes wonder if it’s just an ongoing dream. Last year, all I wanted was just to see him in person. All I wanted was just to take his photos in (relative) peace. One year later, I had exclusive access to some of his events; I’ve had one too many selfies beside him, with him; he already knows who I am and can even spot me from a distance, in the middle of a maddening crowd (me thinks it has something to do with my shiny forehead); I have random strangers on social media who hate me with a passion for no apparent reason (at least, at the Rain fandom, I know exactly why they hate me); and I’ve been branded so many names, from a delusional fangirl who has ‘hidden desires’ towards Alden (uh, excuse me, my desires towards him aren’t hidden; he knows exactly what I want from him, and that is to take his photos without having to battle it out with the crowd), to being branded an “OSF”, or One-Sided Fan. Which is not exactly a bad thing in the strict sense, but not to certain people in this fandom where OSF is synonymous to “basher of the other half of the loveteam.” :kilay: By the way, I still don’t get why I’m being automatically branded an A-OSF when there’s no clear evidence that I’ve bashed Maine on social media and on this blog. Unless you count the random critiques that I sometimes make, but criticism does not equate to bashing (unless you’re a super-sensitive fanatic who regard your idol as a god) and I do that to ANYONE, even my idols. Then again, even if I write lengthily about it, they’d stop at “A-OSF” and “basher ni Maine” and totally disregard the rest of the paragraph, so whatever.

Anyway, I digress.

One year of following Alden has allowed me to witness not just what kind of artist Alden is but also what kind of a person he is. He is pretty much the same in front of the camera and behind it, except he is 10000x more makulit off-cam. :wacky: Everything that I’ve written on this blog about Alden is a testament to his kindness, humility and sincerity. I am looking forward to the next days, months, years of documenting his journey.

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Aftermath: Cadbury Joy Ride with Alden Richards
23 September 2016 – UP Ayala Technohub

I was supposed to write about The Dawn’s 30th Anniversary gig, but I guess that has to take a backseat. Again.

cadbury

I thought this would just be another one of those usual fangirling days. I’d go to an event, take photos, hope that Alden spots me in the crowd… that sort of thing. It did rain, though, which has always been a guaranteed sign for us at Alden International: When it rains, we’ll get an Alden moment. (I wonder how we’re going to manage when dry season comes? Tag-tuyot din sa moment? Wag naman po. :pray: ) I am not ashamed to say that the rain gave me hope that maybe I’ll get more than the usual ‘Ate Pau!’ thing.

I did everything that Cadbury required the attendees to do: I registered at their Facebook page; I arrived early at the venue, lined up and registered my name and cellphone number; I bought the required purchase to be eligible for the Meet and Greet, which I didn’t mind at all because, hello! Cadbury Dairy Milk!

And then I waited some more. Alone.

At 6:41pm, I received the following text message:

cadbury-winner

My jaw dropped. I wanted to scream and hug someone to share my joy, but I was alone at the time. There were other fans, but they don’t know me – or maybe not – and there’s a slight possibility that some of those who were there hated me with a passion, if they knew that the fat girl that’s hogging the front of the stage was Agent P. :phew: What I did, instead, was to screengrab the SMS and posted it on Facebook. And while I was doing that, my hands were shaking and I was barely able to contain my excitement. :hihihi: Which was totally hilarious, because a meet and greet with Alden Richards is nothing new to me – heck, the latest one was just last Tuesday – yet I was acting as if I’ll be meeting him for the first time. :oops: I think my AI friends can relate, though. We have talked numerous times about how seeing Alden in person always feels like it’s the first time. I think even if we see him every day (which we don’t), the excitement level will always the same.

I had intended to use my Huawei P9+ phone because I wanted to road-test the camera, which was why I positioned myself near the stage so that there’ll be no need for zoom lens. But the Meet and Greet winners were asked to lined up on the side so I had to leave my prized spot. Alden arrived at the venue, and he actually passed in front of me but since I was acting like a total newbie, I totally forgot to take footage. :slaphead: He was quickly covered by the crowd of much taller people some of whom were even standing on chairs. :aargh: Then I remembered that I brought Changi, the 40x zoom camera, with me. I whipped it out and tried to take pics of Alden singing Akin Ka Na Lang.

Operative word: TRIED.

cadbury-crowd

AARGH. :aargh:

While I was trying to stretch-and-tip-toe my way through the crowd, someone tapped my arm. It was Mama Ten. :hihihi:

After one song came the Meet and Greet. The great thing about Cadbury’s Meet and Greet is that (1) they allowed us to use our own cameras/phones; and (2) it was a SOLO pic with Alden. How blessed was I? It’s my first time to win something from this fandom, and I got this one. :cheer: After just a few minutes came my turn for the selfie, and Alden greeted me with…

“Ate Pau, pawis na pawis ka na naman!” (Ate Pau, you’re sweating so much again!)

Ok, not exactly what I was expecting, pero may ‘Ate Pau!’ moment naman so kebs.

I really hate it that I almost always looked like someone dumped a bucket of water over my head whenever Alden sees me. But what can I do when the most perspired part of my body is my head?

So anyway, TMI. :hihihi: Here’s our lovely selfie:

cadbury-selfie

:drool:

This is my cue to rave about Huawei P9+’s camera. Yep, the one with Leica lenses. I only used the front cam here, and it looked like I took this pic using either GD-TOP (DSLR) or Boojie (mirrorless). :whoa: Imagine what the rear camera can do! I totally did not make a mistake when I got this phone.

After the quick Meet and Greet, Alden has left the building, er, the venue. It took a while before I got off my high from this totally unexpected, yet amazing experience. What am I saying, I’m still feeling high now. Which is why it’s almost 3:00am and I’m still blogging about it.

On my ride home, this was posted on the window beside me:

uvexpressposter

Pretty much sums up my night. :thumbup:

===

I really didn’t want to spoil this blog entry by saying something that might ruin it, but I just want to get something off my chest.

Lately, my group has been on the receiving end of nasty snide comments even if we weren’t saying or doing anything controversial, or even substantial. Some people just want to spew and sow hatred on us for reasons known only to them. I get that they always feast on ampalaya on a daily basis and we basically can’t do anything about that, but let me just throw this one out there.

I don’t understand why whenever Alden’s fans express how PROUD and HAPPY we are of his achievements, we had to take crap from some people. I really don’t get it. Bakit parang bawal matuwa para sa kanya?

Nagtatanong lang po.

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Yep, that’s me.

It’s very seldom that Alden Richards has a gig near my place. Most of the time, I’d have to travel down South just to see him.

After quite a long while, Alden finally lands a gig in my province. Albeit, still two hours away from where I live (three hours even, if you commute; I know this because I do it nearly every single freakin’ day because that’s where my workplace is) but at least it’s not on the other side of EDSA. I was so excited that I didn’t mind that I had to wait two hours before I was able to secure tickets for that event. The fact that the place where to get the tickets was almost across my office was a good enough sign for me.

I even broke my own principle when it comes to *using* my position at work and made arrangements for prime seats at the event. Hey, the venue is owned by my client. A little push won’t hurt. And besides, we do have tickets; we just needed to secure our place since some of us will be traveling from faraway places and might not be able to arrive early enough to get good seats.

Friday came. It rained incessantly. Weather forecasts predicted heavy rains for the entire weekend.

As expected, by Saturday morning main thoroughfares have already been flooded. My companions have already waved the white flag. Meanwhile, I was still hopeful that I could go because I took one look outside and saw that our street, which usually becomes flooded with the slightest fall of rain, was flood-free. :shock:

flood

Therefore, when I received a text from an acquaintance at around 11:50am that she’s already on her way to the venue, I finally caved in. Never mind that every time I decide to go, it starts raining elephants and dinosaurs. I took a quick shower, dressed up, re-stuffed my bag to only include Changi the point-and-shoot camera (because it’s not wise to bring anything heavy – and expensive – at this weather) and went down the house…

…only to be welcomed by a startled family who promptly asked, “saan ka pupunta? At saan ka dadaan???” (Where are you going? How will you get there???)

My sister showed me her FB feed, where I saw these photos from MarileNews (the official newsletter of our municipality):

A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on

:whoa:

Barely an hour after that, this was the situation at our place:

flood1

Ow shit. It’s CNBLUE all over again.

For the benefit of those who are not aware of the story and are too lazy to click on that link: back in 2014, I had to forego CNBLUE’s Manila concert because our place was chest-deep in flood waters and I had the impression that it’s flooded everywhere, therefore, the promoters will not push through with it. Apparently not. The concert was a ‘go’, and I literally ‘donated’ USD200++ to the promoters because of my unused ticket. :cry: Only because I wasn’t brave enough to swim in filthy, murky waters to get there.

The cost of tickets to the Boardwalk event are not even remotely near USD200+ (it’s just php350 = around USD7.50) and Alden only sang two songs, so you probably think it wasn’t that bad. But that’s not the point.

It’s my pride as a fan who lives in Bulacan that’s at stake here.

We got fans from as far away as Calabarzon (down South) who made it to the event. Meanwhile, I am from Bulacan, and I wasn’t there. Yes, I’m from a place that’s two hours away (three, if you’re commuting and traffic is bad) from Baliwag, but still in Bulacan. People expected me to be there. Oweno ba kung pinost ko na nga ang pictures ng baha sa lugar namin, kebs! Dapat andun ako! Taga-Bulacan ako eh! Kung yung di nga taga-Bulacan, nakarating, ako pa ang hindi? FAKE FAN AKO! FAKE!

Buset. :asar:

To be fair, nobody really said that. That I know of. :razz: But I got those kinds of bullshitty comments back in 2014 for CNBLUE (“bakit si ano nakarating eh taga-Bulacan rin naman sya?”), so I kinda expect people to say the same BS this time.

To be fair to me, I seriously considered going. It stopped raining at our place at around 3:00pm. With the knowledge that Alden was still at SPS rehearsals and won’t be at the event until 6:00pm (he performed at around 7:00pm), I thought maybe I could still make it. However…

flood2

Kung may speedboat siguro ako, baka sakali. Teka… magkano ba ang speedboat? You know, just in case…

I totally feel like a loser fake fan right now. A loser fake fan who stayed dry and free from leptospirosis and other flood-borne diseases, but a loser fake fan, nonetheless. :sad:

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My XXth year in existence can be summed up by what this guy said on his video greeting for me.

A video posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on

Flashback to what I was doing on July 17, 2015: I celebrated my birthday through a staycation at a hotel with my Voltes friends, and I was telling Charity – who happens to be the original Alden Richards fan among us in Voltes, as in dates back to Alakdana days pa – that her ‘anak’ (she calls Alden her anak-anakan) was trending on social media because of something wonderful that happened at Eat… Bulaga! the previous day. At the time, I was already on fangirl retirement. I had no idea that from that point forward, I will find myself being plucked out from that self-imposed retirement and be sucked in deeper and deeper into the Alden Richards fandom.

One year ago, I had no idea that I will be spending my birthday week attending four – yes, FOUR – screenings of his movie; three of which in his presence, and two of which in super-close proximity. It would’ve been four out of four, pero sabi siguro ni Lord, “hoy Agent P, abuso na yan. Give chance to others.” :hihihi: I was feeling a bit down that I didn’t get to celebrate my actual birthday with Alden when he didn’t make it at the PEXers BS, but then something wonderful happened: I won something at the raffle, and that something happens to be something that I really need for my Singapore trip next week: a small luggage. Not to mention that I had so much fun at the BS. Not bad. Not bad at all.

PEXprize

One year ago, not even in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I will be receiving two video greetings from the guy. What the heck; a week ago, I was just thinking, “meron kayang magmamagandang loob na humingi ng video greeting kay RJ para sa birthday ko?” :think: Whadya know, all I asked was one. I was given two, and it was super-personalized. And one of them was given in my presence. I should not complain, at all.

All of this happened because I took his photos. That’s it. Amazing, right?

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful year. Here’s to a more fruitful, enjoyable and sana, hanash-free year ahead. (Pero asa pa sa last part; abusado ka na, Agent P!)

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