Aftermath: Eat… Bulaga! “Sa Tamang Panahon” Thanksgiving Concert
Philippine Arena – 24 October 2015
All I ever dreamed of was to get the chance to watch Eat Bulaga! live at the studio. What was given to me, like all other things given to me that’s related to Kalyeserye/AlDub, was something much, much, MUCH better. Something I never dreamed of getting.
I was stuck at Alden Richards’ album launch when they announced the Tamang Panahon event at Eat Bulaga. I only learned of the event because I was monitoring the show through live chat. I quickly messaged a fellow Alden (and Menudo/Ricky Martin)-fan friend, who had the quick-sense to call her friend who’s at Trinoma at that moment. Needless to say, we were one of the first people to have luckily purchased VIP tickets before it got sold out some 20 minutes later. (Tamang Panahon tickets became like Holy Grail after that.) At that point, I was already quite happy that I will get to personally witness the culmination of our Kalyeserye journey with the rest of AlDub Nation.
Then, for some reason, I seem to be destined to get extremely lucky when it comes to anything AlDub/Kalyeserye. (Someday, I will be telling you all about this in detail because everything has been just amazing, so far. Unless I get lazy and/or sidetracked again.) Another fellow AlDub-fan friend, this time from Cloud Philippines, offered me something even more awesome than VIP tickets: VVIP tickets. Of course, I will not refuse. Why would I refuse a blessing that I didn’t even ask for?
And so, along with two friends from Alden Nation, I went to Philippine Arena on 24 October 2015 and became part of HISTORY.
I will spare you all the grisly details of how I got to Philippine Arena. In a nutshell: it involved several buckets of sweat and LOTS AND LOTS of walking. You’re not here to read about my Alay Lakad tales, aren’t you? Oh, my day ended the same way, too. I literally walked the way home. From now on, I will never use the phrase, “isang tambling lang ang layo ko sa Philippine Arena” (I am one tumble away from Philippine Arena = it’s just a short distance away from home). The correct phrase should be: “Isang tambling at 12,050 steps lang ang layo ko sa Philippine Arena.” 12,050 steps was my pedometer reading when I finally stopped walking.
I was already dead tired when I finally reached the Arena, but when I saw this:
…my energy just came surging back. I wanted to run towards our designated door because it will only be a few minutes before the pre-show starts and I really wouldn’t want to miss a thing. But of course, I can’t run even if I didn’t walk 345057 kilometers going to Philippine Arena, so it’s not like it’s an option.
Because I got lazy and this blog entry is already late, I will just do my Aftermath Report in the usual manner that I do when I’m lazy: in random bullets.
1. Are those… people??
So there I was, sitting on my chair and waiting for the show to start. I looked up towards the ceiling, and was like… ‘are those beehive-looking things… people???’
Yep. Philippine Arena was literally packed to the rafters. And everyone, from up there to down where I was, had the same energy all throughout the show. Mind-blowingly awesome.
2. Pre-show surprise.
I knew there was a reason why I didn’t want to miss the pre-show. It was hosted by two of my current favorite people on TV: Sunday PinaSaya‘s Jerald Napoles and Valeen Montenegro.
3. Ocean Lights Pa More!
So the pre-show hosts told us to rehearse the Eat… Bulaga! theme song for the opening, and it was magical, to say the least. Seeing all 55,000+ people doing the same choreography with much gusto and energy was such an exhilarating experience.
And then, Jerald told us to open the flashlights of our phones. That’s when I started losing it.
You see, the Ocean Lights project was spearheaded by the AlDub Team from PinoyExchange.com. I may be Team Sulpot at PEx, but I’ve been with them throughout this Kalyeserye journey so we’re like family. Seeing how magical this moment was made me so proud of my Team. Unfortunately, it didn’t materialize during the actual show, probably because we were so overwhelmed with kilig that we forgot about it.
4. That awesome opening.
Wally Bayola as Lola Nidora, on a helicopter. Then he and fellow Lolas Tidora (Paolo Ballesteros) and Tinidora (Jose Manalo) entered the Arena on a van (yes, the Arena was that big that you can drive several vehicles through it, as was demonstrated several times in the show), with Tidora kicking off his(her) part on top of it. That was how the party started. It never slowed down from then on.
5. Tito, Vic and Joey
I’ve seen each of them on separate occasions, but this was the first time I’ve seen them in person together as Tito, Vic and Joey, hosts of Eat… Bulaga! Needless to say, the EB fangirl in me was very, very happy. I’ve literally waited 36 years for this. Yes, I am older than Eat… Bulaga!
6. Leveled-up performances from EB Dabarkads
I have seen Julia Clarete, Pauleen Luna and Patricia Tumulak perform many times on EB but I still got pretty impressed at their Gatsby-inspired number as the younger versions of Nidora, Tidora and Tinidora. HBD Girl Patricia was particularly impressive as she didn’t let the other two more experienced performers outshine her. But the one that really impressed me the most was Julia, who was so spot on as Tinidora. She got all of Jose’s nuances on point.
Can I just marvel at how pretty these ladies are in person? All of the Dabarkads are gorgeous, actually.
7. Wally Bayola = Genius.
Delivering a long monologue featuring three characters, with the quick-change done right onstage behind a wall of Rogelios. Only Wally can do that. Walang katapusang papuri at paghanga para sa iyo, Wally Bayola.
8. Ryzza Mae gave us mini-heart attacks.
Ryzza Mae Dizon, on Hovertrax, speeding straight ahead at the ramps towards the front of the stage, and stopping just right before it ends. Twice. We almost died watching you, Ryzza.
Pakagat nga nang isa!!!
10. That brilliant product placement.
At the beginning of the program, Lola Nidora has announced that, as her gift to AlDub Nation, the show will be aired non-stop with no commercial interruptions. So how did Eat Bulaga manage to earn ad revenues for this show?
Aside from random appearances of brand logos on screen, they did this.
The character ‘Frankie Arenolli’ has been known to wear outfits with designer brands’ logos emblazoned on them. Therefore, making him wear this outfit with all the brand logos of the show’s sponsors was totally in character and not awkward at all. In fact, it’s GENIUS. Nobody expected it, and everyone was raving at how brilliant the idea was. For the first time, we watched a string of commercials without getting bored. A round of applause to whoever came up with this idea.
11. Alden and Yaya Dub | Richard, Jr. and Nicomaine
Where do I even begin? I am absolutely at a loss for words with these two. We had expected Tamang Panahon to be everything we dreamed of. What they showed us was so much more.
Let’s start with how Alden entered the Arena:
Two words: Wedding feels. Except it was the groom who walked down the aisle.
Here’s where my Agent P senses started tingling. I had mentioned on my coverage of Alden’s album launch that I didn’t find that ‘star aura’ in him. The night prior to Tamang Panahon, I was at his album tour at Market! Market! (coverage will be posted after this one, when I get the time and energy to tackle the photos ) While Alden looked ‘fresher’ and more well-rested the second time around (he looked pale at the album launch), he still had that same humble aura that I saw the week before.
Then this moment came, when he was face to face with Maine. That’s when I finally saw Alden glowing with this aura that’s hard to explain. He IS different when she’s around. That’s all I can say.
And then he sang God Gave Me You to her, with her, with a backdrop of a smattering of ocean lights. To borrow Maine’s words: It was magical.
And then he did that thing that I sorta expected him to do, because, Alden. I know he wouldn’t be able to resist this. He pulled her towards him and gave her a tight hug.
I expected this, but my hands still shook when it happened.
And then he went down on one knee, and it turned into wedding proposal feels. I got confused. hahaha!
It was like wedding proposal, straight to wedding ceremony. This part really felt like they were exchanging wedding vows. Well, the words they uttered is one step away from wedding vows level. Almost.
This part was not caught by cameras because they were busy focusing on audience reactions to Maine’s speech. At the part where Maine told Alden that she also thinks that God gave her him, Alden started tearing up. He was overcame by emotions that he gave her another tight hug. At which point, my hands froze and I nearly dropped the two cameras I was holding.
At that moment, I felt that all the three months’s worth of sleepless nights, unproductive days at work and roller-coaster rides we experienced while going through this Kalyeserye journey with them was totally worth it. And I am more than willing to go through more with them. This is just the beginning.
I’m running out of words to truly express how I felt, so I will just let the photos do the talking. (NOTE: please click on ‘FS’ to view the images in full resolution.)
12. Giving back.
One of Eat Bulaga‘s strengths, aside from their ability to fuse entertainment with worthy causes, is the fact that they always make sure to express gratitude to their multitude of supporters. They could’ve made this event free for all; instead, they sold tickets in order to raise funds for the AlDub Libraries Project. Even if they sold tickets, fans were more than willing to pay and some even complained that the tickets were too cheap.
At the event itself, the floor area (VVIP) was given to fans instead of actual VIPs and sponsors.
Aside from the non-stop broadcast, EB also made the show available online via their YouTube channel and was beamed live to Filipinos all over the world via GMA Pinoy TV. They also organized public viewings in various barangays all over the country. Pacquiao-levels lang ang peg.
All throughout the program, EB gave tribute to fans in a subtle way. Fan arts were flashed during the AlDub Theme Songs number. At the Arena’s marquee, names of some popular AlDub Twitter fan accounts and the hashtags that trended the most were being flashed along with the sponsors.
And as a final act of gratitude, Alden and Maine took selfies with the fans.
Lastly, we were treated to one spectacular show. The quality of performances was just top-notch.
Truly, Eat Bulaga made sure that they got everything covered. It’s things like this that ensure continuous patronage, because we know that our efforts were being appreciated.
13. Eat Bulaga = FAMILY.
No words necessary.
In retrospect, the only complaint I have about the event is the audio quality inside the Arena. I had to re-watch the show on YouTube (again, thank you, Eat Bulaga, for making it available online) to know what they were saying because more than half of the time, I didn’t understand a single word they said at the Arena. The place was too huge that the sound just bounced everywhere. This explains why the singers had difficulty getting in sync with their accompanying tracks.
Other than that, it was one experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.
More photos can be found at my Facebook photo album.