Yesterday, I witnessed a miracle.
All throughout the day, we were receiving information from various sources off the internet that Alden Richards was not feeling well. No actually, that was an understatement. A photo was uploaded on IG that he was lying down on one of the prop couches at the Sunday Pinasaya studio because he’s been nursing a really high fever since Saturday. Seeing him like that tugged our heartstrings. We know that he hasn’t had a decent rest since July, and even if he’s physically fit, somehow that kind of schedule would eventually catch up on him. (Side note: we also heard that his PA was already confined at the hospital. His handler also looked sick.)
He arrived a bit early at SM Rosario for his mall show. We were thinking, maybe, he would like to catch a few much needed winks before he has to go onstage (and really, he should). From where I stood at the escalator near the stage, I saw the flurry of activity from his tent. It was a panicky kind of activity. I saw a folding bed being brought in. Someone from GMA Records volunteered to have the Alden Nation tarp signed by Alden (we had decided not to disturb him) and when she came back, she reported to us that Alden was really hot. As in LITERALLY hot. His fever has gone so bad, which explained the panic inside the tent. He even asked for a place to lie down.
At that point, I was thinking: he cannot – and would not – cancel his show because he’s already there, and a multitude of people was already there waiting for him. The least that people can do is to give him some breathing space so that he could save his energy for his show. Alden would definitely not say ‘no’ to any request because that’s just the way he is, but maybe those around him could be more considerate and be sensitive about his condition?
But people kept barging in his tent to ask for selfies, fan signs, video greets and whatnots.
My friends from Alden Nation can attest that I was so. close. to screaming at people to tell them to please put a stop to the meet and greet requests because Alden needs to rest. Can’t they see that he’s close to passing out??!?! Some of them already had taken selfies with him but for some reason, they still wanted to go back to do whatever else to/with him. But of course, I can’t just go beastmode on them. Sino ba naman ako, di ba? Isang hamak na taga-masid lamang.
What frustrated me the most is that there were people who were aware of the situation but chose to ignore it. There were people who have the power to stop that madness, but they didn’t do so. In fact, they even initiated it.
Finally, Alden goes onstage. Screams erupted from the fully-packed SM Rosario. I saw through my camera that his eyes were tearing up while singing his first song (Wish I May). I don’t know if it’s because of his fever, or it’s because he was overwhelmed by the reception of the crowd, or because he was overcame with emotions. Maybe all of the above.
He sounded really sick and his voice cracked a few times, but for some reason, he was glowing. As in Tamang Panahon glowing. When I was reviewing my photos, I couldn’t help but stare in awe at his super-pogi face that I repeatedly asked myself, “may sakit ba talaga ito???” (was he really sick???) I even think that he looked a lot better at this show compared to his album launch. I have no capacity to analyze, although I couldn’t help but notice that his first line after the usual opening greeting was, “hindi natuloy ang kasal!!!” (in reference to last Saturday’s Kalyeserye episode, in case you’re living under a rock and/or has no idea of what’s been happening). He was also so gigil whenever he mentions AlDub Nation.
Huyyy Alden! Album tour ito, hindi Kalyeserye. At hindi ko rin alam kung ano ang konek ng line na ito sa observation kong glowing ka kahit may sakit ka. Gusto ko lang kumain ng #hopia.
Anyway, back to the show. As I’ve said, it was obvious in his voice that he was sick, but he was able to pull through his four songs with minimal cracks. It’s such an amazing feat for someone who is (1) admittedly not a professional singer; and (2) really, really sick. Actually, just the fact that he was able to finish his set without passing out is already an amazing feat. I’m not a very religious person, but I’m part of a church choir. Whenever we’re having problems either with our voices or with lack of manpower and we ended up having a splendidly good service, we always believe that God lent us a voice and it was the angels who sang, not us. In this case, I truly believe that God lent Alden a voice to sing and the energy to overcome his illness for the throngs of people who came there to see him.
When Alden sang How Great Is Our God, his voice was firm and he sang with conviction. I believe he was praying as he was singing that song. He sounded his best in that song.
At one point, Alden went down the stage to get closer to the fans. He was given ample security, but it’s still potentially dangerous and given his physical state, he really didn’t need to do it. He has announced that he wasn’t feeling well, after all (then again, some people either didn’t hear him say it or simply didn’t care; I overheard a couple of girls wondering aloud non-stop as to why Alden was looking down during most of the photo op and I seriously wanted to them). But he did it, anyway. That’s just Alden. He feeds off the energy from the fans, and coupled with prayers, he was able to accomplish the task at hand. He made a lot of people happy yesterday.
On the way home from SM Rosario, I was pondering about the entire experience. (It was a loooong way home, so I had quite a lot of moments to ponder. ) You see, we almost didn’t make it to SM Rosario. Rachelle who usually provides for our vintage car service cannot make it, and we were not informed that the substitute ride was also not available until practically the last minute. It was difficult to look for a rental car at such short notice, but I managed to find one, anyway. I really didn’t have to spend time, money and effort for that as SM Rosario was quite far (then again, Cavite lang yan, Korea nga napupuntahan ko pordalab eh) and GMA Records really was not expecting us to attend all the legs in Alden’s album tour. I even canceled a scheduled studio viewing of Sunday Pinasaya which would have been the easier choice as the location is quite accessible to me and it would mean seeing several artists I currently admire (namely Alden, Jerald, Jose, Wally and Valeen) in one show. It wasn’t easy getting a slot for SPS; a friend said it’s much easier to get one for Eat Bulaga and I was shocked, knowing how difficult it is to get a slot for EB. But I had a feeling that I absolutely must attend the SM Rosario show at all cost. I didn’t know why.
Then I witnessed how Alden was really sick and all the backstage shenanigans that came with it with my own two eyes. I thought, I went all the way to Rosario, Cavite from Bulacan just to see that? Why?
Maybe… just maybe… I went through all the trouble to go the SM Rosario so that I can witness this miracle of sorts and tell the world about it? My blog may not be popular, but as I always say, the internet is the internet. You’ll never know who will stumble upon it, read it, and hopefully be touched and learn something from it.
And when someone does stumble upon this piece, he/she will learn that Alden Richards is a one-of-a-kind artist and person who is willing to sacrifice his own well-being just to make all of us happy. Sometimes I want to just flick him on the head and tell him to stop being too nice to the point that he’s getting hurt (physically or otherwise), but he’s just that kind of guy. A rare gem of a celebrity in this day and age.
PS: I just want to share this photo. These kids are too small to see Alden over those railings, so they opted to just see him from beneath. I wonder if they managed to see Alden, or at the very least, Alden’s super cool shoes?
For more photos, please visit Alden Nation’s official Facebook page.
Special thanks to GMA Records.