Aftermath: “Alden In My Own Words” Book Launch
14 August 2016 – Robinson’s Galleria Activity Center
Sorry this came in a bit late. I got flooded. Literally.
As I have written on the blog entry before this one, I failed to attend the Boardwalk event in my own province because of the flood. Therefore, when the weather kinda let up the following day, I took a deep breath and dared to go to Robinson’s Galleria for the Alden In My Own Words book launch. I personally feel that I shouldn’t miss this for the world because Alden International was mentioned in his thank-you notes on the book, therefore, we should be ably represented.
That is, if you call getting photographed with my face covered as “ably representing” the FC. I don’t know why I suddenly became camera-shy when I’ve always been the on-camera talent for Alden International and all other fan clubs that I’ve joined in the past.
Anyway… I reached Galleria at around 11:20am and this was what welcomed me:
Yep, there’s already a queue even if officially, there’s no queue yet. Is anyone confused?
Actually, I’m not. Yes, this is one of those instances where I will go against popular opinion and present a different view of the entire confusion.
Take a look at Number 1 on the list: Registration strictly opens at 1pm. There is nothing in that sentence that says, “you should queue early if you want to be included in the first 300.” Yes, that’s kinda implied on the 2nd sentence, but again, it was just implied. Nobody said that those who arrived at the mall as early as 6:00am will be accommodated first. That was the point that the Summit Media people have repeated over and over and over again until our ears bled but nobody seemed to care, nor tried to understand. Basically, that’s what happens when everyone has their own agenda that they wanted to push.
However, if Summit had wanted to strictly implement this, they should’ve instructed mall administration not to allow anyone to queue at the activity center until 1:00pm. I will give this as a good example: at the album launch of Wish I May last year, mall management insisted that no one will be allowed to line up at the venue until 3:00pm, which was the specific time that GMA Records gave as the start of registration/queue.
But to tell you frankly, I was impressed at how Summit handled crowd control at the launch. Yep, unpopular opinion, right there. You see – and I will risk the ire of certain people for this – it has always been the norm in this fandom that certain people will get certain *privileges* when it comes to queueing and stuff. You know, like, they will suddenly get priority seating even if they came in late. No such thing happened here. Summit didn’t care if you’re part of an FC or not; when they said, “organize your line; if you don’t line up properly, you won’t get in”, they really meant it. It’s very seldom that such a thing happens in this fandom. Summit was also very strict with the seating arrangements and they limited the access to the stage area. Even media people were not spared from this rule; some of them got evicted from the stage area, too. Why do I know this? Because we were positioned very near the stage that I personally witnessed not just the highlights but also the sidelights.
The only ones who got priority access were the senior citizens. Unfortunately for us non-seniors, there were nearly a hundred senior citizens who attended the launch and they almost ate up the first 300 allocation for the book signing.
I didn’t mind, though. Alden has a lot of senior citizen fans and it’s about time they get an opportunity to meet him up close without jockeying for position against the rest of us.
As for me and my sosyalerang club na ayaw makisiksik we decided to spare ourselves from all the stress that comes with fangirling and just stayed behind the barriers at that corner near the stage. All of our books were already signed, anyway, so we didn’t really need to be one of the 300. We’re just there to show our support to Alden. We must’ve looked and acted strange because one of the security men told us, “buti pa kayo, hindi nakikipagsiksikan.” At some point someone would tell us stuff like, “urong po tayo para umandar ang pila” and we’re like, “uh, hindi po kami nakapila; doon po sa likod ang pila.” ‘Kala n’yo magogoyo ninyo kami para umalis kami sa pwesto namin at makasingit kayo ha. Wag kami, uyyy.
Alden made his grand entrance through the transparent elevator which stopped by the second floor so that we can take a good look at his arrival. He looked around and waved towards our direction and I was like, did he see us? Was that wave for us? I was at that very spot at the second floor earlier on when I was looking for my safe place to cover the event and I know that our area was quite visible from that distance. But of course, there are hundreds of other people in the vicinity so pwedeng ilusyon ko lang ang lahat.
Then he finally went onstage, greeted the audience in all directions, and when he turned towards our direction, he mouthed, “Ate Pau!” It looked pretty automatic, as in he didn’t look surprised to see me as is the usual case whenever he sees me at the audience. He seemed to know exactly where I was before calling me out. Therefore, my initial hunch about him seeing us from the elevator may be correct. Also, I was looking at him the entire time and I know that he never called out any name prior to that moment, so… !!!!!!!!!! But of course I must not lose my marbles in public, so I did my cool-as-a-cucumber thing and just moved my head from behind my camera and waved back at him. There’s no resibo for this because I never take videos, but I swear, this was not a figment of my imagination. He also acknowledged the other AI members after that. This was just about the only ‘moment’ I had with Alden that day, but that doesn’t make it any less special in my eyes.
Unfortunately, my position at the side of the stage made it too difficult to take photos because he was covered by either his book or other people or both most of the time. Also, the people behind me probably thought I was something they can literally lean on. Make that ride on. I was so squished at the barriers and even if I tried pushing back, they simply won’t move. I was close to passing out so when my companions decided to bail out and not finish the event, I joined them. We decided to do our Plan B instead. Unfortunately, our decision resulted to us not knowing that (1) Alden decided to add 200 more to the initial plan of signing just 300 books; and (2) all fan clubs were granted a photo op with Alden. Later on, we learned that Alden was looking for us and was sad that we weren’t able to have a groufie with him.
Anyway… so what was Plan B, and why was there a Plan B in the first place?
One of our admins will be leaving the country and will be gone for a few months. Alden knows this and he actually had said numerous times that he would want to see her before she leaves. We hatched this plan so that she can have that moment with Alden. We called it, ‘Oplan Book Launch’; you should see our convo about how we executed this plan. Parang may ipapatumba lang.
Unfortunately, some other people had the same idea (or maybe figured out what we were going to do) and Alden was met with a small-ish crowd at the parking area. For a moment, we were afraid that the plan will be a major fail. But nope. As soon as he saw Jho, he made a beeline towards her. He asked the guards to move over and he pulled her out of the chaotic crowd for the selfie and goodbye hug.
Video credits: Alden United MKT (reuploaded at YouTube because my blog does not embed media from Twitter)
Aww. That was so sweet.
I swear, I must’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said the words, “walang ibang artistang ganyan, si Alden lang” that day. I’ve attended other book and album launches before. The usual norm is that the artist will only sign the required purchase; in this case, the book. In Alden’s case, he would sign anything you would put in front of him as long as it includes the book. He signed anything and everything, including a couple of Quando bookmarks brought by AlDub|Maiden PExers. He even signed one more book at the parking lot after signing more than 500 of them at the event.
Who else does that? No one. Just Alden Richards.