Aftermath: Alden Richards and Ely Buendia – One Phenomenal Night
Island Cove Resort and Hotel – 28 October 2016
Friday night has got to be the craziest night, ever. If there was a roller coaster of emotions, that night was it.
We got there early enough to witness Alden and some of the other performers do their rehearsal/sound check.
There was much confusion on the VIP queue, which lead to heated arguments – an understatement, if there is one – and both organizers and paying customers losing their cool. Which is so NOT cool.
The show kicked off with two promising performers who surprised majority of the audience with their talent and ability to command the stage with their presence: Migs Jaleco and James Wright.
Me, I’m not that all surprised. I’ve already seen them both perform before: Migs, when he guested at Alden, Aicelle and Betong’s show at Zirkoh last year; and James at several instances, the latest of which was at the Say It Again album launch. The only comment that I can give about them is that they have leveled up considerably from the first time I’ve seen them perform.
And then… there’s Alden Richards.
Alden started his set with Uptown Funk and drove everyone into a frenzy. He looked so freakin’ hot on that stage, and I don’t just mean literally.
Then, he asked us to approach the stage so that he could be nearer to his audience. And that’s when things turned ugly for me.
Very, very low:
It all happened very fast. When everyone ran towards the stage, I picked up my bag and followed suit. I took some photos, then I realized that my newly-acquired Huawei P9 was placed on one of the outside pockets. So I placed it inside my bag. It turned out to be a huge mistake. Merely a few seconds after I placed the phone inside my bag, I immediately realized that something was wrong. I checked my bag; it was open and the Huawei phone was gone. If I just let it stay at the outside pocket, it would’ve been more protected as the pocket was facing me and my arm would be able to protect it. Or at the very least, I would immediately notice if anyone attempts to take it away. As soon as I returned to my seat, I frantically searched my bag if my other phone was still there. Fortunately it was safe.
My brain just shut out after that. I was not bothered that the phone was gone; I got it free from my postpaid plan, so I basically didn’t lose that much. (Also, I learned later on that my phone was insured and the company will replace it.) What really bothered me the most was the fact that all my active social media accounts were open on that phone. With my current situation wherein I have a huge target at my back on this fandom, having my social media accounts vulnerable to unauthorized access is a fate worse than death. Okay, maybe not, but almost. I also felt bad that some of my latest photos with Alden were there, and I haven’t backed them up yet.
The worst part? This is the second time that I got robbed in a span of just three months. Both of which at very similar situations: while I was fighting tooth and nail amongst the crowd in an Alden Richards event. I don’t want to entertain conspiracy theories, but the situation was so similar that I couldn’t help but think that this is not a mere coincidence. Remember what I said about having a huge target at my back on this fandom?
Moral of the story: when Alden Richards tells you to come closer to the stage, be afraid. BE. VERY. AFRAID.
When we reported the incident to the security detail at Island Cove, they were so surprised because there’s no way that anyone will be able to gain access to the venue unless they have a ticket.
Needless to say, I became practically a walking zombie after that. I barely understood what came next. I only know that Alden gave way to Aiza Seguerra after two or three songs, which I took as an opportunity to report the incident to the resort’s authorities and to frantically lock my socmed accounts using my other cellphone. Which was an utterly frustrating attempt, given that the resort was practically a dead spot for Globe subscribers. But since I’m insane that way, I still managed to take a few shots of Aiza while waiting for the damn apps to load.
The few snippets of her performance where I actually paid attention can only be described in one word: heavenly. I’ve been a fan of Aiza since 1987 when she was a Little Miss Philippines candidate. I’ve literally seen her grow up. I feel so bad that I failed to fully enjoy one of the main reasons why I went all the way to Cavite to see this show.
When Alden came back for the second part of his set and asked the audience once again to approach the stage, my instinct immediately said, “GO!” because I am insane that way. But I decided not to squeeze in too much as I might end up losing more of my stuff to petty thieves. Still, I found some difficulty focusing on the task at hand because I haven’t completely locked my socmed accounts yet. I was actually surprised when I reviewed by photos and found out that I did manage to take some good photos of Alden, after all.
After Alden’s set was One Up, which I totally failed to cover because by that time I was already feeling helpless from sheer frustration brought upon by my phone getting stolen.
And then came… Ely Buendia.
Very, very high:
There was a long-ish wait as Ely’s band was setting up for the second half of the concert. During which, I did nothing but kept trying to call my Smart number and all I got was a busy signal. My AI friends tried to console me and assisted me with securing my socmed accounts, at which I’d like to say THANK YOU to them because if not for them I probably would’ve jumped on the nearby body of water just to get away from it all.
Everything changed when Ely Buendia finally went onstage. His rock superstar aura just seeped through the audience, who went charging towards the stage. At that point, I thought, screw it. I did not go all the way to Cavite just to sulk at one corner and feel sorry for myself. I’m not going to let one setback ruin my otherwise fabulous night. With my camera and bag in tow, I also ran towards the stage – not too close, though – and did what I used to do during my bandstalking days: take photos, sing along to the top of my lungs, mosh and headbang until I look like someone took a bucket of water and dumped it over my head, and just ENJOY THE MUSIC.
AND IT FELT SO DAMN GOOD.
The opening strains of Alapaap gave me total goosebumps. Alapaap is on top of my list of Eraserhead songs; it’s one of the anthems of my youth. As I sang along with Ely and the rest of the crowd, I found myself having a lump on my throat and my eyes stung from holding back tears. I remembered the time when life was simple. I’d just concentrate on school and not worry about people calling me derogatory names, or accusing me of the most mundane things, or stealing things from me, just because they feel like doing so.
And because I decided to throw my worries away and just enjoy the rest of the night, even my photos improved considerably. My photos from Ely’s set were reminiscent of what I used to come up with in my bandstalking days, only with better equipment. I don’t know if music photography is really more my forte, or I simply missed band photography. Or maybe because I was able to focus well once that I’ve accepted my fate?
Despite my unfortunate setback, I still consider it to be a great night. The line-up might look weird but it’s actually an eclectic set of performers that would cater to all kinds of audiences. There were quite a number of people who stayed on from the beginning until the end, including Alden’s handler Leysam and the One Up boys, and my friends and I. It was one sulit concert that’s totally worth the money, time, effort and aggravation. I wish there’d be a repeat, but if ever there’ll be one, I’ll definitely be wary of approaching that damn stage even if Alden is on it. Make that especially if Alden is on it.