From last year’s Team Hagdan…
…to this year’s Team On-Camera Talent, real quick.
Don’t you just love it – or hate it, depending on how you see things – when things just happen unexpectedly?
We had wanted to watch Eat… Bulaga! at the studio on its first live broadcast for 2017 because it falls on Alden’s actual birth date. Sadly, we don’t have access on EB. I mean, we do have some seats; by that, I meant one of our members was able to secure 5 slots via the Balikbayan route and I was one of those who luckily got handpicked to join her. And then, by sheer Fate – by Fate, I meant Alden himself requested it – we got a call on the night of January 1 informing us that Alden International has 10 slots for the January 2 show. Apparently, Alden wanted all of his fan clubs to be represented at the studio for his birthday celebration. So officially, AI had 15 representatives at Alden’s birthday.
Fast forward to the morning of January 2, at Broadway Studios.
I’ve been watching EB at the studio quite a few times already since 2015, but I don’t remember it being this chaotic. I was Team Hagdan exactly a year ago and it wasn’t this bad. What happened? Things used to be so organized; now it’s just one heck of a confused sea of humanity. There was much pushing, shoving, cussing, etc. with no regard for one’s age and/or gender. I even managed to punch some kid because him and his gang were pushing the senior and not-so-senior citizens just to get ahead on the queue – excuse me, “queue”. (Said guy was caught on camera practically maiming Alden when he went out to check on his birthday cakes; I swear, I wanted to go out of the studio and punch that kid again.) I lost my temper more than once; some creature behind me was pushing her not-so-small frame (she’s bigger than me so imagine how big she is) berating me and the grandma in front of me for being too slow (uh, it’s not that we’re slow, it’s just that we can’t move because the people in front of us weren’t moving, neither) and repeatedly claiming, “may reservations kami!”. I lost my marbles, turned around and said, “may reservations rin kami kaya manahimik ka!” I went up and down those stairs many times in that chaos just trying to catch the guy with the rubber stamp who controls whoever shall be allowed access inside the studio. By the time we finally managed to get stamped, I already looked like one big bowl of nilupak na kamote (mashed sweet potato).
Linsyak, kailan ba ako makakaharap kay Alden na fresh naman ang itsura? Palagi na lang akong hulas.
Anyway, after battling it out with the crowd of unruly spectators, we finally managed to reach the final stairs leading to the studio. But we weren’t allowed to get in yet as they’re still trying to arrange the seats of the group ahead of us. But from where we stood, I spotted this guy hanging from the rafters, rehearsing for his production number:
I suddenly was able to relate to all those who pushed and shoved me when I was outside because at that point, I had wanted to push my way in so that I can take footage of his rehearsal.
Fortunately, we managed to get seated before he was able to finish his run-through so I was still able to take better photos using my camera:
… and I am posting this screengrab of Alden International’s regramm of my IG post because Alden ‘liked’ it.
But before that, let me just get this thing out of my chest.
Ok, I get that some groups may be more privileged than others. But there’s this thing that I don’t get at all.
I wrote just a few paragraphs up that our seats were Balikbayan seats, right? On Eat… Bulaga!, Balikbayans and OFWs always have special seats and are given priority over regular audience members. I would understand if our seats were fan club seats; fan clubs are always seated way up the bleacher section. When we told them that we’re Balikbayans, the guy in-charge said, “ay wala pong masyadong Balikbayan na pinaupo sa ibaba ngayon” and we were led to seats just a few rows below the uppermost ones; coincidentally, just beside the other 10 reps from Alden International, so it wasn’t so bad. I would understand if the people who were given VIP seats were Alden fan clubs, as well. It’s Alden’s birthday, after all.
But when I looked down… the prime seats were given to… someone else’s fans.
Which brings me to this question: WHY?
Ok, maybe the excuse is the usual, “she’s not always at the studio so we’re giving priority to her fans on the few times that she’s there.” But how about giving consideration on moments that happen only once a year, say, on ALDEN’S BIRTHDAY? And why take the Balikbayan/OFW seats, too?
Anyway, just letting that one out. Let’s continue with the main topic of this blog entry.
Just a few moments before the show started, the EB staff announced that they need one representative from each Alden FC to give him a birthday message. Naturally, since I’m the designated on-camera talent in our group, I was the default choice. We were paged by the staff a number of times during the show to give instructions, which means I went up and down the stairs numerous times the whole day.
In retrospect, I am still Team Hagdan this year. I thought I was just going to cover the show for our group; nobody told me that I will have to do a StairMaster workout, as well!
Anyway… the speech. We were given specific topics in order to avoid duplicate messages. Fortunately, I was only given the “your birthday message to Alden” topic which I had already discussed beforehand with my fellow AI Power Movers. When my turn came, I didn’t expect to deliver it without even seeing Alden’s face so it felt kinda weird. I wasn’t able to see his reaction until I saw the replay and this photo taken by Jaja while I was delivering my speech.
But contrary to popular belief, this wasn’t my TV debut. I’ve been on TV before. Twice. It’s my first time to be interviewed on a live show, though. I just seemed rattled because things did not go as instructed and I kinda lost track of what I was going to say.
I did well, though, didn’t I? Bubuhatin ko na lang ang sarili kong bangko, walang ibang bubuhat eh. hahaha!
Looking back now, all of the hardships of getting there were forgotten once we saw him and we cheered him on. More than anything, we went there to celebrate this man who has inspired us to become good people. I am truly grateful that we were given this opportunity to become part of his special day.
Happy birthday again, RJ. Continue being YOU, because we love you that way.