Yep, you read that right.
I think I shouldn’t be attending events when I’m sorely lacking in sleep. I went to bed at around 5:00am Sunday morning because of a K-drama marathon – something I haven’t done for the longest time – and I got up less than three hours later because I have to be at Wilcon Depot Quezon Avenue as early as possible for Alden’s Meet and Greet for Yale Locks. (Take note, I never said “slept” and “woke up” because while my eyes were closed, my brain was wide awake. ) I have to be early because I haven’t bought the required purchase yet, and it’s first come, first served. I just downed a huge mug of coffee and off I went to the event.
So this is what happens when Agent P is running purely on caffeine:
While on the queue, a Yale staff laid down the ground rules for the Meet and Greet. To quote:
“Bawal po mag-selfie, bawal ang autograph. Bawal po kumandong kay Alden, bawal kumiss! May tanong po ba?”
(No selfies, no autographs, no sitting on Alden’s lap, don’t kiss him. Any questions?)
I raised my hand – in front of everyone in the queue, if I may add, which may or may not include people who hate me with a passion – and said, “kuya, paano pag si Alden ang kumiss sa amin? Tatanggi na lang ba kami? Choosy pa kami, ganon?” (what if it’s Alden who kissed us? Should we say, ‘no’? Are we going to be choosy?)
The look on the staff’s face was priceless as he struggled to find answers to my questions.
So we’re finally allowed to go up the 3rd floor, where the Meet and Greet shall be. Senior citizens and PWDs were already let in ahead of the rest of us and were given seats in front of the mini-stage. Meanwhile, the rest of us were lined up way beyond the cordoned off area (pretty much like the Yale event at Robinson’s Manila the week prior) and have this wonderful view of the mini-stage:
Uh… care to tell us what’s going on? The stage was completely blocked from this vantage point.
When we moved to a spot where we can see the stage, the view was still blocked by the people inside the cordoned-off area which included super-tall security people and Yale/Wilcon staff.
You bet there were lots of complaints about this. I mean, we all followed the required purchase, so why should the rest of us be deprived of seeing Alden a bit longer just because we’re neither seniors nor PWDs? Fortunately for them, I was not in the mood to argue; I was more in the mood to calm the irate customer down. Yep, me, Agent P, was the calm one. What happened?
Ok, so Alden has arrived and it’s time for the Meet and Greet. Did you think that everyone became good citizens of this country and abode by the rules set forth by Yale? Na-ah. Everyone was trying to out-ninja the others, so I figured, what the hell. If I insist on being obsessed with following the rules, I’ll be a total loser. AGAIN.
When my batch’s turn came, I took out my phone, set it to video, and filmed our entire meet and greet by stealth. When I approached Alden, we gave each other a beso. Hey, that’s basically how we’ve been greeting each other since last year, and he initiated it. I didn’t break the rules, right? And since one of the people in my group got an autograph and a selfie, I was like, no way I’m leaving this place without a video greet for my friends. I aimed my camera towards Alden and asked him to say ‘hi’ to them, which he did, nevermind that security was already dragging me by the arm.
This is a screengrab from that video greet. Said video greet is not for public consumption, though.
After our turn, I stayed within the cordoned off area because I’ve noticed that the people who were supposed to be done with their M&G didn’t leave the premises, anyway, so why should I? I haven’t taken any decent photos of Alden yet! Naturally, the guards were shooing me from that spot. I told them pointblank, “paalisin n’yo muna sila dito. Pag napaalis n’yo sila, aalis rin ako.” (Tell the others to leave first. If you can do that, I’ll leave, as well.) Of course, they weren’t able to (geez, I wonder why) but they left me alone after that so I’m cool. Hence, I was able to take more decent photos of Alden despite the bad set-up and the even worse lighting.
Alden Richards - Yale Meet and Greet at Wilcon Depot, QC
I didn’t check my cellphone camera’s settings prior to the event, so I didn’t realize until later that it was taking 2-second video clips every time I take photos using my phone. I was able to collect a few adorable snippets from the Meet and Greet, which I compiled in a single video.
All in all, I had a great time even if I was (technically) alone at this event. Would this be a start of a new Agent P – The Pasaway Version? We’ll see.