Last day in Korea, before I fly back to reality.
What did we do on our last day in Korea?
SAW RAIN AGAIN, THAT’S WHAT!
We were actually planning on spending our last day in Korea by trying to catch Rain at the JYPE office again. But an angel up above, namely Helena, sent a message to Rizza on Sunday night saying we might see him onstage on Monday. She didn’t elaborate, just said she will call back once she gets more details. We were so excited, it’s like our prayers have been answered. Having the surefire chance of seeing him onstage is a million miles better than taking chances at the JYPE office when we don’t even have a clue if he’s coming or not.
So anyway… Rizza arrived at the hostel on Monday morning with details about the performance. It’s an SBS Radio event to be held at Olympic Park, there will be 13 artists in the line-up (she didn’t say who), and Bi shall be singing last. There were no information about the need to secure tickets, and there are no special sections allocated to The Cloud. All we have to do is to show up early at the venue to be assured of good seats. Sounds too good to be true.
So we arrived at Seoul Olympic Park at about 3:30pm (Helena said we’re too early, but who cares? We want good seats!). There were – as usual – several flights of stairs that we had to climb up from the subway station, and we were greeted with a breathtaking sight of the Olympic Park. We just had to take a photo! I quickly got my cam, installed fresh batteries, and then the most depressing thing ever happened. I forgot to put my memory card back into the camera! I uploaded some pics to my server the night before, and in my haste to prepare for the day’s activities (I was running late, no thanks to Tita Susan), I totally forgot about the memory card. You don’t know how depressed I was when I saw the NO CARD message on my LCD screen. Good thing Rizza brought her camera, so we were still able to take pics. However, I am not familiar with her camera’s manual settings, so that means I might not be able to take good pics during the show itself. Howell… :( Things happen for a reason. I just don’t know what the reason is.
Photo op at the Seoul Olympic Park.
The event was to happen right behind that structure. We went there, and we already saw some fans – teenaged fans, as in high school students – saving their seats. We looked for any event organizers to ask if we just have to sit down or do we still need to get tickets or something. They said just take a seat. So we did. Unfortunately, the entire first row was already saved, while the front row center was cordoned off for VIPs. We saw Rain fans saving their seats behind the VIP area, which is at 4th row. We just decided to take the ones on the left side, which still has vacant seats on the 2nd row. It’s not dead center, but not too much on the side, either. And it’s 2ND ROW!!! We’re about less than 10ft. away from the stage, and the stage was just about 4 ft. high. It’s just like attending a mall show in the Philippines. Way cool, I tell yah.
We just had to do this pose.
And guess what! When the security people came in, we saw a familiar face from afar. It’s Mr. Security Ahjussi! Tita Susan, the crazy person that she is, actually called him and beckoned him to come over. We said our hellos and had another pictorial with him.
Unfortunately, his task for the night is to take care of the artists. So no special treatment for us this time.
I know we – me in particular – looked ridiculous in those winter outfits. You see, the weather has been biting cold in Seoul since yesterday morning. The weather report says it’s only about 11 degrees, but it actually felt colder than that because of the wind. I have never forgotten that unfortunate incident last Friday at the MTV event when I could barely move because of the cold and I was not well-covered. This time, I came in prepared. I was wearing three layers of shirts, plus my coat, plus beanie and scarf. I know I looked ridiculous next to those schoolgirls in miniskirts who doesn’t seem to care about the weather, but who cares? At least I was warm. Sort of.
Abu Sayyaf in Korea!
See, I can’t even show my peace sign because my hands were freezing cold. It became worse as the sun had set. I can’t even get my hands out of my pockets.
Around 5pm, Rizza pitched me this idea of going back to the hostel to get my memory card. We checked the subway map, and measured that it will take approximately an hour to an hour and a half for me to go back to the hostel, get the card, and go back to the venue. I was tempted at the idea, but just then I saw security people starting to cordon off the area. I was afraid I’d lose my seat if I leave, so I decided not to risk it.
7pm, the show was about to start. The girls around us started screaming as the hosts, two young guys, went up the stage. We were glued on our seats, dead quiet. Who are they? Rizza was not able to resist and asked her seatmates who were barely in their teens who those guys are. It turned out, they were members of SS501, and we were right smack in the middle of the SS501 fans section. Well, sorry, I am not familiar with them, so I didn’t know.
You know what’s funny? We were practically the only non-high school student people in that section. We must’ve looked so odd. So odd, that when one SS501-er went down to our section to distribute canned coffee, he took one look at Tita Susan and said something to her. Too bad we didn’t understand what he said. He’s probably delighted to see an ahjumma in the middle of young girls. Or as Tita Susan put it, he probably thought the principal had ran away from school with her students to watch the SBS show.
Principal Susan and her students.
Rizza receiving a can of hot coffee from an SS501 member.
But I gotta give it to those girls. They were holding their thumbs up sign for the entire duration of the two-hour show. I don’t think I can do something like that. Or maybe their thumbs got frozen or something.
So anyway, about the show… I actually enjoyed it more than the MTV show. There was no need for elaborate production numbers, so the atmosphere was so relaxed. There was more fan interaction. Some artists even went down the stage during their numbers. Unfortunately, I don’t know most of these artists and I can’t figure out their names whenever they are being introduced (we have no idea about the line-up, except for Rain), but I enjoyed their numbers just the same.
Then, this band came onstage and I gave a yelp. Omigad, it’s NELL!!! My absolute favorite Korean band! I’ve seen a poster of their Korea-Japan show on the subway and I had wanted to see it, but I can’t afford the tickets and I don’t even know when is the show. So to see them in this show is such a blessing. All the torture of waiting under freakishly cold weather has already been paid off, and Rain hasn’t even showed up yet. Too bad they only did two songs, but it doesn’t matter. Just to see them play Thank You live onstage is more than enough.
Up next, people with question marks on their shirts. Holy shyte, it’s my love MC Mong! I can’t believe this happened!!! I swear, if another one of my favorite artists aside from Rain suddenly shows up, I just might die.
Fortunately, MC Mong was the last one, so I am still right here telling you the story.
About 3 more artists later, and I saw people in military outfits hanging about near the stage (yup, the place was so open that you can see what’s happening backstage). That means Rain’s number is coming soon. We quickly prepared our props – the CloudPH tarp, PH flags, our Rain’s Coming glowsticks, Rizza’s cam – and waited for magic to happen. Two more numbers, and finally, it’s Rain.
His first song is I’m Coming. Dressed in red camouflage uniforms, he wowed the audience with his electrifying moves. Even if majority of the audience are not his fans, he still gave it his best. And we screamed our hearts out for him.
The great part about this number was when he went to our side of the stage. I don’t know why he did that, as most Rain fans are either at the middle or at the side opposite ours. I watched him closely. When he stopped, Rizza and Tita Susan suddenly stood up, holding the CloudPh banner up high. Rain suddenly gave that dazzling smile of his, not the usual smile of his but the eye-disappearing variety. I gasped. He saw the banner! The song is I’m Coming, and I think we have seen enough performances of that to know that he barely smiles when he sings that song (gotta show attitude, ya know). So to see him suddenly smiling like that just as my two companions were holding up our banner certainly means something. Rizza and Tita Susan didn’t see it as their faces were covered by the banner, but I did. I (unfortunately) was not able to take a photo because I’m having difficulty maneuvering Rizza’s cam, not to mention that my hands are shaking both from the cold and from seeing JiHun up close. So maybe that’s why I was not able to use my camera. So that I can witness that thing happening.
During his interview portion with the SS501 guys, he mentioned something about thanking the fans and the fan club. For all I know, he’s talking about his Clouds in general, but I’d like to think he’s acknowledging us in particular. He just doesn’t know what country we’re from. hehe.
His 2nd and last song is With U. He was so relaxed during the entire performance, though I personally think he looks a bit tired. I found it nice that him and his dancers decided to ham it up during the last part of With U.
The show ended after that. We went back to the hostel freezing cold, but totally happy and satisfied. What a way to cap up our (mis)adventures in Korea!