More than a week ago, a dream was fulfilled. Rain had a concert – ok, fine, a SHOW – in Manila. And we got more than that, because he was in town for 11 days to film his latest drama. I don’t know about the others, but I’m still not quite over it until now. I’m currently organizing my files from his PH visit and all the memories started flowing in. Memories like…
1. The craziness of coordinating, organizing and basically trying to find out whether there really is a show in Manila or not.
Remember those? I even had stupid arguments with someone on this blog about it. But the really memorable ones are the sleepless nights and the countless meetings we had, both virtual and physical. The endless scrambling trying to find the right people to talk to. The finding out that people from our past could help (which is why no one should burn bridges), and that they are more than willing to help. And finding out that there are still a lot of ‘new people’ who are more than willing to lend a hand even without a promise of something in return.
2. The false alarm.
In relation to that pic that I posted: that was taken on the night of September 3, 2010. I already had my confirmation from my source that Rain will be arriving in Manila via PAL on September 4, 2010, at 4:00pm (4:35, per PAL’s schedule). However, about a couple of hours later (and only a few minutes after I took that photo), I got another text alert from Cebu saying that Rain already checked out Imperial Palace that night and was on his way to Manila. To say that we panicked is an understatement. We hurriedly packed our stuff and ran towards Precious’ car (which is a very fortunate thing because it is one of those rare moments that Pre’ was able to join us in volt-ins) and quickly drove towards NAIA Terminal 2. While at the car, Lou was checking the flights on the internet (thank God for wireless broadband that actually works!) and there are still two flights that will land in Manila, one of which we were already too late for. Fortunately, Charity was nearer to the airport so she was able to catch the first one; of course, Rain wasn’t there.
We stayed at the airport until the last passenger of the last flight from Cebu has come out. Still no Rain. Now I’m wondering how did that piece of info got spread in Cebu when it was actually false?
3. The not-false alarm.
Saturday afternoon. As usual, I was late in going to Manila. If not for the clever taxi driver who banked on our promise to give him a good tip if we reach the airport before 4:00pm, we could’ve missed Rain’s flight. But we got there just in time even if his flight landed 20 minutes early. The AYC peeps weren’t as lucky, though.
4. I’ll give you a standing ovation if you can pull this through.
While waiting for Rain, I saw the TV5 news crew preparing an idiot board for Rain (note: this isn’t offensive; it’s really called an ‘idiot board’. I’m not calling Rain an idiot). I find this really funny because in the first place, unless he has been prepped for it (which isn’t likely), I don’t think Rain will stop from his usual airport stride just to record this. Second, if he will be able to pronounce ‘Gutierrez’ in one try, I will definitely give him a rousing applause.
Come to think of it: isn’t it funny that these TV5 crew were even saying that additional security should be provided to keep us away from Rain because of his many rules, yet it was them who broke the rules by trying to ambush him for an interview even if they know very well that one of the rules is, ‘no ambush interviews’? Ang Pinoy talaga, ang hilig magpalusot, ‘no? Malas lang nila at di sila lumulusot sa mga Koreano.
And here are a few additional photos (click on thumbnails to view the pics in full):
6. Tita Susan’s screen time.
After Rain hurriedly left the airport, the TV5 news crew had a live feed of his arrival and Tita Susan, as usual, couldn’t resist having her own 15 minutes of fame. While the newscast was going on, she was behind the reporter, brandishing her Rain banner. I swear, I’ve never laughed so hard since we started planning and organizing this entire thing.
7. The travesty that was Party On 5.
They could’ve just been more honest and said outright that Rain isn’t coming, ya know. We would still cooperate; after all, that was one of the things we have agreed to do when we negotiated with the organizers. It’s a good thing that only a few of us managed to go to their studio for the live show. Otherwise, there would have been a pack of disgruntled CloudPH members who will be after their necks.
Somehow, me being seen on TV holding a big Full House poster kinda makes up for it.
You know what? Now that I think about it, I could’ve started my ‘stalking’ at his hotel right on his first day in Manila if not for Party On 5. You know why? It’s because that night, my resident psychic has already asked me to go with her to the hotel for her sorority’s Bar Operations, them being checked in at that same hotel. I couldn’t go because we’re staying at Tita Remy’s for the early calltime at KB studios. That night, all I have received from Ann were text updates from her sorority sisters informing her that Rain has been lounging at the lobby the entire night. Nobody knew about his hotel yet, so he was still calm and relaxed then. Aargh. Not meant to be, I guess.
9. These names:
- Hunyo, Hulyo and Agosto
- Cut and Rolling – Imported and Cut and Rolling – Local
- PD D-N-G
- B1 and B2
- Supladong Lolo
10. And these words/phrases:
- Tara, kape tayo! (Let’s have coffee!)
- Kapihan (coffee shop)
- Business meeting, with business partners
- Rain alert!
- Quota na! (we have reached our quota!)
- Isang simangot mo pa, papatirin na kita (one more glare from you and I’ll trip you)
- HI, DANIEL!!!
- “It’s understandable”/”Isang hello, isang ngiti…” (One hello, one smile…)
- Mickey Mouse shorts
- What’s the situation/issue?
- According to the kuya…
- Rain? Who’s that?? ( You gotta know the entire story to fully appreciate this)
- “Baka himatayin ako!” (I might pass out) — Yucccch.
- Scavenger hunt – added by Lou
11. No closure.
The fact that my last vivid memory of Rain is seeing him making an about face to the coffee shop, roughly dragging a chair and sitting with his back towards us. This was only minutes after he was giving eye-disappearing smiles to my CPH friends at the lobby and I wasn’t there to see it, much less be at the receiving end of it. Yeah, I could never get over that, because I think, in the 11 days that he was here and I was trailing him (whether intentionally or not), it was the first time I saw not Rain but Jung Ji Hoon. Also, for us, there was a trend when he was here: good, bad, good, bad, and so on. On my part, it kinda ended with ‘bad’ (no thanks to his super-OA security detail and the Korean production staff) so I never had a closure. It was a mark of how awesome he was at the concert that I managed to write a good review.
You know what? I’m going to put this on the record. People may have branded me as a stalker, but I can proudly say that in all eleven days that Rain was in Manila, I never, not even once, took a peek at him at the pool area. The only time I went to that area was when they were filming and I was looking for our two Japanese friends who managed to sneak in. I didn’t even go all the way in because Hulyo and B1 have already spotted us and drove us out of there.
However, whenever I watch his short interview at Paparazzi, my ‘grudge’ towards him eases out somewhat. I felt how much he loves the Philippines in there. For one thing, was there any other instance where he actually said that he invites his friends to come to a particular country? Also, if you listen closely, you would know that he has been to this country more than twice or thrice. My psychic said the Philippines is his sanctuary, and I think she’s right. His parting shot thanking us for loving Full House so much is one added bonus (and it’s no wonder that TV5 didn’t sub that part). Too bad he didn’t see the many BiKyo banners we have prepared for him…
12. Mo Twister likes Rain? Seriously??
I had expected the Pinoy media to lambast Rain to smithereens after the first presscon fiasco, but to hear Mo Twister defend Rain is really something else. You should see how our jaws dropped when he defended Rain after his Paparazzi interview. A lot of people were saying that maybe Mo was told by his network to say good words about Rain, but we’re forgetting that we’re talking about Mo Twister here. This is a guy who never cares about what other people, including his bosses, think as long as he says what’s exactly on his mind. He even told us on Twitter to stop thanking him because it was a pleasure on his part to hang out with Rain. If that was classic Mo Twister, he could be saying praises for Rain on TV but wouldn’t be able to resist taking dibs at him on radio and/or at his Twitter. But he’s been consistent, so far. I’m thinking that maybe Mo understood Rain because he’s already been prepped for it by Grace Lee who is his partner on his radio show. At any rate, it was a total surprise even to those who have branded Mo as a Kpop hater because of his history with U-KISS (which reminded me of his face whenever he mentions the boys at the Intensity presscon).
Another one worth-mentioning is KC Montero, who also earned the ire of U-KISS fanatics for his comments about their girl-group parody but has constantly praised Rain’s performance on his Tweets. KC is another outspoken guy, so to see him say good things about Rain is really cool.
There’s still a lot more, but it’s already past 4:00am and I have to sleep some time.
Just a couple of random thoughts:
1. JM Rodriguez said in his Tweet that Rain was off-key 90% of the time at the Intensity concert (if I remember correctly). The two articles from Inquirer said he lip-synched.
Tell me this: how could someone who lip-synched be off-key? Think about it.
2. From another article at the Inquirer, this time regarding the presscon. The writer said, and I quote:
Nobody asked the obvious — was Rain already in the hotel? If he was, why not ask him down to meet the eager press?
My answer to this is: because obviously, this writer is not aware of how the system in Korea works. There, the artist is not required to show up unscheduled just to ‘meet the eager press’. It’s not like in the Philippines where the artista will be forced to do that for the sake of good publicity (kahiyaan na). Those who attended the first presscon already know this, having been thoroughly explained to about the system in Korean showbiz by us from Cloud Philippines. That is why they didn’t ask that stupid question anymore. (See? I can say these things because I was there. Was this writer there? Apparently not.)
I read a comment from a Pinoy who used to be an avid Rain fan in one forum saying something like, why was he such a snob? He should smile, be friendly, etc. See, that’s where the problem lies. The word SHOULD. It’s such a shame because this person is a fan of Korean entertainment. If you’re really a fan, you should know how their system works by now.
On a lighter note, I wish to express my sincerest gratitude to a few people. Cloud Philippines has its share of people to thank, but these are the ones whom I want to thank personally.
1. All my Rain friends for keeping my sanity. I am honestly so surprised at how I managed to keep myself calm and collected for the most part of this entire thing. If that was the old me, I would be so much worse.
2. My two sources, whom shall remain anonymous. One of them gave me info about the concert while the other one gave me so much valuable information about the filming. These two made us two-three steps ahead of everyone else. Thank you for the trust you gave me, and I hope I didn’t let you down.
3. All of those who understood why there was a need for us – me, in particular – to keep things confidential and be “madamot” in sharing information, and didn’t hold any grudges towards it.