(Previously on Rainy Day HK: The Complete Report…)
Day 3, Part 1: The BIg Day
Saturday – 08 October 2005
Finally, the day everyone has been waiting for: Rainy Day HK is here!
(Note to readers: I know some of you are excited to read about the concert and to see concert pics, so if you’re in a hurry, just go to Part 3 and skip the next few paragraphs. Otherwise, prepare to be bored with my pre-concert tales. :) )
As soon as the three of us woke up that morning, we can already feel the excitement in the air as we counted the hours ’til Day 1 of Rainy Day HK finally commences. Time seemed to be running so slow that day that we don’t know what to do… so we just ended up going to Kowloon Park after breakfast to do more pictorial sessions:
(Photos courtesy of Rizza)
There’s a gory detail in there somewhere that I’d rather not recount anymore since it’s traumatic for me and it’s irrelevant to the subject. Anyway…
Carol arrived around noontime. We immediately asked her to update us with what’s happening over at the forums – like news of Rain’s arrival in HK, for instance – and one of the things she told us is that she read or someone told her that the DOHC billboard, the one Rizza and I painstakingly searched for in TST MTR station, no longer exists. There was a bit of confusion there, however, because Piruntha aka Buttercups from Malaysia told Karen via SMS that they saw Rain’s billboard at the MTR station. So which is which, then? Better ask Piruntha herself later.
After Carol got some rest, we went back to Kowloon Park – without Karen, this time, coz she begged off to get some sleep and fully-charge her energy for tonight’s show – for more crazy-ass pictorials.
Obviously, Carol and Rizza are NOT camera-shy.
They’re definitely a photographer’s delight! :)
Crazy photographer + crazy models = crazy pics!
(Photos courtesy of Carol)
We walked back to the hostel after that to start preparing for the concert. We were scheduled to meet up with our Korean friend Helena at 4pm, then with the Soompi girls at 5:30. Along the way, we scanned each and every magazine stand and still, there is no new thing about Rain anywhere. This is getting weirder by the minute.
3:30 pm – On the way to Wanchai, we decided to take the Star Ferry so that Karen will be able to experience it. Of course, walking to the Ferry Terminal from the hostel is a bit of a pain, what with all the walking we have been doing for the past 3 1/2 days, not to mention that we are all wearing ‘pamporma’ (fashionable, not necessarily ‘comfortable’) shoes instead of our walking shoes. But all the excitement at the thought of being in the same vicinity as Rain and the growing anticipation for his concert took away all that.
The PH girls aboard the Star Ferry.
(Photo courtesy of Carol)
Little did we know that to getting from the Terminal to Harbour International Hotel where we will meet the girls will entail more and more walking. By the time we got there to meet Helena, we were already a bit haggard and hungry, and very late. :(
I can only describe Helena in two words: An Angel. I don’t have to write here exactly what she had done for us PH gals but we will forever be grateful to her for everything she had done and given to us. All I can say is, without her, this entire HK experience will never be possible. Helena, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. :)
The PH gals with Helena
(Photo courtesy of Carol)
5:30pm – we went down to the lobby of Harbour International Hotel and found a bunch of ladies waiting for us. The first thing that popped into my mind as soon as I walked out of the hotel doors was: that cool-looking woman in a black top, jeans, boots and a cap has got to be Soompi’s Bambiina from Malaysia. They asked us to venture a guess on who’s who, but I told them I don’t have the guts to do that. Karen gave it a try and guessed Bam’s sister to be Bam. Which is wrong, of course. :) Hugs, greetings and proper introductions were then exchanged. We finally got to know the real people behind the nicks Bambiina, Buttercups, Admirekrw, LSISW, Ladybug, jcs and of course, another angel-in-disguise, Venusfly aka. Wendy from Singapore. It was a great moment for me, maybe even more than seeing Bi onstage. And I’m not kidding when I say that. People might think admiring an entertainer is a shallow thing, but they don’t realize that there is a wonderful bonus that comes with that: being able to meet people from all walks of life, from different countries, literally in different shapes, sizes and colors. But we all bond together for one reason: RAIN.
Soompi girls unite!!!
(Photo courtesy of Carol)
Of course, what followed were chit chats, photo ops and some scary moments courtesy of Bam. We also caught up with Wendy, who informed us that Rain is sporting a new hairdo: he’s now a brunette, has straight locks, and looks younger. And he has shaved off the facial hair. What?! No chin stubble?? Oh no!
Also, we asked the Malaysian ladies re: the DOHC billboard they saw and apparently, what they saw was the commercial being shown in one of the wide screens at Mongkok station. So it is, indeed, true that the 10-ft thing is already gone. Now isn’t that a bit dumb: Rain is coming to town, and the company he’s modelling for decided to take down his billboard before he arrived. There must be a back-story there somewhere.
7:00pm – we walked our way towards HKCEC where the big event is going to happen. As expected, excitement filled the air as we entered its main doors. What immediately caught my attention is the sign beside the Rainy Day poster that says “this event has sold out” (sic). We went up the countless escalators towards Hall 3 and I saw people lining up here and there (either to get some Rainy Day merchandise, to get inside Hall 3 or to go to the bathroom ) and groups huddled together. It also seems we were not the only ones meeting friends for the first time. Every now and then, someone would scream and hug each other, indicating that they met someone whom they haven’t met in person before. I also saw several groups from different countries: Cloud Korea, the very organized Cloud Japan (whom I envy so much coz they were wearing the “RAIN SINCE 1982” shirt I’ve been salivating for), Bi With Rain from Taiwan, the groups from China, Singapore and of course, Hong Kong. These are aside from us Soompi girls who came from Malaysia and Philippines. Later on, we learned that there’s a group from Thailand, too. This is like a United Nations-type Asian congregation, except that it wasn’t for political, economic or humanitarian reasons. It was all for the love of this Korean man named Jeong Ji Hun, more popularly known as Rain (or ‘Justin’ if you’re in the Philippines. :D).
Rainy Day merchandise booths; we didn’t dare buy anything coz it’s sooo damn expensive
(plus, we only wanted the shirt and we got ’em for free! hehe )
Finally, after hundreds of escalators and 10 years of waiting, we were let inside Hall 3. The first two things anyone will notice as soon as they enter the hall are these: (1) the humongous billboard of One2Free Rainy Day Hong Kong concert on the side of the Hall facing the doors, and (2) the sheet covering the stage bearing the words “IT’S RAINY DAY”. Is that enough to arouse your excitement or what? We parted ways with our friends, went to the Blue Area and started looking for our seats.
It’s Rainy Day!!!
(Curtain photo courtesy of Carol)
My ticket for the October 08 show
Imagine how delighted Rizza, Karen and I were when we learned that we are going to be seated on the 5th row, right side of the T-zone (the extended stage) only a few meters away from the main stage. WHOA! Those were good seats; near enough for us to see Rain’s face without the need to look at the wide screens (especially if and when he decides to go to our side of the stage) and far enough for us to appreciate the technical aspects of the concert in its entirety. Side note: actually, Karen wasn’t supposed to sit with Rizza and I, but thanks to an Angel who graciously gave up her seat for Karen, we all got to sit together. Carol, on the other hand, was seated with LSISW in the Red Area. We also realized at once that we are seated literally amidst the Clouds. Korean Clouds, in particular. Can you say “alien!”?? Because of that, we were very careful to say as few words as possible so as not to arouse curiousity among our seatmates. Which doesn’t help, anyway, because one look at us would instantly declare that we are not from the same country as they are.
Since we got there a bit early (actually, the concert started 30 mins late), we decided to take some photos before anyone would confiscate our cameras (assuming, of course, that someone would).
Concert paraphernalias were also provided for us to liven up the audience during the concert. One2Free, the concert’s major sponsor, provided Rainy Day balloons, while RainHK gave away some pompoms. The different Rain groups also brought their own distinct stuff, like glowsticks, lighted placards and banners.
Rizza demonstrating her balloon-inflating prowess;
Rizza and Karen with their pompoms.
I didn’t use mine, though. My concert paraphernalia is, as always, my beloved camera. :) Plus, I have issues with concert paraphernalia. I will delve further into that later.
Few minutes before concert starts – there was a small commotion as three guys were led to their seats. People started scrambling to get a pic of them. Now we have no idea who they are, so we stayed glued to our seats. Later on, we learned they’re Hong Kong stars.
Ok, I know I have been boring you with too much useless details already, so let’s get right to the concert!
**Photo credits: Paulette Espiritu/fatgrrl_slim/bandstalker.com, except where indicated. All rights reserved.