I put up a wishlist for 2019, and it’s been steadily happening, so far.
One part of that list say, ‘more opportunities to take photos’. Late afternoon of January 1, I received a notice saying that me and my friends were given slots at Eat… Bulaga! for Alden’s 27th birthday the following day. Man, that was quick. Continue reading →
Aftermath: “Thank You For 30” Cebuana Lhuillier 30th Anniversary Concert
01 September 2017 – Mall of Asia Arena
This is one of those beautiful accidents that I didn’t plan on happening, but it did.
Around 2:00pm, 1st of September. I was busy twiddling my thumbs at home when I received a message from a certain someone, asking me if I’m watching the Cebuana Lhuillier concert happening that very same day. I said no, I don’t have a ticket. She said she has some, and she’s giving it to me and my fellow ‘no-group’ friends. Her only reason: she wants me to be there. Ok, then. Who am I to say, ‘no’ to that? I’ve been really wanting to see this show because, hello. Alden Richards and Sarah Geronimo. And then JaDine was announced as surprise guests just the night before. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to score tickets #longstory but I guess the universe – or certain, uhm, *someones* – really wants me to witness this.
So I took a quick shower, grabbed my super-zoom cameras which were, thankfully, fully-charged, and hurried towards Mall of Asia Arena for the Thank You For 30 concert.
Alden Richards presents his Diamond Record Award (10x Platinum) for the album “Wish I May” at the launch of his latest album “Say It Again”
For someone who’s admittedly not a singer, this guy has truly gone places. Congratulations, RJ! I’m proud to say I contributed about 10 units to that award. hahaha! Kidding! Here’s to the next Diamond!
Speaking of the next Diamond…
Yesterday, Alden launched his 3rd album (his second under GMA Records) entitled Say It Again. And yesterday was one of, if not the most surreal moment of my life as a fan of Alden Richards. Yes, even more surreal than the single greatest moment of my fangirl life.
Last year’s Wish I May album launch basically also launched my “career” as an active fan of Alden Richards. It had a lot of ‘firsts’: my first time to see Alden in person, my first time to cover his events, my first time to cover an event seated on a Lazy-Boy chair. That sort of thing. I had hoped to experience the same thing this time at the Say It Again launch; unfortunately, things were a bit bleak in the days leading to the event. For one thing, the venue is different and the new venue has no Lazy-Boy chairs. Secondly, I didn’t have the same contacts then as I have now. We had very little time to build connections, so we ended up doing it the hard way: by lining up just like everyone else.
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
It’s been more than eleven years since I last saw The Dawn. For five years, I was their No. 1 Stalker. I carry that title with pride. Heck, they’re the reason why this blog’s domain name is ‘bandstalker.com’ (most probably to the consternation of real band stalkers whom I literally snatched this domain name from under their noses). For those who admire my photography skills (if you could call that ‘skills’), you have this band to thank for. I learned the ropes from five years of my close proximity to them.
This is why when they announced their 30th Anniversary gig, I immediately decided that I *must* be there. For old times’ sake. Fortunately, my brother-slash-bandstalking-partner is still up for it.
What can I say? It’s like 11 years did not pass. It’s still the same The Dawn that rocks our socks. Jett Pangan still has the best voice among band vocalists in this country. He’s like wine that gets better with age. I hate bringing out the word “age” because it also reminds me of my own, but can I just say that this band seems to have defied it?
It’s my first time to see them with Sancho on guitars and he certainly jelled well with the group. During my bandstalker days, Sancho was playing for Cynthia Alexander and Loquy, and his main axe was an acoustic guitar. I’ve always been in awe at how he would shred that acoustic as if he’s playing electric. Watching him play electric now is both a new experience and a reminder of how great a musician he is.
I had wondered how they were going to do the two-bass-players thing because, I know I sound incredibly ignorant right now, but has there ever been a rock band in the world that has two bass players? The thing that got me hooked on The Dawn way back in the 80s was their bass lines. No, the fact that their bass player was cute has nothing to do with it, although it certainly helped. Admittedly, one of the reasons why I was hell-bent on attending the 30th anniversary gig was because they brought back Carlos Balcells. And then they also brought back Mon Legaspi, who was my other close buddy in the band when I was still stalking them. That’s two really good reasons not to miss this show.
A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on
I thought they were just going to ‘share’ the set. First up was Carlos; then after a few songs, Mon took over the bass duties while Francis Brew took a break and let Carlos play acoustic guitar for Talaga Naman (Carlos was the original acoustic guitar player on that song).
Mon then played bass on the next few songs, until Iisang Bangka came… with both Mon and Carlos on bass.
It was sensory overload for me. I was stunned and in awe over the double-bass-player set up that I failed to record the first verse of Bangka. Fortunately, the set up stayed until the end of the show so I was able to record Enveloped Ideas in its entirety.
Trivia: I have a vast collection of The Dawn’s setlists. I always have to grab one after every gig to act as guide when I write the Aftermath Report for The Dawn’s official message board.
Their setlist was a mix of classics and new songs; admittedly, it was my first time to hear their songs post-Harapin. But I enjoyed them, nonetheless. I just wish they had lesser covers and more of their hit songs. Noticeably missing on the list were Love Will Set Us Free (it would’ve been great hearing them play this live with Leni Llapitan on keyboards), Alam Ko, Alam N’yo, Salimpusa (I’d probably die if they played these two songs with two bass players), Beyond The Bend and I Stand With You. I even missed Little Paradise, but for entirely different reasons. I was ecstatic, though, that they opened the set with I Saw You Coming In as it’s one of my biggest faves. It was also nice to hear them play Behind Shadows, which, according to Jett, was only possible because Carlos was with them.
The Dawn - TRENTA
All in all, it was a great night. It certainly brought out the nostalgia; at the same time it felt good that, as I’ve previously said, it seemed that my eleven-year absence was not felt with this band. Me and my bro were still queueing outside the venue when Mon spotted us from a distance and immediately called us out (and then looked for our other band buddy; dude, I really have no idea where he was that night). And then, the even bigger surprise: we were right there in front, with my brother directly across Jett. But the first one to notice us among the guys onstage was Carlos, whom we haven’t spent that much time with during our years of stalking The Dawn. It was a total shock that he still remembered us. Of course, Jett acknowledged our presence, too. He always did, and he always does. Nice to see you again, guys.
Trenta will have a repeat at the Music Museum in November. Catch them if you can.
Out of all the photos I took in Singapore for One Fine Day With The Bae, and we’re talking more than 700 photos here, this was my most favorite.
I love this photo because we can clearly see how happy he is, willingly and lovingly giving that video greeting for a fan. FOR FREE. It’s one of the things that I truly treasure as a fan, as a member of Alden International, and as someone who is blessed with the opportunity of witnessing and documenting Alden Richards in moments when there are no other cameras around except mine.
This was Alden giving my mother a video greet because I jokingly told him, “nagseselos na ang nanay ko sa ‘yo kasi mas mahal na raw kita kesa sa kanya.” (My mom is getting jealous of you; she said I love you more than her now.) For which he replied, “uy, wag naman.” He constantly reminds the fans that he appreciates our support but we should never neglect our own families/loved ones in favor of him. Clearly shows how family oriented he is, ‘no?
Side note on the above photo: I actually don’t remember taking a photo of him filming that video greet for my mom. I only realized it now as I was preparing the materials for this blog entry. I was like, “wait… that’s my phone he’s holding.”
And speaking of things that I didn’t realize until now…
I was curious about that naughty smile/smirk that he has on his face while signing that book. When I moved on to the next pic:
Yep. The cause of the naughty smile/smirk was the thing that he wrote on my copy of his book.
As a volunteer correspondent for GMA Pinoy TV, I was given access to cover his other official activities in Singapore aside from the concert. I missed the Meet & Greet because we came to the venue rather late – and because the Meet & Greet was held at the ungodly hour of 9:00am – but I was able to cover the autograph signing.
I didn’t know what exactly the mechanics of the autograph signing were, but I noticed that one can put anything on the table and he will willingly sign it. At some instances, he would sign the shirt that the fan was wearing. It’s a refreshing sight to see an artist who has no particular rules as to what will be signed. Usually, they would require that only official merchandise (eg., the Wish I May CD, or the official shirt that came with the concert ticket) will be allowed to be signed.
It wasn’t exactly a small crowd, either, but he willingly met with them all and signed their stuff. His energy never waned even if he arrived very late in Singapore the night before and his day started early. Mad props should be given to Mama Ten and Leysam, as well. They’re the ones with more tasks to handle but they do it all tirelessly. Also, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Alden Richards has the nicest support staff I’ve ever seen on any celebrity, be it locally and internationally (especially knowing which fandom did I come from). Minsan nga tingin ko kailangan na nilang magsungit lalo kung abuso at pasaway na ang mga fans. Masyado silang mabait.
As I look back at that trip to Singapore, I’ve decided that despite the few bad things that came as a result of it, it was something that I will never, ever regret doing for the rest of my life. It not only allowed me to experience Singapore for the first time. It also allowed me to witness more of Richard Faulkerson, Jr., the person behind the screen name Alden Richards.
I’m glad that I came out of fangirl retirement for this. He is so worth it.
On that note, let me greet my Alden International fanmily a Happy 5th Monthsary! We’re only at the starting point, guys. Looking forward to more months, years of friendship, love and charity, all for the love of Alden Richards.