One year after.

It’s been a year since Alden Richards staged his Adrenaline Rush concert. It’s also been a year since I came out of the closet and told the world about the state of my mental health.

Around this time last year, I was seriously contemplating on retiring as an active fan. Adrenaline Rush was supposed to be my last hurrah, so to speak. One year, a couple of drama series and a movie after, guess what… I’m far more active than before. :razz: What happened?

I’ve pondered through it and listed down my random thoughts and realizations from the past 12 months since that fateful night on September 21, 2018:

1. It IS possible to fangirl alone and enjoy it.

Yes, it is far more difficult if you don’t belong to any fan group, especially in the Alden fandom where belonging to a fan club/group is the most guaranteed and convenient way to collect your Alden moments. Fight me on this, it’s the truth and we all know it. I was once an FC member, ya know. :blink: Now that I no longer belong to any group, I would have to fight my way and double-triple the efforts just to have the perks that I used to enjoy when I was still with an FC. Sometimes I get lucky, oftentimes I don’t. But that’s just how the way things are.

However, fangirling alone has its perks. I am free to move and ‘strategize’. I don’t have to seek permission from anyone before doing things like set visits, or even taking a selfie with Alden. I can share my own thoughts and opinions without compromising my group. I am only accountable towards Alden and no one else.

It could get lonely sometimes, but that’s just normal. There are things that still need a lot of getting used to, such as being treated like I don’t belong there (yep, that still happens). I just have to constantly remind myself that it’s not about me; it’s just all part of fandom politics. Myself is just too stubborn to listen sometimes (sometimes??? :tounge: ).

2. It’s OK to be paranoid, but not too much.

One of the things I acquired from all the things I went through as an Alden fan is extreme paranoia. As a result, I became elusive towards people in this fandom, in general. I am elusive by default because I’m an introvert. I’m not good at dealing with strangers. But once the ice breaks, it’s all good from there. Once it’s all good, I have the tendency to be too trusting. I end up trusting the wrong people. In the world of fandom politics, ‘trust’ is a very big word.

I got stabbed in the back multiple times in a span of what… 3 years? I guess you can’t blame me if I have trust issues. My trust issues evolved into extreme paranoia.

With the recent developments in the fandom, things have changed. I’m still awkward towards some, particularly those who used to shade and bash me on socmed, but I now get to exchange pleasantries with people whom I used to distance myself from (or they distanced themselves from me). It’s all good. However, I still need to constantly remind myself to be cautious and not to trust too much. The fandom politics is still there, after all. :blink:

3. Don’t give everything for your idol. Save some for yourself.

Alden said something along these lines in one of his speeches at a recent fan event. I can totally relate with what he said.

People who know me over the years know that I’m a very passionate and devoted fan. Heck, if I give the same passion towards my work as I do with fangirling, I’m either at a higher position by now, or got killed/ate death threats for breakfast. :grin: (Aren’t we glad that I’m not as passionate at work? hehe) But there came a point when my daily life gets affected by what’s happening with my idol and the fandom. I had to suffer from emotional and psychological distress before I realized that I should not let my entire being be consumed by fangirling. I learned the lesson the hard way. I still get random bouts of sadness every now and then, but I’m just a person with a mental health issue. It comes with the territory.

So guys and gals, remember this: We become fans of a celebrity in order to take a break from the rigors of our daily lives. They are supposed to be our stress-relievers. If they become the source of stress, take a step back and re-evaluate. Don’t worry if your idol is like Alden, he’ll understand why you need to take a break. He’s unselfish that way. :smile:

4. Remind myself where I really belong.

There are times when I feel like I don’t belong anywhere in this fandom, like I’m not good enough to be his fan. Whenever it happens, I get sad. Extremely sad, and question my entire existence. I got this a lot particularly during HLG promotions. I felt like I’m being slapped in the face of the fact that if you don’t belong to a recognized fan group, you don’t belong, period. In order to cope, I had to constantly remind myself that I declared at the beginning of 2019 that I’m just going to do it the normal way and fangirl from a distance. However, stubborn Agent P is stubborn and doesn’t listen to reason. Thus, the sudden bouts of extreme sadness and loss of self-confidence.

Recent events have told to me that what I feel is not necessarily what it really is. So now, I have to re-calibrate my declaration and re-define where I really belong. I do belong somewhere in this fandom. It’s not ‘from a distance’, not a far one, anyway. To hell with anyone who tells me otherwise. :blink:

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Fake fan.

Yep, that’s me.

It’s very seldom that Alden Richards has a gig near my place. Most of the time, I’d have to travel down South just to see him.

After quite a long while, Alden finally lands a gig in my province. Albeit, still two hours away from where I live (three hours even, if you commute; I know this because I do it nearly every single freakin’ day because that’s where my workplace is) but at least it’s not on the other side of EDSA. I was so excited that I didn’t mind that I had to wait two hours before I was able to secure tickets for that event. The fact that the place where to get the tickets was almost across my office was a good enough sign for me.

I even broke my own principle when it comes to *using* my position at work and made arrangements for prime seats at the event. Hey, the venue is owned by my client. A little push won’t hurt. And besides, we do have tickets; we just needed to secure our place since some of us will be traveling from faraway places and might not be able to arrive early enough to get good seats.

Friday came. It rained incessantly. Weather forecasts predicted heavy rains for the entire weekend.

As expected, by Saturday morning main thoroughfares have already been flooded. My companions have already waved the white flag. Meanwhile, I was still hopeful that I could go because I took one look outside and saw that our street, which usually becomes flooded with the slightest fall of rain, was flood-free. :shock:

flood

Therefore, when I received a text from an acquaintance at around 11:50am that she’s already on her way to the venue, I finally caved in. Never mind that every time I decide to go, it starts raining elephants and dinosaurs. I took a quick shower, dressed up, re-stuffed my bag to only include Changi the point-and-shoot camera (because it’s not wise to bring anything heavy – and expensive – at this weather) and went down the house…

…only to be welcomed by a startled family who promptly asked, “saan ka pupunta? At saan ka dadaan???” (Where are you going? How will you get there???)

My sister showed me her FB feed, where I saw these photos from MarileNews (the official newsletter of our municipality):

A photo posted by Paulette Agent P (@agent_pau) on

:whoa:

Barely an hour after that, this was the situation at our place:

flood1

Ow shit. It’s CNBLUE all over again.

For the benefit of those who are not aware of the story and are too lazy to click on that link: back in 2014, I had to forego CNBLUE’s Manila concert because our place was chest-deep in flood waters and I had the impression that it’s flooded everywhere, therefore, the promoters will not push through with it. Apparently not. The concert was a ‘go’, and I literally ‘donated’ USD200++ to the promoters because of my unused ticket. :cry: Only because I wasn’t brave enough to swim in filthy, murky waters to get there.

The cost of tickets to the Boardwalk event are not even remotely near USD200+ (it’s just php350 = around USD7.50) and Alden only sang two songs, so you probably think it wasn’t that bad. But that’s not the point.

It’s my pride as a fan who lives in Bulacan that’s at stake here.

We got fans from as far away as Calabarzon (down South) who made it to the event. Meanwhile, I am from Bulacan, and I wasn’t there. Yes, I’m from a place that’s two hours away (three, if you’re commuting and traffic is bad) from Baliwag, but still in Bulacan. People expected me to be there. Oweno ba kung pinost ko na nga ang pictures ng baha sa lugar namin, kebs! Dapat andun ako! Taga-Bulacan ako eh! Kung yung di nga taga-Bulacan, nakarating, ako pa ang hindi? FAKE FAN AKO! FAKE!

Buset. :asar:

To be fair, nobody really said that. That I know of. :razz: But I got those kinds of bullshitty comments back in 2014 for CNBLUE (“bakit si ano nakarating eh taga-Bulacan rin naman sya?”), so I kinda expect people to say the same BS this time.

To be fair to me, I seriously considered going. It stopped raining at our place at around 3:00pm. With the knowledge that Alden was still at SPS rehearsals and won’t be at the event until 6:00pm (he performed at around 7:00pm), I thought maybe I could still make it. However…

flood2

Kung may speedboat siguro ako, baka sakali. Teka… magkano ba ang speedboat? You know, just in case…

I totally feel like a loser fake fan right now. A loser fake fan who stayed dry and free from leptospirosis and other flood-borne diseases, but a loser fake fan, nonetheless. :sad:

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