I remember my first Owl City concert vividly. I was starting out, I felt like a tiny plant sprouting up in a bean and seeing the lovely world for the first time. Me and my best-friend, Reine went to the concert with paid tickets, my first-ever concert ticket and we were proud. I had no connections and no friends from the industry. I had one friend though, Kate. (Kate is a very good friend of mine whom I met because of the Jonas Brothers)
During the day of the concert me and Reine attempted (but failed! Demnations, we really failed haha) to meet Adam at his hotel. We also begged the producers to help us meet the band but nothing happened. It was one of the most disheartening moments of my life. I wanted to cry and sit in a corner because the artist I admire so much is within my vicinity but not the slightest of chance can ever lead me into meeting him up-front. So the concert happened and every heartache was swept away with the exhilarating feeling of watching your favorite artist live, singing with the people who admire him as well.
As I have relayed in my previous stories, that concert strengthened my want to develop the community, Owl City Philippines but come on — on a scale of one to Jonas Brothers PH (they’re my super-idol fan base), we were next to nothing. We were small in number but I guess the universe gave us a chance to grow which was pretty awesome. As it grew, I knew that I had to do something, I wanted us to be recognized and acknowledged. Gathering up my wits, I contacted MCA Music Inc. from which I met ate Choy, who introduced me to Sir Wilson. For some weird reason, it felt weird. Sir Wilson Cruz. Cruz…Cruz…? Kate Cruz? She mentioned her dad was from MCA Music. Oh COULD IT BE?! Turned out, sir Wilson is the father of Kate, my friend. And so from that moment, everything was just inevitable. I could affirm that I might be one of the most spoiled FC leaders under MCA Music Inc. because we were personally handled by Sir Wilson (until my internship, we were then under ate Mar!). He helped me build my contacts and he supported by giving out premium items to be given to the community. He gave us a chance and it’s really overwhelming to see that chance turn into a community of solid and sincere fans.
University life happened and so did my internship. I was already in rapid exchange of emails with sir Wilson prior to applying but I have never met him until that day. I walked up to Raffles building figuring out I was an hour early for my scheduled interview and so I ended up with my sweaty palms and my nerve-wracked heart waiting at Starbucks. I had been indulging in my cup of comfort Hot chocolate when I heard someone talking about his son going to college.
“Oo nga yung panganay ko papasok na ng college”
“Oh talaga? Bilis ah. Saan ba?”
and when I carelessly turned around, I saw a man wearing glasses and wondered.. Is he? Gosh, how awkward this will be if he’ll see me here at Starbucks before my interview. Blast it, of all the luck I can get! Good thing, he left Starbucks first which gave me a chance to do my quick escape as well.
As I descended up to the second to the last floor of Raffles, I was a mess. Don’t get me wrong. I wore my smartest attire and by all means, I felt really smart but my heart was pounding so fast. I was finally called in and dun dun dun, yep he’s the one at Starbucks. But something happened that moment, I knew that something changed. Gone was my uneasiness and all I felt was the warmth and acceptance that sir Wilson had offered. That was probably the most-fun interview I had up to date because we basically just threw music genres at each other, bragging who had more knowledge about Vampire Weekend and Two Door Cinema club. All in all, I actually felt that he really liked to hire me on the spot. (He did!) I guess he has that within him, to make people feel important and appreciated. My first day at work was awkward as expected until sir Wilson openly introduced me to everyone as “Si Grace- President ng Owl City Philippines” Whadddup! President here, make way please. I have never felt more proud of myself. And so the days went by and I still can’t believe how much work he has entrusted me considering that I was only an intern. I guess it was also his way of showing how much he believes in the capacity of a person to grow and actually lead. As much as constructive criticisms are vital in work, Sir Wilson always praised my works. Whenever I submitted a write-up or after I announce something over a mic wherein 500+ fans were present, he would always pat me on the back and say “Galing naman Gracecieleen!” I will always remember whenever he handed his Blackberry to me and I was all like “WHAT?!” and he would say “Ikaw na bahala Gracecieleen, galingan mo, pasikatin mo yung event sa twitter” or whenever he handed me his backpack (that includes his wallet and gadgets) cause he needs to attend to an artist. Yaya pala ang peg Haha but who cares? This man trusted me and showed it to me upfront.
Accck, my heart is tearing up whenever I look back to that summer because up to date, he has always been my image of “the best boss” — who acknowledged my strengths as a growing person and who took a leap of faith for me to actually get acquainted with the real world.
My internship ended. He secretly stashed signed Owl City items and handed it to me upon the end of my internship. I cried so hard during the last days of my internship because that only meant that I had to leave the beautiful people who shared so much to me. I gloriously affirm to the world how much I am proud of that internship because I know that I learned from the best.
In my internship and my Owl City life, Sir Wilson was more like a father as much as he is to the other fan clubs he has helped. He always made sure we got the best experience and we were rewarded for what we worked hard for. I remember the second concert. What I didn’t have during the first concert, I had everything during the second concert. I never paid for my tickets and I had more than 20 to spare (thanks to the ever generous MMI family whom I also love so dearly) but it was born from the fact that our fan-base was already established and greatly contributing to the preparations for the concert. And when I ask, it all still comes down to what MCA Music Inc has done for us to be there. I remember talking to sir Wilson days before the concert wherein he was about to secretly hand me concert tickets once again. I was deeply touched and grateful but I proudly told him “I already have one sir and I am meeting him too and it’s all because of MCA.” He was proud of me, I knew it the moment he grinned at me.
Days have passed since sir Wilson left this world and I know that he is a legend.I am deeply sad and heartbroken for his family, colleagues and friends because I know the world lost someone wonderful but I am taking comfort in the idea that he is always to be remembered and cherished with that genuine smile of a good hearted man.
So, I am seeing Owl City again in a few days and I am getting nervous by the minute. Sir Wilson always had cheered me on.. I know it’s silly but I only had sir Wilson to talk to whenever I expressed the fact that I have a dream of bringing Owl City here one day. He told me that he would help me and I NEVER questioned that. I also know that he believes in me and that one day I will. I know that in my heart is planted the trust and confidence of someone who believes in me and that maybe one day, I can bring him here. I will try my best, sir Wilson. No pressure ha. Haha ☺
But as I look back and look at it today, I might have never had all of this without him and I know I am just one the many fans that he has helped but I wanted the world to know how much he has shared to me over the past two years. I mean come on, I am rubbing elbows (I THINK!!HAHA) with Owl City’s manager (the real one!) and there’s only one person to blame…
I could never thank you enough sir Wilson, for all that have you shared not only to me but to the rest of the world touched by you. You were my true ‘idol’ if you put it that way. You inspired me and just showed me that there’s nothing impossible if you dream, believe hard and work harder. My sincerest admiration is upon you.