Again, as I had days to compose this blog post, a number of memories come and rush by leaving me wandering off to those precious moments, hours maybe. I am again at a loss for words, as I often am when I get too dumbfounded or maybe just taken away by such an intense feeling.
So maybe some of you tumbling along this post may or may have not come across my very loud and opinionated social networks which greatly announced my Owl City expenditure for the year. I know, if I were you looking at me I’d definitely go..
because I know how much the fan community misses Owl City and the band. I know that feeling of wanting someone so much, to see him perform your all-time-fave-memorized-by-heart songs in front of you and a thousand more people who share the same sentiments. It’s that kind of feeling that makes you anticipate, makes you excited and giddy, makes you hopeful and just plainly happy. I know how it hurts to pursue, to cheer on to remain steadfast ye of faith and patiently wait. Come on, it’s like one of the most common passed around quote “How it hurts to wait for someone you love so much” or better if I quote a reference from A Cinderella story where Hilary Duff shouts “Waiting for you is like waiting for rain in this drought, useless and disappointing.” Oh how it pangs and just scars. And I was deeply wounded. Ugh, call it OA ’cause I have seen him last 2011 but you know how emotions build up and eventually pent up out of you?
No, that wasn’t really my case. Haha I just had to build that up because I’d rather have that emotional and soul-searching feel but truth is I just had this epiphany (HAHAHAHA told you so) and I just had this weird feeling of “Okay, I want to do this. NOW, Not next year, not on the next tour but now.”And so I made some calls with my Bff Reine and asked her if she wanted to go and watch Owl City in Thailand. With all our cancelled trips and plans before, 89% of me was actually doubtful of this “planning and consulting” with her but by all means the remaining 11% slapped me hard and I’ve never felt better. So the picture says that we were looking at Bangkok but flights to Bangkok cost our overall savings of working at our own corps for 1 year. I had to silently cry to myself because I cannot afford Bangkok and its expensive Sawadee’s. And I really don’t know what happened next because a show opened up in Hong Kong (August!) and tickets were on sale so everything was a little cheaper than BKK and the next thing is me and Reine were already waving goodbye to our third-world-job savings and we were extremely excited about it.
Days before leaving for the trip, we both prepared a lot of stuff for the band and for dear Adam. We bought the band goodies ’cause they were in love with the goods that we gave them during their second visit. Also, I had everything bundled up in a cute hand-painted canvas bag made by my very good and talented friend, Ella. The Darth Vader doll is a special gift to Adam.
2 days before the trip, me and Reine were already blocking off everything, packing all things (even the unnecessary wardrobe changes!) and preparing ourselves and our heart for the trip. Honestly, watching Owl City abroad has been always on top of my bucket list and seeing it unravel slowly was unreal and heart wrenching. FINALLY. Then of course, Maring came.
If you’re not geographically located near the areas where Maring made her path then let me introduce you to this hell of a storm. Maring is a typhoon strengthened by multiple tropical depressions which hit the Philippines last August 20, 2013 – a day before our flight to Hongkong – and unfortunately our friend Maring heavily flooded a lot of major areas in Metro Manila including our house. I danced and snag my heart off to The Beatles’ Here comes the sun but the rain poured in until August 21, 2013. Our flight wasn’t really cancelled but seeing the state of our house was a big sloppy NO to leaving that day. Imagine that – instead of flying off to Hong Kong I was literally carrying loads of stuff (stuff-table, chairs, rice containers, more chairs, microwaves, etc), transferring all of them to higher ground because of the rushing flood waters turning our house into a lake. The horror! I admit a big part of me wanted to desperately cry to the ground the cruelty of the situation but I knew that this trip was MEANT TO BE. I patiently called up Cebu Pacific to rebook our flights and sincerely prayed to the Lord to give me the right answer. I was deeply touched by the support of my OCPH friends who cheered me on to never give up and fight for that flight. I am glad because by all means, the next day we were off to Hong Kong. From what I heard, after I left the house, the rain flood started to draw in again but thank goodness it wasn’t as worse.
I guess all that you really need to do is to look at the brighter side of things and things will come your way.
Hong Kong is one of my favorite destinations because I love their fast paced (literally) culture! Also, they have the best food ever! Also, you don’t need to be fluent in Mandarin to order a large cup of freshly squeezed Orange Juice — you just have to point it out and be surprised when they ask you “How about your friend?” Classy!
Me and Reine went off to the concert venue with no problem (thanks to their ultra-organized metro rail system) and we arrived at around 4 p.m. The concert was scheduled at 8:00 so no big deal, we can deal with our pre-concert jitters in 4 hours.
Prior to leaving for HK, I was already talking with my all-time-favorite-manager Steve B and was asking him if me and Reine can get to meet Adam and maybe take him home (ok maybe not the last part) and as kind and warm as he always has been with OCPH, he granted us so with a 100% conviction. I also had the privilege of bringing along Max (a UK hootowl whom I met through Rachel, who was also watching the concert at HK) for the meet and greet. *YEY!*
I was sweating bullets 3 hours before the concert. We didn’t eat anything after lunch and we were all liquid inside. My insides were curling up and Reine wasn’t also readily available to console me ’cause she was feeling the same way. I was hopeless. You know how people say how the first concert/meeting will always be special and the next ones will just be like a spin-off? NO, I beg to disagree because this second meeting (this is actually my 3rd concert) was way more nerve-wracking. But then tweets from my Owl City PH started pouring in wishing me Good luck, marrying Adam, taking Adam home, wishing that I can meet Adam, telling Adam to meet me and/or the thought of that and this made everything better.
I will forever be thankful to all the people who helped Owl City Philippines grow and be recognized because I quite believe we have our mark in this fan-dom. I am so sorry if I am sounding so proud right now but I must give totes to the people behind this very hardworking fan community – to our street team and to our very patient members. You do not know how your love for Owl City is greatly appreciated by the management. Moments like these, I stand and think on how awesome the Filipino Hootowl fan-dom is and how lucky I am to be a part of it. We have come a long way, Owls! Let us not stop here because no matter what happens we will all be in this together and that alone is enough for me. And I will always be thankful to these remarkable people who helped us every step of the way: Friends from Astro – Ate Choy, Ate Charm and our friends from MCA – Sir Wilson (to whom I greatly dedicate my Owl City PH leadership, rest in peace sir, I know you’re proud of me), Ate Mar, Ms Grace, Ate Arlene and Kuya Dom. My friends at Owl City PH – Lg, Colwin, Dowe, Mommy Rae and everyone from the nest. ♥
So before the meet and greet with Adam something intensely happened which I cannot tell. I want to but I have my word on it but I will never forget that one person who helped me get through the day and my worries. You know, it seems that all my worries, the stress, the storm, the effort has all paid off because of that person. I want to give that person the credit of this whole trip because that person made this trip immensely and greatly worth it. You know who you are, no thank you’s will be enough. You know it!
I also had the privilege of meeting the whole band. Finally, after two failed attempts of meeting the band here in Manila I get to confirm that the Breanne Duren is real and she is perfectly beautiful. I was too shocked to actualize her presence and meeting her for the first time took the wits out of me. I also met Jasper and hug him and pinch his arms and flail at him and maybe, just maybe he was laughing at me. And then of course, my elevator buddy Daniel Jorgensen from 3 years ago- confirmed that he remembers me and Reine, whom I also dearly love and treasure and adore and just sincerely look up to. Sigh, this couldn’t get any better.
As we were talking with the band, Breanne asked us how long our flight was and I answered her with the mention on how crazy everything went before we arrived in Hong Kong. The band knew of our situation and they were telling us “I hope we do a good enough concert for you guys” and I just wanted to curl up and cry on the floor. How could they tell that to us? Every hootowl knows how perfectly good the Owl City band is when they perform live. Good enough won’t do, Bre because that is an understatement. The band is phenomenal live and that is the final word. And besides, Owl City is worth it and it will always be. Me and Reine definitely felt special because we really felt how much the band appreciated us and that warms our heart to the ends of the earth. Meeting the band, abroad? Come on man, is this the real life?
And then the meet and greet with Adam. Where do I start? You know I think I always catch myself off-guard whenever I am going to meet Adam. Either I am t too sweaty or I am looking too fat. Anyway…I had to apply make-up before the concert which is very evident in the picture below
And then I dunno what happened but I looked like a mess when we arrived at the Meet and Greet area (please look at my picture later). My heart was a mess too and as much as I want to compose a dictatory speech for Adam, I can’t. Blast it, my brain was fogged up with giddiness. Okay, so 5 people left…4….3…..2….
Grace: Hi Adam!!!! We came all the way from the Philippines!
Adam: Oh wow! Thank you!
Grace: *dies and cries and flails and crushes in thin air*
Grace: We have something for you, Ta-DA!! (I handed him the big Darth, Reine handed him the small Darth)
Adam: Oh wow, how cute!!!
Grace: Can I hug you please? (Wow ang kapal na ng mukha ko no, walang pretense) — (Adam hugs me and I died again)
Photographer: Okay, let’s take that pic now!
Grace: *in my head: NOOOO Please no no no no* (SMILES)
As much as I hate to admit my weakness, that man – Adam Young is still my most favorite person on earth. He was strikingly handsome – his haircut, his biceps (HAHAHAHAA DO NOT JUDGE ME PEOPLE!), his ruffled look, his clean look and get up – all that whilst wearing the same shirt he wore during the 2nd concert in Manila. I LOVE HIM (and I still want to marry him – and I hope he doesn’t read this cause he might be creeped out – but I love you Adam and nah, I don’t really wanna marry you but..)
Concert time and we rushed up to the second row. The stage was set-up so close and I could feel the thrill climbing up to my veins. Then the show started and I was undone. I was dancing, bouncing, flailing and screaming all the lyrics song-after-song and I think the person on my right, my left, my back and my front were eyeing me and judging me. I am very sorry my Hong Kong friends but this is how Filipino fans party hard to Owl City.
Watching Owl City live once again, being there upfront, singing each song by heart brought out the memories of the 2011 concert. Owl City, live really gives off that kind of vibe where in you feel yourself lost in that moment of pure joy. As always, their performance was breathtakingly perfect. The only sad moment was when they had to say good bye. I always love how Owl City is generous when singing off at concerts because their set-list goes as high as 21. It still wasn’t enough for me but that’s part of the thrill.
I know I may sound like a cynic or so but as much as I greatly enjoyed the concert, it’s still not the same without Owl City PH. Oh my dear HK friends, I love you and how you sing off (and memorize some) to Owl City songs but my heart is with my Filipino fan community. You know, half of the experience is sharing that glorious feeling with the people who were with you since day one, people whom you know feels exactly the same way in the same environment. I guess it’s really true that “it’s not the same without you, dear OCPH” ♫
*Btw, we met some HK fans too!*
Also, I am truly happy that I made friends already with the Owl City band. I don’t know if we’re really friends but it meant the world to me to meet them. I love you to the moon and back Bre, Dan, Jas and Gabe!
The night ended and we had to head back home. I will never forget how much this trip is meaningful and special. First thought upon boarding the plane was running up to my bed and writing at my diary that I can check off my priority bucket list goal: WATCH OWL CITY LIVE ABROAD. TWO WORDS: WORTH IT. I feel immensely blessed and lucky to have experienced this and I still cannot believe that it has actually happened. People say that I am crazy for actually doing this and some say how much a dedicated fan I am.
Well I am crazy, I am dedicated and I might have just been a dreamer. 🙂
Next time, I will meet you there. (I mean it)