They started in 2006 but I only met them in 2009. Back then 2NE1, a now popular Korean girl group, just released their first music video, which was Lollipop. Sandara Park, who was an actress in the Philippines, was part of that group and she was the reason I got interested in watching the MV. Part of the MV was another Korean group comprised of 5 guys, who looked very fashionable and fun with their colorful get-up and stunning voice. They call themselves Big Bang.
Although I was in to Korean Wave then, I was never an avid supporter of Korean Pop music because I was more into dramas and movies. However Big Bang attracted me with their catchy songs, dynamic musical style, over-the-top fashion and energetic live performance. I started listening to their songs and even TRIED to memorize them that it became the only music that I play on my mp3 player.
Although a fan, I consider myself a newbie because I am not active in learning more about the group. Honestly I used to think that Daesung was Seungri and Seungri was Deasung. I also do not know Tabbi, Panda, and even their real names (just learned them early this year). Compared to other fans, I never memorized their songs, but only hummed on the catchy parts. But still I listen to them every time.
They are the only musicians that I follow so I was very happy when I found out that Philippines was part of their 1st World Tour. So in October 24, my dream of meeting them in person finally came true when I finally secured a ticket to watch the concert with my sister.
Of course the fun of becoming a fan is not complete without stalking your favourite boy band and bias. That is why I (together with my friends) went to the airport to give them a warm Filipino welcome. Too bad they never received it because their stay at the airport was so quick compared to the hours we waited for them.
Second opportunity to see them up close was the hotel where they were supposed to be staying. Rumors circulated that the group will stay at Midas. So we went there and waited… for hours… until it was already dark… until my parents were already calling me to go home. The second try was another failure because they actually stayed in Shangrila Edsa.
Never underestimate a fan because a fan never stops trying until he gets what he wants. In my case, I still went to Shangri-la the next day to meet the boys. However they opt to go to Tagaytay with Sandara Park (who came for a vacation), and missed my love call to wait for me. I still waited for them to come back… but they were still very elusive that I skipped dinner and went home at 1:00 am the next day.
To prove you how bored I was waiting, here are some photos I took in Shangri-la hotel:
I never once saw them up close. Hearing all the stories of my fellow VIP’s, who saw them, made me feel regretful of the opportunities that I missed. At least I had the tickets to watch their concert.
The concert was 8 pm but I was there 10 am to get the official merchandise specifically the crown stick. I had to buy 5 crown sticks because my sister, her friends and my friends asked me to buy it for them. After that I fell in line with my friend and waited. It was actually fun being with fellow VIP’s because they were all spazzing over pictures, standees and posters of their biases. So what more when actual music videos were played right? They were all screaming and singing along. It was like a concert without Big Bang in the flesh. It was nice actually because it builds anticipation- and I also get to practice the fan chant.
Waiting for almost 10 hours was fine with me until the line actually started moving. But earlier, I went out of the line because as per the security of MOA arena, those that have guaranteed seats do not have to fall in line any more. But when we tried to enter the Arena, we were asked to fall in line again, right when there were already so many people ahead of us. To think that I was there 10 hours earlier! THE CROWD CONTROL IN MOA ARENA WAS REALLY POOR. They could not handle the huge numbers of VIP’s who came earlier than 8 pm so it took long before we came out of the line, only to find out that another line is waiting for us. And only to be disappointed to know that we do not really have to fall in line! Some people were just coming in without enduring the heat and noise in the sea (line) of mad people where we just came. The concert was 10 minutes gone when we were ushered on our seats. We were right on time but I felt bad for other VIP’s who missed two to three songs because of the lousy crowd management.
Setting bad memory aside, I was really happy seeing my favorite Korean boy band dancing and singing in front of me. I forgot all the wasted time and effort that I did stalking them because this show was like the highlight of my life. I get to see them live; saying lez go, wazzup, yow, salamat and mahal ko kayo towards the Filipino crowd. I was actually surprised that the stage was very close to where I was and I felt close to them like the concert was made personal for me to feel their appreciation for my support.
Summarizing the events in the concert neither mentioning its best parts is very hard because the whole concert was very memorable for me. But kudos to my fellow Big Bang fans for making the concert livelier because of their chants, screams, and energy made the whole concert experience more enjoyable.
Honestly I got teary eyed watching Big Bang giving all their energy and talent to entertain us. It made me realize that my three years of following their success as the essence of fashion and music in Korea and around the world was worth it. Maybe I am still newbie for not following them since 2007 but 5 years, 10 years from now, I know that I will still be a VIP and forever will be.