One OK Rock Live in Manila!!!

I traveled for more than 12 hours, ran like I was being chased by zombies, endured hunger and thirst, paid the cab driver double the fare just to get me to the arena on time… did not get a wink of sleep on the bus, experienced chills and a terrible headache… was almost late for work… BUT IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!!! One of the most epic and unforgettable concerts for me. If I could, I would do it all over again just to hear the fans’ screams and cheers, feel the adrenaline rush, listen to Taka’s awesome voice and see the band rock it out on stage.

 

Undeniably one of the best things coming out of Japan, the band, One OK Rock, consists of Takahiro Moriuchi on vocals, Toru Yamashita on guitar, Ryota Kohama on bass and Tomoya Kanki on drums. These four amazingly talented guys totally rocked the whole Mall Of Asia Arena last January 19, 2016. It would go down in my history ( as a music fan) as one of the most phenomenal and exciting concerts I’ve ever attended. With the release of their full English album, 35xxxv, there is no stopping these lads from taking over the entire globe. The concert was just freakin’ fantastic from start to finish. There was never a boring or ho-hum time!

[FANCAM] One Ok Rock Live in Manila - Clock Strikes.mp4_000127240

So, I mentioned in my blog about them before that I’m not really a big fan. But after this concert, I AM NOW A HUGE fan. I even felt ashamed when they sang a few songs that the whole crowd seemed to know the lyrics to and I was just standing there awkwardly, not knowing a line of it. But then again, I’m a new fan, so go easy on me guys. 🙂

If you must know, I was a bit hesitant about going to their concert because it was on a TUESDAY night. I mean, come on, people. Who decides these stuff? Recently, I’ve missed far too many concerts because they were on a WEEKDAY. Like, WTF concert organizers?! Students need to go to school and working people like me need to go to work! The biggest dilemma was the fact that the concert was held at the MOA Arena in Pasay and I live a good 6 to 7 hours away from Manila. I live in the City of Pines, Baguio City. Luckily, there is now a “deluxe bus” from my city to Manila, which would take a route with less traffic and it has no stopovers, so it’s faster than the regular bus. It would take about 4-5 hours, instead of the usual 6-7 hours. The next predicament is the fact that I have work until 2 PM and the concert is at 8 PM. So I have to figure out a way to get to the arena before 8 PM, or at exactly 8 PM. It was just impossible, I thought. So I booked a Joybus ticket which left my city at 3 PM. I was still calm through the first half of the trip. But when the clock struck 6 and I was still nowhere near SM North (where I planned to get off and take the North Avenue MRT to Taft), I started praying. Like, really. I never pray. Just so you know. Adding fuel to the fire is the heavy rush hour traffic and the bus taking a different route than I expected. So while we were stuck in traffic at Mindanao Ave., I saw the MRT station from afar, a good 20 minutes away on foot. I made a split decision to just go for it. I got off the bus and ran for my life. I ran like I’ve never run before. It took me about 10 minutes to get to the MRT. It was already 10 minutes to 8 PM by then. I was a bit euphoric when 8 PM came and my friends, who were already inside the arena, texted me and told me that it hasn’t started yet. I reached the MRT Taft station after about 20 minutes. I ran for my life again and flagged the first cab that I saw. I told the driver I would pay him extra if he could get to the MOA arena fast. And he did. I arrived at the arena at exactly 8:30, out of breath and my heart pumping wildly in my chest. That’s when I heard the screams of fans and the beat of the drums. Good thing we got Lower Box tickets, so I only had to take the escalator to the 2nd floor. The moment I stepped inside the arena, Taka sang the first line of “Take Me To The Top”!!!

 

[FANCAM] One Ok Rock Live In Manila - Decision   Suddenly.mp4_000000652

The triple headbang

The first thing that left me flabbergasted was how close we were to the stage! I mean, my friend bought the tickets and I had no idea where our seats were. I didn’t care. I just wanted to be in the same arena as these awesome guys. Out of all the concerts I’ve been to, so far, this was the closest I’ve been to the stage. I didn’t zoom in when I took pictures and videos with my phone’s camera. Now… I promised myself (during The 1975’s concert) that I wouldn’t take too many pictures and videos and I would just “live in the moment”. BUT I COULDN’T! Especially when they kept on singing one song after the other! I was on my feet the whole time. I could only sit down for about 30 seconds before they started playing another one of their incredible songs. It was probably the most exhausting and energy-draining concert I’ve attended. But then again, it’s a ROCK concert, so I’m supposed to jump up and down, sing my lungs out and throw my fist up in the air the whole time.

 

Credit: Rappler.com

The band never failed to keep us on our feet: frenzied and pumped up for 2 hours. Even when they were singing their Japanese songs, the crowd was still singing along and cheering wildly.

Credit: Rappler.com

I honestly don’t know how many times I’ve told my friends how incredible Taka’s voice was. There was no other way to describe the quality of his vocal performance. It was breathtaking and extraordinary! He was so hyperactive; running around, jumping up and down, screaming, headbanging, doing some kind of pirouettes and yet, he didn’t show any signs of fatigue or even getting slightly winded! He would belt out their songs effortlessly – like he does it in his sleep!

Toru and Ryota didn’t miss any of the action too. They were also all over the stage, playing the hell out of their guitars, eliciting loud cheers and applause from the fans. The drummer, Tomo, was kinda short so his drum set was blocking him from our view, but I could totally see him banging hard on those drums like his life depended on it.

 Credit: Rappler.com

The marvelous “sea of lights” during their ballad song, “Heartache”, was moving. I just loved that everyone momentarily stopped recording with their cameras and just waved their phones up in the air as one. It was beautiful. He sang the Japanese version and was touched when the crowd actually sang along to it. I liked how he kept on putting his hand to his chest to show how touched and grateful he was.

Taka was the only one speaking in English, with only a slight hint of his Japanese accent. He never failed to amaze me with his showmanship and confidence when he was on stage. It’s astonishing how someone so small (actually they all looked tiny on stage ^^) could command the crowd and release a litany of “F” words like a boss.

 

Credit: Rappler.com

Taka jumped like he’s telling gravity to “go on and fuck yourself” (a line from my favorite song “Memories”).

The crowd totally went bananas when he sang “The Beginning” – the theme song of the first Rurouni Kenshin live action movie. It was followed by the theme song to another Rurouni Kenshin movie, “Mighty Long Fall”.

2016119214856

Just when I thought it was over, of course, they came out after a few minutes for the ENCORE part! Prior to that, we were all screaming “WE WANT MORE!!!” So when Taka and the boys came out, Taka was like “You want more?! Me too.” Haha!

The best part for me was the ending when all four guys, sweaty and out of breath, came forward, held hands, raised them together and went for a 90-degree bow. And it was the LONGEST AND DEEPEST BOW that I have ever seen in my life. I’m sure everyone in that arena felt their heartwarming gratitude.

 

 Credit: Rappler.com

I promised myself that I would watch every single concert that they would have in my country no matter what. Nothing can stop me. I don’t care about the distance, the time, the day and even the weather. I started listening to this band just because I was kind of into Japanese music then. But now, I can proudly say that I am not just a fan, I respect them as artists.

2016119214845

Setlist

3xxxv5

Take Me to the Top

Memories

Deeper Deeper

Stuck in the Middle

Clock Strikes

Last Dance

Cry Out

Heartache

Decision

Suddenly

The Beginning

Mighty Long Fall

Encore:

Wherever You Are

Kanzen Kankaku Dreamer

No Scared

EDIT! My friend has finally uploaded her BETTER fan cams… So here are a couple:

Decision (end part) + Suddenly 

Taka’s AMAZING vocals in “Clock Strikes”

The best fan cam of “Heartache”

CREDITS: The good and high quality pics are of course NOT MINE. LOL. The crappy ones are mine. All credits go to RAPPLER.COM

“The 1975” mania in Manila

“We are bigger in this country than in our own country.” — Matthew Healy 2015125234919

Those were the humbled words of the vocalist of the English Indie rock band, The 1975. And it was one of the most memorable moments for me. I was there. I finally saw them live, performing on stage, in a huge arena packed with screaming fans. I was one of those screaming fans. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now. It was just one of those moments that would leave you speechless; often smiling from ear to ear whenever you remember a snippet of what happened that night, even though you are in a public place and you look like a fool. To be honest, I am not a hardcore 1975 fan. My friend introduced their music to me and I gave it a try. I didn’t even Google them to see what they looked like. I listened to the album and I instantly liked it. It was, of course, a delight to find out, when I finally Googled them, that they were not some long-haired, bearded dudes who were born in 1975. LOL! I can’t say that I keep up-to-date with everything about them and I don’t Google them that much. I didn’t even bother refreshing my ‘playlist’ memory by listening to their whole album. I would just occasionally hear their songs on my phone, whenever I’m “sound tripping”. I didn’t memorize the lyrics to all their songs, I only know some lines here and there. But of course I subconsciously memorized “Settle Down” and “Chocolate”, coz I’ve listened to them so many times. I actually went to one of their mall shows last year. Unfortunately, I was too far from the stage and since it was a free event, there were like a bazillion of fans there. I was a bit disappointed in myself. I should have gone earlier. Anyway… going back to the concert… a series of unfortunate events happened before the concert. First, after hanging out with my high school friend at the mall, thinking I have all the time in the world, I realized that my phone’s battery was down to 38%. I don’t own a power bank, so unless I’m not planning to take pictures and videos of the concert, then I have to go back to my brother’s house and recharge my phone’s battery. So I hurried back home at around 6:30 PM and immediately recharged my phone. My friend and I decided to meet before 7 PM, but I figured that there was no need to hurry coz, like every other concert that I’ve attended, there would be a delay in the schedule and they’re gonna have an opening act or something. I didn’t anticipate the line at the MRT and of course the traffic from Taft Station to the Mall Of Asia Arena. At around 8:10 PM, my friend texted me and told me she was gonna go in na, she’ll just come out to give me my ticket. I was in full panic mode then. I didn’t want to miss even a minute of the concert! That ticket cost me 2000 pesos! And what if they sang “Settle Down” or “Chocolate” first?! I had never ran so fast in my life. I didn’t bother saying sorry to whoever I bumped into along the way. I just bulldozed my way out of the crowd. I so wanted to scream at the jeepney driver and tell him to step on it. I arrived at the arena at almost 8:30 PM. Like I predicted, the concert hadn’t started yet. So I met my friend, we went it, bought some bottled water, went up to the second floor and was about to go up to the third and then fourth floor (coz that’s where our seats were located) when all of a sudden a horde of shrieking fans came running down the escalators. They started lining up in front of the Lower Box doors. My friend and I were a bit perplexed for a second, but we calmly followed them and lined up too. It was too crowded and there was a lot of pushing so we decided to get out of there. While everyone else was still running around and screaming like mad people, my friend and I were just strolling around and checking things out. We then realized that they were allowing everyone to go down one level/floor. We walked to the nearest Lower Box door, showed our Upper Box tickets and VOILA — we were in! JUST LIKE THAT! It was sooooooooooo amazing! I was squealing and jumping up and down and hitting my friend on the arm! That was how ecstatic and stoked I was. I just couldn’t believe we went down TWO FLOORS! We found some seats on the left side of the stage and we had a clear view of it. I was just so giddy with excitement, especially when I saw where we were supposed to be seated.

2015124204646Our view of the stage 🙂

2015124204653

So the concert started, they hit it off with “The City” and everyone automatically got up on their feet and just started jumping, waving their hands up and down and screaming their lungs out. Including me. Haha! George, the drummer, entered HALF-NAKED. He had no freaking shirt on!!! My friend and I figured he learned his lesson from his last visit in Manila, when they performed under the scorching sun and had to douse themselves with cold afterwards. Haha! Matty was wearing that cute flowery, Hawaiian-ish polo shirt and some ripped skinny jeans that emphasizes his REALLY SKINNY LEGS. Everything was a blur for me. I just couldn’t believe I was finally seeing them and I was CLOSER to the stage than I thought I would be. 🙂 I told myself I would concentrate on the performance and I would refrain from taking pictures and videos. I said I would only take one video and I chose “Settle Down” coz that’s my favorite song. ^^ I said I would leave everything to my hippocampus. But I just couldn’t help it! Even though my phone’s camera is not so HQ and well, yeah, it sucks. I couldn’t even find the ZOOM function so my pictures and videos looked like they were taken from the 4th floor. Haha! Anyway, my friend has the better videos so I’ll probably post them here once she finished uploading them. When they played “Settle Down” the crowd just went bananas! I, for one, started jumping and dancing and making some crazy gestures with my hands. I actually went into a coughing fit after screaming too much. Haha! Matty entered the stage with a bottle of wine, which he gulped down like water. And he would pause every now and then for a quick puff of his cigarette too. I was actually just waiting for him to do drugs on stage. Hahaha! Kidding aside, even though he was slurring his words (coz he was obviously tipsy and getting drunk by the minute) he gave some really touching and fangirl-shriek-inducing adlibs. I’m not sure if he kinda loses his British accent when he gets drunk, but we completely understood everything that he said! I mean, compared to that Trinoma mall show last year where I only understood a few sentences. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the crappy sound system then… needless to say, he was much easier to understand when he’s hammered. XD These are some of the memorable stuff that he said during the concert. It’s not verbatim coz my hippocampus, like my camera, also sucks. Haha!

Matty: This is a big room but I can see everyone. Listen to me… We’re all here. You guys are here… All the people on the Internet are not here. That’s just logical… For one song, I want to connect with you… I want everybody for one song, put your phones away… *points somewhere to his left side* I can see your phone over there! Put your phone away! 

Hahahaha! Actually, this particular moment reminded me of Bruno Mars’s concert last March. Everyone in the VIP area were holding up their phones, recording the whole show and taking pictures so Bruno was like “Hey, put your phones down and just dance with me!” Well, that’s the power of smart phones. It makes us blind, deaf and mute at the same time. We miss out on the good stuff because we are always on our phones. We don’t talk to each other while having lunch or dinner with family and friends, we send emojis instead of saying ‘hi’ in person, we don’t even look at people in the eye because we’re too busy looking down on our phone’s screen. It’s the sad reality of our modern society… BUT, I’m not here to preach. Haha! I guess Bruno and Matt both felt the same thing. They wanted the fans to see them IN PERSON, LIVE, not through the screen of their smart phones. 2015124205948 The fans were very compliant. One by one, all those tiny lights were gone until the only lights were the ones on stage. It was kinda moving… at first. Haha! Eventually, those itchy hands went back to their phones and started recording and taking pictures again. 10432098_10152730525868212_8697104953318905308_n Another epic line from Matty: “This is a big fucking place, I’m really tired. It’s so fucking hard to get from there, all the way over here. It’s a fucking nightmare.” Hahaha! He kept on running around the stage during the performance and because he was hammered, he felt exhausted after a while. LOL. There was this part when he was playing the piano and started singing a song, which I have no idea what the title was, and it was supposed to be a solemn and silent moment. We were all quiet already, most of us even put away our phones again. But there were these four annoying teenage girls, right above us, who kept on screaming and shrieking and calling out to Matthew. The whole arena already noticed them and we were all SHUSHING them, but they were thick-skinned and shameless. They just didn’t get it. I was a bit pissed off. I mean, I don’t wanna judge them but they really seemed like one of those irritating, uneducated fans who don’t really appreciate the music, they were only there to fawn over the boys. Okay, we get it, you’re so stoked about being there but try to get a hint, girls. Everyone’s fucking SHUSHING you, so shut the hell up. I swear, while Matty was singing this really calm and mellow song, they just kept on screaming incoherent stuff. Finally, Matty stopped singing and said “I want you to be quiet for this one…” So we were all like “SHUSH!!!”, and all the shushes went to those pesky, unruly girls. But Matty was like, “But remember, shushing is louder than talking so…” Hahahaha! He was just so adorable! matty

 Matty pics from my crappy cam ^^

Before leaving the stage, George gave us a FULL FRONTAL VIEW… of his ABS GALORE. ^__^ He went to bow in the middle of the stage and then threw his drum sticks to the crowd. Of course, Matty was the last one to leave. He was definitely wasted by the end, he was swaying from left to right and he couldn’t walk straight. LOL! Then he decided he was the KING OF THE WORLD~ so he stood up on one of George’s drums, with his back to the crowd, and made that KING OF THE WORLD gesture… then he jumped back down. The only problem was, he didn’t land awesomely on his two feet…  he fell flat on his butt! LOL! Poor boy. XD I was still on cloud nine even after I got back home. Although my videos were crappy and my pictures were blurred, my hippocampus kept on replaying the events of the night over and over again. I rode the bus home and these three girls sitting behind me were spazzing about the concert too. Haha! Of course, I eavesdropped on their conversation and I made a lot of snide remarks and comments… in my head. XD There was a time when I almost turned around and joined in their conversation. They were talking about how not all of the people who watched the concert were REAL FANS. They said most of them only know “Chocolate” and “Girls” and they felt that it was so unfair because before The 1975 got this famous, they (the girls) were the only ones among their friends and acquaintances who ‘knew’ the band and who liked ALL of their songs. They memorized the lyrics by heart and they knew EVERY SINGLE song that the band released. So they were sort of claiming dibs on the band, saying it’s annoying that they got famous now and everyone knows them. While listening to their conversation, I was smiling to myself. I wanted to tell them “Been there, done that”. Hahaha! If I had a dollar for every time I think about that same exact sentiment, I’d be able to buy a VIP ticket to the next concert by now. XP Like I said earlier, I’m not a hardcore fan. I listened to the album about five or six times then I chose a handful of songs that I like and put it on my phone. That’s it. Before, I thought these so-called fans are annoying because they keep on thinking they know everything about the band. So if I don’t know their full name, age, height, weight, eye color, fave dish, underwear preference, name of their parents, number of siblings, number of past girlfriends, then I cannot call myself a ‘FAN’?! Can’t I just be a fan who appreciates their music; someone who likes some of their songs more than the others? Can’t I just be someone who just wanted to see them perform live and show them my support?  Am I not a ‘fan’ just because I don’t Google them every day, memorize all the words to their songs, keep up-to-date with their recent gigs, mall shows and fan meets or stalk them on Twitter and Facebook? What exactly constitutes a ‘fan’? I’m not gonna be a hypocrite because I used to be that ‘kind’ of fan. I hated those who only knew one or two songs from the album and who had no idea where each band member was born. It was ridiculous and stupid. We all have different ways of showing our love and support for our fave bands and singers. So, it doesn’t really matter how or why you became a ‘fan’, what’s important is YOU ARE A FAN in your own way. 🙂

Blue Moon in Manila: A dream come true ~

I’m proud to say that I have seen CN BLUE perform live before I die. Or before they disband. Whichever comes first. XD One of my dreams finally came true. I was one of the first few people who actually ‘noticed’ and liked this band way before. My blog over at Multiply is a strong proof of that. At that time, a certain Jung Yonghwa joined the cast of the Korean drama ‘You’re Beautiful’ and I immediately Googled him. I found out that he was in this indie band called CN BLUE, who was under FNC – FT Island‘s entertainment agency. I watched a fancam of them performing Now Or Never in Japan and I instantly liked it. I love bands so it was only a matter of time before I got obsessed with them. I searched every nook and cranny of the world wide web for pictures, info and videos of them, which, at that time was sort of like an EXTRA CHALLENGE. Since they haven’t debuted in Korea yet, and they were just performing on the streets of Shibuya or Shinjuku, it was not that easy to find stuff about them. I was a fan back when their bassist was not yet Jungshin – it was a cute, effeminate dude named Kwon Kwangjin. That’s why I never liked Jungshin coz Kwangjin was my fave member and how would you feel if your fave member gets replaced all of a sudden? Just when they finally debuted in Korea…  😦

image

Anyway, I watched these guys grow into what they are now. Haha! That sounds like I’m their mom or manager or sth. But, really. I liked them during those times that they were still lacking and they were not perfect. The times when they all had longish hair and they all looked like the striving rock band that they were… I liked them when nobody paid that much attention to them as a BAND. Because I know that people started noticing Yonghwa ever since his drama. I liked the BAND more than Yonghwa. I invested time and effort for them. I would diligently listen to their songs, watch their performances, read articles about them.

image

image

I admit though, that a year or so after they debuted in Korea – when they became main stream — I kinda lost track of everything. Of course I still saw them perform in music shows, watched their radio and variety show guesting. I still downloaded their singles and albums (yeah, I know that a true fan should BUY the original copy, whatever XP)… I watched Yonghwa’s We Got Married and fell in love with the YONGSEO couple… I still supported them in any way that I can… but something changed…. I dunno if it’s just me. Their music changed. I mean, of course it did. When they became main stream, they lost the “spark”. They lost  the “fire”… IMO. I still liked them but I didn’t like ALL of their songs na. 😦 It made me feel bad coz I’m supposed to be a SUPER FAN or whatever. I just lost interest eventually…

image

image

I was still aware of their hit songs and I still listened to their albums. But I wasn’t that hooked anymore. It was just NOT the same. 😦 I felt guilty when my friends started knowing MORE about them than I did. I was not updated anymore… But then the news of their concert in the Philippines started floating around. That’s when the SPARK came back. It has always been my dream to see them perform LIVE. I already saw FT ISLAND in a concert before and that was just PRICELESS. Seeing CN BLUE is another dream come true for me. Never in a million years did I think that I would get to see them in the flesh.

image

UNFORTUNATELY, a week before the concert, I went on a 4-day trip to Singapore with my friends. So my plan of buying the MOST EXPENSIVE tickets for the BLUE MOON concert was thwarted. 😦 BUT, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. I told myself that no matter what happens – even if I don’t have anything to eat anymore, even if I go broke, I would NEVER miss this concert. I bought the cheapest concert, which was the UPPERBOX B section – not bad actually… at least it wasn’t GEN AD. They didn’t open the GEN AD section, for some reason… but on the day of the concert, at around 12 noon, I think, they finally opened it coz more fans wanted to see them. 🙂

image

Originally, a handful of my friends told me they’re gonna watch it too. But as the concert date came, they all backed out, one by one… until only ONE friend was left to watch it with me. I don’t really care. I watched the FT ISLAND concert by myself so I think I can survive the CN BLUE concert alone too. ^_^ But it was still great that my friend decided to come with me. 🙂

So! Enough about my history with CN BLUE… let’s talk about the concert.

I thought I wouldn’t be able to see them properly since my seat was the farthest (without the Gen Ad) and it was on the Jungshin side, meaning the right side – as in FAR right. Surprisingly, when I got there, it was okay. I mean, I could only see their faces properly on the huge LCD screen but they were NOT that tiny on stage. I could make out their movements and gestures 🙂

image

The moment they stepped on stage, the whole stadium went gaga! Of course, I screamed my lungs out. By the end of the concert I actually LOST my voice and that’s a feat since I had never lost my voice in my entire life. Haha! I had to stay up throughout most of the concert coz the two girls in front of me were too perky and enthusiastic – they never sat down. I couldn’t see properly if I just sit down since they were blocking the view of the stage. Ugh. Anyway, can’t really blame them… they were just overzealous fans. XD

130615 CNBLUE BLUE MOON in Manila set list: 

1. Where You Are – It was a fantastic opening song. It totally pumped up the crowd. I couldn’t sing along that much though, coz I forgot the lyrics. Haha!

image

2. Get Away – I think I heard this song from their album but I couldn’t quite remember it at that time. ^^ It was catchy and very upbeat though, that I had no problems banging my head to it.

3. One Time – Ah ha! Finally! A song that I actually listened to more than enough times. I still have it on my phone too. One of their better songs.

image

4. 나란 남자 (Naran namja) – Another vaguely familiar song. Haha. Can’t remember which album though… but I know that I’ve heard it before. 🙂

image

5. Coffee shop  – One of my fave performances! This was where Yonghwa’s FAMOUS SHOULDER DANCE started! Hahaha! It was just hilarious! He was so hyperactive in this perf and he was really ‘feeling’ it. XD

6. Have A Good Night – I have no idea. Haha. I guess I only listened to this once so I couldn’t remember that much. ^^;;

7. Wake Up – I like this one! It was my first time hearing it but I instantly liked it. During the perf, they showed the lyrics on the screen so we could sing along. The lyrics were good too.

image

8. Love Light – THIS!!! It reminds me so much of the YongSeo couple!!! T_T And OMG Jonghyun’s voice here… so lovely and heart melting!!!

9. Feeling – I think I finally sat down during this perf. Haha. I tried to calm myself down a bit and just enjoyed listening to the music. 🙂

10. These Days (Kor. version) – Familiar… but I can’t say I’ve listened to it more than once.

11. Y, Why (Korean Version) – I love Jungshin’s powerful rap here! Okay, so he is kinda cool when he raps. 🙂

image

12. 라라라 (LaLaLa) – The start of what Yonghwa called ‘DSM’ – Dark Sexy Metal… I have no idea what he was talking about. Hahaha! I love this one. It was hardcore rock! Jonghyun was like, banging his beautiful, soft hair around and everyone was going wild. Minhyuk was hitting his drums like there’s no tomorrow… Yonghwa and Jungshin were having a cool guitar face-off. Haha!

image

image

^ Jonghyun’s yummy, milky white biceps~~~

13. Just Please (Korean Version) – Another one of my faves. I like the English version and I memorized that one so I was singing along, in English. LOL.

14. Tattoo – Yonghwa’s vocals were just AMAZING!!! Like, WOW.

image

15. In My Head (Korean Version) – Another head-banging, rock on perf! I think this was where I lost my voice. Hahaha!

16. IntuitionMY FAVORITE SONG EVER!!!!!!!! I was looking forward to their performance of this! I just love everything about this song – the beat, melody, lyrics, rhythm — everything! I was practically jumping up and down while they were playing this!

image

17. I’m A Loner – Classic. Of course everyone sang along to this. I mean, who doesn’t know the lyrics to this song? Like, seriously. My throat really hurt from all the screaming but I still sang along to this.

image

18. I’m Sorry – This was another one of those hilarious performances. Yonghwa was just doing his crazy shoulder dance and we were cracking up so much. He was dancing like there’s no tomorrow! Hahaha! And he even told us that he IS the best dancer in CN Blue. LOL. Okay, fine, Yonghwa. Your shoulder dance is the best. Hahahaha!

After this, they went for a break and I was able to rest my legs and my voice. Haha! I have to say that I was impressed because they did not require a translator. Yonghwa and Jungshin both entertained the crowd and tried their best to communicate with the few English phrases and sentences that they know. They even made an effort of memorizing some Filipino sentences and words like ‘Kumusta kayo?‘, ‘Masaya ba kayo?‘, ‘Mahal kita‘, ‘Sabay sabay’,’Nagugutom ako‘. LOL. Moreover, their English might be broken but it was tolerable and understandable. Especially for an ESL Tutor like me. ^^ Minhyuk talked a bit too but he was the one that I did not understand that much. The crowd was too noisy and he was speaking a bit softly.

image

image

As a fan, I think it’s very important that these K-POP groups try to communicate in English, no matter how difficult it is. The concert went smoothly and without delay because they handled the crowd pretty well. I bet it would’ve went on longer and kinda draggy if they brought in a translator. Besides, it was funnier if they say it themselves. I read and heard that some thought Yonghwa and Jungshin hogged the show and gave too much FAN SERVICE. Come on people. They ARE idols. That’s what they do – that’s what they get paid for – to provide fan service. It’s not like you didn’t like it. So Yonghwa kept on saying ‘Mahal kita Philippine!‘, it’s just part of the show. It might not come straight from the heart or whatever but at least he tried his best to express his feelings.

image

Jungshin, on the other hand… He talked a lot and I think he was able to entertain the crowd better than anyone in the group. He was just hilarious. I never really liked him but after the concert, I now understand why a lot of fans like him. Once you see him perform, you will know. This kid got personality. He knew how to tease the crowd. He interacted with the crowd. He provided great fan service. So yeah, I was pretty impressed. Although he just kept on saying ‘FANTASTIC’ and ‘THIS IS ROCKING’ XD He was able to entertain me. 🙂

image

image

Jonghyun WAS ONE HELL OF A SEXY GUITAR GOD!!! I swear! Every time he appeared on the screen we all lost our minds. Hahaha! His hair was so soft and shiny and every time he flipped it, I just melted. He was often shown on screen whenever he did his solo guitar moments, which, btw, totally ROCKED!!! Even from afar, we could totally see his MILKY WHITE skin!!! He was glowing under those lights! And those biceps!!! Damn! Sadly, he didn’t talk that much. Not sure if he was just shy, if he can’t speak English as well as the others or if he’s just not in the mood. I could barely remember anything memorable that he said. 😦 A friend of my friend told me he was also like that during the Press Conference at Megamall. He was awfully quiet. He was actually my second fave member, next to Minhyuk… Some of his fans were disheartened and frustrated that he didn’t speak that much. I think that’s just his ‘image’. He’s always been the quiet, brooding, man-of-few-words type ever since. And when he’s on stage, he’s a ROCKER. The only thing that exists when he’s on stage is his guitar. ^^

image

image

As for Minhyuk, I was quite disappointed coz I couldn’t see his “physical body” from my seat. 😦 He was blocked by those huge LCD screens… so I only got to see him on that screen. Still, he was better than Jonghyun coz he actually talked. He talked about lechon and jeepneys. Haha! He was the one who said ‘Nagugutom ako’. Haha! This kid is so adorable!!! My heart skipped a beat every time he bangs on those drums. It was just soooo cool!

Encore 

1. Hey You – Another song that got the crowd dancing and grooving. I can’t remember the lyrics to this one so I just nodded along with a goofy smile on my face. Hahaha!

image

2. Love Girl – Eeeehhh~ Another song that is reminiscent of the YongSeo couple!!! It was so cute coz the camera  caught a handful of YONGSEO placards and fan signs in the crowd… ^^

image

3. Impromptu song – This cracked me up so much! It showed how versatile Yonghwa is. He could just make up lyrics or sing whatever he wants to say – in English and it still sounded awesome. He introduced the next song and he said something about it being the OST of the drama Heartstrings. Then he started cracking up. I guess he realized how hilarious he was. XD

image

4. You’ve Fallen Into Me – NEON NAEGE BAN HAESSO, BAN HAESSO!!! Of course everyone sang along to this! Heartstrings was one of my fave dramas and it has one of the best OST too! 🙂

image

5. Love – This was where the confusion started. Before the song, Jungshin and Yonghwa were saying something like ‘Put your hands up LEFT!’ and ‘Put your hands up RIGHT!’ So we all raised our left and right hands simultaneously. But they said ‘NO’. We were doing it wrong. Haha! What they meant was, the left side should put their hands up when YOnghwa gives the signal and the right side should do the same when Jungshin gives the signal. But it was still confusing so when the right side, OUR SIDE, raised our hands together with the left side, Jungshin mocked anger and was like, ‘NO, NO, NO! We are RIGHT. Okay?‘ Hahaha! It was so cute! When we finally understood what they want, Yonghwa proceeded to making us look like fools by repeating whatever he said. Hahaha! He made some combination of LOVE LOVE LOVE and CLAP CLAP CLAP and we had to repeat it fast. Hahaha! It was so fun! In the end, he just laughed and he couldn’t stop. I swear he was so amused.

image

6. Try Again, Smile again – This was just the PERFECT ENDING SONG. I love this song because it’s very encouraging. I listen to it when I feel down. It’s very uplifting and it tells you never to give up on your dreams. Never stop trying AND smiling. 🙂 I guess it’s the song that signifies CN BLUE’s career – all the hardships, the ups and downs and the success.

(Set List Credit: @HannahCa9989)

It was the kind of concert that left me wanting more by the end of it. I still couldn’t believe I actually saw them perform. Maybe next time I would even get a chance to see them UP CLOSE. 🙂 I just need to prepare for that. Of course I would love to see them again. I would never stop being a fan. After that concert, I can now proudly say that I AM A CN BLUE FAN. I don’t just like one or two members, I don’t just like their music, I LIKE THEM AS CN BLUE – as a band. That would never ever change. 🙂

These guys are very talented – there’s no doubt about that. They are not just good-looking or funny, they can PLAY their instruments and they can perform well – LIVE. They really worked hard to get where they are. They did not take any shortcuts. They were thrown in a foreign country, which tested their survival skills and ability to adapt to the music scene. They studied the Japanese language, they risked getting incarcerated (and I think they did get thrown in jail once XD) by performing out in the streets of Japan, they lived in a small dormitory and they left their families and friends in Korea. So for all the haters and those who still don’t believe in their talent (saying that they are NOT a band, etc.) – you should see them live, in a concert, before you judge them.

Of course I took a picture with the standees afterwards. The fans surrounding the Jonghyun and Junshin standees were RABID. It was so difficult to get a chance to take a picture coz some of them seemed to be deliberating on kidnapping the standees. Hahaha!

The Minhyuk fans were better coz they were behaved and they did not have their claws on the standee. They gave each other some space while taking pics too. XD It was also difficult to take a pic of JS too. We had to do it in two secs or else, someone might drag him away from us XD

My friend and I couldn’t get anywhere NEAR Yonghwa. The fans were like forming a barricade around him. LOL. But my friend was able to take a picture of Minhyuk with Yonghwa photo bombing him XD

CREDITS: The clear and good shots were NOT MINE of course. I only own the blurred and far far away shots. LOL. Credits go to all the owners, I got it from CNBLUE FB 

A couple of pics were from santayo.ph

My Wicked Weekend in Singapore

It was indeed the WICKED-est weekend I’ve ever had in my entire 25 years of life on earth! Three of my dreams came true while I was in Singapore. I’m still spazzing like a crazy fangirl right now. It was such a great adventure and experience for me and it still seemed so surreal.

First, I was able to travel to another country. That was such an accomplishment for someone like me – an independent young woman in her early 20s who’s living away from her family and who’s only been working for merely 2 and half years. Moreover, I barely have 20k in my bank account. I still can’t believe I was able to do it. I was hesitant at first of course. I jot down all my expenses and my savings and computed again and again until my head hurts from all the numbers. My main purpose of traveling, at first, was to watch the Super Junior concert in SG. But that would mean I have to spend more because of the ticket prices. So in the end I canceled my plans and told my friend (who was the one pursuing me to go with her since she’s going to watch the concert as well) that I have to bail out for now coz I’m not yet financially ready’.

But then, last January, just before my birthday, I woke up one afternoon and checked my twitter. The said friend was still insisting that I come with her since another friend of ours is also coming with us and her RT flight from Clark only costs about P3,800 only. I dunno what went over me. It was definitely an impulsive decision. I just said “Okay, GO.” After realizing that I cannot be absent for two days from my two part time jobs, I re-booked my flight which made me spend more money than I intended to. T_T Damn you work! I had to buy another P2,500-worth ticket for Saturday early morning instead of my orig RT ticket which was Friday noon. Furthermore, instead of departing from the airport which is nearby my hometown (around 5 hours by bus), I had to go all the way to NAIA airport in Manila (around 8 hours by bus). Just thinking about all those traveling involved exhaust me.

It was my first time flying International, mind you, so I was absolutely terrified and keyed up at the same time. I have no idea what to do first and where to go. Good thing I have my friend with me. ^^ So our flight was at 6:20 AM and we checked in at around quarter to five. I traveled in NAIA 3 before but that was domestic, my flight this time is international and its in NAIA 1.

I just have to say, there are three things that I am totally NOT looking forward to the next time I travel.

  1. The grumpy and snooping immigration officers. They don’t smile, they’re so damn stern and serious. Get a life. You’ll get old soon guys. Especially the ones in SG. I was unfortunate enough to get the grumpiest and snappiest of them all. It was this old man who kinda looked gay to me. The other I.O. (immigration officer ^^) called his attention, so naturally, I turned my head to look at her as well. Then, in a SNAPPY and ANGRY voice, the I.O. in front of me said “HEY! HEY LOOK AT ME! YOU LOOK AT ME NOW!” I was taken aback by the attitude. Chill, dude, I’m not impersonating someone and I’m totally not avoiding eye contact with you. I just couldn’t bear looking at your BB Cream-ed face. XD
  2. The damn embarkation card. My friend and I were making fun of someone (I’d rather NOT namedrop ^^) for taking a long time in answering the embarkation card before. We thought, “How stupid could he get? It’s so easy to fill up.” But we were wrong. Well, for first time flyers it is kinda confusing in some way. And there are actually lots of info to be provided. Like my passport number, date I received the passport, date it will expire, the address of the person I’m visiting abroad and some other info that I couldn’t think of right then and there. I had to check through the papers that I have with me and take a peek at my passport for that. It was kinda stressful. Haha. To our chagrin, we needed to answer ANOTHER card, this time a disembarkation one, before we land in SG. Wow. Just how many embarkation cards are there?
  3. Gigantic American seatmates who snores LOUDLY and who seemed to have halitosis. Yes. Unluckily for my friend and I, we were put in the same row as this humongous American who sat in the aisle (coz I have the window seat ^^). So we have to get through him before we can visit the loo. I had my mp3 on and I was trying to get some sleep during the three-hour flight but I could still hear him snoring REALLY loud. If that isn’t enough, I could smell something stinky coming from him from where I was seated. UGH.

The first thing I did when I set foot on the soils of SG was… SMILE. I want to enter and leave the country with a smile. ^^ The weather was pretty much the same as the Philippines but it was much tolerable. What I noticed the moment I got on the SMRT (their subway train which, by the way, was simply fantastic and very helpful) was the fact that SG has such diverse set of people and culture. It was like the melting point of mixed races and nationalities which are poles apart. Indeed, it was sort of overpopulated by Filipinos, but other than that there were like 5 other dominant races – Singaporean, Bangladesh, Indian, Chinese and a bit of Japanese as well. It was so amusing that it felt like I was in a United Nations conference or something. 😀

One thing I love about this country was how progressive and advanced they are. Particularly their transportation system. I was so amazed by how disciplined and organized the transportation system was.

They have this EZ Link card that can be used for both bus and SMRT (and even at McDonald’s and 7-11). My cousin, who lives there, even told me that one time she left the house with nothing but that EZ Link card and she was able to eat and get around the city with no troubles. Imagine that! I love tapping out that card in the subway turnstile and before and after I get on a bus. It was very convenient and pretty cool for me. ^^

I really envy their country for having this structured system, which is why there is less traffic in the streets. It also makes the people more disciplined because they cannot just ride or ‘alight’ a bus anywhere and anytime they want to. They really have to wait for the specific bus with specific route at specific bus stops. If they missed the bus going to where they are supposed to go, they have to wait for the next bus with the same route OR find another route. It was so beautiful. Haha. I’m so in love with their transportation system.

EMBARRASSING EXPERIENCE ALERT! Well it was more like humiliating. ^^;; My first time to ride the bus, we were in a hurry coz the bus was about to leave so we ran after it. I was the last one to get in and in my haste I forgot to tap out the card. I also forgot what my friend told me about the people using “Hello” as a substitute for “Excuse me”. So I just walked inside and ignored the driver who was “Hello-ing” me. XD My friend told me that I forgot to tap out so I have to go back and do that. ^^;; Talk about embarrassing.

Another thing I like about their buses and subway trains are the ‘RESERVED SEAT’ part for the elders, pregnant women, children and disabled. I know we also have that in the Philippines but the ones in Singapore seemed more legit and people seemed to really avoid this seat. I felt uncomfortable when I sat at it once even though there were no elders or pregnant women around whom I had to give it up to.

On the upper deck of the double-decker bus ^^

And OMG the DOUBLE-DECKER bus! I was literally jumping up and down when I saw that and I couldn’t wait to ride on it! It was totally a ‘dream come true’ when I finally got to ride in one – it felt like I was in Harry Potter or something. ^.^  I really, really wish our bus system gets upgraded. Actually, I wish they’d give the transportation system a face-lift. That way we can avoid traffic, road accidents and people would not cross the streets anywhere and anytime they like.

THE FOOD.

Like I said, this country is so diverse that you can also find traces of other nationalities in their food. There’s a variety of choices so you won’t really get tired of the old Singaporean food. But of course I had to try out some of their famous meals. Chicken rice and Pepper Rice were both sumptuous.

Chicken Rice + Chestnut Water~

^ Chicken Rice~ 

 ^  The Indian Prata – pancake bread with different curry sauces

 The latter was kinda spicy for me though. I wanted to try some of those Indian Prata but they were out of stock when I ordered it. 😦  I noticed they have lots of noodles; there was even a stall in the food court where you can pick a variety of toppings for your noodles. I’m not a noodle person so I didn’t try any of that.

 ^ Pepper Rice

 

I tried one of their drinks called CHESTNUT WATER and I loved it! ^^

I found this really cool parody of the Philippines’s JOLLIBEE fast food restaurant. It’s called JOLLIBEAN. Haha. They sell some bread and flavored soybean shakes. I tried it and it’s pretty good. 😉

When it comes to houses, they are quite organized as well. They don’t have a lot of real ‘houses’ – like Desperate Housewives-type of houses. All you can see are apartment complex and I love that setting. It was just so organized. OKAY, I gotta stop comparing it to my country… hehe. I just really hope that by the time I have my own family, my country would be as progressive as Singapore.

FIRST DAY.

We went to this upscale and high end place called DEMPSEY HILL. Nothing much to see over there. Unless you’re blond and you have a Ferrari  or a mini-cooper or something. ^^

We had fun at Ben and Jerry’s though. The root beer that I ordered – which really looked like beer – totally quenched my thirst. I hated the weather that day. It was cloudy but for some reason it feels muggy and I was sweating.

After that we started ‘mall hopping’. The malls were pretty cool but I wasn’t really that amazed once I saw the inside. Of course the façade was fantastic, but inside, it was just like any other shopping mall. I kinda got tired from all the walking so I felt a little grumpy and moody by the end of the day.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE SHOPPING and all that but I can only tolerate much. PLUS, I didn’t really go to SG to shop. If I’m gonna buy clothes, shoes or bags, I’d rather visit my favorite secondhand stores in my city. ^.^ Plus, everything is expensive in SG. I couldn’t really complain to the people I’m with coz I’m just a ‘visitor’ and I have no right to do that.

Kaya - Singaporean spread~

ANYWAY, we shopped at FAIR PRICE before going home. That place was heaven! The chocolates, the multi-flavored Yakult and Cream-O, the NUTELLA ^^ and loads of food and stuff with cheaper prices!

SECOND DAY.

The following day, we were supposed to go to the Chinese-Japanese Garden early in the morning but we didn’t realize that the sun shines a bit later in SG. It was already 7 am and it was still dark outside! Same with the sun set, 7 pm was still bright outside. So we woke up kinda late and we just went to church. YES. I went to church. ^^;; Moving on, we went to another shopping mall (YAY…) but this time I kinda like it because I saw lots of nifty and pretty cool stuff. There was this stall that sells some pretty awesome flash disk drives with various designs: credit cards, finger, banana, animals, cartoon characters, mini-cakes and candies and other really cute things. I also got inside this shop with lots of KPOP stuff and of course I was just ecstatic. 😀

After that I had to run over to the Marina Bay Sands Theater to do something I’ve never done before – WATCH A MUSICAL. ^________^ Yes, finally I can say that I’ve seen a musical and one of the most wonderful and amazing musicals at that. It was this Broadway musical called WICKED. My spazzing and review of that deserves another blog post which can be found here.

I didn't get to see this majestic whirlwind of water in the Marina Bay but my friends recorded it ~ ^^

My dream of riding those ‘gondolas’ inside the Marina Bay Sands mall didn’t come true though coz we didn’t have time for that and it costs $10, I think. But I took some pictures. 😀 I wasn’t able to see some of the more magnificent parts of that place but I was able to enjoy my time there. ^^

THIRD DAY.

Sentosa Day. It was one great trip to wrap up our last day in SG. Although I had no intentions of going inside Universal Studios (coz it’s too damn expensive) I have to say it was definitely worth it.

 ^ Reese’s!!! MY FAVE~ 

Strolling around Hershey’s World and Candylicious felt like stepping into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. It was just amazing with a capital A.

 ^ Lotsa lotsa JELLY BEANS~

We had a fun time over there but we couldn’t really visit the other tourists’ spots in Sentosa like the Merlion thingy coz my other friend and I need to catch our flight back to the Philippines. It felt sad to leave just like that but all things must come to an end. We bid goodbye to our friend and went back to Changi airport.

^BTW, I love the escalators in the subway! They would eat you up and spit you out so quickly you’d pick yourself up from the floor afterwards. Haha. They’re so freakin’ fast! Like, really FAST. So you really need to watch your step and KEEP LEFT if you are not in a hurry coz the right side is the ‘express way’ where people who are in a hurry zoom past. ^^ It’s pretty cool once you get used to it.

 ^ My last peek at SG.

And that’s the end of my wonderful, WICKED, weekend in SG. The ending was quite simple but it was magical and memorable for me. I would love to go back there but I don’t think I can do that anytime soon. I probably have to work my ass off and prepare a lot of money. 😉