Months of planning and preparation was done and now it finally happened. I've been on the road for 2 days straight, travelling from Bulacan to Makati to Taguig just to make my ultimate dream come true: to meet Tegan and Sara in the flesh.
My body was prepared since I thought I'll be coming to the concert after my night shift. But since there was some hype going on at work, we were forced to have an 'indefinite leave with pay'. I was worried because there were no assurance on when I'll be reporting to work, but deep inside I was relieved and I want to say 'thank you' to the universe for taking my side. I thought that was it, but the universe still has in store for me.
I'm glad that I'm part of the Tegan and Sara Philippines fan group (https://www.facebook.com/TeganAndSaraPh). I thought I was the only person in the world who have this obsession with the Quins, but now I share the same insanity and love with them. And I mean EVERYTHING ABOUT TEGAN AND SARA. They're a bunch of enthusiastic and friendly people and because of that, I consider them family.
I wouldn't know that there will be a meet and greet with the twins if not because of them. As per mechanics, I need to purchase a minimum of 1,500php in Greenbelt to get a Meet & Greet Pass. That was my first plan but due to the fact that I'm on 'indefinite leave', I have to let it go. I was crushed, almost cried when someone from our group posted that I can have an autograph signing if I purchase their Hearthrob CD in AstroVision. So I called AstroVision and made reservations right away. I really don't mind buying another CD as long as I can look at their faces a foot away. I cried after making the reservation and I cry for joy. Another wonder from the universe to me.
November 24, 2013. I arrived in Greenbelt 5 from Bulacan around 1pm. Got my CD and pass and waited for some of my colleagues. I met with Pat at Pinkberry near the venue and chatted while we wait for the others. When we were more than 10 in the group, we went inside the venue while we waited for the others (half of the team is in the airport to greet Tegan and Sara. Sadly, they weren't able to meet them).
|Fashion Walk at Greenbelt 5 and I'm in first row. So much feels.|
|Half of Tegan and Sara PH family|
|The original CD and notebook that I bought online (teganandsara.com) I kept the other CD in my bag.|
We waited for 5 more hours and there they were, standing in front of us. They gave me shock to my system I can feel it in my bones.
I envy the people who were able to have their pictures with them during the meet and greet. But having my CD and notebook signed by them is better than nothing.
|Oh, their smiles and perfect skin... All photos by Maita Elica|
When it was my turn, my whole body was shaking until it was numb. I really wanna shake their hands and hug them tight but all I did was stare at their perfect skin. All I can say was, "Can you also sign my notebook please?", and Sara just said, "Absolutely," with her perfect smile, while Tegan smiled at me saying, "Thank you so much,". Indeed, I didn't have the courage to hug them (in other words, I became a pussy, starstrucked and all the shit) but still, this is one of the magical moments I'll be experiencing for the next two days. I told myself, "Seeing them in the flesh makes me hyperventilate it almost made me cry, what else if I see them perform live???"
The autograph signing was about to end when I saw my old friend Nina. She's my schoolmate from elementary to high school and we've been friends since forever. The first thing she asked was on where she can buy the CD. She went to AstroVision but the branch said the CD with pass was sold out. I also checked the table that was set up before the Meet and Greet and it was empty.
Then I just realized that I have an extra CD in my bag. I gave it to her right away and said, "Here, you can take this. I have an extra CD and I'm done with the autograph signing,". She almost burst into tears and hugged me tight, thanking me repeatedly and asking how much the CD was. I just said, "Thank and pay me later. Now go and have that CD signed. They made a last call for it. Now run."
Nina was the last person for the autograph signing, an advantage as well since Tegan and Sara added a dedication on her CD. She approached me again and hugged me tight. She said it was the best advanced birthday gift ever.
I was figuring out on how to get rid of the extra CD and now I gave it to my friend who was in desperation to meet Tegan and Sara as an advanced birthday gift. Is this another way the universe is being good to me and the people around me?
I was supposed to join TnS PH for a quick dinner, but I have to go to catch the last bus trip to Bulacan.
November 25, 2013. The moment I was preparing for. The day I said I'll cry.
I woke up around 6am, still tired from the Meet and Greet. I need to re-write my letter to Tegan and Sara and get everything prepped up. I also need to carry light coz it'll be a long trip from Bulacan. So I just brought my DSLR, wallet, some of my 'kikay' stuff and gifts for the twins.
|Personal postcard that I made for the twins. Hope the post office won't fuck it up once returned.|
|The 25 Days of Tegan and Sara. 25 pictures (some googled, some my photography) with 25 lines from the 25 TnS songs I like (and it's not that easy to choose coz I like all of their songs)|
|I'm not that good in lettering, okay???|
I arrived at MRT Ayala Station around 10am where I met with my colleagues. It's amazing how dedicated TnS PH fans are. I talked to this girl who flew from Bohol just to watch Tegan and Sara despite on what happened at her place. Bohol was devastated by an earthquake months ago, leaving their place with no electricity. She was also telling me stories on how she volunteered to help others, crossing other barrios by swimming back and forth and climbing mountains with gallons of water just to bring relief goods. And yet she managed to fly to Manila to make her dream come true.
We arrived at NBC Tent around 11am, meeting other Tegan and Sara PH members and introducing new ones. Everyone was ecstatic despite waiting in line for 7 hours. There's one member who's been waiting in line for 15 hours! (but it was all worth it since she was in front row). Another thing that I love about the group is that they're generous. Everyone's giving out stickers and food, chatting with newly hired members, having "calming down yo/thy tits/vajayjay" dialogues due to some organizer being emotional for organizing the line.
|The Yellow Cab Group :D|
|Sharing the love through onion rings :)|
Up Dharma Down first graced the stage. They performed 5 songs and everyone's at their feet, singing to all of their songs. This band never fail to amaze me. It was a fantastic set, warming up the fans before the main act.
|Armi, hot as always *melts*|
|Heart-pounding performance by UDD. Never missed a beat.|
After their set, we waited for 15 more minutes for they have to change the stage's set up. And then, everyone went wild (Very apt since their first song was 'Drove Me Wild' from their album Heartthrob). I was jumping and screaming once they hit the stage, especially when I saw Tegan wearing the 'Sara Made Me Do It' shirt c/o Teks of Tegan and Sara PH. We can't believe our eyes! First thing in my mind was, "HOLY SHIT THAT'S TEKS SHIRT. SHE'S WEARING OUR SHIRT!".
There was never a dull moment. The crowd singing to all of their songs. Most of the time I sing to every lyric, dancing to every beat while taking pictures; but there were moments were I need to stop, close my eyes and listen. Just listen. I pinch my cheeks and tell myself that this isn't a dream anymore. It's really happening. After 8 years of being a fan, I'm now 5 feet away from them. All was worth it - working my ass off to save money for the ticket, the sleepless nights thinking what gift to give them, 2 days away from home following their every step here in Manila, waiting in line for 7 hours - everything was worth the wait. My body was ready but my emotions weren't. I want to cry in the middle of the crowd but I have to get my shit together. I need to control my femotions.
After four songs, Tegan bantered:
"I think after this tour in Asia, we'll probably just move here and stop touring. Seriously, you put so many countries to shame right now just in four songs, unbelievable... We were like the Backstreet Boys for one minute. We're like gay One Direction."
'Walking with the Ghost' was played, then 'Where Does the Good Go' filled the air. I was literally singing all the lines. This was the first song that I heard from them. While singing the 'look me in the eye' part, I saw Tegan looking on my direction. My eyeballs discreetly looked on both sides and told myself, "Is she looking at my direction? Is she really fucking looking at me???" I kept my composure and continued singing while doing eye contact, then she smiled and looked away. I know she might not be looking straight at me but man, that was the best 5-second eyegasm of my life it makes me want to go to the T-teamer side!
The show was phenomenal, but the highlight for me was the encore when Tegan played the intro of 'Call it Off' and the crowd started to sing. Tegan's face was priceless while Sara swayed and sang with the crowd. Watch and listen to the video:
(video by Wendy Woo)
There were other banter moments c/o Tegan and Sara:
Sara: "I don't know if this is appropriate but I wanna say this, it's not a judgement or a stereotype, but a lot of you are the same size as me and Tegan. We pretty much spend our lives having people say, 'Oh my god, you're so short...'. We have respect to the Philippines, okay? You people, you get it done, you're nice, you're attractive, you're friendly, and lot of you are about 5 feet tall.
Tomorrow's gonna be the worst day because we're gonna be leaving the Philippines and it's so sad. I wish we could just stay here.
We've got 2 songs left. I know, but we do have an encore. We haven't think of an audience this year that has deserve an encore more than you are."
Tegan: "We have been touring for so many years and i'll say this without blinking an eye: this is definitely in the top 5 shows we've ever played."
|Tegan flashing the shirt. You da man, Teks (photo by Anna Acuña)|
|TnS setlist (photo by Anna Acuña)|
I was having a lot of fun; then I realized it was over. It feels like everything happened in a blink of an eye. It feels like I'm just in my room listening to their every record. I wish they could have stayed longer.
I went home exhausted, not realizing I still have the neon bracelet on my wrist. This was evidence that the concert was real, that I was there to witness everything.
I got home crying, because I realized that dreams do come true if you worked hard on it. Indeed, the universe will pay you in return to what you've been doing good. And I believe that sooner or later, I'll get to meet them once more. And I will have the courage to hug them.
Now let me be while I deal with my post concert depression.
* The day after the concert, still elated, I received a message from my boss saying that the eagle has landed including the 13th month pay. I checked my ATM and it was true. The universe is being good to me and I can't take it. I was bawling.
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