It was summer of 2007. I just finished my first year in college and I was still very much addicted to MTV. Sometime in April or May a new video was launched, which got me really interested. The song was "MMMBop" by Hanson. At first I thought the two of them were girls and I found them real cute to the point that I was always watching MTV hoping I could see the video. It didn't take long before I realized they're all males, which made me more interested... I am having a big crush on Taylor Hanson. It took me months before I got to buy their cassette tape, and from then on, I became a big die-hard Hansonite - a term we used to call a Hanson fan here in the Philippines.
I did get to watch their concert here in the Philippines in 2004, but I didn't have camera, so I wasn't able to photograph it - all I had were memories. Back then, with the band's popularity subsiding (at least here in the Philippines), I thought they will no longer come back, but when we heard of the news that they're coming back, we (the fans) started planning to watch it.
If you get to read my blog then, you'd know Mr. Pipoy wanted to buy me the ticket to the concert, but certain things came up and he wasn't able to anymore. I already used my money buying some stuff, so I feared I won't be able to watch the concert, but thanks to the few online contests, I was able to join and hoped to win a concert ticket for myself. However, I didn't win in any. Thankful to my uncle, he sent me some amount (after he read a post I made on Facebook) to buy myself a ticket, but I still would like to try my luck.
Hanson arrived in the Philippines night of 28 March. From the airport, they went straight to ABS-CBN for an interview. Seeing them on TV made me feel giddy - no stopping now, they're finally back!
The next day, I went to SM City North EDSA because the band was scheduled to meet and greet the fans - as well as sign some CDs of their newest album, "Shout it Out" and their DVD/CD release, "The Best of 5." Fans hoping to have their albums signed need to purchase any or both of the albums. I decided to buy their DVD/CD release, and as excited as I was, I was there at 11am, as I heard that stubs would be limited. I still didn't have a ticket for the concert, so hearing they will raffle off concert tickets made me very hopeful.
Some fans were already there when I arrived... and because they will open the gates at 4pm, we decided to eat lunch first. Some of the women in this picture I meet that day... the rest were friends from back then, four of which are admins of Hanson Philippines, our Facebook group.
Back at the Meet and Greet area, fans started arriving. They let us in and take our seat around 3pm, and to keep us sane (haha), they showed the DVD part of the "Best of 5." We heard the band will have a press con the same time, so that meant we had to wait a little bit more.
The band arrived 6pm. Such a long time of wait, but when I saw them, it was nostalgic. There I was, 31 years old... feeling like I was 17 again. *Sigh*
Since there were so many fans who bought the CDs, they wanted to accommodate all, so the best solution was to have a very smooth sailing of fans wanting to have their CDs signed. That meant no picture taking, no hugs... just autographs.
What made me love the band more was how friendly they are. They were the first ones to extend their hands for a hand shake and they weren't the one who will let go of the fan's hand first - they would wait for the fans to break the handshake. Also, they were so sincere when they said "hi" and "thank you"... and some fans whose shirts were interesting enough, they would take the time to take a picture of the fan. Cool!
It was such a great day, and I am happier that I got to see two people dear to me - Daisy and Claire. Daisy (left picture) has been my friend since year 2000; she and I experienced a lot of crazy memories related to Hanson (like hopping mall after all - traveling from 11am - 12mn just to find a magazine and we were teenagers that time), and it was in 2004 (during the first concert) when I last saw her. I thought she's no longer a fan, but when I arrived at the mall, it was her that I got to see first. Claire (right picture) started out as my penpal in 1999. We jived instantly because we were the same age range (though she's a year older than me). She used to be my closest Hanson-friend, but we had some misunderstanding early 2000s, which caused a gap. Sometime in 2008, we got to reconnect the bridge and although we weren't that close, we are still friends. We got to meet in 2001... and we got to meet again ten years after. Cool!
So okay... I got to have my DVD cover signed... but that wasn't the highlight of my day. Yes there was a raffle - 10 lowerbox tickets, 5 Patron tickets, 5 Patron VIP tickets. Since I didn't win in any of the online contests, it was my (sort of) only hope. From the start of the day, I was telling myself, "I will win the Lowerbox ticket" over and over. Ask Daisy and Denise (the woman sitting next to her) - they lost count how many times I said that. More than 500 raffle stubs - some fans had 2 stubs because they bought both the DVD/CD and the CD, I only had one. When they started drawing names for the Lowerbox tickets, I would always call out my name on my head. First ticket... second... third. Some of the names drawn weren't present anymore. Fourth... fifth. Two names starting in "J" and Daisy told me, "It must feel like Miss Universe to you." Sure it felt that way. Sixth... seventh...
...and my name was drawn!
I didn't know how loud I screamed that moment. It was my "the secret" moment. Like attracts like - that if you want something, you must focus on it.
Ask, Believe, Receive...
I then realized that things do happen for a reason - why Mr. Pipoy couldn't buy me a ticket, why I didn't win in any of the contest I joined (I even questioned one contest sponsor for accepting misspelled name) - because this will happen. I have joined quite a handful of contests, lost in many of them, won in a few... this has got to be the sweetest prized I have received, it was like winning the lottery.