It was more than a dream come true…. It was like being in utopia itself.
Travelling all those miles, spending all those hard-saved money, uttering all those prayers, asking help from here and there and braving the bad weather conditions were probably the best decisions I have ever made in my life. Going to SMTOWN Singapore was more than a right decision – IT WAS PERFECT DECISION, I must say.
BECAUSE A DREAM CANNOT REMAIN JUST A DREAM…
It was April this year when I finally convinced myself to watch SMTOWN in L.A. fancams. I won’t lie; it was because I wanted to see EXO during their first SMTOWN appearance. Then it was June this year when I finally told myself that yes, I want to go to see SMTOWN. I wanted to see TVXQ and EXO – performing on that stage they call home. Yes, it would have been better to see a solo concert of these two groups that I love, but there were things I wanted to see and prove: all of which satisfied me when I finally saw them a few nights ago.
Since out of all my friends, I was the only one who liked EXO during that time, the chances of going to SMTOWN were slim. My parents wouldn’t let me go by myself and I can’t force my fellow Cassies to go with me since they’d of course, prefer, a solo concert. Until one day, one of my good friends started liking EXO. It was a great blessing for me, aside from the fact that I’ll have someone to spazz both TVXQ and EXO with, there’s a possibility that this good friend of mine might willingly go to SMTOWN with me. The feelings became mutual and the plans were set into action as the next few months approached.
We were originally set to go to Bangkok, as our friends advised us of how nice Thai KPOP fans could be, as well as how affordable the costs of living were. The plane tickets were also peso-friendly. But as time passed, the plans changed also due to the amount of time needed to book the plane tickets and the complications that arose with the buying of concert tickets. October came and still, the details for SMTOWN Bangkok were yet to be announced. It scared us because as the month fast approached, the cost of the plane tickets were getting higher and even though the concert tickets were a bargain – it would still cost us a lot if the airfare pegs at 10, 000 bucks. Suddenly, announcement of Singapore’s confirmation as the second to the last stop before Bangkok came out – and along with it, the promise of a one-of-a-kind concert. The mother of all KPOP concerts was set to hit Singapore City, at the Float at Marina Bay – the world’s first floating stage. The offer of the fast release of details (date, ticket prices and others) as well as the brag of water effects was hard for us to pass up. And after a few meetings and talking, we decided it was best for us to go to Singapore instead.
Towards the end of October, frustrations and great amounts of stress took its tolls on us. We couldn’t book plane tickets just yet because we waited for confirmation of TVXQ and EXO’s attendance (rumors of TVXQ’s absence plagued the internet, plus EXO’s preparation for comeback). We also didn’t have credit cards at hand which was greatly needed in online booking of plane tickets as well as for purchasing SMTOWN tickets. We had to ask our friends who owned credit cards while battling the frustrations of keeping track of the plane ticket prices. Numerous times my companion Lhai got sick (she had a graveyard shift at work) because of too much stress. Numerous times I lost sleep at night while thinking of the possibilities of the plans falling apart. There were times we would cry because we lost hope and asked ourselves if maybe it still wasn’t the time for us to meet TVXQ and EXO – but our determination made us through all of that. We managed to arrange a deal with one of our friends and she let us use her card for online booking and purchase of concert tickets.
One after another, problems came again. We managed to book plane tickets set to depart on the 21st of November and set to return on the 24th. We ticked that task already. But during the first day of the selling of tickets, we almost pulled our hair off of our heads as we watched how the tickets sold fast. Wondering why we couldn’t buy just yet? International fans had to wait until day 3 to purchase tickets. Plus we found out that we had to bring the card we used for the transaction in order to claim the tickets on the day itself. We both knew that out friend would never let us take her credit card to Singapore, so again, we cried as we lost hope. I couldn’t concentrate on my classes and Lhai caught a fever again. She slept over at my house that night so we could figure out what to do next. During that night, both of us couldn’t sleep thinking of ways to solve the problem at hand.
It was like we were playing a tug of war between fighting for it and letting it go. The next morning came and we managed to find a Singaporean who was selling pair of Yellow Zone (next to VIP seated area) concert tickets she bought in excess. Lhai and I knew it was risky for us to undergo the transaction that required us to pay in advance thru paypal and get the tickets on the day itself through meet-ups but we weighed the options. And we had none. Either we get the tickets or wait for Day 3 – when the seats we wanted will have probably been sold out already. We also had to find someone who will allow us to take his/her card to Singapore if we chose to go with the Day 3 option. So we arranged it like this: we would pay 50% in advance and pay the remaining 50% after Lhai’s friend who was currently residing in Singapore meet-up with the seller. That arrangement was done on a Sunday morning and the tickets will be on Lhai’s friend’s hands the following Tuesday. And for 3 nights, we both lost sleep – thinking about how the seller could run even with just 50% of the payment she received from us. But God was good, and it really seemed like He sympathized with us.
All that was left was for the day of departure to arrive. But yes, you guessed it right, there were still problems. Problems that were so extreme that I almost ended up travelling alone – and I knew that my mother wouldn’t let me do that so yes, everything nearly, nearly fell apart. I also had to make harsh decisions I couldn’t tell anyone yet in order to make everything possible. Decisions that were once hard as rock were crushed because I had to weigh priorities. Situations like giving up stuff that I really wanted to get for myself (not just any stuff, but stuff I’ve been wanting to get for myself for 3 years) because I needed extra allowance I would need in Singapore as well as battering myself late at night to finish all my requirements due at the time I would be outside the country spazzing and a serious personal issue that endangered my smooth sailing at the airport. The last few days before the 21st were the most nerve-wrecking and I wouldn’t want to experience those feelings again. They weren’t of excitement, they were of fear. I wanted nothing else but to see them. I wanted to see them so badly.
The day came and the fear was in its greatest. Upon arrival at the airport, we were held at the immigration due to some reasons we didn’t know (though it was probably because it was our first time leaving the country). Half an hour before our flight we were still seated for interview and the negative emotions almost made me throw up. The faces of TVXQ and EXO flashed in my mind and they blacked out as the thought of missing our flight or in worst case scenario, being disallowed to fly ate me up inside. But again, God was good and my mother played a very big part in this. A few weeks ago, my mother constantly bugged me to let her best friend, someone I call ‘tita’ to accompany us to Singapore. My mother was as paranoid as what and told me she won’t be able to sleep at night if I didn’t allow tita to accompany Lhai and I. Eventually, I had to give in because she played the options game: either I let tita come with us or I won’t be allowed to leave. At the aiport when we were held for the interview, I thanked the heavens because I gave up to my mother’s whining – having a guardian with you made things easier. And at that moment, Lhai and I cried in happiness. We were flying to Singapore, finally. Off to see the two men we waited for years and the 12 adorable young men we cherished right now.
3 and a half hour after, we finally landed on the land that would give us one of the best memories we would probably ever have for the next few days.
STEPPING INTO DREAMLAND…
Our first day in Singapore, was actually a day of frustrations and I cried clenching on to my chest. It was so near, yet far. It was like the feeling of being dumped.
Holding on to our phones, with bottles of water and a few dollars at hand, with a plushie I brought from the Philippines, Lhai and I set for Changi Ariport once again. EXO and the others’ (except TVXQ who would be arriving the next day, 23rd) flight was set to arrive at 2:45 that afternoon. At 10am, Lhai and I arrived at the airport to meet not only the artists, but also her friend who held on to our tickets. It was nice to meet Ate Cel and she was so warm to me. Along with her, we were at Terminal 2 with a big amount of fans who also waited for the artists. Banners were given out by Baidu bars and I managed to get some. We were both giddy seeing as finally, we were going to experience welcoming our biases at the airport (at least for me, it’s the first time) We found the perfect position and were standing directly by the path the artists would pass through. I held on to my plushie as the barricades were set up directly in front of me – promising myself that no matter what happened, I’d give it to Kris. Inside the plushie (it had zipper on its back and it could turn into a pillow if you pull the fabric inside the said zipper) was a letter, a freshwater pearl necklace that could only be bought in the Philippines. A birthday gift and a congratulatory gift. Even if the manager would hit tell me to go away, my determination wasn’t going to break. I was going to hand it to Kris, and he would accept. I even got interviewed by a reporter from a Singaporean newspaper and I told her that I was from the Philippines and came to see EXO today and would come again to see TVXQ tomorrow. I even told her that the plushie I was holding on was for Kris. She was amazed by Lhai and I’s decision to fly to Singapore just to see TVXQ and EXO.
For four hours we stood there, withstanding the pushing and the hard looks the airport staff gave us, as well the bodily pains we felt and the hunger – just to see them up close. Exactly at 2:45, fangirls started screaming but I couldn’t see a single soul. I could only see some civilians looking at something which I presume were the artists, but they weren’t coming out. I was about to pull my hair off out of impatience, and a few minutes more passed and the airport staff started removing the barricades. We stood there dumbfounded and the fans also started leaving the area. One Singaporean came to me and whispered, “They’re gone. They said they passed through the VIP exit” – and that’s the time when all became clear to me. We were tricked. I felt so betrayed. I knew I should understand, it’s for their safety after all, but I really felt betrayed. Suddenly, I was clenching on the plushie by my chest so tight and when Lhai tapped me on my shoulder, I turned to her with tears on my eyes. I felt dumped. I cried and cried as Lhai and Ate Cel comforted me, telling me the harsh reality that I shouldn’t expect that much. My heart crumpled so hard that I felt like choking; I wanted to see him up close so badly and I wanted to give him my gift – no scratch that. Even if he wouldn’t even look at my way, I just wanted to see. But everything shattered. It was a hard blow for me – it was my first time.
After crying, we went to Ritz Carlton hotel (where the artists were staying) and saw vans leaving the area with a mass of fangirls trailing and running after them. We knew they were headed to The Float for probably, rehearsals. And after what happened, earlier, I was not about to pass up the chance.
That night, we went to watch the rehearsals and saw EXO in casual attires, though it was far. We heard D.O.’s live singing during the rehearsals for “DJ Got Us Falling In Love” and it was so daebak! But we had to leave immediately due to some physical stress we were experiencing. But I will never ever forget how beautiful the stage was that time. The following night would be the night we had been waiting for.
But it was a bit of a sleepless night for us – Xiumin of EXO injured his ankle (I think he was sprained) and it worried us for the following night’s concert.
HAVE A SWEET DREAM…
As early as 5am the following morning, Lhai and I set out for the concert venue. We decided to queue early for the official concert merchandise (originally planning to get the brochure and tshirts). But as we munched on our small breakfast by the benches near the area, we gazed at Ritz Carlton (it can be viewed from the concert venue) and came to a decision to follow our instincts. And our instincts told us to wait at the hotel for TVXQ’s arrival from the airport. We walked to the hotel and saw that there were some fans who were also waiting. We sat on the ground and got startled when one of the vans was positioned by the front doors. Lhai whispered to me and told me that some of the idols might be going out. We giddily chatted while waiting for those particular idols. It was already 7am that time. After about an hour, we walked by the doors to peek but saw no one. On our way back to the grounds where we sat at, a hotel staff approached us and reminded us to not crowd when the artists go out. He smiled and asked us then if we already had our breakfast. The positive vibes made us decided to not queue for the merchandise anymore, because of course, seeing them up close is more worth it. So, we sat down again and waited for a couple of more hours until guards started coming out of the hotel. They tried to drive us away and set up barricades (again lol) in front of us to prevent us from running to the vans. Lhai and I talked to some of the fans who were also waiting with us and found out that the artists would start rehearsing again at 10:30am, and that TVXQ arrived from the aiport around 6am (that time we were munching on our breakfast). Time check: 10am. 30 minutes to go before they come out.
At 10:30am, shoes (there was a silhouette blocking our view of the front doors) were seen walking towards the first van (there were a total of 11 vans I guess?). Upon close inspection, we found out that it was actually SHINee! Though, we failed to actually see their faces. 15 minutes after, Super Junior came out and I saw Yesung, Sungmin, Eunhyuk, Donghae and Zhou Mi (oh my god, his nose was perfect!). 30 minutes after, f(x) came out and I only saw Luna’s shoes, keke.
It was already an hour after f(x) left and no one else was coming out. We feared that the staff wouldn’t let TVXQ come out until the fans leave the area. With heavy hearts, we left the hotel because we couldn’t take our hunger anymore. And that confirmed our suspicions because a few minutes after, we heard TVXQ’s voices singing “Mirotic”, meaning they already came out of the hotel just after we left.
Again, I felt betrayed but finally accepted the fact that maybe, the concert would be the only time I would see them clearly.
We came back to Marina Bay at around 1pm, with hot drinks on our hands (acidity attacked us as we we were late for lunch). Upon entrance, balloons were already set up and there were stalls that had games where attendees could win prizes; as well as fans selling unofficial merchandise using their luggages (they were soon driven out by the staff). Our hearts fell when we found out that the all the official merchandise had been sold out. But it wasn’t that hard for us to accept that – seeing as it was our own decision to stay at the hotel to wait for the artists and jeopardize our chances of getting official merchandise. Banners were again given out and I almost cried when I saw Kris banners and I didn’t have one. Apparently, everything was gone and I missed it. I sat down on the ground feeling defeated and cursed myself that I forgot to bring banners for EXO (I had TVXQ only). We had Baekhyun, Lay, Tao, Lu Han banners but no Kris. The heavens reminded me again how much they loved me when a fan willingly traded her Kris banner in exchange for a Baekhyun banner we had. Yes, everything was set for SMTOWN for me!
Upon entrance at the venue around 3pm, Lhai and I participated in the games and managed to win an official SMTOWN Sports Towel and SMTOWN lightstick! It was a happy moment for us considering we missed these merchandise when they were sold out. After winning the games, we sat on the grounds once again and bought early dinner (the food sold inside the concert venue was so expensive >_<). Our eyes widened in shock when heavy (really heavy) rain poured out. The Float was an open concert grounds and possibilities of delay in concert, as well as us getting drenched hard (we had ponchos as per RITS advice, but of course, the rain was really heavy and it scared us). At around 4:30, miraculously, the rain stopped and we started entering the audience boxes at around 5:30pm (because the organizers wanted the stages to dry out first)
The concert was still delayed and it started around 7pm already. SMTOWN concert was 5 hours long and we expected it to end around 12 midnight. I started taking photos of the stage and was almost thrown out of the venue (no cameras allowed, of course) Songs of the SM artists’ were playing (they even played ‘Viva’ and ‘Two Moons’ and I was so happy) The lights went off afterwards and Lhai and I both knew that it was already happening before our eyes.
WHEN DREAMS BECOME REALITY…
And the dream starts…
F(x) came out first and performed “Hot Summer”. They were so amazing, nuff said. Luna slipped and the camera caught Amber’s shocked expression, but everything else was fine. “Pinocchio” came afterwards.
Kangta came next and performed two songs, then Victoria and Perfect-Nosed Zhou Mi’s duet. The Jung sisters came next and performed “California Girls”. What came next squeezed all the liquids inside of me.
3 years of love, sorrow and pain…I’d lay it all out to you…
When Changmin’s voice was heard all over the concert venue, tears started falling out my eyes like waterfalls. My heart squeezed in both delight and hurt and I started shouting in my own language “Changmin, I waited for you for 3 years!”. Yes, the 3 years ended right then and there. It was so surreal and really had to slap myself to confirm if it wasn’t actually all a dream. I didn’t even get to watch the performance clearly (‘Just The Way You Are’ w/ Super Junior’s Kyuhyun) because all I could see was TVXQ’s maknae, Cassiopeia’s one and only Changmin. His voice was so beautiful- fitting of TVXQ’s name. Yes, he was really a part of TVXQ – that prowess you can’t find anywhere but on TVXQ. I screamed until my throat hurt and I didn’t even care that the person beside me started turning his back on me. It was the moment I have been waiting for for 3 years, who cares about anyone else. It was only Changmin and me. That baby I had been watching only on my DVDs for the past 3 years ever since I became a Cassiopeia, was now singing in front of me. Time stopped, seriously and I all I could see and hear was Changmin.
Donghae and Eunhyuk came next with “Oppa Oppa” and Lhai and I danced like idiots. It was a fun stage!
I never thought I’d cry this much for you….It just proves something…
A compilation of EXO’s teasers was shown on screen, and it made the rate of my heartbeat speed up. Finally, the 12 young men – the ones responsible for my happiness these past 10 months, were going to appear in front of me in real flesh. I quickly changed my lightstick to EXO’s (I was actually holding 3 lightsticks, one SMTOWN official, TVXQ and EXO – the ones sitting behind us were amazed at how quick Lhai and I shifted from one lightstick to another, lol). When the VTR ended and showed the EXO logo, for some reason, I felt my air supply cut off. Gushes of realization flooded my mind but it came to just one conclusion: my love for EXO has just shot up from this to that (can’t actually find the words to properly explain) and it happened at that very moment. When the “shaking pants” part for ‘History’ came on and revealed the backs of the 6 EXO K members, my throat was harshly forced to produce screams I never knew I could produce. Because of the rain earlier, some members slipped and I think the first one was Sehun after the shaking of the pants. Adrenaline was all over my body and I could feel my blood running. When EXO M appeared, my eyes immediately searched for Kris and that very moment, the world stopped. I won’t talk about all my Kris feels just yet, I’ll talk about it later. What came next was ‘MAMA’ and of course, I was shouting with all my might for the fanchants. When the “Careless, Careless..” part was sung, tears came flowing down from my eyes but I still waved my lightstick furiously. Lay slipped and the mic captured the sounds, but honestly speaking (and I know it was very stupid of me), I failed to realized what happened because I was so caught up with the fact that EXO was there singing and dancing in front of me (I only realized what happened later on) Lhai and I were singing along with the song and it makes me laugh right now imagining how stupid we probably looked like – crying, screaming, singing, screaming fanchants and occasionally standing (we were seated). The highlight was of course, the dance break part and that’s when worries spread all over my body. The night before the concert (during the rehearsal), Xiumin injured his ankle (I think, but anyway, he was sprained or something, I mentioned this earlier) plus Lay was in pain due to the slip earlier. But nevertheless, they were doing their utmost best and again, I couldn’t help but cry. When Tao did his jump, I ws struck frozen for a while and it was funny how I was shouting “No wires! Real jump!”. The feeling was so different and EXO was so awesome, after all. I frowned when the song ended and I even had to slap my cheeks to remind myself that I was in an SMTOWN concert.
‘Devil’s Cry’ by Taeyeon came up next (OMG she was so awesome LIVE), THEN ‘Run Devil Run’. I’m not so much of an SNSD fan (but I like their artistry) and wanted to see Yuri so badly, so it was a great accomplishment for me. ‘Genie’ came next and it was Lhai’s favourite song (mine was a Shojo Jidai song so it was sad that they only performed Korean ones L). I was laughing the whole time while Lhai was singing along and dancing. Both Lhai and I weren’t much of fans but it was a blast! SNSD was awesome! (and sexy, hehe)
SHINee followed up with ‘Lucifer’ and oh my god, I couldn’t process how good Taemin moved. I think for all SHINee songs, I was only focused on Taemin because he was so damn good in dancing (of course, we all know that already but seeing it LIVE was so much better); every inch of his body snapped with the beats. I never really liked ‘Lucifer’ (I won’t talk about why) but after that performance, I think it’s now one of my favourite songs. Minho’s arms were also flaunted like it was for sale and he was so handsome in person! (I think he just climbed up my list). Sorry Jonghyun, but I don’t think you're my bias anymore T_T I’m with Taemin now, even though I’m his noona.
Super Junior came next with ‘Superman’ and the song gave me goosebumps. There were technical errors such as some LED screens dying out and lights that failed to spot one member, but nevertheless, Suju gave a good performance. The water effects also came on and caged the members on a moving, rising and rotating stage and we were all so happy! They followed up with ‘Don’t Don’ and I was kind of waiting for Henry but he didn’t come out T_T.
The hairs all over my body rose when ‘Purple Line’ came on (Purple Line is my all-time favourite TVXQ/DBSK/THSK song, fyi) And I found myself dancing! (It was actually the first TVXQ/EXO performance of the night that I didn’t cry lol) My blood was pumping and for the first time, because I didn’t cry, I was all smiles and hyper! It was Yunho’s first appearance and oh my god he was so awesome, so much better LIVE! He’s gotten a little thinner but he’s still chubby especially with the clothes he was wearing that time and damn it I still don’t know the Korean lyrics so I was singing the Japanese version! The whole place screamed and you could really feel the intensity of a TVXQ stage! That moment, I was reminded once again why I was a Cassiopeia. The stage that only TVXQ could give (goosebumps right now while writing this) –the quality only found on TVXQ. Because all I did was cry earlier, it was only during this perf that I got a good look on Changmin’s face and gosh he was so handsome. What my friends told me that Changmin was actually the most handsome TVXQ member in person is so damn true! (I think he’s climbing up my list OMG) And gosh his high notes were authentic (can I just cry in the corner while cringing how daebak TVXQ was? T___T)
SHINee came back with ‘Ring Ding Dong’ (god, this one’s my favourite SHINee song) and again Lhai and I were dancing. Taemin, you beast! A gutter of water appeared in front of the members and they splashed their feet on it (wetting even the audience in front lol) >////////////////////////////< Super Junior came out and performed a remix of ‘Bonamana’, afterwards.
My big boys returned on stage with the ever so epic, ‘Rising Sun’. Yunho was head-banging so much that even I was head-banging that time ( I probably looked like an idiot) and I even danced to some of the moves (I was so damn proud that I knew every dance TVXQ performed that night, well except for ‘Humanoids’) while holding on to a lightstick and singing along (really, such a fangirl /facepalms/) I think Yunho’s my bias already, he was so good I could cry T_T
SHINee came on again with ‘Juliette’ and did a ment afterwards. There was funny moment there because the translator failed to translate what Jonghyun was saying. He talked about SHINee World 2 Concert this coming December 8 and the translator mistakenly said, ‘November 8’. Jonghyun, with his diva-like face (I think he borrowed from Key) corrected her and said ‘December 8’ and the whole place was LOL-ing. They ended their performance as a group with ‘Love Like Oxygen’ (no ‘Replay’ T___T)
F(x) came on again with ‘Jet’ (My favourite song next to ‘Beautiful Starnger’) and I never thought the choreography was that cute! Krystal was so beautiful and I was fangirling at Amber ❤
The special stages came up next and SJ’s Ryeowook, SHINee’s Onew and EXO’s Chen and Baekhyun sang ‘Open Arms’ (it was later found out that Chen chose this song, you adorable baby!) Chen was so damn handsome that night and Baekhyun didn’t wear eyeliners! The whole of the audience were waving their lightsticks and singing along to the song. It was a beautiful sight to behold. (And Chen and Baekhyun babies, your voices were so beautiful LIVE >/////////////////< I am so damn proud of you, my boys!)
When SNSD’s TaeTiSeo came next, I forgot to breathe. Sorry, but it wasn’t because I was pumped up with ‘Twinkle’ (I didn’t even get to enjoy the performance because I was so distracted) – BECAUSE REALIZATION HIT ME THAT ‘DJ GOT US FALLIN IN LOVE’ WOULD BE NEXT (My favourite special stage, next to ‘Like a G6’ of course, OMFG!) The 3 minutes passed by so quickly and damn it before I realized it the beat of DJ was already playing!
WARNING EXTREME FANGIRLING AHEAD.
Holy shit! Seriously when Tiffany sung “TTS and EXO, collaboration, everybody put ya hands up” and Chanyeol followed with “Modu hamkke put your hands up!” I found myself jumping in joy that I didn’t even care that I hit the people beside me (I waited for this for almost a year, people!) Sehun and Lu Han came out dancing like dancing machines OMG their synchronization sent electric shocks all over my body! People do not be fooled by Lu Han's pretty appearance! He’s so damn MACHO in person with broad shoulders and tall frame holy shizz I think he’s climbing up my bias list! Sehun was illuminating – his skin was so fair noona’s going to cry! D.O. didn’t help at all because he was so damn sexy when he sang (and OMG his facial expressions, don’t seduce noona please >///////<) D.O. and Lu Han sung in perfect English (I’d gladly accept an English EXO song!) D.O. was like a kid when he’s not singing because his expressions were so cute but the moment he puts his mic on to sing, he becomes a sexy beast (is he stuck with a double-personality, you disrespectful to noona kid! >//////////////<) Lu Han was so handsome holy shizz, Sehun was so good in dancing (so flexible if I must say >///////<) and Chanyeol we love you, you rapping machine! Chanyeol’s voice was really DEEP and sexy (argh these kids seducing noona) and HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHANYEOL! Before I knew it, the performance ended and it made me sad. But the next performance, was the highlight of my night.
Before I came to SMTOWN, I had the setlist memorized inside my mind. But then I realized that the setlist for Singapore was different. It struck me because the next performance came totally unexpected.
Frustrations, happiness and sorrow all came together at the same time…and my heart contorted in both pain and pleasure as I see your face much clearly now. Your voice rang inside my head and all I could see and feel was your presence. I wasn’t in a concert anymore – I was drowning into your world.
‘Like a G6’ caught me by surprise – I wasn’t at all prepared to see that performance. My hands turned cold and I started shaking when Amber sung. I had the song memorized in my head and I know damn well that Kris was up next. I was strategically sitting in front of the area he was going to come out from. And without joking, my eyes immediately searched for him.
His deep voice swooned me and even though it was rap song, I was in Cloud 9. He came out strutted with a cape-like black top (couldn’t remember, you’ll know why later) with the other side of his hair swept up in fashion. He had a haircut, actually. When I saw his face, I screamed with all my all and I knew I was blushing hard. My heart was also in a G6 following his every movement. The next thing he did shook all of my being. He went to the left substage (our side) and laid down there (the moshpit fans were only a few inches behind him and the premiere seats a few meters in front of him). That moment, Amber came and poked him on his tummy and he immediately sat up. Tears started falling out of my eyes uncontrollably and I placed my hand on my chest. For the first time that evening, I put my lightstick down (I even threw it on the floor) and with my right hand on my chest and my left hand on my lip, I bawled – literally bawled. The sounds drowned my voice but I could hear my sobs and sniffs. Struggling to focus on his face while witnessing all the memories of the day before flashed in my mind – the frustrations and struggles to fly to another country, the crying I did at the airport because I wanted to see him so badly, the plushie I took utmost care of because I wanted him to have it, the letters I wrote for him, waiting outside the hotel in hunger and exhaustion just to get a glimpse of him; then seeing him here, and I was not very near him – it pained me so much that I really wanted to jump to where was he was. The more he sang, the more I sobbed and Lhai turned away from me as I held her hands. She didn’t want to break down with me. When he started jumping and dancing, I was shouting his name – hoping that he would at least hear me even though it was beyond impossible. There was only him and only him. The Wu Yi Fan that made me cry so many times during my stay in Singapore. Lhai was so damn worried because I really didn’t stop crying. It took me 3 songs before I stopped bawling. Kris, why’d you do this to me?
It didn’t help that the next performance was the Dance Battle. Victoria danced with so much grace that I really enjoyed her performance. Tao shot up from nowhere with his Wushu stick and Lhai kept on hitting me (I was still bawling that time and couldn’t move on from the previous performance). Tao was so handsome and he was literally shining. His moves were so awesome and I was fangirling (while still crying). These kids, seducing noona >///////<. Tao’s wushu was so short and then Kai, Taemin and Eunhyk came next with ‘Maxstep’ and the whole venue roared in delight! I could really die at that exact moment because Kai was so sexy. The girls came next: YoonA, Yuri and Hyoyeon and danced, too (Yuri so beautiful *O*). Then I almost had a heart attack when Yunho jumped up from wherever and danced his O.Jung. Ban.Hap part. It added to the crying I was having about Kris and bawled harder. My poor heart could not take all of it, seriously.
When the dance battle ended, BoA came next with 3 songs: ‘Hurricane Venus’, ‘My Name’ and ‘No. 1’ (these 3 performances, I didn’t get to enjoy much because I was still bawling, stupid Kris should go drown himself for bringing me so much pain and happiness). But during her ment, I was already fine so I got to enjoy the trolling she did to the audience. BoA was so petite but she was really AWESOME! The Queen of KPOP was right there before my eyes!
Super Junior performed 3 songs afterwards: ‘Sorry, Sorry’ (where Lhai and I danced like ahjummas, keke), ‘Perfection’ (Zhou Mi and his perfect nose!) and ‘A-Cha’ (I don’t like this song that much, but I still enjoyed!).
SNSD came next with ‘Mr. Taxi’ (one of my favourites and I was dancing to the song!) Yuri was such a goddess! (I’m so biased, aren’t I? XD) It was followed by SHINee’s Jonghyun and Taemin’s ‘Internet War’ (I closed my eyes during the whole performance, don’t ask me why. I have my reasons, k? I loved SHINee since 2009)
I died at the next set of songs because it was a TVXQ MARATHON, GDI! ‘O.Jung.Ban.Hap’, ‘Mirotic’, ‘Humanoids’ then ‘Why? Keep Your Head Down’ (Perhaps these boys really wanted to kill me) I danced to every single one except ‘Humanoids’ (It’s a new song, of course I didn’t know the choreo yet) Gosh Yunho, you really want yourself to become my top bias, don’t cha? For every TVXQ performance I can do nothing but rub my arms because of the goosebumps. Come on, it’s TVXQ after all.
SNSD came on stage again for ‘Kissing You’ and ‘Gee!’There were fun moments her such as Sooyoung got shocked when the confetti/party poppers exploded right before her. The whole venue waved their lightsticks happily at the light songs and even Lhai and I were all smiles. Every SMTOWN artist is really so damn worth it. Super Junior came next with ‘Dancing Out’ and it was a fun performance. I can’t remember, but if memory serves me right, it was after this song that Suju had their ment. Eunhyuk was saying that if there was KonGlish (Korean + English), there was also SinGlish (poor guy didn’t know that Singaporeans really spoke English lol). And he was trolling everyone by adding the ‘lah’ suffix (Singaporean way of speaking) at the end of every sentence he spoke. He kept saying “I love you, lah” and “Goodbye lah” and may many “lahs” (funny boy). BoA came out later with our baby Sehun for ‘Only One’ and I was so damn proud because our baby wasn’t that awkward anymore. And OMG he almost kissed BoA! (baby no! you’re still young! T___T)
The next sets of songs were the last ones. F(x) came first with ‘Electric Shock’. The weather started trolling us and a really HEAVY downpour came. Some of the audience left to find shelter but Lhai and I didn’t move and wore our ponchos. As SHINee came on with ‘Sherlock’, then SNSD with ‘The Boys’, afterwards ‘Sexy, Free and Single’ by Super Junior, all that was ringing inside my mind was that “I flew miles to see all of you – even heavy rains won’t get in my way” and seriously, even if the whole venue drowned in the rains, I wasn’t planning on moving from my place. I clenched the sleeves of my poncho and wrapped my arms protectively over my body. Even if I got sick that very moment, leaving never crossed my mind. Even if the whole Float flew with the strong winds – I’d still be there, waiting for TVXQ to come out and of course, witnessing the family that was SMTOWN during the final song, ‘Hope’.
TVXQ came out drenched but still gave the best performance of the night with ‘Catch Me’. Lhai and I were already heavily drenched at that time but we still danced to the song. Yunho looked so damn hot wet and Changmin’s singing drowned the sound of the rain. I shouted profanities (lol sorry) at every passing person (everyone was so damn restless!) in front me! I wanted to watch the performance and I hated every single person who blocked my view (you have to understand, I waited so long for this). After their performance ended, miraculously, the rain stopped.
‘Hope’ came next and everyone was hyper again! Xiumin kept on jumping up and down with his extremely large glasses that covered more than 50% of his face. He looked like a jumping dimsum! He wasn’t really that chubby, more like his cheeks were chubby. BaekYeol was of course, like kids again and Chanyeol kept pouring water everywhere! Sehun and his blonde hair was shining and he was sticking with Kai and of course, Lu Han. Chen was so handsome OMG. Tao was of course, with his favourite gege whom I was cursing so damn much again because of his attire (damn Kris) – a neon pink wifebeater, maroon slim jeans, neon muti-colored necklace with spikes, arm band that was used to cover his arm tattoos on the left and a white towel at the right with A FREAKING MUTATED AND RETARTED SANTA HAT GDI. (WTF KRIS). He was very distracting because of his stupid, retarded attire and I really wanted to drown him on the bay! Yunho was the highlight of the song and the camera kept on capturing him and his hotness – he was so drenched but his biceps were so distracting! He was so noisy and Changmin was of course, in all his glory – the king of the palace! When the song ended and all of them held hands and bowed to the audience in 90 degrees, fireworks illuminate the sky and that moment, everyone else cried. It was bittersweet and perhaps each one of us there on the venue didn’t want the night to end yet. Lhai and I hugged each other while muttering phrases like “I don’t want to go home yet” and “Is the dream ending already?”, as well as “Can I not wake up yet?”
With fulfilled but heavy hearts, we left the venue and went straight to the exits. It rained again, as if the sky was sympathizing with us. I know I shouldn’t demand much but I really didn’t want everything to end.
As we exited the place, we saw SMTOWN vans by the parking lot and caught Yunho pushing Changming playfully inside the van. They were so adorable! The guards then drove us away to make way for the artists and their vans. Sungmin stuck a LED screen with his name at the window so that even though it was tinted, we knew it was them. One artist (like I said, the windows were tinted so we couldn’t see) wore a headband with lit up horns lol.
As we crossed the road on our way home, Lhai and I saw the van TVXQ was in (theirs was black, the others were all Grey). Like retarded idiots, we waved to their direction. Hopefully, they saw us.
Back at the place where we were staying at, Lhai and I still couldn’t get over the concert and we talked until around 3am in the morning. With happy hearts, we slept the night (morning) away – dreaming of everything that happened.
The next morning, we decided to send EXO off the airport. Their flight to Bangkok was around 1:10 that afternoon and we arrived at Changi Airport at 11am. Our flight back to the Philippines was at 5:40 that afternoon and we tried our chances our if we could check-in early so that we could enter the departure hall along with them (we knew they’d use the Corporate entrance, so waiting for them outside would be useless) But of course, we failed. Disappointed, we accepted the fact that even in the last minute, we won’t be able to see them up close. That moment, I swore to myself that the next time, I’d get to see them real close. We just wished them good luck and thanked them for the wonderful memories.
The hardest part was when we sat on the plane once again, bound for Manila. The past 3 days were so filled with wonderful memories that it gave us the feeling that if we left Singapore, they’d die (I don’t know why I felt that way). With tears threatening to fall down from my eyes, I put my seatbelt on and when the plane took off, I cried. Looking outside the window, we caught a view of the Float at Marina Bay and thanked it for the wonderful moments it gave us last night. As we flew farther and farther away from the bay (and from the stage), Lhai and I promised each other that next year, we’ll definitely go to SMTOWN again, and of course, visit Singapore – not just as fangirls, but tourists who fell in love with the country.
So long, Singapore and thank you very much. We will see each other again, TVXQ and EXO and the rest of SMTOWN – and I’ll definitely come back for you, Singapore.
WAKING UP WITH A NEW DREAM…
And so ends my extremely long fanaccount of Lhai and I’s journey to see TVXQ and EXO!
Seriously, the feelings are still here inside of me, and I can still recall every single second of that night. It was really hard for me to find the words because dreams always come indescribable and adjectives are never enough. All the crying, laughing – I’d give it all to them when I see them again. Up until now, my heartbeat is still pumping at an incredible speed and tears still fall down from my eyes. I’ve never cried this much before, and I’d definitely cry again when I come face to face with them again.
Their faces will forever be etched here inside my heart, and the memories will remain. That’s why I decided to chronicle every single thing that happened, because even when I come back to my normal life again, I’d still want to remember all the magic. The blessings that happened to me these past 3 days – are the most perfect year-enders. And now, as I wake up and stare at the posters by my bed, I can proudly say that, “I saw these people that changed my life completely, already” and “See you soon!”. Whenever I’ll plug my earphones on my ears and listen to their songs, I can always say, “These songs sound better live!”
Everything was more than a dream come true – it was a completion of my being, a fulfilment of my self. Realizations also came to us that night and we learned to accept some things. The journey was more than a desire of a fangirl, it was more like we chased our dreams and we caught it; and we even gained more dreams to follow – that way, there would still be a lot in store for us in the future. The dreams will never end, and we both knew that our life was just about to get better.
And a piece of advice to everyone, when you get a chance, grab it. No matter how hard, no matter how many problems arise on the process, remember the fruits will definitely be sweet. Dreams cannot remain dreams and you can’t keep on wishing for it every night. Fight for it, and you’ll surely win. Although things may not turn out the exact way you want it to be, just the very fact that you caught your dreams’ tails is an achievement. Life is short but you’ll have all the time – make every single moment magical.
To SMTOWN, my family. I love you. And thank you, for making my life awesome.
Till the next trip~