If last time was reaching for my dreams, last night, my dreams reached me.
It hasn’t even reached two full months yest since I first saw EXO last year during my SMTOWN Singapore rendezvous, and yet, yesterday, I saw them for the 2nd time. And believe me or not, if it weren’t for the addition of seeing TVXQ and the rest of SMTOWN and all the misadventures of visiting Singapore itself, Dream Kpop Fantasy concert would have been a better experience. After all, they were in my OWN country and it was easier to see them here (basically, in Krisus terms, this is MY TERRITORY)
Originally, I had no plans of watching Dream Kpop Fantasy. The concert was announced last year during the time when I had already booked my flight to Singapore and bought my tickets for the SMTOWN concert, so basically, I had no money left in my bank account. That is why the plans were laid out to just revolve around welcoming them at the airport + booking room reservations at the Manila Hotel (where EXO and SNSD’s rooms were confirmed to be booked for the duration of their stay).
We tried our luck getting VIP passes so that we could see EXO at the airports, but failed later on. Apparently, there were so many requirements to get the VIP passes and they were also asking for a large amount per pass. The only way out is to have someone with a really good position inside the administration – but sadly we didn’t know anyone. So, plan no. 1 was crossed out. At around 7am, I was already at the airport by myself, helping distributing banners for Kris’ fansupport. At around 9am, news came out about a situation at Incheon Airport which almost jeopardized EXO’s complete attendance. Apparently, the Philippine government refused to let Lu Han, Lay and Tao’s departure to the Philippines due to the turmoil between China and the said country. Luckily for Kris – he had a Canadian passport and Chen and Xiumin were of course, Korean citizens after all. EXO was left by the flight that they were supposed to have taken with Infinite, U-KISS and Tasty (Tahiti arrived on the 17th, while SNSD was scheduled for the 19th). With this situation, it was confirmed that EXO would just be boarding the flight later at night, leaving the EXO fans who woke up early to welcome them disappointed and worried. Seeing as there was no point for me to stay there, I went back to Manila Hotel to check in with my friends who were waiting for me. And yes, I missed Infinite, U-KISS and Tasty (they were held back, too, so they had to take another flight as well) because I didn’t know which exit to go and just gave up.
At the hotel, my friends and I just waited outside the Press Con Area (the Press Con was held at the Manila Hotel), behind glass walls and we ended up seeing Tahiti, U-KISS and the ever so gorgeous members of Infinite (Myungsoo was perfect by the way. And gosh, Dongwoo wasn’t there yet so I was kinda sad). After the press con, we went back to our room to recharge energy (EXO was finally going to arrive that night, so yeah, stalker powers must be charged). Another devastating news came out around 7pm – it was going to be only EXO K who was boarding the flight to the Philippines. It turned out the problems with the Chinese members’ (except Kris) passports weren’t fixed yet. And as if it wasn’t that bad enough, Jongin got pushed and squeezed by the fans that mobbed the airport and he ended up hitting his legs against the railings. He got hurt so bad that he couldn’t walk by himself and Baekhyun, as well as the manager and staff had to help him. Photos of him in pain, the members in shock and Baekhyun in a REALLY BAD mood (he’s not really exactly good in hiding his emotions after all) came out. When I read the news to my roommates, everyone’s mood escalated downwards and suddenly, all the excitement died. What added to the wound was that rumours of EXO M not going to be able to make it spread around like wildfire. Fans at the airport also started crying and the international fandom started to accuse the Ph fans about what happened to Jongin (Apparently, some intl. fcs mistakenly spread around tweets that the incident happened in NAIA Philippines, when it was originally at Incheon. Hello, EXO hasn’t even arrived in my country yet). And you know what? I suddenly had this feeling of just packing my stuff and going home to sleep – yes, I was that depressed. I even didn’t know how I would react when I see Jongin limping. Damn, I’d leak and snot. Seriously, I’d cry like a baby.
EXO K’s flight would land at 11pm, so my friends and I just killed time and surveyed the area for hidden exits and entrances. But then, we were too late and the timing was off – some of the areas were already closed and one of these areas would have been (it actually was – we found out later on) the routes EXO K would pass by to avoid fans. We waited by the front entrance to no avail and at exactly 12am, it was found out that EXO K was already inside their rooms (ninja moves). We went back to our rooms kind of disappointed and we couldn’t sleep – mainly because we wanted to see them. Before people start judging me and my peers, I won’t make any excuses – of course stalking is bad and I won’t defend myself. So, we went up different stairs using both fire exits (really bad, don’t do what we did) and elevators. Unfortunately, our key card only allowed us to access the floor where we were in, but fortunately for us, we discovered elevators (hidden and tricky ones; gosh that felt like RPG horror games) that could go up different stairs without key cards. We found information that there were Koreans in the 3rd floor, so using our wits (and appeal, lol) we managed to pass by receptionists and guards and accessed the 3rd floor via a hidden elevator. It was a creepy experience because the floors felt like they were haunted (lol) and it was really quiet. We even got caught by some staff (lol) and ran like madwomen back to our rooms. The next part was probably the one I’ll never ever forget. (Damn you kid, Sehun-ah. You’ll know why later)
I don’t really curse any EXO member aside from my love, Kris (I love him that much to curse even his soul, lol. Sorry guys, but take note that it’s not to offend him and what, it’s just how I express my feels. Don’t worry guys, I don’t curse him when I see him in person, because I just cry like a baby when I see him). But damn that Sehun and Chanyeol.
As we were trying our luck to access the different floors in separate groups and ended up defeated afterwards, we used the elevator at the 3rd floor to ascend to the 15th (our floor). However, as we pressed the 15th button, the elevator suddenly stopped at the 11th and damn, no one was there. We thought that probably, some fangirls were playing with the elevators, so we just shrugged it off. After all, everyone’s trying to get a glimpse of EXO K. As we resumed our journey to the 15th floor, the stupid elevators stopped at the 13th (in Filipino culture, 13 is a number of bad luck, bad omen and evil- that’s why most buildings here don’t have 13th floors) and NO ONE WAS THERE. Fudge, how can an elevator stop at a floor when no one pressed the button there? I was already cursing inside my mind and my heartbeat was so fast. I love horror movies and stuff but the real thing is of course, a different thing. Damn it, good thing, the doors closed almost immediately and the cursing inside my head stopped. When we reached our floor, we basically ran to our room and waited for the others. When everyone was already gathered, we all found out that we had similar experiences with the 13th floor – and all happened around 3am (again, in horror movies, 3am is said to be the time when the unknown access the physical world via a vortex). With heavy hearts about not seeing EXO K and fear of the unknown (lol), we drifted off to sleep at around 3:30 am.
A few hours later (we only slept for two hours at max), we all woke up to check some updates about EXO M (some were saying that they were arriving that morning). Then on Twitter, we came across a post that said that Sehun was loitering the floors with Chanyeol around 3am. Apparently, the kids were playing with the elevators (JUST BECAUSE THEY HAD NOTHING TO DO) and specifically played in the 13th floor. It said that they were pressing the buttons then hiding off somewhere to trick fangirls perhaps (AND WE GOT TRICKED FTL). My friend, Lhai cursed out loud (because she was the one who got scared the most and even sustained a bruise from panicking about the 13th floor incident). Of course, all our Facebook status updates then were all about ranting about Sehun and Chanyeol for what they did to us. Sorry kids, but you deserve it for playing with noonas’ emotions.
When we found out where EXO K passed by last night (after ninja-ing and spying almost all corners of the hotel), we decided to just stay there after having breakfast. You know where? By the swimming pool. Apparently, we were about to go there last night to wait for EXO K, but the pools were already closed as it was already late in the evening, so naturally, we couldn’t enter anymore. The staff took advantage of that so they could use the bridges that connect the parking areas to the 2nd floor there. So what EXO K did was pass by those bridges, then use the elevators on the 2nd floor to ascend to their floor. On the bridges were rotating couches where guests could relax and because we were currently in-house guests, we could stay there without being scolded. So at 10am, we sat on the couches and stared at the floor where they were staying, where Sehun, Chanyeol and Suho (?) were spotted looking down at the pools (poor boys) early that morning.
A few minutes later (after confirming on Twitter that EXO M had already landed on the Philippines shores), a staff approached one of the guards by the pools and instructed something. My heartbeat sped up fast because my gut feelings told me that EXO M was already there. It was then confirmed when the guard asked us to vacate the area (bridges) because VIP guests were going to use the passages. Naturally, we left but without being too obvious that we were fangirls. (we were even wearing pajamas that time). Downstairs, by the pool (the bridge was elevated), there was café so we decided to stay there to at least still get a good view of EXO M. A few moments after, they appeared. HOLY SHIT.
Kris was the first one, together with a staff oppa and holy shizz the bitchface just used the bridge as a runaway. He was burning in all his hotness or something, damn Wu Yi Fan. This would be my second time seeing him already, but still, this time around was the closest. He was just perhaps two meters away (GDI). His skin was so milky white and he was wearing a dark grey top with long sleeves that completely and perfectly hug his trunk. He was in jeans and he was holding up his bag in his primadonna glory. Lay and Lu Han were right behind him, then Tao, then Xiumin and Chen. Lu Han kept on waving and his mood was very good and his eyes smiled so much. Lay waved to my friend with his index and thumb forming an “L”; Tao waved to my other friend (OMG A MIRACLE; TAO DOESN’T WAVE MUCH, OK?) then Kris at me and my bestfriends. They were all smiles despite the tiredness showing on their features. After they passed by and entered the passage to the 2nd floor, my friends and I broke down in tears and we were all shaking (OK GUYS, THE LOVES OF OUR LIVES JUST WAVED AND SMILED AT US, OK? OTL). We were sobbing and the guard was even laughing at us (YAAAAAH!). We ran to the elevators immediately and went up floors, but much to our disappointment, they were already the 3rd or 4th floor (where the luggage and staff were). We used the stairs to go down the 3rd floor and saw manager oppa there (he glared at me so I backed off lol I want to live). Giving up and realizing that perhaps that was all what the heavens can give us, we went back to our rooms. We left the hotel at around 3pm to proceed to the concert venue after checking out.
My area was the VIP Platinum (the nearest to the 2nd stage, connected to the main stage via a long bridge on the center and curves on both sides), so naturally, when the artists sing their special stages, they would be nearest to my area. At first, I was on the 3rd row because I arrived kind of late, but because the fans in front of me were Inspirits and Infinite came first, they gathered and compressed on the middle, directly below the 2nd stage when Infinite was singing, so I managed to creep up to the first row (YAY! READY FOR EXO!). I was now 2 people away from the 2nd stage to my left, but it was REALLY CLOSE ENOUGH to reach whoever artist extends his arms. There were sound system errors and Infinite clearly got pissed off (especially L) but I commend their professionalism and just joked with the audience. 2 songs were affected by the technical errors (Chaser *I think* and Be Mine). After them came Tasty (whose first song also got affected by the sound system errors) and after being interviewed and presented a gift by their Filipino FC, they performed “”You Know Me.” Next came U-KISS, then Tahiti (whose members cried because they were overwhelmed by the Philippines’ warm welcome. And even though I wasn’t a fan, I waved at them and shouted that I love them, too. They were well-mannered and smiled a lot. They perform well, too).
Of course, EXO came next. A VTR came on with some pyrotechnics and the venue roared. I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry to the ones beside me, because I literally shoved them aside. *bows 90 degrees* MAMA came first and EXO K opened the song. They were performing MAMA at the main stage so I only saw half of their bodies but it was still close enough. After the song ended (with the amazing mirror dance and after I exhausted my throat shouting at Jongin to take it easy), they did their introductions. Tao recited what he basically said at KCON USA (lol this boy) and when it was Jongin’s turn, I shouted ‘Get Well Soon, Kai!’ When it was Sehun and Chanyeol, and I shouted at them for tricking and playing with my emotions with the elevator incident. But then, I couldn’t handle how adorable they were and forgave them right away (OH GOD WHY). And can I just say that Lu Han looked the best that night? And because of that, Joonmyeon just got pushed away from his ‘second place’ position because Xiao Lu overtook him together with Bacon. Yixing looked really sick, too. All of them greeted in English and Kris talked about the Philippines being ‘hot,’ then trolled the fans afterwards. I couldn’t remember the exact words, but it was like, “It’s hot in here” *fans squeal* “No, I mean the weather, not you guys” *fans snort* “Ok, ok, you guys are hot, too” *fans cheer* (Seriously WTF KRIS).
After the self-introductions, they introduced the next stage, which was “Angel/ Into Your World” by EXO K. I was in tears throughout the whole song because it was my greatest wish to see this song performed right before my very eyes. After than came Xiao Lu and Jongdae with “What is Love?” Jongdae was the one who walked on the right curve connected to the 2nd stage so I saw him up close. When the both reached the 2nd stage, I took out my phone and recorded from there. I also got another close look at Xiao Lu’s perfect features. He’s the best-looking in EXO, hands down, in my opinion, even though Yi Fan was my bias. Jongdae really looked so much better in person, actually, cameras don’t really do EXO justice. They all looked REALLY REALLY GOOD. I failed to see them this close during SMTOWN, so it was really only now that I saw even their pores (lol a bit exaggerating there) What came next was “Two Moons”
Can I just curse Wu Yi Fan? (Well, I always curse the poor guy) I swear he was so hyper. He was jumping and hopping and rolling like a buffalo and THANK GOODNESS HE WAS ON MY SIDE GDI. He even knelt with minor head-bangs on the right corner before proceeding with his small hops right in front of me (damn it >/////////////////<) and afterwards reaching the 2nd stage with Taozi there. Lu Han and Lay were the ones dancing, too. His clothes were horrible, though – he was wearing that white long-sleeved top with the silver tapes (I think the one he wore at teaser 17, minus the cape) and neon pink, shining shimmering splendid pants. His hair was swept upwards, too. After the song ended, he asked the audience (can’t remember exact words, ok?) “Did you guys enjoy it?” *fans cheer* “Do you guys want more?” *fans shout yeah* “Can you still handle it?” *YEAH BOY* He then proceeded to leave while introducing the next special stage – one that is close to my heart because this will be my second time hearing it” “Open Arms” with Bacon, Chen, D.O. and Lulu.
This time Bacon, also passed by in front of me. Oh my gosh, his legs are legit sexy – they were so perfect. He was stunning, period. There are no need for words, ok? And don’t get me started with his and Chen’s high notes. My life is a lie, ok? EXO main vocals pawned the performance and owned the stage, ok? Holy macaroni. D.O. wore his “DJ Got Us Fallin In Love” pink jacket and he looked so adorable in them. I think he got thinner because his jacket was eating him alive. Anyway, he waved like a kid and smile one his biggest and sweetest smiles. Xiao Lu – OHMYGOSH, OK? Let’s not talk about it anymore, he’s so perfect I’m about to die.
The next stage was probably, no, not probably but definitely the best special stage. EXO sang “Hawak Kamay” (A Filipino song by singer Yeng Constantino) with guitar accompaniments by Yixing and Chanyeol and Kris on his African Drums ( lol and his expression while tapping them, was priceless people – he looked like a boss with his drums lol). The stage was so touching because the boys tried their best to pronounce the words well with their perfect voices and harmonizations, plus the other members who did not accompaniments gave flowers and candies to the audience. Taozi, Baozi, Chen, Bacon, Sehun and I think D.O. (?) passed by in front of me and I could remember shouting at Taozi begging for him to throw the rose he was holding at my direction, but he didn’t (T_T). Sehun looked really lost at where to give/throw his rose lol. He handed it afterwards to someone in the moshpit directly a few meters in front of me (WHY NOT FOR ME SEHUN-AH, AFTER TRICKING ME T_T). He then got hugged *OHMYGOSH IN FRONT ME* by Taozi (Maknae love!). Taozi was playing with a panda plushie and he looked so happy :”). In the end, I didn’t get anything (MY POOR HEART).
The last song was then, “History” and EXO M, this time, went up first. I could not take vids here because they used the main stage. They left a few messages to the fans and Baekhyun, Chanyeol and Chen spoke in Filipino. I can’t remember the exact words (sorry guys, too many feels) but I do remember that some of them used words from the lyrics of “Hawak Kamay” (unfair, lol) and Chanyeol was like, “Salamat Po” (Thank you!). Bias aside, I think EXO loved their stay in the Philippines. Kris even promised to come back and visit again after their new album comes out. (We’ll be waiting, my dear!)
The last one to perform was Girls’ Generation. It feels overwhelming that the Philippines was the first overseas country to witness “Dancing Queen” and “I Got a Boy”~ It was a very touching moment for the SONEs because they waited for years to see the girls. I feel happy for them :’)
The concert ended after IGAB, around 11pm. EXO and SNSD then took their flights home at 12am.
I missed the chance to say this, but even if they can’t read this, I want to thank all the artists for a wonderful show. And EXO, we’ll be waiting!
What did I tell you guys last time? There are more dreams to come! Fangirling never ends. Till the next concert :”>