Monday, November 4, 2013

INFINITE One Great Step Manila Concert #OGSManila

(Not Beauty nor Fashion related. Please skip if not a Kpop fan.)

Just like the DKFC experience, I'm writing this at 4:39 in the morning so that I never forget what happened. 
This post is going to be extremely photo heavy.. Maybe text heavy, too! Please click READ MORE to know the whole story. Please don't blame me, my dream concert just happened a few hours ago! 

So you may or may not know that one of my wishes this year was for an Infinite solo concert here in Manila. I was so happy when Woollim finally decided to add Manila in the tour destinations! While my memory is still fresh, I'll blog about what happened at the concert. :)

Let me start the story by telling what happened on November 2, 2013, Infinite's arrival in Manila. I have NEVER stalked nor followed any artist, least a Kpop group. And I have never intended to do so. Because for me, that is invading their privacy and it's just not right for a woman to chase after a man.. But of course, sometimes perceptions change... My friend urged me to go to the hotel where Infinite would be staying for 2 days. So I left the house at 12noon thinking they would arrive around 2pm. I got lost trying to find the hotel lobby because the 2 hotels were connected... I was running because something in me just tells me to hurry. I was lost inside the hotel for about 15 minutes. Then finally, I found the right aisle going to the lobby. I took the escalator going down when suddenly 2 black vans arrived at the entrance! Infinite is arriving! I hurriedly went down and tried to go as near as I could. Lucky us, there were only around 25 people inside so it was easy to get closer and not so much pushing happened. Just then, Infinite arrived! Right in front of my eyes! 

Here's the video I took:

If it was another group, I would have left the venue right away. Since stalking and following really make me cringe. It's just....not right. :( But it's Infinite! So my friends and I decided to stay...and wait until the press conference. We had lunch at the fancy restaurant, I forgot the name but it was expensive. We stayed until 3 pm.  

Then went out to wait for Infinite to go to the Press Con venue. I would have been inside the press con because I was contacted by Araneta Center Marketing officer...but they had to cancel it because they said only limited people could go in, and of course they had to prioritize media. So, stalking it is. 

Infinite's vans.

Met some other Gyu fans. :)

We stayed there for 2 hours just waiting.. Until they finally went out again for the Press Con. It became so crowded. I was at the back and I didn't see anyone but Woo Hyun who walked too fast. We waited some more... But we got too tired and impatient. We met a couple of new friends. One being a really smart fan. So our area was too crowded and bulky bouncers were in the way of our sight.. So she told us to go to the other side of the aisle where no fans and bouncers were. We stayed there for another hour, 2 of my friends, 4 newly met people and then 4 other fans. Then we suddenly heard screaming! Our instinct just told us to run towards the hall! There they were! I failed to see Sungjong, L! I was able to see Gyu but it was only half of his body as the other half was already heading towards the door. Namu was behind him. Then Sungyeol. Then Dongwoo. Last was Hoya. We were so close! It's a shame that the fans on the other side were so far and we were like 4 steps away but none of us was able to take a video nor a photo. Just plain waving at them as they passed by. It's such a shame because we were too close! The quality would have been so good. 

I managed to take a photo of the last person to enter the door, Hoya. Look at how blurry it is, what a failure! Here's how we saw them or how my camera wants me to remember it...

Here's how they saw us...

Anyway, to see what happened on the other side of the aisle, here's a video.

If you go to 0:37 time, you'll see them waving towards the opposite direction. They were waving at us! At long last they went out... I never thought I would ever wait for 6 hours for just a brief encounter.. But I did today... :)

* * *

So came November 3, 2013. Concert day. First, I picked up tickets from Araneta Center. They were complimentary passes in exchange of the canceled press conference invitation. Since I already bought vip ticket just 1 hour after they released the ticket last September, I decided to giveaway the tickets to some lucky people. Were you one of the people who joined the giveaway? :)

The banner that I DIYed!

Went with my friends!

We arrived at 4pm. What a relief to have reserved seats than to que in line for hours! Sample? How about 9 hours of queuing time for the DKFC concert? Anyway, I originally wanted to go around the area and collect all the banners I could. But I failed. haha. 

At 6 pm, we decided to go inside!
For 2 months, I was nervous about my ticket! I accidentally posted my ticket on my personal Facebook without removing the bar code below. It was only after 6 hours when my friend noticed it and told me to take it down. I was so scared someone from my 800 friends would reprint my it. But none of them did! Yay. Now I trust all of my personal Facebook friends! :)

Originally wanted to buy an official light stick but they ran out of it. Now look at the amount of sold out items!

I FANCY THE LEAD SINGER. Personalized shirt! Thanks to Arvic for this!

 The stage when we entered the coliseum. I'm surprised the the patron areas were full! Good job, Inspirits! :)

 Preparing my cheering bundle. lol

I like how they really started the concert on time. It says 7pm so it shall start at 7pm!

I filmed the entire Intro and Destiny. So this could be Tic Toc. I can't list the entire OGS set list here. (I don't want to ruin the entire thing for you, I also didn't watch any fan cams nor checked the song list so the whole show was a surprise for me!) But if you need it, here's the link.

Paradise with an awesome intro and cool shadow effect!

I forgot what they were singing here. 

Time for solo and special stages! First up, Infinite H!

In the Summer. And Jang Dongwoo probably signaling to his parents an OK sign. His Mom and Dad came to the Philippines just to watch the concert which we thought was very sweet and just special. We have honorary guests! :)

I don't have any photos of him looking at my camera. I don't know why when my banner clearly says 규 여기 좀 봐! ㅜㅜ

They all threw plushies and paper planes to fans. I guess being in front of them does not bring any luck.None of them threw any towards us when we were right in front of this ledge...

Solo stages! L and his teddy bear! I thought it was going to be Yeol inside. Or I thought they were going to change this to the rumored MYMP collaboration performance!

Caught you, Myung Soo!


Namu proposing. 

After the concert, I met the girl Namu proposed to. What do you know, she's not even a Namu bias. lol. But she told me she's converting. :)

Time for my Gyu! But why did you have to close your eyes the whole time you were on stage for 60 seconds? 

Can't believe I only have 1 decent photo of Gyu for his solo stage. The rest were grainy and shaky. I guess you can tell that you focused on the performance when you don't have a lot of videos and photos of it. I can always Google photos and videos of this performance, but my eyes witnessing it live won't always happen. I just wanted to stare.

K. How about this photo to compensate for it? :p


Can't remember why Yeol had his arms around L. I think he was telling him to do the rap part.. :)

I like how Gyu and Myung are staring at each other while Namu cuts them!

When you see it....

Cover Girl. Time for fan interaction and more fan service!

So here's L taking a photo of me! lol

And Sungjong.

Prince Yoellie.

The good thing about our seats was that we were able to see them closer plus we were on the first row...and we got to sit down comfortably when we felt a bit tired. The downside was that we were not able to get any plushies, paper planes, hand our phones/cameras to them, get any sign nor handshakes. I felt so bad about that! But if there's one thing that I'm happy about, it's this short interaction with Gyu while he was singing Going to You:

I was actually showing him a banner that I was holding next to my camera to get his attention so he would look at the camera. But he got so shy and acted like that, what a squishy person! :)

How do I know that he actually saw me? Here's a photo of the I'm Going To You performance that I found on Instagram (cr:Angielpy).

And how do you know that it was actually me and that I sat in that area? Here is another photo I found on Instagram. (cr:Khristelle16)

Girl, I thank you for this photo! Though I sent the owner a message and asked her if I could borrow the uncropped version of this. I'm pretty sure my banners aren't cut in it, but she turned her account private. I guess she doesn't want any messages from me, eh? Nevertheless, still so happy to found a photo of Gyu and I together. I'm not crazy, I know there are like 20 other people in it...but you get the idea! :)

Here are the other videos I took from OGS Manila:

Sunggyu Focus link here (60 Seconds, In the Summer, Going to you, I Like You)
-Sunggyu's message to Filipino Inspirits link here
-INFINITE Rap + Singing Filipino Song BAHAY KUBO link here
-Self Introduction in FIlipino + Talk Time link here
-Arrival at Crowne Plaza Hotel 131102 link here

(Borrowing this photo of the crowd from a fansite. I can't see the watermark, but photo belongs to the owner!) We were supposed to get seats at 201 section but they covered the first 4 rows, we didn't know why. We taught fan clubs block-reserved them so we just got 202 seats. Tsk, we would have seated beside Dongwoo's parents.)

Muscular Myungsoo, anyone?

During Dongwoo's speech on the encore stage,fans suddenly sang Happy Birthday song for him. Then he said "You know my birthday?!" Then he said some thank you words and said that his parents came to the Philippines to watch the show. I was beginning to get teary eyed as early as Man in Love because I knew the show was coming to an end. But when Dongwoo cried, my tears just fell...

It's just overwhelming emotions! 10 months of wishing, praying and waiting. Php9,000 is no joke. The disbelief that those people I just watch on my 13inch laptop are now dancing and singing right in front of me, that I really wanted to meet Gyu but of course I can't, who am I even?, that the show was coming to an end, that I know it'll take a while before I see them again, that there are too many fans who are wishing the same wish that I have, that I feel the boys are really exhausted from too much work but they are professional enough to show us their big smiles, that I know they miss their families because they rarely get to spend time with them, and how time flies when you're having fun! 

Naughty Hoya gave the towel Dongwoo used to a fan.

They said so many thank you's but I got tired to film and I know it will take a long time to see them again so I just wanted to cherish the moment and stare at them and listen to their live voices talking. Next thing, it was time to say good bye. 

Totally ugly in the photo but that's them behind me so who cares. :)

2 and a half hours went by just like that. I wish I could tell them to slow the music a bit so I would've had enough time to process the song before they move to the next. But they just kept on going and going and song after another. 

But if you ask me if it was worth all the waiting, time, money, and effort I would say Yes, it is! I was not even a tiny bit disappointed. Yes, I did not get any plushies, photos, handshake or a single interaction or close encounter with them but if truth be told, I was one of the happiest people in Araneta that night. They gave me so much more than what a selfie photo or a plushy can do: memories to last me a long time... long time until they come back here again. I just hope they don't make it too long. Infinite, I don't always follow and talk about Kpop like this... But because it's you guys, I'm doing this. My blog is not even a Kpop blog yet look at how long this post is. Thank you for the wonderful show you showed us. Heck, it must be tiring to sing a song and dance to it all over again for years...but you performed in front of us like it was just your first time performing it. Many of the viewers were students who had to skip lunch just to save for their ticket... and you showed them that everything was worth it. I may never have met you...who knows, maybe someday I will... But thank you! Tonight, you thanked us... But honestly, we should thank you. THANK YOU!

After the concert, I noticed some fans were asking Dongwoo's parents for photos.  It could be rude in Korea...but here int he Philippines as long as you're a celebrity or a family of a celebrity, a photo with a fan is fine. We were at DOOR 8. I figured they would be in DOOR 7 or 6. So I ran to DOOR 7, only to find out it was the area for the standing patron. Immediately ran to DOOR 6 when I almost bumped into a man wearing orange shirt. He looked at me in shock and I looked back. It's Dongwoo's dad. So I said right away "사진요. 사진 주세요." He answered "No time!" Then I said "체발요. 한번만요..." I guess Mrs. Jang felt bad for me so she smiled and said "Oh ok..." I asked the Korean to take our photo... but the photo is blurred. But still, you know you they are, right?

Didn't want to go home I asked my friend to come with my to a quiet place... I was thinking of a park with trees and a comfy bench...but Starbucks was the nearest place possible! lol

My other friend who was a Hoya fan texted me and asked me if I wanted to go with them to a Korean restaurant to have a final glimpse of Infinite. I asked my friends but they didn't we just stayed at Starbucks. True enough, after the 2nd try, my friend was able to find the location of the after party. We were texting and she told me there were only 50 fans in the area...and I could still make it. She told me every single detail of what the boys were doing. But I'm not telling it here. haha! She said when they went out, the boys greeted them and waved at them. Fan service with no limits! But I thought to myself: "Should I go to that extent? I do want to meet Sunggyu. But that's not how I want it to be. And that's not how I want to be remembered by him." My wish has always been to be  introduced to him as someone who works in the same field as him... Like an events organizer, a blogger, a translator, a stylist, an interviewer, a media representative... but not as someone who follows him around. No! So, I just went home. Someday Sunggyu, I'll meet you! :)

Anyway, here are the things I brought home from the concert. I actually had a letter I but I must have dropped it somewhere. I also forgot to include Dongwoo's banners in the photo but I totally have it!

 I was so depressed when I got home. I wasn't able to sleep... But I got some wake-up call. When I upload photos on my Facebook and Instagram, people have nothing to say but how lucky I am to be able to see Infinite perform live... Then I thought, they are right! Here I am, being totally sad and thinking how I still want MORE while some people only wish to see Infinite once... when I already saw them twice just this year. I should be okay soon and think of this as something to be really thankful for than something to cry about and beg for more... :) 

It was really a fun concert! It's also very memorable to me since everything seems to have fallen into place. I live in Cubao, the concert was held in Cubao. I work in Ortigas, their hotel was in Ortigas. Just pure perfection! Thank you Infinite!

ps : I have a lot of videos and I need a few days to edit them. Please check back on this post for videos and fan cams!

Good night, it's already 7 am. Good morning to the readers. Cherish the day. Today's the last day you'll be in the same time zone as the boys, breathing the same air!

Also, this concert summary may be biased. If you want to read unbiased concert reviews, check out here, here and here

* * *

To prove myself that everything really transpired and I was not dreaming that night, here are more photos from the OGS Manila. Credit goes to the photo owners! Thanks for capturing me in your photos. Now, I have proof. :)


It's funny how I was standing and holding my banners in all of the photos... and my polo was worn the other way around! Gah, I had no idea I looked like I was wearing a Scottish plaid skirt. I wore it that way because my shorts was too short and didn't feel comfortable with it. I forgot to turn it around! Nonetheless, I'm happy I found these photos. Glad to see that I actually looked like I enjoyed the night, because I really did!