STORY: I Cried For A Stranger

I'm an "obsesser." I tend to fixate on things I find interesting or attractive. Sometimes, my obsession is beneficial like when I became fixated with learning Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere, but sometimes, my obsession is disadvantageous. My obsessions make me lose it... lose my brain and lose my moolah. And that particular case when my obsession just took over my body was when I found out Zac Efron was coming to Manila! I just tossed all thinking out the window and spent five thousand pesos on Penshoppe to snag one of those VIP tickets! (Never mind that I didn't really like the stuff I bought!) 

I'm not a super fan - the type of fan who knows all the personal information about Zac Efron (I was like that with Lindsay Lohan and the Sprouse twins though). I am more of the admirer fan. The type who just loves the book for its cover. Naman. With that good looking a cover, do you really need to read the book  to be sold? 

Anyway, days leading to the Fan Conference held by Penshoppe, my heart would race at the thought of it. I kept imagining how it would feel to be within a few feet from ZAC EFRON. I needed to capitalize his name just in case you do not understand how big of a deal it is. This is Zac Efron. THE Zac Efron. Waaaaaaah.

On the day of the event, Vannah, my co-worker and co-fan, talked about getting to the venue by 3pm even if the ticket said gates opened at 6pm. We wanted to get good seats even if we both got VIP tickets. You see, each section was free seating, so it would suck if we sat at the back most part of the VIP section, right? We did pay five thousand pesos for this so we were going to milk everything we can!

I had a school commitment that morning so I was already up and about by 7am. I had lunch at Jose's house by 1230pm and headed to the salon by 130pm (I had to have my hair straightened, at least! I was hoping to get a photo with Zac for my Facebook profile picture and for my bedroom wall! Haha). I was ready by 3pm and it took me about 30 more minutes to get to the place. It was a good thing Vannah was running late, too so I was able to snap a few photos with my straight hair at the parking lot with my volunteer (ehem, bribed) photographer, Jose. 

From the parking lot, I could see that there was a very long line building up beside the Arena but I didn't mind it, thinking I wasn't going to have to fall in line. I thought they would have separate lines for different sections and considering that the VIP had less than 500 slots, I expected the line I was going to fall in to be much shorter. I was so wrong. Apparently, when I went down to catch up with Vannah and her friends, all sections had to fall in line together. We were shocked and pissed about it. I didn't want to be a snooty elitist or anything but I didn't think this was how VIPs were supposed to be treated. It was such a disappointment but we eventually went to back to the line and continued to grumble there. I was just chanting in my head that Zac Efron will be worth this. Zac Efron will be worth having my straightened hair poof out. Zac Efron will be worth the two hours of standing and sweating. Zac Efron will be worth getting trampled on in a possible stampede. 

Finally, after waiting for two hours, the line began to move. The gates were finally open! The experience was both exhilarating and scary at the same time. Seeing this huge crowd of people walk towards one direction made your adrenaline rush both because of excitement for the event to start and of fear that you may get trampled on.  

After another 30 minutes of struggling to make it through the crowd, we got inside the Arena. We (Me, Vannah and company. I'm sorry, I forgot their names!) were extra pissed when we saw how anyone could just get in! We could have just waited across the street for the gates to open and the guards wouldn't know if we fell in line or not! It was so irritating! Some people looked so fresh and they could not have been in line with us to be looking like that! Argh! But I tried to control myself and not ruin my night. I got through security and was faced with yet another line. I was comforted by the thought that at least this time it was air conditioned. I also bought a burger and iced tea to sip on while waiting which helped cool down my hot head. 

But wait, there was still another bump in the road when we started to fall in line. We found out that again, the VIPs were made to fall in line with the Patron ticket holders. We didn't know how the layout of the seats were so were really pissed that they may be able to take our seats from us. You see, each section of the Arena is separated by floors (GenAd was at the 5th floor, Upper Box at the 3rd floor, Lower Box at the 2nd floor, etc.) so if the Patrons were entering the same door at the same floor as the VIPs, that could mean that we were going to be seating in the same area! I didn't pay 5,000 pesos to be seated in a seat I could have gotten for 3,500! 

Anyway, after waiting for almost another hour, we were finally able to enter THE Arena. When we got through the doors, the guard advised that there was a special area right down the center for the VIPs. At last! Some VIP treatment! My eyes lit up as Vannah and I ran for our seats. It was amazing! The seats were right down the middle! There was a runway right down the middle so the stage was both to my front and to my right. Everything was so near! It was like all the grumbling of the past 3 and a half hours disappeared. I was going to see Zac Efron and I was super excited to care about anything else.

It felt like forever for the program to start. We got to our seats at almost 630pm and waited for a good 30 minutes for any type of activity to begin. By 700pm, I was nervously holding on to my ticket hoping and praying that I would win the meet and greet raffle. The announcement of winners ate up an entire hour and that basically set the tone for the rest of the night for the audience. The night was going to be extremely exciting for the 100 winners and depressingly heartbreaking for everyone else. I was one of those whose heart sunk to the pit of her stomach when her number wasn't called. But again, I shook off the negative vibes and perked up. I was still going to see Zac Efron in the flesh. I was still excited.

After the raffle, a bunch of performances and AVPs of Ian, Leighton and Mario played for about another hour. I was entertained at first but after 30 minutes of it, I was bored and just wanted to fast forward to when Zac Efron comes out.

Finally, after the UP pep squad performed to HSM hits, Zac Efron came out! I couldn't believe my eyes! He was standing right across me! He looked so handsome! He looked exactly like he does in TV, just lighter. His hair was more blonde than brown but from the big screens, it looked brown. He was sooooooo handsome I just couldn't help but stand and stare and squeal a few times. Oh my goodness, it was Zac Efron!

I was in shock the first time Zac came out so it took me a while to snap back into reality and listen to anything he was saying. When he came out the second time for his interview with Boy Abunda, I was standing at the edge of the stage, with my iPod in hand, I was ready to absorb all of his Zac Efron goodness.

As I stood there, ignoring the extremely loud thumping of the speaker beside me, I teared up out of disbelief. I just couldn't believe my eyes. I was looking at Zac Efron from about 15 feet away. Don't ask me to explain why I cried, I just did (and so did thousands of other girls). I just couldn't understand what kind of emotion rushed through me during that hour or so. It was overwhelming and I just let my body react to whatever it was I was feeling. I even stopped recording the interview, I had to savor the moment. 

Zac attending to the raffle winners

It felt like the hour went by so quickly. Zac Efron had to go and I sadly wasn't ready for it. I wasn't even able to get my picture. Suddenly, the heartbreak over not winning the raffle early on came rushing back. After the interview, I walked slowly back to my seat and left the crowd that surrounded the stage. The 100 winners were allowed up the stage one by one to take a photo and hug Zac Efron and as I watched, I felt absolutely terrible for not being happy for them. Seeing the girls all giddy and excited on screen made me want to scream. But I didn't, I just teared up and then sucked it in. I stayed a few more minutes after Zac left the stage, still hoping some miracle would happen... but no miracle. 

The Arena was almost cleared out when I left the place. Vannah and company went together and I waited for Jose. Jose texted me he would take a while to get to me so I tried to find a place to stay. I wasn't hungry since I gobbled on a burger and popcorn earlier... and also since I was too depressed to eat. I walked slowly from the Arena to MOA and waited near the bridge towards the bay. It was raining so I couldn't stay outdoors so I just leaned on the railings and stared blankly into the sea I could hardly see. 

I estimate I stood there for about 20-30 minutes before Jose came. I walked down the stairs and rode the car and didn't speak a word. Jose got irritated over my depression since he just couldn't fathom why I was sad over a stranger. Zac Efron was a stranger. Besides the films I watched, I didn't really know him. I wasn't really a super fan so I didn't even know when his birthday was! Imagine that. I didn't spoke a word but I thought about what Jose said and I felt silly about crying over a stranger. I don't want to cry over a stranger again.

I remained depressed all the way home and for the next day or two. I had just imagined the event to turned out differently. I had imagined being seated near the stage and Zac would pluck me out of the audience to participate in some game of sorts. I would have my picture and I would be all giddy for the rest of the night. I would post my photo on Facebook and watch people comment at how lucky I was and I'd reply saying how lucky I truly felt. But all of that didn't happen and I think that was why I was depressed. I had already pictured out everything and I was just disappointed over disappointing myself. 

I don't think I'll ever buy tickets to see a celebrity again. I think my experience changed my idea of being a fan and about my obsession over things and how I react to things. I still adore Zac Efron and all but I don't think I'll be crazy enough to cry over him again. Is this maturity or is this being a sore loser? I don't know. But either way, I'll be saved from the unnecessary spending and undeserved tears. 

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