I was fortunate to have the opportunity to cover Daniel Padilla’s Ilocos Norte concert last Thursday, June 20, from his arrival at the airport until the end of his concert at the Laoag City Centennial Arena where he performed in front of the biggest indoor crowd ever gathered in Ilocos Norte’s history. This is my report.
It was definitely not a usual day at the airport. Tarpaulin-bearing fans were already waiting before 7:00 a.m., almost ten hours ahead of the teen heartthrob’s scheduled arrival at 4:20 p.m. The girls knew their idol was arriving that day but did not know what time. When I interviewed them at 4:00 p.m., none of them had lunch yet. They were hungry, but no amount of food could have filled them. They wanted Daniel.
Two fan groups gathered behind the barricaded waiting area at the airport: ‘Daniel Rocks Ilocos Norte’ and ‘Ka Dreamers,’ which supports Daniel’s tandem with Kathryn Bernardo. Members of these groups, who come from various high schools in the province, said they asked permission from both their parents and their teachers to skip class that day. There was no competition between the two groups, only common love and adulation for the teen superstar.
Even when the plane was still out of sight, they were already shrieking at the top of their teenage lungs. My eardrums were shocked at the volume and pitch of their voices, but I knew I should get used to it. The action has not even begun.
Monette Manuel, 15, a fourth year student at the Ilocos Norte College of Arts and Trades, gave the top three reasons why they root for Daniel: effortless magpakilig, guapo, and mahal niya ang fans niya. The fans spoke as if they have known him for a long time and on a personal basis. They know his favorite colors (black and yellow), favorite food (lasagna and pizza), and the behavior he wants his fans to exhibit (ayaw niya ‘yung wild, dapat behaved). Continue reading “Tunay na Nangingibabaw: Close Encounters with Daniel Padilla”