Jaejoong Live (At Last) in Manila

December 02, 2017

Dreams do come true, always keep the faith.

contains uncontrolled spazzing of 8 years worth 
of fangirling dreams that came true that night

Until now, days after these all happened, I am still feeling incomprehensible emotions. Did it really happen? Was I not dreaming? Did I really see Kim Jaejoong live? It still hasn't really sank in, but the photos and videos that I have captured are the things I hold on to remind myself that yes, it all happened. Yes it was real, I really saw Kim Jaejoong, at long last. ๐Ÿ’“

I've been a fan of TVXQ since 2009. As much as I want to talk about my fangirling history to make you (if I have actual readers, ์•ˆ๋…•!) realize how much this event meant to me, I want to talk more about this fateful day that I finally saw Kim Jaejoong live. (you can read about my fangirling journey here and here).

I'm not actually sure how to start. Let's just say I believe the Universe have arranged this meeting so that I'll be as close as possible to Jaejoong, to able to understand him more, and also to take home the best memories possible with me. I decided to take risks for him, and I am forever grateful to friends and connections that made me experience this concert the best way possible.

I already know basic Korean (recently took formal classes!).
I invested on a better camera.
I upgraded to the best seats in the house.
I received a media pass.

I think subconsciously, I was actually preparing to finally meet him. He's 1/5 of the guys that I loved since I was in college. And to finally meet him up close? IT REALLY FELT SURREAL. I HAVE NO WORDS.

The first few seconds that I saw him on stage was in slow motion in my head. My stomach ached and I couldn't breathe. HE'S ACTUALLY STANDING RIGHT THERE. ๐Ÿ˜ฎAfter a few seconds of being in a trance, I slapped myself out and started to shoot photos and videos (ehem I had some tasks to complete for KPOPChannel. ๐Ÿ˜‰).

Not Just a Concert, But A Reunion of Friends
For us mga lumang tao ng KPOP (as host Kring Elenzano said - long-time fans of KPOP), this event is a milestone in our lives. As early as 2004, there already have been local fans doing simple meetups spazzing about TVXQ (this is pre-Youtube days guys). They can't follow their favorite groups' activities in real-time, unlike what's possible today. It's really the fans' connections to each other that held their fandom alive. As the years passed, people have graduated out of TVXQ's fandom and moved to other more active groups (sadly TVXQ's disbandment and each member's military enlistment hugely affected their presence in the KPOP world).

But tonight, I saw a lot of people excitedly hugging and greeting people they passed by. I observed this not only while I was outside the venue but also when I got to the audience area inside. It was really indeed a reunion. For my case with my friends, I initially recognized them by face only... l had to ask them what their names were coz it's been years since I last saw them๐Ÿ˜…). Even before the fanmeeting started, the atmosphere was so happy because friends have reunited here again because of their love for Jaejoong.

fangirling friends (they're the same people from my DBI family)
It's so heartwarming, because even though a lot has changed in the years that passed, we were there again getting together because of our love for the same artist. That night was not only about Kim Jaejoong, but also about the friends we made because of the fandom.

Ms. Kring: Perfect Host for the Night
That night was also extra special because it was Ms. Kring who hosted the event. I'm so glad she was the one chosen to do it, as we can't really have anyone else do that precious role. She's a fellow fangirl that has been with us all these years, so she has all the right to have the honor to be on the same stage with Jaejoong.

Look where 7 years worth of keeping the faith brought her. ๐Ÿ’—

The Fanmeeting Program
I'm not fond of attending fanmeetings (I'm 100% a concert girl), but this is Jaejoong so this is definitely an exception. So what exactly happens in a fanmeeting? Well for this one, there's an activity part and a concert part (yaaay!). In the first part, Jaejoong gets to interact with fans through games and Q&As.

Jaejoong chose selcas sent by fans and answered questions written at the back.
He also played charades with chosen fans on stage.
There's also a "guess this song" game wherein the audience had to guess
the OPM song Jaejoong was humming. 

How's it like to see KIM JAEJOONG in the flesh?
Compared to seeing him in photos and videos in the past 8 years, the first thing I noticed upon seeing Jaejoong face-to-face is his skin.

Everything that they said were true: HE SHINES. HE GLISTENS. ๐Ÿ˜
I can't explain how milky white his complexion is. I've seen a lot of Korean celebrities up close in the past but there's something about Jaejoong's skin that's different. If he had his hair black I think the contrast would even become more striking.

I can feel that he's really a sincere person. You know when you see a celebrity on stage, you feel like they are in performance mode so they have higher energy, which obviously is not their real self? With Jaejoong, you feel his vulnerability on stage. He felt shy to us and apologized several times because it took longer for him to come to the Philippines. There was that moment when he talked about the fansigning he did earlier with the fans. Everyone was saying to him "Thank you for finally coming to the Philippines." He was in the brink of tears. ๐Ÿ˜ญ He told us he was not expecting that many of us will come given that it took him so long. He repeatedly asked us 'Will you call me back?' which of course we answered with a resounding 'YES!'. It's a different kind of experience to actually understand some parts of what Jae was saying and not rely on the interpreter all the time (shoutout to KC ์„ ์ƒ๋‹˜!)

During the Q&A, we could feel that he really thinks a lot before answering a question. His answers to the questions were not "showbiz", if you know what I mean. It's not staged so he's just saying his thoughts at that moment out loud.

Some questions that were selected were:

If you could travel back in time, where would you go and why?
What makes you happy?

For the first one, he answered he doesn't want to go back anywhere because he's happy right now, and for the second one, he said that he's happy when his fans are happy (awww~ ๐Ÿ˜ณ). I really liked when he commented that he was actually surprised that there were no naughty questions, and that all of them were serious questions.

Even though he was shy, some mannerisms didn't go away though. He always was lip-biting, which drove his fans crazy (well it drove me crazy ๐Ÿ˜œ). And those stares... I could live for those stares.

Are you always seducing us, Jae?
That stare though. ๐Ÿ˜
He's just sipping water, but why is he so damn adorable?
I also realized how much he loves drinking. During the segment where he tried our local pulutan (food to eat while drinking beer), he really loved the San Miguel beer. He even recognized the taste. I think Jaejoong would be a cool drinking buddy. ๐Ÿ˜Š

During the concert part, I realized that I really loved the musician in him over everything else. When he started to sing, that's when he got me under his trance. I always loved his vocals. To hear him sing live was heaven to my ears.

I will always love singer Jaejoong

Jae is a soulful singer. He really sings from the heart
Superb Fanclubs - Thank you!
Of all the KPOP concerts I've been to, this is the first time I experienced raising lightsticks and also participating in a fan project. With that said, I am very thankful to the fanclubs that went above and beyond to provide these merchandise for the fans (these are the only items I got hold of, so if there are other fanclubs that arranged something, thank you also!)

JYJ PH provided lightsticks and banners
AACassiopeia  gave away photocards, tissue packs (to wipe away tears of joy),
and banners also (to be raised specifically when Jae sang Now is Good)

I've been very used to attending concerts but I am seldom this near from the stage (I always get the cheapest tickets, because uh budget and priorities) so this was really a special treat for me. Plus this is for Jaejoong, so I really really was thankful. I felt like I was meant to be there.

There's us, and there's Jaejoong!
We were this close from him on the stage. We couldn't really lean on the barriers (the Korean security were backing us off).
During Good Morning Night, Jaejoong walked to our side several times. He was standing only a foot away from us!

This is another item checked on my fangirling bucket list. One down, four to go. #alwayskeepthefaith

Thank you ์žฌ์ค‘! It was a memorable night for us. If you still can, please come back again. We'll always wait for you. ๐Ÿ’—

Here are some of the clips I posted around SNS. Enjoy!

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