THIS IS IT! TODAY IS THE DAY!
TODAY MARKS ANOTHER HISTORICAL EVENT, NOT JUST FOR THE PHILIPPINES BUT FOR THE WHOLE BRITNEY ARMY!
Today, June 15, 2017, at the MOA Arena, marks Britney Spears’ first concert in the Philippines. Not just her first concert, by the way, but her first time walking on the lands of our majestic country! She has mentioned our country, the Philippines, in her 2007 hit “Piece Of Me”, where she said she will “sneak away into the Philippines”, and indeed, it has happened. And may I just say, THE QUEEN HAS ARRIVED!
I have been a fan since 1998, I was 8 years old. But I wasn’t a hardcore fan then, I was just a casual one. I just know her song, “…Baby One More Time”, but I don’t know her, nor her name. Kids will normally sing catchy tunes, you know, it’s innate to children. And kids will normally sing this song of hers or (You Drive Me) Crazy, teen girls will then sing Sometimes or Born To Make You Happy. She became an institution, an emerging pop culture to teenagers by the end of the 90s. I grew up knowing her and following her acts. We weren’t rich so MTV wasn’t always my option. The channel Vid-ok (Araw Gabi, Sing-along Party), the predecessor of Myx, was my go-to channel to watch Britney videos as they always have her in their countdown. All her videos are always number one, the music was boring when she isn’t featured.
2000 was a turning point for her and for me as a fan. Her fame was bigger than ever, hits after hits. Then 2001 VMAs came, she was draped with a snake. I fell more in love with her. She was beautiful, talented and fierce. No one understood me. When you are a Britney fan, people tagged you as gay, corny, baduy or no taste. People started to dislike her because she turned to have a sexy image at a young age. But I didn’t stop, because she is very very interesting. The first CD that I had was her “Oops!… I Did It Again” album, but when we moved it got lost. So my mom bought me another, her 3rd album “Britney”, but a pirated version, since this era had a rampant issue on piracy. I would play this CD all day and never got tired of it.
Years passed, then Toxic came out. People loved her again as it had a very out of this world video, the music was ahead of its time and it was Britney Spears like no one has seen her before. She was edgy, she was on point, she was on fire! Her music and her face was all over the world again and she was stapled to be a household name. Around 2004-2005, I remember my mom wanted me to work for her, for a summer job, at her Travel Agency office and she will pay me. And guess what, I bought original Britney CDs when I got the money! A DVD, VCD and cassettes, and that’s not all, I wanted to complete all her albums so I bought “…Baby One More Time”, “Oops!… I Did it Again”, “B in the Mix: The Remixes” and “In The Zone”. I was a happy kid. It was a perfect moment for me.
2007 was a different story, though. It was the toughest. People started judging her, hating her, again. They called her names. But I was defending her. I felt her pain, that she wanted to break free. Everyday was scary because I thought we were gonna lose her. But she was tough. Despite all the challenges, she chose to release an album and the singles “Gimme More”, “Piece of me” and “Break the Ice”. That’s when she sang “sneak away into the Philippines”, and that’s when I had hope for her. I saw that she wanted to make more music, and in 2008, she made a proper comeback with her album “Circus”. She promoted first in Europe and I saw that fire again in her eyes. I cried while she was performing “Womanizer” in X Factor UK. THE BRITNEY I GREW UP WITH IS BACK. I saw again a future of her staying relevant across many generations, as an inspiration and as a performer.
As a Britney fan, I felt I was the only one loving her, the only one who followed her. Then I stumbled upon a group of people in PinoyExchange.com who have similar interests with me, Britney Spears! The camaraderie grew and we formed “Pinoys Heart Britney”, a group of Filipino Britney fans who devoted themselves to Britney, and wished she would sneak away into the Philippines! It was fun! Every year. we would gather and celebrate the icon that is Britney. We would share to everyone our collection, our frustrations about her and our wishes of seeing her performing live. When I was in hard times and had to sell my Collection due to financial problems, PHB helped me and some members bought my CDs, I know they went to good hands. We were not just friends, we’re a family. And from PHB came two more Britney groups, Team Britney Philippines and Britney Philippines.
Britney also taught me to watch shows and movies that are unfamiliar, but because of her name, I can somehow say, they became relevant. Ranging from the movies like Austin Powers: Goldmemeber to tv shows like Will & Grace, How I Met Your Mother, Jane The Virgin and Glee, I never knew any of these, and I only watched Britney’s parts. But hey, thanks to Britney, she gave them their highest ratings. She also managed to be a judge at X Factor US, a reality talent show, and she became the highest paid judge of all time, for a reality talent search! She was also featured countless times here in the TV shows of my country, such as ASAP, Party Pilipinas, and most recently, Your Face Sounds Familiar where celebrities will become a certain artist and perform like them. She was featured 3 times in this show and was really exciting! Truly a legend!
In 2011, our first grand event for Britney happened here in the Philippines, the release of her 7th album, “Femme Fatale”! It happened in SM Megamall, and I was one of the ushers. I was so excited. It was a gathering of Britney fans around the country! We felt like it was a mini Britney concert, less Britney. We had fun and we were hopeful that in our next events, Britney would come or rather, will be performing live. And it didn’t stop there. in 2013, when she released her 8th album, “Britney Jean”, we didn’t want to miss this and had another gathering, this time in TriNoma, and we were featured in a TV show in TV5. Another milestone for the Pinoy Britney fans! In October 2016, we also had a gathering for the relese of her most recent album “Glory”.
I’ve come a long way, and we Britney fans, at last, are seeing her perform live. We never thought that this day will come, we thought that we will remain just part of her song, but now she is here, she has sneaked away to the Philippines and will perform for us. People will say it is a waste of money, that she will just lip, that she is a has-been. People will always call her names, We’ve been through that for years and we don’t care. We love her not just as a performer but, also, as a person. The fact that she is here, still performing, is already a dream come true. Tonight, at the MOA arena, there will be a lot of shouting and dancing to her songs, definitely there will be crying, too, we will be seizing the moment, it may not happen again, we never know, but we will make sure we will make the most out of this once in a lifetime event.
I’ve heard she arrived today by noon, and I am stoked! I am very very excited. Seeing her here in my country just brings tears in my eyes. I’m very happy and I can not contain the excitement and the emotions I have now. I’ve waited for years and now it is happening. I may say it over and over, but I will never get tired of it. I am excited, and can’t wait to see her. This is a historical day, totally should be marked the BRITNEY DAY of the Philippines! As she always say, “never ever lose your passion to dream”, because who knows, it might come true one day!