Britney Live In Manila: The Experience

JUNE 15, 2017, THURSDAY, AT THE MOA ARENA, MARKED A HISTORICAL EVENT IN THE PHILIPPINES, ESPECIALLY FOR THE BRITNEY FANS, AS ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC AND LEGENDARY POP ARTISTS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY HAS PERFORMED LIVE IN FRONT OF THE FILIPINO CROWD!

ONE WORD: UNFORGETTABLE!

IMG_6306It was one of the best days in my life, the most magical for 2017! It was unbelievable, I have never thought in my entire life, that one day, it will be possible for me to see Britney live in Manila! Being a fan since 1998, I knew she has never been in the Philippines, maybe because, first, the Filipinos can’t afford her nor the organizers, and second, the concert venues in our country were relatively small compared to her large production in all of her concerts. She has rain, bungee jumping, moving platforms, raising bars and cages, huge wings and trees, large props in her concert that I imagine would never fit even in Araneta Colisuem, which was the biggest here back in the day.

But this year, everything has changed! Stars have lined up for us, the Filipino army, to see our one and only Pop Princess, Britney Spears!

My day started when I woke up early in the morning for class, I was excited, really, and never thought of anything but to just finish the day so I can go and start preparing for the concert. At school, I can’t focus, I was just too excited and I can’t even share it to anybody (I am an irregular student, so sadly no friends! Haha).

IMG_6257When my classes ended, I hurriedly went back home to change and prepare. I plugged my phone to our surround system to give me more hype! “My Prerogative” started playing and I’m super energized! I even took a video of me taking my “Britney Concert Ticket” out from a vault! Haha! I Wore a “somehow” Britney-inspired outfit, it was her dancer’s look from her music video “Till The World Ends”. I was wearing a leather jacket, sadly we are in a tropical country so I had to face the struggles of climate change in my country.

I arrived early for the concert, and of course, I’ve met my Britney Army friends, we took pictures and some of them were given a chance to be interviewed for the news. I was justIMG_6231 ecstatic and can’t belive in just a few hours the concert will start. The lobby of MOA Arena played “Slumber Party” over and over and added over my excitement! There were also a lot of fun activities before the concert. Bench had photobooths, where you have to stand in-line and wait for your turn to be shot at some Britney-inspired backdrops like “…Baby One More Time”‘s school hallway and “Oops!… I Did It Again”‘s Mars landing. Smart Communications also gave away some Britney posters to some concert-goers who were Smart subscribers. Luckily I got one ;).

wowIMG_6276Around 8am, people were already allowed to go inside the stadium. AND I WAS FREAKING OUT AS I SAW HER STAGE! IT WAS SO BEAUTIFUL AND HUGE! There were also a lot of people. I saw a lot of celebrities and had the opportunity to take pictures with Bailey May. I also saw Sarah Lahabti, Richard and Raymond Gutierrez, Tim Yap, Phil Younghusband and Lovi Poe. Some of my friends saw Vice Ganda, KC Concepcion, Kisses Delavin and Dominic Roque. The house wasn’t full by 8am, but coming close to 8:30pm, as the concert started, we were jam-packed!

newIMG_6368Lights went out all of a sudden, and music started, it was a remixed intro of “Work B**ch”. Of course I know! AND EVERYONE, INCLUDING ME, STARTED FREAKING OUT! THE DANCERS CAME OUT AND STARTED THEIR ROUTINE, IT WAS INTENSE! THEN THEY STOPPED AND LOOKED TO THEIR LEFT, LIGHTS WENT OUT AGAIN, AND HOLY SGRAFSJAS!!!! BRITNEY SPEARS SHOWED UP IN THE SPOTLIGHT! I WAS CRYING! TEARS WERE ROLLING DOWN MY FACE! I CAN’T BELIEVE I WAS SEEING THIS LEGENDARY PERFORMER IN FRONT OF ME! I CAN’T BELIEVE I WAS SINGING ALONG WITH HER! IT WAS OVERWHELMING! I’m still having tears in my eyes now, as I am typing, still having the same emotions as I saw her the first time. Truly magical, how I wished it never ended.

She then next performed some of her songs, “Womanizer”, “Me Against The Music” and “Gimme More”. I’m just amazed at how she can quickly change costumes, like, “Girl, do you just take off your bra and quickly wear a new one in front of your staff?” Like howIMG_6405 does she do it! I’m so amazed! People went insane when she performed a medley of “…Baby One More Time” and “Oops!… I Did It Again”, of course, these songs have a cult following and they stapled her to her legendary status today. She also performed her new songs from her recent album, “Glory”, such as “Do You Wanna Come Over”, “Make Me…” and “Slumber Party”. She also did amazing performances of some fan favorites like “I’m A Slave 4 U”, “If U Seek Amy”, and “Piece of Me” where everyone, with all their energy, screamed the line “SNEAK AWAY INTO THE PHILIPPINES”!

whewOne lucky fan was also invited to get up the stage to play with Britney during her “Freakshow” performance. She does this to her every tour, as well in her Vegas residency. She always gives a signed shirt to her fans who joined her, including this one who joined her in her Manila Tour. Sadly, there were rumors that the freakshow guy lost the shirt Britney gave her, I would kill just to have that shirt and he unbelievably lost it.

IMG_6424It also gives me chills and warm sensation when I remember Britney saying “what’s up Manila?” most of the tour! I love it when she says my City! Makes it feel more real! My friends say she gets more energized and hyped when we cheer for her! “Toxic” and her medley of “Crazy” and “Stronger” had the loudest cheers. It also means the concert was coming to an end, I can’t believe how fast it was! She said her thanks and her goodbyes to us and all the lights went off. We thought it already ended. But then the crowd cheered “Britney! Britney!”, and it was once of the best moments of the concert. The Philippines wanted more! And, of course, I knew she was still coming out with one final song, but it was just a great feeling to play along with crowd. And when she went out saying “Do you want more, Manila?” and started performing a medley of “Till The World Ends” and “Work B**ch”, I knew it was ending, so I enjoyed the final song with all my energy and all my heart. My friends said she was teary eyed as it was ending. Her dancers even mentioned that the Philippines was their best audience ever since their shows begun! I’M SO AMAZED! IT WAS THE BEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE! I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS!

IMG_6437I’m not ashamed that I am getting emotional while typing this, because it is true, she’s a big part of my life and I just wished her show never ended. She’s not just a performer, but an inspiration to me and to many people. We grew up with her. When everybody went out of the stadium, everyone was singing along with some of her songs like “Lucky”, “Sometimes” and “…Baby One More Time”, truly an ICON! People will say, Britney is over and a has-been, but I say to them, no other artist has ever been appreciated by the Filipino crowd like this! A has-been will never have a sold out concert and will never have fans wanting for more!

The concert has ended but my love for her will remain, forever. I may never see her again. Who knows, she might retire, or might just focus on her American audience, IIMG_6498 don’t know. But one thing’s for sure, one item has been checked off my bucket list, and I am very much happy and contented. Everytime I watch the videos I captured during the concert, I still cry and get emotional. You can’t blame me, I’m a fan. And she’s not just some random singer, she’s been through a lot and showed the people she can rise despite all the struggles, a true example to her peers and to her fans. She’s a survivor, a phoenix who rose from the ashes. A waste of money? No I don’t think so. It was all worth it. Seeing her breakdown in public and now making it back in her best form, was totally worth the wait and the price. Oops! I guess she did it again, making an impact to a lot of people and leaving behind an inspiration to never stop dreaming and that dreams do come true. 🙂

My short vlog about the concert:

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Limitless Album Review: Britney Jean

britney-jean-album-cover-britney-spears-35920943-960-951-1385498535Britney Spears released her newest album, “Britney Jean”, December 3rd worldwide. Honestly it did not do pretty well in the charts, but with an album with no performance and much promo, I’m very much okay with how Britney Jean is doing. It’s selling without much promotion. Well, at the end of the day, music will prevail over crazy antics so I guess I can say this is another masterpiece by the legendary Miss Britney Spears.

Upon reading some information, it was noted that the concept of the album is about living the pop life, and Britney being the superstar. This is her most personal album, as she claims, and I can say every track has a special meaning in Britney’s heart. The album gave me much surprises and I’m very much satisfied with it. Britney Jean is a biographical album, it showcases songs about living life, experiencing hardships and learning to enjoy every moment. It’s a simple concept but very relatable. Every song makes a mark, and I must say fits perfectly with the other songs, they compliment each other. I rate the album 4.5 stars out of 5, and below I have listed the songs ranked from the ones I least like to the song I like the most:

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  • Hold On Tight

Hold On Tight was never a favorite for me, but it’s not that bad. It’s a good ballad, however I’m really not a fan of ballads so I don’t appreciate it much. But as a ballad, I can say It is a very emotional song for Britney and positive in a way. It’s very haunting and at the same time brings hope that one day you will be alright after all the pain. It teaches you how to embrace pain, and that every night will never be the same and it will be a long journey so you better “Hold On Tight” and be strong. This is Britney being a friend, and it’s very good. A song that can accompany you during your hardships.

  • Perfume (The Dreaming Mix)

It’s cool that there is a remix of one of her current songs, but I don’t think It’s necessary to put this in the album. The only good thing I see in this track is the haunting vibe it has and how amazing Britney’s vocals are in this mix, there’s no other voice heard other than hers so she really owned this track, making me feel more the emotion portrayed by the song. You can feel pain, but other than that, I still don’t think the remix was necessary on the album.

  • Chillin’ With You feat. Jamie Lynn

This is a fun track. At first listen, it sounds weird, but when you have played this a lot, you will understand why this track is included in the album. The track features Britney’s sister, Jamie Lynn, and they sound good together. Literally, the song is about chillin’ with your loved ones, probably at home, at the club, in a mall or at a beach. Britney wanted to jive Country music with Pop, that’s where this weird track came from, but I can say they did well and this has a potential to become a chillin’ anthem. Not really a great track but it;s something you can listen to while “Chillin’ With You”.

  • Don’t Cry

I can say that this is Britney’s best ballad since 2005’s Someday (I Will Understand). It’s very emotional and haunting. The perfect ballad that I’ve been waiting from Britney. Probably if I’m heartbroken and I listened to this, I’d cry. When you listen to the song, you can really feel the pain. It’s like it’s Britney reflection of all the pain she’s been through throughout the years. Britney talks about letting go and moving on, and being  strong by not crying. Most fans not just relate it to love but with Britney’s relationship with the fans. They think that wen Britney leaves the industry, this will be her song to the fans, thus saying when she leaves, “Don’t Cry”.

  • Brightest Morning Star

Britney said this song is about God, and on the first listen, I can definitely feel the faith and Britney’s sincerity in singing this song. What I’m happy about it, is that this is Britney’s first Christian song, or a genuine song about God. I don’t know Britney’s actions in showing her faith, but with this song I can say God really has made a big impact in her life and that she believes He is her guide by “leading the way” and being her “Brightest Morning Star” in the darkness.

  • Body Ache

Body Ache made me interested upon hearing the track title. On my first listen to the song, I wasn’t disappointed. It was like Scream & Shout’s daughter. But after a few listens I grew tired of Body Ache and I really don’t know why. It lacks something, probably a crazy verse or break, but it’s still one of the great tracks of the album. Britney stated that the song is about her love of dancing, until her “Body Ache”. I’d still prefer her dancing till the world ends, but Body Ache will do for now, it’s a good dance song, not perfect but it will do.

  • Perfume

britney-spears-perfumeSame with Don’t Cry, Perfume is very emotional. At first listen I can say I can definitely relate with this song. The moment you become paranoid and afraid with the people surrounding your partner, thinking that they might do something to catch your partner’s attention, and to that point you just want to spray a lot of your perfume to let them know that your partner is taken, that it’s your territory. I see Perfume as a track on a musical play or movie and might do well as its theme song. Britney’s voice really fits the song, she’s not really belting out but her voice is enough to interpret the pain and emotion needed. It’s a sad song, it’s about being vulnerable, but at the end of the day, this song will want you to win.

  • Passenger

This kind of song is something I haven’t heard for a while from Britney. It’s like Brave New Girl 2.0, Britney’s song from In The Zone, but a mature perspective. It’s about getting into a relationship and letting your partner drive the journey with you, and you being the “Passenger” just enjoying the ride. It also emphasizes trying new stuff with your partner and having an adventure, that there might be twists and turns but still you trust your partner and enjoy every second of the ride. Well yeah, love is a long journey, definitely a long ride and Britney wants us to break free, take risks and move out of our comfort zone, and make the most out of love.

  • Till It’s Gone

“You never know what you got Till It’s Gone”, the exact message of the song. Perfect melody, perfect lyrics, perfect production, I can say this is one of the best tracks of the album. Her voice is so powerful and encouraging that you want to dance everytime she drops the word “Gone”. I like how clever the lyrics are, really fun and has a lot of impact. A song about breakup, or about losing something and interpreted in a good way. Britney sings about how she tried to change things to keep what she has, but the only thing constant in the world is change, and since it’s inevitable, she makes us understand that we have to realize what we have “Till It’s Gone”.

  • It Should Be Easy feat. will.i.am

will.i.am and Britney said the song is about love being easy and not being complicated, and that it’s our nature to complicate things, making love so uneasy. Britney sings about being so in love and rates her love “a million billion”. Another clever track made by Brit and will.i.am, it’s like the love child of Scream & Shout and Work B**ch, very dance-able and at the same time the meaning is very powerful. The beat is sick, and I must admit I can’t help but do the robot dance while singing this song. Britney sings she can’t lose the one she loves, and will.i.am responds that “It Should Be Easy”, by not making love complicated, simple as that. I can’t say that it is a love song, more like an advice of a friend to a friend, and Britney shares this to us, a small friendly advice.

  • Now That I Found You

One of the best bonus tracks Britney has in her catalog after Femme Fatale’s Scary. Not your typical love song but will definitely touch your hearts, the same it touched mine. Britney sings that she was lost and hopeless until she found her one true love. She adds that she has seen the light and was blown away by love. I don’t personally know Britney, but with this track you can see Britney is also crazy in love. She’s just like one of us, she gets madly in love and this song is a celebration of how wonderful love feels and how love can change a dull world into a world full of color and music. Truly, love is something to celebrate for “Now That I Found You”.

  • Tik Tik Boom feat. T.I.

This track is a very powerful urban song. Britney is back with her sexy, sultry voice and sings that she wants someone to make her explode, like a bomb! Yeah, the song’s meaning is open for interpretation, but definitely a cool track and I can say a classic, sexy Britney. The additional of T.I. is a big surprise. I remember they were competing back in 2008 for the number one spot with Britney’s Womanizer, and it’s unbelievable that they are now on a track together. T.I. raps about treating someone like an animal, maybe that’s how he makes her explode, if you know what I mean. On the other hand, Britney sings she wants to scream his name until she “Tik Tik Boom”, not too slow, not too quick but probably a great way to explode.

  • Work B**ch

BRITNEY-WORK-BITCH-SINGLE-COVER1Now I understand why this is the lead single, it’s such a wonderfully crafted song. It stands out in the album, definitely one of a kind. It’s actually a hard choice between Work B**ch and Alien, but I had to say Work B**ch is my second favorite. Britney sings about working hard to have everything she has, luxury cars, fabulous parties, a mansion and a bangin’ body. I can say definitely the song is something personal to her as she likes to work hard and she earns to make a living. She wants people to know that anything she has now is a fruit of her hardwork throughout the years, and hardwork is always rewarded. Britney also sings that people might bring you down, but she reminds us to continue to work hard, we might not please everyone but at the end of the day, you still manage your own life and we better show ’em how to “Work B**ch”.

  • Alien

And finally, I can say the best track of the album, Alien. Upon my first listen, I already felt connected to the song. The haunting melody and Britney’s amazing vocals makes it the best track of the album. Also the best choice on choosing this song to start her tracklist. Britney said the song is about sometimes feeling alone in the crowd, and that we sometimes isolate ourselves. And I relate so much with what she is saying. I can definitely tell that this is the story of my life. The feeling that you want to be alone at times and you just want to have that quiet time and be with yourself. Britney sings the stars accompany her and that she is not alone. Again, Britney as a friend tells us that no man is still an island and somewhere out there, someone will make us feel that we are not alone. You might be a stranger in the crowd, but always remember that you belong in this universe, and just like an “Alien”, you are not alone.

It was hard choosing and ranking the tracks, they are all perfect in their own way and they have their own characteristics. It’s like the album is Britney herself and each song is a character or personality she has and she tells us the story of her life. I love this album and I know this album will go far and will still break records. I have faith in Britney as how she has faith in us, her fans. She dedicated this album to us and wanted to share a piece of her, but for me it’s not just a piece but rather it’s her life contained in this record. Truly a story to be told. As Britney said in Work B**ch, spread the word, tell somebody in your town that a wonderful life story has been released. It may not be a book, but Britney speaks through music, and this music that she brought is something that I’ve waited for all these years. And I can say, with this record, I can just sit back, drink red wine and juts chill enjoying every phase, every track and every melody. Good job, Britney Jean!