Monday, November 7, 2016

How I Got to Watch Madonna Here in Manila

 It was indeed a holiday and a celebration

One of the perks of being in the publishing industry is that you get to be invited to events and concerts. I’ve always been grateful for all these things since I love watching concerts, both local and foreign acts, especially if I really listen to their music. Last year, I got to watch a sold out show of Ed Sheeran courtesy of my lovely Warner Music Philippines family. They gave me a pair of tickets so I took my friend Kage, who’s also a fan of the wonderful singer songwriter. I was so amazed by how Ed was able to singlehandedly take charge of that stage and just made everybody listen and sing-along to his tunes.

This year however, I was treated to the best concert that I’ve seen in my entire life. When Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour was announced, the 7-year-old kid in me started freaking out. I would want to be there! I would love to watch her! Although, even before the ticket prices were posted, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to afford the good seats. The most SVIP is P57T and the gen ad, which sold out immediately was P3T. So from early on I have already accepted the fact that I’m not going to be able to watch her live. But by some miracle, in the form of the queen’s publicist and manager, I was able to see her majesty at her first concert here in Manila. I’ve been working with BB Gun Press and publicist extraordinaire Brian Bumbery from LA for more than a year now. The digital magazine that I’m working for, STATUS Magazine, have been featuring some of the artists that they are handling. Last year, I was given the ultimate pleasure to interview two musicians that I love, The Strokes’ Albert Hammond, Jr. and Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell, and these were made possible by Brian’s PR company. I was having a chat with my gay father from LA (it was him who coined that) when I mentioned that one of their clients was actually having a show here but unfortunately tickets were sold out and were very quite expensive. He then mentioned that he can sure get me a pair for the concert, and had me promise to remind him when the date of concert draws near. This conversation got me all happy but not too hopeful since I wouldn’t want to break my heart if it didn’t push through. So fast forward to a few weeks before the concert, I sent an email to Brian regarding his offer and he said that he’ll work on them and will update me. So, about the tickets, I wasn’t really expecting much to be perfectly honest. I was thinking General Admission and that would still make me happy. Just to be in the same room as Madonna was perfectly fine with me. So until I got the tickets, I didn’t know where I would be seated, although Brian assured me that they’re going to be great seats since they were issued by Madonna’s manager. Thinking of who to bring was a bit of a dilemma. I had several friends in mind but I decided to ask my friend GG to the concert. Aside from her being a fan, I thought of giving her a break from motherhood in Pampanga for a night and enjoy the concert with me.

I went early at the SM Arena because I was instructed by Brian to pick up our passes at the ticket office, which I did, and to my surprise, we were given SVIP tickets, a map that showed us where we’ll be seated, which was at the front and center of the stage, and a stay at a hospitality suite before the show starts. I think I teared up a bit upon seeing these gifts but before I went ballistic, I sent a text to Brian thanking him and he just made me promise to have a great time and take a lot of photos. He didn't have to tell me to take photos because that's already part of my plan, and here they are.

 A hospitality pass for our suite

 Bumped into actress Glaiza de Castro

 With GG in our suite where we had chips and chocolates. We were the only guests there joined by one production person and three waiters. SWEET!!!

 Thank you Queen, Madonna's manager, and Brian for the suite

 Front and center....WAAAAAAHHHHH!

 GG and I with my friend and fashion stylist Shahani Gania who was Madonna's Unapologetic Bitch of the Night, and the first in the Philippines. Watch the video of her anointment below.

 Happy 30 somethings hehehe!

 I was this close to the queen

 Mga kuya suspended in air

It was the best concert that I’ve ever attended in my entire life. GG and I and the rest of the people there at the Arena had a blast singing to every song that Madonna performed. I cried when she played "Like A Prayer." We were all floored by how fabulous the production was. It was nothing that I've seen before in all the years that I've attended concerts here in Manila. Madonna was definitely worth the wait and now I know why she is indeed THE queen.  

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