You know I’m a huge fan of America’s Next Top Model, Right? If not, well then, now you know. I’ve seen everything from Seasons 1 to 21, except 22 which I’m not really a huge fan of because something was just off with that last season. Or maybe I just grew tired.
AnywAy, like any die hard fan – I did everything in my power to get at least a tweet or a favorite from any person who was part of the show. I felt overjoyed having received replies from lots of them.
And by some twist of fate, the Philippines became one of the “favorite ” destinations of some ANTM people. Nigel Barker went here to launch his book, Allison Harvard, Dominique Reighard and Sophie Sumner went here to model one of our local brands, Isis King shot a movie here and just recently, Cycle 21’s openly gay contestant Will Jardell went to tour the country with his partner – James Wallington.
My ANTM experience
Admittedly, and maybe like any regular gay guy, I wanted to be a supermodel. But hello, let’s face reality – 5’6″; pre-obese; just your average Asian guy – not in any way modelesque.
So when the opportunities to meet these people came knocking, Of course, I did everything in my power to be able to make that happen. In my mind (and in my heart), I felt as if I was closer to a dream. It’s as if, my gosh, these people were interacting with The Tyra Banks. How nice would it be to breathe the same air with them..
You might remember her as that weird, huge eyed girl in Cycle 13 and the all star cycle. She was the one who has been here in the Philippines the longest. I remember the first time she was here, and an officemate posted a photo of her on Facebook. At that time, she was in one of the high end hotels here and I was busy working. When I saw the photo, I immediately stopped whatever I was doing and booked a cab to the hotel. I’m like, fuck it. I have to meet her.
When I got into the hotel, my officemate told me she already left. I was so devastated – imagine, my officemate who just took a photo because everyone else was taking photos of Allison, had a chance to meet her (and she does not even watch ANTM); while I – the big fan – never even saw her shadow!
And then, it has been a regular sight on my Twitter and Facebook feeds – photos of Allison with fans -some I doubt if they even watched the series.
Until one day, when a mall in Fairview (24 KM away)
held a contest where winners would get MEET AND GREET passes! Of course I joined and of course I won!!!
So I left Makati at 8am even if the event was at 4 pm! That’s how obsessed I was with time. There was no way in hell I would let traffic beat me.
And I met her. I fcking met Allison. She was so divine. Her eyes were insane.
A photo of her that I took.
Selfie no. 1 #AllisonHarvard #ANTM
Selfie no.2 – she’s so real. Was I dreaming? Omg. This moment was soooooo wtf is happening.
I followed Will on Twitter after watching the first episode of their Cycle. He was this goddamn beautiful gay guy in the season, who’s so tall but not so muscular. His face was absolutely stunning; and I tweeted him that I’m one of his supporters in the Philippines and I’d be happy to see him in our country. I know it probably meant nothing to these celebrities, but he thanked me and said he’d love to visit; plus he followed me back!
So all throughout the season and after that, I followed his career and personal life – how he found himself a boyfriend and how they planned to travel the world together.
Imagine my surprise when one evening, he just tweeted that he would be coming to the Philippines! I checked my calendar and realized that the timing was so off. He’d be in Manila the weekend of my friend’s wedding. After that, he’ll be touring other PH islands and during the time that he was here, I’ll be (again) working.
I just accepted the fact that, well, maybe it’s not yet time to meet him.
Because of some changes in my vacation plans, I was forced to go back to Makati (I was in the province for the long weekend Easter Holidays) today.When I got here, I checked my Twitter timeline and Lo and Behold, Will and James were in Mall of Asia. They were sort of announcing their location via Twitter for fans to come over and meet them.
Without changing clothes or even retouching, I booked a grabcar and headed
to MOA. Along the way, I have been tweeting them asking where they were during this time, where’s the next location blah blah yada yada..
When I got to my destination, the freakin grabcar driver does not have a change for P1000! We went around scouring the mall for ATMs but everything was offline. I tried buying something at 711 but they dont have change as well!
I was raging mad already, Will and James are heading to the airport right after the MOA meet up as they have a flight to catch.
It came to a point where the grabcar driver offered to give me a ride to the airport – to which I agreed, but when we checked how much it’s gonna cost, I said no – I’ll just look for another 711. After 20 minutes of driving around MOA, we found another store that has a change for my P1000.
By this time, I was sure They were no longer in the vicinity. I was almost accepting the fact that nah, I’m never going to meet them.
But something inside of me didn’t want to give up
I hailed a cab, and off I went to the airport, braving the traffic and the cost. IT HAS GOT TO HAPPEN. I Have to meet them.
Will already tweeted me asking what time I’d reach the airport, so I was like – THEY ARE WAITING! They know I’m coming!
These two were my inspiration! I have to meet them.
And I Did!
He was sooooo tall! I was running and shouting his name, and I was not even prepared- what do I tell them, how would I introduce myself. How on earth do I look? These were two gorgeous gay guys and Im a freaking fanboy!
But when I came near, they already knew who I was. They were also so happy me made the meetup happen.
It was a crazy, costly, mad dash to the airport, but it was all worth it.