Teenage Dream

There are dreams and there are realities. In between them are opportunities to make the former turn into the latter

I grew up in the province. I grew up adoring people on TV. I was part of the MTV generation. My high school life was filled with MTV hitlist weekends with VJ Donita or VJ Utt counting down the top songs for the week; or MTV requests during the afternoon.. I dreamed of calling them, or sending a mail (I think I actually did send one) to request for a Spice Girls song. It never got to them. Of course.

But my teenager self was just amazed by the tons of beautiful popstars, girl groups and boybands

that graced cable TV.

I wanted to feel like I’m one of the girls in these girl groups, Like I’m Britney or Christina or Mandy just doing everything and looking cute and sexy at the same time. And maybe someday date a Nick Carter or Nicky Byrne or God, the guy of my high school dreams – the one who was responsible for awakening my (then dormant) gayness


I’m sorry, but when I was in high school, this guy was absolute perfection. His voice, his perfectly parted hair, his cute smile, his eyes – everything about him was perfect.

Photos are a bit blurry coz I just Googled them, but hey, anyone from my batch out there (or a few years younger) would recognize the voice behind these pop hits “Everytime”, “Like A Rose”,”Heaven By Your Side”, “Same Old Brand New You”…. And a lot more.

I cannot remember which song introduced me to the band, but probably the one that really really had me gushing over this guy was Like A Rose. Imagine all those close up shots of this cuteness.. I can still feel it like it was just yesterday.

I will save you the hassle of looking for it, I’m embedding the video for your reference. Haha.

So anyway, as a teenager, I dreamt of being able to see them in person. Who wouldn’t? I remember the first time I saw a foreign band and they weren’t really that famous, and it was just accidental. I was eating somewhere and they walked right by, and people were screaming and all that.. I forgot who they were but their song was “Excuse my French”. And I was like, how come my favorite boybands

don’t visit the country? Why do these people scream for these nobodies? And I guess, my young mind realized that – Famous people hold concerts, these guys were doing mall tours for free to promote themselves; they were nobodies.

If A1 were to hold a concert in the Philippines at that time, I would not be able to watch. I would not be able to see them. I did not have the means. I was just a poor boy from the province.

Years have passed, my fascination for music has dwindled. I was, as I would often say, stuck in the 90s and early 2000s. I only download a few new songs every now and then, but the ones I really loved and are still in my playlists were mostly the songs I liked when I was in high school. Sometimes it helps to be nostalgic, it would make you feel old but still bring you back to that moment when you first heard a song, or the moment when you realized that you liked one.

Of course I still have A1 songs in my phone, and I follow Ben on Twitter and Instagram.

He looks very different now; but I still have that special place for him in my heart haha. Wouldn’t you reserve one for a special impossible long time crush? You know, that someone who will always be just a dream but still so perfect? That feeling that you know wouldn’t really progress to anything serious, but just a real teen girl admiration?

So imagine my reaction when during a busy day at work, when I took a breather and checked my Instagram feed, I found this:


Are you freaking kidding me?!

They’ve been here a number of times before (i was told), but I don’t know what I’ve been busy with before – but this is the real deal. This! Right now! Like a couple of months from now. I Could Fcking Make One of My Dreams Come True!!!

I could tell my teenage self that hey, you worked hard. You deserve to realize a dream. You deserve to meet Ben. You will see this guy sing LIVE in front of you.

I was almost in tears. I will move heaven and earth and do what it takes to secure a fcking VIP ticket for this one. I will not let anything or anyone stop me from getting this. This has got to happen. I don’t care if it’s expensive, I want to have the best experience with the guy who’s probably my greatest celebrity crush back in High School. So help me God.

Unless that damn president declares martial law and scares the shit out of my dear Ben.

Ah. Why are you sooooooooo cute?

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