Got to believe in Daniel Padilla’s magic
Daniel Padilla’s second solo concert, “DOS,” held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Wednesday last week, didn’t start until 8 p.m. But as early as noon, diehard fans of the teen actor, mostly girls, were milling around the coliseum, according to the security staff. By 4 p.m., a snaking queue had formed at the gates.
Many had journeyed from the provinces to see their beloved teen star perform live. Janella, 18, a member of the Danielistaz, had flown in from Iloilo City at 11 a.m. She headed straight to the concert venue.
“I bought my own ticket to the show,” Janella said, but my parents took care of the airfare and hotel accommodation. I have to return home tomorrow (Thursday) morning because I have midterm exams… but that should be easy!” She couldn’t make it to Daniel’s show last year, Janella said, because she was just 17 at the time.
Zharmina, 14, left Zamboanga City with her cousin on April 20. Her parents, like Janella’s, spent for her trip.
Two other Danielistaz that night were Alex, 16, and Shelley, 15, from Laguna. “My summer wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t make it here,” Shelley said. “That’s how important it is to me.”
Asked what drew them to Daniel, or “DJ,” the girls enthusiastically recited their idol’s praise:
“He’s a gentleman. He’s kind, talented, loves his family and is true to himself. Hindi siya plastik,” Shelley said. “He’s one of a kind. He gives us time, and so we give him our loyalty.”
That loyalty isn’t limited to attending Daniel’s shows and buying his albums—it also means defending the actor from detractors. Alex admitted that she gets “a little angry” when bashers gang up on the actor.
“Ano ang right nila?” Alex demanded. “We’re here to protect Daniel as best as we can. He may not be perfect, but we love him for who he is.”
Needless to say, it helps that Daniel is good-looking. “That’s given,” Janella quipped, giggling. “He’s hot… he’s one of a kind. No one comes close except, probably, his future son or grandson!”
Daniel’s legion of supporters—many of them toting banners, CDs and balloons—grew more excited and restless with each hour. By 5 p.m., the throng in front of the Big Dome’s red gate started chanting, “Buksan na ’yan, buksan na ’yan (open it now)!”
While most of the fans were impatient, many others cheerfully volunteered to be interviewed by roaming television crews. Once on-cam, they shrieked, jumped, sang, and shrieked some more as others around them pleaded, “Dito naman (our turn)!”
The opening of the entrances triggered screams, exhilaration and relief. Everyone scuttled toward the doors in droves, squeezing their way in, giggling and screeching. The bouncers had the unenviable task of keeping the crowd under control.
To the rafters
For the second consecutive year, Daniel managed to pack the Big Dome to the rafters, despite the tickets being more expensive. VIP tickets to the first one cost P2,120 each; this time it was P3,180. Fans who wanted a spot in the mosh pit shelled out P3,710.
Aside from the Danielistaz, notable fan clubs that turned out in full force were the Kathniel Spikers, Kathniel Berks, Silent Kathniels, Kathniel KaDreamers… They filled the venue with ear-shattering screams when Daniel came out hopping on the stage, which had a derailed train for a backdrop.
Wearing a white shirt, a black biker jacket and a pair of denim pants, Daniel, who turned 19 on April 26, opened the show with his hit song “Nasa Iyo na ang Lahat,” from the double platinum-selling album, “DJP.”
Moving about casually—almost too casually, in fact—Daniel continued with “Yugyugan Na,” Michael Buble’s “Everything,” Rivermaya’s “Liwanag sa Dilim” (with Khalil Ramos) and The Beatles’ “Something.”
Charisma in spades
Though he did come across as a more comfortable and self-assured performer this time around, his showmanship was pretty much limited to pacing onstage and giving high fives to the stoked crowd in the pit.
Not that it mattered, because whenever he asked if they were enjoying themselves, the fans’ answer was always a resounding yes. This young man has charisma in spades.
Daniel then invited onstage for photo-ops a couple of meet-and-greet contest winners. As they began snapping selfies, a distraught girl behind us who looked no older than 13 began stomping her feet, bawling and screaming, “Hindi ni’yo deserve ’yan! Hindi naman kayo magpapakamatay gaya ko para lang makita si DJ (you don’t deserve that; you wouldn’t kill yourself like I would just to see DJ)!”
An ABS-CBN (Daniel’s home network) staff member walked past us, and the girl called her attention, pointed at the stage, and wailed, “Ate, ako na lang (please let me go instead)!”
As in his previous concert, Daniel performed a set of mostly old songs—Otis Redding’s “Hard to Handle,” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” (with Toni Gonzaga) and the standard “Feeling Good.” Daniel also sang “In My Life” with his mother, Karla Estrada. “Ma, ang gulo naman, nu’n (mom, that was unruly)!” he teased her afterward.
He was cheered on with screams of approval as he played bass for his group Parking 5, which dished out the Juan de la Cruz Band’s “Titser’s Enemy No. 1.” And in what turned out to be a highlight of the show, he shared the spotlight with one of his idols, rock star Rico Blanco, in “Umaaraw, Umuulan.”
Daniel has admitted in the past that he’s not much of a singer, and that he doesn’t see himself as a serious concert artist. On the bright side, with this much influence, he could inspire fans to listen to older songs. A group of young girls singing along to “Awit ng Kabataan” was quite a sight.
To be fair, Daniel did surprisingly pleasant renditions of “The Way You Look Tonight” and, a bungled falsetto notwithstanding, “It Might Be You.” It was in this portion of the show that Daniel’s screen partner and rumored girlfriend, Kathryn Bernardo, appeared onstage.
Serenading Kathryn with “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” Daniel, much to the delight of the frenzied crowd, held her hand and then twirled her around in a slow dance. When he embraced her from behind, and held his face close to her neck, the audience simply lost it.
Daniel and Kathryn elicited a vigorous sing-along with “Got to Believe in Magic,” theme of their popular TV series, “Got to Believe.”
Before the young actress left the stage, Daniel asked if he could give her a kiss. “Ano, puwede ba (should I)?” Kathryn asked the sea of swooning fans. When Kathryn gave the thumbs up, Daniel planted a quick one on her right temple, sending the spectators into hysterics.
From where we sat, we could no longer see Janella, Shelley, Alex and Zharmina, but we’re pretty sure this singular moment made their trips to Manila worthwhile.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.