A ‘beautiful coincidence’ with TayNew and OffGun
Would you go all out for your idols?”
This was a question I didn’t think I would answer with a resounding, “Yes,” or make me go, “Me? Parang ‘di ko kaya!”
Having had the privilege of working with celebrities for more than a decade, I believed I had reached a point where I would no longer get starstruck or fascinated by any celebrity, let alone become a superfan.
Throughout my career, I have witnessed firsthand the dedication and commitment of some fans, who go above and beyond for their idols: They collect all their albums and purchase the products they endorse; they attend every show and concert and even make banners for fan events.
I had never gone that far. But as life so often does, it presented me with an unexpected opportunity. The stars aligned and I found myself thinking, “Try ko kaya?” (Why don’t I try it?)
And so, last June 9, I found myself boarding a flight to Singapore to attend the “Beluca 1st Fan Meet” event featuring the Thai boys’ love (BL) teams of Tay Tawan and New Thitipoom (TayNew), and Off Jumpol and Gun Atthaphan (OffGun).
Both tandems rose to prominence through popular series produced by GMMTV, one of Thailand’s biggest entertainment conglomerates.
TayNew won the hearts of fans with their roles in “Kiss Me Again” and “Dark Blue Kiss” and are also set to star in the upcoming Thai adaptation of the Japanese manga “Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You A Wizard?” OffGun, on the other hand, starred in the highly successful series “Theory of Love” and “Not Me.”
Their shows can be streamed for free on ABS-CBN’s streaming platform iWantTFC.
Touching fan stories
The following day, I arrived at the Capitol Theatre, where I joined an enthusiastic group of fans. They had set up a small area outside the venue where they generously handed out fan-made artworks, unique giveaways, photo cards and laminated stick fans.
I had the chance to speak with some of them who, just like me, had traveled miles away and spent time and money just to be at the same venue as their idols.
As soon as Tay, New, Off and Gun took the stage, the energy inside the venue grew so contagious I got carried away. It might have been their good looks, infectious smiles, playful banter, or the way they flirted with each other, but there was just something magical about them that made my heart flutter and brought the audience to a frenzy.
The boys had an uncanny way of capturing our attention. The way they actively participated in the games and thoughtfully responded to every question made us feel as if we were watching a live BL rom-com.
They even treated us to a miniconcert of sorts, featuring solo and group performances from their prior sold-out concert, “Beluca Fourtiverse,” in Thailand last May.
As they performed, I looked around and saw a sea of light sticks interspersed with handmade banners with heartfelt messages of love and support.
But what really moved me were the stories of my fellow fans. One of them told me that watching Tay, New, Off and Gun and their BL love series inspired him to embrace his sexual identity and overcome personal obstacles.
Another fan opened up about the positive impact the actors and the shows have had on her mental health, and how she found warmth and solace in them during the pandemic.
A beautiful coincidence
After the show, fans with perks remained at the venue for their turn to have a hi-touch moment and photo session with the four stars.
I patiently waited in line and felt a rush of excitement as I got closer to them. My mind was racing, thinking of ways to make my interaction with them memorable. After all, I would only have a few seconds to connect with them.
Much to my delight, as soon as my bias, New, saw my shirt—which I had custom-designed with an image of his face—he recognized it right away and greeted me with a friendly, “Mabuhay!”
My heart skipped a beat. “Hello, New!” I replied.
And then, I noticed his shoes. “Oh my God!” I blurted out. “We’re wearing the same shoes!”
“Oh wow! That’s so cool!” New said with a surprised look on his face. “What a coincidence!”
I couldn’t help but smile and say, “Yes! A beautiful coincidence.”
Tay, who was standing next to New, was also amused by the coincidence and told me, “Nice shirt and shoes!”
Off and Gun, on the other hand, greeted me with a warm, “It’s nice to meet you!”
I returned to my seat and eagerly waited for my turn, this time, to have my photo taken with the four.
As my turn neared, I noticed New cheerfully applauding as I made my way toward them. It filled me with so much energy and kilig. And as we gathered for the photo, Tay turned to me and asked, “What pose should we do?”
Caught off guard, but determined to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime moment, I said, “Let’s just do fashion poses!”—to which New, Off and Gun quickly exclaimed, “Game!” And as we struck a pose, the cameras started clicking, capturing one of my favorite fan-meet experiences.
Looking back, I couldn’t be more grateful that I took the opportunity and went all the way, at least for me, for the stars I admire.
Have you gone all-out for your idols? Given the chance, why not take that leap, immerse yourself in the moment, and get swept away by it all? You never know, it might just lead you to one of your most fulfilling idol encounters. —CONTRIBUTED