I was there when Coldplay visited Manila for the first time last April 4, 2017. It won’t be enough to say that I loved it, because I really, really, really, really, really LOVED. EVERY. SECOND. OF. IT. So here’s an attempt to write down my #ColdplayManila experience, in the words of Coldplay themselves.
7. “When you try your best but you don’t succeed”
On November 24, 2016, my heart got broken.
I was one of the thousands of Filipino Coldplay fans who lined up hours before mall opening, to hours after we still cannot accept the meaning of “sold out.” I can still remember feeling all giddy, waking up so early that morning to line up for Coldplay tickets at SM Light in Mandaluyong.
About 15 people were ahead of me in the queue. We sat on the floor, for about two hours, waiting for the mall to open. I was close to tears when we were finally allowed to go up to the cinemas to buy the tickets. I knew in my heart and in my mind that I will make it! Just 15 people ahead of me, phew. Next thing I know, eight hours after mall opening, and with only five people ahead of me, the cashier started announcing, “the system is down,” “Bronze is sold out,” “Silver is sold out,” and finally “everything’s f*cking sold out.”
Eight hours of waiting, with only five people ahead of me, tears stream down my face…
6. “If you never try you’ll never know”
Since that day, I checked Twitter every day, and I mean Every. Freaking. Day. to look for people selling their extra tickets. I know I should never tolerate scalpers, but God knows I would if I could sell my kidneys even just for a GenAd ticket.
One night while I was doing my usual scouring of #ColdplayManila hashtags on Twitter, I finally found a seller who replied to my inquiry with a price that is not too scalper-y. Ladies and gentlemen, she’s based in Cagayan de Oro! Yes, I’m in Luzon and she’s in Mindanao! Good God. Out of desperation, I let that moment test my trust and faith in humanity. For security, we exchanged photos of our IDs; I agreed to pay first, then she’ll ship the ticket later. Imagine how nervous I was, waiting for something I wasn’t even sure if it will arrive.
The moment I received my ticket, a precious GenAd Coldplay ticket fresh from CdO, God put a smile upon my face… oh yeah.
5. “I want something just like this”
Come April 4, 2017, the day I’ve always prayed for. I went to SM Mall of Asia with my officemate Maia and her sister, yey. They have Silver tickets, so we eventually split up. Did I mention that I went to the concert alone? Yes I did. It’s an adventure of a lifetime, yet I was all alone to endure the joy and the love and the pleasure of singing their songs live, with fireworks and all. I doubted if I could come out of it alive!
But as I waited in line, enduring four hours with just me, I found myself smiling, contented, and enough. I kept singing, and even posted on social media that “I want something just like this.”
4. “Call it magic”
If you’re a close friend of mine, you’d know that I’m nursing an acidic tummy and an unhealthy bladder. That’s why when I got in the concert grounds, after four hours in line, I had to rush to the portalet to pee. Call it magic, but the portalet didn’t smell bad at all! It was so pleasant I could sleep in it!
My second agenda was to buy myself a drink. I haven’t had dinner, but I was thirsty so I bought a cup of beer and drank it to quench my thirst. Brilliant.
Few sips and minutes later, I felt acid reflux in all its glory. Yes, Judy was experiencing hyperacidity at its finest in #ColdplayManila. Good thing there were medics around, and after enduring the pain and contemplating whether I’d ask for help or what, I finally approached a medic guy to ask, “Kuya, do you have Kremil-S?” It’s an antacid that can pacify my tummy in a few minutes. The guy assisted me, saying that he needs to take me to the clinic. That was like, two minutes before Chris Martin came out to sing A Head Full of Dreams, which is exactly what I paid for. Ahhhh. So yes, as Chris sang the first stanza and chorus of AHFOD, I was somewhere else. I was inside the makeshift hospital in the concert grounds, having someone take her time to get my blood pressure, writing my name on a logbook, confirming I received some generic antacid, and nodding to the doctor who said, “no more beer for tonight, okay?” I was like, “let me outtttt!!!”
When I finally got out of the clinic, I realized that I was somewhere near the Silver area! If I were badass, I would’ve pulled out my “I’m sick” card, and just stayed there. Alas, I got back to GenAd and thank God my tummy was well again. Call it ma-ma-ma-ma-aaa-gic.
3. “Such a heavenly view”
When I finally found my spot for the night, God, Chris Martin on screen was the best thing I’ve ever seen. Sadly, the GenAd area was literally faaaaar from the stage. The crowd was incredible. There were so many people, thousands of people united and excited to be lifted up by the same music that I love.
Song after song, I found myself singing, smiling, wanting to screenshot every moment in my memory. Deleting every app in my phone to give way to more Chris Martin videos. Telling myself I need to take videos or it didn’t happen. Remembering every line I memorized weeks and weeks and months and months ago and that morning in the shuttle going to office. I was feeling so high, yet I just had a couple of sips of beer. I was so freaking happy. It was so freaking and f*cking beautiful. And I was alone. I was alone yet I felt complete. Chris and I, we were under the same sky. A sky full of stars… I think I saw you…
2. “You know I love you so”
Despite being alone for the night, I was not alone in my life. Lol. Kevin was at work, and he didn’t join me because he only knows three songs by Coldplay: Yellow, Fix You, and A Sky Full of Stars. I really wished he was there though, to carry me on his shoulders because I couldn’t see, and to hug me when I can no longer contain the joy and the tears, and to shut me up when I start talking about “what good have I done to deserve this” ecstasy.
So I thought of a way to share the concert with him, and to be with him. When the song “A Sky Full of Stars” came up, I called Kevin and told him to “just listen.” I put down my bag, paused taking videos, and held my phone as I let him listen to Chris Martin singing live, and me singing live, and he stayed there, listening to the whole song, and I was jumping and dancing with my phone. I thought it was crazy; I also thought it’s the sweetest thing. At that moment, I really felt that he was there with me, oh yeah, skin and bones. I was happier. Everything was freaking more beautiful.
1. “Oh the light that you gave me will everglow…”
For the record, #ColdplayManila was clearly something else. An understatement, but I was very happy with every thing, every little thing. I was so satisfied with the setlist and the bonus songs. I was so hyper with all the dancing and the jumping. I was so stunned and in awe with the super cool Xyloband, I had to bring it home. Everything was so surreal. Chris Martin’s voice was so real and so alive. We’re-indeed-breathing-the-same-air-and-it-tastes-so-freaking-good. It was so good I cried.
I cried at Everglow because he was playing the piano and he was kissing the microphone. I cried because I remembered my Lola. I cried because I was so happy that I remembered her again. I cried because I knew that Coldplay concert was more than just me being a fangirl, but more of me being a fan of beautifully-written lyrics. I cried because it was not just a concert that I paid for, it’s a moment that I will forever remember as a happy thought. I cried because I regret not buying the best ticket, yet Chris Martin clearly gave his best that night.
I cried not because I was alone, but because I was there. I was there. I was there.
I will never forget the night Coldplay came to Manila and spent their night singing with us. Singing with me.
Oh Chris, the light that you gave me, will everglow.