Did IT really ALL happen? David Archuleta in Manila for 38 days – acting, singing, modelling and everything else in between? I feel like am just waking from a wonderful dream….
Given that his 2-year hiatus from his showbiz career is set looming in the near horizon, spending that much time outside his home turf is nothing short of amazing – and puzzling to most.
But the set of opportunities and collateral benefits generated from David’s latest and longest stay in Manila dispelled all anxieties about his decision. The stream of appearances and extent of exposure is like manna from heaven for fans who are already bracing for his long absence. And what David has achieved in all these 38 days in the Philippines is something all of us should be proud of.
And the HAAAARDWORK! The effort he dedicated to make those 38 days matter, I cannot even… I have seen it upclose. Have talked to people who worked with him. I have covered almost all major events. Just for the sheer passion of making things happen in the best possible way and accomplishing SO much in the time he had chosen to spend here — my hats off, David.
Sure, at the start, the news about the acting part was a bit iffy to most fans. Let’s face it, we have known David to be the master musician. But as an actor? In a mini-series at that, that could possibly rival the gripping angst, over-the-top melodramas and unbelievable twists and turns you usually find in Mexican or Asian telenovelas? (and that’s why they are that popular worldwide!)
Fast forward and here we are, all mesmerized and hooked into following the live streaming of Nandito Ako – even if majority of us do not understand half of what’s happening on screen, LOL.
Then consider the OPM album, the PyroPalooza guesting, then the Bench endorsements… WHEW!
But am getting ahead of myself.
Am writing this hours after David left Manila. You’ve seen the of Well Wishers. You’ve seen the TeamAirport welcome. And I – along with my partners in crime in Archuleta Philippines – Kricket, Lorma and Naree – have tried to bring you as much coverage of David Archuleta’s Journey in Manila (DAJIM) 2012.
What’s left are the BTS stories and shenanigans… Oh we have TONS! So please allow me some indulgence as I go back and reminisce where it all began…
When Josh Bradley Invaded Manila
With the official confirmation from the man himself, Filipino Archies started preparatory work for David’s arrival. LOL, we all know the drill by heart. Reconnect with contacts, rally the troops, and marshal resources for a grand airport welcome! Now, I know that a lot of international fans are incredulous at how we can get some information that fast and that solid! I also understand that some of what we do here cannot literally be done in some places. Well, I suppose that’s why it is [enter shameless plugging here] “More Fun Here in the Philippines”!
Pushing the Envelop, Spreading the Love
One of the things that I learned in life: there is really no harm in asking! Like I knew I would get VIP access for his arrival, thanks to a guardian angel that will forever be not named. But then I thought, we may not have the same chance again… a lot can happen in two years…
So I pushed my luck and asked if it were possible to have more VIP slots, primarily so I can have some of the hard working Archies share the VIP access experience. So at 1st, I was given five (5) slots. Then my forever favorite girl, Kricket of Archuleta Philippines had this brilliant idea to raffle off one slot to the general fanbase, use it as incentive to pump up online voting for WAIT MV @MYXph. Genius, right? So that became the 2nd reason to optimize the opportunity — and ended up getting seven (7) precious slots!
In the Wee Hours of the Morning
There were other Archies I would have loved included in the VIP group but the timing of David’s arrival put a damper on some Archies’ plans. I mean, how do you tell your parents or kids or spouse about getting up early and trooping to the airport. Here’s an example of an imaginary conversation with an Archie go-getter:
Archie: Dear, am heading out very early tomorrow…
Family: Why? And how early? (looking suspicious now)
Archie: To welcome DA… Time: Ooooh, about 3 or 4am… (making furtive glances…)
Family: Let me get this straight: so you go to NAIA, at an ungodly hour to welcome David.
Family: But you really, actually DON’T MEET him, right?
Archie: Maaaaybe… So what’s your point?
(Chuckling) Somehow, somewhere that exchange may have happened. Buuuut, am not saying which household 🙂
Given David’s ETA, that means most Archies will be trooping to the meeting place (Wendy’s, right Kari?!) as early as 3am. So we didn’t expect too many Archies to join us – two vans at the most. But on the eve of David’s arrival, the request to join came pouring in, which brought the total count to 85 pax, requiring 5 vans!
Anna (@ascphil) and Lorma (@lorms) and the car rental (LOL) scrambled for more vehicles pronto, especially since I needed the vehicle details for the special vehicle pass. I was just able to arrange for 3 vehicles earlier. And we were to add 3 more for security clearance — at the last minute?!
But everything else went like clockwork. For last minute preparation, the Team Airport movers spent the night at Lorma’s pad. And we girls had some fun 🙂
Naree & I were the advance party. We left for the airport at 4am and the rest of the girls went to Wendy’s to meet the rest of the Team Airport contingent.
NAIA 2 – An Archie’s Paradise
Let me tell you, if I could only request David which terminal he should use every time he visits, let it be NAIA 2 please! Like it was built to support an Archie’s dream! (1) easily navigable from immigration to exit; (2) VIP Room almost viewable from the the hall walk-way & curb; (3) Greeter’s Area right in front of VIP Lounge and (4) most understanding security group!
Security assisted us in every way possible. Our group was properly endorsed as all security personnel had a list of the vehicle details and my name. The parking space allotted to us were exactly where David will come out.
After securing our passes, Naree & I were immediately ushered to the VIP Room so we had plenty of time to relax. While Naree and I were fixing the banners inside the VIP, Eula & Jasmine came in. Naree decided to stay in the VIP Room and befriended a couple of people in Jasmine’s & Eula’s
& entourage. Me, I set off to meet the Team Airport contingent. As the vans rolled in, I opened each van, greeted the Archies and ushered them to where we were allowed to line up. While organizing, press people swooped on them and took their respective coverage of Team Airport 🙂
My hats off to the NAIA 2 Security personnel. Thank you for the wonderful treatment the fans received. Once again, thank you dear sweet friend-who-shall-not-be-named for all the help!
My Conversation w/ Perci as we Wait for David
At 5:55, the airport blared the good news. David’s plane finally landed! Suddenly the atmosphere changed – became electrically charged. I decided to go out and talk once more to Team Airport. Lorma, Ferj and I discussed the tactic for videotaping. So Lorma handled the UStream on behalf of Archuleta Philippines while Ferj and I tagged team for the video recording, making sure different angles were caught.
I positioned myself in the immigration gate to wait for David. Then I noticed that I was standing side by side with Perci, VP for TV5’s Creatives & Entertainment. Serendipity? What else can I do but talk to him! Here’s a gist of our exchange:
- TV5 seriously means business – After some pleasantries and introductions, I commended TV5 for the stepping up its game to join the network challenge. A separate report on InterAksyon.com, TV5’s online news portal, stated, “The signing of Archuleta is seen to further boost the attempts of TV5, currently the third biggest broadcasting network in the Philippines, to climb up the rankings.” It seems it is set to break the duopoly (ABS-CBN & GMNA-7) in the broadcasting industry and I like that! Always good for the market and consumers at large if there are more options, more choices.
- PressCon – You see at that point, we had no idea how we could get attend the presscon. So I asked Perci if we can we be allowed access. I mentioned that Archuleta Philippines which covers anything David, is the lead for Team Airport and am a blogger for an international fan site – and that should count for being with the press, right? Result: I got invited and got three slots for Archuleta Philippines 🙂 Thanks Perci!
Interesting bit after he approved of the access, he whispered back, “Just help us from the fan war, ok?” I needed time to take that in. Now, where would he get such an idea? This was the first time we met and the only Archies he had met so far, that I know of, were those involved with the TV5 Online interviews. As far as I know, Naree and Lorms weren’t able to talk to him…
- Nandito Ako DVD – Of course I have to ask him about this,right?! Esp the issue when a DVD would be made available to international fans. According to him, locally it is no problem. The overseas thing, though not impossible, may have some legal issues involved given that David’s contract was very specific for the Philippine market and air time. The same issue goes for subtitling the episodes. But Perci said they will look into it.
I know that this is a big bummer for international fans. The clamor for a subtitled DVD will be to high heavens. But the good that I see in this situation is that it only means David’s interest was well protected when the contract was hammered out.
I hope am correct in interpreting that if this is the kind of legal impediment TV5 is facing, then it only means that when TV5 tries to rebroadcast or license the series outside the Philippines or sell the CD or DVD from the same, a new rounds of negotiation may be called for.
Perhaps the current network war was a more looming and real issue here. Perhaps the overseas demand was underestimated. But in my opinion, TV5 would be crazy to not try to redistribute Nandito Ako. Just in Asia alone, the potential market for subtitled telenovelas/soaps is huge. But am no expert in this field so perhaps there are more complex issues involved.
And although there is no doubt that David got a handsome compensation package from his TV5 stint, a potential redistribution and licensing of the series may require a new talking point. If my reading is anywhere near close to the real situation, then I hope that this makes the waiting for an official subtitled DVD for international fans more bearable.
The other possible reason I could think of may stem from a reluctance on David’s part to release the DVD to other markets, esp the US. First off, David did talk of his uncertainty going into the Nandito Ako project. It could be that he was not prepared for the US market to see his 1st foray into serious acting. Given that market tastes vary across cultures, the soap’s treatment, plot and script may do well for the Philippines or Asia in general, but not for our western counterparts. This reluctance due to uncertainties in market acceptance esp at his home turf may be a factor on why a DVD for international markets wasn’t included in the initial negotiation. Just a hunch. What do you think?
- David’s general schedule – With David being a member of the Actors’ Guild, his contract had to stipulate strict working schedules. Perci shared that David’s sked would look something like this:
- Mondays-Fridays – Tape the mini-series
- Saturdays – Do photoshoots, interviews, guestings, recordings, promo tours, etc…
- Sundays – Day of rest + emergency meetings, engagements
Goodness, not much leeway for R&R. Then I asked if David would be speaking Tagalog for his dialogues and if yes, how could he connect to the emotional content of the script. Perci explained that an English version of the script was sent to him and that he will be handled by no less than Ms. Ana Feleo. W.O.W! Mac Alejandre for director and Ana Feleo for the acting coach? TV5 sure brought in the big guns! Am a happy camper just hearing who will help David in his foray to serious acting 🙂
- Photo Opportunities – Our conversation then went into the sensitive topic (for Filipino Archies, that is!) of photo opportunities w/ The Archuletor. I shared with Sir Perci the general frustration Filipino Archies have over the almost nil chance of taking a picture with David in an official event. Considering that this is David’s 4th visit – and at an extended period at that – it would seem unthinkable that fans would again be deprived of this chance.
This becomes even more glaring considering that almost all other countries that David visited enjoyed this opportunity. Perci said that it may be a factor of time within a given event. So I suggested a group pic opportunity within an organized event. This will show the fans that TV5 really looked into our interests and wishes. Otheriwise, we will have a greater problem of fans stalking David wherever and whenever – something that fans, TV5 and Kari would rather not deal with. Perci said he will discuss with his team.
UPDATE: who could forget this?
- Fan Involvement – I commended TV5 for the approach they have adopted wrt fans. That they have totally embraced the fans’ involvement from the get go, treated us with utmost respect and showed interest in what we have to say — all a welcome change when compared with our experiences with previous organizers. Just like Sony Phils, Ivory Records & AstroPlus, TV5 recognizes that only positivity will be gained in welcoming the fans into the #FollowArchuleta project. And for all of these, I thanked Perci in behalf of Archies, here and abroad.
TRIVIA: Still waiting for David, this guy came out of immigration and out loud told to no one in particular “He is there. The kid is there. I sat next to him….” I wonder who was he referring to, LOL. Oi, we know of course 🙂
As soon as David appeared in the horizon, the surroundings changed yet again. Somehow it reminded me of antlers, all standing in attention when they sense something coming. And when he emerged from immigration, one had to ask: how the heck could anyone look that refreshed after a 16-hour flight?! No offense to the guy who declared he sat next to him but the latter had jetlag written all over him. But David? Noooooooo. All smiles, all fluffy hair and all international heartthrob to behold!
Thank you to local Archies — from Archuleta Philippines, Pinoy Archies, Archienoys, Architects and all other Archies from different fan groups – for pulling together to make a grand welcome for our guy 🙂
Just a side note: A day before David’s arrival, I learned that someone was campaigning against the Team Airport effort. I was told that this person claimed that it was useless and a waste of time because the Archies do not even see David for more than a minute. That it was best that they do not join anymore. Funny thing is that you see this person lording it over during the airport welcome. Well, what can I say except that there are some people who really don’t get it. That at times, it is not about us… right?
The PressCon and A Surprise Fan Session
From NAIA, we proceeded to EDSA Shang to attend the presscon. On the way there, people kept texting us where we were. Found out people were starting to converge at EDSA Shang, like the vans literally followed David’s car, LOL. Well, the arrangement was for the vans to take Team Airport back to the meeting place or alight at any point in EDSA that was convenient for them. So I had to tell them that they needed to go home.
Meanwhile, Naree was on the driver’s seat as we were enroute to Shang. The girl was driving while spazzing. Yet, it was taking us forever to get to Shang cos she kept on letting all the cars pass us by! I said “Naree! We may not make it to the presscon! And she was, “♬ La-la-la-la-la♪”. Repeatedly I sang “♪ ♫ Am trying to be like Jesus…♬ ♪” while Naree went her merry-driving-way!
Last month, I uploaded a video of the presscon, totally forgetting that I have the other half unposted. I have split that video into two parts which you can find below. (Part 3 is the original video posted in January.)
PART 1 – 1st PressCon in Manila – NEW POSTING!
PART 2 – 1st PressCon in Manila – NEW POSTING!
PART 3 – 1st PressCon in Manila
So that completes my documentation of the 1st presscon David attended during his more than one-month stay in the Philippines.
But that’s again, getting ahead of the biggest surprise that I got that day. While waiting for us to be called into the presscon (Yes! Naree & I made it with hours to spare, LOL), I got an interesting call from TV5 informing me that David wanted to meet the Team Airport movers after the presscon. Naree and Lorma got separate invitations to meet David for their participation with TV5’s online interview.
Still in shock, Naree and I called a couple more Archies who helped with Team Airport but could not be included with the NAIA VIP. You can just imagine how rattled we all were with the turn of events! I mean, I couldn’t thank Perci enough for allowing us to attend the presscon but to even get the golden opportunity of meeting David that early into his Manila journey? PRICELESS!
Re-posting that impromptu fan session below, in case anyone missed it –
Moreover, Myk of TV5 offered to videotape the event for me or take pictures for me, so I could join the group. But I decided to do it myself. Told Myk that I’d rather that others get their chance to have their pictures taken with David. I got that wonderful opportunity during the 2010 round table presscon. I’d like to onpass the thrill of that experience to others. That was the whole point of bringing in as much Archies that we could to various events. And this was one of the best times ever!
The group’s initiative to livestream and ask David to give a shout out to international fans at the airport and during the fan session were moments that made the events of David’s 1st first day in Manila a real-time global experience.
Seven minutes of pure, unadulterated bonding moment with David Archuleta, shared worldwide. HEAVEN!
LOL. Shouldn’t David know by now that he could just ramble all day and we’ll still be enthralled?
Starting and Ending the Day with a Clear Purpose
Immediately after the special fan session, Naree and I looked for one of the TV5 executives to discuss some possible fan activities for David.
Now it can be told that Archuleta Philippines and ARCH (Angels Reaching Out w/ Caring Hearts) were planning to pay David a tribute. We didn’t know if this would even be possible because we had to assume David’s schedule would be hectic. All we knew was that we have a message to deliver, we have TV5’s willingness to listen and we really, really wanted to give back something to David while he was here. So what do we have to lose by trying to suggest or asking for a chance?
On Naree’s initiative, details were discussed and it was agreed that Naree will submit a formal proposal to TV5.
It was a good thing that the proposal was discussed at an early stage. Because the succeeding days proved to be quite hectic! The first week were marked by a harried pace of David building the foundation for Josh Bradley. From promo photoshoots, recording of the OST, story conference and 1st day of shooting – you’d be amazed where David gets his stamina.
You can take a peek of TDC’s documentation of David’s 1st week in Manila in the following threads:
David Archuleta: Lights! Camera! Action! Day 04 – First Day of Shooting & Beyond
So, we started Day 01 of DAJIM 2012 (David Archuleta’s Journey in Manila) with a purpose. We ended it with the same gusto and spunk. Sometimes, all it really took was simply asking. At times, we also needed to use some “friendly persuasions” 🙂
A lot of dreams and wishes were fulfilled on this day alone. And we learned a lot more things to brace for in the coming days as David plunged straight into the world of Josh Bradley.
Not a shabby start, right? And a Friday the 13th at that!
Let me end this with a Week 1 Recap in action —
from Paparazzi on 22 January 2012
from theofficialarchuleta YT channel
PS – Watch out for BTS tales part 2, as I take on #FollowArchuleta LITERALLY – stories of our Week 2 shenanigans as we track down mall tours, tapings, shootings, bloopers, comedy of errors and what have you’s… all for the love of Josh, I mean David!