Here’s the thing: I don’t know how to begin writing about Hanson. I’ve started this entry several times, with cheesy opening lines like “Fifteen years ago, I gave my heart to a band and I never got it back”; sad-funny truths like “When you’re in your mid-20s and are just about to see a band you’ve loved since you were 12 for the second time, you try to be guarded with your heart”; and just-plain-truths like “The problem with being a Hanson fan is that everyone thinks they’re the band’s biggest fan. So everyone hates each other.”
Nothing works, nothing feels right, so I guess I’ll just wing it. I mean, I have over 1200 photos from the four days that Hanson was in the country, with only 30ish of those that aren’t of the band. What the heck, really.
Also: this is a really long entry and I wrote it more for my benefit than, well, ~yours~.
Here’s how it all began: the summer of 1997 was the year we got cable TV… okay, I’m kidding.
Here’s how it all began: on March 28, Sanya and I headed to NAIA Terminal 1 to meet up with Yam and welcome Hanson. Sanya, Yam, and I go way back; we were together in 2004, when Hanson first came to the Philippines (although I must note that Sanya is one of my oldest friends, having met each other on the old Hansonline MBs in the late 90s). Back then, our Hanson Circle of Trust was much larger— ten girls. Eight years later, it was just the three of us standing on the airport’s green floor, slathering our hands in hand cream just in case we had the opportunity to shake their hands and trying not to pass out from excitement. Sanya and I regretted getting McDonald’s on the drive to the airport because we felt like throwing up. Yes. We are grown ass women with jobs and boyfriends and adult problems and and blogs on the internet yet Hanson still makes us feel like we’re back in 1997.
I don’t recall who we first saw from afar because the three of us were in a frenzy— was it Taylor’s hat? Isaac’s suit? Zac’s hair? All I know is that I felt my knees go weak when we got our first glimpse of the band (Is that Zac? OMG, THAT IS ZAC!!!! OMGOMGOMG) and their crew exiting customs.
Sanya, Yam, and I held hands and kind of lost it… but in the most mature way possible, since we were at the airport and Yam was working. We rushed back to where Yam’s co-workers were, as Hanson was walking towards them and it’s still clear in my mind how Isaac waved at me because my camera was trained on him. One of the Dayly folks said: “Say something!” and we said “Hi, guys! Welcome to the Philippines!” Later in the car, Sanya and I would LOL at how dumb we were for not coming up with something wittier.
Forgive me for a seemingly blow by blow account of this whole event but this is Hanson and I want to be able to re-read this entry ten years later and remember.
In the airport’s VIP room, we found ourselves two feet away from Taylor, without having to fight other fans for his attention. Eight years of waiting could not have prepared me for that. Here was the guy my 12-year old self was convinced I would marry one day and he had his Dirty Sanchez mustache and Indiana Jones hat on, two freaking feet away from me, smiling at us. At the same time, we had to watch ourselves because we didn’t want our actions to reflect badly on Dayly. We said pretty stupid stuff like, “Guess you guys had a long flight” which he didn’t seem to have heard, praise the heavens. At one point, he whipped out his Leica M9 and asked us to put up our cameras so he could take our photos. “Is that a film camera?” asked Sanya, the Film major. “No, it’s digital,” Taylor, the photography hobbyist, replied. He then started showing us photos from his Leica. This is an important and special memory, especially since my 2004 meet and greet with the band left me disappointed.
Soon, they had to leave for their Bandila guesting. We followed them on their way out and said more stupid and arguably creepy stuff like “See you tomorrow!” After saying good-bye to Yam and the Dayly folks, we met up with Sanya’s boyfriend, Misha (he covered the Hanson show for GMA), and ended the night at Tomato Kick with beer.
Here’s what happened next: the press-con was the next day, at 2pm. Sanya and I arrive (separately) at EDSA Shang and re-unite with Triccie, another member of our 2004 Hanson Circle of Trust. Seriously, if there is one thing I should thank Hanson for, aside from their music, it’s for introducing me to the best girls I’ll ever meet in my life. We make our way to the function room and Yam tells us that Cathy, yet another member of our 2004 HCoT, was already inside. Like excited little girls, we run to the front where she was seated and have a very giddy reunion.
Hanson Circle of Trust Roll Call: Cathy, Helga, Sanya, Triccie, Yam.
The press-con started late and by this time, we had made friends with a group of Malaysian fans who were milling around outside. Hanson sang Thinkin’ ‘Bout Somethin’ and Give a Little for the media before the questions started coming in. Can I just say— without any bias— that these guys are at their best live, when they do an acoustic set? Say what you will about them— poke fun at their 1997 selves, at MMMBop, at 14-year old Taylor’s feminine features etc but you cannot deny that they are legitimate musicians and that they are amazing at what they do. Honestly, it was nothing but surreal to me. I will always be a fan of the music first and I was very thankful to have been there as they performed live in a small room. It’s just one of those things I never thought I would experience.
I could have sworn I recorded the press-con with my phone but when I went to look for it that night, it wasn’t there. I was glad that no one asked stupid questions like “How do you like the Philippines so far?” and “Have you tried adobo?” There were a handful of fans in the media, which was great but they couldn’t help but share their life story before asking their questions. I completely understand why, of course. Unfortunately, this led to the press-con being cut short and me not being able to to ask my question (I wasn’t just there to ogle at them, okay!). They had to be at SM North EDSA for an album signing and meet and greet at 6PM and you bet we were going to be there, too.
At the mall, we met up with Aia, an addition to our Hanson Circle of Trust. Aia and I have been following each other on Tumblr since 2010 (when I got my Runaway Run tattoo) and I knew she would fit right in with my friends. She did!
Hanson Circle of Trust Roll Call: Aia, Cathy, Helga, Sanya, Triccie, Yam.
I was already feeling a bit self-conscious and worried that Hanson might think I was stalking them, what with my hair’s ability to stand out in any crowd. When we got up at the podium to have our shit signed, I apologized to Zac for being everywhere (I will apologize a second time to him at the next day’s meet and greet but that’s for another blog entry). By this time, I was pretty sure it was obvious to them that I was a fan; and maybe a crazy one, at that. He laughed and said something along the lines of “it’s kind of hard to miss someone with your hair.”
Oh, Zac, you are the mostest.
Soon, our turn was over but not before Sanya gushed to Taylor how “good-looking you are in person, like, it’s crazy!” You could say that all our hopes of coming across as mature, adult fans who were in it for the music were squashed right there and then.
The night ended with the Sanya, Triccie, Yam, Kris, Maine, and I hanging out at the Shang poolside while Taylor, their roadies, and their manager were by the bar. Taylor’s clothes were soaked (we missed him jumping into the pool fully-clothed by 30 minutes. Can’t blame him, it’s been a humid summer), he was walking around barefoot, and he looked as perfect as a newborn kitten. But sexier.
Overall, it was a pretty great two days. I really liked how the guys seemed to be nicer and more pleasant this time around, especially knowing they must have been exhausted and still dealing from jet lag.