Christmas arrived to me early this year when I received an email from an anonymous person inviting me to join the Oct. 1, DFF Concert in Vegas. Yeah, you guess it right, Chaster Clause resurfaced again to bring Chasters from different parts of the globe together into another unforgettable event. So there I was, preparing all my documents, applying for a US Visa, without any idea that I will be in to a journey that will change the way I look at life and friendship forever. I’ve long been dreaming of attending an International Chasters Gathering. It was slowly coming true when a lot of Chasters from abroad visited Philippines this year. Over the past years, I’ve experienced how delightful and exciting it is to see fellow chasters. It’s really nice meeting new people and giving faces behind the usernames which you have learned to value and care for. But, never in my wildest dream have I ever imagined that I will be sailing through the clouds just to meet another group of wonderful people from Chasterdome. FAST FORWARD. (Welcome Dinner). It excites me to know that I will be meeting the LV Chaster Crew. The first wave of chasters that I will meet in my journey. Ate Christine (ChimmyDl), Senator/Kuya Jay (Ucla_Ust), Arz_Bayani (the giant =p), DJ Drake (hello lurkmate), Lolo Mark (SideburnerSol), Kuya Jazzy & wifey (Jazzyming & Ate Wella), Kathy (Sw33t3), Kuya Ernie, Aloha_Sailor and Summer (hi roommate). Geeez, I hope I didn’t forget anyone here. Slap for me if I did.
Photo courtesy of EBJohns
(Pre & Post Concert Gathering). A lot of Chasters flocked the Raffles Coffee Shop and California Hotel, you can see people from every corner exchanging stories about Charice, how they started as a Chaster, and a whole lot more. The new faces I met were Lola Elrem (she’s really so nice), Penny (surprise eh?), Eddie (you’re really tall, hehe), Fogh (from Denmark), Ate Elvie (the cute and lovely EBJ), , Ate_fe, Tita Ruby, Gussy, LDMovies, NYChaster, Benjie, Angelia, Marilyn, ALexD and wifey, Ice, TessHenry and a whole lot more. Oh, there’s a lot of them. And they were all smiles to me. Wish I could mention each one of them here. It is an unspeakable feeling seeing all of them there and exchanging stories with them. THE CONCERT. Charice came out of the stage. The people around were screaming her name. I was there in my seat, stoned, my eyes are starting to get moist. Tears began to flow as I whisper to her Thank you while watching her perform from afar, wishing that the surrounding air would bring my message to her ears. Even up to that moment, I still couldn’t believe I was sitting in that crowd with my beloved Chasters, all because of her. She First sang Celine Dion’s The Power of Love – which reminded me the power of Chasters love and unity that shelters her and will continue to bring her on top. It wasn’t hard for people to give her standing ovation. She’s just amazing up the stage. The next song was Unbreak My Heart, it was intense. Almost everyone around was singing along. That was my favorite song of the night. Later that evening, I was hearing other people humming it or singing the Chorus. Here in the Philippines, you will hear people saying “Oh, you have LSS of that song” (Last Song Syndrome – the song you heard which you keep on singing/humming involuntarily), hehe. Third song was Before It Explodes which was written by Bruno Mars. Another power ballad which showcased her vocal prowess. She sang it passionately, haunting even. What else can I say? She is born to sing! The Finale was Michael Jackson’s Earth song, OMC to the highest level, she’s just immense talent!. We gave her a standing ovation. Wish I could give her a tumbling, rolling, jumping and other ovations I could ever think of, LOL. As the concert ends, we all have smiles painted on our faces. “I hope this experience to celebrate Charice will lead you to discover the “Chaster Clause” in all of us.” – Chaster Clause I could never forget these words from Chaster Clause’s email before I fly to the States. True enough, I’ve met so many Chaster Clauses in my journey. Thank you to Kuya Ernie, Ate Grace and Diana for sharing their house with me. It was cold in LA but your home made me feel so warm because of your hospitality and love. To Kuya Jazzy, Arz, Kathy and the rest for taking a time off and touring me to Disneyland. Yeah, the Space Mountain and Hollywood Tower took my breath away. But nothing compares to the feeling I had with you that day. You guys took my heart away. To Kuya Jay, Ate Christine, Lolo Mark, the cute Thai chaster (whose name I cannot spell, sorry for this, hehe), Ed (S2pidLuv4u) and Mark (OrangeCountyFan) who followed and joined us for the wonderful dinner at Boiling Crabs Resto (Again, I hope I did not forget anyone here, hehe). It’s completely a foreign land to me but you guys never made me feel alone. Hugs for all. It was so hard for me to leave that evening. You all have suddenly been so close to my heart. Oh, and how can I forget Tweetybird who drove a long way just to give me a walk to The Grove and let me see the stars in Hollywood. THANK YOU all so much. We will meet again one day. I feel like my thank you will never be enough to show my gratitude to all the Chasters in Vegas, LA, Europe and other parts of the globe who welcomed me with open arms. I’ve just met most of the chasters for the first time but it seems like we’ve known each other for so long. The question still remains, how could you learn to Iove and care for someone whom you’ve just met over the internet? Kinda strange huh? It’s unexplainable. I DO feel so loved and protected by all the people there who I barely even know and whom I’ve just personally met for the first time. Thank you also for all those who prayed for me to have a safe trip. You guys know who you are. I was overwhelmed with your messages at CM, facebook, plurk, ctvcrew and all other sites. Sometimes I would ask God what I’ve done to deserve all these. Everything is just so overwhelming. Once again, THANK YOU Chaster Clause for the rare chance you gave me and others. You are overflowing with humbleness and generosity. I hope your acts of kindness inspire more people just like the way it inspires me and all the people who’s lived you have touched. I will always cherish the words of wisdom you shared with me.
Photo courtesy of Ernie Mendoza
I’ve attended a lot of gatherings in the Philippines, and I tell you, there is something in this community that separates it from others. Chasters are more than just fans of Charice or a member of an online community. There is more to us that others don’t know. We are not just wild crowds creating banners, and shouting for our princess. We help each other and reach out to other people outside the community too just like the separate charity events done by chasters in Mindanao and Manila which was also participated by Chasters from abroad. I hope other events like this from all parts of the globe will follow. It’s an extraordinary feeling to be flying thousand miles away just to watch your favorite artist perform and see the people in the chatbox go to life. Imagine riding the plane for the very first time and flying to a foreign land alone to watch a concert.
Photo courtesy of ArzBayani
Suddenly, the word “foreign” is losing its meaning when you become a chaster. It is slowly turning to friend or family. The Chasters’ genuine love for each other is really amazing at the same time astonishing. There’s an unexplainable bond between the group. And Charice is the unifying force that binds us all. The burning fuel that lights our path. I wish Charice knows the impact she has brought in every Chaster’s life. I wish other people will discover how wonderful it is to be a Chaster. You will be surrounded by unexplainable love from people you barely know, hehe. I just can’t stop saying this. Lol. Chasters bonding is even stronger than your bonding with relatives and other friends (no exaggeration here). We are not related by blood but I feel like we are. As we exchange stories, I had a better understanding how crazy, at the same time fun and enjoyable it is to be a chaster. Grown-up men crying, spending their time staying up late at night (some or should I say MOST ‘til morning) just to watch Charice videos over and over again (the Replay button gets abused here, lol). People of all ages suddenly started creating different accounts and rally to different social networking sites just to keep up with the latest update about our princess, buying albums, voting, calling radio stations, posting links, and helping in every way we can to help Charice make it to the top. No age gap, gender, status in life, race divides us. Oh, there’s just so much more to tell… And as I finish off this article 36,000 ft above the ground heading back to the Philippines, I was trying to recall how wonderful my trip has been. My short stay with you has ended but the memories will remain. Once again, thank you so much for your warm welcome and hospitality. You made me feel home away from my real home here in PI. I had the best days of my life. Thank you Papa God for giving these people to me. My heart was screaming with so much happiness. I had new friends, New FAMILY. And this bond will go on, ‘til the clock of time fades. Thank you Charice! If not
because of you, I would have never met these wonderful people. I LOVE YOU CHASTERS! P.S.: Closet chasters, I invite you to come out of Lurking and join us. Experience and witness how it feels how sharing and caring can be ordinary with people you can meet in this extraordinary chasters community By Ab Bonita, Charicemania.com Note: Charicemania.com is not responsible in recommending any Chaster to get an invitation, it’s mainly the personal choice of the generous Chaster. It is indeed about meeting other Chasters, sharing experiences, taking part in the celebration and continuing his example in helping others and spreading Charice’s name worldwide. The experience is priceless! Thank you. — Schoen