I wrote a really long entry that night but it didn’t get saved!💢 It probably wasn’t meant to be published. At least I can write a more self-composed version. 😛
I flew to Hong Kong specifically to watch ONF perform at the APM mall Christmas Eve event. It was the most self-indulgent thing I’ve ever done in my life. I tagged my mom along so she can enjoy a vacation. I booked a nice hotel near the venue, rented a pocket wifi, and organized a week-long itinerary. Things went smoothly for the most part. We struggled a bit in locating the right bus stops but God was with us and sent us several good Samaritans. I thank the kind taxi driver for helping us get to our hotel safely the first day when the chauffeur service we booked didn’t show up. I thank the nice hotel staff for making our stay comfortable. There was also this young lad who even walked us to our hotel when we got lost one rainy day. May God bless you for your kindness.
Anyway, let’s get to the main topic.
ONF is the first group I liked enough to move an introverted person such as myself to attend an event. This was my first Kpop event. As such, I made thorough preparations studying videos of artists who recently performed on the same stage to find out where the best spot is. I watched fan chant guides. I also tried different LED banner phone apps so I can wave a digital banner with U’s name on it. I made sure the colors and animation catches attention and can be seen from afar. I think the effort paid off because I saw all the ONF members looking at it at some point. It reads, “Yuto ❤️” in Korean. Nothing fancy.
The event was scheduled at 11 PM. We anticipated a lot of people so we went to the venue at 8 PM. There were fans sort-of “camping” there already since 2 PM. Others even welcomed ONF at the airport. It was interesting how they had lunchbox sets ready and portable seats. They were armed with fancy camera equipment. They were pros at this I thought.
There were fans who distributed some freebies. I received this nice U banner from a fan named Snowflake. I think they used their own resources for this. I can only admire their heart to promote their favorite member.
The production staff were also busy finalizing the set, setting up barriers, and testing the lights and sounds. I saw a WM staff coordinating the program with the emcee and ONF manager. As a side note, the sound guy and the stage manager looked cool. I serve in the Technical and Stage Management ministry so I have some level of appreciation of the work that they do. I wonder if they noticed that I was observing them.
Seeing U and the other ONF members in person was everything I ever dreamed it to be. They have a warm feeling about them. They were really sweet.😊
This was one of the more mellow cheers I did. I was screaming like crazy on the other songs so I decided not to upload them. U was there right in front of me!😆 My heart exploded!✨ I cheered with all the love I have despite being the only one literally screaming. It was kind of embarrassing but who cares. That’s what I came for. I waited so long to meet them and cheer for them. I asked my mom to record on my behalf because I didn’t want to bother with my phone. I’ve been watching ONF through a gadget all this time and it was a rare time to experience them live. I wanted to be there in the moment. The other fans seemed too preoccupied taking a good shot of them.
ONF played some games with selected fans. I knew that idols usually do fan service but I think seeing it made it more real to me. I thought to myself, “Ahh! Being an idol is a job after all.” I imagined that not all idols would want to do these things. At least I wouldn’t if I were one.
I have mixed feelings about joining the fan sign because I’m bad with this level of proximity, but what the heck, it might be the only chance I have to meet U. I queued up. I felt sorry that I could only say, “Hello. Merry Christmas.” to the other members because I was so nervous and could only think of what I would want to say to U when my turn comes. When that chance finally came, I told him “I finally got to meet you. I’m a big fan. I love your dancing. ” in Japanese. He looked at me. He smiled shyly and said, “Aww. Thank you.” as he signed the poster. We did a hi-touch. Everything was kind of a blur after that. I thought I spoke to Wyatt last but looking at the video of the fan sign event, Laun was the last person at the table. My memory was all jumbled up. It was the first time that sort of thing happened to me. I’ve never felt so happy. It felt like I confessed my love on Christmas Eve to someone I couldn’t even imagine meeting.
I had a blast and celebrated Christmas Eve with no regrets.🎉This memento immortalizes the experience.💖
Thank you Lord for this wonderful experience! 🙌 And thank you Jesus for coming into this world! 🎉 Merry Christmas everyone!🎇🎄