One Direction fever in Manila

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Filipinos fans braved the day-long lines and rainy evenings for their idols Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan

Filipinos fans braved the day-long lines and rainy evenings for their idols Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Niall Horan

Lucky fans experience the concert-of-a-lifetime
Thousands of Filipino fans cried and screamed their hearts out when British-Irish boy band One Direction finally performed live in Manila via two-day concert at the Mall of Asia Concert grounds as part of its Asian tour.

Filipino die-hards, young and old, were beyond ecstatic—all thanks to Smart Communications Inc. that flew in the famous band via its music-streaming app Spinnr.

Many fans braved the day-long lines and rainy evenings for their idols Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson (minus Zayn Malik who initially announced his absence to the concert but later on officially left the group).

The unending screams and tireless shedding of tears were strong indications that every difficulty weathered to get to the concert venue was worth it as soon as the four music superstars showed up on stage at past 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Liam Payne, who is credited for having written a handful of 1D hits including “Story Of My Life,” started raving over the love they were getting from legions of supporters just after the first song. He shouted, “Hey Manila!” and the screaming thousands roared louder back at him.

He went on to talk to the crowd: “Manila, I’ve got to say. We’ve only just start and I’m looking at this crowd and it’s already one of my favorite gigs ever. It’s amazing!”

As if a noise-detonating button was pushed, screams got louder when Payne said, “Now I know, I know that it took a long time for us to come out here. But thank you for being patient. It means the world to us. We are really, really happy to be here right now so thank you so, so much! We love you Manila!”

Harry Styles told the fans to step from the venue chairs. “Can I ask you for one favor? If you’re on a chair or if you are pushing someone, you need to stop or you’ll be arrested.”

But when he playfully threatened the crowd by saying, “I will arrest every single one of you here tonight! I’m going for you first! So stop pushing,” he just decided to revert to love, “Let’s love each other! Let love each other! Flowers! Flowers! And candy!” while pretending to throw flowers and candies to the audience.

And by the time the boys cued their fourth song, even parents and guardians are mouthing the lyrics to “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.”

Payne was also able to seek approval screams when he asked the audience: “Now I’ve seen on Twitter that Manila are some of the craziest fans around. Is that true?”

But it was Louise Tomlinson who took things to more expressions of gratitude. He said, “Thank you for putting us up on this stage. Because it’s incredible to be in the Philippines so thank you so much. It is undoubtedly the hottest show we’ve ever had but you guys are incredible. Thank you so much. Keep up the vibe!”

Niall Horan, was sentimental about the whole affair. While introducing a song, he said, “This next song is one that I wrote with a band called McFly but it pretty much sums up situations like this because we all come from small places all over England and Ireland. And because of you guys, we’re here tonight in Manila doing a show! So what I’m saying is, if it wasn’t for you, we will not be here tonight so thank you so much!”

Among the grateful fans were Smart’s contest winners. One of them, 11-year-old Naomi Mercado said, “I was not able to sleep at all. The ticket was something I could only dream of. Hindi ko po inakala na mapapanood ko sila. Sa school, when I learned na may One Direction concert, akala ko makikinig na lang ako sa mga kuwento ng mga kaklase ko na makakapanood ng concert. Pero makakapanood po pala ako.”

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