Welcome to Part 2 of my big Color Me Badd and All 4 One Live in CDO Philippines experience! For Part 1, please visit this All 4 One and Color Me Badd experience – the highs, the lows and yes, I even danced on stage page! 🙂 I would also like to thank each and every one of you who read, left comments and shared my articles. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I hope you enjoy reading Part 2 of this All 4 One Live in Philippines and Color Me Badd Live in Philippines series 🙂 Please, please, please leave comments and share this post as well 🙂 Thank you, thank you, thank you!
When we finally arrived at the farm, I noticed that my camera flash diffuser was missing. I thought of checking the area where KT sat – because if you remember I sat beside him to teach him some local words. Almost everyone already alighted from the bus and it was only me and Mr. Burly left. (Yeah, I know, right? Of all people!) So I politely asked him if he noticed a white plastic cap of sorts. Without saying anything and with a blank stare, he pointed at my camera flash diffuser, which was apparently underneath a seat — Mr. Burly’s seat! He didn’t even offer to get it for me. He turned around and left without saying a word.
I was left AMUSED…and, truth be told, at that very instant, I smiled and secretly thanked God that my younger brothers as well as all the other guys I’m friends with do not have that type of attitude. Thank the good Lord!
I then caught up with the rest of the group. I consciously kept my distance, though.
It was my very first time to visit the Philippine Ostrich and Crocodile Farm in Opol, Misamis Oriental. There were several types of animals there including chicken, ostriches, goats and yes, the crocodiles. The guys apparently thought (or were probably told, I’m not sure) they’d see the largest one ever caught (the 21 foot long crocodile now named “Lolong” in Agusan del Sur) and I didn’t have the heart to tell them that it wasn’t there. Well, make that – I thought I was (yet again) in no position to tell them. I got hit by a serious case of conscience attack when I saw the smiles on their faces disappear when they only saw the “regular crocodiles.” Still, the guys showed they were troopers and I was glad that they all were.
Tony Borowiak of All 4 One was the funniest of them all – he said he already told his family and friends that he was about to see the largest crocodile in the world and that he was sticking by his story.
“I’ll just Photoshop and elongate the small crocodile to make it appear huge,” he joked. So hilarious! The other guys also said that they still had a blast.
“I feel like Tom Cruise in Platoon,” Delious Kennedy of All 4 One said.
When we all went back to the bus, I decided to sit way, way, WAAYYY at the back. Like at the last row of the bus! I thought it would be wiser. Besides, I thought, I’d have the entire row to myself. Here’s a shot I took from where I sat:
A few minutes later, I saw Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd, who sat at the 3rd row, raise his head and look behind his shoulder. He looked at me and frowned. I frowned back. I wondered what was up. Then, after about a minute, he stood up and walked towards the back of the bus. This happened while the bus was still in motion. I thought he wanted to sit near Mark or Tony, who were about 2 seats away from me. What I didn’t know was that he wanted to sit by the window of the last row of the bus…right beside me!
Yep, it really was my lucky day!
“Is it all right if I sit here?,” he asked me as he pointed at the space on my right.
“Of course!,” I replied. My cheeks immediately felt warm — I couldn’t help but blush. I wanted to ask him — who in their right minds would dare say no? Hello?! Take that, Mr. Burly and to everyone else who’s been throwing me dagger looks! Hah!
I think I gave out a little high pitched shriek because he looked at me real funny. You know – that kind of high pitched squeal that you make when you try so hard NOT to squeal?
He sat and smiled at me. Yes, that very smile that has charmed and broken a million hearts. I immediately realized that that was perhaps my chance to interview him! Aha! Light bulb moment! No, wait — can’t I just stay put, enjoy the view (meaning him), not say anything and just — OGLE?
“I’m scared of narrow buses and narrow roads,” he said, to which I replied, “Well, you’re in for a real scare. I can’t protect you. I’m also terrified of narrow buses and narrow roads.” He gave out a small laugh and I thought I was going to DIE.
I mean, really, come on! Here was Bryan Abrams – THE Bryan Abrams who made my heart go a-flutter every time I watched the music videos of Color Me Badd songs “The Earth, The Sun, The Rain,” “Choose” and “Sexual Capacity”! Can you still remember how handsome he was in “The Earth, The Sun, The Rain”?
What about that “little…ttle… too much for me” part in “Sexual Capacity” and when those gorgeous hazel eyes stared at the camera? And oh please, don’t even get me started on the Color Me Badd “Choose” music video. That one is my most favorite! Of course, Bryan was a hunk there but truth be told, all of the Color Me Badd guys looked so desirable in this video I should not be blamed for the weird thoughts that usually run through my head whenever I watch that. Hah! Kevin looked so sensual, Sam had very beautiful eyes and my love Mark Calderon looked oh-so-drop dead gorgeous. Watch the video here.
Yes, they all received a lot of the good stuff when God decided to shower the world with beauty and sex appeal. *sigh*
My daydreaming session was cut short when Bryan again startled me by asking: “I’m worried about you. You were so excited earlier today and then that all changed. Is something wrong?”
“Uhmm. None. Nothing’s wrong. Why do you ask?” Geez, what is with all the lies today?
“Well, you were a ball of energy today at the airport and it was great because we’ve never been welcomed like that before,” he said. My heart beat a whole lot faster!
“It usually takes us a while to get that second wind, you know? But you made it easier because of your great personality,” he added. He gazed at me as if saying “you’re cornered now, Irene, no excuses this time.”
I was floored. Again, I never expected him to ask me that. I never expected him to be that “conscious” of what’s going on because, really, artists usually should no longer worry about the drama that goes behind the scenes. At that instant, I felt ashamed, surprised, humbled and thankful all at the same time. Ashamed because I didn’t trust myself AND the guys enough to just BE myself and not worry about what others (Mr. Burly, for one) would think. Thankful because here was Bryan Abrams of Color Me Badd worried about me.
Did you hear that, Philippines? Bryan Abrams was worried about me! It felt surreal.
I then came clean and told him the truth. I will no longer share the nitty gritty details of our conversation about the behind-the-scenes drama — suffice it to say that I felt secured, assured and appreciated! Thank you so much Bryan.
What I could share with you all, though, are the next few topics we discussed during that 20 minute drive. We talked about their last visit to the Philippines, what happened during their Manila and Cebu shows (they had shows there before coming to CDO), how much he loves the beach (Bryan practically gave out oohs and aahs as soon as he saw the Opol beach) and how much he loves and misses his kids. I also told him how much I loved his solo album, “Welcome To Me,” (released in 2001) and that “Good As It Gets” was my favorite track. I also asked him how he dealt with the ladies back during their heydays.
“You mean how Mark dealt with the ladies back then,” Bryan insisted. He had a sheepish grin on his face. He also kept on raising his eyebrows and then pointing his chin towards Mark.
“No, you!,” I said, ignoring his goofy facial expressions. “Everyone had a crush on you, for chrissakes. How did it feel to be everyone’s object of desire?”
Believe me, my choice of words that day was utterly astonishing.
I also wanted to add – “how in the world can someone have really gorgeous hazel eyes and sexy lips and live to tell the world about it?”
“You’re funny,” he said with a smile. And then he fell silent.
“Have you watched our recent videos online? Have you read the comments so far?,” he asked. Before I could answer, though, he added: “I don’t know how much about my personal life is out there. Have you heard anything?”
While the tone of his voice was calm, warm and sincere, there was also a trace of worry.
I assured him that I watched the videos taken during their Manila and Cebu trips and that most, if not all, of the comments were positive.
“Fans are really excited and this reunion is long awaited,” I said.
I was also honest enough to let him know that, yes, I read all about his recent “life trials and challenges” (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can just do a quick search on the Internet. There’s a plethora of photos, videos and articles about Bryan’s “colorful” past) and at the same time, I told him that he shouldn’t worry too much. Past is past. Real fans will stick by you no matter what, I said. Color Me Badd is back and that’s what matters.
What then happened in the next several minutes was downright remarkable. We talked and it wasn’t a conversation between a fan and an idol. It was a conversation that was as regular and as honest-to-goodness as it can be. Bryan was brutally honest about certain things and mind you, we didn’t just talk about music! We talked about life, about how to cope, about fears and setbacks, about the challenges of reuniting, about hopes. We talked about fans, the evolving music industry and what to do at a time when social media has become a byword. We even talked about love and…hold your breath…noses. I told him I will make it my lifelong mission to look for a guy who has the same pretty nose as he has. Bryan just kept on laughing and calling me “funny, funny girl.”
It was music to my ears.
Truth be told, I didn’t expect that our conversation would become that serious and…normal. Not that I’m complaining. I actually felt very proud of how my “special mini interview” turned out. Here I was, listening to Bryan Abrams talk about things other than music. Our conversation was a welcome breather. A whiff of fresh air. I appreciated that so much. As a fan who waited for 20 long years, I can definitely say that it was worth the wait. Thank you so much Bryan Abrams. You made me very happy.
Not too long after, we arrived at Bigby’s Rosario Arcade Limketkai Center. Bigby’s was one of the generous sponsors of the concert. Thank you, Bigby’s! Anyways, we had lunch there and the guys met some members of the local media. There were tons of photo ops, too! Of course, I had to have my photo taken with everyone including Hanna. I did mention earlier that I will share a little story about her. I will do that in a bit.
The guys then boarded the bus again and left for soundcheck. I opted not to join them anymore (so much for being the paparazzi, eh?) so as to avoid unnecessary stress brought about by you-know-what. Which I thought was a good idea, anyway, since I could prepare and rest for a bit before I watch the much-awaited Color Me Badd and All 4 One Live in Cagayan de Oro Philippines concert!
Mindanaoan is a multi-awarded blogger, content creator, seasoned social media strategist and publicist with undeniably successful track record. 2012 International Visitor Leadership Program (for global leaders) alumnus and O visa grantee (for people with extraordinary skills and who have risen to the top of their field). Avid traveler and a proud relief operations volunteer. Regular resource person for social media, blogging and content creation. Available for work and travel – [email protected]