Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fandom Tourism

I was sitting at my desk eating a late lunch when the phrase hit me. Tomorrow I'll be flying to Taipei with 8 other girls of all ages, shapes and sizes to go on a kind of trip that I now call Fandom Tourism. Finally, a word to describe this crazy thing that I do!!!

For the past 4 years, I could not put a name to this hobby that I have gotten into - that of travelling to a destination not only because of the sights but also because of the events that feature my favorite asian artist.

In May 2004, I went to Hongkong to mainly attend the F4 Pepsi Event at the Hongkong Convention Center. For those who does not live in this side of the planet, F4 is a group of Taiwanese guys who gained popularity all over Asia via a drama called Meteor Garden. The group is composed of Jerry Yan, Vic Zhou, Ken Chu and Vanness Wu. If you're asking for more check out (

So with 17 other girls from the Philippines, we waited for F4 to arrive at the airport coming from various engagements in China. We chased after F4's van on their way to rehearsals. Imagine me running around the streets of Hongkong!!! I experienced all modes of transport from subways and taxis, to double deckers buses to the wooden ferry boat and the tram just because of the itinerary fandom brings.

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A year after in August 2005, a friend and I went on a journey to the Land of the Rising Sun - Japan. No we, were not there for the cherry blossoms (it was the height of summer!) or for the sights of Fukuoka, Japan. We were there to watch the concerts of SMAP. A pop group composed of Masahiro Nakai, Kimura Takuya, Katori Shingo, Inagaki Goro and Kusanagi Tsuyoshi. After F4, I became crazy about SMAP who as a group has released many albums and singles and individually acts in movies and dramas. Again for those of you who do not know anything besides American entertainment, here is a preview of who SMAP is.

And so we walked, and walked and walked some more. From our hotel to the subway station, from the subway to the Yahoo Fukuoka Dome and back. I can still remember screaming in the streets of Fukuoka how I miss my car!

And so tomorrow is another Fandom Tourism kind of trip. I will probably see Taipei 101 as it is the tallest building in the world for the moment. But I am so very sure that I would walk many kilometres, sweat and stalk the cd stores of Ximending. I will tell the tale when I come back.

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