A Different Kinda LEAdventure

The First Ever AFLS Manila Dinner
Left Side (front-back): Jojo, Me, Tin Yang, Lea, and Rob
Right Side (front-back): Noel, Edcel, Nic, Jeff, Betsy, Tin Samson, and Mimay
Photo c/o: Tin Samson

It's one thing to be recognized, retweeted, or replied by the person you look up to the most, but it's another story when you get to actually spend a few hours with that person for absolutely no particular reason.

Never in my wildest dreams had I imagine that that day would come but last 26th of March 2013, the AFLS Manila chapter had our very first LEAgendary Dinner with the one and only Lea Salonga, along with her husband Rob and daughter Nic.

The days leading up to the dinner was very nerve-wracking. When Tin told us that she was scheduled to shoot and interview Lea and Nic and was fortunate to ask Lea about the dinner (where she said 'Yes') was like a dream-come-true for all of us. I guess it's safe to say that everyone has been dreaming about it but didn't really think it will happen so knowing that THE LEA said "Yes" to a dinner with AFLS Manila was the best news ever... Until Saturday night.

At around night time, Tin told us that their photoshoot was rescheduled some time the following week, as Lea was not feeling well that day (she even Tweeted about it). It sucked that that tiny bubble of happiness suddenly blew up in our faces, although the silver lining to that was knowing it will get rescheduled the following week, so all hope isn't gone yet. Tin told us that it was rescheduled to Tuesday afternoon of March 26th and the even better news was that Lea was still game for our little dinner. Time to REALLY celebrate!

When our first ever AFLS (Manila) dinner with THE LEA was made official, I was bombed. I so wanted to post it on Facebook or Tweet about it but of course I couldn't. No matter how great a news it was, I have to stay quiet about it (at least until that day comes and/or after the dinner). So come Tuesday morning, I woke up with a huge smile on my face, knowing that the day will definitely be one of the best nights of my life despite losing 4-5 hours worth of sleep.

Goofing Around With Nic
Jojo, Me, Nic, and Tin Yang
I arrived at Greenbelt a little around 6pm so I dropped by Fullybooked first to grab Chico and Delle's TMR book 1, intending to give it to Manang later in the day. When I met up with Betsy, Jeff, Edcel, and Noel at Myron's (thanks to Nica for the instructions, btw. I couldn't have possibly found it without her expertise on Greenbelt ins and outs), excitement was almost too much to bear. I can't wait til Manang arrives! So finally, after Jojo and Tin (Yang) arrived, and a little after munching on the complimentary sliced chocolate loaf and the rest of our entrees, THE LEA finally arrived with her very handsome husband Rob and lovely daughter Nic. As happy as (we) were to see her, my initial thought was, "uh, where's Tin (Samson)?"

From the moment they sat on the table up to when Tin 1 (Samson) arrived just a few minutes later, up to when our food arrives, it was just like walking on the clouds. It was so effin' surreal! I was seated two seats away from Manang (I was beside Tin 2 - Yang - and was one seat apart from Nic) and although Tin 1, Betsy, and Jeff had Manang all to themselves the whole time (I'm not bitter, I swear), Tin 2 and I (along with Edcel, Noel and Jojo) bonded with our new friend, and resident fortune teller, Nicole Chien. God, I love that kid!

Another AFLS Manila "Family Picture"
Photo c/o: Tin Samson
I can't tell you exactly everything that we talked about but what I love about this particular dinner was that it wasn't like having a dinner with a star at all. Early on, we all thought it was going to be a 'prim and proper kind of dinner.' We all expected that it was going to be a quiet, simple dinner with Lea, Rob and Nic for one hour. But boy, we were all so wrong! It was nothing but pure fun! From the moment we started chatting up until the Salonga-Chiens bid goodbye, it was just like catching up with a friend. The conversations were very light, casual and fun (and a little controversial). No discussions about RH Bill, Gay Marriage, or anything serious; just real, fun conversation.

What's even surprising was that everyone (well, it seemed like it) was their own self. No one, I repeat NO ONE, was left behind to rot on the side with no one to talk to. It was nice to find out that we can be just our casual selves naman pala in front of THE LEA. I guess that's what happens when you're being real and patient and understanding and loyal.

It's been a week since the LEAgendary dinner happened but I'm still #OnALeaHigh. I don't think anyone of us was able to recover that easily from that wonderful dinner. As Tin 1, Jeff, and I were on our way home, Tin 1 said that it was a different kind of "high" and she was right. I can't exactly put my finger on it but it really was a different kind of LEAdventure. It was an adventure that I don't think any AFLSer would ever forget. A LEAdventure I'm hoping to not be the first and the last time that it (will) happen.

With Rob :)
Me and THE LEA
Thank You for saying YES to this special dinner, Manang.
I hope you had a great time as much as we did.

"Imitating may be the best form of flattery, but not the best form of writing."

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