A Birthday Greeting from Manila

 

35xxxv. one ok rock.

Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

 

Dearest Taka,

First of all, I want to call out to the great Suzaku-sama, Byakko-sama , Genbu-sama, Seiryuu-sama, Zenki-sama, Kame-sama, Son Gokou-sama, Sailor Mars-sama, Clow-sama, Lupin-sama, Kenshin-sama, Belldandy-sama, Tamahome-sama and to Voltes V to grant me all the chakras, nens, and good luck I need to have a 100% probability that this letter can at least catch your attention.

As of the time of writing, I am only able to muster 0.0001% probability from the said Gods. Maybe I also need to call on all the Mushi, the Kyojins, maybe even Escaflowne, the Gundams and Evas to send some positive vibes to this letter’s crusade.

But kidding aside, and no matter what the odds are, whether this eventually reaches you or not, I am still writing it.

And before anything else, I just have one message for you on your birthday on the 17th:

just enjoy it.

Well I know you are currently on tour so I am sure you are having the time of your life. Just continue to smile to attract more positive karma. This year, I know that the sheep will continue to bless us, those who are born in the year of the dragon.

And by the way, please do keep that smile, I like it when you do that. πŸ™‚

Alright, I already said a lot but I haven’t introduced myself. My name is Sheen from the beautiful city of Manila in the Philippines.

I was introduced to your music from “The Beginning,” thanks to the first Rurouni Kenshin Live Action movie. I was such a fan of the anime that I was thrilled when the live action was released in the Philippines in 2012.

I started listening to your songs then. That was the time when it finally began.

Two years after, in around mid-2014, I decided to quit my second job. And I was depressed again afterwards. Well, I was always depressed whenever I quit my job. It seemed like what I finally found wasn’t what I wanted. It’s that so-called quarter-life crisis, which is making the life of 20-somethings miserable.

And I continued being a useless human being and locked myself up in my room for the next two months.

One gloomy evening, as all the rest were, I was listening to your songs and was struck by these words:

Can’t take your time what are you waiting for? It’s a waste of time for you blaming yourself.

Just hold on tight, it can be all right. Yes, try to try, keep moving on.

Are you ready now? We are ready now for tonight.

And it was like I was awakened from a bad dream. There came a realization so strong that I was instantaneously headbanged back to reality.

Yes I was wasting my time and blaming myself for things that I shouldn’t be worrying about. And yes, all that I needed to do was to hold on.

And then the positivity continued as Otomo-sensei, your friend Takeru and the rest of the cast visited Manila for the Asian premiere of Kyoto Inferno. I found something that I want.

Keishi Otomo

Posting for the nth time. πŸ™‚ Photo by Ami Gatchalian.

Right there and then, I knew I had already overcome my karasu and finally was living again in the real world.

But real world had not lost its cruelty.

2015 came. The first quarter of this year was actually a roller-coaster ride of emotions. And it ended with another mighty long fall down to the bottomless pit of hell. It seemed that all the negative emotions from work, health, family and life converged to give me my fifth wave of quarter-life crisis. Now, I’m stuck in the middle, again. Ugh.

And just when I am back to black again, and can’t see what’s around me anymore, I heard your voice again:

GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!

And again:

It’s another day, another life. You gotta live it to the fullest.

WE’LL NEVER BE AS YOUNG AS WE ARE NOW.

And again:

DREAM as if you’ll live forever and live as if you’ll die today.

And then that was it. Suddenly I was breaking past the lies. I was depressed again because I had completely forgotten how to DREAM. When did I stop searching for miracles?

All I could say is that you never fail to take my hand and help me make it back again.

Everything will be alright tonight. Let’s start it now. It’s not too late.

You keep on reminding me of that very reason that keeps my heart beating, that thing that I’d risk everything for.

And then you released your seventh album.

We can be the change we needed.

We’ll fight fight till your fears go away, whatever it takes. We’ll fight fight ’til we see another day.

And right there and then, I told myself that I would continue to support your band, so that you could continue creating songs that helpΒ people like me, millenials like us, to fight the challenges brought by this b*tch called life.

I guess I’m ending this letter here. And I’m really wishing you could drop by Manila some time. Filipino fans are dying to meet you in person. If not, I’ll just find other ways on how I could hear these fascinating words of encouragement, and the music accompanying it, live.

So to ONE OK ROCK, to you, to Toru, Tomoya and Ryota, どうも γ‚γ‚ŠγŒγ¨γ† γ”γ–γ„γΎγ—γŸ for keeping me sane.

And once again, happy birthday, Taka-kun. πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Dreaming with you,

sheen name copy

 

 

 

 

 


All songs and lyrics by ONE OK ROCK:

The Beginning
Stuck in the Middle
Kimishidai Ressha
Karasu
Mightly Long Fall
Decision
C.H.A.O.S.M.Y.T.H.
Suddenly
Memories
Yes I Am
Cry out
Fight the Night


 

The author had also posted this open letter in another site called “Nimotsu Counter.” To access the post, kindly click here.

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Why? Because it makes me happy

Watching anime. Why? Because it makes me happy.

Heidi. memorabilias from Best of Anime 2014

Heidi. souvenirs from Best of Anime 2014.

Collecting anything anime or anything Japanese. Why? Because it makes me happy.

Keishi Otomo-sensei2 copy

“Kailangan pa ba i-memorize ‘yan?” Arigatou for the pic Otomo-sensei. πŸ˜€

Fangirling and literally running after the director of one of the best live-action adaptation of one of the best animes of all time. Why? Because it makes me happy.

pogs copy

Pog. Your childhood is boring if you don’t know them.

As I have been writing in this blog lately, yes, my addiction for Japanese animation have been brewing since before kindergarten.

circa 1994 copy

Oh yes. Look how happy I was with my first Sailomoon toys. πŸ˜€ Circa 1994. With my brother.

We were not rich back then. I wasn’t even aware that original action figures in big boxes even existed. All my parents could buy for me were these toys from the local market of Orion, in the province of Bataan.

precious copy

From 1994 to 2014. Twenty years of making me happy.

But I was the most thrifty kid in town. I would save as much from my allowances just to get myself some pogs, teks, mini-teks, bargain posters and stickers. And everytime someone would go to Manila, I would ask them to buy me the famous Questor Magazine and eventually, Culture Crash. But this only happened maybe around once a quarterly.

questor copy

Questor. The Ultimate Anime Magazine.

On November 2000, according to Wikipedia, the nearest SM to our place opened in San Fernando, Pampanga. Since then, we went to SM once a year. And this was when Comic Alley collected all my savings: from Sakura cards to laminated photos to playing cards and cassette tapes.

cassette copy

Original Cassette tapes. And audio recordings of the live TV broadcast. Come on, you know what I meant right? πŸ˜€

I and my bestfriend then would also do audio tape recordings of the Tagalized anime broadcasts in TV. Come on 90s kids, you knew what I meant right? πŸ˜€

My parents would ask why I was doing all of these. I didn’t know what to tell them at the time. But one thing was for sure. Anime surely made me happy.

Flash forward to the year 2005, I was in my first year at the University of the Philippines. Adjusting for boarding house living in the city was not easy from a girl from the countryside. All the pressure of living on your own and complying to the academic requirements of the premiere university in the country pushed me to set aside my anime addiction for urban survival. And it was not easy to catch up when you had no in-house TV and internet. I was able to attend, for the first time in my life, maybe a couple of anime conventions, but also due to allowance restrictions, I wasn’t able to continue doing it.


This post had been transferred by the author to another blog named “Nimotsu Counter.” To read the rest of my post about my anime addiction, plus some memorabilias from the band “Heidi,” kindly click here.