A Gift from Boyce Avenue

The craziest thing happened last night. I received a surprise gift from my favorite band, Boyce Avenue. Whaaaaaaat?!!! It all started when my parents came home from their small group meeting at church. As soon as they entered the front door, my dad said “Nicolas! We have a surprise for you!” I greeted both my parents and gave them a weird stare because we weren’t celebrating anything and surprises in the family usually happen during special occasions.

Boyce Avenue

Nonetheless, I eagerly asked my dad if they got me a plant! Hahaha. I love plants or anything connected to gardening, so it was the first thing that popped in my mind. However, dad asked me to look inside the paper bag instead. To my surprise, I saw two drumsticks in it! I shrieked because they were giving me my very first pair of drumsticks! For the longest time, I have been playing beats using chopsticks or my imaginary drumsticks on my imaginary set of drums. Haha. So, seeing the pair of sticks made my heart skip a beat!

Before I could further express my happiness, my dad added “Anak, it’s not just a pair of drumsticks. It has something written on it.” I couldn’t believe what I saw as I pulled out the sticks from the bag. There was a dedication written on it which says: “Nicole. Thanks for the support. –Jason”. By this time, my eyes grew bigger and I shouted “WHAAAAAAAT!!!! HOW??? WOOOOOW!!! This is from the official drummer of Boyce Avenue, Jason Burrows! Oh myyyyyyyyyy!!!!”

Boyce Avenue

My parents and siblings who were also in the living room started to laugh because it really was a crazy moment for me. They knew how much I love Boyce Avenue, so having this privilege of receiving a gift from them was such a huge moment for me! I started to tear up and shake because I still couldn’t believe that Jason gave me a pair of drumsticks that he used during the Be Somebody Tour in the Philippines about a month ago.

After a few minutes of laughing, shouting, and dancing in the living, I noticed a laminated I.D. with a strap in the same paper bag. As I looked closely, I saw three familiar signatures and my name written on it. In addition to the signed pair of drumsticks, Boyce Avenue also signed an ID with my name written on it. CRAZY. It was so crazy! Hahaha. I was jumping up and down, hugging our dogs, happily sobbing, and shouting for joy when I realized what was happening.

Boyce Avenue

My parents then shared that the gifts sent to me were graciously prepared by one of our longtime family friends who had the opportunity to closely work with Boyce Avenue during their tour this year. THANK YOU, TITA W!!! As soon as I could, I expressed my gratitude to her by sending her a text message and I thanked my parents for delivering the gift to me. Before we went to our bedrooms, I told my family “Now, tell me. How will I be able to sleep tonight? Hahahaha! Grabe si God!”

Boyce Avenue

I only had 5 hours of sleep last night, but it didn’t matter because of the grace that I experienced through my family and our family’s friends. Through this, God allowed me to experience His grace and remember that He is our God who can do impossible things. I never imagined this to happen in my life. I am in awe of how God continues to reveal Himself to me and pursue my heart even through my favorite band.

I am reminded of Ephesians 3:20-21 where it says:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”

Boyce Avenue

Yesterday morning, while I was walking to work, I had a refreshing conversation with the Lord. Recently, I’ve been thinking about my personal goals and dreams in life which somehow caused my heart to get discouraged. Instead of praying about them this week, I got distracted by how the people around me seemed to reach their own goals and dreams easily. I knew that it wasn’t healthy for me to continue comparing myself with others, so I confessed it to God and I asked Him yesterday to help my heart find contentment in Him.

He then encouraged my heart to let go of being stressed and pressured by the standards of the society and to draw closer to Him, His Word, and His promises for me. I also remembered John 10:10 and was reminded of God’s desire for me to live an abundant life with Him. Sometimes, it’s so easy for me to want recognition, financial blessings, or to quickly achieve and become successful in my personal goals. But, I am humbled and inspired by God to pursue Him instead, because the things I previously mentioned are temporary. His Word and His love for you and me, however, will be for eternity.

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As soon as I got to the office, I mustered a quick prayer to God and asked Him to help me find contentment in Him and to live the life that He has blessed me with in a way that is pleasing to Him. I didn’t know that He was already preparing my heart for the surprise that I received last night.

I told God that last night’s experience was a funny and humbling moment for me. I really was happy with the idea of receiving a plant. But, He gave me more than what I expected! When I was sincerely overjoyed with the pair of drumsticks, He added a cherry on top by showing me that it wasn’t just an ordinary pair. And when I was already extremely grateful for the signed drumsticks, He let me see the laminated ID with the band’s autographs (which I wasn’t able to get when I met them a month ago because the band only had a few minutes to spare).

Only He can do such amazing things. Wow, Lord. Even though I know that You know the deepest desires and struggles of my heart, You still leave me speechless. :’)

P.S. Dear Boyce Avenue and Jason Burrows, thank you soooooo much! :)

Going to a Concert Alone on Valentine’s Day

THE CRAZY IDEA

“Are you really going to the concert alone on Valentine’s day?? Hahahahaha.” I asked myself a couple of times before buying my ticket online. It seemed like a crazy idea because I felt that it would be very awkward for me to sit beside thousands of couples celebrating Valentine’s day at the concert of Boyce Avenue. During that time, I could already imagine Alejandro Manzano dedicating a song to all of the lovers in the coliseum while I would just sit there and be reminded me of alone-ness and singleness. Haha. It was a funny thought, really. But somehow, it still didn’t stop me from buying one ticket.

Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

I didn’t have close friends who also wanted to watch the concert and my family members already had plans that Valentine weekend, so I figured that watching the concert alone was really meant for me. A few weeks before the concert, I told God: “Okay, Lord. It’ll be just You and me on Valentine’s day. Even though I feel that it would probably be a bit awkward and lonely for me at the concert, I know that You will always be with me and that’s all that matters. I can’t wait for our date!”

Tweet last January 26, after I bought my ticket online.
Tweet last January 26, after I bought my ticket online.

When Valentine’s day came, I was nervous and excited at the same time because I was finally going to Boyce Avenue’s concert. All I wanted to do was to relax, get ready for the concert, listen to their songs, prepare my phone and camera, and try to look for ways to meet the band after the show (since they weren’t selling meet and greet passes). However, God encouraged me not to worry about these things and He helped me find rest in Him that day. Instead of worrying about the meet and greet dilemma, He gave me the desire to spend time with Him in the morning and He allowed me to have the privilege of studying His Word and having accountability with Arra (a friend I’ve been mentoring) in the afternoon.

One-on-one with Arra before the Boyce Avenue concert. :)
One-on-one with Arra before the Boyce Avenue concert. :)

The first half of my Valentine’s day was very encouraging for me because God used those hours to remind me of my security in Him. The idea of being alone on Valentine’s day may sound sad and funny, but by God’s grace, He gave me the strength that day to focus on who He is and who I am in Him instead of dwelling on the things that I didn’t have. Actually, He has been giving me the strength to do so ever since, but it was only until a couple of years ago that I truly embraced it in my heart.

Being in a committed relationship is a privilege and responsibility that God graciously gives to people and He may or may not allow me to experience such in the future. But whether or not He does, I am encouraged to continue seeking the Lord with all my heart and to serve Him faithfully.  This is exactly what God was telling me to do last February 14, 2015. Even if I was going to be alone at the concert of Boyce Avenue, even if I was going to be surrounded by thousands of couples, and even if I didn’t have the assurance of meeting the band after the show, He encouraged me to still be faithful in spending time with Him and serving Him that morning and afternoon.

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“You make my heart beat steady to the love song You’ve written for me. I don’t want anything but You, You’re all that I need.” –Royal Tailor’s “Love Song”

 

THE EYE GLASSES

Fast forward to 6:45pm that Valentine’s night, I was already seated inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. I was an hour and fifteen minutes early, so I had the chance to settle down and observe my surroundings. True enough, there were couples everywhere! Hahaha. They were all paired up with buckets of popcorn, pizza slices, and drinks in their hands. I have to admit that at first, walking into the coliseum and sitting by myself felt a bit weird and funny. But, as the minutes passed by, more and more people filled the place and it didn’t really matter if I was alone or with a partner or with my whole family. We were all there to watch our favorite band perform and enjoy their beautiful music!

While waiting for the concert to start, I did something that I rarely do. I wore my reading glasses. I never really liked wearing my glasses because I felt that it didn’t suit me since I also wore braces before. Eventually, I disregarded my glasses for two years. It was only until a couple of months ago that I saw them again while I was cleaning my room. Somehow, I felt that I would need them during the concert because I wasn’t sure if my seat was near enough for me to see the band members’ faces. Thankfully, I brought them with me and I ended up wearing my eyeglasses during the concert which helped me see things clearly.

Photo of my glasses while I was watching Boyce Avenue perform.
Photo of my glasses while I was watching Boyce Avenue perform.

While the band was playing, I would slightly move my glasses up and down to compare what I see with and without them. It was during this time that God spoke to my heart and encouraged me to look at the situation I’m in through His eyes. Looking through my eyeglasses made a huge difference that night because not only was I able to see the band clearly, I was also able to see my dad’s friend (who helped me in meeting the band after the show) while he was more than 50 meters away from me.

In the same way, God reminded me of the huge difference it makes when I choose to look at myself or at my circumstances through His eyes. I was alone at the concert on Valentine’s day, but I had so many things to be grateful for too. Because I was alone that day, I was able to experience the ff.:

1. Focused on the music and the band. – Because I didn’t have anyone to talk to, I had the privilege of really listening to the music, singing along, and observing the band while they played and sing. I noticed little things that happened on stage, like how Alejandro tiptoes while he sings or how Fabian strums his guitar while he raises it high in the air or how Daniel smoothly goes on top of the bass drum while he bobs his head and plays his guitar. I also appreciated how the Manzano brothers interacted with each other (by smiling or making fierce facial expressions) while playing their guitars. Moreover, it was cool to see their crew discreetly and quickly change the guitars lined up at both sides of the stage which helped the band get the right guitars on time.

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Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo.
Fabian Manzano strumming his guitar!
Fabian Manzano strumming his guitar!
Daniel Manzano standing on top of the bass drum while playing his guitar.
Daniel Manzano standing on top of the bass drum while playing his guitar.

2. Stepped out of my comfort zone. It was my first time to drive to Smart Araneta Coliseum and I honestly wasn’t sure which roads or turns I should take. My dad helped me by giving instructions and I did check Google Maps, but once I was on the road by myself, it was pretty intimidating. But by God’s grace, I safely and smoothly got to the venue. Woohoo! Oh, and there were numerous times during the event when I needed to leave my shy self behind and muster up courage so I could talk to certain people (bouncer friend, dad’s friend, etc.).

3. Learned to listen more. Because I wasn’t speaking much that night, I literally listened more. It helped me understand what was going in my heart and helped me listen to God’s voice more.

4. Had the Luxury of Time. I had the privilege of leaving the house and leaving the concert anytime I wanted to. I also walked at my own pace and didn’t need to rush or slow down while I was on my way to the venue.

5. Free to be Me. My introverted self actually enjoyed my alone time. Although I did feel awkward at first, being alone eventually helped me feel more confident after a while. In fact, a man beside me was also alone, but he didn’t care too. He also got his phone, recorded the band throughout the show, and enjoyed listening to the songs just like the rest of the crowd.

Photo c/o Fabian Manzano
Boyce Avenue. Photo c/o Fabian Manzano

 

THE BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER

Before going to the concert, I already expected the band to say something about the lovers out there. But, surprisingly, they gave a shoutout to all the singles at the concert instead. Hahaha. The band even dedicated their song “On My Way” to all of the single men and women and encouraged us not to settle for anyone who’s less than the best for us.

Even if I was alone, I didn’t feel lonely on Valentine’s day because I felt God’s presence with me. He also helped me appreciate so many things around me. E.g. I had two hands which were very helpful in taking photos and videos at the same time using the gadgets that I had. I had everything I needed that day: transportation, access to water and food, extra cash, a really good seat, eyeglasses, etc. I had the privilege of enjoying the concert of Boyce Avenue, meeting them after the show, and sharing God’s love to the band on Valentine’s day through John 3:16! (Aaaahhhh!!!) But most importantly, I had the honor of enjoying a crazy, amazing, faith-stretching date night with God and experiencing Him in a much deeper way this time.

Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Boyce Avenue. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

Just so you know, I ended up crying while I was on my way home from the concert. I couldn’t explain or contain the joy and awe in me after my Valentine’s day experience because I saw how God graciously allowed things to fall into place. He definitely knows our hearts’ desires more than we do.

“’You could have been anywhere else,’ Alejandro Manzano said, ‘but you chose to be here.’” :)

Screenshot from a video I took during the concert.
Screenshot from a video I took during the concert.

I do enjoy spending time with family and friends, but every now and then, it’s nice to do something new and spend some quality time alone. Going to Boyce Avenue’s concert alone on Valentine’s day was a blessing after all. In fact, for me, it was certainly the best Valentine’s day ever!

Tweet after the concert of Boyce Avenue.
Tweet after the concert of Boyce Avenue.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 

BLOGGED: Boyce Avenue in Manila 2015: Meeting Them Again

At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!
At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!

 

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

Boyce Avenue in Manila 2015: Meeting Them Again

LOVE FOR BOYCE AVENUE

Boyce Avenue will always have a special place in my heart. Ever since I heard their covers and songs online, I knew that I would be listening to their music for a very, very, very, very long time. Five years and a hundred of YouTube videos later, I still find myself enjoying the chill, acoustic vibe of the Manzano brothers. Indeed, it is amazing to see them consistently use their talents to make and share beautiful music to the world.

At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!
At Smart Araneta Coliseum with Fabian Manzano, Alejandro Manzano, and Daniel Manzano. Boyce Avenue!

Last 2013, my younger brother and I had the privilege of going to their concert at Resorts World Manila and meeting them after the show. I shared more about the experience HERE . It was definitely an unforgettable moment because seeing and hearing them sing and play live in the Philippines rarely happens. I enjoyed their show so much that I told myself I would go to their next concert in Manila, regardless of the price ticket and the date. Because they just had their concert in Manila last 2013, I didn’t expect them to be back soon. But to my surprise, two months ago, Ovation Productions proudly announced that Boyce Avenue was returning to Manila on Valentine’s day this 2015! It was going to be their biggest concert ever!

Meet and Greet with Boyce Avenue last 2013 at Resorts World Manila
Meet and Greet with Boyce Avenue last 2013 at Resorts World Manila
Boyce Avenue's Poster: Concert in Manila 2015. Valentine's Day
Boyce Avenue’s Poster: Concert in Manila 2015. Valentine’s Day

WHAT?! I couldn’t believe it. As soon as I heard about it, I immediately checked websites for possible ticket giveaways and I set aside money for the ticket, just in case. I also tried to ask some of our family friends if they had discounted tickets or free tickets that they can give away. However, by the end of January 2015, I still didn’t have a ticket. I prayed about it and thought of finally buying a ticket for the best seat possible since they were running out of good seats. On the 27th of January, I finally bought a ticket for me. Yup! Just one ticket. I was going to attend the concert of Boyce Avenue alone… on Valentine’s day! Also, by faith, I prayed for an opportunity to meet the band again. They didn’t sell meet and greet passes, so meeting them would really be a miracle.

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After that night, the days quickly passed by and all I could think of during my spare time was how funny and exciting this new experience would be for me! I was so excited to see my favorite band again that I consistently dreamt about them days before the concert. But, at the same time, I was getting nervous because there was no assurance for me to meet them in person. On the eve of Valentine’s day, I prayed about meeting them again and I started daydreaming about giving them gifts when I meet them. Talk about dreaming big! Haha. I ended up sleeping that night and dreaming about their concert one last time. In my dream, I saw Alejandro Manzano walking towards me while he was singing at their concert. Just when we were about to take a photo in my dream, I woke up. Aaaah!!! You could just imagine the suspense I felt. It was crazy.

Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Alejandro Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

 

VALENTINE’S DAY

Finally, it was already the 14th of February. While I was browsing through Facebook that morning, I noticed a lot of similar photos shared by my friends online. It was an acronym of VALENTINE inside the Bible verse: John 3:16. Somehow, while I was looking at it, God spoke to me and I heard Him say: “I know the best gift you could give to Boyce Avenue! The best gift is Me. IF I allow you to meet and greet the band later, I want you to share Me to them. I want you to tell them that I love them.”

Before the concert, I made letters for Boyce Avenue even if there was no assurance for a meet & greet after the show. By faith!
Before the concert, I made letters for Boyce Avenue even if there was no assurance for a meet & greet after the show. By faith!

When I heard that, I felt a bit uneasy yet peaceful at the same time. Sharing God’s love to the band on Valentine’s day was a great idea! But, at the same time, I was puzzled because I didn’t know if I would meet them and I didn’t know how I would share His love to them. Nonetheless, later that evening, when I arrived at the basement parking of Smart Araneta Coliseum, I remembered what God said and I wrote personalized letters to Alejandro, Fabian, and Daniel Manzano. I wrote the VALENTINE acronym and John 3:16 on the sheets of paper and kept them in my bag. It was finally happening. I felt my heart beat fast as I left the parking lot and walked ins­­­ide the coliseum by myself. I was excited to enjoy my date night with God at the Boyce Avenue concert.

View from my seat
View from my seat

Since I was just by myself, I spent time observing the people around me, the setup, the stage, the production crew, and I had the privilege of sharing to God what I was feeling at the moment. It was also during this time that I tried to ask one of our family friends again if there was still a way to meet the band after the show. However, after a few minutes, our family friend replied and said that the band was leaving immediately after the show and that there wouldn’t be a meet and greet. When I read her message, I honestly got heartbroken because I had been praying for this request since two months before the concert. The smile on my face instantly disappeared and I felt so discouraged. I sent a text message to my mom and shared to her that our friend confirmed that there wouldn’t be a meet and greet.

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But, despite that update, I told my mom that somehow, God was still giving me hope and telling me not to let go of that dream. So, I took that opportunity to talk to God and I asked him to strengthen my heart and help me find hope in Him. He then gave me the desire to be grateful for the fact that He provided for my ticket, that I was sitting near the stage, that I safely got to the venue, and that I was watching the concert of Boyce Avenue that night. Suddenly, I felt lighter and I shared to God that I knew that He was still God no matter what and I knew that He could let me meet the band in a heartbeat if He wants me to. So, by faith, I asked Him one more time to provide an opportunity for me to see the band after the show.

 

HEARTBROKEN TO HOPEFUL

Just ten minutes before the band was scheduled to go on stage, I saw one of Dad’s friends from church who was working with the production team. Then, I heard a whisper from God and He told me to go to the guy and ask him. I started walking towards Dad’s friend, introduced myself, and asked if meeting the band after the show was possible. He warmly listened to my request and said that he wasn’t sure, but he could try to do something. He instructed me to meet him at the side of the stage after the show, just in case.

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I thanked him and went back to my seat as I held on to the hope that God was giving to me. I didn’t know if it was possible, but God changed my anxious heart and He gave me peace which lasted for the rest of the night. Finally, the Manzano brothers went on stage, strummed their guitars, and flawlessly sang their beautiful songs! IT. WAS. AMAZING!!! Everyone brought out their cameras and phones and the whole crowd recorded the band’s every move as we happily listened to their music. I didn’t even notice that I was alone because we all just enjoyed the moments with the band. (I’ll be sharing more about the details of the concert in another post.) It was definitely the best concert I’ve been to. Of course, they’re my favorite band!

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Daniel Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Daniel Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo
Fabian Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions' Mong Pintolo
Fabian Manzano. Photo c/o Ovation Productions’ Mong Pintolo

After the concert, I rushed to the side of the stage where I was supposed to meet Dad’s friend. However, he wasn’t there. I waited for ten minutes, but I still didn’t see any sign of him. I decided to go to the other side of the stage and surprisingly, I saw a familiar face. I saw one of the bouncers that my sisters and I met while we watched the musical “Beauty and the Beast” which was also produced by Ovation Productions. I said hi to him and asked if he saw my dad’s friend. But, he said that he didn’t see him. Ten more minutes passed by and I was starting to lose hope because I knew that the band would be leaving the place immediately. Then, my bouncer friend and I saw the mother (who also knew Dad) of my dad’s friend and he suggested that I ask her instead.

With tita C! :)
With tita C! :)

 

DREAM COME TRUE… AGAIN.

I then walked towards her, introduced myself, and shared to her that I spoke with her son earlier that night. Just like her son, she warmly said hello and told me that she would try to check if she could help me and some of her friends (who were also near the area) to go inside the backstage. A few minutes later, she came out from the backstage and signaled us to go in with her. The next moments after that felt like a dream. We went inside a VIP lounge behind the stage and were instructed to wait for the band there. I was shaking the whole time because I couldn’t believe it was actually happening. We sat in a fancy bar area and were served with fresh, cold iced tea. It was crazy, amazing.

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I was sitting on one of the sofa chairs when I heard low murmurs. When I looked at the entrance of the VIP lounge, I saw the Manzano brothers walking towards us, along with their body guards. I thought I was going to faint, but by God’s grace, he kept me sane. Haha. We spent the next minutes casually talking to the band, taking photos of them and with them, getting their autographs, and just enjoying a relaxing time with the group. I kept thanking Tita C for the privilege and for graciously allowing me to spend a few minutes with the band after the show. Before leaving the lounge, I remembered the personalized letters I made for them before going to the concert. So, I approached them again and gave my simple Valentine’s gift to them. They were so nice. They got the letters, hugged me, and said that it was these little things from their fans that they really appreciate. I thanked them again and left the place with a joyful and grateful heart.

Shared God's love to Boyce Avenue on Valentine's Day through these personalized John 3:16 letters.
Shared God’s love to Boyce Avenue on Valentine’s Day through these personalized John 3:16 letters.
Boyce Avenue's Autograph
Boyce Avenue’s Autograph

By God’s grace, He allowed me to meet the band AGAIN and share His love to them after the show. Indeed, God is able to do more than what we can ever imagine or think of. He is able to do the impossible. He is able to inspire, break, change, and bless our hearts for the best. I learned so many lessons throughout my Valentine weekend this year. But, one of the highlights that my heart will forever remember is learning to put my faith in God no matter what situation I am in, to trust that He is able to bring me through it, and to obey Him when He tells me to honor Him even through the simplest ways. I may not always understand why or know how and if He will allow things to happen, but I am encouraged to trust His heart and believe that He has His best in store for me always.

Boyce Avenue at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila.
Boyce Avenue at Smart Araneta Coliseum, Manila.

Once again, I thank You, Lord, for showing your amazing, AMAZING GRACE to me through this Boyce Avenue experience. As I’ve mentioned before, You leave me speechless. I only asked for a chance to meet the band, but You gave me more. You even allowed me to share You to them! Thank You for Ovation Productions, for tita C and her gracious family. May You bless them even more this year. Thank You for Boyce Avenue’s love for music. May You continue to use their talents to inspire people around the world. What a Valentine’s treat from You, Jesus. From the bottom of my heart, I thank You. :)

Took a grumpy cat selfie with Alejandro Manzano of Boyce Avenue at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Took a grumpy cat selfie with Alejandro Manzano of Boyce Avenue at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

To my favorite band, by faith, I will meet you again soon! Until then, I will see you online. Keep making beautiful music! :)

Matthew 21:22 “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”

BEST VALENTINE’S DAY EVER!!! :) <3

BOYCE AVENUE:

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/boyceavenue

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BoyceAvenue

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BoyceAvenue

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.

Boyce Avenue Live in Manila 2013 [Concert + Meet & Greet]

A month ago, my officemate and I randomly talked about our favorite musicians. I mentioned to her that for the past year, my love for Boyce Avenue grew. Surprisingly, she told me that the band was going to have a concert in Manila on December 30, 2013. When I got home that day, I somehow felt a strong urge in me to pursue this desire of mine and watch the concert live!

L to R: Fabian, Me, Alejandro, another fan, Daniel, another fan, and my brother. :)
L to R: Fabian, Me, Alejandro, another fan, Daniel, another fan, and my brother. :)

After a number of days, one of the websites finally posted the photo below which contained the details on the ticket prices and seats for the show. When I saw the poster, two thoughts came to my mind: 1) “Wow! Those are expensive tickets.” And 2) “But they seldom visit the Philippines and it would really be great if I can watch them perform live! Maybe I can use some of the money I saved this year.”

My tweets last Dec. 2
My tweets last Dec. 2

I prayed and told God about my desire and by faith, I told my parents that even if I didn’t have a ticket yet, I will be attending the concert. Talk about dreaming big! :) The days after that were crazy for me because I wanted to get a really good seat, but at the same time, I wasn’t 100% sure on spending a huge amount of my savings for the concert. Also, although I did my best to find discounts and join giveaways, God didn’t allow me to get one or win online.

Poster I found online (thru www.boyceavenue.com)
Poster I found online (thru www.boyceavenue.com)

At that moment, the only solution that I had was to buy a ticket online as soon as possible since they were selling really fast. I tried to use my dad’s credit card to purchase that morning, but suddenly, I couldn’t because of a technical error in the website. I was getting desperate already, so I told my mom that I would go to the venue (Resorts World) after work to buy the ticket, since I couldn’t buy online. But interestingly, God had better plans for me. He had the best in store for me.

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Screen shot of the website while I was looking for a ticket last month.

After work, I received a text from my mom that one of our family friends might get a ticket with a big discount for me. She asked me not to go to the venue that night and wait for our friend’s update after an hour. I went home immediately and checked the available seats and saw that most of the good ones were already taken. I started to panic and tried to buy a seat online again.

Since my mom said that our friend wasn’t sure about the ticket yet, she thought that it might be a good idea to buy the ticket online too. We decided to wait for our friend’s update after an hour (as advised) before going online. After an hour and a half, we still didn’t have any updates from her, so I went online and selected the seat that I wanted to buy.

letting go

When I was about to confirm my reservation for the ticket, our family friend called my mom and said that she’s not yet sure about the location of the seats, but, she thinks that she could still get us two tickets for free! We couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe it. But at the same time, I started to get confused because I was already reserving a really good seat in the VIP area (first row, center) when I got the news. I was torn between being grateful for the free tickets (although they weren’t sure about the exact location) and wanting to buy “the best” seat in my opinion.

After praying about it, God encouraged me to let go of the seat I reserved in row A and thank Him for the two free tickets that our family friend had for us, even if the area of the seats was still unknown.  That day, I tweeted this to remind and encourage me: “You have to let go of what you think is best for you in order to experience His best for you. #notetoself #Godknowsbetter”

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Slowly but surely, by God’s grace, I found contentment in Him and showed my gratitude to Him for the free tickets. But at the same time, I still expressed the desires of my heart, as seen in the photo below:

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Looking back, I thank God He encouraged me to do so. We were only able to get the two tickets 30 minutes before the show and when we got them, I couldn’t believe my eyes! My brother and I received the two free VIP tickets (second row, center) from our family friend!

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I couldn’t stop saying “Oh my gosh” as my heart melted because it was unbelievable! As seen in the poster, one VIP ticket costs P8,400 and by God’s grace, we were able to get two! It was really crazy.

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Before the concert, I was able to confirm with the organizers that they weren’t selling Meet & Greet passes for this concert. So, a part of my heart got crushed that morning since I was really hoping to meet them. Nonetheless, I thanked God for the free tickets and said that if it is His will, He can easily allow me to meet the Manzano brothers in His perfect time.

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I really enjoyed the concert with my younger brother. It was definitely a breathtaking experience for me. Even though the set-up and atmosphere was very simple, Boyce Avenue rocked that night! The Manzano brothers were really amazing and it was a privilege to hear them sing and play live!

After the concert, my brother got a text from a family friend saying that she might be able to accommodate and give 1 or 2 Meet & Greet passes. Again, I couldn’t believe it! I immediately prayed to God and asked Him to give us that privilege if it is His will. After two minutes, our family friend came out of the backstage, met us, and instructed us to run with her down the stairs to meet the band outside their dressing room/lounge.

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Even though I was wearing my four-inch wedges, I ran like crazy and by God’s grace, my dream came true. We were able to meet and have a photo with Fabian, Alejandro, and Daniel Manzano! I was also able to get Alejandro Manzano’s autograph before they left.

 


I kept thanking God because I was experiencing His best for me. If I didn’t let go of the ticket I reserved in seat A, I would have spent P8,400 and wouldn’t have been able to get the two free tickets from our family friend. Just like what was mentioned in my tweet above, God definitely knows better and He’s encouraging me to trust in Him as I surrender my desires and decisions to Him. It’s amazing how he answered my prayer a month ago and graciously gave me and my brother the privilege of meeting the band after the concert.

“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” – Psalm 37:4

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Alejandro Manzano’s autograh

My heart is still overwhelmed. Thank You, Lord, for being who You are. Words cannot express my gratitude. Thank you also to my mom (for patiently helping me), to my brother, Gabo, to our generous family friends and to Ovation Productions. May God bless your hearts more and more! :)

To my favorite band, Boyce Avenue, keep on making beautiful music! Your talent and awesome hearts inspire us. See you again soon! :)

Encourage yourself one treat at a time.