By Patricia Villarica
I remember the day that I discovered One Direction. It was a sunny day, and I was crossing the street on my way back from lunch with my college blockmates, and I overheard a friend say the words, “One Direction.”
At first, I was confused–what direction? They were apparently a five-piece boy band from the UK who placed third in the British version of The X Factor. I tried to tune out of the conversation as I didn’t want to be accused of eavesdropping, but I heard the words, “Ang galling nila” and “Ang cute pa.”
I got intrigued, and so I went home, searched online and found their first single, "What Makes You Beautiful," followed by "Gotta Be You" and "One Thing." Whenever I get addicted to a certain group, I would do everything humanly possible to know all about them (i.e. Google until the wee hours of the morning.) I would read about their lives before they got famous, find who their girlfriends were (I still ship Eleanor and Louis, by the way,) and go through every single fun fact that I could find.From reading fanfiction and streaming their music videos to eating more carrots just because Louis said he liked girls who love carrots, I was thoroughly obsessed.
And being a fan didn't simply mean knowing everything about them–I was also unwavering in my support. I participated in Twitter parties in order to help them trend, voted for them in every nomination, and continuously saved money just to be ready in case anything 1D-related comes crashing in.
Finally, I got my chance: 1D World visited Manila in 2014. The lines were crazy, the merch was pricey, and yet I didn’t care. I happily spent my time lining up just to get a glimpse of the whole experience.
It was then that I felt that we, Directioners, were about to have the chance to see the boys for real. Lo and behold, I was right. The Manila leg of their On The Road Again tour came. Supposedly a 1-day event, we begged and begged the concert producers to give us Day 2 the moment tickets were sold out (thank you MMI Live for granting our wish!)
It was as if all the stars aligned. Whether we were Team Concert, Team Labas, or Team Bahay, One Direction was coming to Manila, and nothing else mattered. But we didn’t expect that we would only see four–not five– boys that we’ve come to love as Zayn Malik left the band right before they were scheduled to play here on March 22, 2015.
I honestly didn’t know how to feel. Zayn was a valued member who has brought me countless silly moments, happy tears, and an overall contentment in my life. Despite that, we knew we had to accept it, even though it hurt. During the concert, we tried our best to make sure that Harry, Niall, Liam, and Louis would feel the warmth and love that only we Filipino fans could provide.
As the entire world got used to seeing them as a four-piece, we never lost our way. We still gave the same amount of support to the four boys and Zayn as if they were still in one group.
I guess we should’ve seen it coming–the hiatus. Much as we tried to accept it, it was quite hard at the beginning. How could they? How could the boys that I’ve held dear for the past few years just suddenly decide to take a break? They just came out with Made in the A.M., they had to go on tour and promote it! But, sadly, it was the start of their solo careers.
One by one, the lads explored and created music on their own.
As a fan, I was proud of my boys, of what they’ve reached and accomplished even though they were apart. I supported them as if nothing has changed, and I’m glad to see them support each other in their individual endeavors. But I was still hopeful that they’d one day reunite.
I honestly can’t wait for the day when they’d unexpectedly drop a new music video (please, release the "Infinity" MV already!) or have a new single out (rumor has it that it would be entitled "Lucky" as per the hidden messages on the official 8 Year playlist on Spotify!)
July 23 is the day that Harry, Louis, Liam, Niall, and Zayn were brought together and gave us some of the most shining moments in our lives. Here's to hoping that we haven't seen the last of them!
One Direction was that "One Thing" that kept me "Up All Night." They told me that nobody can "Drag Me Down," and that even if the "Night Changes," we would make endless "Midnight Memories" together. We Directioners have "No Control," and we'll always look forward to the "Infinity" that we will share with our beloved boys.
ALSO READ: In Focus: Harry, Niall, Louis, Liam, and Zayn—Life After 1D
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