I transferred from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia when I was about to start senior high. What an awful time to transfer right? I mean, I was in student council, honor roll, and at almost everything that mattered to a senior. The thing is, we’ve been separated from our father for so long and my mom felt that it’s time to join him finally. She mentioned that my father has lived his life alone with no one cooking for him, not even to help him do the laundry and he’s been alone most times of the year; he only goes home for a month vacation annually if lucky. That’s enough to convince me to leave my school, my friends and everything that I thought mattered.
Our first house in Riyadh was really cool. I had my own space. I had my corner with a view. I can see the road construction at night so it was filled with so many lights. It was somehow romantic. I wallowed on music. Guess what? The Backstreetboys had been the “in thing” at that time and I got obsessed with them and their songs! They somehow made me forget that I was lonely. I began to enjoy my Riyadh life, bonding with new friends of the same interest, BSB and some other boybands.
It was unfortunate though because I never got to see the BSB! When I went back to the Philippines for college, BSB never came! I went to Riyadh for few days for the semester break and then, they were there! It’s like we’re never meant to be.
Moving forward as an adult, they’d always come to Dubai but it was expensive to fly there for a concert that is equally expensive on its own. It was such a bummer!
Then a miracle happened and Saudi Arabia has opened. It was not “open like super open”, but they allowed concerts! Finally, BSB went to Jeddah in June 2019! I went to Jeddah with my sister (Joy) who was in 5th grade when I was a senior. She is also a BSB fanatic, to the point that she just gave birth to her first born four months back yet she’s flown to Jeddah with me…to a place that we’ve never been and we’ve got nothing but money for Uber.
We bought the most expensive tickets because we believe that we’ve been saving up for them our entire lives (lol). We booked a hotel for an overnight stay, bought the plane tickets and voila! We’re in Jeddah, so anxious/excited/scared because we don’t know where to go!
Our impression of Jeddah: It’s like being able to breath again. I was just in Riyadh an hour and a half ago & I was all asthmatic but Jeddah allowed for me to breathe normally. I love how moist the place is. You can truly smell the trees. People are friendlier. Ladies wear gorgeous colorful light abayas (women’s clothing at some Arab countries [usually black] worn over your actual clothes). We came late night so most stores were closed. But within the perimeter of the stadium, everything is AWESOME!
Finally, we’re at the stadium so huge we don’t know if we’d be able to see them closely. When they came in, it was like a revelation! Like we never left the 90s. We’re still kids! We wish we’re able to share it with our youngest sister (Faith) but she’s into the real stuff being a music major. She was two when all our crazies happened so she really did not care. She’s also an adult now, but still, she is not interested, hehe.
So was it worth the trouble? Going to a place so unfamiliar, borderline dangerous being that it’s just the 2 of us late at night, at large?!
We were ecstatic to have finally seen, heard, and watched them in person! Indeed a dream come true!
The only disappointment was Brian Littrell, who had been my ultimate BSB favorite since forever but he didn’t even acknowledge my very much audible greetings. I had to thank Kevin though for being so gracious and waved back at me. He’s still so gorgeous!
Nevertheless, it’s something for the books. We were so happy to have been there. We wish it had been in Riyadh, but yeah, we’d take what we can get!
We still love the Backstreeboys.