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How Filipino Swifties experienced “Eras Tour” in Japan

by RepublicAsia

Recently updated on March 12, 2024 11:38 am

“Konichiwa Taylor Swift-San” was what greeted Taylor Swift on February 7-10, yet that was not the only thing she heard.  Some “Mabuhays” were also heard as Filipino Swifties went to hang out with our favorite mare, Mareng Taylor. 

Last June 2023, Swift announced her additional tour dates in Asia (along with Europe and Australia). Still, surprisingly, there was no Philippines on her schedule despite having the most significant interest in her. Articles from Interaksyon, When In Manila, and Philstar all claimed that the Philippines ranked first in Google searches for her, so why won’t she come here? 

Many fans have speculated it was due to the lack of infrastructure in concert venues, but Westerman said that there could be a lack of funds in the country to hold her concert here (2023). 

Photo Courtesy: Stephanie May A. Gutierrez

This news has saddened many Filipino fans, who have decided to visit countries like Japan to see her. Here are some of their stories from their time with Swift: 

First, there’s Stephanie, who watched the concert with her siblings. Stephanie and her siblings decided to watch it because they have been Swifties since they were very young. It was a fortunate experience for them: they signed up on the app “Anypass,” where they clicked and chose the tickets they wanted. They were unsure if they could get them since it was a lottery-based system, but they did.

Then, they looked for a hotel based on proximity to the venue since they did not want to commute late at night. Luckily, they found a hotel that’s a 10-minute walk from the Dome. Next, it was time to book the flights based on their accommodation dates, which was from February 4-9. With all this time on their hands, they could explore Tokyo.

Time flew by so fast that before they knew it, it was their first day of the four-day long concert. The day they were going to watch. They woke up bright and early that day and had breakfast at the hotel. Then they got ready, pulled their planned “Eras Tour” fits together, and added some gems and bracelets representing Swift.

Then, they began their walk to the venue, which was short, allowing them to make it to lunch.  While there, they took pictures, ate lunch and tried to go to the merch booth but unfortunately, they did not have enough time and the line was too long. They decided to go into the dome.

Photo Courtesy: Stephanie May A. Gutierrez

The Tokyo Dome had stalls that sold all kinds of food and even alcoholic drinks, which surprised Stephanie since she was used to Philippine concerts that usually just sold food. Then it was time for the concert, where she and her siblings sang along to all their favorite songs as they stood in awe of the singer-songwriter. Stephanie was very impressed with Swift who performed alone and had short breaks between each segment yet her energy seemed limitless. 

“Like, I don’t know how she does it ‘cause the concert lasted from 6-9 and she didn’t have a lot of breaks. Like if ever there was like a short audiovisual presentation of the like graphics or whatever. It was like super tuloy-tuloy but her energy never wavered,” she said. 

A few days later, another Swiftie named Carlos saw the singer-songwriter. Between Japan and Singapore, he chose Japan because he entered a draw and won as well, much like Stephanie. As soon as he found out, he booked his flights and hotel. For him, it was essential to get those fast since he knew the prices would increase. But unlike Stephanie, he had a short trip just for the concert since he had already visited Japan. He said: 

“The concert was worth it. The entire production — from the music, to the stage, to the screen — was amazing. The fans also provided a great atmosphere,” 

For Diana, another Swiftie, seeing Taylor had a deeper meaning. She wanted to see her because she had loved her since “Speak Now” in 2010. It was an album that resonated with her, especially the song “Mean,” because she was experiencing something similar, which allowed her to relate and feel comforted by it so when she got the chance to meet her childhood hero, she didn’t hesitate.

Photo Courtesy: Diana Galang

She went with her sister, a fellow Swiftie. They also tried to get tickets in the lottery and the public sale but failed to secure them. Then they tried again after a while, and they were able to get in.

After that, they worked on getting all the travel essentials like visas, tickets and accommodations, such as renting an Airbnb instead of a hotel. This also became a family trip since her parents have always wanted to have one. They had a lot of planning to do with her thesis and her sister’s board exam, but they did it. 

Diana watched on Day 2. She thought it would be a daunting process at the entrance but since it was Japan, everything went by quickly, and before she knew it, they were in. She said that it was a fun experience singing her favorite songs and meeting other fans.

“We had people come up to us, wanting to exchange bracelets we wear every day to remind us of the best night of our lives. 

“The concert itself was so surreal! I remember crying during the eras of my childhood (Speak Now and Fearless) because I felt like I went back in time where I excitingly wait for her in Myx’s Daily Top 10. And I remember feeling so happy when my sister and I sang our hearts out WITH EACH SONG!” she said with a nostalgic tone.

The “Eras Tour” in Japan was a fun experience for Japanese and Filipino Swifties, as it allowed them to see their favorite artist, meet people who also love Taylor, and sing their favorite songs from then and now. 

With reports from Brigitta Aquino

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