When I woke up the morning of July 9, 2011, and my ears were filled of the sound of the rain pounding on our rooftop, my heart sank. It was to be our first “tea party” for the longest time, people have been bugging us to have a major get-together, and when it finally pushed through on our 15th anniversary, it rains on our parade. I really had to fight back feeling defeated. What was to be our crowning event to mark a momentous point in our career, seemingly washed away by the torrential rains. But I had to nail my courage and troop to work, no matter how small the turn out would be. I told myself, so what if only a handful of people braved the rains to join us? We will forge on with the celebrations regardless of the weather or the turn out. But the sight that greeted us, warmed my cold-to-the-core heart beyond imagination:
Even when I got there at around 5:30am, there were already a lot of tables taken, and within the first hour of the show, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf along F. Ortigas Jr. Avenue was packed with a crowd that was sardines-ish to say the least. You could hardly move inside the cafe. So many other people were outside, unable to squeeze in anymore, and were under their umbrellas in the rain, listening to the show via the speakers outside CBTL. It was a sight to behold for us. Despite the foul weather, a huge crowd nevertheless joined us, making the celebration hands-down one of the most special in our 15 years of doing the show. We had a very simple set up:
And we have forgotten just how electric it feels to go on board in front of a live audience. Usually it’s just us inside the booth, feeling quite isolated. But it’s a totally different vibe when you have a huge crowd right in front of you, reacting to everything you say, roaring with laughter when you crack a joke, some even tearing up when you play your goodbye song from years back.
It also marked the debut of Jackie Chanak performing in front of a live audience:
Delle and I also blew the lovely “birthday” cake that longtime regulars, turned friends, Joti and T-Square brought, which completed the whole anniversary experience.
After the show, we started the off-air program, and gave away some prizes to whoever answered some trivia questions about the show.
Some of the people who were there were rushers who’ve been with us since the mid-90’s! It was so nice to see them again after not seeing them for YEARS. After the short program, we set up a photo wall for whoever wanted to have their pictures taken with us. It was so nice to have a little visual souvenir of the people who went, but on the down side, with so many people lining up for the photo-op, it pretty much ate up whatever time was left to mingle with our guests. But whatever time we had, we spent talking to the people who took precious time out from their weekend to join us. There was a lot of documentation:
A lot of hugging:
A lot of signing:
(yes kids, that’s called a cassette tape of our first album)
And yes, even a lot of Jackie Chanak-ing:
Of course we have to thank the tireless staff of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf across Ortigas Park for being so nice to us and our guests. They were deluged by everyone who went so we’d like to extend our gratitude for all the help they supported us with and for being such gracious hosts:
And lastly, the superhuman RX team, especially Ea, Vinz and Jerome, who were our backbone during the whole event. Working with such pros made the whole event flow smoothly and with minimal hitches. Super grateful to these guys! Mwah sabay hug:
We will NEVER forget that day, when our listeners became our friends, lending support when we needed then, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, through sunny days and monsoon rains, till sign-off do us part. Kidding aside, it was the perfect way to celebrate 15 years of doing The Morning Rush — to celebrate it with the very people who co-authored the success of the show. It’s a lovely marriage between us, your hosts, and you, our listeners. And July 9, 2011 was our version of a renewal of vows. So THANK YOU (mamser) and here’s to spending more mornings together!