Portrait of David Archuleta (Ascphil's first attempt at portraiture)
By Ascphil/Contributing Writer
11 August 2011
How does one get over the week David was here in Manila? What a frenzied first three days for me! The last two days, I had to go back to reality unwillingly – back to work and to dealing with things that make you yearn for David’s infectious joy. It all seemed like a dream that you wanted to last longer. Manila was actually lucky to have him for five days and yet it seemed all too short. Can we just have him as an honorary Filipino citizen already? He espouses a lot of beliefs and values that we hold dear to our hearts about God and family that are intrinsic in our daily lives. We are a happy people despite our national problems, but David is so much more than just a bundle of joyful and peaceful energy. He carries with him an aura of indescribable bliss which you love to keep witnessing and basking in. Even if you have seen him once, twice, thrice, it is never enough. No wonder the fans want to be where he will be, and they are willing to spend for it even if they will have to scrimp on other stuff for the rest of the next months or year. Just the knowledge that he is breathing the same air you breathe is a comfort in itself, that the world is just a lot better than it used to be. When he was here, the rainy days became sunny. And when he left, the days went back to the dreary bouts of cloudiness and rain. It was like the weather was missing him as much as our hearts were. I have to confess that I ‘mourned’ after the third day, when I got home from the book signing, because I knew that I would not be able to see him again, that he would be leaving in a couple of days. I was not alone in that thought because I got texts from fellow Archies expressing the same anticipated misery. It has been difficult to get over those bliss-filled days, and it has been even more difficult for me to write down what it has been like during those days. Just the memory of having had so much joy, then longing for it is kicking in the Archudepression of missing David so much that it hurts. We had a piece of Heaven and want more of it. David, please come back!
*Note: I wrote the preceding paragraph in the morning of August 11th right after having breakfast in a fast-food outlet. I had just lost my two cell phones the previous day when I unwittingly dropped them in a cab that I rode to work. The next passenger found them but was barely responsive to texts and calls. I had to give up being able to recover them and was depressed because of all the contact numbers I had to reconstruct. The incidents made me brood then think about David once more. After writing, I found myself tearing up again and had to go in a toilet cubicle so I could cry in private. I was sobbing inconsolably yet trying to make my whimpers inaudible. I kept questioning God why I was feeling this way, why am I crying like this? Why does David affect me this way? What should I do about it? Please, what should I do? I don’t know what to do about this solitary feeling of helplessness. Why David of all people? At that point my tears were really flowing and my eyes were by now swollen.
Then an answer kept repeating itself in my head: ‘Write about it. Write about it. Write about it.’ I had stopped crying at that point. My misery was gone and I started wiping my face dry. ‘Take a leave if you have to. Write about it.’ This kept repeating in my head, which compelled me to get out of the comfort room and start heading for the office. I was figuring out how I could find the time to write, with deadlines to deal with at work. But then I realized that losing my phones was a sign in itself. I was being given a breather by not being bothered with texts and calls. Then I received notice that the opening of an office we had completed to turnover for operation the next week was postponed for another two weeks. Moreover, my immediate boss took a leave and would not be bothering me in the next few days. Things were falling into place for me to be able to write again.
Sadly, I tried to continue writing a few days after, but with no success.
21 October 2011
I dedicated the whole afternoon yesterday to do another sketch of David. It was very fulfilling, and I feel like I know David a little better just by studying and drawing every little detail of his fine features. I have always been fascinated by his profile, and after finishing it, I couldn’t help but want to keep staring at how exquisite his features are…
Profile of David Archuleta by Ascphil
I had been attempting to write my recap of David’s last visit of Manila from July 17 to 21 this year, but the few drafts I had written back in August and early this month just didn’t seem to be good enough. I keep thinking I need to do a re-write. It has been a struggle. But that’s all it has been up to now. So, I have decided to just write what’s on my mind and ramble, whatever…
Why does David never leave my consciousness? When I listen to other artist’s songs, I do not ponder about who they are. I just know enough about them to satisfy my curiosity in enjoying their song(s), then move on to the next artist or song. But when David’s songs are on, I listen hard enough to want to understand why he chose to sing that song, how relevant it must be to his life. What does he want to tell us with that song? Has he brainwashed us, his fans, into looking for every message in everything he sings or says? He makes me brood a lot about him, about life, about mine…
I passed by a chapel yesterday which called out to me, so I entered it. I wanted to have some real quiet time for a change, and talked to God about my family, their health and safety, my kids’ futures, my husband’s work, my own career and the general direction my life has taken.
Then I found myself praying again about this ODD. Why do I have this? God, is this the reason for the change in my work? Did you do this on purpose, lead me to David and eventually lead me away from my workaholic lifestyle, from a job that primarily caters to the whims of the well-heeled and the high-browed? But why do I feel some form of desperation, that there is always a need to see, hear and experience David? Why is he in my thoughts every waking day? I tried to engross myself with my work, and yet I keep ending up with an urge to check Twitter, check the fan sites, my email, just to find out the latest about David and the Archuworld, as if my life’s meaning depended on it. Why this fan-ship at my age?
There is a tug of war between my heart and my head because ‘loving’ David in a manner deeper than mere admiration is incredulous. How can I have feelings for someone which seems as strong as what I feel for my husband and my children? I want to believe that my ‘love’ for David is just like what I have for my own kids. And yet it is different. He is neither my family nor a friend, and yet he occupies such a big space in my heart. The perennial question I ask myself is: Why David?
At first I was simply addicted to the way he interpreted songs of other artists, that he brought them to new life, making me stop and listen well, something I never did before. The so-called ‘cry’ in his voice stirs up emotions in me that awaken my heart to what I’ve wanted to feel for a long time. And shedding tears because of it is a cleansing of the soul, a washing away of accumulated dark thoughts that have turned into enlightenment. His voice is mesmerizing when he sings, and soothing when he speaks. But it is not just his voice that captivates me. His smile is as contagious as the common cold, and it can transform the dreariest of days to one of the sunniest. I can keep watching his vlogs and have a smile plastered on my face the whole time. His dreamy eyes reveal a pure and gentle soul with the most compassionate heart, and his direct gaze can make one weak in the knees or render one tongue-tied as if cast in a magic spell. He is only two decades old and yet his youthful charm transcends his age. His childlike demeanor is entrancing, but he has a maturity of thought and depth of character that is admirable and inspiring even to those twice or thrice his age. He consistently behaves or acts in a manner that is selfless and humble, with the purpose of being respectful to others and always doing the right thing. I have asked myself this question three years ago: Is David a real person? How can someone so young be all of these? How can someone so young teach me life’s lessons as if I didn’t know the answers before? I know what they are, but I was too busy to listen, to care. But then David came, and he knew how to make me listen, to make me care. He became my life teacher in his own special, humble, loving way.
For a celebrity, I am glad he knows he can do away with any hype, any gimmicks, any special effects, any image re-do and any love interest to make people notice him. All he needs to do is sing and be his simple adorable self. Experiencing him live is the most potent advertising of all.
Why? Because after you experience his enchantment, you desire more of it. And the desire does not wane but actually gets stronger the more you have encounters with him. It’s like you can never have enough of David.
But when will it ever be enough? For many of us who experience a deep connection with David, he is like a beloved member of our family, of our lives. Will there ever be a finite desire for something as priceless as time spent with a beloved one?