Capping off his March concert tour, OPM sensation Zack Tabudlo ended his final leg back home in the South. The Las Piñas native, riding high on his newfound stardom, performed his final concert at the Alabang Town Center on March 26.
The concert was billed as a homecoming for the 21-year old young star, who had never toured since breaking out into the mainstream at the height of the pandemic. Tabudlo recently topped the newly launched Billboard Philippines Songs charts, with two of his songs, Pano and Habang Buhay, claiming both the first and second spots, respectively.
His first ever concert in the South was highly anticipated by many, and only proven by the number of fans in attendance hours before the show even began. This was not only a first for Tabudlo, but for the Alabang Town Center as well, this being their first live event since the pandemic.
For many fans, including myself, this was also our homecoming of sorts– the beginning of a return to normalcy. With two years of anticipation of when the time will come when we can finally return to enjoying our favorite artists perform live, the anticipation reached its fever-pitch while waiting for Zack to finally come out.
Only adding to the suspense, the show was kicked off by front act Dionela, another up and coming OPM singer-songwriter. His set lasted just less than an hour, topped off with his hit song Agaw. By now, the energy was through the roof, with everyone in the building itching to see the star of the night come out.
Now an hour into the show, the mammoth crowd surrounding the entire Town Plaza was just short of overflowing with the sheer amount of people from top to bottom. But just before the crowd was about to reach its breaking point, the man of the hour finally came out.
With just one word, the whole plaza went into a frenzy. No words could describe the feeling my friends and I had when he started his first song. The anticipation that built up in us from almost two years of waiting for live concerts to return, and the same energy could be felt throughout the whole building. The crowd was deafening, and we were all singing along from the top of our lungs. It was simply surreal.
From then on, we were all just running on hype. Pure, unadulterated hype. For all the fans that waited in the heat, securing their vantage point hours before the show, it was all worth the wait. He performed hit after hit and the show just kept on rolling. The crowd was electrifying and Tabudlo and his band just kept on returning the same energy. This was the feeling we all missed for so long.
As though the concert couldn’t get louder than it already was, a surprise appearance from Moira Dela Torre sent us berserk. Two of OPM’s biggest names sharing the stage– nothing could possibly top that.
For his encore, Zack brought out one last song for the road. His emotional performance of his hit song Binibini came to an abrupt halt when he was overcome with emotions. We were stunned, seeing him swell up with tears. I guess it all just hit him right there and then. Finally performing back where he grew up, in front of an adoring crowd, everything just came full circle for him.
Truly an emotional moment, we were also swept away in it. When he finally capped off the show, we were overcome with emotions as well. I hadn’t felt this way in a long time and I definitely missed it. I was riding high on euphoria at that point, relieved to finally have watched a concert like this again– of an artist I truly loved.
After the show, we got VIP access to go backstage and meet with Zack. When he asked me “so, how was the show?” I was at a loss for words. I was just as overwhelmed as he was and all I could say was that I really enjoyed it.
Hopefully, this marks the beginning of a return to these live events becoming the norm again. Because I know I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more. The feeling of sheer euphoria and excitement– nothing tops that.
Photos by Julian Varquez