A few weeks later, I went to Alabang Town Center with my niece. We were in TimeZone and when I went to reload her card, I saw Sam walk right past me! I couldn't believe it—it was like fate! For a split second, I froze in shock. I knew I had to get my camera and have my picture taken with him. But when I turned around, he was gone.
Not to be defeated, I waited a few moments and tried to retrace his steps. Pretty soon, I saw him going down the escalator. I knew I couldn't miss my chance. I gathered all my courage, approached him, and asked, "Hi, are you Sam Concepcion?" (Of course, I knew it was him, but I didn't want to be too obvious!) He said yes and agreed to have our picture taken together.
Since that day, I became even more enamored with Sam. Not only was he cute and talented, he was also nice and friendly. I started searching the Net for information about him. I found a forum where I met other fans of Sam. Pretty soon, a group was formed, officers were elected, and phone numbers were exchanged. We became the first official Samsters!
One time, Sam's manager invited us for dinner after the launch of one of Sam's shows in Trumpets. I felt really shy and I couldn't talk properly the whole time. Sam was very cool about it. He asked us how we were and gladly talked to us. Since we were the first fans to have a close encounter with Sam, we became the Elite Group of Samsters.
Of course, anybody can be a Samster—but the Elite Group has first access to all the happenings in Sam's life. His manager or parents call us whenever he has a gig and we get backstage passes to his shows. We do our best to support all his endeavors. (I watched High School Musical On Stage, where Sam played Troy Bolton, three times!)
My most memorable bonding moment with Sam took place at my 18th birthday party in Greenbelt. He dropped by after his show with Gary V. When he arrived, he was wearing a belt with a digital screen, which lit up with the words, "Happy Birthday, Rayka!" It was one of the best nights of my life!
While being in the Elite Group has its perks, it also has its challenges. We need to work hard to update Sam's website, and we invest time, effort, and cell phone load to support Sam-for example, by voting for his carrier single, "Even If" on MYX, and voting for him to be Candy's number one Celeb Cutie (which he has won so many years in a row already!).
As editors of the website, we also have to deal with persistent, and sometimes crazy, fans. During his Little Big Star days, Sam had a gay fan who dressed in sleeveless tops, leggings, and short skirts. Whenever Sam performed, he would scream, "Sam, pa-kiss!" One time, we were hanging out in Starbucks with Sam after one of his shows. When we spotted the guy, we scattered and helped Sam hide!
Whatever happens, I know I'll forever be a Samster. It's been so much fun! I wish him good health, more blessings, and greater success in life-because without Sam, there would be no Samsters! He's been really friendly and accommodating, and his family has been very kind to us. His mom and dad are like our second parents. Sometimes, they even bring us home after his shows!
To other Sam fans out there, join us! Continue to dream and believe that you will meet Sam, and show your support by voting and visiting his official website at www.samconcepcion.net.