The long wait is finally over: Zac Efron has made it to Philippine shores! The Hollywood A-lister did not disappoint as he delighted Pinoy fans with his drool-worthy presence at the 2012 Penshoppe Fan Conference at the Mall of Asia Arena last September 29.
To say that the crowd was beyond ectstatic would be an understatement. Thousands of die-hard fans waited in line for hours outside the arena before the gates were opened to the public at 6PM (some had started camping out as early as 8AM!). A stampede almost erupted as the crowd of female fans rushed through the gates, their screams and shrieks blending in a deafening chorus of "I love you Zac!" and "OMG this is it!"
To get things started, a montage video of the Penshoppe All-Stars Ian Somerhalder, Ed Westwick, Mario Maurer, and Leighton Meester was flashed on the five huge screens positioned onstage. Though the other stars were not present at the fan conference, the crowd still went wild as each video clip was shown. Thai superstar Mario Maurer even sent in an exclusive video apologizing for being unable to attend and also welcoming Zac to the Penshoppe family.
This was followed by a dance number by The Crew and a medley by the sexy La Divas, as well performances by Never The Strangers and former Cosmo Centerfold and Top 15 Hunks of All Time crooner Jay-R. All performances were great, but what really got the party started was the jaw-dropping High School Musical-themed dance routine by the the eight-time champions of the UAAP Cheerdance Competition, the UP Pep Squad.
The climax of the event was when Zac emerged on an elevated part of the stage during the finale of the UP Pep Squad's routine. The entire arena cheered him on as he ran across the ramp, flashed his million-dollar smile, and waved and blew kisses at his adoring fans. As if on cue, pandemonium ensued! The screaming seemed to go on forever, and even Zac, who's probably used to getting this kind of reaction from fans by now, was overwhelmed by his Pinoy fans' warm welcome.
When things settled down, host Boy Abunda invited Zac to join him on the couch to begin the Q&A portion of the event. But before taking a seat Zac slowly took off his black leather jacket, exclaiming, “It’s hot up here,” then walked down the ramp once more and threw the jacket out into the crowd--eliciting even louder screams. Zac sure knows how to work the crowd!
Finally, the Q&A began. Zac got candid and gamely answered all the questions thrown at him, including questions about his half-Pinay ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Hudgens. Check out some of the highlights from the interview:
1. When asked what his favorite Filipino food was, he immediately answered "Balut!"
2. On visiting the Philippines for the first time: “I feel so at home. I just want to move here.”
3. When asked about marriage, the single 24-year old replied that his future wife "might be Pinay" and "might be out here somewhere.”
4. He referred to his former flame and High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens as “my first Filipina girlfriend.” Does that mean he’s looking for another Pinay to get cozy with? We all hope so!
5. He talked about his High School Musical audition with Vanessa and shared how they "clicked right away". His very first duet song with Vanessa, "Start of Something New" started playing, and Zac lip synced along with the crowd. He also said it was "one of the easiest scenes to do because I had a crush on Vanessa." Awww!
6. He talked about his first kiss. "I was in the first grade and we were playing spin the bottle. I spun the bottle perfectly so that it would land on the girl I really liked. It was awesome."
7. "The most important thing in the world is the fans. That's the only good thing about fame."
8. When asked to describe himself in 3 words: "I can do it in 4: I LOVE THE PHILIPPINES."
9. He granted a lucky fan's wish by giving her a sweet kiss on the cheek. It was her first kiss!
10. His final words before inviting the Meet and Greet winners up on stage: "This is a night I'll never forget. Thank you, Philippines. I will be back soon! I love you all so much!"
Launch the gallery to see photos of the super sexy and swoon-worthy Zac Efron during his fan conference!