idols | 

Philippines Westlife fan tells how cancelled flight led to seeing her favourite band

Hearthy spoke of how Westlife were her idols growing up
Hearthy before the show

Hearthy before the show

Westlife at the Aviva 
Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Westlife at the Aviva Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Gareth Chaney

Eddie RowleySunday World

WESTLIFE fan Hearthy Millones from the Philippines told yesterday how the cancellation of her return flight from an Irish visit led to the thrill of seeing her favourite band for the first time in Aviva Stadium.

Hearthy, who was among the ecstatic crowd at Westlife’s spectacular concert on Friday night, had been on holiday in Ardfert, Co. Kerry, with her Irish partner, Gerard Nolan, to meet all of his family.

On June 30 the young couple were due to fly to Thailand, where they both work as teachers.

“When we arrived at Dublin Airport we were told our KLM flight had been cancelled and we were so stressed out because we had to return to our work,” Hearthy tells the Sunday World.

Westlife at the Aviva 
Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Westlife at the Aviva Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins© Gareth Chaney

“There were no other flights available because of what’s happening in the airlines.

“It was very stressful. We had to talk to our bosses and explain what was happening.

“I didn’t sleep all night, but then the next morning KLM got back to us and said the nearest flight would be on July 11. It was then that I said to my partner, ‘I was meant to watch Westlife.’ That gave me life and something to look forward to.”

Hearthy, who only learned about the Westlife shows at Aviva Stadium when she arrived in Ireland, told how they were her idols growing up – but she was so poor she couldn’t even afford their posters.

“I’m from the province of Lake Sebu in the mountainous area of the Philippines and we didn’t have TV,” she says. “I just listened to the radio and wrote their songs in my notebook. That’s how I started to become a fan. But I couldn’t afford to buy albums.

“My Irish family have been so good to me. When the flights got cancelled they got me a very nice ticket for Westlife. It was the family gift to me. They wanted me to see Westlife because they are the pride of Ireland. .

“I can’t explain how exciting it was when I arrived in the stadium and saw the Westlife stage. It was very overwhelming. My heart was pounding and I didn’t want to go home. It was a dream come true.

“Today, I’m very speechless and my throat is still hurting because I was screaming, singing and dancing all through the concert. I bought a Westlife T-shirt and I wore it to bed last night, and I’m still wearing it today. I don’t think I’ll take it off.”

Hearthy admitted she got no sleep after the concert as she stayed up all night speaking with family and friends in the Philippines.

“All my family and friends back home are very jealous,” she laughs. “I was up all night talking to them about the experience.”

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