My name is Myka. I’m 26 years old and I am from Manila, Philippines. I was 9 or 10 years old when I first saw “Crawling” on MTV. I can still remember it like yesterday. It was a weekend afternoon, I was in front of the TV in our bedroom while my mom was doing my hair in a ponytail. The first thing that came to my mind while listening to that song was “wow… this band’s great”. There was Mike with his hair dyed in dark blue and Chester with the spiky blonde hair and lower lip piercing. Since then, I became a fan.
I told my aunt who lives in the U.S. about Linkin Park. And since I was a bit of a spoiled child back then, she bought me a Hybrid Theory album. I waited for a month for the package to come. As soon as I got my hands on that CD, I wouldn’t stop listening to it. I even memorized every word on this little booklet that comes with the CD which had lyrics on them. I even tried drawing the LP Soldier. I eventually turned into a big fan of the band. I collected band photos, t-shirts, button pins and I even cut out pictures of them from magazines. I taught myself how to play guitar just to play some of their songs. I practiced drawing. I even remember buying an earring and placing it on my lower lip to pretend that I have a lip piercing just like Chester’s. Their music was my escape from my reality. I found peace with their music.
Hearing about Chester’s death was devastating for me.
It was July 21st here in Manila when I saw the news. I was on my way to work when a Facebook notification popped up on my cellphone about his passing. As I was reading the article, I swear I couldn’t breathe. Then I felt a lump in my throat. The next thing I knew was I was crying on the street. My brain didn’t function well at work that day. My heart felt really really heavy. The more I read about what happened, the more it gets heavy. The following night at home, I watched a few videos of the band on YouTube. Then I saw “Talking to Myself”. It was the first time I heard the song. I felt sad. The song was great, really… But, it just hurts to know that I won’t be hearing it live. When the band came here in 2004, I was a student so fuck me right. I ain’t got no money so I can’t afford a ticket. They came back in 2013, and I was so mad because the tickets were all sold out when I finally got my pay check. I told myself that if ever they come back for the 3rd time, I wouldn’t miss it for the world. But again, fuck me. I will never see them all together for the rest of my life.
It’s been 3 weeks since Chester left us. I thought I was okay now. But no. Whenever I see a picture or a video of him, I couldn’t help but feel bad. Some people may say that I am over reacting because I don’t even know the guy… I’ve never seen the guy… But no. CHESTER WAS A PART OF MY LIFE. He doesn’t have any idea that I exist. He doesn’t have any idea how much I adore him. I didn’t know that his death would leave me so broken and sad. It’s like a part of my life was taken away from me. It’s like I lost a brother… a friend.
So to my childhood hero,
Thank you so much for everything you shared with us. Thank you for being a part of our lives. Thank you for sharing our music and your talent. Thank you with all my heart.
I love you and I miss you, Chester.
You are and you will always be in my memory… in my life.