The Science and Art of Being a Fan

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“To be a fan is to be a member of a community. A family,” this description, shared by Shem, 32, might be the perfect encapsulation of what fan culture means. From its dictionary meaning, to be a part of this subset of a community—also called a fandom—means that you become a member of a group with a shared love for a particular interest. Be it may food or pop culture, fandom behavior has spanned generations, but it continues to live until now, though in different shapes and forms.

For Shem, the Harry Potter fandom is something that she will always keep close to her heart. The global book phenomenon which has spawned countless movie installments, a play, and even theme parks dedicated to it has crossed generations of readers and managed to make itself relevant even after decades of its publishing. Shem, now with a daughter, is one of those kids who grew up reading about the adventures of a boy attending a magical school, and it’s something she feels remains close to her heart.

“It’s a little bit different for me because I grew up reading the book and it’s part of my childhood. There are fans who are so dedicated they really keep up to date with everything. I consider myself lowkey simply because I feel like Harry Potter is just a part of me–not a trend or something that will pass,” she explains.

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Despite considering herself on the down low of fangirling, she does express her love for the culture in different ways. “Whenever I have a chance, I make sure to visit Harry Potter-related studios. I still find myself fangirling when I see items dedicated to it. I buy merch. I guess no amount of adulting will ever erase your love for the book if you are a true blue fan. If I can explain it using a different analogy, it’s like having your favorite ice cream flavor when you were a child. You might have grown up, but it still brings you joy,” she laughs.

While Shem is on the other side of the spectrum of being a fan, Felma, 27, sits on the more intense side of it. As a fangirl of several Kpop groups, she is a poster child of the definition of a modern fan. “I’ve attended several concerts, bought albums, collected photocards, and the like. I think it’s just part of the culture of being a Kpop fan. There is no shortage of materials for consumption and it’s so easy to connect with others with the same interest, so the community is really alive.”

“It’s not my first time being a fan din. Before, I used to fangirl a lot sa Western boy groups. I made so many friends during my elementary days because of it. Now, it still feels like you are a part of a community. Nag-iba lang yung interest,” she adds. “What I can say though is that once you find your favorite or bias as we call it in the fandom community, you will stay loyal to it talaga. Different flavors, but same level of dedication and love.”

The situation is the same for Joshua, 29, who recently reconnected with his love of collecting toys. As a child, he grew up watching the anime TV series Gundam, but it was only two years ago when he suddenly found the interest to start assembling and collecting figures when his girlfriend gave him a random box to experiment with. Now, he has a shelf full of models that he had assembled on his own and even launched a social media account where he updates about his projects and connects with other Gundam fans.

“I like the feeling of creating something from scratch. It’s the process for me. Also, it’s pretty cool to see that other people appreciate what you do, kahit di mo sila kilala.”

Shem, Felma, and Joshua may have different interests, but there is a clear underlying thread that connects them as a fan. For them, it’s all about connecting with other people, getting in touch with your childhood, and staying loyal to what you love while creating new memories.

“It’s similar to when you enjoy your favorite childhood treat,” explains Shem. “You love it when you’re young because it brings you happiness and even as you grow up, you still find new ways to appreciate and enjoy it. It’s like your comfort food.”

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Talking about iconic comfort food, all three agree that ice cream might be one of the best examples of it. Spanning generations, the icy treat is something that young and old enjoy equally. These three fans, in particular, share another similarity beyond just being a part of fandom culture: they all love Oreo Ice Cream.

Known as the brand of iconic cookies, Oreo has now set the gold standard for cookies and cream flavor in the world of iced sweets. “I have a sweet tooth talaga. I love Oreo kasi super fun yung the way you eat it. Meron silang twist, lick, and dunk commercials, right? But I’m a big fan of ice cream kahit noong bata pa ako so I remember, when Oreo Ice Cream was first introduced, talagang hinanap ko talaga so I can try,” shares Felma.

“When I was younger, I wasn’t really allowed to eat too many sweets. Naalala ko, pag may natira sa baon kosa ice cream talaga ako nag-splusplurge,” Joshua pitches in. “So when I got older and had my own money, I made sure to indulge. Oreo Ice Cream is my favorite because it’s creamy and I love the crunch of the little cookies.”

“I’m a mom now and I can say Oreo Ice Cream is one of the favorites of my daughter. She’s a big fan, so much that we made it as a sort of reward for her every time she does well at school,” Shem adds. “I love that for her kasi the same way that I had something reminiscent of my childhood—I love the cookies—I know she’ll have Oreo Ice Cream as that for her, too. Parang you’re making a new tradition, ika nga.”

Just like the fandom culture, Oreo has mastered the art of creating a loyal following for its flavors thanks to the masterful way it plays with the concepts of “new” and “nostalgic.” Iconic for its cookies as it already is, the brand has sustained being a favorite of many by creating other ways to enjoy it.

Oreo Ice Cream is currently available in 1-liter tub, pint, cone, and sandwich ice cream versions. Similar to fans that come in different forms, anyone can surely find a favorite in the way they can enjoy this iconic treat.

You can grab your Oreo Ice Cream treat in leading supermarkets and convenience stores nationwide.

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