Thousands fill MOA Arena for Zac Efron

By Shiela Reyes,

Posted at Sep 30 2012 05:01 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2012 01:01 AM

Hollywood actor Zac Efron walks on stage after the UP Pep Squad's performance.

MANILA, Philippines – Hollywood actor Zac Efron came out larger than life to an estimated 8,000 fans who filled the SM Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday night to take part in the much-awaited Fan Conference 2012 of local clothing brand Penshoppe.

While building up to Efron’s anticipated walk on the runway, various artists performed the songs which were used during the photoshoot of other international Penshoppe endorsers.

It was the University of the Philippines Pep Squad who performed the final production number before Efron’s appearance.

The eight-time UAAP cheerdance champions danced to the songs from the Disney series “High School Musical” that paved the way for Efron to stardom.

Coming out to thousands of screaming fans, Efron strutted down the runway, touching as many hands of his fans as he could.

“It’s awesome. You guys rule. I love being up in here. I love my work and you guys are among the most important of all,” he said.

Hollywood actor Zac Efron blows a kiss for his fans at the SM MOA Arena.

‘High School Musical’ days

After doing his first walk, Efron did a one-on-one live interview with ABS-CBN’s Boy Abunda on stage.

While talking about his past projects in Hollywood, the actor took time recounting how he got cast in “High School Musical.”

“I’ll never forget the day of the auditions. This one was like a theater audition. We came in and there were about 40 guys there and 40 girls. I met Vanessa (Hudgens) right away," he recalled.

“Me and Vanessa met, we clicked right away. We went through the audition process which was sort of like a Broadway audition, not the normal ones,” he said.

Hudgens, who has Filipino blood, was Efron’s former girlfriend and his leading lady in “High School Musical.”

“We would sing and they would tap people on their shoulder. You didn’t know what the tap was for but I remember the first time, I didn’t get tapped so I was nervous. And then at the end of the day, they said ‘If you got tapped on the shoulder, you may leave.’ That was how the whole audition went through,” he added.

Efron said all the auditionees were asked to sing, dance, play basketball and read scenes but he was fortunate that “at the end of the day, it was just me and Vanessa left.”

The 24-year-old Hollywood actor said he truly treasures “High School Musical” because of the many friends and relationships that he made during the show.

“But the best part about it was I got to travel the world and come to places like here. I meet my fans who I love so much. I really love you guys so much,” he said.

Before he finished talking about the musical show, Efron was left in awe when the fans at the MOA Arena started to sing “Start of Something New” in unison.

Hollywood actor Zac Efron poses for a picture with his fans.

First endorsement

Meanwhile, Efron revealed that he never endorsed any clothing brand in the past such that Penshoppe would be his first.

“I’ve never any endorsements before but the cool thing about Penshoppe is first of all, they are a Filipino brand,” he said.

In his past interviews, Efron maintained how much he wants to be exposed to the Filipino culture, saying he has heard a lot of things about the Philippines.

Being a relaxed kind of guy, Efron said he loves all the clothes of Penshoppe.

“[I’m] pretty laid back. I love the Penshoppe clothes. Oh yes, yes, definitely [I’m gonna wear them in my projects],” he siad.

Aside from Efron, other big names who are also part of the Penshoppe All Stars campaign are Ed Westwick and Leighton Meester of “Gossip Girl,” Ian Somerhalder of “The Vampire Diaries” and Thai superstar Mario Maurer.

After the fan conference, Efron posted on his Twitter account, saying how thankful he was to meet his Filipino supporters.

“Hey everyone, Thank you so much for an amazing night! Love you guys. Want to apologize to the fans I promised to meet after the show! Security rushed me out quickly, and I'm deeply sorry. – Z,” he said.