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  • Writer's pictureProfiles In P-Pop

P-Pop Giants Bring the Hype To the Ultimate Fan Gathering

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

The fans and artists made their way into Araneta Coliseum for the second day of the first-ever P-Pop Convention, ready for an action-packed and high-energy afternoon. The light sticks were lit. The sound had been checked. The virtual audience was joining from all over the world. What no one was prepared for was how intensely emotional and deeply moving P-Pop's Ultimate Fan Gathering would prove to be.

Day One With the Rookies

In a move of genuine fan interaction, several artists visited their official booths to interact with their fans, making day one a truly memorable experience.

Day one of the convention took place in the Frontier Theater, next door to the Araneta Coliseum. This smaller venue hosted some of P-Pop's newer and smaller acts today, including DIONE, PPop Generation, Daydream, R Rule, and more. Though VXON, KAIA, and G22 headlined on the first day of PPopCon, their shining moment would come, with the big acts, on day 2. The real highlight of day one was the fan-based interaction. Booths were spread through the venue and offered information, freebies, and fan opportunities from sponsors, official artists, and fanbases. In a move of genuine fan interaction, several artists visited their official booths to interact with their fans, making day one a truly memorable experience.

Opening the Day Two Concert

More than 16,000 fans onsite and thousands worldwide would have the chance to watch the biggest P-Pop acts in the country perform, and the show did not disappoint.

Day two of the convention was the main event, originally billed as ten artists on the main stage under the Big Dome of Araneta Coliseum. More than 16,000 fans onsite and thousands worldwide would have the chance to watch the biggest P-Pop acts in the country perform, and the show did not disappoint.


Absolute newcomers to the scene, KAIA opened the show with a performance of their debut single, 'Blah Blah,' which was released on April 8 - the day before the convention began. Of course, it's not the first time that KAIA has made waves; they released their pre-debut single, 'KAYA,' on December 10, 2021, to some fanfare. 'KAYA' was their second performance of the day. It must have been a dream come true for a group to perform to a packed stadium literally days after their debut, and KAIA rose to meet the challenge.


G22 was the surprise eleventh act to take the main stage at PPopCon. Also newcomers to the scene, this sister group to the next act, VXON, performed their debut single, 'Bang!' which debuted on February 25. Though they only had one song to their name, the ladies of G22 brought an intense energy to the stage. Their unbelievable choreography made it a challenging performance.


The Monster Rookies of P-Pop took the stage next. In the three months since their January 6th debut, VXON has taken the P-Pop world by storm. The fierce choreography of their debut song, 'The Beast,' was made even more energetic by a new intro, leaving the members ready for the slowdown of their second song. 'P.S.' was a testament to the vocals of the rookies, showing off their vocal riffs and runs with the sweet and upbeat love song. With their impressive vocals, rapping style, and over-the-top choreography, VXON lived up to their title.


An Emotional Debut Under the Big Dome

No moment all night was more stirring than seeing the ladies of 4th Impact finally standing on stage before a sea of white lights.

The main performance kicked off with the Queens of P-Pop, 4th Impact. 'K(no)w More' was their first original single released in 2020. With a slight change to the introduction, the high-intensity song was the perfect start to the evening. They had not taken the stage for a live audience since the pandemic started, so it was an emotional moment for them to see the lights from cell phones filling the coliseum. When they moved on to their next number, a medley of songs from "The Greatest Showman," that has over a million views on their official YouTube channel, the sisters were so overwhelmed they broke down in tears, bringing the entire audience with them. No moment all night was more stirring than seeing the ladies of 4th Impact finally standing on stage before a sea of white lights. There was a roar of approval from the crowd when they stepped off the stage and took to the audience to sing part of the song. After they recovered, their comeback song "Here We Go" reminded everyone why they were considered Queens. In the anticipated dance break, their smooth moves brought the house down. It was happy tears for everyone.


A Long Awaited Performance

With such a long and uncertain journey behind them, we can only imagine the release of standing under the Big Dome of the Araneta before thousands of fans at last.

It was an emotional evening for Press Hit Play as well. The 6 member group may have debuted in 2021, but they are no rookies to the industry. With careers spanning across the years as cover artists, trainees, and international competition winners, it was an understandably emotional moment for PHP to finally find themselves under the Big Dome. The members proudly displayed their years of training with a high-energy opening performance of their debut single, 'WIN.' They slowed it down with 'Adlaw' before moving on to their comeback song, 'Tell Me.' Their last performance, 'Sambit,' proved to be their undoing. A piece about their journey as artists, it features a backdrop of photos of their time together interspersed with quotes and inspirations. The memories and joy of the moment were too much for several members, who were overcome with emotion on stage. With such a long and uncertain journey behind them, we can only imagine the release of standing under the Big Dome of the Araneta before thousands of fans at last.


The Nation's Girl Group Center Stage

Their genuine love for their fans, BLOOMS, was evident as they spoke to the audience [...]

The upbeat and cheerful demeanor of The Nation's Girl Group, BINI, provided relief from the over-the-top feels of the previous performances. They opened their set with a performance of their anthemic single, 'Born to Win.' The eight ladies commanded the stage with costumes inspired by the futuristic but elegant style of the music video. Their genuine love for their fans, BLOOMS, was evident as they spoke to the audience before moving on to a performance of their latest single, 'Golden Arrow.' Done in their signature style, this inspirational song has been a breakthrough hit for them. They surprised their fans by closing their set with their fun, pre-debut single, 'Da Coconut Nut.' The song was initially released in November 2020 but remains a favorite amongst their BLOOMS to this day.


1st.One Brings the Drama to the Main Stage

If you've been sleeping on this impressive boy band, it's time to wake up. Their fans, ForOne, will be just too happy to help you.

Another group that has seemingly come from nowhere to dominate the P-Pop scene, 1st.One took to the stage next, starting, to some surprise, with their debut single from 2020, 'You Are The One.' The number included a new, dance-centric, story-heavy introduction that brought a unique flavor to the older song. They then invited their special guest, Gift, onstage to perform 'OH' with new blocking that added drama to the song about breaking free and self-empowerment. The song, which exists somewhere between a dance track and a ballad, gave all 6 members and their guest the opportunity to highlight their impressive vocal runs. 1st. One's final number was their comeback song, 'Shoutout.' A breakthrough hit for the group, the piece highlights the service and sacrifices of the Philippine military, and the intensity of the stage performance certainly did it justice. If you've been sleeping on this impressive boy band, it's time to wake up. Their fans, ForOne, will be just too happy to help you.


An Unexpected Intermission


A short intermission ended with another unexpected segment: VJ AI started to interview SB19's family members. Pablo's mother, Grace, was given the mic first and was asked to share her thoughts. She only asked that the fandoms and groups come together and promote P-Pop as one, which was Pablo's wish. At the second question, something no one knows about Pablo, Grace gave the mic to her daughter Alex. The latter promptly shared that her elder brother fell into a canal when he was a kid. Stell's mother, Mylene, was called when the laughter died down, and she expressed the same wish for unity. As to a Stell moment, she said A'tin probably knows more about her son than she does. Last, Justin's mother, Gemma, was asked to take the mic. She also asked for unity between the fandoms so P-Pop could rise and be known by more people.


ALAMAT Heralds In Their New Era Live

There were tears shed as the boys became overwhelmed at finally getting on a stage.

Multilingual boy group ALAMAT took the stage for the first time in front of a live audience to their Magiliw and casual fans' thunderous applause. ALAMAT has worked their way into the hearts of many P-Pop fans thanks to their celebration of the diverse cultures of the Philippines. They started with 'ABKD', their comeback single. Next was 'KBye', the debut song that created a buzz because of all the languages the piece was performed in. The members chatted with the audience and thanked their families and their fans, Magiliw, for the support and love that kept them going. There were tears shed as the boys became overwhelmed at finally getting on a stage. A special treat came with a live comeback - the first performance of 'Sa Panaginip Na Lang,' a soulful ballad scheduled for audio release on April 13, 2022. They took a quick groufie with the audience as a special remembrance for the night and went straight into their performance of 'Kasmala'. The updated choreography added a great touch to the fierce, upbeat song and was the perfect ending to ALAMAT's set.


The Aces Take the Stage

Last year's rookies have become this year's veterans [...]

The evening was heating up as the oldest groups with the largest fandoms began to take the stage, starting with BGYO. Last year's rookies have become this year's veterans, and it showed with their opening number, an updated rendition of their debut single, 'The Light.' The new introduction was treated more as a ballad that emphasized the group's vocal abilities before moving into a remixed version of the pop song with added guitar riffs. The boys slowed it down with their latest single, 'Kundiman,' which was composed by BGYO member, Akira. The ballad was a welcome moment of calmness before the final performance of the night, their comeback song. When 'The Baddest' was released in mid-2021, it represented a style change for the boys of BGYO and, performed here to perfection, it served as a reminder of what the group is capable of. As in the music video, their performance of 'The Baddest' showed a more mature side of the boys. Not to be left out of the fan interactions, BGYO took the opportunity to greet their fandom, ACEs, on the 1st anniversary of the fandom supporting the group. The celebration allowed them to show the playful side their ACEs love so much.


The New Senbatsu Tears Up the Stage

[...] their seventh single expresses all the hardship the group had to endure because of the forced separation during the pandemic.

It was the perfect placement for MNL48 to be second to the last performers for the night. Chronologically the oldest among the P-Pop groups, this sister group of AKB48 showed the crowd what a touch of J-Pop can do. The MNLoves-elected senbatsu (sixteen-member) top favorites of the forty-eight strong girl group started with the bouncy 'Palusot Ko'y Maybe.' Their energetic choreography was stunning. With a bubbly introduction of each member and a thank-you to their fans for staying loyal for two years, they went straight into 'High Tension.' The 70's-inspired dance track was complemented by their snappy moves and creative choreography. After a quick spiel talking about their experiences on the first day of P-Pop Con, the opening notes of their danceable comeback single, 'No Way Man,' began to play. Beautifully showcasing their vocals, their seventh single expresses all the hardship the group had to endure because of the forced separation during the pandemic. We hope they keep as strong as they move forward with the other first-generation groups of P-Pop.


The Blue Ocean Is Back

No introductions were necessary for the members of SB19.

When the Kings of P-Pop finally took the stage, it was to a sea of blue light sticks. The expectations were high for an exciting performance, and SB19 did not disappoint. Never one to repeat a performance, their rendition of 'What?' started as usual before cutting off abruptly to reveal their leader, Pablo, seated on a throne in the center of the stage. He opened the number with an original rap verse in which he declared, "This is my home. This is my Zone." The remaining group members made surprise entrances to the stage with Ken, Justin, and Stell coming through the audience while performing their parts. Josh appeared on the throne as his iconic rap verse began. Complete with their new stomp dance break from their Ozone Concert, the number set the tone for the rest of their performance.

No introductions were necessary for the members of SB19. After their customary greeting, they proceeded to hype up their fandom, A'tin, by calling out their stan houses (the groups of fans who are biased toward each group member). When they continued their set, it was with the equally high-energy song, 'Mana.' Rarely performed live, it was a treat to see a different introduction and rearrangement that added a new intensity to the song.


SB19 continued by thanking A'tin for sticking with them during the difficult time of the pandemic. As Stell said, "SB19 x A'tin, forever." After catching their breath (and a bit of fanservice), came their next song, MAPA. The tribute song to their parents used a more classical arrangement, complete with their expected stellar harmonies. A change came from a montage of home movies playing on LED screens behind them. As everyone expected, it was the most emotional number in their lineup.

Another round of thanks signaled the performance of their last song, 'SLMT.' As the lights dimmed and they took their positions on stage, Pablo suddenly yelled, "Psyche!" making the crowd roar. Of course, no SB19 concert would be complete without a performance of their hit song, 'Bazinga.' The choreography included a surprise update by resident choreographer Stell in the form of a deliberately wicked dance break just before Ken's iconic Tagalog rap verse.


An Unexpected Encore Brings P-Pop Together

Never before had so many diverse fandoms and artists had the opportunity to spend time together and perform on the same stage [...]

With the crowd yelling, "Isa pa!" (One more!), SB19 obliged and, entirely off-script, called all the other P-Pop groups to the stage to perform 'SLMT' with them. The song, which is a tribute and thank-you song to SB19's fans, was also the perfect way for the concert to end, with the thanks of all the artists toward their fandoms and the venue.

VJ AI called each group to take their bow to the cheering crowd, signaling the end of the first-ever P-Pop Convention Concert. Though the festivities at the nearby Frontier Theater would continue for a few more hours, the main event was at its end. Never before had so many diverse fandoms and artists had the opportunity to spend time together and perform on the same stage, but even more impressive was the sincere love and support shown to all the groups by the various fans. This was a great start to the supportive atmosphere we all want to have in the blossoming OPM genre. Hospitality is an innate trait of the Filipino, and we are constantly reminded to choose to be kind. Kindness and unity are the best ways to bring OPM and P-Pop to the world stage.


P-Pop Rise!

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