We've said it before: Nothing was more impressive at PPOPCON than the sincere love and support shown to all the groups by the various fans. Looking back at P-Pop's biggest night was the treat we all needed halfway through the long year. In our first article about PPOPCON, we told you about the performances and the energy. Now it's time to tell the rest.
Reliving the Biggest P-Pop Concert
One big draw for fans far and wide of PPOPCON Extra! was a replay of the largest P-Pop concert to date. As a hybrid concert, P-Pop stans watched the concert under The Big Dome or from the privacy of their homes. No matter where we originally saw the concert, we all got to see the new angles and remastered video and audio of the greatest performances of their idols.
With the replay, we relived the excitement of watching the P-Pop giants, SB19, BGYO, BINI, 1st.One and MNL48 own the stage. We got to cry along with 4th Impact and Press Hit Play in their most emotional performances to date. Of course, we fell in love with the rookies KAIA, VXON, and G22 all over again. There were a couple of glaring absences in the performances, though, a reminder of the technical problems with the original stream. We missed ALAMAT’s set in the replay but were overjoyed to see them featured strongly in the behind-the-scenes footage later.
Remembering the Ultimate Fan Gathering
Rather than cheering in front of screens, fans now got to see each other and their idols live.
It's no surprise that, apart from being the first Pinoy Pop Convention in history, PPOPCON was also a deeply emotional time for artists and fans alike. Apart from the convention making waves as one of the first face-to-face gatherings since 2020, it also was one of the first concerts held in person and not just live-streamed.
P-Pop is a genre that blossomed in the middle of a world pandemic. It's easy to forget how many P-Pop groups launched in 2019 and 2020 and never got to meet their fans in person. Relationships with fans were born virtually with all their interactions online. Nevertheless, every artist at PPOPCON arrived with a fanbase in tow. Loud cheers and lightsticks greeted every artist, from the veterans to the rookies. Indeed, every group went above and beyond in preparing to meet their fans for the very first time. Rather than cheering in front of screens, fans now got to see each other and their idols live.
Of course, not all P-Pop fans (ourselves included) could see their idols in person. Thousands of fans worldwide who watched the concert through livestream missed out on the onsite activities. PPOPCON Extra was our chance to see everything that happened at The New Frontier Theater and The Big Dome.
The Emotions and the Hard Work Behind-the-Con
The non-stop training, despite having no direct support, was finally put to good use.
We all had a vague idea of how much work our favorite groups put into performing in the country's biggest music gathering to date. Thankfully, PPOPCON was able to go behind the scenes to have the top-performing groups share their thoughts and dreams for the future of the new genre.
Most of the artists were overwhelmed themselves. Not only was it the first time many of them had performed in front of a live audience, but it was also a massive milestone for the genre we all love. Apart from a few groups, the majority had never performed on a big stage, much less live. What made it even more special was performing in the iconic Big Dome, which is known for hosting only the best.
As the artists shared their struggles, the memories brought many of them to tears. The non-stop training, despite having no direct support, was finally put to good use. The best moment for each group? The cheers, the lights, and the oceans of lightsticks that greeted each song. The emotions that were bottled up over two years were finally released. The Philippines' stage today, the world stage is next on the horizon. Each artist vowed to get P-Pop to explode onto the international music scene.
Next P-Pop Con, when? We're looking forward to it, too.
It's a genuine feature of P-Pop to always give their best, no matter the stage and venue.
Of course, nothing is perfect - and that's what makes it more fun!
PPOPCON Extras shared highlights from the first convention day on April 9. With all the fans getting hyped from the booths and surprise visits from their idols, it was a moment that many fans never imagined or expected. Artists paused for photos and greeted their beloved fans in a dream venue of support and camaraderie.
The best effort was given by the artists on the rehearsal stage, which is nothing unexpected from these artists. It's a genuine feature of P-Pop to always give their best, no matter the stage and venue. We're proud to be fans of the genre. Of course, nothing was more emotional than the shots of the artist when they first heard the cheers from the crowd. Their faces were all in awe when they saw the lights shining for them. Seeing their nerves turn into perfect performances was worth every moment.
P-Pop, with Extra Rice
For the Filipino, music is a way of coping, of bringing hope.
PPOPCON was the ideal venue for the groups and their fans to interact and encourage a supportive P-Pop community with friendly competition. Pinoy Pop is finally being recognized as a legitimate genre in the Philippine music scene, made distinct from the rest of the world by each group's desire to work and rise together. Jaz of P-Pop girl group, G22, said it best:
"Please support P-Pop, let's make P-Pop rise higher than it is already growing [...] Not only us, G22, but other groups. Let's support each other, let's bring each other up…."
For the Filipino, music is a way of coping, of bringing hope. What better way to do it than through groups composed of people from all over the country who are exceptionally talented and want nothing more than to make the Philippines noticed by the world?
With motivation like that, there is no way for P-Pop but to rise and rise high.