MANILA, Philippines – From their lineup of artists alone, there’s no doubt that the 2022 Pinoy Pop Convention (PPOPCON) is the “first and largest event that celebrates Pinoy Pop music.” But even as we witnessed these P-pop groups share the same stage together for the first time, it still felt very surreal.
Weeks leading up to the two-day convention on April 9 and 10, participating P-pop acts had been vocal about how thankful they were for the opportunity to showcase the fast growth of P-pop over the years.
For them, it was a platform to display the hard work they’d put into their craft, a culmination of the sacrifices they’ve had to endure as P-pop artists, and a way to give back to their loyal supporters. Above all, it was one of their biggest hopes coming to life.
“Years ago, we were just dreaming of this, and now, it’s finally a reality,” MNL48 said during the 2022 PPOPCON concert in Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, April 10. “As pioneers, sobrang na-huhumble at proud at thankful kami na our family is growing. (As pioneers, we’re humbled and proud and thankful to see our family is growing.)”
And the 2022 PPOPCON really did deliver a milestone event not just for the P-pop artists, but for the fans as well.
Aside from it being the first in-person P-pop event in two years, it’s also the first time for several P-pop groups’ fanbases to come together in one gathering.
Dedicated fans set up booths at the New Frontier Theater for their fellow fans’ enjoyment. At these stalls, there were games to be played, prizes to be won, and official merchandise to be bought. The first day of the convention was made even more special by surprise visits and performances from the participating P-pop groups. In fact, some fans even had the chance to join a challenge with their idols.
“Iba po talaga kasi ‘yung pakiramdam na makita mo sila nang harapan kumpara sa mga online concerts at panonood lang ng mga vlogs nila eh,” Abby, a fan of SB19, BINI, and BGYO told Rappler.
(It really feels different to see them in person as compared to just watching them through online concerts and vlogs.)
She continued, “Ang saya rin kasi sa mga events na katulad nito, ma-eexpose ka rin po sa ibang grupo at sa mga kapwa fans mo rin po.” (I’m also happy because an event like this exposes me to other groups and fellow fans.)
The biggest highlight of the 2022 PPOPCON, however, is the almost five-hour concert that featured performances from KAIA, G22, VXON, 4th Impact, Press Hit Play, BINI, 1st. One, ALAMAT, BGYO, MNL48, and SB19. The groups treated their fans to new arrangements of songs, longer dance breaks, and even teasers for their upcoming releases.
An emotional 4th Impact shared that they felt goosebumps while performing: “Totoo ba ‘to? Nangyayari ba ‘to? Hindi kami makapaniwala na kaharap namin kayong lahat. (Is this real? Is this really happening? We can’t believe that we’re actually here in front of you).”
But beyond expressing their disbelief that they finally get to perform live for their fans, each act also shared their desire to help the genre of P-pop flourish. BINI said that they were grateful to be given the opportunity to “showcase what P-pop is all about” while BGYO promised that they would continue to “work hard” to provide better performances.
Kayela, a fan of SB19, ALAMAT, KAIA, and 4th Impact, shared that it was inspiring to see such talented Filipinos sharing the same vision. “Bilang Filipino po, nakaka-proud po talaga kasi ang galing nila eh. At ang mas nakaka-proud bilang isang P-pop fan ay ‘yung naghihilaan po sila pataas, supportive po sila sa isa’t-isa kasi same po sila ng gusto, na ibida po ‘yung talent ng Filipinos all over the world.”
(As a Filipino, I’m really proud of how talented they are. But as a P-pop fan, what I’m more in awe of is how supportive they are of each other. They lift each other up because they share the same goal, and that’s to highlight Filipino talent all over the world.)
The concert had a fitting end: SB19, as they sang their song “SLMT” – a track dedicated to their fans – called their fellow P-pop groups onstage. It wasn’t a collaboration per se, but to see them share the same stage, it made fans hopeful of what the future could bring.
Paying tribute to P-pop fans, who SB19 said was the reason the genre is now growing and thriving, Stell declared: “Meron na talaga tayong sariling atin (We finally have something we can call our own.)” – Rappler.com