BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Clad in an array of colorful costumes, masks, and accessories, fans and hobbyists here and from neighboring provinces flocked to the three-day Bacolod Convention of Pop Culture at the Central Hall in Ayala Malls Capitol Central here.
The BaCon, now on its second year, boasted hundreds of attendees with the convention becoming a haven for fans of comic books, TV shows, movies, games, toys, anime, and other interests. Attendees, mostly dressed as their favorite superheroes and anime characters, also met artists and fellow enthusiasts at the convention that kicked off on October 11.
Ryan Gamboa, one of the organizers, said the convention started from small display and exhibits from hobbyists and collectors. Eventually, they collaborated with other enthusiasts to make something bigger – renting out a closed space with a lot of activities.
He said they coordinated with other communities including cosplayers, K-pop fans, and gamers. “There’s a big following if we combine everything. This is to provide a venue once a year for hobbyists, geeks and those who love pop culture,” he added.
Gamboa, former TV news anchor turned councilor of Silay City, said the convention is inspired by the San Diego Comic-Con International, an entertainment and comic book convention held annually in San Diego, California, United States. The official, a toy collector and a hobbyist, attended his first SDCC in 2016.
“We were surprised by the outcome. This is one of the official events in the ongoing MassKara Festival,” he said. He added that people from other localities such as Cebu, Iloilo, Dumaguete, and Manila have also come down to the “City of Smiles” for the pop culture convention.
He said they are looking to hold the convention every year. “This is slowly becoming an industry. We have positive feedback from the attendees and visitors. We’re happy that Bacolod is getting recognized,” he added.
Moreover, he said the convention will also boost the local movie and entertainment industries. He added: “We have locals who are very talented in making costumes, props, and wardrobe.”
Among the activities in the convention were comic book plenary talks, art contests, cosplay contest, and fantasy makeup contest. There were also game tournaments and plenary sessions.
Fans of Dungeons and Dragons, a fantasy role-playing game, were also in for a treat as there was a mini-con within the convention where fans got to meet players, dungeon masters, and other enthusiasts.
The display area also featured a plethora of toy collections and memorabilia from local collectors and hobbyists, as well as the Market Street, where guests could buy pop culture collections and merchandises. —Rappler.com