Ever dreamed of seeing SB19, BGYO, BINI, MNL48, Alamat, and more come together in the name of P-pop? Well, look no further because a lot of good things are coming your way.
If one remembers correctly, SB19 was in the middle of their 10-city tour, Get In The Zone, when the pandemic began to bare its fangs in 2020. From initially waiting it out in cautious optimism to eventually being packed up altogether, the shining stalwarts of P-pop, as well as of their loyal fans, have been robbed of the unparalleled euphoric experience, especially when it was planned to come full circle at the Araneta Coliseum. And if there is anything that people latch on with music, it has to be the opportunity to celebrate the spirit of community in song with fellow fans and of course, the artists. Sure, there were circumstantial compromises made over two years or so, what with the saturation of livestreamed concerts and eventually, hybrid performances, but it has to be underscored: Nothing comes close to the magic of the real deal.
And while all that has been happening, a lot of P-pop groups were either in development, training, or close to debuting. So, for most of them, all they were able to do were taped performances and music videos to offset the lack of physical connection with an audience. Now, it can be argued that this is a whole special skill set in itself, what with the continued merging of the traditional and digital, but for all intents and purposes, the heart of the concert culture is really seeing, hearing, and feeling everything live—light sticks, fan chants, and all.
But on the brighter side of things, with life slowly, surely, and safely getting into the swing of things, more opportunities for P-pop fans and groups to experience what many live for: conventions and concerts. Brace yourselves, because things are bound to get hot with upcoming PPOPCON and Tugatog Music Festival.
“P-Pop is quickly gaining international attention and many fans are recognizing the talent and passion of many P-Pop acts,” says Andhie Salutin, Project Head of PPOPCON (Pinoy Pop Convention). “Through PPOPCON, we are celebrating the growing P-Pop community through the first event of its kind right here at the City of Firsts.” Billed as the first of its kind event that platforms Pinoy Pop Music in this scale, PPOPCON is leaning on the one thing missed in the past few years: human interaction. With safety still of utmost priority, the two-day convention is set to bring together the biggest and brightest of P-pop on April 9 and 10 at the Araneta Coliseum.
Did you think that the likes of SB19, MNL48, BGYO, BINI, Alamat, 1st One, Press Hit Play, 4th Impact, VXON, KAIA, DAYDREAM, YARA, VER5US, and G22 coming together in the name of P-pop was impossible? Well, think again, because PPOPCON is making this a reality through the convention that will have fanbase activities, booths, games, and yes, performances. “We are excited to welcome fans back to the home of entertainment—Araneta City,” expresses Irene Jose, COO of Uniprom, the entertainment unit of the Araneta Group. “We promise them that they will have the time of their lives at the PPOPCON; not only can they interact with their idols and other fans, they’ll also experience something that we’ve been missing for a long time, live music!”
While this is primarily a physical event, it will be employing a hybrid set-up with the concert livestreamed online simultaneously on April 10 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. All the more to make it merry on and offline, naturally.
Tugatog Filipino Music Festival
Before you assume that the convention would be the last time we will be seeing of P-pop unite under the banner of Filipino music of that scale, then think again, because in June 18, the flag will proudly be raised with the introduction of Tugatog Filipino Music Festival. A definitive cross-section of contemporary OPM, the inaugural realization of the festival will bring together some of the freshest names in P-pop in one stage, “combining the best elements of a live performance with a visually stunning cinematic experience.”
There is a lot to live up to, especially with the festival name being a play on the words tugtog (music) and tugatog (peak), but clearly, there is a lot to look forward to. “We want to be able to do our very talented Tugatog artists justice by providing them a stage or space with the right visual treatment and illumination; where they can showcase the best of their skills and also offer the audience a different side of them which they haven’t seen before,” says festival director Miggy Tanchanco in a press conference. Headlined by Alamat, BGYO, BINI, Litz, MNL48, Ppop Generation, Press Hit Play, VXON, and 1st One, it certainly sounds interesting.
“Our North Star for putting up Tugatog is to celebrate the sounds that define the peak of Filipino music at every given time period. Because of this, Tugatog becomes a platform that is not defined by one genre alone and, instead, continuously evolves as the sound of Filipino music evolves and changes through time. This way, we can honor the different voices that keep the community alive and contribute to building the culture and craft of Filipino music,” explains Anj Haruela, Ant Savvy Creatives executive strategy and communications officer, in a conversation. “Kumbaga, it’s like giving people a chance to bond through music and discover other talented Pinoy musicians by bringing an entire community in one stage.”
Are You Ready For This?
Following the drought of entertainment in the way that we were used to, P-pop is about to get a jolt of energy from beyond our screens. Yes, there were a fortunate few such as SB19, 4th Impact, BGYO, and BINI who were able to mount the larger-than-life productions in the past few months, but for the rest of the lot who are just fresh out of the gates, this stands to be their chance to really make their mark in the diverse landscape of Filipino music. All the hard work is about to pay off even more, because with the prospect of the convention and concert, it is the final dust of sparkle in their supergroup status.
More than that, however, it is the concept of community that really bolsters the culture of celebrity, especially for the ecosystem of P-pop. Here, a unique connection is made between fans, fandoms, and artists to really express their passion and persistence. It isn’t just merch, ticket sales, and engagement that is central here, but more importantly, camaraderie, inspiration, and of course, music. And with PPOPCON and Tugatog Filipino Music Festival, P-pop can finally assert its rise and dominance. Think of it as a force awakened, finally.