ManiPopCon to celebrate Pinoy geekdom with Mackenyu, games, classic cinema

Charmie Joy Pagulong - The Philippine Star
ManiPopCon to celebrate Pinoy geekdom with Mackenyu, games, classic cinema
ManiPopCon has likewise collaborated with ABSCBN Sagip Pelikula for the screening of digitallyrestored classics at Ayala Malls Manila Bay’s Cinema 8.
STAR / File

Apart from Japanese star Mackenyu Arata, a.k.a. Roronoa Zoro, in Netflix’s hit live-action show One Piece,  American voice actress Mela Lee will also take part in Manila Pop Culture Convention (ManiPopCon) from Nov. 17 to 19 at the Ayala Malls Manila Bay. However, contrary to an earlier announcement, The Mandalorian’s Diana Lee Inosanto and Emily Swallow will not be able to make it due to “unforeseen developments.”

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the organizers said, “In navigating these unexpected challenges, we want to clarify that this situation is a result of unforeseen developments faced by ManiPopCon and we want to apologize to the actresses and their management teams.”

“Ticketholders of their meet-and-greet sessions will get full refunds from Ticketmeon who started this process already and will send all concerned ticket holders an e-mail once their refunds have been completed.

Mela Lee, the American voice actress behind popular anime titles, western cartoons and video games.

“We appreciate your understanding during these circumstances and remain committed to delivering exceptional experiences this year as well as in the future.”

Meanwhile, Mackenyu will hold a solo discussion on Nov. 18, while Mela’s event will take place on Nov. 19.

Mela is the voice behind popular anime titles, western cartoons and video games, including Jade in Mortal Kombat 11 and Rin Tosaka in Fate/stay night series.

As previously announced on ManiPopCon’s Facebook page, Comedy & Mentalism Show with Mike Unson will also be staged as well as a cosplay competition presented by cosplay.ph and Paint by the Bay activity, which will include open paint sessions and painting tutorials.

Mackenyu Arata, a.k.a. Roronoa Zoro, in Netflix’s hit live-action show One Piece

Laro: The Philippine Games Convention, presented by Neutral Grounds Philippines, will also be held where attendees can join Dungeons and Dragons games, tabletop game demos, tournaments, and a VR Arena for Magic: The Gathering and Flesh and Blood tournaments.

Local rock band Silent Sanctuary will also release the Kahimanawari EP music mini-movie during the event.

ManiPopCon has likewise collaborated with ABS-CBN Sagip Pelikula for the screening of digitally-restored classics such as Ibong Adarna, Giliw Ko, Init ng Apoy, Captain Barbell, Tisoy, Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara, and Omeng Satanasia  at Ayala Malls Manila Bay’s Cinema 8.

The entrance tickets to the convention are free, but there are events that require tickets like the ManiPopCon main stage, ManiPopCon Premium Experience, and others sections. For details and schedule of activities, visit manipopcon.com.

Organizers had envisioned ManilaPopCon as a multigenerational celebration of pop culture.

“ManiPopCon is not just another convention; it’s the only one in the Philippines that brings together different geekdoms under one banner. Whether you’re into movies, TV shows, cartoons, esports, or tabletop games, we’ve got it all covered. We’re here to make your geekiest dreams come true,” promised ManiPopCon founder Marco Aventajado in a statement.

“Our unique feature? We’re not just about the present; we’re here to ensure a bright future for geekdom. We’re bridging the gap between generations, from pre-war pop culture fans to modern gaming enthusiasts and artists. Together, we’re sustaining the golden age of geeks for the next generation to enjoy.

“ManiPopCon is more than an event; it’s a conclave of like-minded individuals celebrating a shared passion — from a rich history to an exciting future. ManiPopCon is a gathering of multigenerational geeks, it is an opportunity to celebrate our inner geeks. We invite all Filipino geeks to join us as we relish this golden age of geeks.”

In an earlier presscon, Aventajado shared that one of his goals in mounting the ManiPopCon is “inviting different geeks of different geekdoms so that they can see the other geekdoms that they might be interested in joining and in this way, there’s a cross pollination of geekdom, increasing the number of geeks in that particular geekdom and having a good vibe in the convention.”

“Geeks of all origin stories are welcome to ManiPopCon. We will have an inclusive, safe space that will encourage the enjoyment of the geeks and foster camaraderie between geekdoms. We’re not just celebrating pop culture, we’re promoting Filipino ingenuity by spotlighting local tabletop creators, cosplayers, art toys, and comic book artists,” he said.

Also present during the presscon were event partners, cosplay.ph chief marketing officer Patrick Henry de Dios; Pinoy Board Game publisher Freddie Tan and Underground Gaming Champions’ May Davis. The second edition of the ManiPopCon is co-presented by J&G with other sponsors.

ManiPopCon got its name from the Filipino snacks “Hopia, Mani, Popcorn” and “embodies the fusion of past and present pop culture.” It made its debut in 2019 at the Solaire Tent.

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