APCC Manila 2018: Day 1, Things Are Heating Up For Fans, Geeks!

The threat of rain won’t be enough to stop geeks and pop culture enthusiasts from all over the Philippines to celebrate their hobbies at the fourth AsiaPOP Comicon Manila (APCC Manila 2018).

Folks gather, explore, and have fun with their respective pop culture fandoms at the SMX Convention Center for the three-day festivities. Many exhibitors and creative icons have opened booths and stalls to accommodate fans who wish to celebrate geekdom with their peers. There isn’t a lack of guest stars to showcase their love for their craft as well. Here are a few highlights.

APCC Manila 2018: Day 1 To Spark The Fun!

Fans and geeks and enthusiasts gathered at SMX’s convention halls to celebrate their love for geekdom in this year’s APCC Manila 2018. Highlights from today’s first day are nothing short of thrilling and ecstatic. If you’ve been to any convention, you might not be surprised about the numerous booths with surprises in store for attendees. AsiaPOP Comicon Manila has those for its 2018 installment. Although attendees might agree, the first day already showcased just how thrilling all of them were.

Various booths are set up for convention goers and collectors to fully appreciate. These include booths with things such as merchandise, toys, collectibles, books and comic books, stickers, and even clothes for fans to purchase.

Convention Highlights: Booths, Booths, More Booths!

The convention utilized all spaces available in the convention center, meaning all function halls on all floors have something in store for fans. There weren’t any big events – at least not yet. But if the schedule posted is any indication, Days Two and Three are already shaping up to be awesome for convention attendees.

Here are highlights on areas you should take note of:

  • Netflix, Marvel, Filbar’s and the Mars Ravelo booths definitely grabbed attention as the biggest exhibitors in terms of space and content. Filbar’s has been an APCC mainstay, and their booth this year has been more organized than the last. They take special mention this year particularly because of their limited edition Jollibee Funko figure.
  • Netflix makes a return to APCC with yet another huge showcase of realistic renditions of famous places in their various hit series. Catch a smashed car, a glowing hand on a broken wall, or just watch previews on a huge screen at the end of the large booth.
  • Marvel makes its first appearance with an assortment of toys and statues for people to admire. This is the same with the Ravelo booth, which has well-carved statues of some of the most iconic heroes of local komiks. These include Captain Barbell, Darna, and Lastikman.
  • Whilce Portacio and Phil Nato are just some of the artists headlining the creatives section of the convention halls, with famous local artists such as Peejay Catacutan having their own booths to showcase their works. Artgerm, Stanley Lau, also makes an appearance to interact with fans and sign their works while heading the exhibitor’s team for 3Dsense Design Studios, his design company.

Whilce Portacio: Tapping Into National Pride

Whilce Portacio urged Filipinos – both creators or otherwise – to find ways to embrace their culture. This journey involves finding a signature “quality” or “feature” Filipinos can connect with. Media folks who were with the acclaimed comic book artist agreed with this notion. Some cited Filipinos find it hard to be “proud” of something Filipino despite other nationalities admiring these qualities.

“There’s a ‘hiya’ factor,” Portacio said. He cited examples of such an occurrence, including a “prioritization” whenever foreigners arrive in the country. However, he also noted that foreigners he speak with always had a similar thing to say about the Philippines.

“They said we’re one of the most accepting people they’ve met,” Portacio said.

The artist added the Philippines shouldn’t only tap into cultural qualities, however. He cited the country as a place very ripe for innovation and improvement. In today’s society where content determines who wins or loses in entertainment, producing innovation is important. However, Portacio said knowing when to do this is also of paramount importance.

“In entertainment, timing is key,” Portacio said. He encouraged creators to produce more works that tap into something unique in the Philippines, especially now that popular entertainment giants are looking for more content.

Vera Chimera: Living The Cosplay Dream, One Humble Step At A Time

Vera Chimera welcomed members of the media to her simple yet awesome-filled life with cosplay. The Australia-based cosplayer gave a media folks an insider look to her double life as a cosplayer and as a corporate employee.

“I don’t [find a balance,]” she said when asked about balancing her cosplay and “adulting” responsibilities. She said hobbyists should prioritize self-care and give themselves a bit of time to explore their hobbies. She added she had to make props in the train.

Vera Chimera didn’t become an instant hit, though. The cosplayer shared her first experience cosplaying a character from Elven Leid, which she admitted she only wore costumes from her wardrobe. She has cherished the experience, however, and took her cosplaying to the next level then. She added new cosplayers should not pay attention to likes on social media, as this toxic behavior can consume their lives for the worst.

The cosplayer creates her own costumes. However, she said cosplayers shouldn’t be ashamed of getting costumes commissioned or pre-made. “Some people really don’t have the time to make the costumes, then expertise to make the costumes, or the time to gain the expertise ”

However, the cosplayer did say she only has issues with people who lie about their costumes. “If they didn’t make their costumes, they should say it,” she said. “Let’s not take the credit away from those who really made the outfits.”

Getting Involved with Osric Chau

You may know him from Supernatural or Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency. Osric Chau graced the floors of APCC Manila, making both guys and girls swoon from his radiant smiles (yes, we’re huge fans). A self-proclaimed Potterhead and (sadly) former Pokemon Go player, Osric entertained our questions with his infectious smile and energy. He talked about his experience in filming as Supernatural’s Kevin Tran, his current project, Empty by Design, and everything in between.

Chau plays a Filipino-Chinese character in Empty By Design. He explained his character grew up in the Philippines as a child but had to move because of complications. When he comes back to the Philippines years later, his character expected something familiar. However, everything has become too different to recognize. “The film is my life story ten years ago, so I relate a lot to the character I’m playing,” he said.

He also expounds on the representation of Asians in films. “Representing Asians in Hollywood, this is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Osric started. “When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a white guy, because in the media I consumed, all the cool characters and heroes were white people. It took me a while to realize how messed up that was, and I didn’t want future generations of Asian Americans or anyone anywhere to be underrepresented and feel uncomfortable because of it.” He goes on to say that he started cosplaying to show that you can be anybody you wanted to be and that you can be happy and comfortable about it. “Representing Asians and advocating for representation all over the world, stuff like that is very exciting.”

Things to Expect: The Great Halls, More People, More Fun

APCC 2018 proves to have more surprises up its sleeve. Aside from offerings today, the convention will definitely surprise convention goers tomorrow. Days Two and Three will be jam-packed for sure, so convention goers should be prepared for a wild ride. Regardless, there appears to be enough to entertain everyone and keep them excited.

Fans can still grab tickets and passes to the elusive Great Halls – as in Hall M, Hall D, and Hall N. As you may recall, Halls D and N accompany Hall M as the APCC 2018 Great Hall triumvirate.

Whereas Hall M serves as the convention’s main Marvel offering, Halls D and N reveal hints about new Disney and Netflix offerings respectively. Fans who want to see these for themselves will need to line up for tickets though. And if you see Non-Disclosure Agreements that need to be signed, well, you know what that means.

Workshops will also begin tomorrow, with folks and acclaimed creators such as Whilce Portacio, Artgerm, and more to share their stories to beloved fans. Folks interested in joining should wait for instruction as to how to attend these amazing workshops.

Those who have yet to receive their Jollibee Funko should go early to grab their limited stock. The others who received the numbered post-its yesterday can also claim their beloved Jollibee toys without having to wait in line. Hopefully this proves bida pa rin ang saya. After all, the long waiting hours did cause a bit of a ruckus yesterday for a lot fans in the Filbar’s booth.

The Bottomline: Shaping Up To Be A Thrilling Convention!

APCC Manila 2018 ended its first day on a high note, and it’s prepping for quite an intensified second day ahead. If today’s showcase gave us any hint, it’s that fans should hold the edge of their proverbial seats as the show has just begun.

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2018 will be held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines. APCC Manila 2018 will be here from July 27 to July 29, so you better get your tickets and celebrate your fandom with us!

Rhenn Taguiam

Rhenn Taguiam is a frustrated journalist with a knack for comic books and video games. He likes pizza and pasta, and has an uncontrollable urge to gush over anything Super Sentai, Star Trek or X-Men. He is currently on his way to get his Master's Degree - unless he creates his own video game or graphic novel first.

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