AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2019 event officially postponed!

Today here in the Philippines, the organizers of the annual AsiaPOP Comicon Manila pop culture convention announced officially that this year’s edition of their event at the SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City has been postponed! Everyone anticipating the next APCC event will have to wait for next year.

For transparency, I’m posting below the text of their entire announcement made through their Facebook page.

Dear APCC Partners and Fans,

It is with deep regret that we would like to inform you about the postponement of AsiaPOP Comicon Manila 2019 to next year.

APCC Manila has always prided itself in bringing exclusive international content to the region that no other convention brings, but, unfortunately, our various content and strategic partners have not been able to commit completely due to their organizational restructuring and multiple conflicting events happening during the couple weeks before and at the same time as the original APCC Manila 2019 dates. The delay in this communication was purely in our intent to try our best to be able to secure the best of content for this year’s event, but the schedules of various partners did not match our dates.

We did not want to organize the event by diluting the quality of the show, as we are aware the benchmark has been set and APCC fans expect the best from us that we promise to deliver in our next year’s event.

We regret any inconvenience this has caused you and all exhibitors, including creative circle artists. All booth payments received will be refunded as a separate communication will be sent across to them.

We hope to continue to get the support from APCC fans for our future events, while we ensure to bring the best of pop-culture activations to Philippines.

Thank you for your kind understanding and unwavering support!

 

The APCC revealed that the postponement was not an easy decision to make. Firstly, their partners did not fully commit to their planned convention. Secondly, there are multiple events to be held before and on the same weekend as the APCC. Clearly each event’s organizers reached out to varied business and content/service providers to be part of their respective events. That trend complicated matters for the APCC organizers.

So instead of compromising on quality, they decided to postpone their 2019 event. That, incidentally, makes the 2019 Toycon the must-attend pop culture convention here in the Philippines and, like the APCC, the venue is at the SMX Convention Center at the SM Mall of Asia zone in Pasay City.

I am long-time geek and I love comic books, movies, video games, superhero and photographing cosplayers. I attended the San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) in California, the United States in 2011 and it was a tremendously wonderful event for geeks like me. Fortunately for geeks here in the Philippines, the Toycon and the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila were held annually and just a few months apart from each other. For the past few years, both conventions heavily used the main exhibition hall of the SMX Convention Center. I proudly say that I attended both conventions since 2016.

Toycon and AsiaPOP Comicon Manila have their own styles of being fun to attendees but they share lots of similarities: cosplay contests, boxes of old comic books for sale, cosplayers expressing themselves and letting people photograph them, musical or dance performances by varied artists, local and international celebrities meeting the fans, gadgets being displayed, souvenirs displayed for sale, action figures and expensive models on display, comic book illustrators signing comic books or drawing art on the spot for the fans, etc.

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Actress and model Ameera Johara posed for me in her Wonder Woman costume during the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila of 2016.

I also had my memorable moments with the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila. I am a long-time Macross fan and I can proudly say that because of the APCC in 2017, I got to meet with the anime legend Shoji Kawamori in person and had him sign the Macross Plus print-outs I brought to him. I managed to tell him personally I admired his work in the 1982 anime TV series of Macross.

MacrossPlusKawamori2017
There is nothing like witnessing the legendary Shoji Kawamori sign the Macross Plus print outs I brought to him during the 2017 edition of the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila!

From this point on, we can’t do anything but wait for the 2020 edition of the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila to happen. I am confident that the organizers will strive hard to do better in getting their partners to commit to their event.

Along the way, there is the 2019 Toycon set to begin on June 28 until June 30 and I already have a ticket! See you fans and geeks there. 🙂


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

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Darna No More

It’s all over the news here in the Philippines. Actress Liza Soberano will no longer be playing Philippine pop culture icon Darna as she withdrew herself from the long-delayed movie superhero movie project. The network ABS-CBN (which controls movie company Star Cinema) confirmed the withdrawal.

“I have decided to withdraw from the project of Darna,” Soberano said in an interview.

It is no secret that the Philippines is a hot market of moviegoers who pay a lot of money to enjoy the latest superhero movies from Hollywood and so far Philippines-made superhero productions just cannot keep up with those foreign productions in terms of quality and entertainment value. This is why local production companies prefer to play it safe by making superhero (or superhero-inspired) productions in the form of TV series or anything that has nothing to do with movies.

The Darna movie project, which was first announced in 2014, was perceived to be a project of hope for Philippine superhero passion. Soberano was announced in 2017 as the new actress to play Darna and she even went as far as promoting the character and the movie project by gracing the 2017 edition of the annual Toycon which back then had a booth of Darna and other Philippine superheroes created by the late Mars Ravelo. Back then there was a lot of hope that the movie project will indeed push through and possibly break new ground for Philippine-made superhero movies.

Darna
A figure of Darna which I photographed during my visit of the Mars Ravelo superheroes booth at the 2017 Toycon.

But then, as I observed, the years passed by and there were very few updates of the Darna movie project made. Today’s news of Soberano’s withdrawal from the project is not only the latest development, it is also the saddest not just for Darna fans but for the actress herself.

During her interview, Soberano revealed that she had injured her finger (finger bones got crushed) due to an incident and as a result she went back and forth to medical professionals to fix her problem. She even had surgery twice and due to the lack of a breakthrough, she decided to back out from Darna as her injury would have hindered her from doing stunts properly. As she kept on doing physical training subsequently, she noticed limited motions with her hand and her grip was nowhere as good as it was before.

Soberano confirmed that already she and the film crew shot some scenes with her playing Narda, the alter ego of Darna. Those scenes were shot when Erik Matti was still the director. Due to reported creative differences, Matti left the project on October 2018 which was quite a blow to the already troubled Darna movie project. On November 2018, the film went through creative revisions with new director Jerrold Tarog on board. Clearly the Darna woes were not limited to Soberano.

Letting go of the Darna role was very painful for Soberano and she knew a lot of fans were looking up to her and the dream project. You can how painful it is to her during the last 21 seconds of the video interview below.

Now that she is gone, the filmmakers now have a new problem of finding a replacement. The movie company insists that the Darna project is still in the works.

Still there are lots of unanswered questions about the Darna movie. While it is still an active project, how much money was spent during the time Soberano worked on it? How much footage was filmed already? What special effects experts have they hired to ensure the movie would be spectacular? Will the movie be a superhero origin story? Will the Darna movie be an official entry in a future edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival? What can the Darna movie offer Filipino moviegoers who have already been entertained with movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DC Cinematic Universe?

With Soberano gone, the future of the Darna movie – as well as the future of Philippine-made superhero movies in general – remains very uncertain.

The latest Darna news is quite saddening for the people anticipating it but actress Liza Soberano achieved something big that had NOTHING to do with the Philippine superhero – achieving box office success with Alone/Together which grossed a few hundred million pesos in ticket sales as of March.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Coplay Photography (Part 1)

I enjoy taking pictures of people who express their artistry, their concepts and charm through the art of cosplay (costume play) which has grown tremendously popular here in the Philippines over the past several years.

Along the way, pop culture-related events like comic conventions, cosplay gatherings, cosplay parades and other related fan events got organized around the country giving cosplayers even more opportunities to come out in full costume.

Here in the Philippines, I was fortunate to attend such comic conventions like the AsiaPOP Comicon Manila and Toycon which are very similar events showcasing action figures, comic books, movies, TV programs, comic creators and the like. Both AsiaPOP Comicon Manila and Toycon are unsurprisingly popular events that attracted countless cosplayers.

Here are some pics of cosplayers I took in the comic conventions.

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Model and actress Ameera Johara as Wonder Woman during the 2016 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila.
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Also taken at the 2016 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila was this Harley Quinn cosplayer who posed for me.
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This Miles Morales Spider-Man cosplayer surprised me at the 2017 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila when I was searching for old comic books. I took the opportunity to photograph this.
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This picture I took at the 2014 Nexcon in Pasig City.
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This Wonder Woman cosplayer posed for me during the 2018 Toycon.
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Miles Morales Spider-Man and female Deadpool cosplayers posing with some fans during the 2017 AsiaPOP Comicon Manila.

Apart from comic conventions, there were also times when I took cosplayer photos in other instances or activities. Check out my pics below.

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A few years ago, Festival Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa City had cosplayers like this one standing in front of shoppers trying to get their attention and convince them to drop some money into the rectangular box on the floor.
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Harley Quinn cosplayer posed for me during the day when Comic-Con Asia had its press conference and media presentation at a hotel in Pasay City in early 2018.
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The Cosplay Craze event at SM City BF Paranaque saw these two “clashing”.

This is my first post of cosplay photography that I took and I hope you enjoyed viewing it. I’m still trying find other such pictures among my files and once I get them organized, I’ll post them here.

Also if you are organizing a pop culture event and you need online media and/or photography coverage, please feel free to contact me so that we can discuss business terms privately. Thank you.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article to be engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco.