• Reggie Abang

Targeting the bullseye

MNL48’s goal, which Sheki Arzaga and Gabb Skribikin would always say in interviews, is “to let the whole Philippines love and support them” and focusing on being the national idols.The challenge here is that the “idol” concept is still boxed within the confinement of the four corners of an anime convention. If HalloHallo Entertainment wants to let the whole country know and appreciate the concept, they must first need to remove that boundary and make it consumable to the majority.

Sure they are slowly throwing their darts in the idol dartboard through their releases of singles and having events such as the Theater Stages, Handshake Events, and all. But, they need to do something to hit right in the bullseye.

The idol group, and its management, need to broaden their own grassroots supporters. Mall tours outside the Luzon area is the solution apart from relying to Social Media. As with any upcoming event, problems will arise such as financing it and they need sponsors to do that, but they are capable of accepting them as an aide for them to push this through.

If Hallo Hallo Entertainment are willing to accept sponsors and opens its doors to them instead of relying on just KUMU Lives and Merch Selling, the fanbase’s expansion, along with the goal, will be slowly achieved. They can also rely on Social Media, but it isn’t enough. They need something tangible. This is one of those.

MNL48 really pushed their efforts in doing collaborations that even break the language barrier. From Arzaga and JKT48’s Sisca Saraswati’s duet of “When you believe,” to Alice de Leon’s consistent Instagram Lives with BNK48’s Pun, JKT48’s Beby Chaesara Anadila, along with that collaboration with AKB48’s Yokoyama Yui, to that Instagram Live of Abby Trinidad and BNK48’s Cherprang. More of these might be happening despite of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

With these collaborations, it is a matter of time before any one of the 48Groups push the idea of continuing AKB48 Group Asia Fest, but it is a “Quarantine Edition” nonetheless. Its fans have a taste of it during the ONE LOVE ASIA Online charity concert.

The author talked to a friend, who is a JKT48 wota, through a private message on Twitter and told that Handshake Events are still happening despite the fact that Indonesia is also facing the coronavirus pandemic. The only difference is that it is virtual, and they still need to pay for it.

MNL48 should take notes on this one. Much like their KUMU Lives, payable Handshake Events can give them profit.

There are fans who are posting something ‘promising,’ like they have the rights for releasing something confidential -- for example, a concert or an documentary -- for either their own consumption or for the sake of the fandom.

From the looks of it, their intentions are good, but as the time passes, sooner or later, it may become a disappointment. The fans can be unhappy because of this, and they have the right to do so. They expect things like this, even if it from a questionable source, as if it was their small light at the end of the tunnel. But the same light made them go back in the dark again.

On the other hand, these people shouldn't have done it from the get go. It is as if the fans really clinged to a false promise up to the point that they didn’t know it was fake news.

Mehdi Sadaghar, also known as “ElectroBoom” on YouTube, once said that making fake news is an “art” and “the best lie is the one covered in truth.” The truth that the management can’t provide something like that for the group’s fans created lies that some believed even if it is too good to be true. And what is worst is that most of them came from some people in the same fanbase.

Misinformation is one of the enemies inside the MNL48 fandom, and because of this, they didn’t slay it hard enough.

Stay safe and have fun.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and does not reflect the views held by the entirety of PAKSA MNL and fellow MNLoves.

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