The Center Position Game in MNL48
It is important that an idol, who is the face of any 48g or idol groups that are similar to it, being a main member of a single's senbatsu (selected members), the one who gets most media exposure for that single and gets the front side whom the dance formation gives the greater focus on. This terminological role is called a center. However, it also used for b-sides, studio albums and stage singles, and whereas another term refers to two members that shared the same position called a WCenter (pronounced as "double center").
There are three ways in order for a member to become a center: the senbatsu sousenkyo or the senbatsu general election (an annual event where fans can cast their votes for their oshi (favorite member)), the management-picked (a close-door selection of chosen members by the management through an audition) and the Janken Taikai (a tournament based on the popular jan-ken-pon or rock-paper-scissors game). All of these have been used in AKB48 and its sister groups although, in this case, only JKT48 has their own Janken Tournament so far.
Now we understand what a center is, its basic functions and the methods in choosing a potential member, let us focus on the game really is for our very own MNL48. We have seen how our golden ace and the First Generation center Sheki Arzaga is proving to everyone, including those who are doubted her, by showcasing her capabilities and her responsibly wilingness to bring the group to great heights on both local and international arenas, which is why she gets centered the group's first three singles.
Aly Padillo, the group's Second Generation center, on the other hand uses the position as an opportunity to step up from a shy girl who is always at the back to a more confident and determined idol in front of the fans as proven in various events, including "Ikaw ang Melody" mall shows and the seitansai (birthday concerts). Finally, Gabb Skribikin unleashes her own uniqueness and style from being one of the original senbatsu members to the center of "High Tension," the single which slowly but steadily leads a big impact on both the fans and MNL48 as a whole in the recent months.
As the Third General Election approaches anew, there is also another uncertainty whether the lads of Hallo Hallo Entertainment (HHE) finally realize the mistakes caused in the last year's GE and more new (and so-sounds familiar) faces coming in the way. But this is also a showdown between the so-called giants, the underdogs and the well-deserved. Will Padillo remain her post or will it be reclaimed by Arzaga? Can either Abby Trinidad, Sela Guia, the sudden rising popular members like Skribikin and Coleen Trinidad, the overall captain Alice De Leon, another low tier member or a completely new face finally get an experience of being a GE single center? The game has just already begun.
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.