High Tension!! The Road To MNL48 Third General Election

The MNL48 Third General Election, what a roller coaster ride that was. I know na kakatapos lang and a lot of people either masaya dahil nakapasok yung oshi nila sa Top 48 or galit dahil hindi ata naintindihan ng HHE kung ano ang concept ng sousenkyou or di nakapasok oshi nila.

Anyhow, let’s go with the timeline from the announcement to the GE results.


I. In the beginning…

Ang hudyat na start na ng Third General Election.

January 31, 2020: HHE officially opened the applications for the third generation of oshimen. I’m not sure if ito talaga ang start ng GE period pero I would mark this as the beginning since this would signal for a new batch of idols to come into the stage.

In typical Filipino fashion and to quote some redditor sa MNL48 subreddit, kung gaano kadumi eleksyon sa pinas, ganun din sa emenel. Any reason why? May nagkakalat ng mga rumor and innuendo sa internet na kesyo may syota daw si Colleen or may pictures daw yung mga aspirants na nagvaviolate sa love ban or something.

I, for one, am not fond of breaking the rules if you’re part of an organization pero hindi trabaho ng mga fan ang maghalungkat ng private pics sa social media. Kaya nga may batas para diyan eh and HHE/Vernalossom should do thorough background checks din kasi trabaho ng HR yan eh, ang magscreen ng aplikante.

February 16, 2020: HHE announced that RIVER would be the sixth single and we all know how that went but let’s not get too far into the timeline. Kung gusto niyo ng review ng RIVER and some history, click here. Two days after that, High Tension’s music video got release and wala akong pakialam sa music videos, that fad died in the 1980s for me.

I wanted Flying Get but this is fine.

All the following events here fall on the month of March in 2020 unless stated otherwise. Looks like ang planong deadline for the Third General Election is on April 25, 2020 pero something else happened, and what happened is that may virus lang naman na nagngangalang SARS CoV-2 aka COVID-19. Salamat na lang sa bobong kumain ng bat soup.

While that’s going on, there was a Twitter war between two retarded fandoms and knowing that this is an MNL48 related post means that yes, isa doon ang mga MNLoves aka yung mga retard na fans ng emenel sa Twitter.

It’s a meme video pero ito lang nahanap ko eh.

Some guy from SB19 named Josh made some lewd remark to Colleen, who at the time, was a minor and he said it not on Twitter, not on some online event, but on national television. Twitter being twitter, tried to treat Josh as the second coming of Adolf Hitler or Donald J. Trump.

The SB19 member made things worse for himself and for ShowBT, SB19’s production company, by posting a tweet explaining the whole remark as a joke and then deleting it afterwards.

Sa kabilang dako naman, Rans, Lei and Rowee left the group to pursue other opportunities. Not much is known about Rans’ and Rowee’s departure but there seems to be some rumor and innuendo on Lei’s.

On one hand, someone said that she wanted to continue her dream of becoming a teacher but another side said that she left because of the ongoing doxing na, by the way, hasn’t been stopped by HHE or any authorities at this point.


II. The Tragedy of The Nekomander

Two months later, May 18th to be exact, another member leaves the group but this is more the sad ones. If you don’t know about the tragedy of Valerie Joyce Daita, then sit down.  We’re in for a ride.

The root of all of this goes back to an event called ValCon and basing sa mga nabasa ko sa Reddit, the people were forced to attend the seitansai that was bundled with that show. For one, that’s a stupid idea since not all people who came for ValCon came for the seitansai.

What’s even stupider is pinilit talaga nilang gawing segment ang STS, and coupled with positioning issues sa stage, the Naruto fan went ahead and said something in the lines of “nandito naman ako pero bakit hindi nyo ako nakikita?” or “sana mas kilalanin ako ng MNLoves” after the performance and base sa mga reports, the crowd was stunned. No, not like “Sod off, you ****. Who are you anyway?” stunned but more of “Oh…” stunned.

I understand the disrespect that the Nekomander felt on her part but at this point, and because I wasn’t there, you can’t blame the ValCon attendees. HHE and/or the event organizers should’ve created a separate event para mas lalo silang marecognize no? (As it turns out, that was the initial plan with STS being the first event and then followed by ValCon but HHE saw the revenue on ValCon so they decided to scrap the two event special and made the STS a puny segment on ValCon. A reverse ECW December to Dsismember 2006 situation here.)

I believe that the ValCon stuff was the last straw because it seems that she was being shafted by the management and with that I mean she’s not being promoted enough basically because…she’s not popular? Basically, she’s every WWE wrestler not named Brock Lesnar or to be more specific, Matt Cardona fka Zack Ryder.


III. MNL48 Sings The Ku Klux Klan

Enough about Joyce Daita, there’s a lot more ground to cover and this has something to do with the sixth single.

As Rans is already gone from the company, our friend Alice (gosh, matagal ko nang di ginamit tong phrase na ‘to.) aka the captain ng emenel replaced the departed member as of June 11, 2020. Hindi ko alam ang thought process ni Paulo Kurosawa pero a lot of people, especially yung mga matagal nang wota, really expected the former Kawaii 5 member to be the one to shout “EMENEEEELLLLLLLL…….*kakkakakakak*FOORTYEIGHT!”. I already said my sentiments about RIVER and it seems that people really like that song that they think having Alice shout the group’s name to do it justice.

Now from a feel good news to not just one bad news, we get TWO bad news this time. I don’t specifically know which one came first but the issues that came at the same time. On one hand, we got another love ban violator by the name of Daryll Matalino and Jaydee Villaruel saying a variation of a racial slur on a livestream. The Daryll one was announced back on June 18th, Jaydee saying the word that would make Mrs. Obama to duck for cover happened back in 2019 but it only came out on Twitter on August 30, 2020.

Let’s start with Jaydee first because in all honesty, I’ve seen worse. Jaydee didn’t go hard R on the N word. Pewdiepie and Carl of Swindon said the N word with a hard R. I’m no Jim Cornette but that’s my opinion on the matter and it turns out, nobody gave two hoots about this until those meddling A’Tins used this as material to discredit the whole MNL48 fandom.

Yes, this IS age restricted because it involves some Swedish gamer. Watch on YouTube at your own risk.

Pretty funny for a fandom whose idol said something Jeffrey Epstein would say. Ika nga nila “I’d rather be a racist than be a pedophile.”

I won’t get into details into the Daryll one because it’s the usual “MNLoves dox an aidoru who had/still has a boyfriend and she needs to be hanged on a noose” song and dance. Nothing to see here. Good thing for HHE to let her finish her duties on Chain.

By the way, HHE released a statement on August 18th that they will hunt down and prosecute anyone who is spreading malicious rumors about MNL48 as a group, the girls, and anybody who is related to the them.

Kung babasahin niyo yung announcement sa official website, ang sabi is that the issues are becoming rampant in the social networking sites for the past few days. The issues were becoming rampant waaayyy back in February and ngayon lang sila nagannounce that they’ll be doing something about the “dirtsheet writers”? Isn’t that too late? Hey ho, at least they’re doing something about it.


IV. Enter!! BABY BLUE

Time goes by, wala masyadong nangyari outside of MNLoves sperging on Twitter about stuff and then something unexpected happened: nagkaroon ng subgroup ang MNL48. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you BABY BLUE.

The poster for STS.

You can know more about the group on my Sweet Talking Sugar review. Anyway, what surprised me is that hindi nila nirelease ang STS kaagad sa Spotify, which is something they did with the unit’s second single NEGASTAR.

They had people sign up for an account on the Japanese indie music scene website EGGS para lang mapakinggan nila yung single.

Not sure if this was an HHE/Vernalossom marketing ploy to artificially increase BABY BLUE’s popularity in Japan or it’s something included with the Tower Records Japan contract, which is interesting since hindi nila nilagay yung main group sa Recochoku, the mainstream music equivalent of EGGS. Exactly 15 days after that, the music video is released. I don’t care.

Speaking of surprises, a lot of people at Team NIV and Twitter got one of the worst surprises of their life when The Artist Formerly Known As Ecka announced that she withdrew from the 3rd GE proceedings and thus, graduate from the idol industry. Now under her real name, Ericka Sibug, she is now managing her own brand of clothing under the Lookback Clothing name together with Belle delos Reyes.


V. MNL48 Becomes MNL36

Another surprise came on September 30th in the form of HHE doing the biggest bloodletting they’ve done so far. They should’ve changed the name from MNL48 to MNL36 because they cut 12 members out of the group. HHE’s official statement is that they did this “to focus on each member”.

I would say that COVID has a hand in this but we will never know and with that said, just like the Jews who wanted Jesus Christ to be nailed on a cross, they wanted to do the same to Paulo Kurosawa.

I do understand na may mga pamilya ding binubuhay yung mga oshi and lahat tayo naghihirap dahil sa COVID-19 but the reaction I saw on Twitter that I saw from militant MNLoves just made me laugh.

Demanding the blood of Kuro-P won’t do anything here because at the end of the day, a business needs to earn money and the Chinese virus just makes things even worse since madami nang kailangan gawin para lang makalabas ng bahay and that is affecting the bottom line.


VI. RIVER and The End of The Holy Trinity

Finally, we’re now near the 6th single’s initial release date eh kaso nagkabagyo, so HHE moved the release date from November 15 to November 28. This is explained in detail on my RIVER review so if di niyo pa nababasa yun, click here. At the same time, Belle delos Reyes, yes that same Belle, graduated from the idol industry. Probably to focus on the Lookback clothing with Ericka.

The biggest blow (or blows as we will see later on) came on November 29th and it was the departure of Marsela Mari Guia from MNL48. This was announced a day AFTER the 6th single was released, so RIVER would mark the last single the itlog idol would be on. When I heard the news, bumulwak ang Twitter feed ko with Sela being part of this “Holy Trinity” ng MNL48 that consisted her, Sheki and Abby.

I think comparing the three to the trio of Steve Austin, Dwayne Johnson, and Mick Foley (or Keiji Mutoh, Shinya Hashimoto, or Masahiro Chono if fan ka ng Japanese wrestling like me) is something to take note of because aside from Gabb, Colleen, and other fan favorites from the first generation sila yung early fan favorites back when binubuo pa lang ang MNL48, so maintindihan ko ang mga MNLoves if ganyan kataas ang paghanga nila sa tatlo and between you and me, it’s either her or Sayaka ang kamioshi ko (even though I don’t subscribe myself with that idea).


VII. Happy New Year, You’re Fired!

Nothing much happened after that, aside from the release of Hashlove, and everything was at peace…until 12/31/2020 and this is one messy firing and hindi lang isa ang sinibak, kundi tatlo. In no particular order, the people who got future endeavored by Kuro-P are Shaina and Shaira Duran and Erica “Emz” Macabutas.

Now the Duran twins are known to be friends with the polar duo Ash and Faith and the tail end of the year served also as the formation of Day Night Explorers, which is by the way NOT an idol group but more of a cover group basing sa mga uploads nila sa YouTube.

The firing might stem not only from the twins’ involvement with DNE but also with their first photo book titled “Sol&Luna” pero the photographer for said photobook denied the allegations na may kinalaman yung photobook sa firing ni Shaina at Shaira, claiming that the decision was made even before photoshoots have begun.

As for Emz, not much is known about the details pero may kinalaman ata yung solo gig niya sa Luneta Park four days before Christmas and if my memory serves me right, O’Taco Bites plugged the hell out of that performance.

Don’t take my word on this since at this point in time, they removed all idol related posts on the main O’Taco Bites twitter account/Facebook pages. Not only that, this is a something the DOT promoted on their Facebook page. Wasn’t HHE made aware about this? Did they say no and Emz just said “screw it” and went anyway? We will never know do we?

The event in question.

During this time, the Twitter hashtag #t******moHHE (censored for obvious reasons) became trending on Twitter as we rolled on to 2021 and at this point, I created another nickname for Paulo Kurosawa and that would be the birth of “Paulo McMahon”.

Let me explain, during the middle of 2020, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) announced an edict that all their “contractors” will either inform the company about their business ventures outside the confines of WWE or stop it altogether or worse, get future endeavoure’d. This caused some problems with some of their contracted wrestlers like A.J. Styles and Paige but the one most affected is Zelina Vega and this is because her OnlyFans account and Twitch channel was unauthorized by Vincent Kennedy McMahon.


VIII. All Roads Lead To The Finish Line

Voting ended on November 30th of 2020 and so it’s now time to tally in the results. It’s now time to see where this goes pero bago tayo pumunta diyan, we have to say goodbye to the outgoing center, Jhoana Alyanah Padillo and this is not only goodbye as a center, but as an MNL48 member.

Nothing much is known about Aly’s departure, much less Ice Bozon’s departure (it just says that she didn’t make it to the top 36). However, may rumor and innuendo na it might have something to do with Kurosawa himself not liking how the 2nd GE ended up being (I’ll stop with the Vince McMahon comparisons if the references would stop writing themselves *sigh*).

In my opinion, the Aly era is what made me give MNL48 a try, especially with 365 ANEP and High Tension. I’ll be honest here because unlike most fans, I’m not as blind as an MNLove to know that the idea of a Japanese based idol group will flop hard because Filipinos aren’t that aware with Japanese music outside of CHA LA HEAD CHA LA and Sweet Soul Revue and that’s evident with my first MNL48 piece on this blog and even with my tweets.

Mind you, this isn’t Kurosawa’s first rodeo, he had Kawaii5 and that didn’t work as nanatili lang silang post-show entertainment for Amachan sa TV5. I was there when it started, and with the way things are I am afraid that it will fall flat on Kuro-P’s face again unless changes are made.

Enough with my story, let’s get on with the results and as the end comes near, most people, especially Sheki diehards, expect the 1st GE center to have a second run being the face of the company. Others expect the return of “death SSK” or “death sousenkyou: an HHE invention wherein if you didn’t make the cut, your ass is grass as tanggal ka na sa MNL48.

It turns out, peace reigned out throughout the land as walang riot or massive Twitter breakdown na nangyari during the February 13 – February 20 date range as walang natanggal.

All hail the new queen

Nasa 36 pa rin ang main roster ng MNL48 but like a judge who gave mercy to criminals who deserve death, the other 12 members were slotted as kenkyuusei instead meaning that they’re technically part of the group but as trainees. Also, everyone seemed to agree as to who the new center is as a fan favorite became the top 1 idol: Abby Trinidad. Cole Somera became the leader of the Undergirls (aka top 17-36).


IX. Final Words

As one twitter user said that the mood of this SSK is much happier and more peaceful compared to last time because walang nangyaring death SSK. We pray and hope that the general mood of the fandom, from the casual MNL48 fans to the MNLoves, to stay that way and maging harmonious ang relationship between Vernalossom, HHE, MNL48 and the fans.

Until next time….

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