As of this writing, I am sitting in a bus right now going home, thus missing the MNL48 portion of the concert which was the reason I went here in the first place but we got priorities at hand so there’s that.
PPOP Con is the first of its kind. Think of it as Woodstock ’69 but with EDM and bubblegum pop instead of hippie music and coming into this event made me feel like a baby boomer in a sea of teenage zoomers. I am out of line with popular youth culture.
I realized this when the girl group G22 came on stage. No, I realized this even before I was inside the Araneta Coliseum. Sure I saw some yuppies and some old people in there but the audience is loaded with teenagers not even reaching the age of 20 holding lightsticks and SB19 signs everywhere.
Once the concert started though, I noticed something that piqued my interest. We might be witnessing the dawn of a new era of Philippine music.
The last time I came across PPOP, it was still called OPM and the ones reigning at the top of the charts are acts like Moira Dela Torre or Gloc-9.
Also, TV artists like Daniel Padilla were either forced to sing or think that they can belt out a tune. Came before that was the Lito Camo era of cheesy pop tunes, came even before that is the uprising of bands like Parokya Ni Edgar and Kamikazee, you get the picture.
With that in mind, I noticed that there has been a thematic change in the themes surrounding PPOP. Back in the mid-2000s to at least 2017, Philippine radio was littered with sappy love ballads or cheesy pop songs. When groups like MNL48 and SB19 came into the picture, the floodgates were open for a wide variety of themes to present themselves in song form such as love for one’s self or love for your country.
The beats presented by PPOP are also fresh and something unheard of in Philippine music: EDM and bass-heavy pop tracks. Suddenly, young people are now listening to Philippine music again. Some groups like Press Hit Play even incorporated the zoomers’ love for Japanese city pop with their song Tell Me.
One negative thing I noticed though is that record companies and most of the studios (sans HHE because they are doing something else and Kaia’s management for going for the late 90s American pop look) are marketing these groups like they’re KPOP bands. Maybe looking like Park Jimin is the cool thing to do here but…shouldn’t the first P in PPOP stand for Philippine? I applaud Alamat, 4th Impact, and BINI for not falling into that trend and instead going for their own look and feel.
What am I getting into here? PPOP is on the rise that we have never seen before and in my opinion, there are some things that needed to be tweaked or fixed before we can truly say PPOP rise.