ManiPopCon: Check Out This Giant Convention Celebrating Geek Culture


Geek culture has invaded the mainstream for years now. Just look at the immense popularity of things like gaming, cosplay, and, of course, superhero movies and TV shows.

In Manila, various conventions or “cons” featuring specific areas of “geekdoms” have become a staple for legions of geeks both hardcore and casual. But there’s one new “con” that promises to gather different aspects of geek culture all in one roof.

The Manila Pop Culture Convention, or ManiPopCon (see what they did there?) will feature traditionally “geeky” stuff like tabletop games, collectible card games, Dungeons and Dragons, miniature wargames, geek sundries, toys, Funko Pops, adult collectibles, comic books, science fiction, eSports, VR games, midway games, cosplay, mascots, tabletop 70s and 80s displays and memorabilia, and even celebrities you didn’t know were geeks at heart.


All things geek

ManiPopCon will be divided into sectors. Laro will be where games are the obvious highlight. There will be a 680-seat section for Magic: The Gathering (MTG) National tournament, Gold Rush 2019 presented by Ludus Distributors and the Epic Dungeons and Dragons event, the Conclave 2019 presented by the Greasy Snitches.


Gold Rush 2019 aims to have more than 500 participants while The Conclave will have 100 and 200-player Epic Adventures. There will also be tournaments and demos of Warhammer 40,000, Transformers TCG and KeyForge, not to mention dozens of tabletop games including the Filipino classic, Game of the Generals.

Concourse de Geek, meanwhile, will have ManiPopCon event partners and sponsors’ booths as well purveyors of toys and (virtual reality) VR games. Esports geeks will congregate at Cignal’s booth, with tournaments for Mobile Legends, Tekken 7 and DOTA VR for in-game prizes and gear. 

Broadcast giant ABS-CBN will bring in the Ravelo Komiks Universe heroes so guests can line up for selfies with Darna, Lastikman, and Captain Barbell.

Big Boy Toys will be front and center for the toys and adult collectibles with a convention exclusive collaboration between artists Quiccs x Markdwin as well as special deals for ManiPopCon attendees.

For adult collectibles, comic and science fiction, and other geek sundries, head on over to Artist Alley. Up-and-coming vinyl toy artists Milo San Juan and Creon will be on hand to exhibit their newest drops and ManiPopCon exclusives, as well as autograph signings as well. Berlin Manalaysay will also debut his continuation of the Combatron final saga as well as the expansion of the Combatron tabletop game. Tablay, a Filipino sci-fi novel by Katrina Olan which brings together the edge of futuristic mecha and the mysticism of Philippine folklore will also be featured.

Finally, RetroCon will also feature 70s and 80s displays and memorabilia.

“While ManiPopCon is mainly an event for geeks by geeks, we have made it very family-friendly,” says Marco Aventajado, who is producing ManiPopCon along with Freddie Tan. “This event was something I have always wanted to do because I want to expose my kids to these enjoyable activities and make them see that there are so many fun things to do, away from their gadgets. I grew up playing board games such as Monopoly, Game of Life, and Game of the Generals. I have such fond memories and picked up a lot of life lessons, I want my kids to experience that, too.”

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ManiPopCon After Dark

On top of all the activities during the convention, there will be also an after-party called “ManiPopCon After Dark.” At 10:30pm on Saturday, Latin-inspired restaurant, Waterside will feature premier stand-up comic Mike Unson, disco music by DJ Boyet Sison, and spoken word by the artists of Collaboratory Ph. Tickets for ManiPopCon After Dark is P500 with a drink and will be available at Waterside.

ManiPopCon is happening this weekend November 16 and 17 at the Solaire Tent, Solaire Resort and Casino, Pasay City. Doors open at 10 a.m. Tickets are available at the entrance or through P400 for adults, P250 for teens (student ID required). Kids below 10 years old get in for free.

For more information, check out @ManiPopCon on Facebook and Instagram.


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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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