Graduating from MNL48

I left this piece as a draft for so long as I try to compose myself. Now, dear reader, be ready.


December 22, 2019: While I was enjoying my stay at the 2nd OtaCute Cosplay Festival in Manila earlier, I saw Tanchikon at one corner.

Well, I did follow a part of Tanchikon’s journey in becoming the magical detective idol that she is nowadays. I’m still keeping in touch with her during events as she gets back to Seishun Kakumei’s fold.

She then told me that MNL48 Faith has decided to graduate from the group. Just this afternoon, Faith has announced this during the MNL48 Christmas Mini Concert at Movie Stars Cafe in Quezon City, shares Kioku.48.

At first, I was not surprised, given the journey of an idol especially in the 48G system starts with auditions and ends in graduations.

It took me a while to sink that in. Wait a moment, just wait a bloody moment.

I got introduced to Faith as she is the daughter of Engineer James Santiago, who was then at that time helping the Department of Information and Communications Technology for the agency’s Digital TV Summit where I also assisted in two functions (long story).

There are no words to express how supportive her father is. So supportive.

The time of Bottom 7 proved critical to me. I had an inch of an idea that the Bottom 7 with Faith, Jan and Kay and Thea included was just done to raise our eyebrows.

That in mind, I decided to take it upon my hands to rally for my oshi, as described in my post in August 2018:

Some people are actually waiting for my reactions regarding today's MNL48 happenings.I was about to be among the ones…

Posted by keepsakes. on Saturday, April 7, 2018

Bottom 7 succeeds despite the adversity, finally, I was able to shake hands with Faith. She never forgets her fans.

Come to think of it, I have not been able to pull myself off to other MNL48 events aside from the handshakes and mall tours due to other commitments.

I wish I could continue meeting her… maybe for one last time?

January 26, 2020: That didn’t happen though – it somehow did, but I was merely outside of the cafe, along with others who failed to make it inside.

No, I won’t get in detail about my reasons, as well as the financial divide that separates me from getting the full idol experience.

I am well aware that once I put a few words here, those who love MNL48 so much will clap back at me saying, “You’re really not a fan, are you?”

I… have to be honest, MNL48 was not something I can spend more cash on. Sure, I get to see the group at mall tours, but idols independent or not are going through major changes.

If I talk about how MNL48 is managed, I’ll just add to the noise that is already getting louder and louder on Twitter – so loud, it becomes alienating.

It was a confident decision to not pursue talking about MNL48 as soon as my kamioshi graduates, but it was not a hard decision either.

We still have Gabb (especially Gabb), Alice, Thea, Kay, Brei, Abby, Yzabel, Sela (especially Sela as well), the twins Shaina & Shaira, Dian and others; but I felt that MNL48 needs a new set of fans to propagate them. I really felt that.

Wait, it should be that this piece is about MNL48 Faith, but I went on to talk about the group as a whole? tl;dr – I’m graduating as well from the MNL48 fandom following my kamioshi, and let the newer fans do their thing.

I thank Faith as well as the fans for bringing me closer to MNL48 – it was fun ’til it lasted. On that note, ’till we meet again.


Let me dedicate a space to share the links to the podcast episodes where I talked about MNL48:

VOTEMNL48 Series

Other Episodes

Capping off this post, I’ll include the feature about Faith’s graduation concert here: