The weekend the geeks gathered

Karen Kunawicz

Karen Kunawicz

Last weekend, the local geek community gathered at the Bayanihan Center the first “NexCon: The ultimate celebration of science fiction and fantasy in the Philippines.”I arrived and walked right into Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion and encountered a loud and very happy bunch of Whovians a.k.a Dr. Who fans.

Costumes and fans everywhere—I felt right at home. It’s been a really long time since the last science fiction and fantasy convention I attended in Manila, that was the 2007 New Worlds Convention held at the activity center of the Glorietta. I made so many friends at the past New Worlds Conventions and I saw many of them again at NexCon.

I had a quick chat with Adrian Arcega who said the idea for it came up in September of last year. “I was asked by Cosplay.PH to judge one of their events. Afterwards we (Tanya Bairan, director Alex Sibug, and myself) started talking about bringing back a genre event that encompasses everything and not just your usual anime-oriented event (not that there’s anything wrong with that). One thing led to another and here we are.”

Adrian continues, “Some of the major highlights of the event were the three major Q&A panels: Cinema Fantastica (film) with Erik Matti, Louie Suarez, John Wong, and Teddy Co; Meet the Taleweavers (literature) moderated by Carljoe Javier, with writers Yvette Tan, Karl de Mesa, Gabriela Lee, and Joseph Nacino; and Komiks Reborn (also moderated by Carljoe Javier) with Leinil Yu, Carlo Vergara, Danny Acuna, Andrew Villar, Lyndon Gregorio, and AJ Bernardo. Another big highlight was the 5th anniversary of GeekFight! With GeekFight! Battle Royale.”

I co-hosted GeekFight! Battle Royale and I had so much fun doing it—there were 11 teams, all of them noisy and enthusiastic but the loudest ones were composed of those notorious Whovians.

There were also several cosplay related contests, a droid hunt and a closing concert at the end of the two-day event.

There are so many geeks out there—those who love their Star Wars, their Game of Thrones, their Doctor Who, their superheroes, their Walking Dead, their Sherlock, their Star Trek, their movies, their local genre films and so on; hopefully there’s a next NexCon to once again gather the different pockets of the geek community together.

May this just be the beginning.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Nexcon was a blast! It had a core of activities more similar to the conventions in the US, and that was a strength. But what really made it one of the most fun events I’ve attended in recent memory were all the fans in attendance. Everyone seemed to be having fun meeting one another and I’m sure lots of people made some new friends.