May 17, 2019
With the votes coming from the tickets attached to their previous singles, including their third single, “365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel,” and in their line of merchandises, fans voted for their favorite MNL48 members either thru their Smartphone app or thru the group’s website from April 1 to April 26.
Results were revealed on April 27 during the second general elections in an emotionally filled event at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent in Quezon City. Fans and supporters filled both inside and outside the venue anxiously waiting for the announcement from emcees Hashtags member Luke Conde of “It’s Showtime” and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) spokesperson Celine Pialago.
In the end, out of 77 candidates, only 48 were ranked, and among them, only one came to the top of the rankings with Jhona Alyanah Padillo claiming the coveted Center position.
Shekinah Arzaga, the first-ever Center of the all-Filipina sing-and-dance idol group, fell to fourth place. Sela Guia and Abelaine Trinidad secured their Top 7 spots in second and third place respectively, while the group’s overall captain Alice de Leon dropped from sixth place last year to seventh this year.
Sayaka Awane rose up five notches from 10th place last year to fifth place, while a newcomer, trainee Jamie Alberto, completed the Top 7 in a big jump from being unranked to sixth place.
Completing the 16-woman Senbatsu (Selected Members) Group are Ash Garcia (8th), Rans Rifol (9th), Faith Santiago (10th), Jan Elaurza (11th), Gabb Skribikin (12th), Jem Caldejon (13th), Kyla de Catalina (14th), Grace Buenaventura (15th), and Rowee Villaflores (16th).
Thea Itona, who also had the biggest jump in the vote ranking from 41st place last year to 17th place this year, will spearhead the Undergirls group as the Center. Joining her are Coleen Trinidad (18th), Cess Labay (19th), Brei Binuya (20th), Ruth Lingat (21st), Lara Layar (22nd), Kay Ishiyama (23rd), Belle delos Reyes (24th), Amy Isidto (25th), Joyce Daita (26th), Tin Coloso (27th), Alyssa Garcia (28th), Yssa Bautista (29th), Mari Iyog (30th), Miho Hoshino (31st), and Dian Mercado (32nd).
Padillo will lead the Senbatsu team in the A-track of their upcoming fourth single, while Itona will lead hers in the B-track of the same single.
Completing the Top 48 are Emz Macabutas (33rd), Yzabel Divinagracia (34th), Ecka Sibug (35th), Dani Palmero (36th), Dana Brual (37th), Ice Bozon (38th), Laney Sañosa (39th), Jaydee Villaruel (40th), Klaire Presno (41st), Quincy Santillan (42nd), Cole Somera (43rd), Daryll Matalino (44th), Lei Lacumba (45th), Shaira (46th) and Shaina (47th) Duran, and Andi Garcia (48th).
The Top 48 will also serve as the new 2nd Generation members of the group.
Goodbye for now
On the other hand, 12 of the original 1st Generation members (Ella Amat, Erica Sanico, Nice Abad, Gia Muse, Essel Montaos, Sha Engbino, Jewel Cacapit, Hazel Marzonia, Princess Briquillo, Madie Epilogo and Cassy Pestillos), along with the remaining 1st Generation kenkyuusei or Research Students (Vira Bandong, Yna Salazar, Mela Magbanlac and Karla dela Paz), and the remaining Candidates for the 2nd Generation, did make the cut as all of them are unranked in the said elections.
They were graduated from the group and performed their last live event on May 1 at the Movie Stars Cafe.
However, according to the group’s producer, Paolo Kurosawa, the graduates still have the chance to be part of the group as they are qualified to audition in a Senbatsu promoting for Tokyo Girls Collection, a fashion event showcasing streetwear from different Japanese brands.
According to Kurosawa, the TGC Senbatsu will not only act as models for the fashion showcase, but also act as the group’s Kenkyuusei.
In a reveal last May 7, only Amat, dela Paz, Muse, Magbanlac, and Briquillo made the cut to be part of the 10-woman group.
MNL48 had their first live concert titled “Living The Dream: The MNL48 1st Generation Live Concert” at the New Frontier Theater on April 6.
Arzaga told the crowd then that the concert marked a new chapter in their lives, and she added that no matter where they will perform, their home is in the hearts of their fans.
“Pero kahit ilang beses kami makapag-perform, internationally or kung saan man, there’s is no place like home because you are our home. Sobrang tagos na tagos sa puso yung pagmamahal n’yo sa amin,” she said.
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