Category Archives: Special Events

CONQuest 2023 is bringing the biggest local and international creators together for an unforgettable weekend in Manila

CONQuest Festival 2023, AcadArena’s award-winning gaming and pop culture convention slated for June 2-4, is gearing up to be bigger and bolder than its previous iterations in all ways possible.

CONQuest 2023 presented by Globe expands on last year’s SMX Convention Center venue to include the adjacent Seashell Lane, Conrad Manila, Mall of Asia (MoA), and National University MoA (NU MoA). The multi-venue setup will host a variety of events such as the Alliance Games in partnership with NU Laguna and NU MoA. This weekend event will feature over 70 local and international guests celebrating gaming, tech, music, pop culture, and everything in between.

Headlining the CONQuest 2023 guest roster are Valkyrae, Pokimane, Sykkuno, South Korean rock indie band The Rose, and Filipino singer-actor James Reid. Other notable internet personalities include Fuslie, Michael Reeves and LilyPichu, and anime content creators JoeyTheAnimeMan and AkiDearest.

“We always joked about eventually growing CONQuest in Iloilo to the point we’d get to Manila and have international guests,” said CONQuest founder and AcadArena Chief Growth Officer Justin Banusing. “We even had OfflineTV as an April Fools’ joke. But thanks to the community’s undying passion, our dreams are coming true.”

CONQuest 2023 also brings musical acts into the fray for the first time with the introduction of Music Night. Joining The Rose and James Reid are local stars Carousel Casualties, Oh Flamingo!, and Autotelic, as well as international DJs James Landino and Hyper Potions.

A number of warmly-received guests from last year’s CONQuest are also set for a return. This includes Genshin Impact voice actresses Anne Yatco and Ratana, Vtuber Bao, and content creators Atsu and BTMC.

The allure of worldwide attention has also enticed some of the biggest brands to support CONQuest, who extends its gratitude to Presenting Partner Globe, as well as Platinum Partners Riot Games, Predator Gaming, and Blockchain Space. Joining the roster are Gold Sponsors composed of Lazada, Grab Philippines, Jollibee, Kumu, Coin98,, SVGA, NU Laguna, UniPin, and Tier One Entertainment.

Tickets are selling fast at

About AcadArena
AcadArena is a company guided by its mission of building communities and creating everyday heroes through the power of technology, gaming and storytelling. On top of running CONQuest, one of the largest pop culture conventions in Southeast Asia, AcadArena has supported over 250 student clubs and 1,100 scholars all over the Philippines and Brazil and brought the first academic esports laboratory to life.

The Rose, James Reid, Hyper Potions, Autotelic to headline Music Night on CONQuest 2023

CONQuest 2023 just got bigger with the addition of Music Night event on June 2023.

Aside on meeting your favorite content creators and streamers, this year’s CONQuest will feature a special music night on June 2 & 3, 2023 at SMX Convention Center.

On June 2, fans can party with DJ & music producer James Landino and musical duo Hyper Potions for free at the Rave Night. James Landino is an internationally recognized video game/anime composer and DJ based out of Los Angeles, California. His influence of electronic music bridges the gap of gaming, anime, and nightclub culture together, amassing millions of plays across multiple platforms. Hyper Potions is an American electronic dance music project founded by Ian Tsuchiura (Sushi Killer) and Kevin Villecco. Hyper Potions has 200,000 subscribers on Youtube and their 2022 song Muffin has been streamed over 20M worldwide.

June 3 edition of Music Night – which is the band night and will feature South Korean indie rock group The Rose LIVE. They’ll be joined along with music acts such as James Reid, Autotelic, Oh Flamingo!, Lesha, Timmy Albert, and Carousel Casualties. The Rose headlined Wavy Baby Music Festival in Cebu and brought their “Heal Together World Tour” in Manila last January 2023 in front of a sold-out crowd.

Access to the June 3rd CONQuest Music Night are available at Premium pass holders of CONQuest 2023 automatically joins the CONQuest Music Night and no need to purchase the add-on. CONQuest daily & 3-day passes requires to purchase CONQuest Music Night add-on for Php5,000. The Rose meet and greet are also available.

CONQuest 2023 scheduled to be held in SMX Convention Center Manila on June 2 to June 4, 2023. Visit for more details.

FIBA World Cup Draw event successfully held at the Big Dome

The road to the prestigious FIBA World Cup Tournament started last weekend when the draw event held at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum in April 29, 2023. The event was attended by FIBA president Hamane Niang and other prominent figures in sports and entertainment such as Manny Pacquiao, Dirk Nowitzki, FIBA Global Ambassador Luis Scola, Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray, Yao Ming among others.

The draw was led by FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Global Ambassador Luis Scola (Argentina) and 2011 NBA champion Dirk Nowitzki (Germany), along with Local Ambassadors from the three host nations: 2014 Philippine World Cup team member LA Tenorio and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray (Philippines), former national team member and current president of Levanga Hokkaido Takehiko Orimo (Japan), and actor Raffi Ahmad (Indonesia).

Here’s the results from FIBA World Cup Draw event:

Group AGroup BGroup CGroup DGroup EGroup FGroup GGroup H
AngolaSouth SudanUSAEgyptGermanySloveniaIranCanada
Dominican RepublicSerbiaJordanMexicoFinlandCape VerdeSpainLatvia
PhilippinesChinaGreeceMontenegroAustraliaGeorgiaCôte d’IvoireLebanon
ItalyPuerto RicoNew ZealandLithuaniaJapanVenezuelaBrazilFrance

-Groups A & B will play in Araneta Coliseum
-Groups C & D will play in SM Mall of Asia Arena
-Groups E & F will play in Japan
-Groups G & H will play in Indonesia

Pop icons Sarah Geronimo and Billy Crawford also performed at the draw event while Fil-Am hip-hop sensation Saweetie made her Manila concert debut during the event.

FIBA World Cup 2023 Tournament starts August 25, 2023. It has been announced that the first 2 games of Gilas Pilipinas team will be held at the Philippine Arena on August while the final rounds of FIBA World Cup will now take place at the Mall of Asia Arena from Sept. 5 to Sept. 10, 2023.

Single game tickets will be available soon, bundle tickets now available here:

Saweetie to Headline FIBA World Cup Draw with Electrifying Performance at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 29, 2023, Celebrating her Filipino Roots

Grammy-nominated rapper and global fashion icon Saweetie, who proudly embraces her Filipino-Chinese and African-American heritage, is set to bring her unique blend of music and style to the prestigious international sports event, headlining the FIBA World Cup Draw at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, April 29, 2023. This performance will be a homecoming of sorts for Saweetie, as she connects with her mother’s Filipino roots and celebrates her diverse background in the Philippines. Known for chart-topping hits like “My Type” and “BestFriend” and her captivating live shows, Saweetie’s performance promises to create an unforgettable experience for basketball fans worldwide.

Photo by Kevin Pableo | MANILA CONCERT SCENE

Saweetie’s involvement in the FIBA World Cup Draw highlights her unparalleled talent and connection to the world of basketball. As a leading force in the music industry and a trendsetter in both music and fashion, she is the perfect choice to headline this prestigious event. Her magnetic stage presence and energetic performances will undoubtedly captivate audiences and contribute to the excitement of the FIBA World Cup.

Born Diamonté Quiava Valentin Harper, Saweetie is an acclaimed rapper, singer, and songwriter known for her chart-topping hits and magnetic stage presence. Since her breakthrough in 2017, she has released numerous successful singles and albums, garnering a loyal fanbase and solidifying her status as a leading force in the music industry.

The FIBA (International Basketball Federation) World Cup is a global basketball competition held every four years, featuring teams from around the world competing for the title of world champion. It serves as a platform for countries to showcase their basketball talent and promote the sport globally. The FIBA World Cup is a celebration of basketball excellence and unites fans from diverse backgrounds in their shared passion for the game. Catch the FIBA World Cup Draw and Saweetie’s fiery performance LIVE on OneSports and OneSports+ via Cignal, SatLite, and Cignal Play.

An escape to the ‘90s:‘Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical’ opens at Newport World Resorts

This summer and beyond, Newport World Resorts is breaking out of the ordinary and creating epic experiences and adventures for everyone within one property. Escape into world-class entertainment as the country’s pioneer casino, hotel, and entertainment destination brought its all-Filipino hit musical back to the stage.

On April 21, Ang Huling El Bimbo (AHEB) made its highly-anticipated comeback to the award-winning Newport Performing Arts Theater featuring a new cast, fresh choreography, stellar production, and iconic songs that struck a chord in the hearts of Filipinos. The show has a regular schedule every Friday and Saturday at 8PM, and matinee performances every Saturday and Sunday at 3PM for April with new show dates recently added in May to accommodate more fans and theatergoers.

Newport World Resorts’ production outfit Full House Theater Company (FHTC) has pulled out all the stops to set the stage and prepare the cast during rehearsals. New members of the cast shared their epic experiences in bringing the show to life.

Nino Alejandro and Bullet Dumas showcase their improvements during  rehearsals

Even as a master of various crafts, award-winning artist Nino Alejandro who plays Anthony, still has plenty of new things to learn from the acting workshops with FHTC Director Dexter Santos and Co-Artistic Director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. Alejandro shares, “The new experiences I had during our rehearsals were the daily acting workshops we got to do with the First Lady of Philippine Theater, Ms. Menchu Launchengco-Yulo. Also learning from and working with Direk Dexter has helped me sharpen and broaden my process.”

Before joining the cast of AHEB, indie folk artist Bullet Dumas recalled singing the ‘90s iconic track “Poorman’s Grave” in gigs. Now, audiences witnessed him perform it onstage as Emman. Given his familiarity with the piece, the challenge was to give it a new flavor. According to him, “When something you thought was very much familiar with somehow surprises you again and again, you will love the process. It always felt like a Eureka moment whenever Direk Dexter Santos, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Myke Salomon, OJ Mariano, and my castmates help me realize different approaches to how Emman can tackle the song.”

Actor, singer, and host Anthony Rosaldo made his theater debut playing young Hector, one of the lead roles in the musical. Since the rehearsals, he knew AHEB is a difficult show to mount yet this brought a fun experience for him as a newcomer. “Coming in as a newbie in theatre, it is important that I kept my focus and really put in a lot of hard work during our rehearsals. The audience will see a very excited and enthusiastic young Hector”, Rosaldo says.

Experience a nostalgic escape to the ‘90s in the hit musical Ang Huling El Bimbo at the Newport Performing Arts Theater. Tickets are now available at Newport World Resorts Box Office, TicketWorld, and SM Tickets outlets: P3,776 (SVIP), 3,236 (VIP), P2,696 (+GOLD), P1,942 (SILVER), and P1,079 (BRONZE). Recommended for audiences aged 13 years old and above. For inquiries, contact the Newport World Resorts National Sales Team via JhayR Dela Cruz at 0917 818 9847, Raf Sangco at 0917 807 9387, Carl Cuaresma at 0917 829 2173, and Girah Manaligod at 0917 872 8309.

Escape the ordinary at Newport World Resorts, you know you want to. For more information on Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical and its show schedule, visit and follow @newportworldresorts and @fullhousetheater on Facebook and Instagram, @nwresorts on Twitter. Join the #TindahanNiAlingNena challenge on TikTok. Tag the official AHEB TikTok account @aheb.2023 and use the hashtags #AHEB2023 #AngHulingElBimboTheMusical #NewportWorldResorts #YKYWT. Make the most of your visit and sign up for an Epic Membership or download the Newport World Resorts Mobile App for free at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw Principles explained

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda will take place on 29 April in Manila, Philippines and will be carried out according to specific draw principles.

Scheduled at 19:30 local time (GMT +8) at the Araneta Coliseum, the draw for the flagship event will see the 32 participating nations finding out how exciting their path is going to be.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw Principles will be based on the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike, and on geographical principles. The Philippines and Japan, as host nations, will play at home in one of the groups hosted in their country.

The three hosts of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 have selected a preferred team based on commercial reasons. USA will play in the Philippines, Slovenia will travel to Japan and Canada will land in Indonesia.

What are the Draw Seedings?
The 32 teams have been placed into 8 pots, each containing four nations. Philippines, as host of the Group and Final Phase, is placed in pot 1. All other teams are placed in their respective pot based on their position in the FIBA World Ranking Men, presented by Nike:

Seed 1 – Philippines, Spain, USA, Australia
Seed 2 – France, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania
Seed 3 – Greece, Italy, Germany, Brazil
Seed 4 – Canada, Venezuela, Montenegro, Puerto Rico
Seed 5 – Iran, Dominican Republic, Finland, New Zealand
Seed 6 – China, Latvia, Mexico, Georgia
Seed 7 – Jordan, Japan, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire
Seed 8 – Lebanon, Egypt, South Sudan, Cape Verde

How will the Draw be carried out?
The following video explains the complete FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw Principles:

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda will be available live and in full on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Website, on the FIBA YouTube channel, and official streaming service Courtside 1891, it will be broadcasted live by many of FIBA’s official broadcast partners across the world on both television and digital services.

For more information about the activities, the VIPs and details regarding the event, please check this page.

Saweetie, Luis Scola to headline FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda, in Manila

Excitement is building up for the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda, in Manila, Philippines on April 29 when all 32 participating nations will find out their opponents for the event.

The event for the prestigious tournament which for the first time will be co-hosted by three nations in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia, will take place at 19:30 local time at the Araneta Coliseum.

Argentina legend and FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Global Ambassador, Luis Scola, will be on stage to assist with the draw. Scola is the second all-time top scorer in the competition, having appeared in five editions, with his 41 appearances the joint-highest in history. He will line up alongside the iconic Dirk Nowitzki, Central Board Member and Chair of the FIBA Players’ Commission.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda will see performances from global hip-hop artist Saweetie and Filipino favorites, Sarah Geronimo and Billy Crawford.

Saweetie is a California-based multi-hyphenate artist, actress, philanthropist and entrepreneur. The multi-platinum award winning rapper is widely recognized for her catchy melodies and dynamic rhymes. She grew up in the veritable melting pot of the Bay Area but also traces her roots to the Philippines by way of her mother, where she will be performing for the first time.

Geronimo is a singer, performer, and actress who has attained an array of accolades for her work, including a FAMAS Golden Artist Award and a World Music Award. She is also considered one of the most influential celebrities and influencers in Asia.

Billy Crawford is a Filipino-American singer, songwriter, actor, and TV host known for his smooth R&B and pop music style. He has released several albums and hosted various TV shows in the Philippines and abroad.

Also in attendance for the event will be the Local Ambassadors of each respective host nation: Catriona Gray and LA Tenorio from the Philippines, Takehiko Orimo from Japan, and Raffi Ahmad from Indonesia.

Catriona Gray is a Filipino-Australian beauty queen, singer, and model, who won Miss Universe 2018. LA Tenorio is a former member of the Philippines national team.

Takehiko Orimo is a legend in Japan basketball and played in two previous World Cups including in 2006 when the competition was last hosted in Japan.

Raffi Ahmad is an Indonesian actor, presenter, and singer, best known for his work in the Indonesian entertainment industry.

In addition to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda being available live and in full on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Website, on the FIBA YouTube channel, and official streaming service Courtside 1891, it will be broadcasted live by many of FIBA’s official broadcast partners across the world on both television and digital services.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw presented by Wanda will be a major primetime television event in the Philippines on ONE Sports. Meanwhile, in Japan there will be coverage of the event by TV Asahi and Nippon TV along with a live stream via DAZN. For fans in Indonesia, the Draw will be broadcast on MNC Sports.

The draw will sort the 32 qualified teams into eight groups of four teams each. The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Draw Principles will be published before the event.

On Saturday, 29 April, there will be a Draw Festival in Uptown BGC open to the public and will feature performances from popular local acts headlined by Ben & Ben. The Draw Festival will include the launch of the official FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Molten Official Game Ball as well as the launch of the Official Licensing collections that will be taking place on stage with a fashion show. The Trophy Tour presented by J9 will also be tipping off in Manila after the Draw and fans will have the opportunity to see the Naismith Trophy on display at the Draw Festival.

Saweetie, Sarah Geronimo, Billy Crawford performs at FIBA World Cup Draw event at Smart Araneta Coliseum

Fil-American rapper Saweetie is coming to Manila as she performs along with superstars Sarah Geronimo, and Billy Crawford at the upcoming FIBA World Cup Draw event which will take place at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 29, 2023.

FIBA World Cup The Draw will serve as the centerpiece of a broad program of activities scheduled throughout the weekend in the city, which is hosting two Group Phase venues for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and the final stage.

The 32 teams chasing glory at this year’s FIBA flagship event in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia will discover just how exciting their paths will be at the tournament.

FIBA World Cup scheduled to be held in the Philippines this August 25 and concludes on September 10.

Tickets to see FIBA World Cup The Draw event at Smart Araneta Coliseum are available at all Ticketnet outlets nationwide and online at Call 8911-5555 for ticket inquiries. The event will be broadcast via CIGNA LIVE at 8 PM this April 29 only on One Sports+. Available on Cignal Ch. 261 HD and 91 SD.

Wrestling Legend TAJIRI Set to Boost Manila Wrestling Federation’s Roster in Annual Extravaganza “MWF: Republika 2023”

The Manila Wrestling Federation (MWF), the country’s rapidly growing athletic entertainment brand, once again delights Pinoy Wrestling fans with its annual spectacle MWF: Republika 2023 – boosted by the presence of WWE and ECW legend TAJIRI. The event will be held at Power Mac Center Spotlight PMCS Blackbox in Circuit Makati on April 30, Sunday, at 4:30 PM.

The “Japanese Buzzsaw” TAJIRI, who has won the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in multiple occasions as well as Tag Team Championship runs with fellow wrestling superstars Eddie Guerrero and William Regal, is set to compete in the ring with one of MWF’s rising stars – Bro. Jomar Liwanag. Liwanag has entertained the MWF fan community since his wrestling debut in 2017, via portraying his unforgettable comedic-yet-sinister character of a Pinoy religious zealot and cult leader.

Also headlining this year’s MWF: Republika is current MWF Pinoy Wrestling Champion Fabio Makisig, who will be defending the unique “Jeepney Belt” against fellow MWF pillar Nigel “Suplex” San Jose. Makisig has faced TAJIRI one-on-one twice in 2019 and had scored a win over the Japanese wrestling legend in their second encounter.

A special triple threat showcase is also set to bolster the event’s already high-profile line-up of matches – featuring “Mr. Philippine Wrestling” Jake De Leon and the “Queen of Philippine Wrestling” Crystal, who will be tested in the ring by Fil-Japanese wrestler Yappy from Japanese wrestling promotion Ice Ribbon.

MWF: Republika also features fan favorites such as El Katipunero with Super P, Aaron Liwanag with Bro. Benny Soriano, CJ Serafin, Danny Zamora, Dabid Ravena, Khayl Sison, Migs Valdez with Frankie Thurteen, Razael, Ken Cifer, St. John Martin, Robin Sane and Main Maxx. Surprise special guests may also appear, alongside newcomers led by Chelsea Marie and Isaiah Valencia.

Tickets to MWF: Republika are available now at Ticket2Me. The event will later be uploaded in episodic form in MWF’s fan-exclusive channel on Gank. For more details, visit, or MWF’s social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). Be part of the conversation by using MWF’s official hashtag: #PinoyWrestlingTayo.

Pokimane is coming to Manila for CONQuest 2023

Famous Twitch streamer, content creator and member of OfflineTV, Pokimane, is heading to Manila as part of this year’s CONQuest star studded lineup.

Along with Pokimane, Shoto, Spicyuuu, Ian of Hyper Potions, JoeyTheAnimeMan, AkiDearest, and EchoPH announced on Wave 3 lineup for CONQuest Festival 2023 which will be held on June 2 to June 4 at the SMX Convention Center Manila and in Conrad Manila.

Imane Anys better known as Pokimane is a Moroccan-Canadian Twitch streamer and YouTuber. She is best known for her live streams on Twitch, broadcasting video game content, most notably in League of Legends and Fortnite. She is currently the most-followed female streamer on Twitch with 9.22M followers and 219.81M viewers worldwide.

CONQuest Festival is an annual summer gaming, cosplay & pop culture convention organized by AcadArena. This year’s event will feature appearances by top content creators such as 100Thieves’ Valkyrae, Fuslie, NEWT, Sykkuno, Lilypichu, Michael Reeves, Airasaki, Kyedae, AntonyChenn, IGumDrop and a lot more. This year’s CONQuest Festival will also feature a Music Night with performances by Korean indie rock band The Rose, and James Reid.

Tickets to CONQuest 2023 are now available here. Ticket starts at Php800 for single-day pass and Php2,000 for 3-day passes. Music Night add-on tickets are also available at Php5,000.

For more details on CONQuest 2023, visit: