CEBU CITY, PHILIPPINES — If one was to describe BaiCon InFest 2022, it would be a grand reunion. Not just among the creators and influencers who, once again, were brought together by Republiq Group of Companies (RGC), but also a reunion with the fans and stans they were able to meet up close and in person.
“It’s really different when you see them in the flesh,” said RGC COO and BaiCon Creative and Production Lead Bea Alfar-Evardone. Although RGC has been working with most of them together with agencies and brands, for the past two years, bringing them all in one place brings out a different kind of magic.
What started out as a local music festival in 2018 has grown to be one of the most sought-after events not just for Cebuanos, but also for the rest of the country who came far and wide to meet their favorite creators live.
“Creators from Manila also wanted to look for ways to actually connect with their fans here,” added Bea. So together with different agencies such as Spark It, Blogapalooza, PGAG, and Tier One, RGC mounted BaiCon InFest as a way to connect creators with fans and advocated for positive influence.
Influence for good
Influence is more than a catchphrase for the people at BaiCon. Always for the positive impact of social media, Bea said that they continuously find ways to remind everyone that influence comes with accountability.
“I think the best way to actually let them create responsible content is making them aware of how big the responsibility actually is,” she said. All the fun and entertainment aside, creators did not forget to note how important and impactful influence can be.
“Use it in a way that you inspire, or you affect people in a good way. For me, I’ve found my way which is to bring smile to people, or hopefully make them laugh,” said digital creator Justine Luzares, who became popular as “Marites” and performed his skits with different accents.
For Phillip Hernandez, also known as DavaoConyo, content creation should always come with a dose of caution. “Always remember na yung internet, forever na siyang nandiyan so as much as possible, be careful; and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. At the same time, okay lang din mag-apologize for your mistakes.”
CICP Spotlight Awards
To take it up a notch, BaiCon InFest started the CICIP Spotlight Awards three years ago to give recognition to creators who are worth their salt, but this year marks the first on-ground celebration of the awards.
“Tonight, we have celebrated your excellence. May you remember your power as influencers,” said Bea in her speech.
“If you’ve heard the speeches in tonight’s Spotlight Awards, they’re all deriving inspiration from one another, saying that ‘I’d like to thank someone from the crowd, because that person actually inspired me to create content.’”
It is also a community that Bea and her team foster, with an admittedly “positive pressure” they try to reinforce.
“You are the sum of the five people you are mostly with. So if you’re with creators who actually create meaningful and responsible content all the time, then of course, you will also get the virus, which is the responsible content creation.”
As always, digital empowerment is the battle cry of BaiCon. She explained, “the theme is to amplify the message of the responsible use of social media.”
“Content creators have the capacity to spread the meaningful power of influence. This year, what’s different is that it’s physical, meaning being able to inject those different segments and tips on how to actually become responsible users of the internet, hit different when it’s actually physical.”
Reunion & Back-to-school
“How does one get more than 100 people on stage?” is a question that can only be answered by RGC. Staging three different kinds of monsters, as they call it, required maneuvering
What they did differently this year is making it bigger by squeezing a welcome dinner, a festival, and an awards night into the three-day event.
“It kind of felt like an acquaintance party, an org fare, and the prom night altogether,” said Bea which explains the back-to-school theme that encapsulated the overall atmosphere.
We are finally going back to the things that we used to do
“We’re traveling again, we’re going back to the office, we’re reuniting, going to the beach, we’re attending concerts already. So it feels like going back to school after a very, very long summer break. Everyone’s just excited to meet again. So that’s basically what BaiCon has been all about in the past three days.”
When asked about why she does all of it, Bea said that it all goes back to people. First, to the RGC team who are grounded on their purpose, and to the public who make all the production efforts worth it.
“We’ve seen how much we’ve made a lot of people happy. I received a lot of messages from audiences who actually gave us their thanks because they actually enjoyed the show and it felt like something they‘ve been wanting to do for a long time, and we gave it to them.”
adobo magazine is an official media partner of BaiCon InFest 2022.