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MNL48 facts for kids

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MNL48 Logo
Background information
Origin Manila, Philippines
Years active 2018–present
Associated acts
Members See List of MNL48 members
Past members See List of former MNL48 members
YouTube information
Years active 2016—present
Genre Music
Subscribers 232,000
Subscriber and view counts updated as of 4 April 2021.

MNL48 (read as M.N.L. Forty-eight) is a Filipino idol girl group and third international sister group of AKB48, after Indonesia's JKT48, and Thailand's BNK48. The group is named after Manila, the capital of the Philippines. MNL48 is the only sister group that debuted with exactly 48 members on First Generation.


2016–2018: Formation

On March 26, 2016, the formations of MNL48, BNK48, and TPE48 were announced.

On October 13, 2017, Hallo Hallo Entertainment announced registration and audition tour dates for the group's first generation. On November 10, 2017, Hallo Hallo Entertainment held the first audition for MNL48.

In early 2018, a segment was hosted on It's Showtime by Anne Curtis, Billy Crawford, Karylle and Jhong Hilario which determined the members of the group's first generation. It is a segment of search for the ultimate all-female Filipino idol group whose name is derived from its based city of Manila. It conducted nationwide auditions for women aged 15–20 years old to become sought-after idols you can meet. Thousands of women took part of the audition, but only 200 of them succeeded to start the 13-week challenge rounds for them to test their singing & dancing skills. From Top 200, the aspirants were reduced to Top 75 in order to face public voting until General Election using MNL48-Plus App which was developed by Hallohallo Entertainment Inc. in partnership with ABS-CBN and one of the world's top multimedia, entertainment and IT agencies, AKS. From Top 75, only 48 women will become the official members of this group. From Top 48, There will be a ranking system that follows AKB48's Senbatsu Sousenkyo concept. Top 33-48 will be hailed as Next Girls, Top 17-32 will be hailed as the Under Girls & Top 16 will be hailed as Senbatsu members. From Top 16, 7 women will secure the Kami 7 slots which they will become the frontliners of the performance to join concerts with AKB48 & all of its sister groups worldwide, they will also be given international endorsement deals & an exclusive training program in AKS. And from Kami 7, the winner (as the Center Girl) of the general election will be the face of MNL48 worldwide.

2018: First Generation, Aitakatta – Gustong Makita and Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie

On April 22, the "Meet Your Oshimen" event was held, where three hundred lucky ticket-holding fans met and greeted their favourite MNL48 aspirants. The handshake event was held at the TriNoma at 5:00 PM on the 4th Floor Garden. Six days after the event, the first general election took place at Studio 4 and Center Road in ABS-CBN. Before the election on April 28, Kris (as a challenger), along with two other eligible contenders Aria and Eunice, announced their departure from the group and will resign from their candidacy for the upcoming election. A few days after the election, eight trainees Reiko, Reina, Nix, Ann, Celine, Arol, Kana, and Ikee also left the group. The newly recruited trainee Cole came in as a replacement member.

On June 3, MNL48's fan-meeting event was held at the Eton Centris Elements. The group performed the Tagalog versions of "Aitakatta", "Heavy Rotation", "Skirt Hirari", and "Sakura no Hanabiratachi" for the first time. On June 8, the members Trixie, Zen, Van, and Mae announced their departure from the group. To fill in the spots, the kenkyuusei members Rans, Nina, and Andi were promoted as members of Team MII. Trainee Coleen is then promoted to Team NIV. For the rankings, Ella and Ash entered the Kami 7, while Alyssa and Erica joined the Senbatsu. On July 9, Nina and Vern announced their departure from MNL48, with Cassey filling Nina's position in Team MII.

On August 17, the group premiered the music video of their debut single "Aittakata – Gustong Makita". While their debut extended play Aitakatta was released on September 14, the single was released on September 28. On October 5, MNL48 were announced as one of the participants for Himig Handog 2018. The group interpreted the song "Dalawang Pag-ibig Niya" alongside Your Face Sounds Familiar Kids alumni Krystal Brimner and Sheena Belarmino. On October 26, MNL48 premiered their second music video "Talulot ng Sakura". On November 7, 18 days before the official release of the second single, trainee Sheccaniah Faith Baler planned to resign from the group since she completed her duties in the group's debut. On November 25, the group premiered the music video of their second single "Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie" the same day they performed the said single on another "Handshake Event" held on Movie Stars Cafe. On December 12, 2018, trainee Edralyn Tocop left, leaving nine trainees remaining.

On December 11, AKS announced that the group will join the "AKB48 Group Asia Festival 2019" event on January 27, 2019 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand after BNK48's 6th Single Senbatsu General Election. MNL48 will perform with their sister groups AKB48, JKT48, BNK48, AKB48 Team SH, AKB48 Team TP and SGO48. MNL48 members Abby, Brei, Coleen, Faith, Gabb, Jem, Mari, Rans, Sela and Sheki went to the event. On December 14, it was announced that MNL48 will be having their first mini-concert at Movie Stars Cafe, Centris Station, Quezon Ave on December 23, 2018.

On December 21, MNL48 released "Amazing Grace" music video with MNL48 Gospel unit members Sheki, Belle, Brei, Rans, Faith and Aly. The single was digitally released on December 24, 2018.

2019: Second Generation, 365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel, Ikaw ang Melody, High Tension & Kapamilya Management

On January 26, the group performs for the first time outside the country at the "AKB48 Group Asia Festival 2019" event on January 27, 2019 at Impact Arena, Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok, Thailand after BNK48's 6th Single Senbatsu General Election. MNL48 performed with their sister groups AKB48, JKT48, BNK48, AKB48 Team SH, AKB48 Team TP and SGO48. On February 10, they unveil the music video of the second coupling song from Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie, Palusot Ko'y Maybe as a tagalized version of AKB48's Iiwake Maybe which was performed by Team NIV and Coleen selected as the center girl of the said team's song. On February 22, MNL48 conducts a casting for 2nd generation to take part in the upcoming General Election. On March 1, 2019, they released a 3rd single, 365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel. On March 25, the 20 members from the 2nd Generation were selected. On April 6, they held their concert at the New Frontier Theater (formerly Kia Theater) near Araneta Coliseum where its tickets were confirmed sold out through their bookings and/or reservations.

2nd General Election

On April 27, the group celebrates its 1st anniversary back-to-back with the 2nd General Election where all 77 members over 2 generations competing for Top 48 spots. On the said event, the members who did not make it to Top 48 will immediately graduate from the group. 16 First Generation members (including Cassandra Mae Pestillos, Ella Mae Amat, Eunys Abad, Guinevere Muse, Hazel Joy Marzonia, Jessel Montaos, Khyan Jewel Cacapit, Madelaine Epilogo, Necca Adelan, Princess Erica Sanico, Princess Rius Briquillo, Sharei Engbino, Edelvira Bandong, Jamela Magbanlac, Polaris Yna Salazar, Ruth Carla Dela Paz) and 13 Second Generation members (including Abbigail Shaine Reyes, Alexie Iris Dimaayo, Alyssandra Corteza, Anne Nicole Casitas, Christina Samantha Tagana, Chrisylle Joy Mondejar, Francese Therese Pinlac, Missy Ainza, Naomi Roniele De Guzman, Je-ann Benette Guinto, Karla Jane Tolentino, Shay Anne Enciso, Trisha Labrador) were eliminated in the Second General Election with the 12 remaining trainees (5 from first generation & 7 from second generation) as the replacement of 12 first generation promoted members who outranked in the said event. Team NIV's Jhona Alyannah Padillo hailed as Shekinah Arzaga's successor as the "Center Girl" of the group. On May 1, MNL48 held an annual graduation event for 29 outranked members in the Second General Election (which consists of 12 first generation members, 4 first generation trainees and 13 second generation trainees) at Movie Stars Cafe at Quezon City to showcase their talents for one last time.

To fill-in the 12 empty spots from Top 48, 6 trainees were promoted to Team MII, 3 to Team NIV and 3 to Team L. Cole, Yzabel, Emz, Jamie, Klaire & Laney were promoted to Team MII, Dani, Rowee and Miho were promoted to Team NIV and Amy, Yssa & Ice were promoted to Team L.

Quincy Josiah Santillan confirmed her resignation as part of Team L on May 23, 2019 and is replaced by Ella Mae Amat, a First Generation returning member and Sayaka Awane of Team MII announced her graduation on June 3 and she was replaced by Princess Rius Briquillo, a First Generation returning member.

Ikaw Ang Melody

On July 29, MNL48 released a new song "Ikaw ang Melody" as a translated version to AKB48's "Kimi Wa Melody".

On August 24, the group performed in Asia Festival Concert in Shanghai, China at the National Convention Centre along with overseas sister groups, and AKB48.

Ashley Cloud Garcia from Team L announced her graduation on September 4 and was replaced by Kenkyuusei Frances Therese Pinlac.

The group signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN on October 4, 2019 with K-pop girl group Momoland.

High Tension

On October 19, it was announced that their 5th single will be High Tension and MNL48 Gabb of Team L will be the center.

On November 5, Princess Labay from Team MII committed several house rule violations that lead her to dismissal of membership from the group, who is then replaced by Guinevere Muse as part of Team MII.

On December 31, MNL48 Abby joined the AKB48 World Senbatsu along with other overseas sister groups and performed Koisuru Fortune Cookie. She is the third Filipino to perform in the annual NHK Kouhaku Uta Gassen after Smokey Mountain and Gary Valenciano.

2020: Third Generation, High Tension, and River

On January 24, Hallo Hallo Entertainment decided to part ways with Daniella Mae Palmero of Team NIV due to violations. She was then replaced by Trainee Karla Dela Paz.

On January 25, MNL48 announces the 3rd Generation Audition to determine who will be promoted to Training and Development Team as candidates for 3rd year members. Its 3rd General Election's protocol will be followed through AKB48's General Election, and JKT48's Promotion-Demotion system. For those members who will be included in Top 48, they will be promoted to Teams MII, NIV & L, while for those who are outranked, they will be demoted to Training and Development Team. No force graduations applied as it was applied in the 2nd General Election.

On January 26, Team MII's Faith Shanrae Santiago had her graduation concert at Movie Stars' Cafe. Kenkyuusei Christina Samantha Tagana joined as her replacement.

On February 19, the official music video for "High Tension" was premiered on the group's official YouTube channel.

In lieu with the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, MNL48 joined its 48G counterparts and other well-known Asian performers in a charity show called "One Love Asia", presented by YouTube and WebTVAsia, supported by UNICEF on May 27.


On February 16, the group held the Valentine Mini Concert at Movie Stars Cafe. In the midst of the concert, it was announced that the 6th single will be River. Gabb and Abby will be the first double centers in a MNL48 single.

On June 10, at MNL48 Kumu livestream, over-all captain Alice announced that she will join the Senbatsu for River as replacement of Rans.

On November 11, MNL48 released a teaser video for the latest single, River. Due to undesirable calamities in the Philippines, the HHE management released a statement that the music video will be postponed. On November 27, MNL48 premiered the official music video of River. The coupling tracks "Sampung Taon ng Sakura" and "Labrador Retriever" were also released on iTunes, Apple Music and as auto-generated tracks in YouTube Music the same day.

3rd General Election (2020)

On March 12, MNL48's Team NIV performed 1! 2! 3! 4! Yoroshiku at audience-free It's Showtime, and they announced that the 3rd General Election will be aired at the said program on April 25. Due to COVID-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the voting lines for General Election were extended until October 31. On March 15, the candidates for the 3rd General Election was announced, consisting of 62 candidates (44 from first and second generation, 2 from Kenkyuusei, and 16 from third generation). Eligible candidates Rans, Yssa, Lei, and Rowee will not join the Third General Election due to personal reasons. On March 24, 3rd generation aspirant Querubin Gonzalez withdrew the candidacy for official 48 members. Two days later, former Pinoy Big Brother: Otso housemate Jelay Pilones joined the candidacy for the 3rd General Election.

On May 18, in the midst of the voting process, Team NIV's Valerie Joyce Daita will no longer to join the 3rd General Election due to her personal reason. Eleven days after, Yiesha Amera Ungad also resigned her candidacy from the group with regards to her religion as a Muslim.

On June 22, Daryll Matalino withdrew her candidacy in the upcoming General Election to finish her project as an actress on MNL48 Presents: Chain, following her graduation announcement.

On August 4, the remaining 2nd Generation Kenkyuusei Anne Nicole Casitas and Trisha Labrador promoted as official members of MNL48 as part of Team NIV.

On September 30, Team NIV Captain Ecka Sibug announced her withdrawal from the Third General Elections and the MNL48 group itself. The same day, MNL48 posted on their official Facebook page that HalloHallo Entertainment (HHE) has decided that for the Third General Elections, the group will become a 36-member girl group, in order to focus more on individual projects and sub-units HHE has slated for the next months.

On October 28, three days before the voting deadline, HHE released a statement that the Third General Election will be announced very soon. On the other hand, the voting period will be extended until November 30. On November 28, Team NIV's Belle delos Reyes withdrew her candidacy to complete the music video of River, leaving the 56 official candidates of the Third General Election.

On November 29, the first preliminary results of the Third General Election was released as of November 28, 6 p.m. PST. First Generation center Sheki leads for center position. Followed by Andi, Ruth, Coleen, Ella, Jem, and Jamie for Kami 7. The first preliminary Top 36 consists of 11 members from Team MII, 10 from Team NIV, 10 from Team L, and 5 from Third Generation aspirant. Few hours after the preliminary result, top member Sela Guia formally announced her graduation. On November 30, few hours before the voting cutoff, the second preliminary results was released as of November 29, 10:30 p.m. PST. Abby overtakes Sheki for the center spot. Followed by Andi, Ruth, Jem, Coleen, and Ella are now in Kami 7. The second preliminary top 36 consists of 11 members each from Team MII and Team NIV, 10 from Team L, and 4 from Third Generation aspirant.

BABY BLUE sub-unit formation

On September 1, MNL48 announced the formation of BABY BLUE, the group's first-ever sub-unit, in partnership with Tower Records Japan, a major Japanese music retailer. Said sub-unit is formed by MNL48 members Jan Elaurza, Coleen Trinidad and Amy Isidto. Following the announcement, BABY BLUE officially released its debut single titled "Sweet Talking Sugar", and was made available through EGGS, a Japanese digital music subscription service. The single, according to HHE, is an homage to the famed city pop genre, with a modern take via "the R&B and hip-hop genre". An official music video, produced by Carlo Manatad of Plan C, was released on GYAO!, Yahoo Japan's free online streaming site on September 16 and on MNL48's official YouTube channel on the next day.

A second track, "NEGASTAR" was released by the sub-unit officially after they uploaded a sixty-second teaser uploaded on the music subscription service EGGS on November 16. The full track was then uploaded on November 25 and was also made available on mainstream music streaming platforms like iTunes and Spotify.

Release of first-ever original track "HASHLOVE"

On December 23, MNL48 premiered its first-ever original song called "HASHLOVE", a pop/R&B song centered around the theme of Christmas celebrations. The track was performed by select members namely Shekinah Arzaga, Frances Pinlac, Cole Somera, Jamie Alberto, Yzabel Divinagracia, Ruth Lingat and Brei Binuya. "HASHLOVE" is composed by Filipino music producer Jungee Marcelo.

2021: Third General Election Conclusion

On February 1, 2021 MNL48 simultaneously announced through their social media channels of the new schedules of the announcement of the Third General Election results. Set across three Saturdays of February and will be announced on the noontime show "It's Showtime", February 6 will be the announcement of the 48 candidates that will make through the cut, February 13 will be the ranking from Rank 48 to Rank 17, to which both will be announced on the It’s Showtime “Online U” segment. Finally, the "senbatsu" lineup, which is Rank 16 to Rank 1, will be announced on February 20.

On February 6, members Aly Padillo and Ice Bozon announced that they will be graduating from MNL48.

The Third General Election concluded with Team NIV Captain Abby Trinidad hailed as the new center of the Third Generation, which was announced live on the noontime show "It's Showtime" on February 20, 2021. The "senbatsu" lineup was completed by the following in rank order: Sheki Arzaga, Jamie Alberto, Ruth Lingat, Ella Amat, Jan Elaurza, Andi Garcia, Jem Caldejon, Yzabel Divinagracia, Gabb Skribikin, Alice De Leon, Princess Briquillo, Lara Layar, Coleen Trinidad, Thea Itona and Tin Coloso.

Following the election, the 'senbatsu' lineup, as well as other select new members from the Third Generation aspirants, were given the chance to express their thoughts during the election period in a media conference hosted by entertainment reporter MJ Felipe last February 22. Throughout the interview, members discussed potential hints for the group's upcoming single, as well as interest in collaborating with fellow P-pop artists, where they dismissed statements of 'competition within the P-pop scene.

On February 25, members Laney Sañosa and Karla dela Paz announced that they will be graduating from MNL48.

On February 27, Philippine Pro Gaming League announced that it is giving fans a chance to virtually meet and play along with select members of the group namely Cole Somera, Abby Trinidad, Sheki Arzaga, Gabb Skribikin, and Coleen Trinidad. While the match is set to play off on March 8, PPGL announced that the event premiere is slated on March 27.

On March 17, Team MII's Sheki Arzaga was promoted as MNL48's new overall captain, taking over fellow Team MII's Alice de Leon. The same day, an announcement was also made that MNL48 will be joining fellow P-pop groups BINI and BGYO, as well as artists from Star Magic and Star Hunt in an upcoming live stream on March 19. This is after ABS-CBN and Filipino live streaming platform Kumu have entered into a new partnership for greater exposure of ABS-CBN talents and artists.


Baby Blue is a sub-unit of idol group MNL48. They debuted with the lead single Sweet Talking Sugar in September 2020, which topped the Egg Music charts in Japan. Baby Blue is one of the first Filipino artists to make it to Japanese music charts.


  • Aitakatta (Gustong Makita)
  • Pag-Ibig Fortune Cookie
  • 365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel
  • Ikaw Ang Melody
  • High Tension
  • River
  • Hashlove


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