MNL48 in Star Mall Edsa Shaw on July 2019. Top (left to right): Sela, Aly, Abby Bottom (left to right): Ash, Alice, Sheki, Jamie, Rans
MNL48 in Star Mall Edsa Shaw on July 2019.
Top (left to right): Sela, Aly, Abby
Bottom (left to right): Ash, Alice, Sheki, Jamie, Rans
Background information
OriginManila, Philippines
Years active2018–present
Associated acts
MembersSee List of MNL48 members
Past membersSee List of former MNL48 members

MNL48 (read M.N.L. Forty-eight) is a Filipino idol girl group and the fifth international sister group of AKB48, after Indonesia's JKT48, China's SNH48, Thailand's BNK48, and Taiwan's AKB48 Team TP. The group is named after Manila, the capital of the Philippines. MNL48 is the only sister group that debuted with exactly 48 members. MNL48 is also Philippines' first idol group.


2016–2018: Formation[]

On 26 March 2016, the formations of MNL48, BNK48, and TPE48 were announced.[1]

On 13 October 2017, Hallo Hallo Entertainment announced registration and audition tour dates for the group's first generation. On 10 November 2017, Hallo Hallo Entertainment held the first audition for MNL48.[2]

Official logo of MNL48

In early 2018, a segment was hosted on It's Showtime by Anne Curtis, Billy Crawford, and Karylle 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 22 April, 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.[3] Before the election on 28 April, 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 3 June, 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.[4] On 8 June, the members Trixie, Zen, Van, and Mae announced their departure from the group.[5] 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 9 July, Nina and Vern announced their departure from MNL48, with Cassey filling Nina's position in Team MII.

On 17 August, the group premiered the music video of their debut single "Aittakata - Gustong Makita". While their debut extended play Aitakatta was released on 14 September, the single was released on 28 September. On 5 October, 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.[6] On 26 October, MNL48 premiered their second music video "Talulot ng Sakura".[7] On 7 November, 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 25 November, the group premiered the music video of their second single "Pag-ibig Fortune Cookie".[8] 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 will perform 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.[9]

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 [10] and was replaced by Kenkyuusei Frances Therese Pinlac.[11]

The group signed an exclusive contract with ABS-CBN on Oct 4, 2019 with K-pop girl group Momoland.[12]

High Tension[]

On October 19, the 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,[13] who is then replaced by Guinevere Muse as part of Team MII.[14]

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.[15][16]

2020-present: Third Generation, High Tension, and River[]

On January 24, Hallo Hallo Entertainment decided to part ways with Daniella Mae Palmero of Team NIV.[17] She was then replaced by Trainee Karla Dela Paz.[18]

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.[19] Kenkyuusei Christina Samantha Tagana joined as her replacement.[20]


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 dual centers in a MNL48 single.[21]

On June 10, at MNL48 Kumu livestream, over-all captain Alice announced that she will join the Senbatsu for River as replacement of Rans.[22]

3rd General Election[]

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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[26]




Awards and nominations[]

Year Award(s) Category Recipient Result
2018 PPOP Awards For Young Artists Rising Pop Group of the Year MNL48 Nominated
RAWR Awards Favorite Group
Popcharts Music Awards New Artist of the Year Won
PPOP Awards for Young Artists PPOP Youth Model of the Year
2019 PPOP Awards For Young Artists Most Favorite Pop Girl Group of the Year
2020 MYX Awards Mellow Video of the Year "365 Araw ng Eroplanong Papel" Pending

MNL48 Theater[]


The MNL48 Theater (MNL48劇場), is where MNL48 will hold their performances.

The MNL48 Theater is situated in the Eton Centris Mall along Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, Metro Manila, with the theater on its ground floor.[27]

Theater Stage[]

On December 10, 2019, MNL48 announced their first theater show, Party ga Hajimaru yo (Tara na Party) which was then held on January 18, 2020.[28]


  1. ^ "New AKB48 sister groups to be formed in Manila, Bangkok and Taipei". 28 March 2016. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. ^ "MNL48 announces registration and audition tour dates". 13 October 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2018.
  3. ^ "MNL48 First General Election". 28 April 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  4. ^ "MNL48's 1st Tagalized Performance". 7 June 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Four members bid farewell". 8 June 2018. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  6. ^ "Himig Handog 2018 annnounces Top 10 Songs and this year's interpreters". ABS CBN Entertainment. 5 October 2018. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
  7. ^ Garcia, Vincent (October 26, 2018). "New MNL48 music video is a lovely tribute to the original AKB48". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  8. ^ "MNL48 Official on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-11-25.
  9. ^ "MNL48 idol Sayaka Awane announces her graduation". Anime PH. June 3, 2019.
  10. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48 Ash bids farewell to the idol group". September 4, 2019.
  11. ^ "Official Statement: Kenkyuusei Frances now an official MNL48 member". September 6, 2019.
  12. ^ "LOOK: MNL48 unveiled as new Kapamilyas". October 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Official Statement: HHE Management to terminate Cess from MNL48 for violations". MNL48. 2019-11-05.
  14. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48 welcomes back Kenkyuusei Gia as official member". MNL48. 2019-11-05.
  15. ^ "MNL48 Abby represents Philippines on Japan's biggest TV music show". MNL48. 2020-01-13.
  16. ^ "LOOK: MNL48's Abby performs on Japan's biggest TV music show". ABS-CBN News. 2020-01-01.
  17. ^ "Official Statement: HHE to terminate Dani from MNL48 due to violations". MNL48. 2020-01-13.
  18. ^ "Official Statement: Kenkyuusei Karla promoted as MNL48 official member". MNL48. 2020-01-18.
  19. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48 Faith to take her final bow as MNL48 member". MNL48. 2020-01-13.
  20. ^ "Official Statement: Kenkyuusei Sam promoted as MNL48 official member". MNL48. 2020-01-26.
  21. ^ "MNL48 intensifies the kilig on MNL48 In Love: Valentine Mini Live Concert". MNL48. 17 Feb 2020.
  22. ^ "MNL48 Announcement: Alice will part of RIVER Senbatsu". MNL48. 11 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48's Rans, Yssa, Lei and Rowee will not join the Third General Election". MNL48. 26 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Ex-PBB housemate Jelay, nag-audition para sa MNL48". Abante TNT. 26 March 2020.
  25. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48 Joyce will no longer join the Third General Election". MNL48. 18 May 2020.
  26. ^ "Official Statement: MNL48 Daryll will not join the Third General Election". MNL48. 20 June 2020.
  27. ^ ANIMEPH (2019-04-09). "LOOK: MNL48 Theater soon to open in Centris". ANIMEPH. Retrieved 2020-03-26.
  28. ^ "MNL48". Retrieved 2020-03-26.

External links[]