The final audition to be part of MNL48, AKB48's soon-to-be-launched Philippine sister group, will be held in Manila early next month, with members of the Japanese all-girl group coming to mark the culmination of months of nationwide tryouts.
According to Japanese-owned firm Hallo Hallo Entertainment Inc. the final and grand audition will be held on Dec. 2 and 3 at the compound of ABS-CBN Corp., which owns one of the largest television networks in the Philippines.
"As the tour nearly comes to an end, applicants are encouraged to campaign to gather more supporters because unlike other competitions, this idol search will have no set of panel judges and will rely 100 percent on audience votes," Hallo-Hallo Entertainment Inc. said in a statement, touting the audition as the biggest event of the company's nationwide tour.
Some of AKB48's Team 8 members -- such as Hitomi Honda, Ayaka Hidaritomo and Yuri Yokomichi -- will be in Manila during the final audition to show support to aspiring members.
Last September, Hallo Hallo Entertainment signed the partnership agreement with ABS-CBN to launch a Philippine version of the all-girl idol group.
The sister group will be known as MNL48, named after the capital city Manila.
Auditions for aspiring Filipinas aged 15 to 20 have been held in various areas in Manila and in Iloilo City, and one is currently being held in Cebu City.
Several rounds of auditions are also scheduled on Nov. 25 in Davao City.