I got wind of the emerging sticker movement last year, thanks to the resurrection of ’90s trends such as patches, pins, and stickers. As a ’90s kid, collecting stationery was one of my childhood hobbies. I remember bringing my boxes of stationery and stickers to school and trading them with classmates. I actually still have many of those stickers at home—legit ’90s treasure trove!
When my fellow writers at Spot.ph started featuring Filipino sticker artists, and eventually, the first ever Sticker Con in Manila, I thought, “Oh, so the sticker craze is here to stay?” I thought that the cult following would eventually die down, like many resurrected trends overthrown by more recycled trends.
Boy was I wrong! When I attended Sticker Con 2018, I expected only a handful of old dorks like myself who never got over their love for hoarding stickers. Instead I saw hundreds of kids, teens, and adults huddling over each booth to see which stickers tickled their fancy.
Mind you, these stickers weren’t your usual commercial, mass-produced kind. They’re original creations by Filipino artists. The setup was a throwback to our childhood. The stickers were hand-cut and displayed on each table. Each artist had a look and theme—like psychedelic art, food art, anime, Pinoy pop culture, and cartoon characters reinterpreted. Attendees could purchase a sticker for ₱5 to ₱50 apiece, and there were also sticker packs and sheets available. Some artists even offered customized sticker illustrations on the spot.
Onstage, they featured sticker artists sharing their success stories. I learned that the local sticker community has been around for a while, but they’ve now grown from underground to mainstream status.
The best part: I didn’t break the bank. Unlike other conventions—like comic cons and toy cons—I didn’t need to shell out hundreds to thousands of pesos to buy something. With only ₱250 as my budget (including the ₱100 entrance fee), I came home with a few cute stickers to add to my collection. No wonder it was such a hit with the kids.
If the event’s success is any indication, I’m pretty sure sticker cons will now be a regular thing in Manila.