If you are a regular follower of our blogsite, then you have probably realized already that I hail from the Philippines. As a Filipino AFOL, my love and advocacy for the LEGO brick is not unmet with particular region-specific challenges. With oftentimes outrageous prices tagged on most of my favorite LEGO sets, keeping up with the hobby is peculiarly difficult. LEGO in itself is quite expensive already as compared to other similar building/construction toys (though I have no qualms over it, knowing that the quality of LEGO bricks and pieces are by far superior than others), but being an international brand with high, local taxes levied on it definitely adds to the burden of high costs.
Thankfully, the recent proliferation of LEGO Certified Stores here in our country has started to mitigate the costs of LEGO sets locally. Another source of encouragement is the establishment of the country’s official LEGO Users Group aptly named as PhLUG. Founded in December of 2012, PhLUG or the Philippines LEGO Users Group consists of members not only from the Philippines but also Filipino AFOLs based in other parts of the globe such as in the US, Europe, and the rest of Asia. Since its inception in 2012, PhLUG has been active in the LEGO interest scene by organizing events and online initiatives that include MOC-building and community building activities all aimed at stimulating interest in creating original LEGO builds, and espousing camaraderie among its members. Some of these activities include organizing publicly accessible events such as Brickxhibit, BRICKFast, and the internationally renowned Philippine LEGO Convention, ABRICKADABRA. LEGO interest groups such as the PhLUG help fan the flames of our passion for the LEGO brick regardless of our backgrounds and cultural differences. It’s a reminder that at the heart of it all, we are indeed building a community one brick at a time.
Images courtesy of PhLUG.
This year, PhLUG is gearing up once more for another awesome year of ABRICKADABRA which began in 2015. This 1-day event promises another year of bigger and more exciting LEGO MOCs and displays which will happen on May 27 at the Promenade Hall in Greenhills, Manila. More than just a LEGO exhibit, the event will also feature building competitions, lectures and presentations on building techniques, trading, and getting to touch base with an incredible bunch of like-minded LEGO fans. It is a grand event that surely has every LEGO enthusiast in mind.
I know this might be a long shot for you in case your reading this outside of the Philippines, but if ever you have plans of visiting the country this May – which is also a great time to visit considering it is summer time over here, which means less chance of heavy rains – then make it a point to visit ABRICKADABRA on May 27. You may keep tabs with this event by heading over to PhLUG’s Facebook page. It’s definitely marked on my calendar, and I’ll be covering the events on this annual LEGO event so hope to see some of you there.