Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Diary of a Cebuana Cosplayer

For those of you who have been living in Mars since 2007, costume playing (cosplay) came to inception in Cebu that year. The aim to dress up and meet new friends opened a way to a few of Cebuano youth to cluster up and live their way of art.

Three years after, cosplay groups and organizations launched and sprouted. It bolted the small anime-dress-up community into a bigger one. While some entered the world of cosplaying because of the dressing-up and friendship, some counted in because of positive peer pressure and the existence of the groups and organizations.

Costume playing unleashes the inner child of a person as it requires an explosion of initiativeness and creativity to look totally and perhaps, exactly as one's desired character to follow.

Cosplay is booming in Cebu. Its community of cosplayers has grown largely this year. From fairly 8-15 youth dreamers and believers, the vision to live our favorite characters, usually anime, came true and turned out to become a hundred and counting.

Just when you thought that cosplay ends there. Think again. It doesn't. Costume playing doesn't end in the embellishment of an attire on a person's body. There is more to suit, make-up and props.

Once in a costume, cosplayers take the gestures, body language, and attitude of the character they represent. They look cute, angry, happy, cuddly, scary, funny, unpredictable and others. When dealing with them, expect an anime character, not a true person in other way.

At times, when I talk to my co-cosplayers, I sense that I am not talking to the real person. I am talking to the character they are portraying. I find it magical and very fun. It's funny. Being a cosplayer myself, I don't get the 'nose-bleeds' and amazements anymore but I feel a bit worried with the kids who'll approach them (most especially the monster/scary characters).

Indulging oneself in the hobby of cosplay is not only just for fun. Being time-consuming and an environmental activity, the hobby allows the youth to avoid involving themselves in unpleasant actions and undesirable circle of pals nowadays. Aside from enhancing one's confidence and critical thinking, costume playing opens a pool of opportunities in line with modelling, illustration, role playing, singing and dancing, photography, and other forms of arts.

Many have achieved great accomplishments because of cosplaying. It makes one, known and moreover, if proven, be offered for career opportunities that will take a person farther than he/she could dream of. One big thing that will make you hasten yourself in cosplay is the fact that you get exposed to different people (ordinary, media, model searchers, cosplay enthusiasts, photographers etc.) It's not about the money. It's not about the fame. It's the fun you feel when you get in the game.

I myself cosplayed too. My world have collided in the realms of cosplay just last year. It was a break-through to me as it opened my world to a lot of things. I gained wonderful friends, received undeniable opportunities, and much more.<

It was in November 2009 when I first went to a mall; dressed-up the way I am not me. It was very different. It felt so strange but I had so much fun. That time, I joined the competition and guess what? I won second place! For the curious, I cosplayed Traxex from the World of Warcraft.

Thankful and happy of what I got in the game, I continued the hobby that which improved myself. Here are other fictive characters I cosplayed that followed in the next cosplay events that came along the calendar.

Ontonashi Saya of Blood +
Being a first-timer in cosplay occasionally makes one to follow characters wearing outstanding looks and styles. I'm not part of the sort.

When you're new to the hobby, in the first moment that an idea pops out of your mind that you'll be joining/attending a gathering is the word 'simple'.

Nobody would want to go wrong in their first-time experience so one wants to play safe and good. As for me, I thought of cosplaying Otonashi Saya from the hit japanese anime show Blood +.

The attire is simple and quite easy to make, I got cut off with the equipment the character possesses though. The Katana was pretty difficult to make but good thing I have a woodworker friend, who answered my help and made the weapon of no charge.

Mad Hatter of Alice in Wonderland
Cosplay doesn't limit its world in anime. It covers everything that is followable. It may be bounded from the oldies toy characters to the modern personalities in techy movies.

With the thought of stretching the line in Cebu Cosplay, I thought of coming out of the scene as Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. I conducted a photoshoot and it went well.

A female can cosplay a male character and a male character can cosplay a female character. In cases like these or case like in mine, Me, a girl cosplaying a boy is what you call costrip. It's not always that a boy cosplays a male character and vice versa because it's not all the time wherein guys like male characters and the other way around. Anyone can costrip but mind you, it needs a little more confidence acting the opposite way you act in the real world and during the competition.

It did went hard. Since the character had so many colorful fabrics on skin and wore several blingblings, I had to find and make up the attire from anything I had. Big thanks to a impulsive friend who helped me go over with the pictorial.

Red Empress
If you are not into anime/Japanese stuff, you may have not noticed that the character is not in any media.

Red Empress is actually an original character which I created out of borrowed wig, rented clothes, and purchased footwear.

When you want to cosplay and you have limited resources, you have to squeeze your creative juices to figure out the best you can make out of what you have.

At times when you roughly get what you desire to perfectly follow, you have only one choice; go for an original character (OC). Understood by the name itself, original character is a character created by oneself. Usually in competitions, OCs are not allowed to join but are given acknowledgements in coming up with the role.

to be continued...

MY COSPLAY DIARY is a series of write-ups about Cosplay, Cosplayers and Cosplaying in Cebu. Originally written by me, you can read it all for free. The upcoming parts will be posted soon so stay tuned! CONNECT with to get an alert on the continuation of this article.

header photo credits : Maki Kazagami & Joebert Cimafranca


  1. Thank you for the credits Mary =D

    Cosplay for me is like Art. Both the visual and performance Art wherein you yourself is the canvas. A means of self-expression.

  2. I think this inspires others to pursue cosplaying especially the newbies in the world of cosplay(like me!! xD). :D It can also change the negative opinions of others about cosplayers and cosplaying.

    "It's not about the money. It's not about the fame. It's the fun you feel when you get in the game."
    - true, soo true (:

    This is great Te Angeli, Congrats!:)

  3. weeeeeee~ so true~

    no one is lonely in cosplay :>
    there`s always someone for you~ ;)
    to support and be with you~



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