At the end of the day, after all the time and money that goes into it, I’d say it was definitely worth it” says Andrea Chy, just one of the many involved in the latest movement to hit the city. Short for “costume play,” Cosplay is a world of its own. In Cosplay, fans dress up (and often in the most extreme sense) to portray a character from a favorite work of fiction. The characters can come from their beloved Manga (Japanese comics) or Anime (Japanese animated cartoons) but can also include any fictional character from popular culture like Harry Potter or Star Wars.
While Cosplay is Japanese in origin, the practice has been around since superheroes hit the comic books. Nobody can really say for sure how it all started. The only thing we do know is that the term “Cosplay” was coined in 1984 at the Los Angeles Science Fiction convention “Worldcon” to describe exactly what was going on. The characters they portray may be purely fictional, but the hype that surrounds Cosplay is very real.
Whether you see them as performance artists or die-hard fanatics, those that attend these Cosplay conventions are the dedicated people of the anime community; among them, most notably, the Cebu Cosplayers Club. After all, they’re all volunteers. No expense is spared in the character’s costumes. Expect to shell out between PHP 3,000- PHP5,000 for just a wig! A custom-made costume should set you back by over ten grand, at least. As David Cua, another avid Cosplayer puts it: “You express your admiration through time, effort and money.” With the amount they spend for costumes, one can’t help but ask: just what is it about Cosplay that draws these people in? Why do they do it?
“It’s a form of escape, it’s like you get to be someone else for a day,” says Andrea, “It’s all about the experience like stepping into another world. To Cosplayers it’s all about perfection,” says David. Either get the look right, or don’t bother Cosplaying at all is something any avid fashion enthusiast can relate to. “It’s about showing your admiration for the character. You don’t just have to look the part, you have got to portray the essence of who they are; their personality and morals. It’s like you’re indirectly telling others just how much the character has influenced you in some way,” says David.
Cosplay is a little more than just people playing dress-up. “It’s a whole other culture,” according to Jessica Ouano. The rising culture owes its roots to Japanese pop culture that has blossomed uniquely on its own. The fashion is both directly influenced by, and influences modern Japanese street fashion. It’s a form of role-playing that adheres to a code of ethics and morals revolving around camaraderie and good clean fun. At events, they pose for photographers, and onlookers are free to have their pictures taken with them at any time. “It’s not something you can put into words; you’d have to be there to describe it,” says Andrea.
Being a Cosplayer is a membership into an eccentric community. Andrea shares, one of Cosplay’s perks; “I can meet more people I can relate with, it’s fun to get together with people who share the same interests!” The phenomenon has also created communities such as the CCC (Cebu Cosplayers Club), GECCO (Gathering of Enthusiastic Cebuano Coplayers), and CARF (Cosplay and Anime Related Friends).
Call it a trend, a movement or a culture, Cosplay is many things to many people. Regardless of what it is, one thing remains clear: like the sticky Japanese rice, it’s here to stay.
by Kairos Alo sittings editor David Jones Cua photography Anne Lorraine Uy lighting assistant Ryan Salvatorre Riveral
fashion styling Mia Arcenas and Alyssa Lao hair stylist Mae Gonzaga make-up artists Joe Branzuela, Arianna Gajudo, and Christine Francia models Jessica Ouano, Yuki Akai, Miles Semblante, Ed Buenaviaje of LINES production assistant Rizbelle Ostrea
locale Bubble Bee Tea House, Family Park documentation Trishia Lim
Cebuano Pride: The National Museum of Cebu
Pride of Cebu
By Eva Gullas
photos courtesy of DOT
The Uncommon Traditions that Mexicans and Filipinos share when celebrating the Day of the Dead.
Dia de los Muertos
By Allain Dumon Fonte
The 2nd of November is All Soul’s Day, a holiday that is very important to many Filipinos to remember our loved ones who passed on. This is also widely celebrated in Mexico as “Dia De los Muertos” or in English, “The Day of the Dead”. And Mexicans celebrate the 2nd of November grander than they celebrate Christmas. Well, you can witness it from the Disney movie, “Coco”.
As All Soul’s Day or Dia de los Muertos is about to end, here are some interesting traditions and superstitions that Filipinos and Mexicans share:
1. IT IS NOT ON THE 31st OF OCTOBER
Dia de los Muertos or All Soul’s Day is not practiced on October 31st or on the Hallow’s Eve as many other western cultures practice; but we celebrate it on the 2nd of November. We celebrate November 1st as All Saint’s Day or the Day of the Holy, while in Mexico they call it Dia de los Innocentes or Dia de los Angelitos to commemorate the children who died too early in life.
2. THE RITUAL
Both in Mexico and in the Philippines, we visit the grave of our loved ones and we clean it well. This is a ritual to honour their resting places and to let them know that they are never forgotten.
3. FLOWERS INVITE SPIRITS
In Mexico, they believe that the scent of flowers attract spirits. So the flower offerings are invitation to their dead loved ones to visit the living families. While in the Philippines, we believe that flowers offered to the dead exalt the souls and somehow fill in the sadness that we feel when missing our dead loved ones.
Most of the time, Filipinos choose all-white flowers to offer because white is the absence of colour, which means the absence of Joy and happiness. White also symbolises purity of soul which we hope our dead loved ones will attain as they journey to heaven. While in Mexico, they have the yellow Mexican marigolds as the official flowers of the dead that will guide them in their journey to the afterlife.
4. THE LEGEND OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES
Both cultures believe that monarch butterflies are dead loved ones who visit us and show their appreciation that we have not forgotten them. A presence of monarch butterflies also means that our dead loved ones are always there guiding us and looking after us.
5. A PICNIC IN THE GRAVEYARD
Spending a night at the graveyard and picnicking with the rest of the family may sound very creepy to many; but to both Filipino and Mexican cultures, picnicking and spending a night at the cemetery is a must to show our love to our dearly departed. It is the only time in the year that families gather and tell stories of the dead loved ones and how colourful or how great their lives were.
6. FOOD FOR THE DEAD
In Mexico, they have what they call “ofrendas” or an altar where the pictures of their dead loved ones are displayed and offered with flowers, candles, and their favourite food. Very similar to the Filipino culture of cooking the favourite food of our dead loved ones and everyone in the family enjoys the food for dinner.
My family tradition involves me driving all the way to Colon street and buy that famous Snow Sheen’s “pancit canton”. This is my granddad’s favourite snack. Sadly, the old Visayan Restaurant is no longer there. My late uncle and my late grandpa love their sweet ad and sour fish. We also set up an “ofrenda” on their graveyard and eat their favourite food while picnicking in the cemetery. We do not spend a night in the cemetery; but while we are picnicking there, we usually play the songs of Pilita Corrales and Susan Fuentes that my late grandpa used to listen every afternoon while enjoying his coffee, pan de sal, and pancit canton.
What about your family traditions? Share your thoughts by commenting to this article.
MODEL: Michael Joseph Mortola Enriquez & Alexis Wingfield
PHOTOGRAPHER: Gianne Paolo Anciano
HMUA/DESIGNER: Hazel Ocaba
STYLING: GPA Lifestyle + Clothing
Catch Ted Lasso the Emmy Award Winning Comedy Series on Apple TV+
Rating: *****/ *****
The multi award–winning comedy series airing on Apple TV+ is one of my favorite shows. Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis is about a fun good-natured American football coached hired by a British soccer club (AFC Richmond in London) to become their new coach. In spite of the fact that Ted has no experience or knowledge about British football/soccer, his positive demeanor and charm helps him overcome the animosity of the team’s players, staff and fans. Eventually Ted wins over the team and the locals as they fight for position in the English Premier League.
The show won the 2021 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and 7 Emmy Awards in its 2 seasons and Season 3 is just around the corner. You can catch Seasons 1 & 2 of Ted Lasso on Apple TV+