Friday, December 30, 2011

Great cosplay ideas

The great thing about going around is that you pick up lots of idea for your cosplay, or at least in my point of view, mecha related ones.

Me, my wife and some friends visited the WOW Toy Museum in Quezon City, just 40 minute drive from where I live.  We took a tour around the place that was filled with both recent and nostalgic toys.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Trophies and Bias

You know my biggest regret in being involved for so long in the local cosplay community?  Is that I don't often get to join contests without being completely free of bias.  It may be a surprise to you, but other than supporting cosplaying for fun, I also support cosplay competitions, because it helps heighten the quality of the hobby.  Its really those who cannot handle the responsibilities of joining contests that annoy me (sour-graping, cheating and power tripping).

I enjoyed the days when I was just a regular cosplayer. And if I wanted to join a contest, I'm good with it because I hardly know the organizers and the judges, and they hardly know me.  These days I'm now part of a group that organizes cosplayers, that I'm invited to judge contests, and for better or worse, personally knew some (if not, most) who have become popular or famous because of cosplay.  If ever I would like to join a contest, I would join one that has little to do with me (a good example is TOEI, but I missed this year and have to wait for the next 5 years).  Also true why I jumped on the chance to join a contest overseas like AFA. Less bias.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

For everyone who has been dear to us! And my apologies for
spamming your Facebook pages. But look at the bright side
at least you wont get sick of our hangover faces. :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Christmas Party that almost was

Every year we manage to pull off one of the traditions of the community is to set up a Christmas party.  It's unique in a way for the costume-clad cosplay community because this is the gathering where we discourage visitors wearing costumes so that a more meaningful interaction can be done between members and their guests. A sort of team building seminar, where people mingle with one another and team together to win games.  And so far it has not produced any bloodshed of sorts, but I digress.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to maintain your Internet Identity even when you're dead

Those in the cosplay community already know this "Heather Mikayle" character trending in the internet as the infamous impostor of Saya, the famous cosplayer who was reported to have died recently, according to her FB fan page.  Identity theft in the internet is nothing new because anyone can just log in and give themselves an identity, even if someone else already owned it.

But I wont be talking about Heather, there are enough blogs by everyone, including established news networks, to read and discuss about (Google it if you really want to know more).  Right now I'm actually fascinated about one thing: how to make sure people wont steal your identity, even when you're dead.  I've thought about a few things, based on experience and some forward thinking, and other than trying to be famous or infamous.  I'll try to sum it up as simple and short as possible.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Anime Festival Asia 2011: Day 3 (Nov 13)

Continued from AFA Day 2...

I really hate my body clock. @_@

Barely shaving 4 hours of sleep, I woke up feeling haggard and with body pains due to mine not being used to walking around for hours in a mecha costume. But instead of working on fixing the costumes (the Zakus need major adjustments, we didnt test-run them to be worn for almost two hours and the, erm, crotch armor for both kept falling off) I decided to melt off the pain by dipping in a bathroom tub full of warm water.  The water felt really good, I actually slept in the bathtub for an hour! Im glad my body was too long for the tub as my head was clearly above the water and over the rim, but I ended up looking like a crinkled raisin when I got out.

Since this was our last day and our scheduled flight out of Singapore was around 5:40pm later that day, we already packed our things and prepared to check-out the hotel by lunch.  With the help of Melo and Dom, along with our roomies Rotch and Rael, we carried our bags to Suntec and arrived at the designated area assigned to us backstage.

Before going backstage, we bumped into some friends who were already in their cosplay costumes like Leanne and Judith (im not sure what you guys were cosplaying, sorry ^^;;) and of course, the Tux Team as well.

Remember I mentioned that Melo and Dom helped us in carrying our costumes to Suntec?  Yes, they were already wearing those costumes.  XD

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anime Festival Asia 2011: Day 2 (Nov 12)

Continued from AFA Day 1...

My body clock was my worst enemy that morning.  No matter what time I've slept, I always wake up at 6am, despite sleeping past 1am that morning thanks to the room romping pajama party at the 12th floor earlier that night.

I spent the next hour fixing the costumes while trying my best not to wake any of my roomies.  By 7am Jewel was awake and left the room 30 minutes later to pick up our AFA tickets at 8am.  Rotch and Rael left later at around 8am to take a walk leaving me by myself fixing and preparing the costumes for later.  I used one of the big boxes, and with the rope we brought along, fashioned it into a crude backpack.  Then Jewel, Rotch and Rael came back around 10am, and before leaving, decided to have a very heavy brunch before dragging the costumes to Suntec.  We decided to eat at this food court where Jewel and Rotch decided to eat a claypot meal and Rael and I some Indonesian fare.

Claypot Meals Pork "Liempo" and  Sausage
Awfully bland Pepsi Twist :P
Claypot cooking intrigued me.  Its basically putting a rice topping meal over a super hot clay pot, practically burning the bottom rice portions into crunchy flakes (or slabs, depending on how long you let it burn before tossing it around).  Jewel was immediately addicted to them, and Rotch swears to it like manna from heaven.  Im not a big fan of burned rice slabs so I opted for the softer Indonesian food, which unfortunately slathered in super hot spicy sauce.  And to make matters worse, all of their canned softdrinks were bland! Its because the Singapore government regulates the sugar levels of the food they consume, which includes Pepsi products. Either way I was meant to be doomed in this culinary challenge.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Anime Festival Asia 2011: Day 1 (Nov 11)

It's been a week since we got home and until now I still don't know how to start writing down the experience without being tempted to type everything down in CAPSLOCK.  It's been a whirlwind of an adventure from start to finish.

Me and my wife Jewel had been playing around the idea of traveling to Singapore last May, just when's Tournament of Champions was gearing up for its debut on June.  We thought this year would be the best time to do it since we would be witness to our first AFA event with following our Philippine Representative for their Regional Cosplay Competition.  Cosplay Mania,'s annual cosplay-centric event, will become the final showdown for TORCH finalists, with the winner to be sent to Singapore.  Three months before AFA, we decided to do something radical for a change: why not cosplay in Singapore, and in mecha of all things so we can show our support for the Philippine Team and show the other ASEAN cosplayers talented Filipino cosplayers can be.  Our choice of cosplay being Custom Zakus from the Gundam UC universe will be foretold in detail in another entry titled "Pretty fly for Mono-Eye: The making of Zaku cosplay", so for now this entry will be about our experience in AFA in general.
All we need now are zombies! 
We're way too early

My stuff on our way to Customs
Her stuff at Changi Airport in Singapore

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Our first ever Mecha Photoshoot

We've planned for this for a long time but it always seemed stonewalled at ever corner thanks to our work and other real life responsibilities. But thanks to a surprise opportunity by my friends from and the laser-tag gaming place called Lazer Extreme we were able to do our photo-shoot in return to being temporary mascots for the establishment.

Me and my friend Ricki were able to bring over our Zaku I and GM mobile suits for the photo-shoot.

It wasn't really the most well prepared of photoshoots, as our costumes were already in disrepair by the time the opportunity came. But we were able to make the most out of it: even Ricki was able to make me a Heat Hawk out of scrap material, in exchange for me lending him my sniper gun (which happens to be almost physically similar to what the MS Feds use with their own snipers).

I also realized trying to stay still in a prone position !@#$&^#$!! hurts your back and lower legs like hell! You'd think making your costume out of rubber sheets would be light enough, but try doing it in a photo-shoot where the positions you need to do is what most people would normally called Yoga. I'm exaggerating, but still, try doing it with a heavy load on your back.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The 2AM Experience: from a non-fan but married to one

I never really imagined myself writing an article about Korean bands, much less 2AM. But thanks to my wife who is a huge fan of the group, I have been immersed in their pop culture whenever she gets the opportunity, whether I like it or not. Im not saying I dont like 2AM, or the very least Korean music. I guess its a new thing for me, since im rather loyal to Japanese music more than anything else foreign in an Asian kind of way.

Anyways, again my wife is a big fan of the Korean Boy Band 2AM that when the announcement came that they will be visiting the Philippines in a 4 day "Meet and Greet" tour, she was ecstatic so say the least. They were slated to visit on April 27 to 30. She planned to attend the meet and greet on April 29 Venetian Mall and April 30 Eastwood City. In fairness to her, she never forced me to accompany her, she was always giving me the option to duck out whenever the opportunity presents itself, but being the diligent husband who worries that her wife, despite being physically capable of defending herself, might be too overwhelmed by a stampede of hundreds of raving drooling fangirls.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I'm Not Most People

This was originally written back in 2006 in my now defunct Vox blog and was republished in the first CPH mini-magazine during the 2006 National Cosplay Competition held by the people behind Ozine and CPH. I've edited some grammar but the info is mostly intact and original. If you change the dates from 2006 to 2011, you'd be surprised the gist is still the same.

Recovered this file using the Waybackmachine, just thought I'd publish it here.


"Hi, my name is Robert, and I'm not most people."

Unfortunately this line, which was a statement of non-conformity back in 2000 to 2002, has lost its unique appeal given to the fact that what a few people did then has become the norm now. What am I talking about? Cosplaying of course.

Cosplaying has been one of those very unusual hobbies in the Philippines due to the fact that it involves people dressing up in garments similar to 2D cartoon characters and acting like them... in public. Yep, these little bunch of crazies would arm themselves in little groups, go to the mall during conventions, and wear costumes of their favorite anime idol. Its not what most people would do, or even touch with a ten foot pole. This hobby is within the realm of the underground minority at that time: the misunderstood, the rejected, the geeks, the freaks. Yep, they're called Anime Otakus.

Cosplaying is like the next step, a loud if not alarming statement to the public at large: "I'm wearing a costume, I love my anime, kiss my ass or bite me fools!"

So like i said, we were not most people.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is there life after Goddess?

With the community currently abuzz by Alodia quitting cosplay, I find a lot of people swearing off cosplay forever because their idol did the same. She is known in the cosplay community as the media-labeled Cosplay Goddess (via her Glode Telecommunication endorser stint).

I find it sad really, because to me it goes to show that the hobby/interest was always second to them. But its their choice and I wont stop them from doing so. But if there is any silver lining to the whole thing, it brought up to light issues that had always been suspected but never discussed: was cosplay really your genuine choice?

Reactions from her quitting had opened up a can of worms. Many commentators had implied that they only cosplay because she did, because they were inspired by her, and so on. Idolizing is not uncommon, although with the hobby, it sure is strange to realize that a whole lot of people cosplay not because they love the characters they emulate, but they love a fellow cosplayer. If they used cosplay only as a means to attract her attention or find an excuse to get close to her, I'll never know.

As I read back and forth the comments publicly posted on her social network account, I am not surprised at the amount of apathy and rabidness these skirmishes produce. Ive encountered my share, but in fairness to some of her fans, I do encounter those who are intelligent, rational and well-meaning ones, and now are even my trusted friends. Respect:quid pro quo, as the saying goes.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Why taking and giving criticism is pretty much hard to swallow

Its actually hard to criticize anything (in cosplay) without hurting anyone's feelings even if the critic itself was well intentioned, especially if its towards a person being criticized who has loyal peeps who often (and amusingly) gets hurt in their stead, so the actual helpful intention gets muddled under all that trolling from defenders.

I remember having one amusing critic who said I had kick-ass costumes, and then saw a pic of me unmasked and said "ay tabatsing pala (omg he's a fatso!)". Hehe, i guess you can't please everyone.

Critics have one goal in mind: to find out what they feel is wrong with you or your presentation. How they say it is always open to debate and interpretation. And the most important part of is how YOU take the criticism. The best way to do it is to first find out what was your real intention of doing what you did. Then check out their comments and find out which ones you feel is relevant to your intention. And when you identify which comment would help you improve, thank them and ignore the rest you deem as trolls. This is not a perfect system, mind you, it depends on your mindset. If you look at the comments with a narrow mind, thinking that only good comments are worth looking at and ignoring what you or friends or loyalists felt as negative comments/trolling without really thinking it over, then there is really nothing a good or civil criticism can help you.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Decade of Homecomings: UPAME

To start, it doesn't feel like a High School reunions you see on TV, if there were any drama, they definitely didn't show it, not yet maybe, ehe.

Yesterday, I attended the UPAME Grand Homecoming at Teacher's Village near UP. I received the invitation almost two months early via email and random sightings in cons by members. The reunion is done every five years and hosted by the current batch, which is aptly described as BATCH 10. The numerical designation serves also as a perfect reminder how long has been since UPAME sprouted from the minds of four young anime manga enthusiasts (or geeks, if you please XD) and decided to create an org dedicated solely to the appreciation of the then hard to acquire (and understand!) media called anime and manga. From a humble starting group of twenty on the first semester, to the almost riot number of new members lining up to be part of AME we see today.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Cosplay: a many strangest thing

This was originally a reply to Geneakizuki's post regarding his blog topic "The Cancer of the Cosplay Community" a year ago, where other parties who cosplay have developed their own meaning for cosplaying. This isn't recent, and i have even talked about in my old Vox blog (gone now, should have saved that one) and was even published in a local cosplay mini-magazine back in 2005-2006.

There has been talks of cosplay being interpreted in so many ways other than just "cosplaying for fun". Its because people are willing to interpret cosplay the way they feel most comfortable with.