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

From there we met AC and Zhel of Team March Omega, who were preparing their costumes along with the other contestants.  We greeted them and gave them all our good luck and cheer and even showed them our message on our shields.  Since we assumed we will be first to go onstage, we told them we'll be cheering for them when we do our catwalk.
Robocon Cosplayer - Photo by Steve Yau
Jale Tecson as Megurin Luca - Photo by Steve Yau
Kioske Kazumi as Gakupo - Photo by Steve Yau
The first person I met backstage was this guy who cosplayed the classic Robocon.  Well, technically I talked to his parents(?) who were intrigued with the material we were using for our Zakus.  I also met two other Filipino finalists who cosplayed Vocaloid characters.  Their names were Jale Tecson (as Megurin Luca) and Kioske Kuzumi (as Gakupo).  We were surprised they live pretty much near us, as we live near Bicutan and they in Sucat.  We shared our excitement as we tried to dress up in our bulky costumes. They helped us out and half-way there was this guy in an awesome skull-motif mask that I mistook for some sort of Kamen Rider.  He actually went forward and asked if he can be of assistance, and I was grateful for that, and happy that a total stranger actually went forward to help out.  I was staring at his mask and it looked like molded plastic.  I asked him if he made it himself and he said yes, and thought to myself "Holy crap, this guy's cosplay si good! Its going to be a tough contest for us!"  I had wished that Guy was here with us because he can give this guy a good run with his Garo cosplay.  But despite all that he was awesome in a way how he just went forward and helped his fellow cosplayers.

Turns our later he wasn't one of the finalists of the RCC Singles Competition.  He was Richfield Edbert from Indonesia cosplaying as a classic toku character Skullman, and he was to my surprise, one of the judges of RCC along with Kaname and Usagi!

Photo from
Jewel was already dressed up, and then Kaname and Usagi came out of their VIP room and had their pictures taken with her.  Kaname was still looking and touching her Zaku's eye and if I werent such a jealous paranoid hubby I'd suspect he's hitting on her. :P  But I believe he liked the fact that we can move the eye without any form of electronic mechanism.

The surprises didn't end there.  Just as I was halfway done, Jewel was suddenly shouting my name and frantically waving her arms.  As I looked up I couldnt believe my eyes...

= It was like standing beside the sun, burning with Spirits of Steel! =
ANIKI! YES! ICHIRO MIZUKI! Notice the allcaps?!  That's how freaking awesome it was to see him standing beside Jewel and saying "Ooooooooh sugoi! Sugoi!"  I was fumbling for our camera, which was buried beneath layers of cloth and rubber sheets as I frantically took off the skirt armor just to get to my pocket where the camera was!  All the time I was stupidly saying "OMG-OMG-OMG-OMG-OMG!" when I finally got the cam and took this shot.

When Jewel bowed and said "Thank You", Aniki's eyes widened and exclaimed "Lady?!" where Jewel nodded and Aniki smiled was so wide it looked as if it could touch his ears!  He posed again with other photographers with Jewel, said thank you and left for the stage.  How I wished I was already in costume then, but Im already happy with a picture of his awesome pose with my equally awesome wife.

Recovering from those few minutes of fangasm, we finally wore our costumes and waited backstage.  Now something weird happened: the schedule that we expected was switched!  Instead of us being first, the RCC competition went ahead of us!  That meant we might be able to watch AC and Zhel's performance!  While waiting we went ahead and approached AC and Zhel and gave them lots of encouragement.  They had their own fears about the outcome and situation, but we told them to simply give their best.  Just them being here is honor enough and expect a lot of people out there cheering for you!

Now you'd think it would be awesome being backstage as the RCC went on, but it sure does suck when you can only see the back part of the stage.  But the crowd reaction was awesome as the Philippine Team went up onstage and did their thing.

Even under the armor, just listening to the music and the skit, and listening to the crowd, my skin went cold and the hair on them stood in attention.  I knew right then and there, that win or lose, we gave them a hell of a show!

Right after the RCC we were next, so off we went up the stairs and waited for the hosts to announce our names. One of the hosts was Danny Choo, and I was very surprised he had a good grasp (and tone) of English. I merely speculated that he wrote good english but never expected he spoke real well and with a tinge of British accent. He actually pronounced my internet name as "Eeeeeeeevaguy-zero-one!". I was second to the last to be called on stage, and as I exited the stage I turned around and waited for Jewel's turn. But then suddenly, Danny Choo announced that the RCC Singles Category is over and that the winner has been pre-judged and selected by the judges. But good thing his co-host corrected him and said they have one more. What miffed me was that he suddenly blamed his co-host for not telling him! I felt bad for the co-host but she held herself admirably and professionally and just went on with the show. Finally Jewel was called onstage and the crowd was not disappointed by her appearance.

Then the winners were announced for the RCC Singles Category.  They were to give away 3 Merit Prizes of 100 SGD for Judge's Pick and then the Grand Prize Winner of 500 SGD and a Canon G12.  All of the judges and their escorts and interpreters went up onstage, including Aniki.  The three winners were the Sun Shang Xian from Sangokushi Taisen video game, Kaname Madoka of Magi Madoka Magica, and Robocon!  Robocon even got a kiss from Usagi and a "Good Job!" pat from Aniki, lucky bastard hahaha!


I'd be lying if I said I never wanted to win.  When we first started the Zaku project two months ago, it's because we wanted to experience cosplaying overseas.  We wanted to be part of the Philippine contingent cheering squad for Team March Omega, a show of support for our Philippine representatives.  Two weeks before AFA, we heard about the first ever Singles Category they recently set up for cosplayers who are not part of the RCC Pair Categories, so we thought why not join since we're already there?  I guess you can count it as being lucky, since in order to be a finalist, you have to be discovered first.  We didnt really know the scope of the territory the secret judges would be roaming around, so we really didnt expect to be found since we only walked within a limited area (exhibition area, butler cafe, and photo booths).  We also thought the territory also involve outside the AFA hall, since I hear majority of cosplayers we're there.  So i guess it may be luck that found us: the judges may have simply homed in on whatever crowd would form and took a peek.  I think I may have understood the limitation: with high profile VIP's like Kaname and Usagi being one(?) of the roaming judges (I dont know if there were more going around) it would be sensible to simply go around the AFA Hall instead of the very public and very accessibly halls outside.  Nevertheless,  whether borne out of impressive craftmanship, audience impact or just plain lucky, I won.

Thank you Steve for the awesome photo! - photo from Steve Yau

You can see the whole RCC Singles Category from start of catwalk to awarding in this Youtube video by Kailitang65.  Thank you for uploading this! :)

AFA X.I RCC (Single Catergory) by kailitang65

Judging from the video I guess I was still elated with what was happening, bowing here and there, and realizing I couldnt grab on to the placard, much less the Canon G12 that Aniki was trying to give me but found a way anyway.  It was my 15 minutes of fame, considering its been years since I've been under the spotlight. My thoughts on how I got from deciding to build the costume to what I felt when I entered a contest after the longest time can be found in my other blog Pretty Fly for a Mono-Eye.  If you tried clicking it and there was no response, dont worry, it only meant im still working on it, ehe.

As I walked backstage with Jewel I was congratulated by the AFA team there, whom I thanked profusely for assisting us onstage.  And then I bumped once again into Aniki!  I told myself im never going to leave this stage until I get an autograph! But lacking any form of paper or pen, I was desperate for something at least!  Aniki probably saw my desperation and laughed as he asked his assistant to find him a pen.  When he got one, I finally asked him to sign my Zaku helmet.

Im never washing this helmet again!!!
Then after that we were like the whirlwind and rushed out of Suntec to chase our airline departure schedule! But before doing so, and while packing like crazy backstage, we say AC and Zhel again and told us they won! THEY WON THE RCC CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!



So we exchanged hugs and congratulations, but we had to cut it short because we needed to go.  As some news people started interviewing them, we slipped away backstage with the help of some AFA volunteers who carried our stuff.  I left our two Zaku guns with one of the volunteers and asked him to give it to Songwen as a thank you and the other gun to Clive for being our gracious host.  Plus its also practical because we no longer have time to chop it up again and pray it passes airport security.  Along the way I met up with some last minute reunion with some of my cousins who waited for us at the Suntec lobby and congratulated us for our win.

My cousins Mathew and Timothy at Suntec!
As we packed our stuff after we managed to meet ends with the hotel and everything, we rode the van to the airport and with just 30 minutes to get there, we were confident we would make it.  But then the weather was suddenly cast into a huge downpour that forced all traffic to slow down.  We missed the "One-Hour-Before-Your-Flight" check in by 5 minutes.  The irony of it all, the 500 SGD we won at AFA was used to pay for another pair of tickets home. Unfortunately due to our discounts and perks being void due to being late, we cannot carry one of our boxes of Zakus.  Fortunately our friends who went with us helped us solve our problem which ended up with Erving going to the airport to pick up the extra box and shipped it via LBC to our address in the Philippines, with the expenses to paid when we get home. T_T I am sooooooo awefully grateful for friends, so touched with what they have done for us.  Due to our flight being moved to 2am the next day, I emailed my boss that I wont be at work tomorrow via McDonald's free internet station service inside the airport, and called up Clive to tell him the whole story.  With lessons learned and stayed awake for the 2am flight with bottled rootbeer, we bid farewell to Singapore and hope we can visit again someday.

Thanks again guys for a great time! Until the next awesome cosplay adventure!

Missed the rest of the story? Click on the links below and read them all!


  1. Skullman generally counts as a Kamen Rider, and yes that molded helmet is awesome @_@.

    That incident reminds me of the time I first met you by fangasming at your APU offstage before judging the C3Con cosplay XDDD.

    Take care of that signed helmet. I know where you live. >D

  2. Judith and I were cosplaying characters from Star Driver: Kagayaki no Takuto. ^^

    Judith went as Ivrogne while I was Secretary. ^^

    So happy that you met Ichirou Mizuki! He's so awesome! I was lucky enough to shake his hand and get an autographed poster of him last year. ^^

    He also dedicated Voltes V's ending theme to us Filipinos last year. :)

    If I remember correctly, Danny Choo grew up in the UK, hence the British accent.

    Congratulations once again!!! :D

  3. Awwww Richfield offered assistance. That guy is really so nice ;A; Congrats to you and Ate Jewel~~~ grabe galing galing!!!

  4. So happy for you & your wife & everyone from Philippines. :)
    And Richfield is one of the EOs for CLAS:H, hehe..
    He can make a duet with Sir Guy Singzon.. :D
    Oh I really hope all of you can come to Indonesia next year~ ^^