Hi everyone! As what I’ve promised in my last post, I’ll now be covering my experience in the biggest cosplay event in the Philippines. Cosplay Mania marks its 8th year and it was held at SMX convention Center last October 3 – 4, 2015.
For this year’s event, 10 international guests are invited to spice up the said event, including famous cosplayers and artists.
OCTOBER 4, 2015. COSMANIA DAY 2
I arrived at SMX convention center at around 11 am and I was shocked to see the VERY LONG line of attendees who had bought their tickets online (I bought mine thru SM ticket outlet). I couldn’t imagine the long wait for the ones who don’t have tickets that are still falling in line on the side entrance of the venue.
After the bag inspection, I went straight to the left side to go to the hallway entrance for gold ticket handlers but the staff apologized and said that all attendees except for the meet and greet ticket holders to take the other stairs (which was written as a passageway for Bronze ticket holders). I shrugged and went straight to the long lines (again) towards the passageway.
At the second floor, there are three lines with attendants holding placards saying “this is the end of the line” though I still need to ask on where’s the line for the gold ticket holders. I wish they put some labels in their placards as well if ever they would do the same method by next year. (UPDATE: They put the labels already ). The staff registered my ticket and they had given me a paper bag with their logo embedded and a bag of potato chips.
The Hall EX was more spacious than before! There are lots of stalls and more food choices than before. I bought my all time favorite Takoyaki from Octoboy and sat at the table for diners. I shared the chips and Takoyaki with my best friend Iori and his friend Jayson. Oh btw, my best friend keeps on shouting “Mou Ikai?” in reference to the “feels” scene after watching Anohana Live action.
Near the food stalls, the Cosmania’s Cosshope is located near the entrance of Hall S and near the food stalls wherein you can buy exclusive merchandise from the guests that are affiliated with Cosmania. The Tuxteam’s Jin(behidninfinity), Miguel-Merkymerx, Kat Langomez and A Little Decadence will also sell some of their amazing cosplay photos for a cause.
As we roam around to look for some items (and beautiful cosplayers for my two companions), I’ve noticed that not all of the booths are occupied and some booths with the names indicated above are not the real name of the booths. There’s also the exclusive booth prepared for Usagicos meet and greet presented by Hobby Japan. The stage is located at the middle part of the venue wherein Bronze ticket attendees can enjoy different fun activities and entertainment as well.
After I get dressed (with the help of two strangers that are angels in disguise for me), we went outside and more attendees are crowding the 3/4 of the whole second floor outside.(the remaining 1/4 is reserved for meet and greet and event staff. I tried to deposit my bag in the exclusive baggage counter for Gold and Titanium tickets and I was really surprised that it was full already. (Note: After the event, I’ve visited a lot of groups and found out that the baggage counter became open to the public, which is really unfair for Gold ticket holders like me.)
If the Hall S had the Torch ALL stars and special guests performing, HAll EX will determine the best japanese karaoke singer in the Asia Karaoke Nodojiman Philippine Leg contest. The said winner and two special awards would fly to Japan to compete in the Grand finals of the said event. The contestants voices ranged from awesome to err.. nevermind. There’s this one guy who sang the ending song of Voltes 5 who got the highest cheers of the crowd but didn’t make it to the Top 3 finalists. I like the voice of one of the finalists who sang Kimi ni Todoke BY May’s that I can’t help it but feel sad and control my tears while wrapping my sword. (UPDATE: She won the contest! yay!)
MEET AND GREET: LOVERIN TAMBURIN
One of the highlights of the said convention is the Meet and greet with the special guests. Each guests had different rates and schedule. The said meet and greet ticket is separate from the event ticket itself, except for the Titanium ticket holders. Loverin Tamburin also had their meet and greet for free (for gold and titanium ticket holders only). I registered for the meet and greet since I want to maximize the gold ticket benefits.
The meet and greet started a little late since they just finished the interview portion at hall S. They started to introduced themselves, making bee man the for his introduction and his Jollibee t-shirt.
The event started with a 20-minute Q&A portion. I asked a question on which character from Disgea that they like the most and they all answered Ethna, because she’s the sexiest in the series for them. Others asked some questions as well, in which some of them I would indicate here in this post. Kindly be advised that the following are written based on my own interpretation on the Q&A portion and the parts that I can still recall while typing this blog entry.
Person 1: What’s the next project of Loverin Tamburin as a band?
Aya – Loverin Tamburin: We would sing at Tokyo Olympics by next year.
*crowd saying ooh and a surge of applause*
Person 2: To Fire-san, why did you name yourself as Fire?
FIre – Loverin Tamburin: Actually.. I forgot why. They just call me as fire *someone from the band talked to him and chatted* ah! I remember! When I was in school (junior high or High school, I forgot. pardon) I like wearing this certain jacket with Fire designs on the sleeves. Then my friends and classmates started calling me Fire, and still calling me with that name even though I had stopped wearing the jacket for a very long time.
Person 3: To bee-man, which food from Jollibee did you liked the most and why?
Bee-Man – Loverin Tamburin: (note: he answered in Engrish) Cheeseburger. *crowd gets a bit noisy* I ordered cheeseburger and when I opened the bun, I see cheese. When I checked the next layer, it was cheese, cheese and cheese. No Burger patty. *most of the attendees laughs and says ‘woo’, including myself* Is it normal at Jollibee? *crowd shouted yes while I answered no.*
A guy that is seated at my back said try Angels burger but I think he didn’t hear it.
The Q&A portion ended and the poster signing started by rows. After the signing, the photo opportunity with the guests started, again by row. In addition, I would like to mention that due to the increasing popularity of Aldub’s famous Pabebe wave, some attendees did the pose in which the guests asked those attendees about it and the guests and imitated them. The M&G ended and I went back to the Hall EX to change my outfit for the JAM concert.
HALL S – JAM CONCERT
Hall S is the main stage for the JAM (Japanese Anime Music) concert and the Cosplay competitions. Also, interview with the guests are also held in this hall. I went to Hall S at at around 7:30 already (thinking that the concert hall is jam-packed) due to long line of concert goers. At the time I went inside, I was surprised that the concert hall is quite large wherein you can still lay down and sleep at the fully air-conditioned hall while listening to awesome music. All cameras and videos are strictly prohibited in the JAM Concert in respect to the request of the guests and marshals and guards are roaming around to monitor the situation.
The first one to perform is Loverin Tamburin, singing their famous songs and some covers like Yuzurenai Negai from Magic Knight Rayearth. They also mentioned during their performance that they had learned the Pabebe wave (see Meet and Greet: Loverin Tamburin portion of this post) and asked the audience to do the same.
The next performance came from Itsuki Akira, a cosplayer turned Idol. She was cosplaying as Mario Genderbender during her performance. She introduced herself, and she was really trying her best to speak in English for us to understand her in which the crowd really appreciated. Then her interpreter went onstage and said that she was really grateful that the crowd was really lively on her performance and it eased her nervousness while waiting on the backstage. She sang two of her songs but sadly she needs to end her performance already due to unknown reasons.
Then almost 15 minutes had passed, and the crowd keep on shouting “Pile” and a certain group of girls shouted “Pile-sama”. When the screen flashed Pile’s JAM poster, the crowd roared really loud and with the added smokescreen effect Pile emerged in the stage. Her performance was awesome, her voice was great, and I could feel the energy on her performance. The crowd roared, moved their glow sticks in different directions and cheered for every song. I can’t resist the impact and I bought a glow stick at a marshal who passed by. The crowd was in high spirits, singing along especially when Pile sang Snow Halation and Aishiteru Banzai. Her performance ended and the crowd (including me) shouted for an encore. Pile granted everyone’s wish and she sang the first two songs before ending the concert.
As one of the major pop culture convention in the Philippines, I can say that you shouldn’t miss this event every year. The execution of the event went smoothly and there is stage entertainment for both Hall EX and Hall S. The food stall choices are vast and there are tables to sit on. Also, there are lots of sponsors and freebies for most booths that everyone can have. There are more booths to buy stuff and the passageway is a little bigger than before.The Hall S is spacious and fully air-conditioned (and I regret not bringing a jacket). Though there is no freedom hall, most cosplayers gather outside the event hall which is still observed by guards that are more polite than the guards at Megamall (those with megaphones). At the entrance, attendees can buy tickets on the first floor and there are lesser “team labas” than before due to the implementation of “No Ticket, No Entry policy” of SMX.
After the pros, of course there are always cons in the event. First, the baggage counter. I hope by next year they can prioritize the Gold and Titanium ticket holders. Second, I hope that they would inform everyone if there will be changes through their FB page. Third, I hope that there will be a tighter security especially for booths since there are lots of pickpockets and snatchers and ban them in every cosplay events (especially scammers). Also, I wish that they would add some workshop/panels that will be held in the meeting rooms as well.
(RANT IN TAGLISH) Lastly, for SOME CONGOERS, PARANG AWA NIYO NA ITAPON NIYO NAMAN YUNG BASURA NIYO SA TAMANG BASURAHAN! MAAWA KAYO SA MANAGEMENT! KAYA TAYO PINAGIINITAN DAHIL SA KABABUYAN NIYO. MASWERTE KAYO DI KO KAYO NAKIKITA PERO SARAP LAGYAN NG PAPEL MGA LIKOD NIYO AT IPAHIYA DAHIL DI KAYO NAGTATAPON NG BASURA NIYO! DAPAT IBAN NA DIN KAYO SA EVENT KASAMA NG MAG SCAMMERS AT SNATCHERS! (end of rant)
Ahem,Overall, I recommend Cosmania to be part of your planned pop culture convention every year. Good Job Cosplay.Ph for the wonderful event! I’ll look forward for more surprises and improvements!
If you have any questions, feel free to ask me by leaving a comment here or drop a message to the following links listed in my About section.
(Disclaimer: Banner, guests list, floor plan and list of activities came from cosplay.ph website. I do not own them).
Arigatou Gozaimasu minna-san~
❤ Shoujo Chan ❤