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Yes to Cosplay Promotion in the Philippines!

Cosplay is a portmanteau of the words costume and play, meaning that cosplayers are people who don
costumes and at the same time role-play the character they are dressed up as. Cosplayers are particularly
(but not exclusively) fans who wear costumes of a specific character to from anime, manga, games, or
even movies. It is a performance art where fans can cosplay to show appreciation and adoration to the
character that they love. Cosplay should be promoted more in the Philippines. I believe that it needs more
attention and that it could be useful aside from being just a fun activity to enjoy. Cosplay can benefit the
country and the cosplayers themselves in more ways than one.

It should be promoted more because first: it is a way to showcase Filipino creativity and culture. Filipinos
are really known to be creative. In cosplay, this is reflected in resourcefully and wonderfully made props.
Craftsmanship is always appreciated Filipinos are more skillful because they dont have much
resources . . . but are able to make do with what they have, said US-based Filipina cosplayer Jerry
Polence from an article about cosplay and creativity. Seijin, a cosplayer for 3 years that I interviewed
mentioned that the craftsmanship in the Philippine cosplay community is taking a large development
elaborate costumes and props are often seen in the cosplay market these days, and that this development
is one of the markers that the community is improving. Aside from that, there have been cosplay-related
movements and events that incorporate Filipino culture. Last December 8, 2012, Naruto Cosplayers
Philippines, a known cosplay organization in the Philippines, included a special category, which was
called Best Philippine Historical Character, in their cosplay contest event OTAKU ENCORE: Cosplay
Idol at SM Baliwag. This special category included any cosplay of characters from Philippine history, be

it fiction or non-fiction. There was also GTMACCON Pinoy Komiks Cosplay Pre-Event at the Fisher
Mall held last October 31, 2014, wherein Pinoy Komiks Cosplayers was introduced to the public with the
respective creators of the characters that they portrayed. There was also the category of Best Maligno
Cosplay during the event, which was meant to encourage todays generation to know more about
Philippine Mythology.

Second, enriching cosplay in the Philippines could promote the Philippines more to the world. World
Cosplay Summit, an annual international cosplay event, is a cosplay championship between participating
countries around the world. This year 2014, Philippines was actually an observing team. Yokoso News
describes the red carpet parade of WCS in Japan, and said that team Philippines and team Japan stood out
from the rest of the other teams. The good news is that next year, Philippines will compete. Well-known
Filipino cosplayers too, like Alodia Gosiengfiao and Liui Aquino, are being invited to cosplay
conventions that are held outside the Philippines. As they go to other places in the world to visit, they
bring the name of our country with them.

Third, it could also promote tourism in the Philippines. In Fukui, Japan, cosplay was used intending to
boost tourism in an area where there is a seiyokan or a western-style house. Cosplay could be used in a
similar way to promote our landmarks too. There was also interesting news in Singapore about four
students that won in a tourism innovation competition. These students propsed a theme park idea focused
on cosplay, where guests can get to dress up based on the cosplay themes present on the park, which
includes a spaceship hotel theme, an army theme, a medieval theme, and a pirate theme. I really found
this as an interesting idea to promote tourism, moreover incorporating cosplay onto it.

Fourth, it is a work or business opportunity. Selling cosplay related things like wigs, contact lenses,
costumes, props, etc., can be a good sideline for income generating projects. In Facebook, cosplay-related
shops that offer these things are widespread now to attend to cosplayers needs. Aside from the existence
of online shops, there are also the professional photographers and specialized sellers like wig dealers,
costume makers, props makers, and anime magazine publishers that also feature cosplayers and cosplay
events around the Philippines.

Fifth, it should be promoted because it is a healthy art where a person can meet new people with the same
interests and make friends, develop social skills, boost his or her self-confidence, and improve artistic
abilities and talents. According to an article from the official website of The Ministry of Tourism, Culture,
and Environment of Sabah, Datuk Siringan Gubat, minister of The Resource Development and
Information Technology Ministry of Malaysia, considers cosplay in Sabah as a healthy performance art
that involves a lot of creativity. He is supportive of it because cosplay is a community-driven activity
involving youths and arts, creativity, and enhancement of talents. Like in Sabah, cosplay is also growing
in popularity in the Philippines, and this growth is supposed to promote the spirit of supporting one
another. Siringan also adds that These are all healthy and positive traits that we wish to promote and
encourage. We hope more people, especially the youths, will join the community and share the passion,
enjoy the spirit of camaraderie and develop a strong character and personality along the way. Meeting
new people, making friends and making connections with other people mainly develop social skills. In
line with this, it also boosts confidence.
With realization of ones own potential & self confidence in ones ability, one can build a better world.
-Dalai Lama

With the realization of ones confidence, one can make a positive impact on the world around you, and a
great opportunity to do this is when you meet new people. In cosplaying, you get to meet new people
through the internet, cosplay groups, and through conventions.
Lastly, it should be promoted because cosplay can be used for a good cause. Naruto Cosplayers
Philippines, also known as National Cosplayers Philippines, is an organization that aims to cosplay for a
cause. They do charity works in costume, and bring smiles to peoples faces. They usually involve the
members of the organization to cosplay in events for fund raising for its outreach programs.

But as of now, it is not that wholly accepted in our culture today. Cosplay became a subculture which
presents values that are different from the mainstream. However, it is often misunderstood, especially by
authorities like elder people. It is also barely understood by the society, and that is why it is negatively
criticized by majority (Wang 2010). I decided to conduct more interviews on the same cosplayers whose
responses were also part of my concept paper about escapism in cosplay.

I wanted to know more about the cosplay community in the Philippines, so I had to ask the cosplayers
themselves. After gathering their responses, what I inferred was that the Philippine cosplay community
has a dominant bad side, which is the side full of issues that the cosplayers observed, and a good side,
which shows some positive elements about the community. The good side of the community shows that
the Philippine cosplay community is not all that bad, because of the improving craftsmanship of the props
makers and cosplayers and also because:
Recently, people have been becoming closer with the people around them, and more friends come their
way because they have finally met someone else that they too can relate with, Michelle, cosplayer

All of the responses actually focused more on the bad side of the community. Based from their answers,
the growing issue in the Philippine cosplay community is the spread of cosplayers who only cosplay for
fame. They said that these people are fake cosplayers and the jejecosplayers. They described these
people as cosplayers that do not even know the character that they are cosplaying, and that they cosplay
these characters just because theyre well-known and popular. The cosplayers interviewed were mostly
disappointed because of this.
That defeats the main reason why people cosplay, to show their love for the character." Lenra,
cosplayer

In turn, some cosplayers wanted cosplay to be promoted in a good and right way, so that the negative
criticisms about it would be lessened or better, gone. I also asked the respondents if they would like
cosplay to be promoted more in the Philippines. Nine out of seventeen said that they would want to
promote cosplay more in the Philippines, while seven out of seventeen disagreed, and their main reason
for disagreeing is that they think that cosplay is already mainstream. While this is true, what cosplay in
the Philippines needs is to gain as much legitimacy and as much maturity as it can.

But how can cosplaying in the Philippines be promoted more in a good and right way?

I have a short proposition. There should be cosplay awareness among the Philippine cosplay community.
To achieve this, one of the steps that need to be taken is to put a noticeable amount of standees and
tarpaulins spread around the venues where cosplay events will be held. These standees and tarpaulins
should have the general idea and the real meaning of what cosplay is, which is to cosplay not for fame,
but for love of character. Cosplayers really need this, and this is also a reminder and somehow a warning

to those fake cosplayers and jejecosplayers. Spreading the real meaning of cosplay will take a long
time, but I believe that even little steps like this would really help. I propose that events and conventions
should always have these so that they always uphold the real meaning of why they also organize cosplay
events and conventions in the first place.
Another step that I would like to propose is for more cosplay event organizers to spread and organize
cause-play events. Cause-play is really a great way to show that cosplay can actually inspire, bring
smiles to those people who need it, set good examples, and make a significant change in society. In causeplay, not only can you dress up and act as your favorite character, you could also make a difference in
others peoples lives, and that is a very wonderful thing.

References
Cosplay Network Philippines - https://www.facebook.com/cosplaynetwork.ph/info?tab=page_info
Otaku

Encore:

Cosplay

Idol

New

Category

https://www.facebook.com/NarutoCosplayersPH/posts/174139129393404
World Cosplay Summit Official Site - http://www.worldcosplaysummit.jp/en/about/
"GTMACCON Pinoy Komiks Cosplay Pre-Event at the Fisher Mall on October 31." National
Commission for Culture and the Arts. National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 20 Oct.
2014.

Web.

10

Dec.

2014.

<http://www.ncca.gov.ph/about-

ncca/announcements/announcement.php?i=6232>.
"Town Woos 'cosplayers' for Tourism." The Japan Times. The Japan Times, 15 May 2014. Web. 10 Dec.
2014.

<http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2014/05/15/national/town-woos-cosplayers-

tourism/#.VIgyhzGUcZI>.

Ilona, Jamie. "How cosplaying Boosts a Persons Creativity." INQUIRER.net Lifestyle. Inquirer Group
of Companies, 18 Sept. 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://lifestyle.inquirer.net/67274/howcosplaying-boosts-a-persons-creativity>.
Lee, Amanda. "Cosplay Theme Park Idea Wins Tourism Innovation Competition." TODAYonline.
MediaCorp

News

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17

July

2013.

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2014.

<http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/cosplay-theme-park-idea-wins-tourism-innovationcompetition>.
Pagtalunan, Lie. "WHO WILL BE THE NEXT OTAKU ENCORE: COSPLAY IDOL?"Naruto
Cosplayers

Philippines.

WordPress.org,

Nov.

2012.

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2014.

<http://narutocosplayers.com/who-will-be-the-next-otaku-encore-cosplay-idol/>.
Wang, Kanzhi. COSPLAY IN CHINA: POPULAR CULTURE AND YOUTH COMMUNITY. Thesis.
Lund University, 2010. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Lund University Publications. Web. 12 Nov. 2014.
<http://lup.lub.lu.se/luur/download?
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