Melo Lazatin, Tanya Bairan offer their insights for the past 2 days of Cosplay Mania 12.
Cosplay Mania 12 was not only historic for the sense that two big Japanese cosplayers, KANAME☆ and Reika, went to the event for the very first time. It was also historic because it eclipsed its own expectations.
There were reports of tickets running out, then the guesting of TV5 stars which added glitter, adding to that the crowning of North Metro cosplay champs “Adventure Team” as the grand winner of the 2012 Cosplay Tournament of Champions (ToRCh), and the high-octane cosplay action on both the individual and group cosplay competitions.
But for two individuals from Cosplay.ph, the organizers of the event, Cosplay Mania 12 was not only just an event, it was a job that they had to fulfill, making each of the estimated 15,000 people in attendance for two days excited, engaged and at the same time feel that they are a part of history.
For Melo Lazatin, Hosting Cosplay Mania capped off not only just two days of sheer excitement. He has been the host of the Cosplay Tournament of Champions since it started in Baguio City and he had witnessed all the eight finalists in action.
“On the eight teams you saw today…. When I was there, sitting down, I was having a hard time [deciding] because you could see that everyone has made the effort… and then the costumes were fantastic…. The craftsmanship was magnificent. I have to say it was anybody’s game.” Mr. Lazatin said during the post-event interview with ZEN Otaku Honbu.
This, he admits, despite that he wanted Adventure Team, the ToRCh champions to win because, as he says, “they’re my friends”.
He also says that all of the performances in the ToRCh would give the country a fighting chance to defend the crown in the Asian Regional Cosplay Championships.
“We have the best of the best” he exclaims.
Being the host also had its own perks, example of which was being with the international guests, KANAME☆ and Reika, who graced the audience during their meet and greet portions.
“As I was hosting earlier, when I would have problems speaking or I ran out of lines onstage, The one thing that stuck to me was, when all else fails, mention KANAME☆, Reika and Jesuke and you will have a crowd backed up on their feet, they will be cheering , they will be happy.” Mr. Lazatin said.
He says that the presence of the international guests had made an impact on the event, since everybody in the audience were happy to see and meet them.
Although it was not visible onstage, he admits that he was terrified sharing the stage with the two cosplay superstars because of the language barrier.
“First of all, I couldn’t really speak in Japanese…. If I would like to say something to him, it was a little intimidating because I have to wait for the interpreter…. But overall, he seems like a very down-to-earth person, You’ve seen him join the Photobomb Challenge, he wasn’t even asked, and he just jumped in!” Mr. Lazatin says.
He says that it was nice seeing people of that stature like Kaname enjoying the basic things like this.
When asked about his hosting duties for the event, he says that hosting the event didn’t feel like work, It was just like being onstage, with the people he says, he enjoys hanging out with in a community he enjoys being with.
To cap off all of this, he says to all of the people who went for the two-day affair.
“Thank you for supporting this event…. What we do here in Cosplay.ph is for everyone, this is the event that we prepare for the entire year just for you, the cosplayers. This isn’t about money, this isn’t about being famous, this is for the cosplayers… And I am just so happy that the people who made the effort to be here, they were entertained…. All of us, on behalf of Cosplay.ph, are so thankful that you were with us for the past two days, regardless of the weather condition. We cannot express how much we appreciate, and as one person… I would say on behalf of the staff, again, thanks so much for being here.”
And what can he say to the winners of the ToRCh?, “One thing’s for sure, You don’t have to be Ironclad to win a tournament!”
“We always had the cosplayers in mind”
For her part, Tanya Bairan, Cosplay.ph Directress and the overall in-charge of the Operations of the Event Area, which is Function Room 5, is thankful for the support the event goers who went despite the unusual weather patterns that were experienced outside.
At the same post-event interview, Ms. Bairan says that they always look into the interests of the Filipino cosplayers as they are still doing the hobby then till now.
“We know, syempre, a little investment on our part yung magdala ng mga international cosplayers di ba, but it is better to bring the experience here than for them to go out in the country to witness how cosplays are [done] abroad. At least nabibigyan natin ng lahat ng mga tao ng patikim.” (We know that it was a little investment on our part to bring international cosplayers here, but it is better to bring the experience here than for them to go out in the country to witness how cosplays are [done] abroad. At least, we gave them a sneak peek) Ms. Bairan said.
She says that the Filipino Cosplayer and eventgoer should deserve these kinds of international-level events, and they are committed to bring a good show.
As with last year, all the function rooms which occupied the event were completely full again, so the possibility of opening up the Main Halls of the SMX was also asked. She declined to comment for the meantime.
She also was asked about the reports that ticket sales had sold out on some SM Ticket outlets, as reported by some on Social media.
“I think it is more on the communication, maybe they were confused with the passes… I don’t have the final figures yet, but we had reports na nagkakaubusan na ng tickets sa ganitong SM, I think it is just a miscommunication between the premium pass and the regular tickets” (I think it is more on the communication, maybe they were confused with the passes… I don’t have the final figures yet, but we heard reports that this SM Ticket outlets had ran out of tickets, I think it is just a miscommunication between the premium pass and the regular tickets) she says, referring to the Premium passes which were the ones being sold for the Meet and Greet with the International Cosplay Guests.
On the ToRCh finalists, she says that they all did a very good job, noting further that each and every competitor that presented marked a sign of improvement for the qualifying competition for the Asian Regional Cosplay Championships.
“Everytime naman na Cosplay Mania… makikita mo na pinaghahandaan talaga nila, pinagpaplanuhan nila ng husto ng maigi, doon mo talaga nakikita yun. (Everytime there’s Cosplay Mania… You will see their preparations, their planning very well, You will see that) I guess, Truly, if you want the best cosplayers, you go to Cosplay Mania.” She says.
She says that every time Cosplay Mania is done since it was first organized in 2008 , the cosplayers has been doing better and better, noting that it only proves that Filipino creativity has no limits.
When asked about if there would be other international cosplay guests that they could invite again for next year, of they could invite again the current international guests and add them with the other guests from last year, she says that they will see who could be invited, since Filipino cosplayers are always inspired by visiting international cosplayers.
“We’ll see kung sino po ang pwede nating maimbitahan, and maybe in the future, gaya nga ng sabi nila, they’d like to come back, so hopefully makausap natin ulit sila, and I think everybody was instrumental in making them feel the warmth, na characteristic naman sa mga Filipino, na we really appreciate them coming here, so sana maulit.” (We’ll see who can we invite with, because, like they always say, they’d like to come back, so we are hopeful that we could tak to them and I think everybody was instrumental in making them feel the warmth, which is a characteristic of the Filipinos, that we really appreciate them coming here, so we hope it will happen again.) she answers, also adding that, echoing the Department of Tourism’s campaign, Cosplay is more fun in the Philippines.
“Maraming salamat sa pagtangkilik sa Cosplay Mania… This is the event with cosplayers in mind, taon yan, hindi lang buwan, taon na planning yan para lang mabigay yung pinakabest para sa mga cosplayer. At siyempre, hindi lang pagrecognize sa mga best Filipino cosplayers but to also give them an experience the best by bringing in international cosplayers, kasi… Oo magaling tayo, and we’d like to show the world na we’re a force to be reckoned with, na we have good cosplayers and good cosplay events here na pwede tayong makipagsabayan abroad, so Thank you very much for being a part of Cosplay Mania.” (Thanks everyone for supporting Cosplay Mania, because this is the event with the cosplayers in mind, We spent a year, not months, in preparing for the best event for the cosplayers. This is not only for recognizing the best Filipino Cosplayers, but also to give them an experience by bringing in international cosplayers because, we admit, we are very good, and we would like to show the world that we are a force to be reckoned with, that we have good cosplayers and good cosplay events that could be at par with those abroad, so thank you very much for being a part of Cosplay Mania) Ms. Bairan says to the thousands who engaged with them in the past two days.
“A huge success”
With those words from the likes of Mr. Lazatin and Ms. Bairan explaining the general feel of the event. Cosplay.ph President Pablo Bairan had only these words to the event goers.
“Thank you to everyone who went to Cosplay Mania 12, We made it a huge success, thanks to all of you, the volunteers, marshals, everyone who worked on the event, gave your time and effort, and we hope to see you all again on Cosplay Mania 13!”
With that, Cosplay Mania 12 is going to be on the record books again, not because of the guests, not because of the history made, but because of the overall feel of it. The Excitement of the event goers who will brave storms and unusual weather patterns, and the highly-engaging sidenotes that not only Mr. Lazatin, or Mr. and Ms. Bairan could share to the audience, but also to each and every one who attended.
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