Cosplay Mania 2012 and TorCH III : Day 1

^Cosplay Mania is one of the most anticipated cosplay and anything-otaku-centered events in the Philippines.
Every year, with out fail, it has continued to grow bigger and better.
I go every year and every year, I immediately pass out upon reaching home.
Exhausted, yes, but it is an event were wonderful memories are created.
It is an event full of fun, cosplay and friends.

This year is especially special. ♥

This post is NOT a report on the event, more of a medium for me to express how I felt about the past blissful days and my gratitude to those who were with me along this journey.

I have not always been a competitive cosplayer, I only started joining cosplay competitions late into 2011.
I thought, I've been cosplaying for a while now, might as well give it a whirl so I can fully say I've experienced everything there is to experience in this hobby.

TorCH or the Tournament of Champions is a competition unique to Cosplay Mania, wherein teams of 2 from all over the Philippines vie for the chance of being sent to Singapore to represent the Philippines in the annual Asian Regional Cosplay Competition.

Last year, I joined TorCH with my friend Marko as my partner, together, we were Team Lion Rush. We managed to get 1st Runner up in the SM Manila leg. Quite a feat since competition was extremely tough, I almost wanted to throw in the white towel when I saw the awesome costumes of our competition. Me and Marko were garbed in Street Fighter costumes, I thought, how the hell were we gonna match up to those big and astounding costumes?
Thank goodness, Marko being the bright ray of sunshine that he is, was able to calm me down and we were able to do a pretty good job and even managed to bring home a prize.

Me as Chun Li and Marko as Ryu - Team Lion Rush
Taken in SM Manila for TorCH 2 (2011)
1st Runner up :D

A week later, it was Cosplay Mania already.
TorCh Finals was held on the 2nd day, all the teams that competed were scary sick!
My dear Zhel, partnered with AC to form Team M.A.R.C.H. Omega, they were the ones that were deemed to represent our country to last year's RCC.
I was so happy that I cried. hahahaha Feeling much?

My unglam face, cried so hard when it was announced Zhel and AC were going to AFA.
With THE Absruki and Lunaru

Zhel had wanted this so bad and I was just happy that she got the chance to make her dream come true.
This boosted my desire to also do the same, right after the TorCH finals, I pulled Marko aside and asked him if he wanted to partner up again for next year.
But dang! What a disappointment! Turns out, I was a day too late as Lyron (that douche bag, I lurves you, Ly heheheh) asked Marko to partner up with him the day before...
I really wanted to partner up with Marko as I thought we worked well together, but oh well...
This did not kill my desire to join TorCH.

Somehow, I found myself a member of M.A.R.C.H.
I don't remember how things happened exactly but I was in the group created by the person who terrified me  most in the then recently concluded TorCH - Bram.
That guy makes wicked costumes >_< Turns out, he just looks majorly suplado (unapproachable) but he is really a very nice and fun guy.
I think I asked Bram to be my partner for TorCH, I don't know, I don't remember anymore hahahaha
Either way, we got to be in the team together which made me overjoyed as I thought, I would have as much of a good chance now in TorCH.

Was supposed to join the Baguio leg of the preliminaries but things happen, so we went to the Bacoor leg which I think is better since I felt it was closer to Manila and I had lots of friends from Cavite. To me, it didn't really feel right to carry the name of the place we had no strong connection to.
Made the costumes and practiced skit only on Friday at Marko's place, finished by around 5am on Saturday (day of Bacoor leg), rained heavily, flood everywhere, slept for about an hour and dragged our very tired asses to SM Bacoor. Ingress was at 7am. The rain was so bad but we had to be there, we were kinda late, we arrived at around 8:30 am-ish.
Me, Bram and Marko basically had soup for brains through out the day.
I don't even know why XDDD
Told you Bram is fun. hehehehe
Melo, Bram and Me with z3LL as the combo breaker

Since my brain was not functioning, I am amazed how we were able to emerge victorious as I really felt we messed up our skit.
Guess, lady luck was just on our side that day :D

Bram displaying one of his awesome faces.
That guy is just so used to having his faced covered up XDDD

Bacoor leg was concluded early in July. We had about 2 months before the finals in September, but we only mobilized late August. I think we thought that was enough prep time. Lesson learned. To all those who plan on competing for such a grand event, here's a tip: there is no such thing as prepping too early, ONE MONTH IS NEVER ENOUGH.

That one month of prepping was filled with stress and buckets more...
I became so stressed and giddy that pimples started appearing... which is really something as I don't usually get acne problems.

Fast forward to Cosplay Mania 2012.
Day 1:
Went to Cosplay Mania in SMX early with my friend from Cebu, Eunice.
Had some quiet bonding heart to heart talk with her on some stuff on the way.
We rode the MRT to Taft by ourselves. hehehehe A first for both of us as she was from Cebu and although I am from Manila, I am a hard core bus rider.

Upon arrival in SMX, I realized that I didn't have my competitor's pass yet so we couldn't get in and I got a call from Bram that something yet again was wrong with our video.
I burst out crying. I just couldn't help it any more.
All the bottled up emotions just poured out when I saw Katkat and Ian.
It was Day1 already, competition day was the day right after, I didn't know if we would have enough time to make things right...
I couldn't hold back the tears anymore, it was the first time I cried on the days leading up to Cosplay Mania because I tried to be the strong positive one whenever my partner was around. Bram was already stressed out so when ever he was within the radar, I'd be the gay la la la la one who would say "things will work out, things will be fine, things will be alright and we will be awesome".
I am so sorry Katkat and Ian, but thank you for being there when the tears started coming in and became hard to stop.

Ian, Eunice, Maki and Allan had to go in, but they all promised to look for the person who had my pass.

Katkat stayed with me as I cried it out and tried to calm down.
It was really really hard, especially since I was upset and crying and there was this girl who insisted to take a photo of me. I know who she is but I'd rather not name her...
I am sorry, but I thought that she was being immensely rude and annoying.
The girl insisted to take a photo of my crying face. She was all "I'm gonna put a caption, like "where is my pass? let me in!" then she'd laugh. If she thought it was funny, I definitely didn't.
"let's make this into an internet meme" she said.
Gad, it was so hard to keep my cool, I kept resisting and saying "no, thank you" but she just kept coming at me and I think I finally snapped.
That got rid of her...
Katkat promised to help out after the event and I got my cool again.

Finally, got in to the venue, stayed in Function Room 3 most of the time. Sat in the corner while waiting for the presentation of finalists, my friends surrounded me and cheered me up, plus the awesome costumes were a nice enough happy pill for me.

Waited for my friend Jeyel to arrive as I was borrowing a costume, turns out she got sick >_< But Kyo arrived in her place. These two are such a sweet and lovely couple, I am really really happy I was able to befriend them.
Kyo was so nice to help me in with the costume and even helped in styling the wig. I cry tears for having such wonderful friends. He arrived just in time coz after we were done, we had to go in and be presented to the crowd. Kyo just came to help and left afterwards.
Thanks so much Kyo and Jeyel! ♥

Me in Kyo's costume
I am cosplaying Kyo here. heheheh
I kid I kid, but honestly, Kyo is one of the best Lelouch cosplayers I know.
This is Lelouch of Code Geass in his Warlock version.
Many many many thanks dear Kyo and Jeyel!
Pardon the face, will edit this soon XDD
Photo by z3LL

The teams got presented on stage.
I got worried because Team M.A.R.C.H Omega of Cagayan de Oro was nowhere to be found, AC and Miles were friends of mine so I wondered where they were...
My partner, Bram wasn't able to make it so I was the only one on stage to represent our team.

The Finalists on stage
Awaiting those beauty pageant questions from the hosts heheheh

Funny how the host or whoever would get M.A.R.C.H. Omega and M.A.R.C.H. Harue mixed up.

I really don't know where I get my airs sometimes, I think as a defense mechanism, I react the opposite way one usually reacts to certain situations.
During the question and answer portion, the other teams gave nice humble answers and I gave the usual cocky answer. hahahahaha Outside, I may have given the impression I was very confident and ready, but inside I was squirming.

We saw BB Gandang Hari backstage, didn't have a cam with me.
Couldn't resist photobombing. Sorry Louie XDDD

Said good bye to friends, met up with Katkat again to hand her some stuff.
Hugged friends goodbye. Again.
Spending time with my friends, although brief, cheered me up really well. Seeing Zhel again after a long time was a great energy boost, too. ♥
That girl just inspires me so much.

The Annoying group of people, my closest friends in cosplay and out + more friends from outside the country ♥
A happy bunch who never fail to electricute me with their energy.

When it was done and over, I gathered Lyron, Eunice and Ricah as we had to go back to Bram's for cramming and practice...

Oh, btw, to those wondering, Why M.A.R.C.H. Harue?
I thought that "M.A.R.C.H" was Bram's thing, I wanted to be equally represented so I chose a name that was close to my heart, "haru". I wanted to go with M.A.R.C.H Haruka (as my online handle jaRoukaSama is read as /haruka/) but at the last minute, I thought it was too much representing. hehehehe So I toned it down to Harue, still a haru based name and now not as obvious.
Haru based names are lucky as I have been told, as Haru is Japaneses for Spring - the season. It means new life and new beginnings, that is why I like is so much ♥

thanks for reading!
 jaa! visit me again, ne!
     arigatou! (*^3^)/~


  1. I will let u grab my bewbs anytime just to cheer you up /gets shot *HUG*

  2. doesn't Haru means wings? :) i used it as a title for my manga once, bcoz' i have always been associated w/ wings.. it means freedom and flight! <3

    either way, all the hard work sure paid off.. and 1st day palang yun ah! >.< you just showed how strong you really are inside and out yuunak! *hugs*

  3. awww didn't know so much happened on day one since I came in late from Korean class. i-SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASH!!!! you'll always get a free squash to cheer you up whether you like it or not hehehehe