The 2015 World Cosplay Summit Philippines National Finals

Team XO, composed of Sarah Jane de Ocampo and Jennifer Ong, is hailed as the country’s first competing delegate for the World Cosplay Championship in Nagoya after winning the Philippine selection for the World Cosplay Summit last June 6. [Photo by Al Barcenas]

If I were to write like I was a newspaper journalist, I could write something like this: “Six teams from Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and Mindanao have battled it out in an outdoor venue amid scorching heat to see who will be the country’s first representative for the 2015 World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Japan this August.” The thing is, I’ll be writing on a personal perspective rather than the style that I did just now.

“This year’s National Finals have the impact I expect”

WCS, Inc. CEO and Founder Tokumaru Oguri inspects the finalists’ costumes prior to the competition.

Setting aside the fact that it’s held at Hero Face Off 2015 (as well as the fact that the National Finals is under their “Face Off” category), I enjoyed this year’s Finals. Well, I have to be honest about this: with Hero TV being a partner for this event, the National Finals look grand and bombastic, with an incoming TV special in the works for both the competition and the trip to Nagoya — that’s what happened during the time of John Vincent Estapon and Erika Garbin.

My perspective on the participants

Analyzing the roster of finalist-pairs, three are from the Mindanao Conference, two are from the NCR qualifiers and one from the South Luzon qualifiers.

Based on the information that we gathered, the number of pairs who were admitted to their respective qualifiers were as follows: Three for NCR, four for South Luzon, and five from the Mindanao Conference. That means twelve pairs competed for the right to represent the country in the World Cosplay Championship at the Summit itself — and only half of them got to the Nationals.

Estapon came back to the National Finals with his partner Joanne Cassielf as Team Yinyang doing a skit from “Bastard!”. I was happy to see them again, but after their performance, who do you hear speaking his mind out at the left side of the judges’ table? Me. Why? I felt (with emphasis on ‘felt’) that the skit was cut short. As far as I can remember, I was rooting for the “Good End” to actually happen.

Team Nasad from Cagayan de Oro had a Silent Hill skit. As I was writing this sentence, I remembered what cosplayer Christian Umali told me during a discussion: “Why are the Demented Nurse and Pyramid Head fighting when they are heartless?”

As you may have seen on our Instagram, we were there early — so early that we even saw the winning pair Team XO rehearsing their skit. Although I initially didn’t see their potential, when I saw them in action, they showed impact, an impact which made me ask others if they predict that the next winner would come from the Mindanao Conference.

Team AnimeCore was South Luzon’s representative, and the first to reach the Nationals from the said region. Bicol’s Cosplay community is not as active as that of the Mindanao Conference, but since they got a representative for the National Finals, everything’s fine — they just need to send more next time.

As for the NCR finalists, I liked Fink Tilapiaz’s humor and their reference to the late Tado Jimenez’s Live Tilapia — heck, I easily understood what they were doing — but I felt that the humor seemed to tone down the impact they needed to gain the judges’ approval. Team Kanor’s skit is good and understandable as well, but I still preferred Team XO’s performance. It’s hard to explain why, but I feel that Team XO deserved to win.

A hint on WCS’ future plans

The judges in the National Finals of the Philippine selection are WCS, Inc. CEO and Founder Tokumaru Oguri, Hero TV channel head Jojo Estacio and Comic artist Berlin Manalaysay.

This post will not be complete without a piece of our interview with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder of WCS Inc. Tokumaru Oguri (who actually came to the country to be among the judges) that we are set to post on YouTube alongside our coverage. Alongside the Tokyo International Film Festival, WCS has plans to be involved in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. More on this will be shown soon.

Conclusion

With all these things said and done, I am hoping that we will have a good performance in the WCS come August. The pressure’s building up for Team XO as they ride the country’s name to the Summit and the Championship, so they need support from everyone in the community. People, let’s show them what we got — and they will return it evenly. So I say, “Kapit lang, XO.”


Team XO has already competed in the 2015 Summit in Nagoya. Afterwards, WCS received a letter from the Malacañang Palace congratulating the organization.

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