The Philippine representative to the 2017 World Cosplay Summit has been selected at ToyCon 2017 x PopLife FanXperience held last July 1 (Finals Night) and 2 (Awarding) at the SMX Convention Center Manila.
Among the seven qualified pairs who hail from five cities in the country, Lara Florentes and John Daryl Pioquinto of Team Symphony of Swords from the Zamboanga Peninsula has been selected to represent the Philippines as a competitor in the World Cosplay Summit to be held from July 29 to August 6 in Nagoya, Japan.
Cosplaying as Xingcai and Cao Pi from the Koei Tecmo game Dynasty Warriors 8, the pair bested all other teams during the competition.
Angeleah Mejo (part of the 2014 representative Team Sora no Katsuo), last year’s representatives Team Starseeker (Yukari Nina Guerzon and Gomer Taboada) and cosplayer Hiro Saeki judged the seven pairs in two parts before and during the finals.
The other teams who have participated in the 2017 National Finals are (from Manila) Team Reality, Team Kanor Cubes, (from Bicol) Team I-Craft, (from Bacolod) Team Excalibur, (From Davao) Team Puddin’ and Team Weapon and Mask Destruction.
In an audio interview with Red Mendoza of Anime Pilipinas, Florentes detailed that they already had the costume planned prior to their participation. “Actually, we planned one whole year, but we started the progress for costumes around October.” The Zamboanga qualifiers were held at the Matsuri Fever event last March 24, 2017 at Roof Deck area of KCC Mall de Zamboanga.
When asked how they feel performing at the ToyCon’s Main Stage, Florentes expressed that “it was a really big opportunity”. “It was not only Manila that was watching us but the entire Philippines. […] really a breathtaking experience.” The National Finals is being streamed on Facebook by multiple sources.
Team Kanor Cubes, with their skit featuring the Nintendo game Super Smash Bros. is the runner-up for this year’s Finals.
The World Cosplay Summit is already on its 15th year, and the Philippine team will be competing against 34 other countries in the World Cosplay Championship at the end of the Summit. This year, the competition has been divided into three blocks, and the country is placed at the C Block with former champions Indonesia, Russia and France.
The WCS is organized by an Executive Committee composed of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Aichi Prefecture, Nagoya City, Nagoya Convention & Visitors Bureau, Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd., Osu Shopping Street Union, Chunichi Shimbun Inc., Television Aichi Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (TV Aichi)and WCS Inc.
An earlier version of this story notes Angeleah Mejo as part of the 2013 representative. This has been corrected — the 2013 representatives are Erika Garbin (from Manila) and John Vincent Estapon (from Mindanao).