Photo by Michael Sinjin Pineda
As more and more Cebuanos got hooked up with animes, mangas, online games, and got enamored with the highly popular Japanese culture, the rise of this what we called cosplayers made an impression in Cebu’s lifestyle and fashion scenes.
From the very first cosplay event (Otaku Fest 1.0) to the recently held Ai “Love”, we can really tell that cosplaying has gone a long way and already became a part of the lifestyle of several Cebuanos.
Cosplaying definitely is very popular in Manila and outside the country but it became more prominent here in Cebu after the very first Otaku Festival held last 2008. The crowd (who are commonly teens and young adults) realized that cosplaying is an alternative opportunity to express their love and admiration to those anime and game characters they idolize.
But, what is really the impact of cosplaying here in Cebu? Is this just a mere showing off of extravagant costumes and who is the prettiest or handsomest cosplayer? Definitely NO.
Cosplaying helps the booming local tourism here in Cebu City. Cebuanos are fascinated by these Otakus who are wearing costumes they only see on TV. Instead of staying at home, more and more people find time to visit malls to watch cosplay events. Some are even willing to pay entrance fees just to witness and meet their favorite cosplayers. And of course, they don’t go home empty handed (not literally).
Cosplayer fans just need to log in on their Facebook accounts, and viola! Photos of them with their favorite cosplayers are already uploaded. Cosplayers become instant celebrities and the admiring public become obsessed and hypnotized fanatics. (Can I LOL?) (: