PHILIPPINES: All Set to Conquer World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in Japan
WCS, which is dubbed as the "Olympics of Cosplay," is every cosplayer's ultimate dream.
After three grueling years of applying for a spot at WCS, the Philippines made it this year as one of the "observers," along with representatives from Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Hero TV's Hero Face Off winners Erika Jean Garbin and John Vincent Estapon are the very first Filipino Cosplayers to represent the country in this year's World Cosplay Summit (WCS) in Nagoya, Japan on August 3 and 4, 2013.
Erika Jean Garbin, 23, from Cavite is one of the two cosplayers who will be sent by the anime channel Hero TV to the WCS.
I was the first one to arrive during the press conference and I can't help but notice that Erika looks like international singing sensation Charice Pempengco. She looks like Charice before her transformation. I told her to join"It's Showtime" celebrity look-alike segment after she comes back from Japan. She then related to me an instance inside the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) train that while she was standing, holding to the railings, some people called her "Charice, Charice." When we asked her if she acknowledged them, she said she shyly answered only with a smile.
Erika Garbin said she already feels the pressure to step up her game because she and Estapon, who was not present during the media briefing, are set to make a first impression on the attendees in this year's WCS.
When asked how she feels about being one of the two cosplayers representing the Philippines, she said: "Excited na ninenerbyos po ako kasi first time, tapos as a cosplayer, it's been my dream to represent the Philippines in a world stage. Napakalaking honor po ng naibigay sa akin ng opportunity na ito and at the same time, malaking responsibility din, kasi ito ang unang impression nila sa mga cosplayers ng Pilipinas. (I am excited and nervous because it's my first time and, as a cosplayer, it's been my dream to represent the Philippines in a world stage. It's a great honor that I am given this opportunity and at the same time, it's also a big responsibility because this would be their first impression of the cosplayers in the Philippines.)
The two cosplayers do not get to participate in the competition this year, but their presence is considered a stepping stone to being one of the official contenders in 2014. If they do well, then there is a big possibility that the Philippines can compete next year. So guys, let's pray for them.
"Kahit hindi kami magko-compete, at least ma sho- showcase yung creativity and craftsmanship ng mga Filipino cosplayers," (Even if we will not compete, at least we could showcase the creativity and craftsmanship of Filipino cosplayers) Erika quips.
I really like Erika's costume which she personally made.
Erika Garbin shared some details about her winning costume.
"'Yung costume na ito, inspiration ko 'yung mismong character. Parang na-in love ako sa kanya. Maganda talaga 'yung costume and 'yung personality ng character is something I want to be. If I was given the chance to help other people, siguro ako 'yung character na ito,” (About this costume, my inspiration is the character itself. As if I fell in love with it. The costume is really beautiful and the personality of the character is something I want to be. If I was given the chance to help other people, maybe I am this character.) she said of her Freya costume.
Erika Garbin said she normally creates costumes in less than a month.
"Mahilig ako sa mga complicated na costumes. One week for painting and two weeks for crafting. Ayaw ko i-rush para maganda talaga siya kapag prinesent na," (I like complicated costumes. One week for painting and two weeks for crafting. I don't want to rush so that it will come out beautiful once presented.) she said.
Erika also thanked her mom who does the emulsion on her costumes. And she also mentioned her brother, boyfriend and her fellow cosplayers for their unwavering love and support for her. She'll be bringing two (2) costumes to Japan. One for the parade and the other one for their skit. The organizers of WCS requested Erika and Vincent to do a skit in Japan. This is the first time that an observer will be performing on stage even though they are not competing. Way to go Team Philippines! Woooooot!
The other Philippine representative to WCS John Vincent Estapon is still in his home province (Davao) during the press con.
Meanwhile enjoy his winning costumes which I grabbed from Vincent's FB. Credits to their owners.
Look at that costume! Vincent is fierce!
Vincent Estapon (One of the 2 Mindanao Qualifiers) and Erika Garbin (One of the 7 Subic Qualifiers) won Hero TV's recently concluded Hero Face Off competition, where they cosplayed as Freya from "Zangeki no Reginleiv" and Haseo from the ".hack G.U. Trilogy," respectively.
Break a leg guys! Goodluck! Go for #WCS2014
Special thanks to Miggy Valentin for lending me his pictures.