Monday, November 17, 2014

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Bohol's Cosplay Scene: It's Getting Better!

ashley uy
Cosplay brings out the best in everyone

To be fair, I'm not an active cosplayer, as much as I would've liked to be but I've been a fan of anime and a supporter of Bohol's anime community for years now so seeing the improvements and changes along the years has been heart-warming.

Only a friend and I cosplayed at school back in 2011

Cosplay was such a far-off term three years ago. People were pretty tolerant with it, though. A few looked at cosplayers either strangely or wanted to take a picture with them, most were indifferent. Sure there was the typical back-stabbing but no reports of assault or anything of the sort from what I heard. Which was good.

Anime fans in Bohol already existed but a lot of us were pretty "in the closet" about it, not really acting out or dressing up for our passions. As the years went by, I saw more and more people go out of their shell and opened their minds. BisCUIT was then formed, probably the oldest cosplay group ever established in the province. Eventually events like Komikaze pop up with various artists that previously have never touched the subject matter, now dabbled in cosplay photography and armor-creation. And before you know it, schools themselves were hosting cosplay competitions for the students.

ashley uy

The largest mall in the province so far had then started to host an annual cosplay competition. The costumes and acts were pretty mediocre at first with flimsy costumes and horribly-made props but as the years went on, the acts, cosplayers and props improved year after year and attracted everyone from all walks of life to either participate or spectate, producing gems like these:

Parents have started getting their kids to participate in either competitive or casual cosplay and a sight that would've been strange to see three years ago is now a pretty normal occurrence which makes me really happy. Hopefully, the art of cosplay will be even better represented and appreciated in the future. Sure, not everyone likes it and a lot of people have misconceptions about it but with the passion and raw love of the people I've met during these experiences, I just couldn't help but appreciate the Boholano's open-mindedness about this form of self-expression.


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