Owing to the huge success of Singapore Toy, Game and Comic Convention (STGCC) last year, Hero Channel— one of the event's media partners— is sending Philippine representatives for the second time.
The 2011 and 2012 winners of Hero Channel's Hero Faceoff will get the chance to showcase their winning cosplay costumes at the Marina Bay Sands Singapore this week.
Ma. Ann Orduna or Ira, this year's winner, is expected to interface with fellow cosplayers from the region, according to Hero Channel head Ruel Ferrer.
He describes, "In the cosplay world, lahat sila magkakaibigan, isang community at nagkli-click agad sila."
Cosplay is popular because "proud sila na ipakita yung art nila, where they can express freely their love for the character and how they show it through the costumes they do."
Ira's Azure Rathalos, her cosplay character taken from Monster Hunter, won her the title of Hero Faceoff 2012 as well as P30,000 and an all-expense paid trip to Singapore.
Likewise, 2011 winner John Erik Torres or Dyerik was also chosen to fly to Singapore, the next destination of his character Dissidia- Warrior of Light from Final Fantasy.
He says that last year was his first time to join a cosplay contest and it instantly yielded results.
"Sobrang kinakabahan ako, kasi nakita ko yung mga kasama ko sa competition at pinaghandaan nila."
What's our chances of winning?
Ferrer answers, "... in terms of competition in the cosplay scene, hindi talaga nahuhuli ang Pilipinas, labanan naman kasi ng how you internalize the character and showcase the costume."
Ira adds, "Masaya yung feeling na nakikita mo yung tao na ina-ppreciate yung ginagawa mo."
Does a cosplayer have a shelf life when it comes to their costumes?
Ferrer says that when a player has built an affinity with the character, it doesn't matter how many times the costume is worn. Also, cost plays a significant role as these head-to-toe cosplay costumes don't come cheap.
Dyerik says the amount ranges anywhere from P5,000 and up.
And despite this, Ferrer resumes, many people have come to engage in cosplay especially through the role of social media—being used as a feedback mechanism, awareness tool, and promotional strategy.
Both winners see themselves pursuing cosplay as a hobby, with Ira continuing her studies and Dyerik using it as a bonding activity with his friends.