The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers: A Completely Biased List, Part 1

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The Philippine cosplay circuit is one of the most intensely competitive in the world — everyone and their dog has a list on who should be the current kings, queens, princesses, and court jesters of the local cosplay scene. Some lists are composed mostly of underaged girls in short skirts, while other lists seem to have been put together using RANDOM.ORG. We’re chiming in with our own list of the ten most talented Filipino cosplayers — professional preferences, personal biases, and all. Enjoy!

The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers Don Robert Torio Izabel Cortez Hazel Velas Robert Wong Kokoy Polidario Krizelle Uychinco Lyron Aquino Jin Joson Miguel Marcado Belldandy Chii Grimarez Monette Salas Pablo Bairan

DR Industries (Don Robert Torio and Izabel Cortez)

This pair of talented cosplayers started making waves in the local scene about two or three years back, and they can definitely hold their own against more experienced cosplayers. The level of craftsmanship they have exhibited in their works is simply astounding, and cosplay judges love them for it as the pair have taken home awards in practically every event they competed in. Robert’s portrayals of Iron Man and Green Arrow in particular are spot-on, while Izabel as Black Widow and Black Canary is the perfect foil to complete the picture.

The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers Don Robert Torio Izabel Cortez Hazel Velas Robert Wong Kokoy Polidario Krizelle Uychinco Lyron Aquino Jin Joson Miguel Marcado Belldandy Chii Grimarez Monette Salas Pablo Bairan

h_matsumoto (Hazel Velas)

In a scene where many are known to have their outfits commissioned with tailors and seamstresses, Hazel stands tall as one of the few cosplayers who actually sew their own costumes from scratch. Having started cosplaying back in college, she decided to take professional classes to be able to take her craft to the next level. After several courses in pattern-making and cutting, dress construction, and even hair and make-up, Hazel is the complete cosplayer rolled up in a spunky little package. Her numerous awards are clearly nothing to sniff at, with wins not just at anime and gaming cons, but also sci-fi events and Japanese fashion competitions.

The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers Don Robert Torio Izabel Cortez Hazel Velas Robert Wong Kokoy Polidario Krizelle Uychinco Lyron Aquino Jin Joson Miguel Marcado Belldandy Chii Grimarez Monette Salas Pablo Bairan

evaguy_01 (Robert Wong)

Robert is one of the first cosplayers who competed on a large — nay, massive scale. His most memorable and even historically significant costumes include a three-metre tall Armored Personnel Unit from The Matrix, and a slightly smaller Tachikoma Unit from Ghost In The Shell, standing a smidge under two metres. Robert is also walking, talking proof that the hardware store is a mecha cosplayer’s best friend. Many of his creations sport pipes, tubing, and cables found in the plumbing and electrical sections of your nearest Ace Hardware or Home Depot.

The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers Don Robert Torio Izabel Cortez Hazel Velas Robert Wong Kokoy Polidario Krizelle Uychinco Lyron Aquino Jin Joson Miguel Marcado Belldandy Chii Grimarez Monette Salas Pablo Bairan

Anaheim Electronics (Kokoy Polidario, Kicks Uychinco, et. al.)

Where would all our mecha cosplayers be today without Anaheim Electronics? A cosplay team composed of several members — the most notable of which are lead designer Kokoy Polidario (aka Polidread) and cosplayer Kicks Uychinco, this group pioneered the use of foam rubber, fiberglass, and LEDs as part of their cosplay construction materials. Anaheim was also neck deep in mecha-girls cosplay long before the term “mecha-musume” was coined. Over the years Anaheim has amassed a number of big cosplay wins, including Animax’s Cosplay Carnival for the RX78, and Toycon 7 with an unprecedented tie for the YF19 and YF21.

The Ten Most Talented Filipino Cosplayers Don Robert Torio Izabel Cortez Hazel Velas Robert Wong Kokoy Polidario Krizelle Uychinco Lyron Aquino Jin Joson Miguel Marcado Belldandy Chii Grimarez Monette Salas Pablo Bairan

burikiboy (Lyron Aquino)

If there was ever an award for Most Improved Cosplayer on the local cosplay scene, that would definitely go to Lyron Aquino. He used to just goof around on local conventions as ONE PIECE’s Monkey D. Luffy. However, Lyron wasn’t satisfied with just being captain of the Straw Hat Pirates, so he picked up some new skills — including armor and accessory creation, as well as hair and make-up. Today, he is one of the most successful and respected local cosplayers — he even snagged one of three spots as Philippine representatives for the inaugural Asia Cosplay Meet back in 2010.

Continued in Part 2.

Photo credits: Polidread’s DeviantArt account, DR Industries’ Facebook account, NaiveCRIMSON via Hazel Velas’ Facebook account, Lyron Aquino’s Facebook account, Chiba Minami via Cosplay.PH.

Thank you to everyone on magnetic-rose.net’s Plurk, Twitter, and Facebook accounts for your input in the construction of this list.

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Lei says:

    I love your list! And yes, I think cosplayers who actually make their own costumes/craft their weapons should be given more credit especially now that costumes/accessories are readily available at local shops. Haha, I remember reading articles about Kicks Uychinco/Polidread and Robert Wong on how they make their costumes. They really put time and effort in it.

    Oh, and hands down to Lyron. I’ve known him since his Luffy days, back when he’ll show up in like five consecutive cons wearing the same old getup.

    Like

  2. Jaimee says:

    I love that intro! And this article is full of WIN!

    Like

  3. Zane says:

    These guys and gals should be the inspiration for the cosplay community~

    (And sempai, that was the Iron Man guy I was talking about. XD)

    Like

  4. kaoko says:

    Hazel! Hazel! Hazel! Hazel!

    Like

  5. minamic says:

    LOL. I didn’t want to comment at first. (Because, I am similarly biased.) But I approve of this list. XD

    Robert and Poli originated the mecha cosplay genre. And Hazel, I’ve always bowed to her skills. It’s always my frustration when mecha cosplayers win at competitions, but Hazel’s creations, despite not being mecha, would, in my book, always be up to par with them in technique and hard work, if not more.

    See? I’m biased. 😛

    Like

  6. Karen says:

    Robert, Robert! Hazel, Hazel! ^^

    And I remember Lyron from his Luffy days! It’s amazing to see how much he’s improved and upped his ante.

    Like

  7. Gab says:

    Yes! Recognize cosplayers for the excellent craftsmanship and work they put into their costumes, and not how good they are at Asian poses. >:D

    Also, HAZEL! HAZEL! HAZEL!

    Like

  8. minamic says:

    Also, must give props to Lyron. I do remember when he was “just Luffy” from One Piece. We note that people must start somewhere. It is very wonderful to see him grow as a hobbyist. 🙂

    Like

  9. minamic says:

    Oh my god, last comment na. XD You asked kasi sa facebook our own lists. Kasama sa list ko si Kero, Tuxedo Team, JM Chua and especially, Paul (battlechaser) and, number one, si Hori (Mark Suarez)!!! Animexplosion pa lang, ang okray nilang dalawa sa detail! O_O They would tell me that they spent hours on the phone before Animexplosion just discussing the right color of Hotohori’s dress or something. (“Maroon… hindi… may pagka-brick red…”)

    Like

  10. Gab says:

    OMG! Oo nga! Si Hori! He should be on this list!

    Like

  11. fritz says:

    iz ber nais leest! An American friend in the US and a Singaporean national both and separately commented that they are in awe of our local cosplay scene just by looking at photos off our different cons. I was quick to retort, however, that I usually don’t publish what I deem to be fug (snooty, yes, but it’s my cam and my site so bite me LOLJK). That said, the cosplayers on your list, so far, deserve all the praise and much respect. So much passion. Another vote for Lyron right here!

    Like

  12. Hazel says:

    [PUP] Politech University of Polidread. FTW!

    Like

  13. Kat says:

    I’ve had the chance to see nearly all of these cosplayers up close and personal. Totally agree with this list! Kita mo talaga yung dedication & effort na binibigay nila sa pag gawa ng costumes. Robert and Hazel have always been my favorites since… I dunno. Tagal na haha. 🙂 Can’t wait for part 2!

    Like

  14. metatron says:

    Awesome list not to mention love the title! ^___^

    These cosplayers are the true idols and role models for budding cosplay newbies.

    Hazel’s skills is at par with Anaheim Electronics and DR Industries not to mention that she can wickedly play the guitar. m/

    Like

    1. hahahahah i’ve been getting a lot of comments about the “biased” part — at least i didn’t pretend that it was the be-all and end-all of top ten lists~

      i just made sure that all the individuals in the list were selected using criteria that i personally considered as important for good cosplayers: excellent craftsmanship, good work ethic, and an eye for details.

      i’m glad most of you agree with the list — please stay tuned for more in part 2!

      Like

  15. Euri says:

    Go, go, go ate Hazel! Ikaw na! Palitan na natin yung cosplay goddess! ♥

    Also, Robert Wong! Robert Wong! m/

    Like

  16. Ricah says:

    Si sir Eva_guy pala yung accidentally naka tulak sa akin off the stage ng Animax contest :)) /mystery solved

    I can’t remember what happened, pababa na ata lahat ng cosplayer sa stage, pero masyado mabilis si sir Eva para sa akin XD No hard feelings, nagulat lang ako XD

    Like

  17. Ricah says:

    PS: Love the list. Hazel yeaaaah! Wait, nasan na si tag team partner?

    Like

  18. izabel says:

    O_O No kidding? Bakit kami ang una? or is it the other way around? LOL. Puro Epic kasi yung nasa list eh. hehe.

    hmmm…i just would like to cite some corrections & probably a brief background. DR & I started our partnership last year 2010 but i guess DR is in the community already dati pa. He’s been known for his Iron Man cosplays to which has become his trademark & meter of improvement in terms of skills & craftamanship (see IM evolution album.hehe) Siguro one can say we had hit the right buttons together & our tandem clicked both in cosplay & (ahem) in real life. Honestly, we both view cosplaying as a hobby and we both don’t think about winning most of the time. We are thankful that people do appreciate our work and out of luck we do manage to win a few once in a while. We mostly go to events to have fun & see friends. If we win, wow thank you & if we don’t, we’re still thankful because we were able to join. So far, all is turning well as people get to recognize our work not only here but also out of the country.

    Thank you to everyone who supports us and think we are at par with those people you’ve included in the list. There are so many great talents in our community and its a great honor just to be mentioned.

    SALAMAT PO!

    Like

    1. hi there izabel, thank you for the clarifications 😀 no worries there — the list is not ranked; it is a collection of ten cosplayers (cosplay team in some cases) all on equal footing, although all are number one in their own way 🙂 congratulations again, and keep up the good work!

      Like

  19. Lyron aquino says:

    wow! thank you po! grabe katuwa naman po yun te XD haha naalala ko early cosplay days ko. haha halos one year din ako nun nagcosplay ng luffy XD
    but srsly.. andami ko talagang natutunan sa cosplay. dami rin naging friends kaya im proud to say that cosplaying really changed my life ^_^
    i remember whenever i see sila kuya robert wong, kuya pablo, and other pioneers in cosplay community, i just go hands down to them! sobrang idol ko po kayooo!!! >.< and i still have much more to learn! letss all keep up the good works and keep our spirits up! XD lets prove to the world what we filipinos are made of! XD

    Like

    1. no worries lyron — you deserve it! 😀

      Like

  20. Eric says:

    Holy crap, want to see more, but google isn’t cooperating. -_-; Got links to extra galleries? Particularly interested in seeing bigger & more angles of the giant evaguy01 mechs!

    Like

    1. hi eric! pics were taken back in 2001 when digital photos had crap resolution, but here you go 😀

      The Matrix APU: http://cosplay.ph/photogallery.php?album=40
      Tachikoma: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.466514470635.263686.134603195635

      Like

  21. Joy Reyes says:

    Hi! Any chance you can share me the contact details of these cosplayers? We are a start up company who’s planning to put up a robotic kiosk that serves frozen yogurt. Part of our promotion will include people dressed up as our robots. We are particularly looking for someone who can make us a costume / outfit that is close to what our robots are wearing.

    Please see this url:
    Irvy – http://www.reisandirvys.com/images/Irvy.png
    Reis – http://www.reisandirvys.com/images/Reis.png

    Hopefully, you can help us with this. Feel free to share this opportunity to anyone who are interested. Thank you very much!

    Like

  22. mad says:

    .. aweSome.!:0

    Like

  23. mad says:

    .. Like a true anime,:!

    Like

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