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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.