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Last weekend, I went to another (sorta) out-of-town visit and checked out the Pinoy Otaku Festival at the Ayala Malls Fairview Terraces in Quezon City. I’ve experienced many two-hour trips to Bulacan, to Alabang, to SMX Manila and other faraway places; and I’m pretty sure I’m getting used to these kinds of trips (I hope).

Fairview Terraces is the Ayala Mall for the people residing in the Novaliches area. I had to speak this out: In just a few walks away you’re either at SM City Fairview or Robinsons Novaliches. I also think these three malls have a hierarchy of target markets, but that’s another story altogether.

Organized by Naruto Cosplayers Philippines (NCPH) and Red Cloud Interactive, the POF had been held three times prior to this. I’ve been part of the POF before: My first one was at Starmall Alabang’s Starland Theme Park in 2014, where I was able to talk to “Voltron Girl” Belldandy Grimarez.


For that whole weekend, I took part in the festival as a panelist for two segments and as a moderator for a panel discussion. On this part, I will be sharing to you the bits and pieces of what has been discussed there.

On Cosplay

Q: Why there are more karaoke contestants than cosplay contestants?
A: The same people will be there winning again — what’s the point?

Now that I experienced my line of work, I ended up talking about trust and the business sense of things over the course of the panel.

Funny story: I promised all of you that I will be speaking as a panelist on stage on Day 1 at 4:00pm, but it turns out that the other two panelists, event organizers Carlo Pablo and Michael Dulce, have work on Saturdays.

Moments after, I saw myself agreeing to join the cosplay panel alongside cosplayers Taicho Diolata, Ryan Simbul and Jennylyn Castro. I was the non-cosplayer panelist there who said that things did not change — there’s still conflicts in the community, regardless of who is/are the ringleaders of the pack.

Cases in point, I’ve seen GamerTotoy, been part of a rant group on Facebook, talked to JejeCostplayers PH, and now we see the rise and fall of Cosplay Confessions. (Lo, the thing about some cosplayers not being faithful to the character they’re donning has gone overseas, and that’s another long story).

During Day 1, there were more karaoke contestants than cosplay contestants. In the case of Ryan and I, we agree that the same people who are committed to competitions win. I have been saying that those who are committed give others a chance so as not to discourage them (this does happen in a few events, thankfully).

Yaoi, Yuri, and Harem (and don’t forget Moe)

I wasn’t supposed to be present in the Anime Genres panel but I guess David got me there as a moderator as I was also in the audience area.

As with my scheduled panel, it got shuffled, so we’re missing two panelists, only to be filled up by current NCPH President and fellow blogger Ranne, plus the cosplayer that I remember by the name of Cross.

Way to go, guys: My colleagues from the late Deremoe were monitoring me as well — Mikki was present in the audience while the ever-sarcastic Solidad was sarcastically poking fun on Twitter. Never change, Al.

This panel was interesting. If I wasn’t moderating it, my goodness, every genre aside from Yaoi and Harem would have been left out.

There’s more to anime than just Yaoi, Yuri, or even Harem that I missed to mention; and as a self-proclaimed connoisseur of cute girls doing cute things, I hope that I gave my respects to the genre I like the most, even by just mentioning them.

“‘Yung LoveLive! (school idol project) po ba kasama sa Yuri?”

There was this one guy who asked, “Yung LoveLive! (school idol project) po ba kasama sa Yuri?” (Is LoveLive! also Yuri?) It depends on whose ship you’re sailing to, I said as I ask who he is shipping to.

Then he dropped NozoEli and KanaMari. Of course they are Yuri-rific, sinong niloloko ko (who am I kidding)?

Well, some were against discussing the topic especially in a mall, so I try my best to exercise restraint amid the guys who have been saying “Boku no Pico.” Of course you do not recommend that to a first-timer, you hardcore bastards; please exercise some restraint, we have conservatives watching us. (Also, we had a jolly good fun there, nevertheless I can make memes out of that if I wanted to).

Eastern, Western and Local Fandom

Finally, it’s time for the real panel where I’m supposed to be, Carlo and Michael are present, and we have Arya from Kawangis Komiks joining in. I prepared for this, mamen.

We basically aired our grievances against today’s local pop culture in front of more or less a hundred people, plus the visiting mall goers who may have no idea of what’s happening there.

Q: What happened to the country’s pop culture? How did we get low?
A: Certain groups of people decided to fixate what the masses wanted in terms of entertainment.

There I learned about bits and pieces about our local pop culture: From how Liwayway destroyed the competition altogether, to the current state of pop culture who has its fate decided by a few people. I’m an anime fanatic; and while I can’t deny that I have a colonial mindset, I have my justifications.

On a positive light, we mentioned the likes of RPG Metanoia, Dayo and Saving Sally. Half an hour is not enough to air our grievances, so a part two should be in the works.

Michael is cooking up a search for the next Pinoy superhero, in which I have to see myself where it will go through.

Aside from the Panel Discussions, a lot of activities happened during the two-day event, and these photos should describe the gist of it.

Now, cosplayers: Here are the photos of your cosplays that I took during the weekend event.

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Also check out the photos from O-Kun Fiesta 3 as part of AniZone’s coverage on their Facebook page. (I helped in taking photos there).