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Vincent, on his Cloud Strife Cosplay. Courtesy of Kimipyon Photography

The first World Cosplay Summit Philippines was a sight in our eyes, we even tracked the technicalities of it in our opinion posts a long time ago; but that doesn’t mean we’re going to stop there, as we have set our spotlight on our guy from the Philippine delegation.

John Vincent Estapon is the other half of the said delegation to the Summit, alongside Erika Jean Garbin of Team March. While we can safely say that Erika got the spotlight, it’s not the same for Vincent, so we decided to chat with him; and in this article, we shed light on the guy.

This is a conversation between this author, technical head Mr. A and Vincent that dated back many moons ago, and this author tried his best to modify the content of the conversation without swaying the main idea too much, which is then divided into sections for easy reading.

How long Vincent has been Cosplaying?

Mr. A: So my first question, something I am dying to know actually, is how old are you? Just asking, kasi you seem to start early sa Cosplaying.
Vincent: I started Cosplaying October 2010 and now I’m 2 years and 10 months in Cosplaying.

Mr. A: Parang girlfriend lang ah. Bilang to the month.
Vincent: Haha to be exact po lol.. now ko lng na-count kung ilang mons na ako sa Cosplay world

Mr. A: You’re 18 now, I believe?
Vincent: I’m 20 po, hehe

Mr. A: Wow. I saw your videos with Anime Alliance and I though you’re 18. Hehe. So what did made you decide to do Cosplay?
Jay: Is it because you’ve watched anime, or you’ve played a game?
Vincent: hehe most people same ang reaction sa iyo.. lol I decided to Cosplay because I was inspired by the characters that I see on TV.
Mr. A: Oh. Do you remember which character?
Vincent: Ichigo from Bleach, Gon from Hunter x hunter, etc.. Bleach was my favorite anime

Jay: You like action-packed stories? Vincent: Yup, yup! hehe.. I like action themed anime Jay: Therefore you like shounen — you also liked One Piece as well, yes? Vincent: Yup, yup hehe I also like adventure.. pero hndi ko na nasubaybayan ang One Piece kasi na-busy na sa school.

Mr. A: Were you able to Cosplay Ichigo, Gon … before? I can see you Cosplaying as Ichigo. Were you able to Cosplay Gon? Vincent: I would love to Cosplay Ichigo but I think di bagay sa akin kasi matangkad siya at medyo may laman.. hehe payat kasi ako. Mr. A: And Gon would be too late? Vincent: I cant find the right wig for Gon hehe

Jay: I see. moving back, have you Cosplayed your favorite character as well?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. hehe I have lots of favorite characters.. one of it is Ryoma Echizen.. hehe and luckily na Cosplay ko siya.

How does he choose the character that he will Cosplay?

Mr. A: How do you choose character you Cosplay? I mean, do they need to have a certain criteria?
Vincent: It depends po.. If for costrip I will choose character that has light costumes.. while if competition purposes I first consider if I can portray this character well, as well as the detailness of its costume

Mr. A: Ah. That’s good. Anyway, your first Cosplay as White Rock Shooter?
Vincent: Nope.. hehe my first Cosplay character was Roxas from Kingdom Hearts po.
Mr. A: Oh. Sorry about that.
Vincent: It’s ok.

Image taken from Vincent’s Weebly.

Mr. A: Pero I read your Weebly account and you said that you find White Rock Shooter daring, why is that?
Vincent: Because it has no upper shirt.. lol.. the only thing that covers my upper body is the coat that has only one button.
Mr. A: Oh. Medyo conservative ka pala.
Vincent: Yup, yup hehe I’m not confident with my body figure po.
Mr. A: You look fine naman. Pero why made you decide to do it anyway? I mean, play White Rock Shooter?
Jay: Yes, yung White Rock Shooter.
Vincent: Thanks po.. hehe I Cosplay that character because ang neat ng costume.. all white hehe
Mr. A: I see. Do you see yourself crossdressing? I mean Cosplay as a female character?
Vincent: Maybe? wahh.. many people have asked me to do such Cosplay but I’m not comfortable with that hehe
Mr. A: May I know, why?
Vincent: Hehe im not used to wearing skirts and other girly dress po and parang nakakahiya din.

On the best Cosplay he has made

Jay: Sa lahat ng mga Cosplay na ginawa mo, ano yung pinaka nagustuhan mo?
Vincent: Gusto ko lahat ng kinosplay ko pero ang nag stand out sa akin is yung Haseo Beast Form ko na costume kasi comfortable ako iportray ang character na yun
Jay: Were you able to maneuver your Haseo Beast Form?
Vincent: I can move with my costume but not too much.. considering that it has a 4-inch extension on the feet part.. hehe pwede ako matalisod kung magkamali ako ng galaw.
Jay: I see. So di ka basta basta makakaakyat sa stage unless it has a ramp, yes?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. hehe pro makakaakyat pa rin ako sa stairs if di nman masyado maliit ang width

Awkward moments?

Mr. A: Nabasa ko na nakapasok ka sa isang Women’s competition. Paano mo nagawa iyon?
Vincent: Womans competition yun pero may walk-in contest din that time kaya ayun.

Other Hobbies aside from Cosplay?

Mr. A: Do you do other hobbies aside Cosplay?
Vincent: Aside from Cosplaying all day I always surf the net.. hehe and I also cook pastries and some dishes
Mr. A: You are taking HRM?
Jay: Since you’ve mentioned pastries, ano ang hilig mong lutuin?
Vincent: any.. hehe as long as it deals with baking.. I like to garnish desserts specially pastries..
Mr. A: Great. It’s always a plus if you can cook. Do people know about your hobby? I mean classmates, teachers that you do Cosplay?
Vincent: Nung d pa ako nanalo sa Hero Face-Off in Manila konti lang may alam sa admin namin about sa pagcoCosplay ko pro after I won and go to Japan dun lahat ng teachers and admin namin alam na about sa akin
Mr. A: Ah. How did they responded?
Vincent: They are so proud.. hehe they didnt expect that a silent type student of their institution has that kind of achievement
Mr. A: Great. Does your parents know? I mean, before winning Face-Off an all?
Vincent: Yup, yup all the events that I joined they are always been informed by me..hehe

Turns out that Vincent can bake cakes.

On Cosplay Expenses

Mr. A: Ah. Do they finance all your costumes?
Vincent: Not totally.. I use my own allowance to finance my costume hehe.. but if I ask them to lend some money, nagbibigay naman din sila.. di ko lng ksi gusto maghingi-hingi; gusto ko sariling pera ko, hehe.
Mr. A: Oh. Yung costume mo sa Face-Off is that the most expensive you had made, yet? Or the most detailed?
Vincent: maybe the most detailed.. hehe regarding sa expense nito parang mas mahal pa yung blue ko (below) because of the lights.

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Does he have assistance in making costumes?

Mr. A: Who help you making your Cosplays?
Vincent: Ako lang po.. hehe.. paint, crafting and lights ako lahat.
Jay: Ilang linggo ka inaabot sa paggawa ng isang costume?
Vincent: Depende sa costume po hehe.. yung Haseo 1 week and a half ko yun ginawa. Jay: Ano yung pinakamadaling costume na nagawa mo?
Vincent: Yung pinaka unang costume ko po.. hehe ksi weapon lng gnawa ko para sa costume na yun
Mr. A: I see. May tumutulong ba sa iyo?
Vincent: Wala po.. hehe nuon merong tumutulong sa mga ilaw ko pero sa panunuod nalaman ko narin ang pag-wire ng ilaw kaya yun ako nalang gumagawa lahat.
Mr. A: Kahit yung ginamit mo sa Face-Off, ikaw lahat gumawa noon, mag-isa?
Vincent: Yup, yup ako lng lahat.. even the hair styling, make-up, costume, paint, lightings ako po lahat Jay: So the rest of your knowledge are self taught?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. base sa mga nakikita ko, hehe.
Mr. A: That must have took a lot of time.
Jay: How long it took for you to master your skills?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. hehe.. every Cosplay competition I learn something new from other Cosplayers’ costumes then I apply it to mine.
Mr. A: I’m curious. Since lahat ng Cosplay activity is generally from Manila, how does the Cosplay scene work in Davao? It looks like Ambox is the biggest one there.
Vincent: Like in Manila.. Davao has also lots of Cosplay events.. hehe.. big and small events.. every month there is a Cosplay competition in various malls here.. Yup, yup Ambox is the biggest Cosplay event organizer here.. it extends throughout the entire Mindanao property.. they are the one that develop the skills of each Cosplayer through having workshops, Cosplay eyeballs and many events.
Mr. A: Very supportive group it seems. You learned from them? I would guess a lot of them are your friends?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. they are like my family hehe.. I also have my group.. here they are. (below)

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Image taken from Vincent’s Facebook

Turns out that Vincent is also a member of Davao’s CGA (Cosplayers, Gamers and Animators), a team which has dominated the top nationwide Cosplay competitions — they competed in the Cosplay Tournament of Champions for two years in a row since 2012 as Davao’s representative.

Just recently, one of CGA’s members will represent the Mindanao Conference of the World Cosplay Summit Philippines, as selected last weekend.

On Time Management

Mr. A: You seem busy sa school. How did you balance your time? It appears na you get to join every Cosplay event out there.
Vincent: I schedule my time po.. hehe school in the morning Cosplay in the evening.. Yup, yup every contest here in Davao I always join so that I can improve my skills well and to have friends with other people.
Jay: Ah. You feel na mabilis ang oras mo, or para bang nabibigla ka na the next day Lunes na pala?
Vincent: Yup, yup minsan naka experience din ako ng ganyan.. hehe d ko na napapansin ang oras sa sobrang busy.

On World Cosplay Summit Philippines

We then discussed about his participation in the World Cosplay Summit Philippines, what was his preparations and what he felt while in his trip to Nagoya.

Mr. A: Ah I see. So continuing on. What made you decide to bit the WCS competition?
Vincent: I decided to join wcs because it is my dream to Cosplay to other places aside from the philippines.. as well as I want to show also to the world the philippine has also great Cosplayer same as them
Mr. A: Originally WCS is a partner contest. Before AA switch it to solo, you are planning to join with someone? Or noon nag solo, you grabbed the opportunity?
Vincent: As a pair po?.. actually, now I’m going next year to Manila with my pair to represent again Mindanao together with other pair that Mindanao will send
Mr. A: You are going to compete on another region? Um, I haven’t read the new AA rules. Pero are they allowing winners to participate next year?
Vincent: Since observer status pa yung sinalihan ko last time ok lang po.. ibang format na kasi next year so its ok po pair na hindi na solo
Mr. A: I see. Did you foresee na you will win the Davao leg?
Vincent: Hehe I already qualified the Gensan leg po last day together with my partner.. so ipapadala na po kami sa Manila next year together with Davao and Cagayan leg..
Mr. A: You mean nagsimula na ang Ambox with the 2014 leg?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. this year magsisimula ang mga legs dito sa Davao for 2014 WCS PH.. August, September and October po.
Mr. A: Starting early kumbaga. Do you have a realization noong nanalo ka sa Face-Off? I mean, every competition, there is something in you that you want to prove yourself. Well, that’s what I see, personally.
Vincent: Hehe.. na-realize ko na pde talaga matupad ang pangarap mo basta wag ka lang mawawalan ng pag-asa at gawin mo lang ang pinaka best mo at magbubunga yun.. at tsaka patience lang talaga.. di agad makakamit ang tagumpay ng madalian..
Mr. A: Great. So after nanalo kayo sa Face-Off. What did you do after?
Vincent: Hehe nagrest po muna ako.. yun ang pinaka una kong ginawa.. di muna ako sumali sa mga Cosplay competitions sa Davao.
Mr. A: How did you plan your skit sa WCS PH with Erika?
Vincent: Through chat po.. thats the only way we can share ideas.. hehe kasi malayo ang lugar namin..
Mr. A: How did you manage to come up with the idea para I play sa WCS PH?
Vincent: Since Erika is more knowledgeable sa Monster Hunter, siya po nag-gawa ng storyline namin..
Mr. A: Ah. and the costume?
Vincent: Kanya-kanya kami nagpili ng character as long as under sya sa Monster Hunter na series.
Mr. A: Ah. Noon nag plan kayo, you don’t have a Monster Hunter costume pa?
Vincent: Actually wala talaga sa plan na mag perform pero nag-PM yung WCS PH na magperform din daw ang observer country kaya yung konti nalang time naiwan sa amin to plan and since ang other costume ni Erika na dadalhin sa Japan is character from Monster Hunter nagawa nalang din ako ng Monster Hunter costume.
Mr. A: So rush. How did you make that?
Vincent: Overtime hehe.. but I see to it na di masyado mahirap ang character na pipiliin ko kasi kulang na masyado sa time.
Mr. A: Still, ikaw pa din gumawa noon lahat?
Vincent: Yup, yup.. I always make my costume by my own.
Mr. A: What do you think about your performance sa WCS PH? Feeling mo when you are there, being watched by the world. It is amazing you were able to see in-person the seiyuu of Gintoki (Tomokazu Sugita). Siya yung isa sa mga Judges sa WCS.
Vincent: Regarding our perfomance we did our best but I guess di pa rin siya enough since rush siya na pagka-formulate.. supposedly may video kami na ipapalabas sa LED screen ng stage kaso di man pwede pala kaya yun most na nakakita sa skit namin di nila maintindihan ang story.. the feeling there is really different, grabe kaba namin kasi pinapanuod kmi ng maraming tao.
Mr. A: May family ka bang kasama doon? I mean, other than AAP?
Vincent: Wala po.. puro staff ng Hero at ABS-CBN kasama namin.
Mr. A: Ah I see. After ng event, you sight-see sa Japan. Anything you learned or experience amazing there? You just achieve a great feat, since everyone wanted to go there.

On Handling Issues

Mr. A: Medyo serious ng kaonti — Are you aware naman sa mga issues surrounding Cosplay dito sa Manila. What are your thoughts? Well … not to generalize on a particular subject matter, since marami sila. I mean the general direction of the Cosplay scene.
Vincent: Actually medyo aware ako ng konti since part na yan ng every competition.. even here in Mindanao di nawawala ang issue po.. hehe.. it’s best na lang na di patulan para di na lumala.
Mr. A: Great advice.

In all honesty, we can say that Vincent is a down-to-earth person, contented with what he has reached. If we were to discuss the group he’s belonging to, we can say that he has the backing of a good group that has entertained people not just in Davao but in Manila as well.

We wish Vincent the best in his next endeavors.