Morning: The convention gates opened at ten and already it looked like it was going to be one heck of a
convention. Hosts Sabrina Asano and Kitt Bernardo warmed up the first drove of conventioneers while contestants of
Art Arena: Front Line drawing contest started cranking backstage.
Noontime: After a rousing performance by The Kagaws (the first group in the convention’s band line-up), the stage was cleared for two of the Philippine comic scene’s top icons: Battle of the Planet’s Wilson Tortosa and Culture Crash’s Taga-Ilog (sans bucket). They answered a couple of fan questions, regaled the audience with stories of their own comics exploits and received lovely gift packs with t-shirts and baller I.D.’s from Groundbreakers Inc. as a token of appreciation. While guests are given free reign to explore the booths, the stage is set up for performances by Fuseboxx and Eternal Now. Meanwhile, Art Arena continued behind the scenes just a step away from the cosplayers who were getting ready for their three minutes of fame.
Afternoon: By now the con looks like an undulating sea of heads with a few already inches-deep in gravity-defying hair gel. The conventioneers moseyed around to the performance of Lucille before settling down to one of the highlights of the day: The Cosplay Collision contest. People who were unfamiliar with cosplay might have found it strange watching space aliens, red-haired samurai, and robots walk up and recite lines in Japanese but that’s probably a big chunk of the fun. It was around this time that the Art Arena contestants begun handing in their works for judging.
Following the performance of Kala (who may or may not have been there to clear the hall from trans-dimensional aliens) was the group category competition of Cosplay Collision. Over and above the crazy get-ups, the contestants went all-out with their own skits. If dressing up as a ninja in public was strange, it should come as an even greater surprise when they began firing cardboard fireballs at each other.
Evening: The band Squeezers brought the show home accompanied by a fireworks display courtesy of the Mall of Asia. The show itself closed with the awarding of prizes for Cosplay (Individual and Group) as well as Art Arena (both Online and Front Line). After a long tiring day, my slave driving, though equally exhausted bosses had me stay to help dismantle stuff. Oh well.
All in all, I doubt I’ve seen people happier packed like sardines in the heat of May. Then again, things like heat and agoraphobia seem to fly by while you’re having fun.