But now that it's new year's eve--actually, just hours before 2016--I have the time to recap what I think are my personal highlights for 2015. I've got a lot of things to cover, so this going to be a long-ass journal entry. So if words bore you, I assure you that the pictures won't.
Now, where do I begin?
Wrecking the ice and the sky
One time wasn't enough for us, and luckily, we were spotted by some sponsors who had a tie-up with Disney. They invited us to the January 2 show to wear our costumes and endorse their brand before the show began. And the end of that night, my friends and I found ourselves lucky to meet the stars of the show.
And we plan to start 2016 by watching it again, especially that this time, Frozen is the main event.
It was a memorable day for me as Wreck-It Ralph, because it was the first time outside of a cosplay convention where people would recognize the character I dressed up as. Normally, only fellow geeks and those who've watched the film would identify my character; everyone else--especially little kids--would run away at the sight of my freakish eyebrows and huge toy fists.
A "retarded" birthday party
Meeting my henshin heroes
They also held an auction where special collectors' items--the last of their kind--were up for grabs, and the proceeds were donated to the organizers' chosen charity group, the PEARL Foundation (People Empowerment for Arthritis and Lupus). That auction made me a legend among my peers, thanks to this limited 1988 Super Sentai calendar autographed by the two stars.
I tried to convince myself after the fact that it was worth it, especially since proceeds would go to charity. Eventually, I was delighted at the fact that I gained the respect and admiration of these two legends after witnessing my hard-fought battle, not to mention that I still get to interact with them thanks to social media. And as an added bonus, Georgette, Kaizu-san's wife, offered to take care of the calendar temporarily so she could get their other super sentai friends to sign it!
Now I'm looking forward to meeting them again this coming March, with my most prized treasure.
Dream come true: Game Start!
This year, I finally got to live that dream.
I caught wind of Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) around January of last year (how funny it is that tomorrow's last year will be this year) when I saw them at the Japanese puroresu live event featuring former WWE Cruiserweight Champion TAJIRI and Filipina-Japanese joshi wrestler and champion Syuri. It was only in December that year that I took them seriously when I got to watch their second-ever show, Terminus. I decided after that show that I'm going to join their training camp as soon as they open.
My bootcamp mates and I learned the the basics; we took bumps, body slams, suplexes, hip tosses and submission moves. We also practiced the wrestling moves we wanted to use when we debut. Then we studied ring psychology, practiced cutting promos, and developed our own wrestling personas.
And by August, the trainers had deemed me ready for a show.
I had my first actual wrestling match in the first PWR Live that month, but I officially debuted my wrestling persona, Vintendo, just this past November. He is an avid gamer whose past as a bullied kid motivated him to train, using moves inspired by his videogame heroes, to be able to take on the challenges--and maybe take down bullies along the way.
Vintendo is basically me, turned up to 200%.
Reunion with old idols, meeting new ones
Then at CosplayMania, I paid to meet one of their special guests, Japan-based Aussie pro-wrestler, crossdresser and "kawaiicore" musician Ladybeard.
He undeniably has a lot of fans who admire him for his modeling work and music, while I, on the other hand, am a huge fan of his wrestling gimmick. I admire the fact that he fully embraces his character when he's out there. So when he gave everyone else a hug in his meet-and-greet session, I thought that Vintendo should give him the wrestler's welcome instead. Too bad there wasn't any footage of that awesome moment.
But I got snapshots!
Destination: Hong Kong
We took the ride to Space Mountain at Tomorrowland, rode the RC Racer and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop at the Toy Story Land, visited souvenir shops where I bought my pairs of Anna and Elsa keychains, watched Mickey's Philharmagic at the 4D theater, and went back to the main boulevard to see the parades.
I actually brought my Wreck-It Ralph costume for the trip (sans the fists), so I wore it in the afternoon. When I saw that there was a short queue for picture taking with Goofy and Pluto, I took the opportunity to have my picture taken with them.
And of course, I found it obligatory to have my picture taken in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle.
And as icing on my 2015 cake, I got thrills and chills at the announcement of Gouki in Tekken 7's upcoming update, Ryu, Cloud and Bayonetta making it to Super Smash Bros. for the WiiU and 3DS, and finally, the much-awaited Final Fantasy VII remake for the latest-gen consoles! I also take these announcements as personal victories as an avid gamer.
There had also been some disappointments and regrets along the way, but overall, 2015 has been a great year for me. All those negativity are worth nothing compared to of all these unforgettable memories, new friendships, personal accomplishments and exciting news. I'm bringing all these to the coming new year, and I'm looking forward to a lot more, so thank you, 2015.
As for 2016?