While the event had already wrapped up, I still had something left to do the next day. I made sure that I wouldn't be bothered by work on that Monday, so I filed a vacation leave for it.
It's because that was the day—the schedule of our much-awaited photoshoot.
That is also the reason, aside from CosMania, why Drefan, Kenneth and Sharlene, my cosplay friends from Singapore, visited the Philippines. They were thrilled by the idea of having a photoshoot in the country for the first time, and I just couldn't help but want to join them.
I wasn't merely joining them, however; as a matter of fact, I organized the entire thing voluntarily.
Our chosen venue was the baywalk of Roxas Boulevard, and our theme was Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I call it the Tekken Coastline Sunset Photoshoot.
Prologue: how the idea came about
When I arrived back to the country, I jokingly asked Drefan if he would entertain the idea of visiting the Philippines for a photoshoot. I said that there is a certain place in Manila that closely resembles Tekken Tag 2's Coastline Sunset stage. I didn't think he would take me seriously; he actually called for other cosplayers to go to CosMania!
The next battle: the plans, the permit and the people
The thing I forgot to do, however, was to consult my would-be guests. I had to explain to them the reasoning behind the schedule I chose, and I was relieved that they understood where I was coming from. As soon as the plans were clear, it was time that I did the hard part: the processing of the permit.
It was a no-brainer to me that the photoshoot would require a permit. I only knew that I had to apply for a permit from the city hall of Manila, but I didn't know the specific procedures.
I only went to apply for a permit a month before CosMania. Thanks to work, I couldn't properly schedule a date to go to the city hall to file my application. I had to make sure that I had no pending tasks before I could ask permission from my employer to be late for work due to my errand at the city hall.
While some of the people in the city hall were intimidating at first, they were eager to assist me in my application. It took me three weeks (I went to the city hall a once each week) to get the permit, and when I did, it was a giant sigh of relief.
Then I also had to plan for our mode of transportation. I didn't have too much trouble in it, because I was able to convince my dad to drive for us. My mom also insisted on tagging along.
When all the plans had been laid, it was time to resume looking for more attendees.
I realized that I would have a hard time looking for people to join our photoshoot because I scheduled it on a Monday. It was understandable that the people I would ask wouldn't be available for the shoot due to their jobs.
I was initially trying to control the number of attendees, that's why I wasn't able to go all-out in inviting people. Nevertheless, there were still those who answered the call.
And then, the big day.
We left home at around 9AM that Monday to fetch Drefan, Kenneth and Sharlene from the hotel. They said that Jayem would also be joining us that day, along with Aiyana. Wilbert also decided to drop by, and we had lunch while waiting for the others.
We arrived at the baywalk at around 2PM.
The new challengers
Wilbert had practically skipped his work to assist us in the shoot, but, we didn't want to impose on him, so we told him not to stay that long. We didn't want him to jeopardize his job for the sake of a one-time affair.
We expected it to rain, and it did. Good thing it was just for a short moment, otherwise all our preparations would be for naught.
I still haven't seen all of the shots they took, so I guess I'll have to settle with the pictures from my digicam for the meantime. I can't wait to see how the pictures turned out!
Our next plan was to eat at MoA. Jastine and Luke had other plans, however, so we had to bid them adieu. After driving us back to the hotel, my parents chose not to join us for dinner, so they went back home.
We ate at Cabalen that night. The food was obviously delicious! While it was a buffet, I couldn't seem to eat another round, probably because I already ate a lot in my first plate.
And then it was time to call it a day, so we said our adieus. (Though I still had to see the trio one final time the next day so I could give Drefan the souvenir Pots asked me to give him.)
First goes to Yuki and Jiaki for taking their time to talk to me despite their hectic schedule as guests at BoA. I hope to get to talk to you a lot more someday.
To the organizers of Best of Anime, may I request that you print your tickets for your next event? I just don't find your "Admit One" tickets collectable.
Next goes to all the international cosplayers/guest judges who went to CosMania, particularly to Goldy for his flattering complement on my portrayal of Segata Sanshiro. Your praise really made my day.
To the Scouting Legion led by Jin, it is always great to see your group at events. You're always outdoing yourselves every time I see your team, and I think that's awesome!
To all the participants in the Tournament of Champions, congratulations! You did your co-cosplayers in your respective regions proud. To the champions, Team Cuddle Buddies Again, I wish you the best at Anime Festival Asia.
To Cosplay.ph, the organizers of Cosplay Mania, congratulations on an explosion of an event. CosMania just keeps on getting better and better every year, and I look forward to contributing to it next year in the way I can.
To all my companions—cosplayers and photographers alike—in the Tekken Coastline Sunset Photoshoot, I really appreciate your attendance. But of course, we wouldn't have pushed it through if our friends from Singapore weren't interested in doing it, so to Drefan, Kenneth and Sharlene: thank you for taking interest in that silly idea that I had.
To the people at the Manila City Hall, thank you for granting us the permit to do our stuff at the Manila Bay.
And of course, to my parents for accompanying us during the entirety of the photoshoot (though I guess paying for the gasoline is compensation enough).
And to everyone else that I met on those three events, I'm really amused and amazed that I get to know you all. As much as I want to name you all, I feel that it would take me another week to completely enumerate you; besides, I'm not getting any younger, so my memory fails me from time to time.
So instead, here's a big THANK YOU! I look forward to hanging out with all of you again some time!