It’s been months since the World Cosplay Summit 2018 has been held in Nagoya, Japan with Team Mexico getting their second championship title.
Above all of these high-stakes competition, it’s important to know what’s in the mind of our country’s delegation – what they have learned, what they want to do next, and what they want to teach future representatives about the World Cosplay Summit and the World Cosplay Championships.
I talked to Sergio Sta. Ana (WCS 2018 Team Sekai) and Angeleah Mejo (WCS 2014 Philippine Alumni) about their experiences participating in this year’s WCS.
Lessons from WCS 2018
After WCS 2014, Mejo (who is much known under the name MingMiho) has seen her popularity rose up. She has been through Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam too. These are only by-products of her participating in the WCS, but what she told me not only applies to the Summit but as well as everyday tasks.
“Schedules are really hectic, and you have to be self-disciplined in terms of the schedules.” She learns the ways to manage time while participating in the Summit, and she carries the habit as she goes back home. The Summit has changed her as a cosplayer, and she learns to be competitive. She has been invited to visit events in Europe too.
Now that Sta. Ana has reached the pinnacle of his cosplay career, what has he learned from the Summit? “Mas dumami yung knowledge ko sa crafting pagpunta ko ng Japan.” (My knowledge in crafting has expanded after going to Japan.)
At first he thought that the competing teams in the WCS are taking the competition as is, but he was proved otherwise. Teams from Indonesia and Brazil did not hesitate to share what they know in crafting costumes.
“’Yun talaga, makikita mo na lahat ng bansa ay friendly.” (There you will see that all the [competing] countries are friendly [with each other].)
What he learned from the Summit is what he will apply “starting now.”
In the future…
As an alumni, he said he will help in mentoring the future representative of the country. “Siguro, itong darating na 2019, hindi ako magdadalawang-isip na turuan ‘yung mananalo na bagong representative.” (I guess that in the coming year I will not think twice to teach the next ones who will represent the country.)
To Sta. Ana, joining the WCS is just one thing, winning there is another. When opportunity strikes, he will still compete in the Summit. “’Di pa ako titigil mag-compete sa WCS kasi ang #1 dream ko is manalo internationally. Soon, baka sumabak ulit, as long as makakita ng pagkakataon.” (I won’t stop competing in the WCS yet, because my #1 dream is to win internationally. Maybe soon I can join again, as long as I can see an opportunity to do so.)
In the history of the WCS in the Philippines, most representatives hail from the southern parts of the country; but now that the stereotype has been cut off with the title win of Team Sekai, who represented the NCR qualifiers held at the Christmas Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Fair in Mandaluyong City last December 2017.
In line with the preparations for the selection of the country’s representatives for the next WCS which will roll out soon, we asked him if these developments have a positive chance in connecting cosplayers from Manila to the Summit.
“Mabubura na sa mga contestants yung issue na laging Davao [ang nananalo]; kung [kaming galing sa] Manila nagawang manalo, paano pa sila?” (The notion that cosplayers from Davao wins the WCS will now be erased; if us who came from Manila won, then how about them?)
He then adds that as a team, they chose to believe in themselves and shun the naysayers. This is what they want to impart to those who will compete. “’Wag silang magpaapekto kung ano yung naririnig nila sa ibang tao, better gawin nila yung dapat gawin or dapat patunayan nila sa sarili nila. ‘Di kami nagpaapekto sa isyu, mas pinili namin na ipakita kung anong meron kami, and ayun yung resulta.”
(Don’t get affected by what they hear from other people, it’s better that they do what’s should be done or what they have to prove to themselves. We didn’t get affected by these issues, we chose to show what we have, and that’s the result.)
Sergio himself advocates the expansion of the WCS in the country, and is thankful that he himself didn’t think twice joining it. “Mas gusto ko lumawak ang WCS dito sa ‘Pinas kasi ang saya ng experience makapunta sa Japan, maka-compete with other countries. Doon mo mae-experience lahat. Dami mong matututunan… malaking pagbabago sa sarili. Thankful na thankful ako na hindi ako nagdalawang-isip na sumali sa WCS.“
(I want the WCS to expand in the Philippines because the experience of going to Japan and competing against other countries is fun. That’s where you can experience everything. You will learn a lot… it has brought a huge change in me. I’m really thankful that I didn’t thought twice joining the WCS.)
To cap off the discussion, both Sta. Ana and Mejo has words of advice to those who plan to compete for the WCS in the country.
“Be passionate and I hope na sasali sila kasi it’s really an amazing experience in your life. Once in a lifetime. So I hope na yung ibang cosplayers, i-try ito kasi ito talaga yung pinaka-big event sa cosplay sa buong mundo,” Mejo stressed.
(Be passionate; and I hope they join as it’s really an amazing experience in their lives. This is once in a lifetime. So I hope that the other cosplayers try joining as this is the biggest cosplay event in the world.)
As for Sta. Ana, he gives emphasis on attitude. “Attitude talaga. Kasi kung halimbawang kayo ang magiging representative ng Pilipinas, kailangan yung attitude ninyo maayos, kasi dala ninyo ang bandera natin. Kailangan ninyong ipakita yung dugong Pinoy natin. ‘Wag tayong basta lumaki ang ulo, feet on the ground lang lagi.”
(It all falls down on attitude, because in case you get to represent the country, your attitude needs to be proper as you are bearing our flag. You need to show them the Filipino blood. Don’t get boastful, always keep your feet on the ground.)
Lastly, he reminds aspirants to be resourceful and passionate. “Gawin lahat yung ano yung idea nila sa performance, huwag bara-bara ang skit. Much better pagplanuhan nila para ‘di maaksaya yung effort nila.” (Do everything that they thought of well in their performances, don’t rush the skit. Much better if they plan it so that their efforts don’t go to waste.)