On this edition of Cosplay Community we say “hi” to the folks in Davao who have been actively promoting cosplay in their region. It is always great to know that there are those who strive to make other people aware and strive to make them more appreciative of cosplaying. In getting to know more of the people all over the country who enjoy cosplay, we have had the pleasure to meet Dianne who was kind enough to share her thoughts with us.
Cosplay Community is our latest segment where we present the creative and intrepid people who have sought to bring cosplay in the Philippines to a wider audience through their artistry and hard work. We at arkadymac.com wish to feature the cosplayers, photographers, craftsmen, organizers, and groups who have, in their own way, kept cosplay alive and well throughout the years. The community itself still has any challenges to overcome, but we want to show how it continues to evolve with the energy and dynamism of the people who live and breathe within it. It is our hope that by doing so, someday, more people will be more understanding and more appreciative of this hobby, this art, this passion for cosplay.
“The cosplay community in Davao is small compared to Manila’s,” Dianne shares with us. “It’s tightly knit as most of the cosplayers know each other, and that the community is composed of friendly people.” We then ask her how people get to enjoy and experience cosplay in Davao. “The cosplay community is active in Davao through photoshoots,” she says. “I have met a lot of talented cosplay photographers and was given the chance to collaborate with them. There are also cosplay groups and organizations in Davao. Ambox Davao is the organization who organizes the majority of the cosplay events in our city. Aside from these, there are dance cover groups who perform and cover some popular anime and j-pop songs during events.”
Besides these, Dianne tells us she looks forward to three main cosplay events every year. “There’s the Mindanao Toy Convention (MTC), which happens in April. Davao Cyber Expo (DCE) happens sometime in July, and then there’s the Mindanao Cosplay Summit (MCS) which happens in October. Even though I started cosplaying in 2008, I only started attending conventions in 2012.”
For her first online feature here at arkadymac.com, Dianne cosplays Mikasa Ackerman from the hit manga and anime series Shingeki no Kyojin, photography by Argenn. “She is indestructible and strong, but really gentle and cute at the same time,” Dianne describes her character, one she had thought of as her dream cosplay. “I can relate to her on a lot of things,” she says. “I think that we are both headstrong and make good supporters, just like how she supports Eren, Armin, and the rest of her comrades. I like cosplaying characters who are physically strong but have a loving heart inside. I want to become like those characters. They are admirable and are natural-born leaders.”
Dianne admits that she found cosplaying Mikasa challenging. “Getting the correct facial expression and expression through the eyes was quite hard to do,” she recalls. “Carrying the 3DMG around is also a hassle because it is hard to move around with it. Nonetheless, I had a great time.”
Cosplaying for several years now, we ask her why she continues. “I cosplay because it is an outlet for my creativity,” she replies. “Cosplay is also fun because you can become your favorite character. I also think that cosplaying brought out the best in me. Before, I was very shy and was not confident with myself. Cosplay made me overcome those.”
“Being a cosplayer is becoming a different character with every cosplay you do,” Dianne shares. “For me, cosplaying makes you feel invincible, in one way or another.” We then ask her what makes cosplay fun. “Meeting new cosplayers to making friends with them, and bringing smiles to con-goers as they take pictures of you. My fondest memories of being a cosplayer are meeting new friends who share the same interests as me, and people calling out my character’s name during conventions. It makes me feel happy. It makes me feel that all the hard work was all worth it.”
Outside of cosplaying, Dianne describes herself as a serious, quiet person. “I’m working hard to finish college and graduate,” she says, “But I know how to have fun at the right time. I like singing and watching movies besides indulging in anime and games.”
Dianne describes Argenn Besinga, her photographer for this feature. “She’s my best friend and she’s also a cosplayer. We met during high school. I think that she is good with finding the most flattering angles in a cosplayer. We work together most of the time. She is the photographer while I post-process the photos.” To her, Dianne has this to say: “Argenn, Let’s be friends forever! I hope to have more photoshoots and group cosplays with you. Thank you for taking these wonderful photos! Thank you for the seven years of friendship!”
To those have helped her along the way, Dianne wishes to say: “I would like to thank my family and friends who accept and support me with my hobby, because we all know that cosplaying is not in the norm.” And to our readers, she wants to say: “Just be yourself and do what makes you happy as long as they’re not harming anyone.”
Many thanks to Dianne and Argenn for allowing us to share their work. You can be sure we’ll be featuring more of them and the Davao cosplay community soon here on our website. Thank you for dropping by, and do visit us again for more cosplay features here at arkadymac.com.
Xtian Mack took up AB English Studies, Major in Creative Writing at UP Diliman. Currently works for a medical transcription company. He is the Creative Director of The Cosplay Cafe: arkadymac.com, doing photography, writing, and reporting for the website. His line of photography specializes in cosplay event coverage, having covered 300 events in a span of 3 years. Loves cute and furry things.
View all posts by Xtian Mack