Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Philippine Cosplay Mini Summit and Open Forum

Held last August 15, 2009, a Saturday, in UP ITTC. Here are some excerpts from Seedsop's reaction blog about the forum:

"The open forum was an opportunity for the government to have a better understanding of what cosplay is and what it is all about. This was perhaps in a way for our community and the subculture in general to let our government have a glimpse of what we are like in the midst of continuous negative sentiment from various government officials.

"He [Robert Wong] made it a point to say that "cosplay is a hobby, if you get paid to do it then you're not a cosplayer but a model.

"I [Seedsop] see it as well as an art form as well and a way to express oneself and a reflection of one's creativity as well. But I have to disagree with him in saying that people getting paid to cosplay are not cosplayers anymore but are models. Just because a cosplayer was paid for his services, does not necessarily make him or her less of a cosplayer. In fact there are cosplayers here that have been asked to do appearances and were paid either in kind or in some small monetary value. Are they considered models already? How about cosplay cafes? There are employees there that are actual cosplayers but get paid to dress up as a maid, butler or some other character. Does that make them less of a cosplayer, too?

"As I [Seedsop] continued to listen to the government point persons, I noticed a consistency in their answers. They showed a certain interest as this was unfamiliar territory but would give vague answers and did not promise anything but research about it more. Typical of the government, really but I can also see why. Here's a bunch of people who have only heard about cosplay just recently and don't know about our subculture. You can't expect us to make changes when we don't know what changes are needed. Just like Commissioner Ibrahim asked, "How can we help you?"

Seedsop also pointed some possible advantages of cosplay here in the Philippines: one, it could be a venue for trade and commerce since conventions showcases shops selling knick-knacks imported and locally made; second, "cosplay could also be promoted as an form of art and expression of our culture."

Cosplay in the Philippines and a possible government support has too many sides to react as of the moment. There is also the question of the definition of cosplay in relation to the Philippine setting, and it's probable impact and contribution locally.

What do you think of cosplay as an art-form? Would the government CAN help this budding endeavor of today's youth?

Note: Edited

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