Fresh from their trip to Singapore to represent the Philippines in AFA X’s Regional Cosplay Championships, Team Bajina members Kune and Sese take five minutes off their hectic lives as cosplayers and college students to answer some questions for magnetic-rose.net. Take it away, ladies!
When and how did you get into cosplay?
Kune: I found out about the scene when I was around 10 years old. Year 2000 ish AXN’s event. I found it interesting but not enough for me to get triggered to get into such hobby. Year 2005 I went to hero con, I was 15 and it peaked my interests since it looked fun. From there I started to make costumes and continuously go to conventions.
Sese: It was year 2006. I was fresh grad from college and has started working. My friend invited me to cosplay the Kagamine Twins with her. I has hesitant at first since I know nothing how to go about but with much persuasion I got into it. After that first experience, I fell in love and the passion for cosplay just grew.
What made you decide to team up and compete for AFA X?
Kune: Originally I asked Lyron first but due to his busy schedule, and the expiration of his passport he could not pursue. So I asked Sese to compete with me for fun since we get along pretty well. I told her I wanted to cosplay Xenosaga for the longest time since I’ve started playing the game. So yea, this was our chance to go through it.
Sese: This was random. Personally, I never planned to join the AFA RCC 2010 because I had no one to partner up with. When the announcement for the RCC came up, Kune PM-ed in me YM and invited me to partner up. I just could not let the opportunity slip away and said yes.
What is the hardest part about this competition? How have you dealt with any problems?
Kune: The hardest part about the competition? Time constraints, the details were announced a bit late so we had to rush our preparations. I thought just armor itself is harder than mixed materials. Armors and Fabric together is harder, because putting together two different materials requires more time to work on. Especially that our costumes were mostly made out spandex to get it’s right fit and whole lot of Cinema Secret’s Spirit gum!
Luckily, we had a lot of support from our friends and family. Our friends, Pepz Sultura and Andre Alejandre, helped us out with the armor, we’ve learned a lot from them also we were very experimental. Romeo Artista, helped with the finishing touches on the last day. I first had the base done by a seamstress, but I deconstructed it to get the right fit I wanted.
From there Xandra Zapanta offered her help, though sewing was hard since spandex required a different machine called, Serger. So we asked Catherine de Jesus for help from there she fixed the pattern and helped us so in together. She even gave me extra support since she was worried about the chest part of my base. With my sword, I tried working it out with just rubber sheet but it was too wobbly so, Xandra and her dad had to use a different material which was wood and styro foam. From there I painted the details.
So yea the problems where the lack of time and we were all over town to get things done even the day of the flight. Though I might say, it was totally worth the hardships. I am very thankful for having such good friends. And words of encouragement from the people around us helped me a lot to keep fighting.
Sese: The hardest part for me will be getting all the requirements done and submitted to the AFA committee and dealing with the armors. You can say its was stressing. We didn’t want to put a lot stress on those who were helping us regarding our armors and other things so whenever we are working on it, we would work and play. Play in a sense just to get some of the stress out. Also, Kune and I helped out as much as we can despite school, work and sickness combine.
What was the best part about being a contestant to such a huge, high-profile event?
Kune: Besides the free transportation, free anisong tickets, backstage passes, and the free bag I won from Cebu Pacific? Hahahahaha! The best part of being a contestant in such a huge event is the experience itself, the people you meet, and just being the representative of your country is such an honor to have. I felt like I had to be at my best behavior all the time and as usual I was friendly to everyone.
Meeting the rest of the finalists was amazing, learning new things from them, observing how they are with cosplaying. And of course, meeting Aira, had me a bit starstruck. Meeting Kaname gave me the spazzms I tried acting cool most of the time! I pretended to be not a huge fan. I didn’t wanna freak him out. Though getting complimented by him gave us the giggles. Then also meeting Japanese celebrities such as, Angela and SCANDAL was definitely awesome even though in honesty, I don’t know much of them. But just meeting everyone made feel so blessed.
Sese: For me the best part is not the freebies or the free entrance to this and that. It’s the experience that’s the best part. Also I got to meet new friends and I won’t deny meeting Kaname and Aira up close and personal is one of the highlights.
What advise would you give to others who aspire to compete internationally as well?
Kune: Prepare early if you plan to join, as soon as possible start making your costumes, and take photos of the progress, with that when you send your submissions all you have to do is wait for results. And when you get in all you have to think about is your performance. But in case you don’t prepare early, get ready for a lot of mess and stress. Just keep fighting. Think all of the possibilities that would help you to get in.
And remember that you will always serve as an ambassador for our country as a representative, always be at your good behavior and practice sportsmanship. Winning is not everything just being able to represent your country is already such a great honor and experience. Winning is just a plus to the experience! So I encourage you guys to compete internationally! Oh, make sure your papers are ready before you even compete so that there will not be any other problems. GOODLUCK! :D
Sese: First, never and try not to procrastinate. I admit we did procrastinate a bit. Second, try to plan and prepare what cosplay you’re gonna do. Try working on it already and take progress pictures, so that when it’s needed already you have something to show. Third, take the time to perfect your skit with your video or background music.
Rehearse and make sure you know your blockings and be in character during the skit. Also, in your rehearsal try rehearsing wearing some of your costume to see if you can move well in it or do fighting scenes. It’s also a way to see if you need to adjust something in your costume. If you have a weapon, it’s to see if you can wield it well with ease.
Lastly, have fun and enjoy. Make friends and mingle with the other participants. You’ll learn a lot of things from then and they will learn from you too.
Thanks to Sese and Kune for accommodating my interview request :D Let’s support their future projects, including Kune’s bid to become the next MEG Covergirl.