The crowd at the Starland Theme Park. (Photo from Red Mendoza / Anime Pilipinas)

Despite Delays, Event  successfully raised notebooks and pencils for charity, will be given to select public schools.

The sweltering heat and the location 0f the venue did not deter thousands of anime fans to troop to the Starmall Alabang’s Starland Events Center for Naruto Cosplayers Philippines‘ Pinoy Otaku Festival: Fantasm held last May 24 and 25.

This despite the problems the organizers had faced at the venue, including unforeseen events that led to the scrapping of their original concept which was to feature a “live” cosplay skit of Code Geass, which was supposed to utilize the castle at the theme park.

“I think Fantasm was a success and it offered (something) new and (a) memorable experience to everyone and yes it is all worth it.”  according to NCPH’s Events Head David D’Angelo in an interview with Anime Pilipinas.


The first day’s event consisted of the “1st Bolen Lareza Chibi Cosplay competition”, The Otaku Cosplay Idol finals and the Otaku’s Choice Awards. In the Bolen Lareza chibi cosplay event, 30 chibi cosplayers competed and strutted their stuff to the judges which composed of Lareza, Ashley Misaki Hernandez, Isaiah Luke Buelos and Belldandy Grimarez.

Meanwhile, Ten competitors from different Otaku Cosplay Idol preliminaries and wildcards met at the Otaku Cosplay Idol finale, in which Isaiah Luke Buelos won as the winner, while Ian Quinto and Cykah Baladad were crowned as runners-up.

The Otaku Choice Awards, meanwhile, were held right after the Cosplay Idol Grand Finals. Anime Alliance Philippines received the Otaku Icon for organization and the Otaku Icon for events in behalf of Collectibles Unlimited, the organizers of Toycon. Fatima Jongko received the Otaku Icon for events host, and Myrtle Gail Sarrosa was recognized as Otaku Icon for Cosplay.

In the awards that was held via online voting, AnimePH Project won as Best Otaku Blog, GMA Network won as Best Free TV Station, Ianah Otaku won as Best Female Cosplayer, Chie Topacio won as Best Male Cosplayer, Otaku Zutto won as Best Otaku Organization, Misaki Con as the best event, and Lean and Mean Machines as best event sponsor.


Second day’s events included the awaited Fantasm Cosplay Competition, where 42 cosplayers battled it out for the Fantasm Cosplay Champion. Judging the event were Ryan Simbul, Jay Agonoy, RB Cheng and Sheila Navarro, representing each of the four categories that they will judge, Costume, Realism, Difficulty and Engagement, respectively.

D’Angelo said that the aim of the Fantasm Cosplay competition is to provide realism to cosplay.

“I was really amazed by the 42 cosplayers that competed as in magagaling talaga sila. Fantasm Cosplay Lives’ aim was achieved since realism was really proven by the winners. Kaya nga kahit malakas audience appeal pero out of character di talaga mananalo.” D’ Angelo said in an interview with Anime Pilipinas.

The judges chose four competitors who won in each of their own categories, On the four categories, the Robocop Cosplayer won as the grand Fantasm Cosplay champion.


D’Angelo said that they were able to hold the event even though they were plagued with delays, including a busted speaker that forced the delay of the Fantasm cosplay competition.

He says that NCPH is always innovating on their events because they wanted to create their own brand and to let the fans experience something new.

He also added that the Otaku Cosplay Idol competition will be on hiatus, but he said that he wants to put an innovation for the Otaku Cosplay Idol.


Right now, they are now coordinating with Arnold Lareza, Bolen’s father, for the distribution of the notebooks that were given by the event attendees in exchange for their tickets.

“Sir Arnold Lareza is coordinating with a public school in Valenzuela and we might also give some to our partner, Antipolo Cosplayers.” D’Angelo said.

D’Angelo also revealed that aside from their December event to be held in SM City Baliwag, they are in talks to hold an event in Binondo and Cebu but nothing is final yet.

“There are a bunch of event concepts that we already have but it is too early to be announced. For POF 2015, it will depend on whether the community likes it or not” D’Angelo said.

“The success of Fantasm will never happen if not for everyones effort. In behalf of Naruto Cosplayers Philippines and Red Cloud Interactive we would like to extend our deepest gratitude to everyone. You are all the fuel thay inspires us. Salamat po!”  D’Angelo said as a final message to all of those who went.


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