Mindanao has captured again the country’s cosplay glory as Team Symphony of Swords was awarded the champions in the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Philippines 2017 Finals, which was done at TOYCON PH 2017 in Pasay City.

The Zamboanga-based duo had beated six other teams from Metro Manila, Bicol, Bacolod and Davao.


The team, fronted by Lara Florentes and John Pioquinto, who portrayed characters from the popular game Dynasty Warriors 8, bested “Team Weapon of Mask Destruction” and “Team Puddin'” from Davao, “Team Excalibur” of Bacolod, “Team Kanor Cubes” and “Team Reality” from Manila and “Team i-Craft” from Bicol in the fight to become the country’s representatives at World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Japan starting the end of July.

World Cosplay Summit Philippines 2017 Champion, posing together with the judges and organizers. (Photo from Shin Jalothot / Anime Pilipinas)

The judges of the competition were Angeleah Mejo, WCS Philippne Representative in 2014, Last year’s representatives Team Starseeker, composed of Gomer Taboada and Yukari Guerzon, and Hiro Saeki, a Japanese cosplayer.


In an interview with Anime Pilipinas hours after their win. Florentes says that they have been preparing to do on the cosplay for a year but they only started creating the costumes in October, or five months before the WCS Qualifiers in Zamboanga.

“It was a big opportunity for us, because it was not only Manila who was watching us, but the entire Philippines” Florentes said.

Pioquinto says that they had a good time spending time with the other WCS represententatives, adding that they bonded over in Toycon. where they also visited for the first time.

“We became a friends in just a matter of days,” Florentes said.


When the winners were announced by hosts Kel Fabie and Lizette Ilaga, the two admitted that they felt dumbfounded because they knew the next few weeks will be hard for them to prepare as Florentes is now based in Pagadian City, Zamboanga Del Norte and Pioquinto lives in Zamboanga City.

“We will have to make a lot of changes since we have to surprise the other countries competing there, that is why we’re going to need all the help… we could get because we cannot do this alone, ” the pair said.


The pair ended by thanking everyone who became a part of their journey, which included WCS 2015 representatives Jennifer Ong and SJ De Ocampo, who mentored and supported them.

“Being the 2017 WCS Representativves is quite a shock, and at the same time a very big blessing.” Florentes said.