Filipina Cosplayer Jia Gold Bustamante Wins Asia Cosplay Meet Championship
The first weekend of July 2010 was phenomenal for Filipina cosplayers. On Saturday, Filipina cosplay sisters Alodia and Ashley Gosiengfiao judged the cosplay competition at the Singapore Mascot Parade. On Sunday, Filipina cosplayer Jia Gold Bustamante won the cosplay competition at the Asia Cosplay Meet.
Jia, an avid anime and gaming fan, portrayed the armored gynoid KOS-MOS from the PlayStation 2 science-fiction role-playing game Xenosaga III. From the pretty lights on her costume to the stoic expression on her face, Jia cosplayed her character with stunning accuracy and flair. She’s one of those rare cosplayers who pays attention to every single detail of her portrayals.
Whereas Alodia and Ashley are seven-year veterans of the cosplay industry who’ve performed in Singapore before, Jia only started cosplaying in November 2009. Her sudden and meteoritic rise to international fame is made even more remarkable by her young age: Jia is only thirteen. That makes her the youngest Filipina cosplayer to ever win an international competition. Jia’s previous cosplays include C.C. from the anime Code Geass, Rider from the anime Fate/stay night, and Kanu Unchou from the anime Ikki Tousen.
One of the reasons for Jia’s rapid rise to fame is her precociously clear understanding of cosplay as an artform. This teenage prodigy got into cosplay with all the rigorous discipline of a true performance artist. She watches what she eats, she keeps her skin pimple-free, and she focuses on her performance as much as she does on her costume. Perhaps some of that discipline comes from Jia’s training as a martial artist: she counts taekwondo as one of her passions. Jia’s passion as an artist also extends to photography and playing the piano.
Coincidentally, the youngest professional cosplayer in the Philippines, Chienna Filomeno, is also thirteen. Jia and Chienna represent a new generation of disciplined and determined young Filipina cosplayers. With her victory at the Asia Cosplay Meet, Jia proves that this new generation can bring Philippine cosplay to new heights of international acclaim.
(Photos by Jen Paredes.)
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