Final Fantasy


Culture Crash Cosplay Cover

Culture Crash Cosplay Cover

The cover of Culture Crash magazine issue fourteen, from 2004. Foreground, from left to right: Filipina cosplayers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, and Jerry Polence.

As cosplay continues to rise along with geek culture in the Philippines, here’s a bit of a blast from the past. This is the wraparound cover for the fourteenth issue of Culture Crash magazine, from 2004.

A Legacy of Fantasy

What’s so special about a geek culture magazine with a bunch of cosplayers on the cover? Well, this particular cover features three of the most influential Filipina cosplayers of the last decade: Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, and Jerry Polence. This issue of Culture Crash marked the first time each of them ever appeared on a magazine cover in costume.

Alodia cosplayed the mischievous thief Rikku from the hit role-playing game Final Fantasy X-2. Alodia’s younger sister Ashley cosplayed Rikku’s teammate, the stalwart gunner Yuna. Both sisters portrayed the gun mage versions of their characters. Jerry cosplayed the ice goddess Shiva from Final Fantasy X. All three cosplayers first portrayed their respective characters at the 2003 C3 Convention in Manila.

The Continuing Future

Where are they now, you ask? Alodia and Ashley are famous across Japan and Southeast Asia, while Jerry continues to refine her art in the United States. Filipinos bear a strong cultural affinity for performance arts. As cosplay shapes up to become the performance art for the age of the geeky mashup, and as geek culture rises in the Philippines, Filipino cosplayers are well-positioned to become global luminaries in this ascendant artform.

Inspired by the ever-escalating struggles and successes of their elders, younger and younger Filipino cosplayers are pursuing their art with greater and greater zest. Alodia, arguably the most famous Filipina cosplayer in the world today, was sixteen when this Culture Crash cover came out. The youngest professional cosplayer in the Philippines today, Chienna Filomeno, is only thirteen. The youngest active cosplayer in the Philippines today, Louella Faller, is four. Mind you, four-year-old Louella wore three different costumes at ToyCon 2010. The little girl’s quite the trooper.

As cosplayers discover new ways to connect with their audiences and diversify their art, perhaps new generations of Filipino cosplayers will evangelize geek culture in ways their predecessors never even imagined.

Alodia and Ashley 2003 Pics from GeoCities

GeoCities, one of the most popular free homepage hosting services of the ’90’s, closed down the other day. After the Philippines came online in 1994, a lot of Filipino geeks made their online homes on the service. One group of such geeks, Transformers Philippines, witnessed the first breakaway performance of Filipina cosplay princess Alodia Gosiengfiao and her sister Ashley. The teenaged geek girls wowed the crowds at 2003 C3 Convention, portraying magic gunners Rikku and Yuna from Final Fantasy X-2.

Transformers Philippines’ old GeoCities page has vanished, but their photographic record of the sisters’ big break will not. Here are their pictures of that arguably pivotal moment in the history of Filipino geek culture, preserved for posterity. Click here to continue reading “Alodia and Ashley 2003 Pics from GeoCities”…