Otacool 2 Filipina Cosplayers at ToyCon 2010

Filipina cosplayers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, Monique Dimanlig, and Jessica Ouano.

Filipina cosplayers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, Monique Dimanlig, and Jessica Ouano.

The Philippines boasts a strong otaku culture, an otaku culture that’s been growing ever since the Japanese super robot anime Voltes V enthralled a generation of Filipinos in the 1970s. With the growth of that otaku culture comes a strong cosplay culture, a cosplay culture that started going mainstream with breakthrough performances from Filipina cosplayers Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ashley Gosiengfiao, and Jerry Polence in 2003.

That’s why the Philippines is so well-represented in Otacool 2: Worldwide Cosplayers, the new cosplay photobook from top otaku culture blogger Danny Choo. Otacool 2 features not one, but four Filipina cosplayers. Cosplay industry veterans Alodia and Ashley are joined by upcoming talents Monique Dimanlig and Jessica Ouano.

All four of these performance artists have done their country proud, and all four of them will be signing copies of Otacool 2 at the 9th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention (ToyCon). If you’re in Manila on June 19, meet these Filipina geek princesses at ToyCon’s Maxicollector booth in the Megatrade Hall on the fifth level of SM Megamall Building B, 2:00pm to 4:00pm GMT+8. If you haven’t done so yet, you can order a copy of Otacool 2 at Amazon or Maxicollector.

In a way, ToyCon 2010 brings Alodia full-circle in her involvement with the Otacool 2 project. After all, Danny first discovered Alodia through a photo of her at ToyCon 2008. ToyCon will be a decade old next year; perhaps the annual convention will create even more cycles of cosplay awesomeness in the decade to come.

Filipina Blogger Captures Tear Gas Stampede

The Philippines just finished its natiowide elections, and Laarni Cayetano was proclaimed Mayor of Taguig City on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the proclamation was marred by a tear gas canister going off and causing a stampede.

Filipina blogger Alodia Gosiengfiao happened to be on the scene. In an act of citizen journalism, she caught the stampede on video.

Accusations have been flying back and forth on this incident. Laarni’s husband, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, accuses Laarni’s rival candidate Dante Tiñga of orchestrating a tear gas attack. Outgoing Taguig Mayor Sigfrido Tiñga, Dante’s son, accuses the Senator of issuing malicious statements. The Taguig police claims it was all an accident.

Of course, all this political back-and-forth completely fails to portray the visceral terror of that day. That’s exactly what Alodia’s video manages to convey.

I don’t care where you stand on Taguig City politics. I don’t care whether you’re with the Cayetanos or the Tiñgas or the Beatles or the Klingons. Whether through deliberate malice or accidental incompetence, there is absolutely no excuse for gassing innocent civilians.