I remember a time when all I thought, breathed and practically lived for was to be someone else for a day. I would spend countless hours dreaming, scheming, conceptualizing and creating costumes that I would wear and forget about reality for at least a couple of days. I spent my hard earned money, honed all my creative skills and focused all my energies to transform myself to someone who doesn’t exist.
To the conventional people out there, it sounds like a big waste of time, money and effort to slip out of reality and do silly things like these. But to us craftsmen, cosplayers and cosplay afficionados – its more like therapy or an art form that not everyone in the world would understand and would sometimes be looked down upon the closest of your family and friends.
To tell you the truth, that is the reason why I quit Cosplay. I quit because the people closest to me have said things like: Mukha kang baliw. ( You look like a crazy person) and Sira na siguro ang ulo mo para magsuot ka ng ganyan. ( You must be crazy to wear that).
It tore through my heart – I was proud of my art. The fact that I have sewn and created so many beautiful works of art made me proud. But it seems that those who I wanted to be proud of me were ashamed of me because of the hobby that I pursued. I also felt that I was needed, wanted and loved in that community. But since I had to choose, I chose to leave the industry. I chose to shelf my moogle ball, put away my wings and live the life of a “normal” human being.
I looked away when people ask why I quit. I shy away from conventions. I deny myself from anything that would remind me and want me to go back to the old habit. I convinced myself that the cosplay industry in the Philippines was weak and that I shouldnt involve myself here. I was successful for a few years, but then I discovered that while I was repressing myself, I have come to realize that some of the best work I made and the best moments of my life were when I was in a con and cosplaying.
Some of the best people in the world that I met were from cosplaying. Some of the truest friends in the world are people I met in the industry. I also realized that while I was denying myself this, I was denying my identity. Cosplay is a part of me already. It’s part of my personality and life and so why should I be ashamed of it. I should be proud of myself for having a unique passion that not everyone could say they have.
So, here I am, a proud ex-moogle, though I cannot reclaim my wings or ears, I know I could help the industry I so love in my own way. Cosplay world, I am back.