OTAKUFEST was back this year and celebrated its 12th run. Held at SM Seaside City Cebu’s maze garden, the cosplay and hobbies event lasted for two days from last Feb. 23 to 24, and was organized by a team composed of volunteers from the University of the Philippines Cebu, who are part of the organization Nichibunken.
Since Otakufest 2018, the event has veered away from any specific theme so as to encourage diversity when it came to everyone’s costumes.
Apart from seeing crowds dressed in their favorite characters, activities that took place included meet and greets, and workshops. There were also the Otakufest trademark activities which included the ramen eating competition, Japanese singing competition, Asian pop dance competition as well as new pocket events like the Mobile Legends tournament, open stage performances featuring local talent, Pop culture Hiroshima Cebu Qualifiers and Philippine National Finals, and Sabersturm Tournament.
Special guests of the two-day event included World Cosplay Summit Team Philippines 2018’s Sergio Sta. Ana and Kai Raito of Team Sekai, and Reika Arikawa, a seasoned cosplayer from Osaka, Japan.
“Every year, Otakufest adds in new hobbies to its lineup and celebrating this all in one day wouldn’t be enough,” shared Sonia Vidal, chief director of Otakufest Events Management, why the event extended to two days this year. “We wanted everyone to enjoy and feel that each of their own unique hobbies are welcomed. We wanted to provide a place where our attendees and participants can celebrate and showcase all of these hobbies with pride.”