Saturday, September 3, 2016

AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic

I always believed that being a geek is a compliment. There’s nothing really wrong with indulging in video games, books, and lore of the fictional universe. I’d like to believe that because of these things, imagination and creativity truly soars beyond the horizon. I witnessed this firsthand when I saw the "otherwordly" community at AsiaPOP Comicon Manila.

Inside the SMX Convention Center, individuals from different realms gather together to spell cast and celebrate the biggest comic and pop culture convention in the Philippines. The Pop Con event brings the ultimate fan experience with a powerhouse line of celebrities, cosplayers, and activities.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

It was my first time to attend the convention so I did not expect the community there to be so meticulous and passionate about their craft. My dorkness exploded when I saw familiar characters from my favorite comics, video games, and anime series.

Since we didn't know where to start, Arnie and I decided to check out the cosplay competition first. When we entered the large auditorium we immediately felt the energy of the crowd. Man! cosplay competitions here are crazy! when I was a kid, I was aware of people dressing up as their favorite characters but this is on a completely different level.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

See what I mean? take a look at these costumes! Some even had motors and sound effects! that's passion for you. My personal favorite would be the Timbersaw and the Brotherhood Power Armor from Fallout 3 (I nuked Megaton, by the way).

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

The competition was judged by prestigious cosplayers like Alodia Gosiengfiao, Ani Mia, and Riki Lecotey. The Cosplay Authority Global Challenge (The Cage) made sure that their cosplayers are healthily challenged with a USD 24,000 cash price.

After the overwhelming competition, we finally decided to head to the the first floor for the creative circle section. 

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

The Creative Circle is where the magic happens-- literally. In here, you have a wonderful spree of  cosplayers, fan merchandise, and comic artists! since it was our first time, our heads couldn't keep up with the massive content the place had to offer. It would take you hours to just circle around the place. 

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Geeks like me would go crazy on the wide variety of collectibles and fan references. But on a side note, even if I wasn't a fan, I would still appreciate the awesome aesthetics of each product.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Artists showcased impressive models from Attack on Titan, Terminator, Dragon Ball, Gundam, and of course, Star Wars! Oh, in case you guys didn't know, I'm a big fan of Star Wars (Extended universe or not) I can passionately talk about the Dark Side and how the Rule of Two made by Darth Bane...okay, that's for another time, haha. 

Since I'm a big fan of Star Wars, here are some biased photo shots:

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Planeswalkers would be delighted to see Magic the Gathering's booth. The booth had people flocking to have a friendly match. One side of the booth invited curious people to try out the game.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

As far as I know, Magic the Gathering is one of the most hardcore fantasy card games out there.  I've seen dads battle it out with their Eldrazzi, I've seen uncles with their Phyrexia, and I've witnessed a couple of friends splurge a lot money for a very powerful card (Jace the Mind Sculptor, though). 

Okay, I don't really play the card game but I'm a huge fan of the card illustrations. You should go check it out!

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Okay, this art installment wasn't part of the event. But since we didn't want to hassle people from taking our photo and since the ushers weren't allowed to hold any camera devices, we had to be resourceful. Thank you, AsiaPOP Comicon for giving us creativity, lol.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Millie Brown of Stranger Things graced the event with a meet and greet segment. I have yet to watch the series (please don't get triggered!) but I'll definitely find time to do some binge-watching.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

When I was a kid, I was so passionate in building Lego shapes. Seeing them again at AsiaPOP Comicon had me reliving my childhood. Plus! it kind of gave me an idea on what to do for my next flatlay concept. Stay tuned for that!

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

The Creative Circle also had a special booth for renowned comic book artists. To be honest, I don't have the sufficient knowledge to fanboy over them but seeing their work was a very humbling experience-- talk about insane talent over here! I hope people get to support these amazing artists always.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

What would AsiaPOP Comicon be without video games, right? This year, the event held an Overwatch competition. A big screen was provided and fans watched avidly as each team battled their way to victory. 

Other booths had costume-clad individuals playing games like World of Tanks.

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila
Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

Cosplayers looked impressive as they wondered the different realms of Comicon. They were always camera ready (except maybe for that damn horse meme) so shooting them was a breeze. 

Deo Montuerto | Afrotastic | AsiaPOP Comicon Manila

I hope this blog post justifies that being a geek will always be a compliment. For me, this is one of those experiences that cultivate the understanding of an amazing-- yet, often stereotyped-- community. Because aside from being a fan's haven, AsiaPOP Comicon will always be an event where judgements are slim and magic is for everyone. After all, it's not just a convention, it's a Pop Culture Festival.

We'll definitely be back with Jedi Robes and Lightsabers.