Feb 24, 2015

UP Otaku Fest 8: Alternate Universe | A Photo-Diary

The open grounds of the University of the Philippines was a scene straight out of a movie on February 21, 2015. A motley crew of armored warriors, otherworldly princesses and astonishing beasts paraded around the open field like it was the most natural thing to do in the world. This can only mean one thing: Otaku Fest is here!

The annual Otaku Fest, the biggest cosplay and hobby convention in the province, brings together anime enthusiasts, hobbyists, cosplayers and photographers from Cebu and beyond. The theme for Otaku Fest 8 is Alternate Universe. 

I've gone to many cosplay conventions but Otaku Fest will always hold a special place in my heart --partly because my first cosplaying experience was at Otaku Fest 2 back in 2008. I went to Otaku Fest 8 with my friend and fellow cosplay enthusiast, Camille. Although I didn't cosplay, I still had so much fun seeing all the awesome costumes and reuniting with friends. Of course, I took a ton of photos for your viewing pleasure.

Click on READ MORE to see my photo diary of Otaku Fest 8. 


Otaku Fest has gone a long way since the first event back in 2007. I remember the earlier Otaku Fests had fewer costumed attendees -- mostly those who were in costumes were participating in the cosplay contests -- and lesser concession stalls. I'm so happy that Otaku Fest is getting bigger and busier. There are definitely more attendees and non-contestants are dressing up, too!

Also, the concession stalls are no longer just limited to stalls selling food and drinks. Many booths now offer exciting merchandise from collectible anime figures to cosplay wigs to back issues of legendary Otaku magazines like Questor.

Me with my long lost friend and me with everyone's favorite pirate, Jack Sparrow

Camille checking out the merch and Camille with [insert character name here]

As always, I had a lot of fun at Otaku Fest 8 but the event also evoked a sharp awareness of my imminent mortality (i.e. I'm getting old). Here's an alternate title for this post: "You Know You're Getting Old When..."

1. The people you used to cosplay with no longer join the contests. Instead, they've become sellers, photographers or part of the organizing team.

2. The cosplayers are becoming really young.

3. You can only recognize a handful of characters at the event; most of them are from the more old school shows and games. Can you help me identify who these characters are?

Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy and... is this guy from One Piece?

Two versions of Maleficent

Are these guys The Joker's fellow bank robbers from The Dark Knight

Right image: Kerrigan was my favorite female contestant. I hope she won!

Left image: Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service (she makes me smile!)

Is this guy from World War Z, The Walking Dead or do I need to watch more zombie movies? 

Here are more snaps of the booths, parade and skits. 


Good to know:
  • Otaku Fest is a yearly, whole-day event hosted by UP Cebu. It usually happens on February
  • There's an entrance fee, this year it was 80 bucks
  • Even if you aren't cosplaying you can still enjoy the event by watching/joining the parade, shopping for trinkets and anime goodies, watching the skits and program, or having impromptu photo shoots with the cosplayers 
  • Otaku Fest is held at at the UP open grounds and it can get very hot especially in mid-afternoon, so bring an umbrella with you and bottled water, too! Late in the afternoon there was a shortage of bottled water and Camille and I were too tired to buy water outside the venue D:

Otaku Fest
University of the Philippines
Gorordo Ave., Lahug, Cebu City
Contact: +639334246646 | Facebook

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