CosFeature #3: Keena Monteclaro

I started out as a con-goer back then. It mattered so much to me how accurate and realistic one person can go to look exactly like the character they are cosplaying. So I’d like to take this opportunity to feature some of my favorite Cosplayers, whom I’ve had such honor in meeting and befriending along the way.. -katz

CosFeature n#3: Keena Monteclaro.. aka Kynkyn

K- Konnichiwa! Whoa that glare is really melting me haha! Thank you so much for squeezing some time for this.

KM – Oh no, thank you, for choosing me for your interview ^^

K- Alright then. Let us start from the beginning, shall we? Your interest in cosplay, how and when did it start?

KM- It started from curiosity. I happen to pass by an event in 2002 and saw people in costumes. I did some research when I found out the term in a forum. And from there, everything started.

K- Tell me, did you make your first costume back then? Or you had it tailored?

KM- My first costume, Rinoa Heartilly, was tailored but I made sure that I would make my own props.

K- Truly a beautiful cosplay! *spazz* Do you prefer solo or group cosplays then?

KM- I prefer group cosplays. I started as a solo cosplayer before and the only thing I’m focused on was accomplishing the costume and be able to portray characters well. Group cosplay is much enjoyable because you get to help each other in every details in Cosplay (not only in costumes, but also make-up, preparations for shoots and if you’re competing, you practice together).

K – Those group cosplays really leave me speechless! How you organize such a band inspires me so much too! Not only you pick suitable partners for the right characters, but truly they enjoy being in your company as well. How much has cosplay taught you then? Pros and Cons?

KM- PROS: creativity, resourcefulness and well, perfection. I learned to be sort of OC when preparing costumes (but of course 100% accuracy isn’t possible). I learned a lot in craftsmaking and wig styling via research, self-taught, observation and from people who are willing to show me how they make their costumes. It excites me when I’m in the mood to work on details too because I take those as challenge (although there are times I easily get frustrated ^^;). Teamwork is also a must, especially if you’re having a cosplay project with your friends. CONS: I pay too much attention in this hobby to the point I sometimes prioritize this over some much more important things.

K – Have you cosplayed abroad as well? If yes, how can you compare it locally? If not, what could you have wished for?

KM- Yep. Cosplay in Singapore are really awesome. Even the simplest characters they were able to pull it off nicely by portrayal, make-up and on-cam poses. People there know how to approach you and ask photos of you. There are also people who do that here as well, but there are some who takes that opportunity from other people take their shot and walk away. I got used to it anyway but it’s sad that they haven’t changed.
Cosplay aside, what do you do outside the hobby/community? (what do u do when ur not cosplaying)reply) I’m working full-time ^^; and it’s really stressful just to go to work and back home since I live far.

Let’s not forget her AWESOME crossplays! This alone, is why I want to do crossplays this year haha!

Tsuna of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Zidane Tribal of Final Fantasy IX

Sora of Kingdom Hearts

Allen Walker of D. Gray Man

K- Gahhh! *fangirl mode off* Hookay, now based on your experience, how’s about a message to aspiring cosplayers out there?

RESEARCH. It is an important factor you’ll need to do when you Cosplay. You want to cosplay a character, good, you just made a choice then research follows next. Research can widen your knowledge about the character, the things you’ll need for it, and whole a lot more. Research brings wonderful discovery, I assure you that and it’s fun gaining knowledge. XD

Yosh! That certainly got my juices flowing! But just like Ms. Monteclaro’s passion for group shots, it is equally amazing when she stands alone too. Wahh those facial expressions are to die for!! haha many thanks again Kynkyn, you have made my day!

Namie Amuro – Teen Queen of JPOP/Hip-hop music

Till next feature~! *mhew*


Wig tutorial #1: Single High Ponytail

Ok first of all, I’m not an expert on wig styling nor has anyone taught me about this. I actually just saw a reference picture of how the wig looks like when it was done (not during the process of styling) and I just tried it for myself. So here goes:

Wig Tutorial #1: How to do a single high ponytail – the natural way?

We will work of Terra Brandford’s wig. Because I needed to learn how other cosplayers got their ponytails that high haha! Naturally, many professionals would tell you to wear a short wig first and clip-on a ponytail extension.

This, of course, looks a lot better right? But only if you’re in a hurry or want to make it look neat. Plus, that’s two wigs, it could cost you. I chose to do it the natural way, because I assure you, it is POSSIBLE. So let’s start!

Materials you need:

1 long wig (take note to get a wig that’s TWICE the length of the actual ponytail you’re trying to achieve)

1 Wig comb or any teethy comb (do not use normal hair brush, there is a specialized Wig brush for wigs too)

1 medium sized Hair Clamp (those finger-like hair things) or lots of hair anti-aging elastics (or what I like to call, Sanrios)

And a wig head! Or get a friend or family member to wear the wig for you because you can’t do this alone.

STEP 1 = COMB YOUR WIG FIRST. If it’s naturally curly, then no need.

STEP 2 = Wear/Place the wig on your Wig Head. If your wig has those adjustable straps underneath, make sure to fasten it. If not, use a bobby pin to fasten the wig on the top of the wig head. WARNING: Do not use pins if using an actual human head! *shoots you*

STEP 3 = Take 1/4 of the wig’s upper part (doing this equally with your comb) and fasten it with a Sanrio or a hair elastic band. The height depends where you want your high ponytail to be and this is how high I want my wig to reach.Oh look! You can see the wig’s skeletal frame from here! TIP: If you have any, always look at your character reference to be sure.

STEP 4 = Using your comb, take some parts of hair from either side, about 2 inches thick. Make sure they are no tangles!

STEP 5 = Pull that part gently towards the opposite end, OVER the tied-half of the wig. Using the hair clamp, fasten this. Repeat the same step for the other side. TIP: If you started with the RIGHT side, next do the LEFT side. And vice-versa.

STEP 6 = If you have been paying attention, this (below) is what it should look like from the side. You’ll notice how we have covered the skeletal wig frame I mentioned earlier! Make sure the hair clamp holds what you have gathered.

STEP 7 = Again, keep repeating Step#5 for each side, GOING VICE-VERSA until you have reached the bottom part of the wig. This (below) is how it should look like by now, from behind. TIP: Using your comb before gathering some hair parts keep the style neat & tangle-free. So don’t be in a hurry using your fingers.

STEP 8 = By now, the wig would feel a little bit heavy because the weight is all on top. Once you’ve accomplished gathering all the hair to the top, hold the ponytail with one free hand and gently take off the hair clamp with the other hand.

STEP 9 = If your character has a specific hair accessory, you can use this time to put it now on the ponytail. Like Terra’s hair, she has this pink/lilac head-dress with tassels. But all I can put is something similar (find below). If none, replace the hair clamp with any normal hair elastic band (not the Sanrio) or ribbon. TIP: Be patient when tying the wig! It takes all energy to pull the whole ponytail back & forth, like tying real hair. Like real hair, some stubborn strands will get in the way.

STEP 10 = Owarimashita! Meaning, it is done.. You have your high ponytail. YAY!

This is the finished wig-style! I cosplayed Terra Branford from Final Fantasy VI. Her hair has always been a challenge to me because it’s not your regular ponytail. TIP: You can do the same for braids!! Check out what I did to my friend’s Bulma cosplay of Dragon Ball Series. She just added Bulma’s traditional red ribbon at the back:

I hope it was easy enough. Try it on your wig and send me a link here. I look forward to seeing your piece! Gambatte ne!

Next Wig Tutorial: Two high ponytails~ soon!

SEE ALSO: DeviantArt Version

CosFeature #2: Marko Villaluz

“I believe a photograph is worth a thousand words. What makes it more worth is when you have captured an amazing photo! A cosplayer’s existence is exposed thanks to their respective photographers.. or those who have exposed them. That’s why for my next feature, it won’t only be a cosplayer.. but the person behind the camera as well.” – katz

Feature n#2: Marko Villaluz.. aka Master Asia

K- Konnichiwa! Thank you so much for squeezing some time for me.

MV- It’s no problem at all 😀

K-  Whee let us start from the beginning, shall we? Your interest in photography, when did it start?

MV- It started when I joined the sesame photo workshop back when I was around 7. It was more like me loving to look at pictures than taking them.

K- Whoa you started that young huh? Photographer MUST-HAVES, what do you think one should be equipped with?

MV- Well, a camera~ XDD kidding aside.. other equipment aren’t really a necessity, but they do help a lot in so many ways!

K- Haha yes of course! Then, do you prefer working solo or do you participate in groups?

MV- With all honesty, I prefer working solo because I can think more but I participate in groups because it’s much more fun and a whole lot more interesting.

K- What can you say is your specialty? If none, what do you love most about taking pictures?

MV- I’ve yet to find out my nitch, but I’ve been having favoritism for portraiture.

K- Indeed. I’ve seen your other works, you could very well go into photojournalism too! Now, the Pros and Cons of Photography..

MV- It’s fun and it’s a good outlet for creativity. Bad side would be the cost. It’s not a cheap hobby, that’s for sure.

K- Oh I know. I have a brother who spent a lot on just the lens! How did you get involved with Cosplay Photography then?

MV- I started cosplay photography back in seifukuu of 2009. I just purchased my own camera that time and wanted to see if i could produce good shots with the little knowledge I had in the field.

K- Wow! I guess the same can be said for Toy Photogrpahy as well. You have tried to cosplay right? Who was your first character? And how did it feel?

MV- Yes~ my first character was Shozo from Rurouni Kenshin back in 2001. It felt good~ the cheers, and the fact that you get to see all sorts of costumes.

haha true that! Unfortunately, due to lack of sources Mr. Villaruz and I were not able to find that Shozo pic. Instead, he did some awesome cosplays as well. Check it out:

Harima Kenji of School Rumble

Jecht of Final Fantasy X

Oda Nobunaga of Sengoku Basara

Prince Dastan of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time

K- Pictures aside, what other things you would like to do for yourself off the camera?

MV- Singing, dancing, training, and playing video games

K- Haha really? Based on your experience, how’s about a message to aspiring photographers out there?

MV- It’s about learning and having fun. it’s something you can do alone and still enjoy. it’s never a bad thing to try out something new.

K- Now, please tell me something about yourself that no one knows. Like, what makes you.. YOU?

MV- hmmmmm…. here’s a toughie…. *scratches chin* I like watching kung-fu movies.

No wonder they called you Master Asia hehe! Mr. Villaluz amazes me with his simple cosplays and yet they almost always look so convincing! I feel like watching his characters off from the TV/ PC monitor! Now I’m thrilled to see him on more diverse cosplays such as mecha and armor. Catch more from Mr. Villaluz on his DeviantArt and Facebook~!

Till next feature~! *MHEW*

Panty & Stocking in PCC!!

I have never been more excited! And no I’m not one of those sexy girls haha! But I have the pleasure of them being “mine” on the said event ho ho ho! >:3 I will be their number#1 fanboy!

See you all in the 4th Philippine Cosplay Convention at Robinson’s Manila, March 05, 2011~!

– <3, Briefus Rock

CosFeature #1: Sese Ramirez

I started out as a con-goer back then. It mattered so much to me how accurate and realistic one person can go to look exactly like the character they are cosplaying. So I’d like to take this opportunity to feature some of my favorite Cosplayers, whom I’ve had such honor in meeting and befriending along the way.. -katz

Feature n#1: Nepherteri Ramirez.. aka Sese

K- Konnichiwa Sese-san! Thank you so much for squeezing some time for me. Let us start from the beginning, shall we? Your interest in cosplay, how and when did it start?

SR- It all started when I saw a few otakus cosplaying before during Culture Crash Convention way back. It got me thinking that someday I want to do that too, however during that time I was in college and resources was rather poor. I don’t know who to approach and what to do. So during my college days, I just used to admire cosplayers wishing to be just like them. Then oppurtunity knocked when a friend of mine invited me to cosplay with her and I said yes. From then on, I got hooked.

K- Ooohhh! Tell me, did you make your first costume? Or you had it tailored?

SR- Unfortunately, sewing is not one of my best talents. I had it tailored. All of my costumes are tailored. Though some of the accessories I use are made by me.

K- And do you prefer solo or group cosplays?

SR- Actually it depends but most of time I do solo cosplay since I only have to follow and manage my own time. Solo cosplays are more to your own pacing. Though I also like group cosplays and it depends on the group too. I don’t like working with people who are ningas-kugon or all-talk, all planning but never getting the job done. Since I seldom do group cosplay, I really do enjoy collaborating with people or friends who wanted to cosplay a character from the same series with me.


K- I see! How much has cosplay taught you? Pros and Cons?

SR- Cosplay taught me a lot. The pros would be how I learned to put make-up on properly and efficiently, and I’m continuously learning. I also learned how to style my own wig and like putting on make-up, I’m still trying to hone my skills on it. Cosplay also taught me to be more creative, to find new innovations to make cosplay easier and more fun. Another pro is that I made a lot of friends, locally and internationally.

The cons of cosplay that it is an expensive hobby but the pro side to it, it taught me how to budget and improvise things for my cosplay so that I don’t have to spend that much. Then there are people who will judge you and bash you about your cosplays like it doesn’t look nice, it doesn’t look good on you etc. Another con about cosplay is that there are a lot of unecessary issue popping in and out, and you would find yourself entangled in them. But the good thing about getting involved, is you’ll learn how to play and move yourself in and out of what you call “cosplay politics” and eventually you’ll learn who to trust and not to trust.

K- Have you cosplayed abroad as well? If yes, how can you compare it locally? If not, what could you have wished for?

SR- Yes, I have cosplayed abroad already. That was last Anime Asia Festival 2010 in Singapore when me and Kune Delgado represented the Philippines for Regional Cosplay Competition. I cosplayed T-elos from Xenosaga III for the competition and Hagane Miku during Day 1 of AFA 2010.

HAGANE MIKU –  Vocaloid

T-ELOS: Xenosaga III

Comparing it locally, I could say that the convention in Singapore is more organized and and there’s a lot of space. Most of the cons here are held in the mall and malls are usually crowded with no proper place for cosplayers to just sit around or rest. There, since they have the proper venue, coslayers will sit and rest in one corner and no security guard will reprimand them and shoo them away.

K – Whoa really? Cosplay aside, what do you do outside the hobby/community?

SR – At the moment I’m taking my masteral degree in Ateneo De Manila. And when I’m not cosplaying or preparing for cosplay I usually surf the net (always OL on plurk & YM), read manga scanlations, listening to music, reading books or hanging out with my friends.

Cosplay, despite being expensive and time-consuming in some cases, is fun and it hones your creativity. Though the good part is that, you get to know new people and befriend them. however, be careful befriending people in the community. There are those who will take advantage of either your popularity, your connections and your trust. Some will even backstab you. Despite the negatives, the cosplay community is fun but you just have to have a high tolerance and filter out the negativity.

K- Got it. So based on your experience, how’s about a message to aspiring cosplayers out there?

SR – Never get discouraged when people criticize you in a good or bad way. When you’re critized, learn from it and see the essence of it. Listen to advises and suggestions but don’t follow them at once. Filter out things you think is a bad advice/suggestion from the good ones. Hone your skill and never stop learning.

Hai! Even that didn’t stop me. Hehe! What I totally admire about Ms. Ramirez, she has a unique way of portraying the character’s personalities. How colorful she brings them to life with her conceptual and artistic side just never ceases to amaze me!

Many thanks again to the awesome and wonderful Sese! If you want to know more about her, you can visit her Facebook page or check out her other awesome cosplays in DeviantArt.

Photo by: Tami Ballesteros

Til next feature! *huggles*

BGLAM Supermodel shoot

Last January, my friends and I had this opportunity to be part of an open photoshoot.  The theme? Supermodel! KYAHHH! It was my second time for an official glamor shoot. 

I had to admit, I was very nervous about this at first. To think, I’ve been cosplaying for more than 3 years now, why would I right? Well, it’s not the camera I assure you. I was afraid because.. for once, I had no idea what to wear HAHA! *gets shot* The resident stylist made it clear that he would handle what I would wear.

So I eased up a bit and that quickly, I had a blast.  We had a blast! What makes an event more fun is having to spent it with your friends.

It was so worth it. Even the stylist had a hard time picking what clothes would suit me haha! i just don’t work well with too formal or too extravagant clothes. Until we settled something fun, artistic and cutesy. So I adorned this white-beaded necklace, rainbow printed top by Bobon, pink tutu skirt, my killer 5″ heeled white boots and a black Fedora hat to add up the touch! Check out the photos I got:


Haha! I swear whenever I would wear make-up, I turn into somebody else. Seriously, been mistaken for a lot now: Sandara Park, boA, Jean Garcia, Jessica (SNSD), now Donita Rose! Now take a look at the awesome photos of my friends too. Don’t we look fab?

I still can’t get over this. It’s amazing! My friends and I look forward to more of BGLAM’s projects in the years to come. What’s more exciting: one of their stylist is our fellow cosplayer friend and fashion artist, Devian Grey! Maybe this time, we’ll bring more friends. The more the merrier!


Photography: Tami Ballesteros

Styling: Devian Gray

Make-up styling: BGlam staff

Cosmetics by: Ever Belina and Careline


Dream Seoul ~ from MaJeKa w/ love!

Let me first start by saying, that this was one tiring event! My business partner and I had to come at around 8am to set-up our booth before event proper. There was one thing I noticed, the place was very spacious! But I didn’t mind at first, I knew that at every Kpop event, they would need a space this BIG.

Mjk Jess came around 8:30am to help set-up and we were as busy as bees. On one side we had the multiple accessories such as: girly kits, notepads, fancy mobile covers and purses, tiny plushies, foldable bags, mjk Dream bottles, and our Abrakadabox!

On the other side we have: more Plushies, our beloved crochet hats, Sun hats and new addition apparel from sister company Dissimilar Clothing.

By the time it was around 10:30pm, mjk Maddie came just as people were lined up outside and couldn’t wait to get in. To my surprise, the line wasn’t that long. Well, unlike my first Kpop event as marshall, we encountered a line long enough at an early start of 8am in the morning and reached till the next floor downstairs, just for the ticket booth! Yes that long! Read story here:

But nevertheless, the team and I were prepared for anything. At first, there were a few customers. Others were try-outs and passerby. Most were kids without enough cash. *sigh* But just as understood. The program started out with their 1st batch of performers.. then the 2nd.. the 3rd.. the 4th. X__x In my opinion, there was a LOT of dancing if you ask me. I mean, seriously!

I was half-worried that the attendees attention would always be on stage. That wouldn’t be fair for us exhibitors in general, now would it? But we don’t control the crowd, it is still their choice. So the team and I do our best to look presentable, fun like our products, advertise like crazy and treat people (customer or not) with equal respect and smiles! It worked though, we sold just as enough. We even gained fans!

More fun facts: As mjk Jess observed it, we were probably the ONLY booth who cam-whored throughout the event! Whenever we had the chance, it was a shoot here and a shoot there. Practically since we were a booth and a cosplay item in one. Well, I could personally say that I have never been more proud to work with such a beautiful team, gals and guys alike! *hugs*

Even lady luck brings us her blessings. One representative of the event’s sponsors came to our booth, saw our products and asked us if we would like to exhibit in their event this coming October. I was shocked! wants us to exhibit in Cosplay Mania 2011 WAHHHHH! Ok why am I spazzing? I am well aware that this event has always been the biggest in our country for years! Big enough for international cosplayers to even attend it! Now the person in charge of Marketing and Events, Sir Henry De Dios (aka sephiroth in forums) comes to our booth and offers a spot for their big event! How fortunate is that? *faint* I am told that this is a rare opportunity because exhibitors get picked, not volunteered! This is why I went home happy, a satisfied business woman. Even if I had body pains the next day. X__x

Now for the awards, our much appreciated THANKS to the following:

To Vince, our backbone on the mjk business.

To pepz, for his never-ending help on us girls.

To Devian and Sese of DISSIMILAR clothing, it has been a pleasure working w/ you.

To our fans who dropped by the booth and supported us, you know who you are! Of course, no other than God who made it all happen. ♥ MaJeKa is a success! Look out for us in the next kpop event on March.27 – KFEST COSPLAY CON 2011. Uri-nun no-rul sarang-hea (we love you)~!

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