Kawaii in Manila 2

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Last Saturday, I attended the first Kawaii convention in the Philippines and to make-up for my short blog post feature about it, this blog post will contain more things about what really happened during the event!


Kawaii has always been a term I’d always mutter and a word that can pretty much say a lot of things about myself. Kawaii is a lifestyle that I’ve grown with from all the anime I used to watch as soon as I get home from school; from the Japanese dramas I’ve watched; and from the things I’d only see on my computer screen. Kawaii wasn’t only a word for me, not just a lifestyle, but something that pushed me to enthuse about and to influence others to not just perceive it as a word as well.
I’ve had numerous sabaw conversations with Ate Kaila Ocampothe co-founder of Kawaii Philippines, for years now and we’ve talked about her life in Japan, her blog, and sometimes (if a serious topic was brought up): her plans for the future. I’ve probably said this several times already but having Kawaii in Manila 2 happen right before my eyes felt so surreal. To have someone(very close to my hearts)’s dreams come to reality didn’t only give happiness to the person herself but to myself and to other people who shared the same dream as well.



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Thank you so much to Hotel Celeste for accommodating the Kawaii Philippines team! Their location was so convenient (5-minute walk away from Greenbelt!) and their staff treated us very well. ♡
Being adopted by the Kawaii Philippines team, I was able to get a behind-the-scenes look of what was really going on with the preparations of this huge event. I honestly don’t know how much sleep I got the night before but all I remembered was the laughter and how sabaw we all got hours before the convention. I was initially assigned to take over the official Kawaii in Manila 2 Instagram account and to make it trending which gave me one big mission to accomplish: to take pictures of everything.
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As you enter Whitespace, a beautiful Pink cherry blossom tree welcomes you to kawaii paradise. This was one of my favorite things from the event because what’s a kawaii convention without a sakura tree where you can possibly bring your senpai to and confess your feelings under it, right? Definitely gave me the shoujo manga vibes!
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The program was opened by the amazing Reese Lansangan who serenaded everyone with her unique voice and her original songs (whose lyrics I memorize by heart which explains why I mouthed every single word while she was singing it /fangirl mode/).
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Other than singing, Ate Reese actually had a booth called Soon the Moon which sold lots of kawaii accessories with Pop Art works and even famous icons from our childhood (spot Sailor Moon and Lisa Frank!). I honestly wanted to purchase everything. They were all too cute for my life.
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Kawaii Philippines also sold their official shirts and kawaii bows made by Dolly Kaye. Can you spot the bows with cherry blossoms, Milky, and One Piece?
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I couldn’t miss the chance to drop by the Hodge Podge booth, of course! I’ve been friends with the owner, Ate Gel, online and it was so nice to finally meet each other last Saturday! Oh, the opportunities I got from Kawaii in Manila 2. I purchased one of their super kawaii loom band keychains with Rainbow Dash!
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Lucy Pop was one of the major things you couldn’t miss out on during the convention. Founder Kamiyama-san and Planner Yuki-san flew all the way from Japan just to bring their amazing products to the Philippines for all kawaii girls to gush over! I especially loved their bowties because if you’ve known me long enough, you’d know how much I love bows.
A few days before the event, during a casual chat with Ate Kaila over Facebook, she gave me one of the most random opportunities I’ve ever received in my entire life: to model for a Japanese school girl uniform brand — Lucy Pop. If I were to tell you guys the story of how I aspired to become a model when I was younger — joining Go-sees and all that, I’d be writing a novel already.
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I brought my twinnie Guen along with me and we were both given a last-minute opportunity to don a kawaii school girl outfit that we’d only dream of wearing from watching anime and Japanese dramas.
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I was given a purple school uniform which was initially with a cardigan but was removed by the designer and instead, he gave me a school bag — and to think that I’d only see these in Japanese dramas!
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Modelling with a bag was both convenient and a hassle for me. Convenient because I didn’t have to awkwardly model without holding anything; and a hassle because “how do you model with a bag?” After practicing different poses before the show, I was actually able to do a good job modelling. *pats self on the back* 
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My twinnie was so kawaii as well!! I’m really proud of her hihi ♡
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This was my first modelling gig and it still feels surreal that it happened. The feeling I got when I walked to the end of the runway with so many camera flashes around me felt so weird yet so exhilarating.
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I spent most of my time with my forever kawaii twinnie Guen and I don’t think I would be able to survive the event without her! Gotta love her for bearing with a stressed unicorn (a.k.a. me)! We were so clingy throughout the event and I’m so glad that I was able to spend the convention with her.
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Channeling our inner school girls (where’s senpai?) under the beautiful cherry blossom tree. I think it’s time for us to have a twinnie name. Any suggestions?
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With the person who took the two previous photos: Ate Chai Mungcal of Ohmylittegirl! We’ve been exchanging tweets for a while (either about something related to Japan or Korea) and it was so nice to finally meet her! She deemed Guen and I as “fresh” and I couldn’t really see the different between us because she (still) looks as youthful! I’ll forever admire her for her fashion style and make-up skills (please teach me, master) ♡
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Class picture with the Lucy Pop family! We only rehearsed a day before the event but I’m so glad that the fashion show was a success! Kudos to Kaye (the kawaii pastel fairy princess) who headed all of the fashion shows. Love you, Mommy Kaye! ♡ You can spot the Lucy Pop founder Kamiyama-san and the planner Yuki-san in front as well! This wouldn’t be possible without them.
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I had to leave early because of a K-pop concert I’ve been dying to go to for months already so I missed a few other stuff which includes the photo above! Three out of the six people in that photo are women I’ve been looking up to for quite some time now:
Kaila Ocampo, the Rainbowholic and co-founder of Kawaii Philippines, whose blog I’d always go to when I was still in Grade school whom I now treat as my "big sister from another mother" 
Reese Lansangan, my hairspiration (not a lot of people could pull off so many hair colors, okay) and an all-around talented woman whom I still fangirl; and
Tricia Gosingtian whose Lookbook I’d always stalk way before this blog existed and someone who played a huge part on why my blog exists now. She pretty much inspired me to blog and now I’m here. Yay. 
It still kind of breaks my heart to have missed the chance to actually be able to take a photo with them and it would’ve felt so surreal to be able to do so but I believe that there’s always a next time (#KawaiiInManila3). Other people in the photo are also very precious to me and I’m so glad to have met them!! ❤ Kaye Romero ,the super kawaii pastel fairy princess; Chichi RomeroLittle Miss Paintbrush herself who’s behind all the kawaii visuals of the event of and of Kawaii Philippines; and Ashely Dythe fabulous Tokyo-based fashion blogger who made the Harajuku Fashion Show possible! Shout out to Anne Pinero, co-founder of Kawaii Philippines!! I don’t think I would be able to stay up groggy without her sabaw humor the night before the event! ❤
So this ends the first part of my Kawaii in Manila 2 blog post! I still cannot contain all the feelings I got from this event which is why I’ve decided to do a Part 2 post which I’ll be publishing real soon.
PHOTO CREDITS
Justin De Jesus for the official runway photos from the Lucy Pop Fashion Show & the official Lucy Pop photos;
Jionor Verona for the other runway photo;
Chai Mungcal for the cherry blossoms photo (and to Eric Ocampo a.k.a. “kuya ng bayan” for the other cherry blossom photo; and
Tricia Gosingtian for the (incomplete) Kawaii Philippines group photo

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