You would think that an older adult would probably be one of the last persons alive to enjoy a Kawaii convention, but leave it up to THIS old person to actually LOVE it!
I was at the Kawaii in Manila 2 convention last Saturday, a first for me because I had only heard about this event last summer from friends. Months ago, my gaming friends and I had planned to go together that day. Nearer the date, however, scheduling became a problem for them and they could no longer attend the event. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to go alone because my husband generously volunteered to be my date! (Well, Nimes tagged along.)
So now you can imagine an old couple doing their best to fit in a crowd of beautiful young people, and although one would most likely snicker at the absurdity of this idea, it turns out that my husband and I felt quite at home among these young ones. Never mind that we were both dressed in uniform black in a sea of colors or that we were sporting unfashionable gray hair (him more than me, heehee), there was so much fun to be had in an event that promotes not only “cuteness” and beauty, but acceptance and positivity, as well.
We came in at exactly eleven, when the doors opened, and left almost two hours later. We would have stayed longer but we also had to do our parent chores for the day. We missed out on a lot of the fun stuff, like the workshops that came free with the purchase of a ticket, or the fashion show (I love those Himegyaru styles; alas, I am old!) , but we managed to get real life glimpses of what it meant to be “kawaii” in attitude and perception, which, in the end, is what really counts beyond fashion, fun, and fluff.
I have some pictures from the event, a mix of iPhone and Nikon J1 photos. These were taken early in the day, before the venue filled up considerably. I read in Kawaii in Manila’s community page that they were only expecting 500 people to come and were amazed that 1500 showed up to support the event. Makes you wish there was a Day 2, right? I hope you enjoy my photos. And maybe next year, you’d like to come along with me?
Attendees are met with these giant letters in front of Whitespace. Kawaii marks the spot!
Nimes is ready for some action and takes her place in center stage. :-)
She can’t seem to stop raising her hands in glee, heehee. :-)
Meanwhile, we go around for a look-see of the booths in the venue. Look at all the things one can see and buy! Cuteness of every kind!
And those Totoro pouches are sooo adorable!
More fun stuff to be had, all sorts of things to wear and don. :-)
These are not only delightful but earth-friendly too. I had my eye on the Potchi pouch. :-)
How about some sweets for your sweet?
That’s me, rocking that Guy Fawkes mask! It’s my favorite photo of me from the convention. :-)
And me again, with my friend Ingrid of Provenance DesignsandCrafts. Right then, I regretted not being able to stay longer for the clay workshop. Ingrid has those magical crafty fingers that can transform those lumps of color into art!
I also looked into Japanese language classes, uhm, not for me, but for my son. There’s a manga (comic) drawing + language course being offered by the Kudan Institute of Japanese Language and Culture. He might want to explore this avenue after college. It’s a great way to see more of the world.
There was also an Art Exhibit showcasing works by different artists. Below are just a few of those that caught my fancy. These are some very talented young people, I must say. :-) If you’d like to see the rest, there’s an online exhibit and directory you could access, courtesy of Kawaii in Manila.
Nimes loved best this piece of art from words by Ms. Francesca Mae Acpal.
There’s a faux cherry blossom tree right in front of the venue and it really is pretty. Nimes just had to have her picture taken under it.
My best discovery of the day was finding a Wendy Weekender in one of the booths. I was told that she belongs to one of the organizers. Nimes wanted a photo with her, and the person minding the booth kindly obliged. However, we didn’t bother waking up Wendy anymore. She must have been pretty tired (along with her momma) after all the things they did to make the convention a success. I just wished I could have met her owner in person. I haven’t met too many Blythe owners and not young ones at that. :-)
This fabulous jeepney was parked right outside the venue hall. It was just screaming for a photograph!
Before we left, I took one last photo of Nimes with the Kawaii PH standees. It was definitely a unique experience, one worth coming back for, in my opinion. While Kawaii in Manila was perfectly packaged to cater to the young, this middle-lifer enjoyed it as much as everyone else. Truth is, everyone needs sunshine in their lives, and Kawaii in Manila filled everyone who came with sunshine and joy, kawaii-style, of course.
So will we see a Part Three next year? I’m crossing my fingers! Here’s to next year, Kawaii in Manila!