Cos-ing a commotion

SINGAPORE - Tiny gasps could be heard when popular Filipina cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao made her appearance at the atrium of *Scape, where the International Cosplay Day Singapore was held on Sunday.

"Is that Alodia?" starstruck fans asked in hushed tones as they clamoured around the slim and fairskinned 25-year-old, who finally stopped at a photo booth, to their delight.

Cosplay is short for "costume play", where participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea from a work of fiction.

Into its second year, the convention, held from 10am to 8pm, attracted between 1,200 and 1,500 people, said Ms Charlotte Lee, from The Neo Tokyo Project, which organised the event.

Gosiengfiao, in a sexy crimson outfit, with a cherry-blonde wig and artificial ears, portrayed the elf Lina, who has fire magic and special powers in the computer game Defence Of The Ancients (DOTA) 2.

The outfit, which included a black studded bustier and bright red pumps with crystals, took about two weeks to make.

"It was challenging because I had to go to shoots in the day and could work on this only in the evenings or before I left for work," said Gosiengfiao, who also acts, sings, and hosts television shows in the Philippines.

More than 1 million 'likes' She got into cosplay about 10 years ago and today has more than 1 million "likes" on her Facebook page.

Costume construction was not the only timeconsuming aspect of the final look.

"This get-up took a good three hours," she said in accented English, with a girlish giggle.

"Most of the time was spent on make-up. I try to concentrate on the eyes and skin," she added.

Gosiengfiao was the guest of honour at the event and she also judged the talent showcase.

Cosplay, which originated as a form of Japanese subculture, has grown into a global phenomenon.

Although Gosiengfiao has been cosplaying for a full decade, it is "still all play" to her.

"I've been doing this for quite long, but I still feel excited when I see cosplayers in their costumes. I'll do this for as long as I can," she said.

She does not think there is an expiry date for cosplayers, although many characters in the fantasy and anime world look young.

"If you're in your 30s and you want to cosplay the child Lolita, which in the anime is age 12, that would be hard to pull off. But there are so many other options," she said.

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