A sudden flash of bright-colored wigs here, an assortment of oversized props over there; these are the telltale signs that yes, you’ve found yourself in the midst of a geek gathering. Pop culture enthusiast or not, one cannot help but be drawn to the flurry of excitement. Be it the intricate costumes, themed merchandise, or overall buzzing atmosphere surrounding beloved books, shows, and movies, majority of the throngs of people in attendance are there for one purpose: To celebrate their love and dedication for the things that make them—them.
Geeks, nerds, stans, fangirls and fanboys; whatever you may call them, it is their unwavering enthusiasm and fierce loyalty to their respective “fandoms” that makes them distinct. So it is without a doubt that once they catch wind of a convention or event to come one, come all, they make sure to not miss the chance; and that is exactly why DLSU’s Green Giant FM hosted Geek Day 2017.
Calling all geeks
According to Dominic Sugue of Green Giant FM, the planning for Geek Day 2017 was started by last year’s editorial board, with the organization personally inviting all the guests, concessionaires, and exhibitors. Last October 7, as the doors to the SMX Convention Center opened to all its patrons for the day, among them were various superheroes, wizards, villains, and more. Geek Day 2017 officially kicked off when a dozen or so Spidermen paraded around to a-ha’s “Take On Me”, as inspired by the same events of the Los Angeles Comic Con 2016.
Afterwards, Jedi Masters from Fightsaber Philippines graciously took on several volunteers and Padawans from the crowd as they began to teach them the basics of lightsaber training. As they continued offstage, Hirro Kuizon from ASUS stepped up onto the platform to talk about graphics and color technology. A panel discussion was up next, featuring prominent local cosplayers such as Xidge Evangelista, Tim Villasor, and Dinny Grayson, who would also be serving as the judges for the cosplay competition later on.
Undeniably, the day’s most anticipated event was the cosplay competition, where thirteen hopefuls were dressed in their best and brightest costumes. From Overwatch characters Junkrat and Roadhog, to a pretty convincing Gaara from Naruto, the contestants definitely put on a good show. In the end, it all came down to three winners: Nicki Roque came in third place as Korra from The Legend of Korra, second place went to Zack Tolosa as Joker from Suicide Squad, who coincidentally also happened to be the People’s Choice Award winner, and first place went to Nica Salazar, who cosplayed as the small-but-terrible Lyanna Mormont from Game of Thrones.
Andrei Gaspar, Miguel Petines, and Ian David from Green Giant FM provided the crowd with much needed comic relief in between events, and were the hosts for the entirety of Geek Day 2017. All three emcees jumpstarted the lip sync battle, channeling their inner Michael Jackson all the while. For the lip sync battle, only three contestants had signed up and they were contestants from the cosplay competition as well, namely Nicki Roque (Korra), Alex Alcasid (Junkrat), and Meagan Mateo (Black Cat). This time around, Nicki Roque won overall for her rendition of “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry.
Once the hype surrounding the competitions had died down a bit, a live podcast with Westeros PH soon followed, and several fan theories regarding the fates of certain Game of Thrones characters were discussed both with the hosts and with the audience. The night came to a close when live performers Eyecandy, Absolute Play, and Android 18 took the stage, whereas artist Jappy Agoncillo stayed at his booth and treated the audience to a live viewing of how he creates his spray paint masterpieces.
Toys and trinkets
Not to be missed in the excitement were the hodgepodge of booths. Fandoms from all over were represented, from Star Wars to Yuri on Ice! to Game of Thrones. Scout, ABS-CBN and Jack TV doled out prizes to the winners of their carnival games, while Yakisoba entranced participants with a game and samples of their spicy noodles. Sponsors providing fun games to the tune of the excitement on the main stage and booths selling comic books and fandom-related merch like t-shirts and stickers were just few of the many consolation hits of the day.
Proudly representing the world of Anime with cat-ears and series merchandise were For Isabella, myrottenhoppe, Olive Cubes, Kaeli’s Poke Shop, Hatah!Hatah!, Gwynshop, and Saiki’s Toyland. Everywhere one looked, there was something different. One table sold Pokemon collectables while the Saber Sentry and Westeros PH gave all those who neared them a look into their worlds via tasteful figurines and combat-ready lightsabers.
Geek Day was also a chance for local artists to strut their stuff. Danlimlim, LNE, and melazyninja all showcased their original designs and own takes on pop culture in the form of stickers and brightly colored postcards. Another memorable booth selling postcard-sized artwork was run by freelance comic artist and illustrator, Mel Casipit.
“I’m a big fan of comics, pop culture in general,” narrates Casipit as he showed us the vast array of merchandise he had to offer. “Nung bata ako, mahilig ako manonood ng mga cartoons, tsaka magbasa ng mga komiks. Kaya nung lumaki ako, ito yung ginagawa ko.” (When I was a kid, I really enjoyed watching cartoons and reading comics, which is why when I grew up, I decided to do this.) He saw the impact comics had on young and aspiring artists who needed outlets to express their creativity, yet lacked the resources to do so. As such, he decided to share his artistic style and expression with the world through his comic books and postcards.
Providing the food for the day—aside from the roving staff members with boxes of free chips—were Capitan Coby, Thai Tea Bag, Black Wagyu, Ultimate Fries and Lemonade, all of whom routinely guest at DLSU events much to the satisfaction of the hungry university students.
An escape from reality
With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Geek Day provided an avenue for geeks, nerds, and fanboys alike to find an escape from reality, an escape to a place where they could be who they wanted to be. Whether you were there to buy merch, meet friends or simply take a break from the tedious clockwork of academics, Geek Day had a little bit of something for everyone. All in all, it was an amazing opportunity to let loose, meet people who share in the same passion as you, indulge in the feels and most importantly, love yourself.