After the event, Toycon 2011, last June, the Facebook Wall of said event has been flooded with shared pictures from professional to casual photogs alike. But, mostly, you’d find that 50% of those posts with pictures are from boys sharing a particular picture of a female cosplayer, and asking, “Anyone know what her name is?” Now, I’m not offended at all by this, though it does miff me a little and someone even remarked, “Dude, this place is becoming like a ‘lost and found’ page where everyone is looking for someone.”

“Can someone please tell me her name? The girl with glasses? SHE IS SO CUTE!”

Occasionally, you can read the intent of the person posting the pic. Most of the time, if it’s a solo shot of the person and the photographer is posting it and says, “Please tag him/her”, then the intent is pretty clear. The photographer wants the cosplayer to be able to see/have a copy of his shot. (But I’ve seen a photographer who will actually ask for your e-mail afterward to send you the photos, or even better, there was one female photog who, afterwards taking your pic, will give you a card which has her multiply account saying you could grab your pic there. Talk about photographer etiquette and consideration!)

2013 EDIT: With Coscards slowly gaining popularity, it’s easier to exchange details. I gave mine to a photographer-cosplayer and I was surprised she let me choose from her catalogue. It makes it easier to get in touch and grab  your pics later. As an observation, it’s the female photogs who tend to do this more.

“Please tag the cosplayers in this photo.”

The second kind (I belong is this) is someone who asks who a cosplayer is because she had told her something, they talked and she wants to keep in touch, or the cosplayer is familiar. Though I’m a cosplayer myself, sometimes I ask to take pictures with other cosplayers and we end up chatting a little, and you end up thinking, “Hey, that’s a nice person and I see her around cons all the time and she has awesome cosplays, I’d like to know if she’s going to a convention again so we can say hi.” Usually this group is made up of cosplayers asking around about another cosplayer, usually within her circle of cosplayer friends or to other cosplayers.

“Sabi niya sakin ‘sis tag mo nalang ako sa photo natin ah, gusto ko din ng copy, I like your costume kasi’. After 30 minutes ko lang narealize, ‘pano ko itatag si ate di ko naman siya kilala?’ o.O Pakitag nalang siya sa may kilala.”

The third kind miffs me a little. Lately I’ve been to Toycon’s Wall and was scrolling down ‘lost and found’ advertisements until I stopped at one because I know the person in the photo, one of my friends in Facebook. A guy posted a picture of him and a female cosplayer, and was asking, “Can anyone tell me her name please? She’s so cute.”

I was almost about to type in her name but I decided to check out the comments first. What I read was a bit… disgusting. Basically, two other guys joined in and said comments flowing from “wow, she’s so cute”, “please tell me her name”, “oy wag ka mag-alala brod, ha-hantingin natin sya”, and one of them even suggested a page that was supposedly her, and the guy asking thought it was her, and then later on his friend says, “dude hindi siya yan, pinapa-like lang sakin, i-like natin malay mo may clue dyan para mahanap mo yung hinahanap mo”, they even went arguing about what they thought her age was, and then the guy continues to comment and ask for her name and even says, “weeks na di ko pa din siya nahahanap…”

I got a little annoyed and I said, “You know nasa friend list ko yang hinahanap mo at sasabihin ko sana kung sino siya pero nagdalawang isip na ko kasi para kayong mga desperadong stalker kung mag-usap.”

(The annoying part was when he asked who the cosplayer was, he appears to not even know the character she was cosplaying. But that wasn’t what he was interested at, but the identity of the cosplayer.)

Like, dude! Meron pa nga dun nag-post ng pic ng hindi naman cosplayer at con-goer lang, an ordinary girl in ordinary wear with ordinary looks, and was asking, “Ano po name niya? Nagagandahan ako sakanya. <3”

“Sino po may alam ng name ng girl sa picture na ‘to? Ang ganda niya gusto ko sana siya makilala…”

I think I acted suplada and sometimes think I shouldn’t have said anything, but my sisterly instincts took over.A lot of cosplayers today, even the one he was asking about, is younger than me; I couldn’t help but feel older-sister-like, I’m sorry. I’m not even sure if the cosplayer I defended would have been flattered of how the guys talked or would be a little freaked out by it, too, and I’m wondering if I should tell her about it, or ask if she already knows.

Pero, point of note, guys, please don’t act like that. You make it sound that you go to conventions to look for girlfriends among cosplayers. It’s one thing to admire someone’s work and looks and truly appreciate it, it’s another thing to want to know her name, where she studies, where she lives, blahblahblah. And yung “masama bang makipag-kaibigan?” line is gasgas and tipong ginagamit ng mga tambay to hit on passing girls while asking for their number.

Dudes, be men. Don’t just take a picture with her and then post it online and then desperately ask around for her name. DUDE, MAN UP. ASK IN PERSON. You asked for a picture, a step away na lang yung name and the character she’s cosplaying. Most cosplayers will be nice and tell you. And if she doesn’t want to tell it to you, it’s her right! Just because we cosplay doesn’t mean we want people invading in our private lives. And, get this—if you asked us in person, we’ll be more likely to remember you rather than we will if you just send us a friend request on FB!

EDIT: Also what with Coscards gaining popularity, you can simply ask if she has one, or has a Facebook Page that you can follow. Less creepy than asking for a number.

Anong difference when you ask a girl in real life her name with when you send a friend request online? The difference is, when you ask online, you leave no room for rejection. Or, kung hindi ka niya inaccept, wala ka dun to personally take the blow.

And someone dare say na the reason we Filipinos get looked down in cosplay is because we’re so divided? “Di kasi tayo marunong magtulungan”, echuz. Please don’t say that. Marunong tayo magtulungan. I think the reason the community gets so muddled up is because of fapboys like this who end up painting a different picture about cosplayers. Thank goodness cosplay is mainstream now, but damn the misconceptions.

“Dude attend ka ng cosplay madaming cute dun, madaming maganda.” Ayun na lang ba ang reasons ng tao ngayon? And when they go there, they’re not even man enough to ask a cosplayer’s name. Lame.

I once thought I’d like to have a boyfriend who is an otaku and a cosplay enthusiast, too. And I know cosplayers who are boyfriend-girlfriend and get along so well and are going strong. But I will hardly like a guy who hides behind Facebook and can’t face you but will choose to just online-stalk you. NO! I’d rather have a non-cosplay enthusiast, a non-otaku, pero lalake naman.

Anyway, minessage na ko ng lalake na nagpost nun at sabi niya inerase na daw niya yung comment ko para ma-protect yung identity ko at yung identity nung cosplayer at narealize na daw niya yung point ko. Good job. Kung dedicated talaga kayo, dudes, sa cosplayer na super crush niyo at iniibig niyo na ata, patunayan mo. Man up.

Comments, friends? Violent reaction? Sorry sa wall of text. I’m not a hater of fans, I think it’s alright to admire someone. But going into stalker mode is already creepy. Respect the person first if you really admire her or are serious about her.

(Pictures are all mine, except second group shot, photo by Ken Acosta. Yung last pic, huh, random people in my camera.  Sorry. Tell me if you want it taken down. Have a nice day!)

EDIT: Disclaimer — I took down the last photo because of concerns that these are random people in the pic. It actually makes my point and it’s funny–if you see ordinary people in photos, they overreact when you share them publicly. But when it’s cosplayers they think it’s free to share around a photo and caption it. XDD