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It’s been three years since we attended our last Cosplay Tanabata, and this year, we came back to witness it in its grandest setting yet at the Newtown Plaza Event Center last August 17 and 18. Returning for its seventh (and allegedly final) year, the theme for Cosplay Tanabata 7 is the Japanese fashion phenomenon that is called Harajuku.

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Cosplay Tanabata was speaheaded by Curteanah Events, composed of cosplay veterans and cosplay entrepreneurs from Baguio. And having been invited as Media Partners, we spent two whole days witnessing everything that went down during the event, as well as all the enthusiasts coming in and out of the venue in their well-thought out attires.

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A burger eating contest kicked off the festivities on Day One, but the event truly came alive with a Dance Cover Contest, where dance groups moved to the beat of the songs by Japanese popstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Contestants then lit the stage and sang their hearts out in a battle royale called the Utanabata Singing Contest. And in the spirit of the Tanabata Lore, two individuals were chosen as the Hikoboshi and Orihime of the event, based on the best styling of traditional Japanese garb.

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Our personal highlight of the day was the Lolita Fashion Show headed by the Philippine Gothic Lolita Community. This marked the first ever Harajuku fashion show in Baguio.

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Of course, there were stalls for all the event-goers shopping (and food!) needs. A whopping number of 60 exhibitors filled the venue, offering everything from official merchandise, to fan and original art works, to cosplay essentials, and everything in between.

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There were also some stalls for card games and mini-games and a mini bamboo forest for wish-making.

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Without a doubt, the most anticipated event was the Cosplay Competition, which took place on the second day. There were two main categories – solo and duo performances, broken down into sub categories such as best light costume, best heavy costume, and best characterization. Overall, the winner for the Solo category was of Keanu Reeves’ character from Cyberpunk 2077 and for Duo, an adorable pairing playing Ladybug and Cat Noir took the prize. We give an honorable mention to our favorite, a cosplay of Venom, who also did a spectacular job and at least went home with a subcategory win.

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Cosplay Tanabata 7 closed with a JPop Dance Party with songs lead by the winners of the singing contest and the event’s special guests. All in all, it looks like everyone had a blast. And whether or not this is the last Cosplay Tanabata, we’re pretty sure that this won’t be the last time that we’ll see all these enthusiastic faces.

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