MANILA, Philippines - Hong Kong is said to be a dream destination of cosplayers or costume players during the Halloween season, an annual holiday characterized mainly by trick-or-treating and wearing costumes.
The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) claims that "no other place celebrates Halloween like Hong Kong does" especially with its street parties, "dressed-up" attractions, restaurants and bars offering themed menus, and unique shopping finds.
Attesting to this is the Hong Kong Halloween Treats campaign, a month-long event in October highlighted by parties, cosplaying and a regional blogging competition.
For this, HKTB has tied up with Animax Asia, a popular anime and youth entertainment channel in the region.
The blogging competition, which runs until October 6, asks participants from the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia to write about the recently concluded cosplay contest (September 24), and share how Hong Kong is an ideal destination for cosplay-loving kids and adults during the Halloween season.
Animax and HKTB said entries will be judged based on popularity (number of readers and comments), creativity (how well the blog site is designed with graphics, text, photos and videos) and originality (content).
The top 3 bloggers will be awarded an all-expense paid trip to take part in the numerous Halloween-themed events in Hong Kong next month.
"It is not always that youth and young adults get recognition for simply indulging in hobbies such as cosplay and blogging. Both passions are widely shared and pursued by many young people across Asia who share a common love for anime," said Gregory Ho, vice president and general manager of Animax Asia.
He added, "Winners can look forward to making new friends from across Asia, and discovering a whole host of unique youth experiences that Hong Kong has to offer."
Cosplay, short for costume play, is a performance art where participants portray their favorite characters in comic books, video games and movies through meticulous costume, gestures and movements.
It is widely popular in Japan and in many other countries including the Philippines, with competitions and events held almost every year.
According to sociologist Josephine Aguilar-Placido, cosplaying helps take self-expression a notch higher, making it particularly attractive to the youth.
"'Yung pagsusuot ng costume ay interactive, nagsasalita siya, meron siyang message sa tao," she said in an earlier interview.
For his part, local cosplay photographer Romeo Encisa said cosplaying provides a place where the youth can be noticed and accepted. This, even as the cosplayer with the simplest costume is appreciated by other members.